People often talk about how amazing Indonesia is, mainly referring to Bali or the Mentawais. But not many know about their neighbour, Lombok. Yet, this island is bliss. Pure bliss. A lot like you would picture a trip in the archipelago. Home to beautiful secluded white sand beaches, world class surf spots, an active volcano, enchanting waterfalls, jungles, and friendly locals who follow a simple way of living. If busy life is sending you bonkers, Lombok is exactly what you need.
An unexpected Kuta
The island offers a wide range of fun waves for all level surfers, all year round. The South Coast of the island is more consistent during the dry season (May to October), but wet season (November to April) will offer you a chance to score some awesome sessions without the crowds. The Indian Ocean power hits the coast with similar intensity to Bali’s, offering everything from mellow waves, perfect for longboarding, to super fast hollowing barrels. Access to most areas is pretty easy, but a number of little crackers are only accessible by boat.
One of the most popular places to surf on the south coast is Kuta. Nothing like Kuta-Bali, Kuta-Lombok is a quiet, traditional fishing village with spectacular lush scenery around every wind and bend. Wander down the main road scattered with small local stalls selling souvenirs, beach frocks and local jewels and handicrafts. If you’re keen for a bit of retail therapy, make sure you’re up early to snag the best deals. Once you’re pulled yourself away from sending money and your toes finally reach the sand, you’ll find some quality waves breaking along Kuta beach. If you’re staying nearby and haven’t sussed out transport to get you around the island yet, Kuta is a good wave to start on.
Sweet reef breaks in Gerupuk Bay
Once you’ve sorted some wheels, your next spot should definitely be Gerupuk Bay. There’s tonne of super fun reef breaks here. It can get crowded but if you go there at the right time, you might find yourself surfing solo. Don’t be afraid to join the locals in the water. They’re usually pretty chilled and wont hesitate to share a few party waves with you.
If you’re keen to branch out even more, beaches like Segar, Are Guling, Mawun and Mawi are 20 to 40 minutes drive from Kuta. The waves are just as spectacular and won’t be as packed as Gerupuk.
Flat days adventures
During flat days or if you’re keen to take a break from chasing waves, hire a scooter and go exploring. The traffic is a far cry from the bumper to bumper jams in Bali. If you’re up for a bit of exercise, Lombok’s active volcano is a must see. Mount Rinjani is the second tallest volcano in Indonesia sitting high at 3,726 metres.
The hikes up and around the volcano suit all fitness levels. Climb to the peak for stunning views of nearby Bali and Sumbawa. The vistas from the crater rim or at a number of other lookout points along the way are equally as beautiful.
Immerse yourself in Lombok’s culture
To truly immerse in Lombok’s culture, pay some of the island’s most tyourself reasured attractions a little visit: the local mosques and hindu temples scattered around the island, the traditional Sasak village or the Air Terjun Benang Stokel waterfall in the northern hinterlands. The exquisite Pink Beach on the south eastern coast or the picturesque Gili Islands, just a short boat trip from the north western tip of the island, are also not to be missed.
Along your travels you’ll most likely bump into the Lombok locals. They are predominantly muslim, very proud, super friendly and lead inspiringly simple lives. Kindly oblige if someone offers you a cigarette, a splash of homemade rice wine or perhaps a quick coffee in exchange for a friendly chat. They’re always keen to find out more about you, your background, where you came from and where you’re going next.
By Eliane Gonzalez