Kuta Lombok has very much been overlooked as a popular destination for travellers. This trend is now starting to change and Kuta is starting to receive its fair share of tourists it so duely deserves.
Once you arrive in Kuta you will understand why it is becoming such a popular spot. The views that will greet you are nothing short of spectacular with rolling green hills and some of the best beaches in Indonesia. The beaches in and around Kuta are best described as perfect, with blues, greens and white sands to welcome you. What Kuta is most famous for is the world class surfing and you can expect to come across surfers from all over the world. If surfing isn't your thing then the beach itself is a picture postcard where you can while away your days, reading and swimming.
There are three very popular surf breaks around the Kuta area. Access to all three is easy and it is recommended that you hire some form of transport. The most popular way to do this is with a motorcycle. Alot of the motorcycles are fitted with a board carrier that is attached to the side of the bike. There have been reports of motorcycle theft in these parts so it is always useful to pay someone to "watch over your bike"
Seger Reef: This break is the closest to Kuta and delights surfers with its right hander. The popularity is due to the fact that Seger Reef is excellent under most conditions. It becomes a little busy in the afternoon when the tide is shifting and most of all when there has been heavy rain. To get there you will need to ride past the Novotel Hotel and turn right onto a small wooden bridge. Continue taking right turns until you reach the end of the road. There is free parking here and it is just a few minutes down to the water. For those of you not wanting to venture into the surf, there is a pleasant hill where you can watch the surfers do their thing.
Gerupuk: You will need to ride East for around 7km. There are two breaks (insides and outsides) here at Gerupuk although you will need the services of a boat to gain access. You can ask one of the locals to take you out. Expect to pay around Rp 75,000 or Rp50,000 per person. Make sure you agree the price beforehand.
Insides is located in a very sheltered bay and is perfect for beginners, the breaks are both left and right and both break onto a very soft bed of reef. If you think you have found a quiet spot think again as Insides is hugely popular with everyone from tourists to locals.
Outsides, as the name suggest is located away from the bay and this is where you will need a boat. It is generally the most reliable place to surf as there is always something going on. Expect a heavy right hander break.
Air Guling: This is a beach to the West of Kuta. It can be a little tricky to get down to the beach as the road, especially in wet conditions gets very slippery. If you manage to ride down there is a parking where you will be expected to pay the guard around Rp5,000 to watch over your bike. The break itself is a very strong right hander and you will need to paddle out quite a way to reach it.
If surfing isn't your thing Kuta has everything a beach lover requires. Grab you book and laze away the days in a hammock. There are 6 beaches in the Kuta area and this gives you a great opportunity to get on the bike and explore. Of course if you don't fancy taking out a motorcycle most places will offer you the services of transport. The best option would be to hire a car with driver. Expect to pay Rp 300,000 for the day.
Selong Belanak is around 12km from Kuta and you will be greeted by a very beautiful bay where you can swim and top up that tan.
Mawum is around 8km west of Kuta and this beach is the best in terms of outstanding beauty with its half crescent shaped bay. You will be met by crystal clear water and very safe swimming. There are a few food and drink sellers here so it is a great option for the day.
Pantai Putri Nyale is 3km East of kuta and it is here where you will find Novotel Lombok. The beach is very beautiful with white sands and crystal clear waters yet make sure you time your visit as low tide will completely take away all the water so not great for swimming.
Kuta Beach is the main beach in Kuta Lombok and if you are not interested in travelling around, this beach has all you can possibly ask for. Most accommodations and restaurants are located here so you won't have to venture far from your hotel or bungalow to reach the sands and waters.
Be aware that there is no ATM in Kuta so make sure you take some cash. The nearest ATM is in Praya which is located around 30km away.
There is a wide vareity of accommodation in Kuta Lombok and you can find anything from very shabby beach huts to high end Hotels like the four star Novotel. Most of the accommodation is located on the beach front. The lower end places will have basic amenities like a cold shower and fan in your room. If you are looking for something a little better then walk around and ask. If you arrive in the high season it can be difficult to find a place so it is always advisable to book ahead.
The beauty of Kuta Lombok is that it has very much retained its traditional ways as tourism hasn't completely taken a grip yet. You can find yourself walking down dusty village lanes watching the local villagers go about their daily life. You will come across care free children running around and swimming in the blue waters.
Development is definitely on the way as roads have been resurfaced connecting Kuta Lombok to Mataram and the talk of world class waves draw the entrepid surfers.
If you are travelling by yourself there are numerous ways to get there:
From Bali: you need to take the ferry from Padang Bai to Lembar Lombok. Upon arrival in Lembar you will be greeted by hundreds of people wanting your business. From here you can arrange transport directly to Kuta Lombok. Expect to pay around Rp250,000.
From Mataram Airport: A desk has been set up at the airport accommodating all travel to Kuta Lombok. You will be given a voucher that is to be used for the taxi. The voucher is a fixed price of Rp225,000. It will take you around an hour to reach Kuta.