How to get to the Mentawai Islands


They say “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. In our case there are a few steps, but we are here to make it easy.

Being a remote island paradise adds some steps to the journey. Here’s what you need to know.

Traveling from Bali? We have a detailed article specifically on How To Get To Mentawai From Bali.

The steps to getting to Mentawai

Everything you need to know about your journey to Mentawai and Villa Onu

Step one

Fly to Padang

The Mentawai Islands are located off the coast of West Sumatra, Indonesia. The nearest major city is Padang, so you’ll need to fly there first.

Many airlines, both domestic and international, operate flights to Padang (PDG). If you are flying in internationally we recommend flying to Jakarta as they offer the most daily flights to Padang with 27 daily direct flights between Jakarta and Padang. However, you can also fly from Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Medan (KNO) and Bali (DPS) with relative ease, just be ready for fewer choices.

Flight options to Padang

  • From Jakarta (CGK) with Garuda, Citylink, Batik Air, Super Air Jet or Air Asia.
  • From Kuala Lumpur (KUL) with Air Asia.
  • From Bali (DPS) with Lion Air, Citilink, Batik Air or Garuda

It’s worth noting that if you fly from Bali you will have a connection in Jakarta. This can add some additional costs if you are traveling with surfboards as the airlines will typically charge per board, per flight.

If you are flying from Kuala Lumpur to Padang, Visa On Arrival (VOA) is available at immigration in Padang.

Make sure you arrive in Padang the day before you plan to take the Mentawai Fast Ferry

Because of the ferry timetable, you will need to arrive in Padang on Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday to catch the ferry the following morning to Tuapajet.

Step 2

Overnight Stay in Padang

You will need to stay the night in Padang, this is not included in our price when you book your stay at Villa Onu, however, we can recommend Santika Hotel or Mercure Hotel for your stay.

Once you arrive at the airport in Padang, you will need to get a driver to your hotel, this should cost 250k-500k and will likely depend on your luggages/surfboard bags or haggling skills unless you have prearranged with your hotel. 

If this sounds like stuff you don’t want to deal with, let us handle it for you. Our transfer packages can organise all transfers, hotels, tickets and more.


.Step 3

Fast Ferry From Padang to Tuapajet

Next step is the ferry from Padang to the Tuapajet, the capital of our island Sipora.

Read our article here for a detailed guide with everything you need to know about the Mentawai Fast Ferry.  

The fast ferry leaves at 7 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from the harbor in Muara, Padang.

We recommend having an early start and making sure you are at the ferry with plenty of time, and it’s worth arranging this with the driver you use from the airport.

The fast ferry tickets cost 400K per person one way. Regular luggage is included in this fee.

Surfboards are charged by weight
1-15KG – 230,000 IDR/bag – $15-17 USD/bag
16-25KG – 460,000 IDR/bag – $30-32 USD/bag
>26KG – 690,000 IDR/bag – $45-47 USD/bag

Your ticket and luggage fees are paid in cash, and you will need some smaller change for tipping the luggage porters, normally 20,000 IDR or so.

Make sure you keep your ferry ticket and luggage/surfboard ticket with you as you will need it to collect them once you arrive in Tuapajet.

The fast ferry journey takes 3-4 hours depending on the weather and sea conditions.

Step 4

Speedboat from Tuapajet to Villa Onu

From Tuapajet you will need a speedboat to take you to your final destination. Your resort can help you arrange this ahead of time, or if you fancy, you can haggle a price with a local boat on arrival, but this isn’t what we would recommend. 

The speedboat from Tuapajet to Villa Onu is not included in the room rate. Please see our transfer packages.

If you have opted for one of the transfer packages we offer at Villa Onu, you will be met by our team on your arrival at Tuapajet. They will help you load your luggage onto our speedboat to finish your journey to Villa Onu. This is the last leg of your journey and will take 1- 1.5 hours meaning you will arrive at the villa at 11.30-12.30 pm.

Our transfer services

Take the stress and guess work out of travel

Standard transfer service

We know that getting to the Mentawai islands can seem like a bit of a headache, especially if it’s your first time here. Our standard transfer package is designed to make getting from Padang Airport to Villa Onu smooth and easy.


$350 USD

per person

VIP transfer Service

Our VIP transfer service handles everything for you upon arrival and includes 2 nights of accommodation in Padang at a 4-star hotel for your arrival and departure transit days, ferry tickets, luggage and more. 


$500 USD

per person

Private Speedboat

Spend your arrival night in the luxury of Villa Onu and skip the overnight stay in Padang and the ferry altogether. Soon as you touch down you’ll be met by our team, taken to your private speedboat, and bought straight to the villa.


$3,200 USD

Up to 10 people one way