Beautiful… a kind of beauty that make me feel close to heaven… the light blue color of the sea, the green of the grass that cover the black rocky hills, the vivid blue of the sky, the white clouds like candy cotton, the sensation of the warm breeze on the wet skin. All balance to create a kind of perfect environment… even when the rain arrive, mostly in the afternoon, brought by the grey thick clouds, it matches perfectly on the landscape, leaving behind a shiny touch on the colors the scenery and a fresh air.
The atmosphere in Kuta is laid-back with most of the visitors coming here for surf… but despite the good waves the beaches are perfect for a swim, as the reef acts as a barrier away from the shore, making the waves break far away from the beach.
And this create a curious misperception in our senses, as we hear the sound of the waves breaking hard but in front of us the sea is quiet as a lake.
Long and empty beaches are waiting for someone to come and step in the untouched sand, made from crushed coral. Along the coast, for both sides of Kuta villages there are many more beaches to explore, all depending on your stamina as a scooter driver to go further… the roads to west are steeper and with more curves, but offer very nice viewpoints for the countryside landscape, where the green of the rice fields merge with the green of the coconuts trees and the green of the almost untouched forest!
But this paradise is threatened by the construction of luxury resorts and other tourist facilities, which construction works are already creating a big impact on the landscape, attract much more visitors that for sure will change the pace of Kuta and the surrounding beaches… maybe this “Kuta” will be something like the famous Kuta beach in Bali, already exploited by the tourism.
Where to sleep in Kuta Lombok:
There’s are a LOT of options for lodging in Kuta Lombok and on the beaches around, for all the styles and budgets…. guesthouse, homestays, apartments, boutique hotel, resorts, hotels… and many more things are now under construction.
There’s no point to choose a place close to the beach of Kuta the village, as the view to the sea is not clear and the beach is a bit dump to swim… and as it is a fishermen village is not the best place to sunbathe in bikini, and Kuta beach attract also many Indonesians on weekend trips… maybe you’ll not feel comfortable in bikini surrounded by women with hijab!!!
My choice was the Kuta Circle Homestay… a homestay that is not really a homestay but a row of rooms, with different styles, but where the friendliness of the family that runs the business makes you feel at home.
There are two types of room, with fan and with a/c, and both with toilet inside. The breakfast is included and can be eggs with toast or pancakes; it’s nothing special but is ok… and you can use the fridge and the kitchen and you are free to cook more pancakes during the breakfast time! Coffee and tea for free all day… and water refill by a small donation!
Don’t book on the websites… contact Kuta Circle Homestay directly.
Where to eat in Kuta Lombok:
Eat local and cheap food in Kuta is easy! There are a lot of warungs that still keep the style and the prices of a small village. Some of them made an upgrade in the decoration and in the presentation of the dishes but the prices are still cheap.
You can have a gado-gado for 15.000 Rp and a nasi goreng for 25.000 Rp.
But my favourite is always the Padang food, simple and humbles, but serving a traditional delicious food with plenty of choices, from curries, to deep-fry stuff, from fish to meat, from tofu to tempeh, from vegetables to eggs… The base of a padang meal is the rice where you add what you choose from the several options exposed on the window. Don’t worry about refrigeration… I had food in this kind of places almost every day and didn’t have any stomach problem.
The cost of the padang meal depends on the quantity and the type of food, with eggs, meat and fish increasing the price… but a vegetarian meal in a can cost between 10.000 Rp (0.70€) to 20.000 Rp.
Name of the padang warungs that I try at Kuta Lombok:
- Resto Bundo Masakan Padang: cheap option for local food somewhere in Kuta village; close at 3 pm
- RM restu bundo Masakan Padang: Not totally sure about the name but is the ONLY Padang eatery in on the road that links the circle (roundabout) to the village, just in front of the new huge mosque under construction (Jalan Pariwisata Pantai Kuta). This is my favorite of all places where I ate in Kuta… nice food, super friendly staff and very cheap prices… a vegetarian meal cost around 10.000 Rp (0.70€)
Best Beaches to swim around Kuta Lombok:
- Mandalika: on the left side of Seger beach; it’s an almost desert beach with thin white sand and light blue water, with almost no curling. You can climb a small hill on the left side and see the view from there
- Tanjung Aan: a long stretch of sand, almost desert except at the weekends that receive a few local visitors but that usually don’t stay away from the stalls and parasols.
- Serenting: long and desert beach with light blue water.
- Mawun: popular among foreigners, the shore can be a bit steep.
Many of the beaches have a kind of fee that apparently includes parking, for motorbikes or cars, and security. It’s always 10.000 Rp, no matter how long you stay and the type of the vehicle. Beaches with this fee are Seger, Tanjung Aan and Mawun.
Even when they look desert there’s a strong chance that the bracelet boys, the sarong ladies of the pineapple men show up from “nowhere” trying to make some business… they can be persistent, special the kids!
How to move around Kuta Lombok:
On foot you can’t go far then the beach nearby Kuta village, that part of it is occupied by fishing activities with the fisherman and families hanging around which don’t let you very comfortable to swim in a bikini outfit. And despite this, the water is not that clean as there’s a small river that flows out to the beach with domestic dirty waters.
So the best option is to hire a scooter that costs 50.000 Rp a day. A liter of petrol cost 10.000 Rp at Kuta, and is available everywhere, on small pump station or in glass bottles at roadside shops.
There are many places renting scooters at Kuta village, but there also many reports of scam with the motorbikes… so is better if you rent at your guesthouse or homestay. I rent mine at Kuta Circle Homestay and didn’t have any issue.
How to go from Kuta Lombok to Tetebatu:
There are no public buses leaving from Kuta to Tetebatu. There are bemos but is difficult to communicate with the drivers. You can try your chance with the ojek (moto-taxi) drivers that the at the ojek corner, if you don’t carry much luggage and weight… must be less than 150.000 Rp to Tetebatu.
By taxi or private car, you pay between 175.000 to 300.000 Rp from Kuta to Tetebatu.
I hired a car with a driver at Kuta Circle homestay for 175.000 Rp. The trip takes 1.5 hours on a good condition road.
ATMs and money exchanger in Kuta:
There are a few ATM’s.
And there’s also one moneychanger shop, that every time I pass by it was closed.