I am in Sumbawa Indonesia . I would like to cross Sumbawa from west to east, that is, from Poto Tano to Sape.

Is there any transport available for this journey (Public buses, modern buses, shared taxis, etc)?

Timetables if any would be appreciated.

Sumbawa map with Poto Tano & Sape pointed out

© OpenStreetMap contributors

  • I would expect this kind of question best be answered by a local travel agent, not by someone on the other end of the world on an world wide website. And as the first/only answer proofs, it is answered by the asker who is in the area.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 9:36
  • @Willeke problem is, local travel agents are extremely unreliable. Best thing would be to have a local (with no financial interest), an expat living in the area or a traveler (who already went there) on the forum but there does not seem to be many (or any at all).
    – Adriano
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 10:49
  • @Willeke I had a quick look at Indonesia on the StackMaps app & there seems to be almost anyone in Indonesia for the travel.SE, not sure how we could try to get more users from there meta.travel.stackexchange.com/questions/733/…
    – Adriano
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 10:53
  • As you by now know that there are no or no reliable answers for your questions, why not just do your own research? Posting the answers here might help someone for the next year or so, but public transport information is likely to change fast.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 10:56
  • Things have not changed that much in the last couple of years apparently actually. And there is not much info on internet, so I'm just helping some future travelers frustrated by the lack of information online. And the advantage of SE is that anyone can add another answer in the future. Btw, I was still hoping for an answer from someone as I did get answers sometimes for Indonesia, quite rarely though.
    – Adriano
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


The info below is from 2015.

Catching a bus in Poto Tano harbour can be risky because the Poto Tano harbour does not seem to have any bus schedule nor any bemo waiting for passenger (at least when I was there). There are a few locals who will be happy to try help you, whether it's taking you by car/taxi somewhere, or to catch the next bus passing by. Do remember to negotiate prices though, these guys won't do that for you.

There are however lots of ferries arriving at the harbour (every half hour or so) carrying buses, bemos and other vehicles. So the best thing to do seems to be to try get a ride on a bus (or bemo) going in direction of Sape. Do wave at buses coming out of ferries and ask them where they go, if you are several people traveling together make sure each person asks a different bus, they typically rush and will not wait for you to finish speaking with another bus driver so it's easy to miss an opportunity.

If you are coming to Poto Tano from Lombok by ferry, do ask to buses onboard of that ferry if they go to Bima or anything close to it. You may get lucky.

As far as I know there is not any transportation going directly to Sape (from Poto Tano).

If you are lucky, you will catch a bus going all the way to Bima. It costs around 125'000 IDR, but this price varies according to the quality of the vehicle & your negotiating skills (keep smiling!). It takes around 8h.

From Bima to Sape, you can easily get a bemo. They leave starting at 4am (there was quite a few leaving, all for people aiming at catching a morning ferry I suppose). The journey takes 2h maximum. The price is 30'000 IDR.

Indirect Poto Tano to Bima

If you are not lucky enough to get a direct ride from Poto Tano to Bima, you might have to just jump in a bus or bemo going in direction of Bima.

In my case, I had to take a bus going from Poto Tano to Cabang Bajo. It took around 6h30min. It costed 75'000 IDR.

Then I had to stop a bus (with the help of friendly locals) that was going from Cabang Bajo to Bima. It happened to be one of those fancy comfortable buses (compared to bemos) that came all the way from Mataram (it was full of backpackers). I paid 50'000 IDR. It took around 2h.

Bemos from Bima to Sape

Here is one bemos/local-bus going from Bima to Sape. I took this pic at the Sape harbour in 2015.

Bemos from Bima to Sape

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