The ARICO LOSMEN: NIAS, North Sumatra



Hi! My name is Mark Arico. I have been lucky to experience the joys of surfing for the past 30. As a result, I’ve been intrigued with Indonesia since 1979 and have had the opportunity to explore and surf there for the last 8 years.

The ARICO LOSMEN is the realization of my teenage grommet days dream  to  travel and surf the “perfect wave” in paradise.  First discovered by John Geisel and Kevin Lovett in 1975, and then captured by Erik Aeder’s 1978 epic photo of a perfect right hander with a fisherman perched in the channel, that “dream wave” for me was Nias. It was during my travel’s to Indonesia in 2003 where I befriended a boat deck hand by the name of Damien.  He would eventually become my partner in creating The ARICO LOSMEN, on Nias.

The earthquake of December 2004 leveled the foundation we had built, but when the dust settled we began rebuilding in 2006.  We finally completed reconstruction in 2009!  Our losmen is now cleaner, better designed, and in a quiet setting away from the hustle and bustle of the point. It is equipped with such modern amenities as private baths, and a lounge with DVD, iPod station and plasma TV.  Please consider The ARICO LOSMEN for your next  surf vacation!

Safe Travels,

Mark Arico



NIAS located in North Sumatra is one of Indonesia’s last surfing frontiers.  It receives similar swell to the Mentawais and enjoys a peak swell season from May to September.  Despite Indonesia’s reputation for hollow lefts, in North Sumatra right handers are slightly more prevalent.

The 2005 earthquake lifted the reef making an even better wave, hollower and longer! More new breaks may have been created nearby. The earthquakes actually improved the surf at Lagundri Bay, but destroyed nearby towns.  The losmen’s on the point have since been rebuilt, and adventurous surfers have returned once again to Nias.

Lagundri Bay (the bay in which the famous right unrolls) has become a starting point towards those new waves. As a result, one seldom finds more than twenty surfers at a time in a line-up, even in peak seasons. The Nias wave operates perfectly from 2 to 15 feet.

Access is easy thanks to a break in the reef called “The Keyhole” that will spare you getting over the sand bar no matter how big this obstacle is. The reef itself is not dangerous compared to other surfing spots in Indonesia.  The corals are abundant but not aggressive. Because of the geographical position of the archipelago, this cluster of islands is one of the most interesting areas in the world.

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