Kuta and South Lombok
Aside from the Sengiggi area, mainland Lombok’s brightest star in tourism is the gorgeous south coast. This is a truly breathtaking region of quite stunning white sand beaches and isolated bays, yet is far from being a one-dimensional diet of sun, sea and sand. The main focus is the town of Kuta, which like its Bali namesake has already achieved legendary status as a world-class surf spot. However this is where the similarities end. Kuta Lombok (spelt locally as ’Kute’) is a million miles away from the chaotic scene in Kuta, Bali. Expect back-to-basics beach life, miles of uncrowded sands and a refreshing lack of traffic and pollution.
This is definitely a place to unwind and the ocean scenery is truly captivating. However, it is no longer quite the hideaway it once was. A new international airport opened for business in October 2012, located just 20 minutes away and the area is already seeing a healthy increase in visitor numbers. The rise in popularity is inevitable; you simply cannot keep beaches this perfect a secret forever. Thankfully there is plenty of room for everyone. Kuta sits centrally along a rocky 30 km coastline with dozens of isolated coves and dramatic sweeping bays, many of which offer amazing surfing adventures.
Kuta is the only notable tourism centre on the south coast but still remains relatively laid back, especially in comparison to its more famous Bali namesake. The village boasts a good range of backpacker-style homestays and smart mid-range hotels, seafront cafes and a handful of happening bars. There is a distinct surfer-friendly ambience here and although some of the most challenging waves are out of town, this is where most surfers and sun-seekers alike choose to base themselves. Kuta beach itself is a glorious mix of dazzling white sands and turquoise waters framed by emerald green hills. If you find the urge to drag yourself away from the captivating ocean scenery, there are fascinating artisan’s villages just a short drive away, such as Rembitan or the renowned pottery centre of Penunjak.
West of Kuta
Heading west out of the village, it doesn’t take long before you hit a series of dreamy islets and bays, each seemingly more secluded than the last. Just a short hop away is idyllic Mawun beach, in a picturesque, sheltered bay. The waters here are some of the calmest in the area – a great spot for snorkelling and arguably the best beach to take the kids. It has a real castaway vibe, with little else to do aside from getting horizontal on the sand. A little further out is Mawi beach, a secluded surfer’s paradise, which in the right conditions can produce big barrelling waves. Nearby Selong Blanak offers more of the same with yet more captivating ocean scenery.
East of Kuta
A short walk east of Kuta is the area’s most famous stretch of sand. Mandalika beach is a wide arc of fine white sand hemmed in by lush rolling hills. Unsurprisingly, there are big plans for this area with 5-star hotel and villa developments in the pipeline. Beyond here, the coastline becomes wild and rugged with a number of great surfing spots nestling among the rocky outcrops such as Tanjung A’an, beginner-friendly Gerupak and the awesome waves at remote Ekas Bay.
Return to the Lombok regional overview page.