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Getting to Nias
Both Wings air (Lion air) and Citilink (Garuda) fly from medan (Kualanamu International Airport) to Nias/Gunung Sitoli (Binaka airport)
Lion air (wings air) is a bit cheaper and have about 5 flights per day but charge Rp200,000 per board.
Citilink are generally a bit more expensive with less flights per day, but are more reliable and only charge Rp200,000 per board bag
Where possible id recommend going with Citilink as are just more reliable and more likely to be on time.
Garuda in the past have also done 2 or 3 flights a week direct from Jakarta to Gunung Sitoli (Nias) currently Oct 2022 these flights are not running but hopefully will return with craziness of Covid fading away.
Please note unfortunately for some reason Lion Air don't do credit card transactions anymore, however this site is a good site to search and book and pay for fights in Indonesia https://www.traveloka.com/en/
We have used Traveloka with no problems have even cancelled flights and got refunded, you can also book hotels and even recharge Indonesian phone credit on the site.
#PLEASE NOTE: Both airlines may refuse to take boards over a certain length, they dont stick to lengths between Medan-Nias listed on heir websites, but issues seem to arise once you get into the 7ft plus range, before Covid it was pretty much guaranteed, guns, malibu's, SUPS would be rejected, but it seems post Covid a lot of guys are having no issues even with board bags in he 8 ft range. (i still think it comes with a risk though)
When you arrive at Nias/getting to Sorake or Teluk dalam
Normally there will be guys with cars or vans wanting to take you to Sorake the price to charter a car is Rp400,000 to Rp600,000 (depending on your bargaining skills)
Or if you let Mick know he can get Andreas to organise a car & driver to pick you up from the airport we use Armin Travel (Price normally Rp600,000) he has so far been very reliable.
The trip from the airport to Sorake generally takes about 3 hours or about 2.5 hours to Teluk Dalam where the ferry departs. (a little faster if road conditions good, longer if wet or an accident)
Ferries to the Telos:
Ferries go from Teluk dalam about 20 minutes from the point at Nias (Sorake/Langundri)
We generally use the fast ferry service that takes 2 hrs instead of 6 hrs plus on slow ferry.
Fast ferry:Goes from small harbour in town at Teluk dalam, you need to get there early at least an hour early as it can sell out, buy tickets on the day from shed at harbour.
Price is about Rp175,000 per person, cost of boards depend on size and weight
But generally about Rp200,00 to 300,000 depending on amount and size of board bag
Slow ferry: Only recommend as a back up service, but its more reliable than fast ferry.
Cost is about Rp100,000 for ticket and boards extra.
You can often pay extra and get a captains cabin with 4 bunks and A/C.
Slow ferry goes from the south end of the bay at Teluk Dalam, just outside of town at what locals call the new harbour.
All times are fast ferry unless noted otherwise and please note at times they may go off schedule and depart early generally or later.
Slow ferry schedule is not listed as has been changing every few weeks, it generally goes on same days departing at 9:00am
Monday: 11:00am Teluk Dalam to Tello
Tuesday: 8:00am Tello to Teluk Dalam
Wednesday: 11:00am Teluk Dalam to Tello
Thursday: 8:00am Tello to Teluk Dalam
Friday: 3:00pm Teluk dalam to Tello
Saturday: Fast ferry goes to South Telos and back
Sunday: 3:00pm Tello to Teluk Dalam
In 2022 a new fast ferry company got the contract for Nias-Tello-Nias service and sadly has not been anywhere as reliable as the previous operator (and boat half the size)
As of mid 2022 the fast ferry has sometimes not been running to schedule or just not going, hence what i recommend you do at Nias end is go to fast ferry early say 9:00 and see if they are selling tickets and running, if they are great, but if not best to take slow ferry from other harbour instead that goes a 10:00
At Tello end its a bit easier as if fast ferry doesn't go at 8:00 the slow ferry goes at 10:00, Andreas can also ring captain of either boat to get updates on latest information.
Please Also note: if staying at The Point Nias/Sorake take the information you get from locals about ferries especially losmen owners with a grain of salt, many either don't know the schedule or lie about the ferry info because basically they don't want you to go elsewhere as they lose business.
Chartering speed boat: We now also have the option of chartering a large speed boat from Tello, it can take 8 or more people plus gear and be chartered either way, however it isn't cheap at Rp9,000,000 (9 million rupiahs) but a good back up option.
Other related info:
There is currently no fast ferry to or from Padang anymore, and no ferry that runs to a schedule that goes to Padang.
Flights to Telos:
The Telos does have a small airport and Susi Air do run flights about twice a week however they DO NOT allow surfboards due to baggage restrictions (cargo hold not big enough), most of the upper market resorts charter private flights to get their guest in, which cost them thousands of dollars (hence part of the reason why the Telo resorts/surf camps are so expensive).
Even without a surfboard flights are often hard to get as can't be bought online.
When you are on the ferry about to depart, send Andreas an SMS/Text message, this confirms that you are on your way and the ferry is going, he will then met you in Tello town at the harbour to take you to the island where he lives about 15 minutes away by boat, the cost for pick up or drop off from the ferry is about Rp400,000 per boat load.
Andreas number is 081 363 644 963
He might not reply straight away, but 99% of the time he will get your message before you arrive. (about 15 minutes after the ferry departs you will lose phone signal)
If for some reason you can't get through, please contact Mick through Facebook messenger or Instagram or email.
Staying in Nias
In Teluk Dalam just around the corner from the fast ferry harbour we recommend a new (as of 2022) hotel called Hotel Ono Niha, well priced rooms Rp200-400K per night, clean with A/C
Hotel Ono Niha
Jl. Jenderal Ahmad Yani No.78, Ps. Tlk. Dalam
Ph 0813 7020 6809
Or not far from the new harbour we recommend one of two places they are about 15 minutes walk from ferry or few minutes in car.
Jalan imam bonjol
Ph: 0811 756 5000
(They are on facebook)
New hotel (built 2017) of decent quality, rooms are Rp400,000 to Rp500,000 with A/C and TV, private bathroom
Also has pool and pool table (Water views of bay from some rooms)
Jalan Demarga Baru 15
Ph: 0822 735 446 66
Rooms are of decent quality, with A/C, TV, private bathroom
price range from Rp250,000 to Rp450,000 per room
Owners speaks english and they place is fairly good quality for Indonesia.
In regard to places to stay in Sorake, we don't have any real recommendations, they are all very similar most ranging from Rp100,000 to Rp 500,000 per night and you generally get what you pay for. (more expensive ones include meals)
Returning to Nias:
If you want to go direct to the airport once you arrive back in Nias Andreas can also organise a car and driver to met you.
If you need to stay in Gunung Sitoli there is quite a few hotels to stay at not to far from the airport 10 to 20 minutes range from Rp100,000 to Rp500,000 per night the closest are Hotel Malaga, Hotel Mega or more towards town Miga beach resort or Wisma Soliga Resort Hotel
All typical crappy Indo hotels/losmens so don't get too excited by the fact they put resort in their names.
More important travel info:
We highly recommend when departing the Telos that you allow a buffer (stay in Nias of a day or two) between the date you want to arrive back to Nias and any flights out of Nias just incase ferrys dont go, big storms etc
Basically better to spend a day or two in Nias than miss your fights especially if international flights and Nias isn't a bad place to kill a day or two, yeah it gets crowded but its still one of the best rights in the world, if the waves are no good, make sure you get up to the traditional Nias village out the back up in the hills with the stone jumping and traditional Nias houses, well worth the visit.
Other related cost:
Apart from cost of speed boat pick up to take you to the Surf house from harbour, on your arrival Andreas must register your arrival with the kepal desa (head of the village) and Police the fee to do this is Rp100,000 (USD $8) per person, guest are to cover this cost. (the kepala desa/village chief gets Rp50,000 the police Rp50,000)
Andreas may also need to get your passport copied to register your stay with authority's as we are now an official registered business/accommodation with all the licences to operate so must now do everything by the book so to speak.
Although there is now a bank with an ATM in the telos, THE ATM DOES NOT TAKE NON INDONESIAN CARDS, so you need to plan ahead and bring any cash you need. (Please see FAQ of website for estimate on budget needed)
If you really get stuck the post office in Tello town does have western union though.
Please note we DO NOT accept USA dollars as the only place Andreas can exchange is through rich chinese who give possibly the lowest exchange rate in Indonesia.
Payment can also be made to Andreas bank account in advance but is not expected (just contact us if you want his bank details) we recommend using "Wise" (previously transfer wise) for quick, secure, payment with good exchange rate.
Please note we only accept deposits via PayPal, we can not accept balance of payment via Pay Pal.