Increasingly popular, South Lombok attracts more and more, particularly surfers, scuba divers and beach bums. Some like to book a short tour from Bali while many others fail to resist the heavenly beaches and stay for weeks. In any case, South Lombok has surely become a ‘must-visit’ of Indonesia.
On the journey to Kuta, to the bottom of Lombok, you will pass numerous traditional Sasak villages with their characteristic grass-roofed-houses. Life here is quite naive and simple. Surrounded by fields of tobacco, sweet potato and cassava, there are working people and cattle everywhere. Mostly threading and weaving, creating pottery or spending long days on the rice fields, just like their ancestors used to do centuries ago. Only little has changed since then and Sade is a perfect example of such “living museum” of a traditional village.
KUTA AND SURROUNDS
Arriving in Kuta, a very different scenery will come to sight. Paradisiacal beaches covered with silken white sand and the turquoise sea filled with coral gardens and radiant marine life. The southern coast of Lombok is something to look at with much delight. Calm lagoons of a pleasant temperature are appreciated by scuba divers and snorkelers, and at the same time, the long crescent-shaped bays are ruled by wild waves of the open Indian Ocean – and that makes South Lombok be much loved by surfers.
Holidaymakers can happily enjoy the placid way of life here and the nearby, whereas the hardly accessible hinterland and its isolated hill-tribe villages charm those looking for adventure. there is a lot of places to discover and a lot of things to do; the destination Kuta Lombok simply cannot fail to please.
The only way to move around Kuta is to rent a scooter. The tourist development is rapidly growing and Kuta became the premier holiday hot-spot of Lombok. You will find here surprisingly clean and pretty accommodation and nice waterfront warungs serving grilled fish and seafood. The town center is easy to walk but If you want to explore the striking neighborhood you will have to ride a scooter.
The glorious beaches of Seger and Tanjung Aan to the east of Kuta and the thriving fishing village of Awak will blow your mind away. West of Kuta, there is another bunch of phenomenal beaches to pay a visit to; Are Goleng & Selonk Blanak, Mawun Tampa, Mawi and Rowok are the best-kept secrets of South Lombok. One will easily get lost here in the network of narrow, unpaved and unmarked lanes, leading to these paradisiacal bays. The only way is to play around!
BELONGAS BAY & AWANG BAY
Surfers would typically head straight away towards the south-east coast, to the well-known Awang Bay. The experienced scuba divers will surely want to set out on a trip to the Belongas Bay in the west of Kuta so they can explore “The Magnet” of the open ocean to see if they are lucky enough to spot a school of the Hammerhead Sharks or the gigantic Manta Rays.
Lombok is a Muslim enclave and travelers should remain dressed appropriately. Especially, the female solo travelers need to be careful what they are wearing to avoid uncomfortable situations. The island is still quite undeveloped country and local people are not that open-minded about the dress code, not to mention that the Islamic beliefs are very conservative.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Surprisingly, the most beautiful season on the island is the wet season (November-April). It is when the landscape turns lush and bright-green and humidity decreases. Besides, the surfing conditions are reasonably better, especially for the advanced surfers.
However, if you are after sunshine and heat, the best time is the dry season (June-September), which is extremely hot and dusty, and prices go up in South Lombok.
Underwater lovers will definitely want to arrive in the months of March-June or October-November, for the best underwater visibility and calm waters.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Bali/Denpasar and take a Perama shuttle bus to Padang Bai, from where a speedboat will bring you to Lombok/Senggigi. Alternatively, you can have a stopover in the Gili Islands on your way if time allows before you arrive in Senggigi.
If you do not wish to stop in Gilis, there are also frequent Pelni ships operating between Bali/Padang Bai and Lombok/Lembar, which is probably the cheapest way to get to Lombok (4-5 hours trip)
There is an international airport in Lombok/Mataram as well, but the flights tend to be quite expensive.
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