Beaches of South Lombok

Beaches of South Lombok

 If you are looking for unspoiled beaches with white sand and azure waters, look no farther than the southern coast of Lombok, Indonesia.  Lombok is Bali’s less-developed neighbor and has a much more laid-back surfer/backpacker vibe compared to the tourist hordes of Bali.  
A word of warning: though it is currently an undeveloped backpacker paradise, development is coming to Lombok, FAST.  Everywhere you look on the southern coast there are signs of development: from new roads to luxury resorts and 5 star hotels.  In the next 5-10 years Lombok will be a Bali 2.0, so go there now while it’s still an unpolished gem.
We stayed in the town of Kuta (NOTHING like the Kuta on Bali) during our week in Lombok.  Kuta has a friendly, chilled out vibe.  All the locals are super nice and there is an abundance of delicious places to eat.  Wood fired pizza is a big thing there and lots of restaurants will grill up fresh caught fish right in front of you.  We didn’t end up getting any, but they looked DELICIOUS! 
Kuta beach itself isn’t very nice, its dirty and rocky and a bit shady at night.  The real magic happens along the coastline to the east and west of Kuta.  All of the beaches we went to are easily reached via motorbike, which can be rented in Kuta for about 35-50,000IDR a day.  Be a little cautious who you rent scooters from; with Lombok being less developed than Bali there is greater potential for scamming.  One guy we rented from claimed our bike was broken and tried to get us to pay $300USD! (I’m pretty sure you can buy a brand-new motorbike for that much in Indonesia).  The person we rented from after that was totally legit though, so I don’t think it’s something to worry about too much.
We visited 4 beaches during our week in Kuta, which is just scratching the surface of what South Lombok has to offer.  The thing is, every beach we went to was so perfect we didn’t have any reason to leave.  We didn’t feel the need to visit more beaches in a day just to have more to write about; we were totally content with relaxing and enjoying each beach for an entire day.  We also only visited beaches that were accessible on decent roads.  We had experiences crashing motorbikes on Bali and didn’t want to go down that road again.  One beach we really wanted to go to was Pink Beach but we were told the road was terrible and extremely dangerous, so we chose to stay away.
Here are the beaches we went to, they all have their unique personality and charm.  We highly recommend checking them out (and more if you have time!).
*Note:  All of the beaches on South Lombok require a 10,000IDR entrance fee so be prepared for that.  It’s about $0.80USD and worth every penny!*

1. Mawun Beach: Idyllic Beach Paradise

beaches of south lombok mawun beach lombok
Mawun is the epitome of an island dream.  A crescent moon of white sand lines a bay of calm, sparkling blue water perfect for swimming. This beach is incredibly quiet, if you get there in the morning chances are you will have the whole beach to yourself.  There are a few shops and warungs right as you walk on the beach and lots of little kids walking back and forth and down trying to sell bracelets and fruit.  It can get a little bit annoying when the same kids come up to you every five minutes trying to guilt you into buying a bracelet, but some of them are actually pretty hilarious.  Many people said this was their favorite beach, and for good reason.  Our only regret is that we got there a little late in the afternoon and couldn’t stay there longer. 
How to Get There
 Take Jl. Mawun west out of Kuta, past the Kuta Indah hotel.  Drive for about 30minutes (by motorbike) until you see a sign to turn left for Mawun.  Follow that all the way to the beach.  The road in unpaved in some sections and there is construction happing all along the road so drive slowly and be careful!

2. Selong Belanak: Laid-back Surfer Beach

beaches of south lombok selong belanak beach lombok indonesia
Selong Belanak is the most popular and developed of all the beaches we visited.  The beach is lined with chairs which you can rent with an umbrella for 35,000IDR ($3USD), but there is plenty of room to lay out on a towel or mat.  The beach is nice, wide and mostly flat: great for throwing a Frisbee or playing football, or just laying out and reading a book.  If you are a beginning surfer or want to learn to surf; this is the place for you.  The beach has small to medium waves with the smallest waves on the far left and gradually increasing in size as you move to the right.
There are countless places to rent a surfboard or take a surfing lesson.  We rented a board for the day for 100,000IDR and took a crack at surfing on our own.  Our efforts mostly resulted in failure and getting tossed by waves.  In retrospect, we wish we would have paid for a lesson because it wasn’t much more expensive and the people taking lessons had considerably more success than we did.  This was our favorite beach because there was so much to do without feeling too crowded.  Also, the abundance of shops meant there were hardly any peddlers, which was a refreshing change from Mawun Beach. I can’t say enough good things about this beach, it’s one of the coolest places we’ve been to in all of Indonesia.
How to Get There
Take the Jl. Mawun west out of Kuta like you were going to Mawun. Continue on the main road past the turn for Mawun Beach for about 30 minutes and you will come to Selong Belanak.  Once you get past the turnoff for Mawun, the road improves dramatically.

3. Tanjung A’an: Sleepy deserted beach

beaches of south lombok Tanjung A’an beach lombok
This was the closest beach to Kuta we went to; only about a 20minute drive from town. Though it was close to town, it’s mildly tricky to get to. After you turn off the main road you have to drive down about 2km of bumpy unpaved road to reach the beach. Tanjung A’an was the quietest beach we visited; a pleasant surprise considering how close to town it is.  When I think of Tanjung, I conjure images of escaping the world, reading my book and napping on a deserted white sand beach; which is basically what we did for an entire day. 
The beach is incredibly long-I would say at least 3km, and is made up of two bays; a large main bay and a smaller bay to the left. The facilities at this beach are limited: there are maybe two warungs, plus a lady selling fruit and a guy riding his motorbike up and down the beach selling beer (who doesn’t love cold beer delivered right to your beach towel!)   This beach had a little more debris than others, but it was all organic matter. It made us very happy to see how little trash there was.  Just behind the beach is a hill that you can walk up to catch a great view of the sunset.  If you are looking for a lazy beach day, definitely check out Tanjung A’an.
How to Get There
Head east on Jl. Pariwisata Pantai Kuta, which is the main east/west road running through town, until it ends at a T intersection.  Take a left at the intersection and continue straight until you reach a roundabout.  At the roundabout turn right onto Jl. Sengkol.  Continue for about 5km and then make a sharp right turn onto Jl. Mandalika Resort Pantai Putri Nyale.  From this point on the road is bumpy and unpaved.  Take your first left (another sharp turn) and follow the road all the way to the beach.

4. Patai Seger: Sunset Views Over Kuta Bay

beaches of south lombok sunset over patai seger
We didn’t come here for very long, just to watch the sunset.  It’s located just a short drive east of Kuta.  The road is mostly unpaved, but that will change in coming years as there is massive development taking place between here and Kuta.  Pantai Seger is lined with numerous hills and cliffs that you can climb and soak in awesome views of waves crashing on the cliff walls and the sun setting over Kuta Bay.
How to Get There
Head east on Jl. Pariwisata Pantai Kuta, which runs right along the ocean until you reach a roundabout.  Take the second exit on to Jl. Mandalika Resort Pantai Putri Nyale. After about 1km, take a right to stay on Jl. Mandalika Resort Pantai Putri Nyale, where you will come up to another roundabout.  Take the second exit out of the roundabout, then take your first right.  Follow that road all the way to the beach. 

This is just a taste of the amazing beaches South Lombok has to offer.  We liked each place we went to so much that we didn’t want to leave, so we just stayed for the entire day.  The roads up and down the coast are dotted with signs for dozens of beaches that we didn’t have time to explore.  My advice would be to rent a scooter, follow one of those signs, and see what hidden gems you stumble upon.

Have any favorite spots on Lombok? Let us know in the comments!

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