Picture this. You are on your way to a local yoga class hearing different mosques at the same time. There are palm trees, dogs and scooters driving by with a surfboard attached to the side.
If you think Lombok is like Bali you got it all wrong. Lombok is Lombok, there is nothing like it and you will fall in love with it! In this blog post, I will tell you the top 6 things to do in Kuta without driving. Let’s face it, driving a scooter in Indonesia is not for everyone, but this shouldn’t stop you!
Why Kuta? It’s the perfect base for surfing, yoga, meeting people and learning about the local culture.
How To Get To Kuta, Lombok
Kuta is located in the south of Lombok, Indonesia, and this is how you will reach this lovely place.
- You can fly to Lombok Airport. Kuta is 40 minutes car away from the airport. At the airport, there is a Grab stand. Grab is one of the biggest taxi companies in Southeast Asia. Like Uber, you can get this 40-minute ride with IDR200. Local taxi companies compete with Grab and normally have a great if not better price.
- You can get a speedboat if you are coming from Bali or Gili Islands. From the harbour to Kuta, it’s about 2 hours by car. If you are coming from Bali I would strongly recommend taking a flight because the boat ride from Bali is awful. It doesn’t matter which company you choose, there are no good companies for that ride! You also don’t save time because the boat journey is 2 hours and the hotel-harbour commute could take hours!
Where to stay in Kuta, Lombok
I would highly recommend this hotel in Kuta especially if you travel solo because not only it’s beautiful but you also get looked after very well! It’s called Sima Hotel Kuta Lombok. It’s about £30 per night and that includes breakfast, an amazing pool and a small gym! I loved the sunrises, and looking at the vegetation outside, birds and roosters! The location is also perfect, just off the main road with restaurants, cafes and surf schools!
Things To Do In Kuta, Lombok
On the main road in Kuta, you will find loads of Surf Schools, so all you need to do is walk around and find your favourite spot!
Surfing in Kuta is part of the local culture, so even if you are not into surfing you should at least watch others surfing in the Ocean! If you are up for trying something new or are a pro surfer, these are my tips:
Book a class at Harry Surf if you are a beginner. Book a class at Nalua or Lombok Surf if you are an intermediate/advanced surfer because they take amazing photos and videos that will highlight what you need to improve. I tried Nalua as a beginner and it’s been too expensive considering I couldn’t surf yet but it would be amazing to go again when I have more confidence so it makes sense to pay for the full package. You could also just head to the beach and pick your school based on the performance of the instructors. If you are a beginner, you want to get an instructor who pushes you towards the waves as many times as possible so you can practice. There are also inexperienced instructors who will push you at the wrong time or not many times because he doesn’t know which waves to pick. (Surf-specific blog post coming up!)
#2 Watch An Amazing sunset
Some of the surf schools would provide afternoon activities so they will arrange transport, otherwise ask your hotel to book a scooter/car with a driver to drop you anywhere you want! You can then save the WhatsApp number of your favourite driver and get in touch with him directly any time you need : )
My favourite was from Pantai Seger, it’s also a great place to watch other surfers if you enjoy that. Parking is IDR 10000, you can get a cold drink and climb a small hill. In 10 minutes you will be at the top of the hill and enjoy the sunset.
Bukit Merese is also an amazing location which you can visit on your way back from Tanjung Aan Beach.
#3 Visit the fantastic beaches
Just like I suggested in the previous paragraph, you can contact your favourite driver to get here or it might be one of the stops included in the Surf Camp if you choose one.
- Selong Belanak: This beach is perfect if you want to swim or learn how to surf. It’s a beautiful beach surrounded by pointy hills that distinguish Lombok very vividly from Bali.
- Tanjung Aan Beach: Let me tell you this. When I got here, I cried. I’ve never seen a beach as beautiful as Tanjung Aan Beach! The sand is white and bright, and the sea is crystal clear. One of the things I like the most here is that there are many locals and people on scooters selling ice cream.
- Areguling Beach Lombok: This beach is the next level after a few surf lessons in Selong Belanak. The instructor will tell you that you are “ready for the reef” which means you are ready to go to Areguling Beach! You will get on a boat with your surfboard and surf by the reef. If you are not a surfer, well this beach is stunning so you will have the best time. There are some goats occasionally as well.
#4 Collect Some Plastic From The Beach
There is a reason why I didn’t list Kuta Beach above. Unfortunately, this beach is covered in plastic which is very sad. There is a reason why I’m suggesting to go anyway. Not everything must be pretty and Instagrammable. You travel because you want to become a better person and learn about different ways of living. On this beach, children surf with small surfboards, practising incredible manoeuvres. Some of them don’t even have a tracksuit, they surf with what they have. There will be fishermen adjusting the nets on their boats for the next day. If you want to make an impact and help collect some plastic get involved with Lombok Plastic Free, which is a local environmental conservation organisation. It organises beach clean-ups regularly.
Kuta Beach is within walking distance from the hotel I suggested above so no transport is needed 🙂
#5 Cinema night
This is one of my favourite activities to do in the evening in Kuta. Cinema night! Relax on bean bags in the yoga shala and enjoy a film on the projector. The best place for your cinema night is Mana Yoga Retreat Lombok. Check out their Instagram stories to find out which film is on tonight! To get here all you need to do is walk, no transport is needed!
#6 Yoga class
There are quite a few places for an amazing yoga class in Kuta. My favourite is Shanti Yoga Lombok which is super easy to reach by foot if you are staying in Kuta. The alternative would be Ashtari Yoga Lombok. This yoga studio has an amazing view over the sea as well and they organise pick-ups from Kuta.
- Fresh Market Kuta: This is the biggest supermarket in the area. However, if you are a surfer and desperately looking for bananas to have in the morning or post-surfing, bear in mind that this place more often than not doesn’t have bananas! But there is a fruit shop just in front of the supermarket.
- Alfamart: This is an Indonesian supermarket chain. There are many alfamarts dotted on the main road of Kuta which is called Jl. Raya Kuta. These shops are quite small but they are still quite useful for last-minute things such as SPF or mosquito repellent.
- Local Market: On your way to the beach you will notice some local markets on the way. Stop in some of these for fresh fruit. I would not suggest buying fish or meat as it doesn’t look well preserved.
Where To Eat In Kuta
For Indonesian food, Warung Dewi is my favourite one for Bakso but there are many others on the main road in Kuta, all quite trustworthy and with high ratings. Bakso is a local soup with meatballs and it’s delicious! Most of the Western-looking restaurants would also provide Indonesian food. If you are looking for some Western options I have a few suggestions:
- Milk Expresso: Head here for breakfast or lunch. They serve really nice salads and smoothies.
- Bush Radio: This is your Avo and Toast go-to. It’s very popular and perfect for people watching too!
- Rocksalt: Burgers here are a dream.
- Bara: This place bakes the best pizza in Lombok! I’m Italian and let me tell you, this place can be trusted!
Alternative Ways For Moving Around
- Rent scooter: Renting a scooter is about IDR 60K per day, which is around 3£ per day.
- Grab app: This app doesn’t work perfectly in Kuta but it still works if you are patient. It might take 10 to 15 minutes but you can still find a ride. Bear in mind that the app works really well if you go to Mataram, where you will only need to wait a few minutes.
- Local taxi: There are many taxi drivers on the street. They offer a scooter or car taxi. To negotiate the price, open the Grab app and use that price as a benchmark.
Kuta is still working on becoming a perfect tourist destination which tells you one thing. Go now before it’s too late. Before you won’t see the local culture, shops and enthusiastic young people who want to change Kuta for an eco-friendly version. They are eager to challenge the government and support local villages.
If you need to get your Visa sorted check out this blog post, I know that sometimes it could be a headache to find out how to apply for a Visa in Indonesia!
Ciao for now,
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