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While typical spa experiences may mean you’re expected to do nothing but sit back and get pampered, at Nihi Sumba Island you really have to earn the right to relax. It’s technically optional, but I recommend taking the 90-minute safari trek through beautiful Indonesian-island rice patties to the spa, which is perched on an insane cliff overlooking the ocean.

It’s not the easiest hike in the world — especially because it can be pretty hot, even in the earlier morning — but along the way, you’ll get to stop by a traditional Sumbanese village and see how the people of the island live. Sure, you’ll burn off some calories but you’ll also end up gaining them all back once you eat your breakfast or lunch cliffside before your marathon of spa treatments begins.

You can choose between the half-day ($495 per couple) or the full-day ($695 per couple) experience, which includes the safari, breakfast, a shaded pavilion and a dedicated spa therapist — we chose to do two half-day sessions. The traditional massages are out of this world. There are several different treatment rooms available, and ours was in the honeymoon suite, which includes a private villa that you can stay in on your last night (if you request it). I stayed in the Marangga Villa because I liked it and didn’t want to pack up and move.

The best part is that after you’re deep into your post-massage haze, you won’t have to hike back since there are cars to whisk you away to your villa. Getting a great workout, then some relaxation in an incredible environment is why the spa safari is an experience you shouldn’t miss during a stay at Nihi Sumba Island. Check out the video above to see what it was like.

Know before you go.

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