You will need a tourist visa for Indonesia which can be paid at the airport upon your arrival – usually it is USD $25. If your stay is less than a month it will be processed as a basic tourist visa. Longer stays will incur an additional fee and may require more paperwork.


We recommend exchanging some Rupiah in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta or Bali before you get to Padang as the exchange rate will be better. Major credit cards are accepted in Padang.

Additionally, it’s worthwhile to take some AUD or USD in cash as there are places to buy souvenirs along the way.

And it’s also nice to be able to tip the crew after your trip if you are satisfied with how well you were treated – we recommend USD$50-$100 as a general figure per guest, but this is entirely up to you.

The Crew

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory for all guests. Please check your policy to make sure it is comprehensive and that you are covered for all the requirements of a surf trip to remote areas of Indonesia.


Baggage handlers will approach you to assist with your luggage. Of course it’s up to you if you accept their help, but if you do, the normal price to pay them is around Rp.10,000 to 20,000* (they may ask for more!)
* USD $0.70/AUD $1.00 to USD $1.40 / AUD $2.00

Health & Wellbeing

Whilst the Mentawais are in a region of Indonesia that does sometimes have Malaria, the Maha Bintang has air-conditioned rooms and is generally anchored in a mosquito free area. Regular mosquito repellent is usually perfectly fine for after dark.

There is a full medical kit on the boat, but it doesn’t hurt to take your own supplies. Rehydration tablets are always helpful in case you get heat stroke or an upset stomach and Betadine is always good for small cuts.

Drinking lots of fresh filtered water (included free & always available) will be essential after long surfs and hot weather: 2-4 litres are recommended per day.

And of course the usual things: sunscreen, zinc and Aloe Vera gel which can be helpful for sunburn.