Perched on a hill about 400m above sea level, Bawomataluo (Sun Hill) is the most famous, and the most accessible, of the southern villages on Pulau Nias. It is also the setting for lompat batu (stone jumping). The final approach is up 88 steep stone steps flanked by stone dragons, and houses are arranged along two main stone-paved avenues. Bawomataluo is well worth exploring, but be prepared for eager knick-knack sellers.
Stone jumping was once a form of war training; the jumpers had to leap over a 1.8m-high stone wall, traditionally topped with pointed sticks. These days the sticks are left off – and the motivation is financial (200,000Rp per jump outside ceremonial occasions). There are also cultural displays of war dances, traditionally performed by young, single males.
From Bawomataluo, you can see the rooftops of nearby Orihili. A stone staircase and a trail lead downhill to the village.