After all that ocean swimming, Satonda Island is the perfect place to wash a little salt off the skin and out of the hair. This small island is actually the cone of a volcano, thrust violently upwards after an eruption a 1000 metres below on the sea floor millions of years ago. The water filled caldera has created a beautiful lake nestled in the very heart of the island, just fifty metres from the beach. Although the water is brackish, it’s perfectly clean and cool for swimming.
There’s a pleasant, shaded walking trail right around the lake, on what is essentially the crater rim. Keep an eye out for the fruit bats that roost in the trees. Proof of the island’s volcanic neighbours is found on the islands main beach which is strewn with pumice stone, a volcanic stone so light it floats on water. In the shallows off the same beach, small patches of coral and sea grass provide a bit of interest for snorkelling.
Satonda is a popular stopover for cruise boats operating between Lombok and Labuan Bajo, Flores. And because of its location adjacent to Mt Tambora peninsular on Sumbawa, Satonda has become a popular and logical side trip for climbers heading to or from the volcano. Boats for the passage across to the island can be chartered from Calabai, the small harbour on the eastern shore of Tambora. Satonda can also be reached by charter boat from neighbouring Moyo Island or Sumbawa Besar.
There are only a handful of permanent residents on Satonda, There are some rundown shade huts near the beach and toilet/change rooms but no accommodation, food or drink is available. Therefore, you need to come prepared with a picnic, plenty of drinking water, snorkelling gear and whatever else you may need for a day at the beach.
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