A unique photography travel experience in Sumatra
Cow race & Mentawai Tribe

Cover Sumatra

What is trip about ?

Pacu Jawi & Mentawai tribe is a combination photography tour are designed for photographers to experience a unique cultural immersion with native Mentawai people in their authentic environment and discover an extreme event that only exists in Sumatra, “Pacu Jawi” the race is very muddy and extreme in paddy ricefield it’s an opportunity for the locals to demonstrate the strength of their bulls with location and blend into the local scene. It’s time to improve your skills as a visual storyteller in locations unlike any other. Set loose your creative side on a photography workshop tour to stunning activities and shoot amazing photographs.
The only photography tour that gives you full freedom and adapts to your budget and needs.

Experience highlights

Trip type : Guided tour ( private & small group )

Adventure route : Padang city – Siberut, Mentawai Island

Itenary focus : Photography, Culture & tradition

Total duration : 6 Days

Schedule : Tuesday - Saturday

Price : $ 465 usd / person ( group for 10 people )

Note : The price depends on the number of people in the group, duration of the day and access to the remote village/jungle. Way more further/remote means more adventurous and logistically challenging.

Strong point of this experience

  • Encounter the Mentawai flower men in an isolated area/remote village

  • A photography trip through human interest photography meet the unique Mentawai people

  • Experience in the one of the world-famous event for photography Cow races

Trip Summary

Day 1 Padang – Siberut – Mentawai clan house ( Tuesday )

  • Pick up to the hotel at 06:00 a.m

  • Our journey will start from muara port, Padang at 07:00 am by fast ferry (5h).

  • Arrival in South Siberut, transfer to the local village by pick up car ( 20 Minute )

  • Arival in our transit village, prepare and loading our logistics and continue to our trek point by motor canoe ( 1,5 h )

  • Arrival in our trek point, trekking to the Mentawai clan house ( 2 km ) 

  • Meet the Mentawai tribe family, the shaman

Day 2 Stay with the Mentawai tribe – Photography session ( Wenesday )

  • During our staying with Mentawai family we will engage with their daily activities with in the remote village and jungle surrounded.

  • Activities that we will do in the form of daily activities of the mentawai community, which is their traditional daily life in the jungle and also the Mentawai flower’s man ( shaman ) will lead you to learning about the uniqueness of Mentawai culture and traditions.

  • Photosession with the Mentawai shaman

  • ( Photo session of Mentawai tribe with their natural environtment )

Day 3 Leaving jungle remote village – Siberut port – Padang ( Thusday )

  • After breakfast farewell with the family, and prepare to leaving jungle remote village and trekking back to the bank river motor canoe will ride us back all the way to Muntei village close from the harbor.

  • Arrival at Muntei village transite at local house , take rest and cleaning, washing our stuff and departing to Mailepet harbour and procced to lunch at local restaurant and transfer to Padang by fast ferry, estimated time arrive in Padang 18:30 pm

  • Arrival in Padang, transfer to your hotel and procced dinner

Day 4 Padang – Bukittinggi ( Friday )

  • After breakfast in the hotel

  • Transfer to Bukitinggi town, on the way having a brief stop at Anai Valley waterfall

  • Arrival in Bukit Tinggi check in to our hotel then procced lunch

  • After lunch visiting local brown sugar making, and view point of Maninjau lake

  • Back to Bukit Tinggi, and visiting Sianok Canyon for Sunset photoshoot

  • Back to our hotel and procced dinner

Day 5 Bukittinggi – Transfer to Tanah Datar region ( Saturday )

  • Depart in the morning to Tanah Datar from Padang ( 4 hours drive with car to Pacu jawi location )

  • Visiting Minangkabau king’s palace, the procced lunch

  • Travel straight to Pacu jawi location.

  • Pacu Jawi officially will start at 13:00

  • Enjoy Pacu jawi event and Photography session

  • 17:00 journey back to Padang, to be expected arrive at night in Padang ( dinner on the way back to Padang )

  • Arrival in Padang, check in your hotel

Day 6 Padang – Next destination ( Sunday )

  • Breakfast

  • Padang city tout, visiting Grand Mosque of Padang

  • Padang beach

  • And continue to the airport for you next destination

  • Tour End

Practical info

Terms and conditions

  • Sumatra Cow race known as Pacu Jawi is a traditional game of Minangkabau people, to celebrate the end of harvest time in the rice field. So please bear in mind there is no animals violation or maltreatment as it looks in this event. The cows that participate in this event belong to the local farmer, they feed and take care of them for their living hood. 

  • This race is a ceremony or entertainment for local people/farmers and there is no very high competition, the main purpose of this game is to have fun. 

  • For the cows that show good performance by being able to run straight and cooperate with one another, they will get special attention from the owner and the local community and also the selling price will also go up in the traditional cattle market. 

  • The Sumatra area is covered with rainforest and located right on the equator, it has a tropical climate, and the weather is hot and humid all year round. The driest season normally starts from May to September, although there are sporadic rains and may.

  • You have to accept living in the same conditions as the local community in the remote village, sleeping in a very rudimentary comfort style on the floor with a mat (floor mat) with a mosquito net this applies nights in the Mentawai jungle.

Things to carry

  • Small backpack (we can leave some stuff at the previous place we stayed in (hotel/hostel).

  • Long trousers, long sleeves, t-shirt, fresh underwear (there will be sweating going on).

  • Rain clothes or ponco

  • We recommend bringing a dry bag/pocket (waterproof) to protect your camera & equipment and any other important you need to take care of.

  • Trekking shoes, sleeping bag, a mosquito repellent, high protection sunscreen, a headlamp, toilet paper, a sun hat/cap, sunglasses, water bottle.

  • First aid such as paracetamol, pain killers, anti-diarrhea, disinfectant, all other medication you would usually take.

  • Extras battery and power bank

  • Do not overpack! Keep it simple

What might be included and not included in the prices

What’s include : 

Mentawai trip ( Tuesday – Thusday )

  • Airport pick up and drop off 2x

  • Hotel In Padang 3 nights ( breakfast included ) https://truntumhotels.com/hotels/truntum-padang

  • Ferry ticket Padang - Siberut 2 x

  • Hotel In Bukittinggi 1 night ( breakfast included) https://www.mysantika.com/indonesia/bukittinggi/hotel-santika-bukittinggi

  • All transportation in Siberut, Mentawai from the port to the transit village 2x ( Motor taxi or pick up car )

  • Permit to local government and ( Siberut National Park )

  • Motor canoe from transit village to the trek point 2x

  • Porter ( whenever you want )

  • Logistic ( meals, drink and mineral during our trip in Mentawai )

  • Program as in itinerary)

  • Accomodation in Mentawai traditional house

  • Present to Mentawai clan that we will stay

  • Mosquito net, mattrass

  • Local Team expert / guide

  • Pacu jawi entrance

  • Program as itinerary

  • Service, Mineral water, snack

  • Guide & driver

  • All the transportation during Pacu jawi trip

What’s not include : 

  • Insurance 

  • Medication 

  • Meals and drink on the road ( lunch and dinner during pacu jawi trip )

  • Dinner ( after Mentawai trip )
    Regarding meals and drink during the trip especially lunch and dinner is not included on the price but on the way we will take you to the restaurant based on the option

  • Personal expenses : souvenirs, alcoholic drink etc