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!*