Southwest Lombok and The 'Secret Gili's'
South of the bustling ferry port of Lembar on Lombok’s west coast is the island’s best-kept secret. A meandering road leads all the way to the far south, hugging a spectacular coastline of sugary white sand beaches, bays, hidden coves and a collection of glistening offshore tropical islands. Scenic coastal drives don’t get any better and if you are seeking that quintessential deserted beach idyll, the sheer choice of spots to escape to will likely leave you breathless.
The whole of the southwest is ripe for adventurous sun seekers and at Desert Point in the far southwest, you will find some serious waves, lauded as one of the world’s truly great surf spots. Along the twisting coastal road beyond the main tourist centre of Sekotong, you will encounter incredibly colourful images of rural life - water buffalo ploughing rice fields, lobster fishing, small pearl farms and rustic fishermen’s huts dotted alongside blinding white sands.
The Sekotong area is located just a few kilometres south of Lembar harbour and comprises two gorgeous sandy bays at Sekotong and the nearby village of Taun. There are a number of new hotel developments taking shape here yet it is still light years away from becoming overrun with visitors; you are still likely to have a wide stretch of brilliant white sand all to yourself. This is the jumping off point for the handful of ‘secret Gilis,’ tiny offshore islands which are dotted just offshore around the two bays. Beach life is an uncomplicated affair - getting horizontal under swaying palms and swinging in a hammock or a slightly more adventurous option is a day of deep sea fishing. In recent years the area has become something of a scuba divers’ haven with a series of newly discovered dive sites, and pristine coral reefs being found all the time.
The ‘Secret Gilis’
Between Sekotong and the Desert Point surf break in the west, there are a dozen dreamy, idyllic small islands just offshore teaming with spectacular reefs and abundant soft white sand. Little more than tiny specks in the ocean, all exude a peaceful, back to basics ambience and even the more established Gili Nanggu, Gili Gede and Gili Asahan are delightfully low key. Other islands include Gili Sudat, Gili Tangkong, Gili Genting and Gili Lontar, all of which offer unforgettable snorkelling and scuba diving close by. All the islands can be reached by private charter outrigger boats from Sekotong.
Located at the tip of the southwest peninsular, Bangko Bangko has a real ‘end of the world’ atmosphere. Despite some development, it feels like an incredibly isolated spot, framed by a rugged coastline and arid landscape. However between May – September there is a real buzz about the place. Just offshore is the world famous Desert Point surf break which attracts hundreds of surf pros from around the world. The waves can be unpredictable and surfers can sit around for days waiting for the perfect wave but when the wind picks up, there is nowhere better.
Return to the Lombok regional overview page.