We spent almost one week in southern Lombok and have to admit that we fell in love with the Island during this time. Especially the empty beaches in Lombok were what we appreciated so much. In comparison to the famous parts of Bali, Lombok is so much less busy in general; there is almost no traffic on the Island, and we felt very connected to the local life. In this post, we share our favorite beaches in southern Lombok, as well as our tips on where to stay and eat in Kuta.
Best time to visit Lombok
Lombok has a tropical monsoon climate, and that means the temperatures are pleasant all year round. There are two seasons, which are the dry season from May to September and the rainy season from October to April. We visited Lombok in January, which was off-season, and we had great weather too. It won’t rain all day long during the rainy season. We experienced some showers of 1-2 hours, but overall we were fortunate with the weather. But Lombok can be visited all year round because every season has its advantages. During the dry months, the temperatures are a bit cooler, and there will be less rain but usually more people as well.
How to get to Lombok
Lombok has an International Airport, which is located a 30 min ride from Kuta in southern Lombok.
We traveled to Lombok by local ferry from Bali (port in Padang Bai), which allowed us to bring our scooter and took us around 4-5 hours. For two people and one scooter, we paid 129K IND (9 $) for the local ferry.
If you come from Bali without a scooter, we recommend you to take the fast boat, which is way more convenient and faster. We recommend the boat company Eka Jaya Fast Boat. Expect to pay around 400K IDR (35 $) per person for a one-way ticket. You can book your tickets using Bookaway or 12Go.Asia.
Visa to enter Indonesia
To visit Java or other places in Indonesia you can easily get a 30 days single entry at the airport without a visa when you arrive in the country. If you want to extend your stay up to 60 days you have to get a Visa On Arrival (VOA) at the airport which is as well valid for a 30 days stay, but can be extended and costs you 37$.
You have to go to the immigration office to extend your visa, which is a bit time consuming and costs you another 35$. If you come to Indonesia from home and know already that you want to stay in the country for 60 days you can get your 60-day visa back home at the Indonesian Embassy in your country and don’t have to go through the extension process.
Best beaches in southern Lombok
Tanjung Aan Beach
Tanjung Aan Beach is a pristine white sand beach that is about 20 min scooter ride away from Kuta. The last part of the road is a bit bumpy but very worth it. The beach itself is the typical paradise beach in Indonesia with white sand and turquoise blue water. There are swings on the beach and a few places where you can rent a beach bed. There is a parking fee of 10K IDR (0.70 $) for the scooter.
What is this beach great for:
- Beach swings
Mawun Beach is the perfect beach for swimming. Once you get into the water, the drop is quite steep, so you will find yourself in the deepwater immediately and can swim. There are a few places to rent a beach bed, but also a big part of the beach is just empty. We loved the view onto the hill that is located on the right side of the bay.
The beach can be reached very easily in about 15 min ride from Kuta. There is a parking fee of 10K IDR (0.70 $) for the scooter.
What is this beach great for:
- Great views
Mawi Beach was our favorite beach in southern Lombok. We must admit the road to get there wasn’t always easy. Especially the last part was very bumpy but also very scenic. We saw many buffalos taking a bath and enjoyed the landscapes. Once we got to the location on google maps, we found ourselves on a small beach with a little beach restaurant selling fresh coconuts. This beach was lovely but not the one on the photo. We went to the rocks on the right side of the beach and climbed over them. When we reached the top, we saw one of the most amazing, white sand beaches, and it was completely empty. We felt like winning the lottery 😉
So we climbed down there and enjoyed this beach for hours. This beach has no road that leads to it, and there is no restaurant or beach beds to rent. It is entirely natural and raw beauty. Bring enough water and maybe even food if you want to stay here longer.
What is this beach great for:
- Swimming (when we were there currents were a bit stronger than on other beaches so we would say only for good swimmers)
- Enjoying an empty beach
Selong Belanak Beach
Pantai (which means beach in Bahasa) Selong Belanak is not the most beautiful beach we have been in Lombok but the best for sunset. There are a few small, local restaurants along the beach where you can buy a fresh coconut (don’t forget to bring your reusable straw). Besides, there are a few small surfboard rentals and surf schools. This beach is perfect for beginners to learn, and surf classes here are very affordable.
The one unique thing about this beach is that several times a day, there is a herd of buffalos crossing the entire beach. It’s such a cool experience to watch them. We highly recommend to come here in the afternoon, get yourself a coconut, relax and wait for the buffalos as well as to enjoy the sunset. It’s so worth it!
What is this beach great for:
- Beginners surfing
- Watch buffalos
Where to eat in Kuta
The following restaurants in Kuta, Lombok were our favorites during our time there and were all vegan-friendly.
- Milk Espresso (best place for coffee and breakfast as well)
- Terra – Food That Loves You Back (100 % plant-based restaurant serves amazing breakfast bowls and lunch)
- Mia Mia’s Kitchen (local Indonesian food like Nasi Goreng, cheap prices)
- Bush Radio (delicious bread, good for breakfast and lunch)
- The Bus (serves delicious Pizzas, good for drinks with friends)
- Tasty Hesty Cafe (delicious local food like Nasi Goreng and Gado Gado, Menu is very small but they made everything in Vegan for us)
Where to stay in Kuta
We stayed at Batu Bambu, which is a surf hotel and located a little bit outside of Kuta town. It’s such a peaceful place. We felt very much at home during our time there, and the two girls who own this place are adorable. We can highly recommend Batu Bambu. They have rooms with private bathroom in the main building, a bungalow with a private bath as well as several huts with shared bathroom. We loved the common space where we had breakfast and met the other guests as well as the owners every day.
Another beautiful place to stay in Kuta, Lombok is Rascals. It’s a bohemian style boutique hotel with a fantastic spa inside.
How to get around on Lombok
The easiest way to explore all the beaches in southern Lombok is to rent a scooter. To rent a scooter usually costs you 60K IDR (4 $). The streets in Lombok are very good, and there is barely any traffic.
Budget for visiting Lombok
Traveling in Indonesia is quite affordable. We have listed here an average budget when visiting Lombok. Of course, this can vary a lot with the choice of accommodation and transportation.
- Costs for food per day: 15-20$ for two people
- Costs for accommodation: 30$ per night for a bungalow
- Costs for scooter rental: 4$ per day
- Costs for taxi from the ferry port or airport to Kuta: 15$
Internet access in Indonesia
Internet access in places like Bali is almost everywhere available and usually fast. As most of the cafes are offering free high-speed WiFi, we typically use this kind of internet connection in the first place.
If you’re traveling around or working online we recommend getting a local SIM card. Getting a SIM card in Indonesia is simple. You can either buy one at the airport or a cellphone shop on the streets. Just watch out for stores that sell cell phones, and there you’ll find SIM cards from all major companies.
Indonesia has many telecom providers, but Telkomsel is the biggest and most reliable. A little bit more expensive than the others, but from our experience, it’s worth spending the extra money. The initial cost is around 9 $, including the SIM card and 9 gigabytes of data. Additional data packages can be purchased online when required. Prices range from 1.50 $ for one gigabyte to 3 $ for fifteen gigabytes.
The most convenient option for travelers is the eSim Card (digital SIM card) from Airalo. You can download and install a digital data pack and get connected anywhere in the world as soon as you land, so there is no need to waste time looking for a local plastic SIM card.
People & Culture
People in Lombok are called Sasak and they are extremely friendly and welcoming. Also the local language is called Sasak but people also speak bahasa which is the Indonesian language.
Like in most of Indonesia, People in Lombok are mainly Muslim. This means the prayers will most likely awaken you through the minarets in the mornings during your stay in Lombok. Please show respect and dress appropriately when meeting local people.