Last updated on December 18th, 2020
If you’re planning a trip to Indonesia, Kuta in Lombok should be on your itinerary. Backpackers, honeymooners, and solo travelers are flocking to its shores in search of unspoiled beaches, great surf, towering waterfalls, and gorgeous landscapes.
All of this makes Kuta, Lombok an all-round adventure destination that should be on your bucket list.
And don’t confuse Kuta, Lombok with Kuta in Bali, because they couldn’t be more different. Here’s the ultimate guide to Kuta, Lombok with the best beaches, surf and other incredible things to do on the island.
Psst… Planning a trip to Indonesia? Check out my other posts!
- The Best Flores Indonesia Itinerary: A Guide To Backpacking Flores
- 9 Awesome Things To Do in Munduk, Bali
- 10 Best Things To Do in Gili Trawangan
Where is Kuta, Lombok
Lombok is an island east of Bali in the West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia. It’s said to be the “new” Bali, with trendy restaurants, luxurious villas, a gorgeous coastline, and spectacular waterfalls.
Arguably the best place to visit in Lombok is an area south of the island called Kuta. This is an ideal place to base yourself and boasts the best beaches in Lombok (and surf spots).
Just off the west coast are the Gili Islands, a collection of 3 tiny islands which are a must-see. You can’t visit the Gili’s on a day trip from Kuta in Lombok, so it’s best to plan a trip here before or after your stay.
You can read all about the Gili’s here.
6 Awesome Things to do in Kuta, Lombok
1) Kuta Lombok Surf
It’s no secret that Indonesia is home to some of the best surf spots in the world. I went from Balian Beach in Bali, to Occy’s in Sumba Island, and finally Lakey Peak in Sumbawa, all in search of the best surf in Indonesia.
Beginner surfing in Lombok: Selong Belanak Beach
Pantai Selong Belanak is one of the best beaches in Kuta, Lombok. Why? Well, it’s a large bay with clear, soft sand and a perfect beach break for beginners learning how to surf.
The beach is lined with surf shacks where you can rent boards or organize a surf lesson. There are also sunbeds to laze on, and several warungs where you can buy fresh coconuts, beer or food.
Although Selong Belanak attracts more people compared to Mawi or Mawun Beach, the bay is big enough that it never feels overcrowded or chaotic.
If there’s one beach you must include in your Lombok itinerary, it’s Selong Belanak Beach!
How to get to Selong Belanak Beach
Pantai Selong Belanak is 30 minutes west of Kuta, Lombok. The road is in great condition and the beach is easy to access.
Intermediate or advanced surfing in Lombok: Gerupuk
Gerupuk is a small fishing community about 40 minutes east of Kuta. This area doesn’t have the best beaches in Lombok (keep reading to find out where you can find these) but Gerupuk has some fun waves and is one of the best surf spots in Lombok.
The waves here are suited for intermediate and advanced surfers and the surf spots include Don-Don, Inside Gerupuk, Outside Gerupuk, and Kids Point. These offer a great variety of left and right breaks.
How to get to Gerupuk surf spots in Kuta, Lombok
Unlike surfing at Selong Belanak Beach, access to the surf spots near Gerupuk is more challenging (and expensive) as you need a boat to take you there.
You’ll find numerous fishermen who provide these boat services for around 150 000 IDR ($10). But try to join up with a group so that you can split the costs.
Advanced surfing in Lombok: Desert Point
Although Desert Point isn’t a surf spot in Kuta, Lombok, it’s worth traveling here if you’re serious about surfing.
This wave provides one of the longest left-hander barrels in Indonesia. It’s a tricky wave to get too with a shallow reef so not recommended for beginners.
How to get to Desert Point
Desert Point is about 2 hours drive west of Kuta, Lombok. If you’re planning to surf here, it’s best to spend a night or two before returning to Kuta.
2) Explore the Best Beaches in Lombok
If you’re looking for a beach vacation, Kuta in Lombok is your go-to destination. I wrote this guide to the best beaches in Uluwatu, Bali, but the Lomok beaches are still better in my eyes!
The beaches are pristine, with soft, light sand and are all lined with palm trees. Be prepared to pay 10 000 IDR ($1) to access any beach in Lombok.
Below is a list of the best beaches in Kuta, Lombok. I’ve already mentioned Selong Belanak Beach and these should also be added to your Lombok itinerary.
Tanjung Aan Beach
Arguably the most popular beach in Kuta, Lombok, Tanjung Aan Beach is a long beach with clear blue water and soft, golden sand.
Here you can rent daybeds and sip on cocktails whilst working on your tan. This beach is also popular for its beach swings that you’ll recognize from Instagram.
Alongside Tanjung Aan Beach is Merese Hill, a sunset spot with incredible views.
There has recently been lots of development near Tanjung Aan Beach, with resorts said to be taking over the area in the next few years. Hopefully, this beach will still maintain its unique and natural charm, but only time will tell.
How to get to Tanjung Aan Beach
Tanjung Aan Beach is east of Kuta, Lombok. It’s a 20 minute scooter ride and the roads are in good condition.
Never have I ever seen a beach with water as blue as this (ok, maybe the beaches in Sumba Island are on par).
Mawun Beach, or Pantai Mawun, is a good balance between Tanjung Aan Beach (above) and Mawi Beach (below).
You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas at Mawun Beach and it’s a nice lunch spot for the day. Surfers should look elsewhere as Mawun Beach isn’t the best surf spot near Kuta.
Whilst the turquoise water here is the biggest drawcard, Mawun Beach is also the most polluted beach in Kuta, Lombok. This is a sad reality of Indonesia and most beaches are ruined by litter that’s washed up onto the shores as there’s no proper waste management system in place.
How to get to Mawun Beach
Mawan Beach is a 20 minute drive west of Kuta, Lombok. The road is well-marked, and you can follow directions on Google Maps. After your visit to Mawun Beach, go check out these beaches below which are all in the same direction.
Mawi Beach, Lombok
Mawi Beach is a gorgeous beach hidden in a small bay about 40 minutes from Kuta, Lombok. Because of its remoteness, Mawi Beach is quiet and isolated with very few other tourists.
If you’re up for exploring, take a walk to Semeti Beach which is in the bay next to Mawi Beach.
Pantai Mawi is also one of the most popular surf spots near Kuta, Lombok, as it picks up quite a bit of swell. This wave is only recommended for advanced surfers and you can rent surfboards from Warung Mawi (but their stock is limited).
Because of its remoteness, comforts such as day beds and umbrellas are not available at Mawi Beach. There is a small warung that sells snacks and fresh coconuts but that’s about it.
How to get to Mawi Beach
Mawi Beach is about a 40 minute drive west of Kuta but it’s not the easiest beach to get to.
The first 25 minutes of the ride takes you along beautifully tarred roads, but then you take a left turn and the real adventure begins! This section is terrible, and you’ll spend at least 20 minutes on the worst roads in Lombok.
If you have limited time, I suggest you leave Mawi Beach off your Lombok itinerary. But the effort is well worth it if time is on your side, and you’re comfortable driving a scooter to get there.
Areguling Beach is the quieter neighbor of Mawun Beach near Kuta, Lombok.
I found this beach by accident and it seems to be a surfer’s hot spot with a few surf shacks and warungs on the beach.
It’s not as popular as other beaches in Kuta, Lombok, and the water isn’t as blue as Mawun Beach, but if you’re looking for a bit of an adventure, head here for a bite to eat and to explore the villages before moving onto the other beaches in Lombok.
How to get to Areguling Beach
It’s best to pair a visit to Areguling Beach with Mawun Beach, Selong Belanak and Mawi Beach as they are all west of Kuta, Lombok.
After turning off the main road, you’re met with a gravel road (which isn’t nearly as bad as the road leading to Mawi Beach). We found ourselves driving through a village where a local soccer game was taking place and the locals here were so friendly.
Kuta Beach, Lombok
Kuta Beach is a short walk from the main road in Kuta, Lombok. It’s the busiest of all the beaches so if your time is limited, rather check out the other beaches that I’ve mentioned above.
3) Visit the best waterfalls in Lombok: Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu Waterfalls
I’ve spent over 2 months in Indonesia and seen my fair share of waterfalls. But this waterfall in central Lombok is without a doubt the best I’ve ever seen!
Benang Stokel is actually home to 5 waterfalls all located in the same park with easy access from the entrance.
Benang Stokel Waterfall
The first waterfall is about a 15 minute walk from the entrance. It’s an easy trek and is possible to do with flip flops or sandals, although trainers are better.
Here, you’ll come across several falls. The first is a jumping waterfall where you can have a go at jumping 11m into a gorgeous canyon surrounded by hanging vines. Before you jump here, be sure to check the water depth as it changes over time.
A stone’s throw away from the jumping spot, you’ll find the Benang Stokel falls which is made up of two beautiful waterfalls.
Benang Kelambu Waterfall
Next, you’ll head back to the entrance, hop on your scooter and drive 5 minutes to Benang Kelambu. This has to be the best waterfall in Lombok. The water flows from high up over lush greenery into a small rock pool below.
We skipped the last 2 waterfalls in the Benang Stokel waterfall park as our guide said that they weren’t as impressive and were quite a trek away.
I guess it’s like my scuba diving experience in the Komodo Islands. I’d seen the best marine life possible, and anywhere else would just be a letdown. So, after seeing 3 of the best waterfalls in Lombok, I was convinced that seeing any more would only leave me feeling slightly disappointed!
Benang Stokel Entrance Fee
There’s a sign at the entrance that says the entrance fee to Benang Stokel is 35 000 IDR ($2.5) per person, but we were charged 90 000 IDR ($6) per person with a guide.
It is possible to visit the Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu waterfalls without a guide, but the locals are quite adamant that a guide is needed. We were committed to helping the local people after the earthquakes (more about that later) and paying that entrance with a guide meant so much to them.
For this reason, we didn’t hesitate to pay. And plus, we had our own personal photographer, so I think it was money well spent!
How to get to Benang Stokel waterfall from Kuta, Lombok
Getting to Benang Stokel from Kuta is fairly easy. It’s a 1.5 hour scenic ride through rice fields and villages and the roads are in great condition with little traffic.
4) Head to Seger Beach for Sunset
One of the best things to do in Kuta, Lombok, is to end your day with a cold Bintang in hand whilst watching the sunset. And the Seger Beach viewpoint is the place to do this!
Seger Beach is a small beach about 15 minutes east of Kuta, Lombok. Check the tides before you go as you won’t be able to swim when it’s low tide but it’s one of the best sunset spots near Kuta, Lombok.
5) Enjoy happy hour and a view from Shu Restaurant or Ashtari
On your way back from the beaches west of Kuta, stop off at Shu Restaurant for their happy hour specials and delicious pizza. The atmosphere is super relaxed, and the view is incredible.
Right next to Shu Restaurant is Ashtari. It’s the trendier, more luxurious neighbor with the same views and great happy hour specials. Ashtari also offers daily yoga and cooking classes.
Keep an eye out for happy hour specials in Kuta, Lombok as most restaurants and cafes have these from 4 pm – 7 pm daily.
6) Climb Mount Rinjani
Mount Rinjani is a 3 726m high volcano north of Lombok and is one of the biggest attractions on the island. It’s a 2-day trek that requires you to camp on the volcano and is one of the best things to do in Lombok.
The trek to the summit of Mount Rinjani is closed every year from January to March as this is peak monsoon season and so it becomes too dangerous to hike.
Kuta, Lombok Restaurants
- Warung Bule for fresh seafood on the beach
- El Bazar for a delicious Mediterranean meal
- Boom Burger for cheap eats
- Kenza Café for healthy smoothie bowls
- Shu Restaurant for great happy hour specials on cocktails and pizza
Accommodation in Kuta, Lombok
Sasak Homestay is the best place to stay in Kuta, Lombok.
For only 350 00 IDR ($25) you’ll get a comfortable large room with en suite bathroom and outdoor shower, as well as a delicious full breakfast. The owners are absolutely amazing and really made my stay extra special!
Here are a few other options that may better suit your budget:
- Budget: Galus Homestay is just the place to stay if you’re traveling on a tight budget. You’ll receive a warm Indonesia welcome from the hosts who are extremely kind and caring.
- Backpackers: The Livingroom Hostel is one of the most popular hostels in Kuta, Lombok. It has a nice sized pool with a vibey bar and a social atmosphere. If you’re looking for a quieter hostel, check out Bamba Capsule Hotel.
- Mid-Range: Rascals Hotel is a trendy hotel in the heart of Kuta, Lombok. You could spend all day relaxing in the lounges alongside the pool and its within walking distance to the main street where you’ll find an array of restaurants and shops.
- Luxury: Segara Lombok may not be in Kuta itself, but it’s right on the beach which is even better if you’re looking for an ocean escape. With its outdoor showers, minimalist design and sea front views, Segara Lombok is the perfect place to stay on the island.
How to get to Kuta in Lombok from Bali
Most international travelers will land in Bali. From here, you can either fly or take a ferry to Lombok.
Flight from Bali to Lombok
A flight from Bali to Lombok ‘s Praya Airport costs around $35 for the 30 minute flight.
Once you’ve landed at Lombok airport, you can find a taxi that will take you to Kuta. This 20 minute taxi ride shouldn’t cost more than 150 000 IDR ($10).
Ferry from Bali to Lombok
You can also take a public ferry or a fast boat to Lembar Harbour in Lombok. The public ferry leaves from Padang Bai port in Bali and takes 4-5 hours. This is the most affordable option at $4.
Alternatively, there are fast boats available from both Padang Bai and Benoa Harbour in Bali to Lembar Harbour in Lombok. Whilst this is a lot quicker (2 hours) than the ferry, it is pricey. Expect to pay around $50 for a fast boat from Bali to Lombok.
Once you arrive at Lembar Harbour in Lombok, you’ll find many taxi drivers who’ll take you to Kuta. You shouldn’t pay more than 250 000 IDR ($17) for the 1 hour drive but you’ll have to negotiate this price.
How to get around Lombok
There is no public transport in Lombok and Grab and GoJek don’t operate on the island.
The best way to explore is by bike which can be rented for as little as 50 000 IDR ($3.5) per day. Alternatively, you can get a private driver for the day (if your budget allows for it).
Lombok, like all of Indonesia, is a great destination for budget travelers as your money goes a long way. You can also live a life of luxury if your budget allows for it. Below are basic costs you can expect when in Kuta, Lombok.
- Flight from Bali to Kuta, Lombok: 500 000 IDR ($35)
- Scooter rentals: 50 000 IDR ($3.5) per day, 10 000 IDR ($1) for fuel
- Accommodation in Lombok: 300 000 IDR ($20) for a comfortable, double room
- Surfboard rental: 50 000 IDR ($3.5)
- Surf lessons: 200 000 IDR ($15) for 2 hours
- Lunch on the beach: 30 000 IDR ($2)
- Happy hour cocktails: 40 000 IDR ($2.5)
- Beach entrance & scooter parking fee: 10 000 IDR ($1)
- Day beds with umbrella: 50 000 IDR ($3.5)
Is Lombok safe?
Recently, Lombok has made headlines for reasons other than its many attractions. A series of earthquakes in 2017 and 2018 left the north of the island in total destruction. Many people lost their lives, their homes, and their income as a result.
Indonesia is situated along the infamous “Ring of Fire” and so earthquakes are bound to happen, but we don’t know when and we don’t know where.
I traveled to Lombok in September 2018 and could feel the desperation of the locals who were struggling due to the lack of tourism to the island. The famous Mount Rinjani hike was shut down (it has since reopened) and people were desperate to find work.
The area of Kuta lies south of Lombok Island and was not hit hard by the earthquake. All restaurants, shops, and warungs are fully operational, and the infrastructure has not been compromised. So yes, Kuta Lombok is safe to visit.
What I didn’t like about Kuta, Lombok
I’m not sure if it’s a result of the lack of tourism and money coming to the island, but I found the locals to be a lot more relentless in their selling tactics in Lombok.
Toats haggle you on the beach and in the streets. Children stop you left right and center trying to sell you jewelry, sarongs, and crafts, and they won’t take no for an answer. It’s worse than Bali or any other island I’ve been to in Indonesia.
It’s important to remember that the locals and people who operate businesses on the island are in desperate need of tourism to rebuild their homes and their lives. But it can get a bit too much so if you’re not going to buy anything, politely tell them “no thanks” and walk away (but they’ll probably follow you anyway!)
One of the biggest selling tactics used by the children is to play a game – you will fall for this, and it’s ok. These kids of Lombok know the capital city of every country in the world. No jokes! We put them to the test – if they didn’t know the answer, they’d leave us alone. If they did, we’d buy a bracelet from them. And they never got it wrong, they even knew the answer to some of the smallest countries in the world. Needless to say, we purchased A LOT of bracelets when we were in Lombok!
This was entertaining the first few times, and I admired their sales skills. But after being stopped a few too many times, I stopped encouraging them and kept going about what I was doing. I suggest you do the same.
Final thoughts on Kuta, Lombok
Kuta is definitely the best area to visit in Lombok. I enjoyed adventuring to the beaches and waterfalls and exploring the countryside. It’s not as developed as Bali, yet not as rustic and rural as Flores Island and there are so many things to do that will keep you entertained for days on end.
Look for more Indonesia travel information? Check out my other posts!
- Guide to Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking in Bali
- The Perfect 3 Day Ubud Itinerary
- Exploring Balian Beach: Bali’s Hidden Gem
- Sumba Surf: All You Need To Know About Surfing in Sumba
- Komodo Diving Liveaboard: A Guide To Diving Komodo
- Exploring 17 Island Marine Park in Riung, Flores
- 8 Reasons To Visit Red Island, Java