Dead Sea, a salt lake in Jordan, is famous as the world’s saltiest bodies of water, almost 10 times as salty as the ocean. Its density also makes swimming in the Dead Sea similar to floating. That means that swimming ability is not required to swim.
In Indonesia, there is actually a place with similar characteristic to Dead Sea. The place is Tureloto Beach, which is located at Balefadorotuho village, Lahewa, Nias, North Sumatera. Tureloto Beach does not only offer stunning view, but also the ‘dead sea charms’.
The tsunami changed it all
Tureloto Beach was actually not a tourist destination. It was seen as an “ordinary beach” by the residents around it, where children usually spent their time to play. Tureloto has only existed after the 2005 earthquake.
The earthquake and tsunami occurred on 28 March 2005 off the west coast of northern Sumatera dramatically changed how Tureloto Beach looked. During the seismic event, the western coast of Nias Island was uplifted, in places up to three meters. As a result, the old pre-earthquake now lays 300 meters inland and a large lagoon with clear and calm has been created. The coral reef, which was usually submerged, is now exposed and created unique geological formations.
The Dead Sea of Indonesia
Salinity at Tureloto Beach is high enough to make you feel the sensation of float without fear of drowning. Unlike the harsh environment of the Dead Sea, you can still see a few species of fishes and colorful coral reefs under the water of Tureloto. The water temperature is also nice for you to swim in and enjoy the warmth of summer sun—again, without the fear of drowning. The water is also calm enough that you could mistake it as a swimming pool!
The beautiful sunset
Since it is located at the west coast of Sumatera, Tureloto Beach is a perfect place to enjoy the sunset. On the late afternoon, spare your time to relax on the beach while waiting the sunset. Gradually, the yellowish color of the sky will change into a romantic splash of purple and pink when the sun slowly leaving the horizon. It’s best to visit Tureloto Beach around February to September when the weather is nice and not too hot.
Facilities around Tureloto Beach
It is best if you stay at Gunung Sitoli and take a day trip to Tureloto. There are no hotels/dorms near the beach. Facilities around the beach include cafes, restaurants, and public toilet where you can change your clothes.
How to get there
There is no public transportation to Tureloto Beach, but you can rent a car from Gunung Sitoli, Nias. It will take around 2 hours to reach Tureloto Beach. From Gunung Sitoli, drive north along the main east-coast road. North of town, turn left and drive across the mountainous interior. Follow the signs to Lahewa, and when reaching Lahewa, drive through town and continue in a northerly direction. After 2 kilometers, turn right and continue for 4 kilometers to the beach. At the next turn off there is a sign for Tureloto Beach. If you are unsure about the route, ask the locals who will direct you to your destination.