The best beaches in Kuta Lombok
Visiting Indonesia and looking for Indonesia’s best beaches? Bali is great for a lot of reasons, but its beaches really can’t compare to what its neighbor, Lombok island has to offer. Whenever anyone is going to Indonesia and asks for tips, I always recommend a visit to Lombok Indonesia, and more specifically, to Kuta Lombok. Lombok’s beaches are what people envision when they think of a tropical vacation to Bali – you just won’t find these types of beaches in Bali, sorry! Lombok is where you’ll find the most beautiful, blue waters that you’ve been dreaming of for your getaway. I’d even advocate for spending more time in Lombok than in Bali, but hey, it’s up to you! So if you are wondering if you should visit Lombok or Bali, let this post help you make your decision!
Why? Because the beaches in Kuta Lombok are incredible, and the island in general is not nearly as busy as Bali, and Kuta Lombok always beats Kuta Bali in my humble opinion. Lombok is still relatively unvisited compared to Bali – although that is quickly changing as more and more tourists discover the beauty of Lombok. Most people only visit the Gili Islands as a taste of Lombok, but the beaches on the island of Lombok are even more beautiful than what you’ll see in the Gilis – trust me! I visited Kuta Lombok twice, with eighteen months in between, and when we returned the second time it had become substantially more commercial, with hipster cafes and shops popping up everywhere. Don’t despair though, the beaches are still beautiful (for now), and they are some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever visited. Check out this post for more of the best spots in Lombok.
So, looking for the best beaches in Kuta Lombok? I’ve got you covered in my tips below including Kuta Lombok accommodation and Lombok surf.
Kuta Beach (Pantai Kuta Lombok)
Kuta Beach is the beach that is closest to the center of Kuta, walking distance from the restaurants and bars on the main streets of the town. Kuta has recently been revamped with fresh new buildings along the beach. This beach is not really one of the hottest beaches, but it is the most easily accessible, and you might even catch some kite surfers here if you visit during August when the wind picks up.
Kuta Beach is great for a stroll after you’ve had lunch in the center of Kuta, but further than that, you’ll find better beaches to swim at or surf at.
Price: Free if you are walking. If you’re parking a scooter expect to pay 5-10k IDR.
Seger Beach (Pantai Seger)
Seger Beach is best known not for its beach per se, but for its massive hill which is the hottest place in town to watch the sunset. Unless you are a pretty experienced surfer (I’m talking short board, quick turns, can manage yourself around rocks), I wouldn’t suggest Seger Beach for surfing, but you need to come here at least once for sun down.
To reach Seger Beach, you’ll definitely need a scooter. Once you arrive, be sure to buy a Bintang from the families selling them at the base of the hill, and hike up to watch the sunset. Be sure to arrive about 15-20 minutes before the sunset, and please be careful walking up the hill – it can be pretty steep!
Price: Typically about 10k IDR to pay for scooter parking
Tanjung Aan Beach
Oh Tanjung Aan… I could go on forever about Tanjung Aan. To me, Tanjung Aan is one of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia, and just one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to in general. At the time of writing this, there were no hotels built up around Tanjung Aan, however we did notice that there were several plots of land which were blocked off and already purchased by big hotels – I hope it will stay relatively undeveloped!
Tanjung Aan is seriously paradise on earth. Its water is so many layers of blue that you can gaze at for hours, and completely lose track of time. Spend the day at Tanjung Aan under an umbrella, chilling out, reading a book, drinking a Bintang, and enjoying your life.
Be sure to walk the length of Tanjung Aan toward the big look out rock (be sure to climb it to take photos), and also get a glimpse of the smaller bay next to Tanjung Aan which is just as beautiful, but is usually completely empty since there aren’t any beach shacks there.
Surfing at Tanjung Aan
Tanjung Aan is also an incredible surfing spot, and one that we visited several times. It is one of the best and most beautiful Lombok surf spots. If you’re new to surfing, check out a surf camp like Drop In where you can spend a week learning to surf, or if you just want to try for a day or two, check out Coco Surf – I’ve surfed with both by the way, and you’ll be in safe hands either way!
If you are interested in surfing on your own without a guide, you’ll need to hire a fisher boat to take you out to the break. Tanjung Aan is a reef break so you can get a nice long ride once you catch a wave (you’ll just need to paddle out to the breaks). If you are really stubborn, you can paddle out to the breaks yourself without hitching a ride from a fisherman – but be ready for your arms to be super tired afterward, maybe you’ll be too tired to even paddle in to a wave. If you’re looking for more sporty and outdoor activities, check out this guide to sports and outdoors in Lombok.
Restaurants at Tanjung Aan
There are a number of beach shacks which have popped up on Tanjung Aan over the past few years. The fare at these restaurants is pretty standard – your standard warung offering of nasi goreng and mie goreng, and if you’re lucky maybe a few western dishes like a chicken sandwich.
The most famous of the Tanjung Aan resto’s is Warung Turtle, the original warung at Tanjung Aan. When we first visited Kuta Lombok back in December 2016, this was the only restaurant on the beach. Flash forward to June 2018 and new beach shacks were scattered all over the beach.
The dogs at Tanjung Aan
If you’ve spent any time in South East Asia then you are probably pretty used to the street dogs roaming everywhere, and of course Kuta Lombok is no exception. I think that Tanjung Aan is the worst beach in Kuta Lombok when it comes to the amount of street dogs living there – and that is probably because this is the beach with the most tourists. So just watch out for them, and please don’t give them any human food to encourage more begging.
Getting to Tanjung Aan
In the past few years many streets in Kuta Lombok have been repaved and are fresh and smooth, ready for you to ride your scooter down. There is a brand new path leading to Tanjung Aan for your driving pleasure – lucky for you because when we first visited there were only (very) bumpy dirt roads leading to Tanjung Aan.
Selong Belanak Beach (Pantai Selong Belanak)
Selong Belanak is the farthest beach from Kuta, but it is well worth the 45 minute drive. Despite being so far from Kuta, Selong Belanak has the most restaurants to offer compared to the other beaches in Kuta Lombok.
If you visit Selong Belanak you might have a chance to see a farmer herding his water buffalo with a long walk along the beach – how picturesque is that? I’ve only seen the water buffalo from a scooter, not on the beach, but if you’re there toward the end of the day you might be able to snag a pic of this.
You can take surf lessons at Selong Belanak, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Selong Belanak is a beach break and the waves break in a very shallow area – we saw tons of people getting smacked with their boards. Just stick to learning at Tanjung Aan where the waves are perfect!
Laut Biru is the perfect place to grab lunch at Selong Belanak, and is one of the nicest restaurants in the area where you can get some pretty decent western food.
Price: As with the other beaches, you’ll need to pay about 10k IDR to park your scooter.
Tampah Beach (Pantai Tampah)
Tampah Beach is the perfect beach to visit if you want some peace and quiet and don’t want to be bothered by all the kids selling bracelets, or women selling sarongs – that is all strictly prohibited here. Tampah Beach is about a 30 minute scooter ride outside of Kuta, Lombok.
You might have heard you can snorkel at Tampah Beach – this is the only beach I know of in the area where you can snorkel near Kuta Lombok. We tried snorkeling there but unfortunately since we were there are low tide it was mostly a game of trying not to cut ourselves on coral or accidentally step on a sea urchin. Yes, there are TONS of sea urchins in the water, so if you visit and want to snorkel, be sure to wear water shoes or keep your flip-flops on if you think you can snorkel in flip-flops.
If snorkeling isn’t for you, you can chill out on this beach and simply enjoy the beautiful views. At low tide you’ll be able to see fishers out catching octopus with a small spear.
There are a few beach huts on Pantai Tampah where you can rent your snorkeling gear (I can’t remember how much it cost but not more than about €1-2), or just grab a bite to eat or a Bintang. Have a look while you’re there to see if there are any octopus hanging up to dry – and try some if you’re daring enough.
Price: You’ll need to pay about 10k IDR to park your scooter
Mawun Beach (Pantai Mawun)
Mawun Beach is another little slice of paradise and one of the best beaches in Kuta Lombok. The beach is long, the sea is blue, and there are luscious green hills on either side. Mawun isn’t nearly as busy as Tanjung Aan or Selong Balanak, so here you might enjoy the beach nearly to yourself.
There is a warung you can visit on the beach here to grab your coconut or nasi goreng, and you can kick back under an umbrella on the beach.
The only annoyance here might be kids or women selling you bracelets or sarongs.
Mawi Beach (Pantai Mawi)
Mawi Beach is fantastic IF you are a surfer or you’re traveling with someone who is a surfer. Just check Magic Seaweed for all the details on where experienced surfers can catch a wave here.
If you aren’t an experienced surfer, I honestly wouldn’t recommend visiting Mawi Beach. it just isn’t one of the most relaxed beaches in Kuta Lombok. It will take at least 10 minutes to reach the beach on a very rocky unpaved road, that could pop your scooter tires if you have the weight of two people on a scooter. Mawi Beach is pretty, and is one of the best beaches in Kuta for surfing, but I’d argue there are better beaches for you to visit which are much easier to get to if you plan on just lounging around.
Safety Tips in Kuta Lombok
Lombok is a bit more dangerous than Bali – albeit nothing that should scare you away. If you drive to the beaches of Selong Balanak, Tampah, Mawi or Mawun, be sure to head back to Kuta before the sun sets. You never know if you might have an issue with your scooter, or maybe run out of fuel, and you don’t want to be stuck along these roads after dark. Our surf camp always strongly recommended to us that we never ride along on these roads after dark since tourists have sometimes been mugged here.
If you haven’t driven around Kuta too much yet, you might not have realized how dangerous driving a scooter can be – you always need to watch out for animals running into the road! On drives back from Selong Balanak back to Kuta we’ve come across dogs, cats, goats, roosters, chickens, cows and buffalos running into the road, so keep your eyes open!
Kuta Lombok accommodation
Kuta has seen a swell of new hotels coming into the town as tourism has increased over the past few years. Before our stay at the surf camp, we had an incredible stay at Origin Lombok, located just a 5 minute scooter ride from the center of Kuta.
Origin was everything a stay should be: it was stylish, comfortable, and full of great food. Not only that, but Origin is really doing their part to look after the environment, and provides you with a carafe of water instead of a bottle to save on single-use plastic – thanks Origin!
If you don’t want to drive a scooter the whole time, Origin also offers a transfer to the center of Kuta several times per day – but, you should really rent a scooter to see the area properly and visit any of these beaches besides Kuta Beach!
Our only regret was that we couldn’t stay longer at Origin Lombok, and if we visit Lombok again (for the third time…), we’ll definitely be staying at Origin. I personally think this is the best place to stay in Lombok!
How to get from Bali to Lombok
Wondering how to get to Lombok from Bali? There are several ways you can reach the island, but I would definitely advocate for flying between them – on Garuda Indonesia. Indonesian airlines are somewhat infamous for their sketchiness and lax safety protocol, so I always fly on Garuda Indonesia when I’m there.
Garuda Indonesia is the only Indonesian airline that is permitted to fly to the EU and US, so for that reason I personally feel more comfortable flying on Garuda. You can typically get tickets for about €50 round trip between Bali and Lombok on Garuda – OR if you do decide to take another Indonesian airline like Lion Air, you can get tickets even cheaper.
You can also take a boat from Bali to Indonesia – there are several ports along the east coast of Bali that will offer boat trips – but again, I would strongly suggest against this. The boat ride I took from Padang Bai in Bali to Gili Air was one of the scariest travel experiences I’ve ever had while traveling, so do yourself a favor and take a flight so you can see those beaches in Kuta Lombok as soon and safely as possible!
When to visit Kuta Lombok
The beaches in Kuta Lombok are undeniably beautiful in every season. Kuta’s rainy season is from around the end of December until the end of March, so it might be best for you to avoid visiting during that period – unless of course you are interested in surfing! During the rainy season there is little wind on the water, giving you glassy breaking waves. For all non-surfers, stick to April – November.
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Looking for more tips on what to do in Lombok? Check out these posts!
Did this post help inspire you to visit the beaches in Kuta Lombok? Let me know in the comments below!
Gabby is a native (Northern) Californian who spent the majority of her 20’s living the expat life in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, exploring Europe and beyond. 27 countries later, she’s relocated back to her home base in California where she explores her passions for the travel and the outdoors.