When I think about Lombok first word that comes to my mind is – raw. It’s not free of tourists, don’t get me wrong but it’s still far away from super developed and crowded Bali. Kuta, Lombok is totally opposite to Kuta from Bali, it has chilled, laid back climate. Tourists are mainly surfers, backpackers or a bit more adventurous travelers.
There is a growing selection of cafes and bars, as well as good yoga offer. That’s why Kuta in Lombok is a great place to make it your base and explore surrounding surf breaks.
Kuta Lombok vibe
Lombok, just like the rest of Indonesia excluding Bali, is Muslim. And even though the vibe in Kuta is pretty relaxed, be respectful of local people.
Majority of Lombok’s population is Sasak, an ethnic group with rich culture. Locals in Kuta are really friendly and helpful.
Lombok’s dry and wet seasons are the same as in Bali. If you decide to visit Lombok during the most popular, dry season April-November, you will score best waves in the morning before wind picks up. During rainy season November-March swell is not as consistent but when it hits, you will be rewarded with glassy waves and less crowded breaks.
For those that want to learn to surf in Lombok, you should check Surf Camp Lombok located in Gerupuk, a small village outside Kuta. It’s one of the first surf schools in the area and they really know what they’re doing. If staying at the surf camp is not for you another great option for lessons, guiding and custom trips is I Surf Lombok.
Water is always warm; you can comfortably surf in bikini or board shorts.
Surf spots close to Kuta Lombok
Segar – level intermediate-advanced. Reef break with right-hand peak.
Tanjung A’an – level intermediate-advanced. Reef break with right-hand peak. You can catch a boat to take you out or take a longer paddle. It can be also beginner friendly, with right conditions, but you should go with someone that knows the spot.
Gerupuk – there are 5 different peaks depending on swell and season. You have to catch a boat to get there. Most popular and the ones that usually work are: Inside, Outside, DonDons. Although this last one needs medium to bigger swell to break. Inside and DonDons are all level breaks, Outside – intermediate-advanced. DonDons is usually less crowded than rest.
Are Guling – level intermediate-advanced reef break with right and left peak. Long paddle out.
Mawi – experienced intermediate to advanced. Shallow reef, fast, powerful and barreling left-hander and shorter on a right-hand.
Selong Belanak – beginners, beach break, good for your first surf lessons.
If you’re planing on spending more time in Lombok, venture to Ekas Bay on on other side of Gerupuk Bay. With two waves – inside and outside, there is something for all surf skills there. Another advantage – it’s definitely less crowded.
Ashtari Yoga Shala – situated on the hill overlooking Kuta with breathtaking views. It is the most beautiful yoga shall that I’ve ever been to. With wonderful teachers and lots of classes to choose from daily. They also run occasional workshops and special events.
Mana Retreat and Yoga – as they describe themselves “yoga – sleep – eat – relax” all of that is available at Mana! Timetable with variety of classes makes it easy to choose something for your needs. You can also book one of they retreats!
Nowadays while staying in Kuta you have a variety of choices. From simple and cheep homestays to luxury villas.
Batu Bambu is a beautiful and affordable place, where you will feel like at home. Their mission is to support local community. Each room in the guesthouse represents a child they support and covers their education fees until they finish high school.
Another great option for budget accomodation is Same Same Bungalows. Simple, close to Kuta centre with super friendly owners, beautifully lush garden and chilled vibe.
For those looking for something really unique, check Ashtari Loft. It’s located above yoga shala and restaurant with a view worth at least million dollars. It’s also super convenient for your morning practice. The only downfall is that you may never wanna leave it 😉
Cafe and restaurant scene in Kuta has grown tremendously within last couple years. If you’re coming here from Bali, you won’t be disappointed with amount of choice where to eat.
Milk Espresso – for all day breakfast & delicious coffee! In the afternoon enjoy your beer or cocktail at the Rooftop. You can also pop into their boutique, Lucky Laundry with vintage must haves. (check our interview with the owner and boss babe – Holly Jan)
Bush Radio – for breakfast, lunch and all in between. With great chilled vibe.
El Bazar Lombok – it all started here at first “real” restaurant in Kuta. With authentic Mediterranean cuisine full of flavour and colour. Laid back atmosphere blends an authentic Moroccan style with the tropical vibe of Lombok. It’s a must while in Kuta!
Bamba Restaurant – extraordinary Asian Fusion, those words describe Bamba perfectly. Open from breakfast till night. With a great vibe, you can come here not only for amazing food but also enjoy a swim in the pool and live music on some nights.
Markisa – specialising in Mediterranean cuisine. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and definitely worth visiting more than once.
During the day you can explore beautiful and almost empty beaches, like Tanjung Aan, Segar, Are Guling, Mawi.
Watch sunset at Segar before you head to dinner.
The most popular form of transport in Lombok are scooters. Staying in Kuta, you will definitely need one. All of the surf breaks are within driving distance, so unless you stay at the surf camp, you will need a scooter.
If you travel to Lombok from your home location, you will arrive at Lombok International airport. From there you can grab a taxi to take you to your accommodation. Drive to Kuta takes about 20mins, depends on time of the day and traffic.
If you travel to Lombok from Bali you have additional 2 other options to get there. First one is a speed boat. Usually you pay for a package – pick up from your location in Bali, speed boat to Lombok, transport to your accommodation in Lombok (same on the way back if you opt for a return “ticket”).
Second one, go on an adventure and experience Bali-Lombok ferry ride. It takes longer than the speed boat but is way cheaper. Also you get to see some less build up parts of Bali, as well as central Lombok. You can do it on the scooter you rent in Bali. It comes with you on the ferry and you ride it in Lombok. Each way commit to leaving early (around 5am to avoid traffic), use GPS on your phone for directions and get ready for a whole day adventure.
Money & Visa
Same as in Bali and whole Indonesia, currency is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Be prepared to have cash with you that you can exchange or use ATM to take money out.
Visa regulation change very often so check before your travel. As of now, 140 countries are eligible for Free Visa Stamp. It is best for those, who plan to stay no longer than 30 days.
If you want to stay between 30-60 days then best choice is paid Visa on Arrival. You can extend it after 30 days for another 30 days.
Buy food at the markets and street stalls. That way you can try fresh and seasonal fruits and veggies.
Join local beach clean ups – check Lombok Plastic Free for details.
Say “NO” to single use plastic. Always have your reusable water bottle with you, to avoid buying bottled water. Have a bag when you go shopping. Don’t use plastic straws at restaurants.