Surfer in barrel of wave.

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Mentawai Islands

While surfers have long flocked to the Mentawai Islands for its legendary waves, it's a destination that will also have a far-flung appeal to independent travellers, in particular for those wanting to meet the island's tattooed hunter-gatherer tribes. The islands' pristine beaches are also magnificent and as idyllic as any you'll find anywhere in Sumatra.


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