Kuta is a coastal town in the south of the island of Lombok in Indonesia.
The scenery is spectacular, with cliffs and mountains reaching the coast to create jagged and awe- inspiring landscapes and views. The beaches are some of the best in Indonesia, with pristine white sand, and transparent blue-greens in the water. Kuta has some of the best surfing in the world, so naturally many visitors are surfers.
Kuta has a wide variety of accommodations and restaurants, ranging from backpacker offerings to a four star resort for more wealthy travelers. Many people come to Kuta just to unwind, lie on the beach, rent a motorcycle to look around, or to just relax by reading a book or taking a nap in the afternoon.
Most of Kuta retains its sleepy, natural character as a typical fishing village. The local people live in housing clusters (called kampungs) and are largely unaffected by tourist activity. Travellers can walk along dirt roads and see the villagers going about their normal daily activities. Food is usually cooked over a wood fire and the children live a carefree life of playing on the beach and climbing trees. The people are exceptionally friendly to foreigners. Although most do not speak English, they will often welcome you onto their beruga (gazebo porch) for a glass of local Lombok coffee.
Lombok International Airport is around 20 minutes away, and there has recently been a huge amount of land speculation in the Kuta area from high-end hotel operators and other investors.
In the village of Kuta, all local facilities are within a reasonable walking distance. For local transport in and around Kuta you can use a ojek (motorbike with rider).
Around Kuta there are some beautiful beaches. Kuta offers you the private white beaches you have seen on travel posters and always dreamed of experiencing. There are six main beaches in and around Kuta:
Kuta Beach, Kuta village. This is where most of the accommodations and restaurants are located.
Pantai Putri Nyale (Novotel Beach), (about 3 km east of Kuta Beach). This is where the Novotel Lombok is located. It's a beautiful beach, but at low tide it gets almost completely dry and is no longer suited for swimming.
Pantai Seger (Seger Beach), (about 3.5 km east of Kuta Beach). Beach suited for surfing, not for swimming because of the very strong currents. There are some drink stalls. Climb the hill here to watch the sunset.
Tanjung A'an, (about 7 km east of Kuta Beach). Tanjung A'an comprises of two white sand bays, A'an to the west and Pedau to the east, separated by a rocky outcrop. Smooth turquoise waters offer safe swimming and snorkeling. The only facilities are a few drinks stalls.
Mawun, (about 8km west of Kuta Beach). Mawun beach is a secluded half-moon bay with crystal clear water and pristine sand. There's one big tree where people congregate in the shade. An awesome place for relaxing, save swimming and surfing. The only facilities are a few drinks stalls.
Selong Belanak, (about 12 km west of Kuta Beach, about 6 km over the steep hill). Beautiful bay bordered by two rocky promontories. Nearby is a surf beach called Mawi.
Visitors can make day trips from Kuta to the pottery village of Penunjak and to the weaving village of Sukarare.
Kuta is a surfers destination, with world class shore, reef and point breaks along the coast. Personal transport is the best way if not the only way to access the surfing spots. Since there have been reports of thefts in Southern Lombok, you should expect to pay a few thousand Rupiah to a local to guard your bike during your time in the water. Board can be hired in Kuta town or at the Gerupuk village.
Popular surf breaks around Kuta:
Seger reef: the closest break to Kuta village, Seger provides a heavy right hander and is excellent under most conditions. It's a popular spot during the afternoon tide shift, and especially after the big rains in the wet season. Ride past the Novotel, then turn right after the small bridge and continue taking right turns until the road becomes unsealed. There is free parking at the very end, with a small hill that onlookers can climb for a phenomenal view of the surroundings.
Air Guling: Air Guling is a beach to the West of Kuta village. The break is a fair paddle from shore, and is a strong right hander, which can become very hollow during a large swell. Continue West from Kuta, up the mountain and over the other side. There is a view of the beach when coming down, and don't be deceived when the road swerves away from the coast. Eventually on the left there will be an unsealed dirt road which can be very difficult to handle (unadvisable to ride when wet). Continue the road to the beach, and pay Rp 3,000 to watch your bike.
Gerupuk: The most popular break in Kuta. There are two main breaks here, although some others pop up in the right conditions. You need to hire a boatman from the village to access the breaks (Rp 70,000 for 1 person, Rp 40,000 per person for 2, and Rp 30,000 each for more). The boat will wait while you surf. To get here, take a ride east for 7 km (about 10-15 min), and pay the Rp 1,000 parking fee.
Inside Gerupuk: Insides is located in a sheltered bay and is good for beginners. The floor is a soft reef bed which doesn't cause much damage. The wave breaks both left and right here, and can get busy. Ocean Bar is located a short paddle away from the break (floating on the sea) and offers cold drinks, fruit and basic food
Outside Gerupuk: Cannot be seen from the village, it's a short boat ride away. Outsides is generally the most reliable bet for a surf - there is nearly always something to surf here (even in low swell conditions). The wave is a right hander and can be quite heavy.
There is excellent sport fishing to be had in waters off Kuta. Unfortunately, the only charter boats available locally are local wooden outriggers and these are not always ideal for the challenging fishing conditions. You can though get a decent day's fishing by hiring one of these boats with a captain from the local guys on Kuta Beach. Those requiring a bigger, more comfortable boat will need to bring one around from the Senggigi area, or across the Badung Strait from Bali.