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Kuta is the best known tourist resort area on the island of Bali in Indonesia.
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Points of Interest in Kuta
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 snorkelling. There can be a strong current on the eastern bay at times. There are some drink and snack stalls at the center of the beach and at the western end two restaurants with tables and sunbeds on the sand.
- 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, safe 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.
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. Most people are exceptionally friendly to foreigners, although a very small element have growing hostilities. With the High numbers of surfers coming to Kuta Lombok, some frustrations can lead to aggression and ugly incidents, and with no police around, it can become unsafe. Remain cautious and use common sense; particularly at night, around local surfer-dudes who are drinking.
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.
Note that Google Maps thinks this location is called 'Kute', so try that if you search for it on a map.
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.
Surfing can get busy, with locals and boatmen all joining in. Be aware that some locals can become aggressive following any mishaps in the surf, regardless of who is at fault. This is usually to cause intimidation (and demands for money) but can lead to physical threats. Stay respectful, handle any incidents calmly and fairly, and other locals will almost always look out for you.
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 80,000 for 1 person, Rp 40,000 per person for 2, and Rp 30,000 each for more.). The boat will wait while you surf, however the boatmen will often join you out on the surf, which can cause frustrations when crowded. To get here, take a ride east for 7 km (about 10-15 min). There is a common parking area for surfers and tourists, which the locals monitor. Parking is usually free (although the standard fee is Rp 1,000 if you are asked to pay).
- Inside Gerupuk: Insides is located in a sheltered bay and is good for beginners/intermediate. Absolute beginners (first time on a board) may find this intimidating, during large swell and crowded conditions, and should look for a simple beach break (like Tanjung Aan). 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.
- Tanjung Aan: Beach break in between Kuta and Gerupuk, for absolute beginners. Take the usual route out to Gerupuk, and take a right hand turn into Turtle Warung - before the football field (around 2km outside Gerupuk). There are a series of Warungs on the beach, which you will need to drive past. You can park at or near the Turtle Warung, and take a short walk over the hill to see the surf behind. Tanjung Aan can get blown out during afternoon wind, so better to hit it in the morning. The hill will give you one of the best views of Kuta's beaches and inlets, and the sunset is particularly good (with beers from the Warungs).
- Kimen Surf, Jl Kuta Mawun, Pujut, Kuta (at the junction), ☎ +62 370 655064, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The original surf shop in Kuta, operating since 2004. Also rent bikes.
- Kuta Reef Surf Shop, Kuta Beach (on the beach, near Surfers Inn).
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.
Scuba diving is relatively new in Kuta, with only two or three dive shops in operation, including Discovery Divers Lombok.
Tanjung A'an, around 4 km east of Kuta beach, is a pleasant place for snorkelling.
- Kuta Horses, Jalan By Pass, ☎ +62 081 915 999 436, e-mail: email@example.com. 7am and 4pm. Kuta Horses provides horse riders with horseback views of deserted beaches, bays, valleys, hills with breathtaking views and rice paddies, tobacco fields or little traditional fishing villages. Their 6 western-sized horses are tall and healthy, they have been selected for their endurance and personality, they are very well trained. Their equipment is only handmade comfortable leather brands as Stübben or Forestier. All treks are with a guide speaking at least English (or French, or Spanish when the owner guides). Riders of all level, including beginners, are welcome, and lessons can be provided. Rides are only during the “cool” hours like early morning or between 4 and 6 p.m. For a 'one day trip' around Tanjung Aan (around 5 hours), lunch on the beach, siesta, horse bath, (swimming in one of the most beautiful beach of the area) the cost is 1.700.000 (around 130 €) all included (transportation for horses also). 400.000 IDR for one hour.
Most of the hotels and bungalows serve breakfast which is included in their room rates. Kuta beach area restaurants have many food options. Most of the restaurants serve Indonesian, European and international cuisine.
Full Moon One of the most popular eateries in town. It tends to be busy for lunch when it is a favourite with day trippers. Service can be slow when busy but the food is always good and the staff are great. Different seating areas are one of the things tn the area.hat make it special, with the main restaurant, the raised platform over the beach, brugaks with cushions and low tables or just tables and chairs on the beach. Very popular with expats in the area.
- Ashtari Cafe, Kuta (on the main road west of Kuta village, about 3 km uphill). Open from 08:30-18:00, no orders taken after 17:30. Closed on Mondays. On the hill with spectacular views of the south coast. You need transport to get there. Relax and enjoy the daily fresh menu. Delicious food. Vegetarian food. Under new management since April 2013.
- Bamboo Cafe (near the junction). Local food and fresh seafood. Still has waterfront views. Currently out of operation.
- Dwiki's Cuisine, Jl Raya Kuta-Mawun (150 m west of the junction), ☎ +62 819 16456423. 08:00-22:00. Serves a variety of european and asian cuisine. The owners have a love for good food and for their customers.Best pizzas in town, it a little over priced.
- Family Cafe (near the junction, next to Matahara Inn). 10:00-23:00. A large restaurant with an Indonesian menu and some western dishes. Serves cocktails as well.
- Ilalang Cafe, Kuta Beach (at the beach, on the eastern edge of town). Local food, especially fresh seafood.
- Lombok Lounge (near the junction, next to Matahara Inn). A reasonable restaurant with cheap prices. Indonesian menu and some western dishes.
- Stella Cafe. A simple cafe incorporated with a boutique gives you a different atmosphere, daily food menu, seafood on order.
- Warung Melati, Kuta (at the beach, on the eastern edge of town). Good Indonesian food in a real beach side warung.
- Cafe Cherry, a simple cafe offering Indonesian and western food, seafood on order including lobster and prawns.
- Ocean Life Cafe, a bamboo and wooden cafe, gives you a bit of option in the menu. Incorporates shop providing imported drink and wines.
- Bong's cafe, wood oven pizza and tacos for a different taste in the Kuta area.
- Purnama Cafe, a simple and enjoyable cafe.
- Cafe Seger, a skillful lady chef offers tasty Sasak food next to the beach with views of the sea, best fish in Kuta.
- Alang-Alang Cafe, cafe on the beach with beruga style seating in a small, open sitting area with grass roof.
- Warung Bule. A simple cozy place which faces the sea, although some distance in shore. Run by a local man, with a selection of Western and Sasak food. Ayam Taliwang and all the seafood is good.
- Warung Murah Meriah, run by a local couple.
- Magic Lounge Bar & Restaurant, Kuta Beach (turn left at the junction, just a few metres across from Lombok Lounge), ☎ +62 370 653985. 07:00-23:30PM. Western and Indonesian cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere.One of several bars in town that now serve Illy coffee for cappuccino and espresso, also choices of tea. Internet cafe & free WiFi but beware of viruses here. Provided and an onsite generator to assist with the frequent power outages.
- Solah Bar and Restaurant, Jl Pantain (on the beach, at the eastern edge of the town). 12:00-23:00. Large, friendly, with candlelit tables both inside and outside for dining, bean bags for lounging, billiards, and a big TV screen. Sasak, Indonesian and International food with a bar/drink menu. 10% of your bill supports the 'Solah Foundation' which teaches English to the locals, and sponsors disadvantaged kids to go to school. Sold in early 2013 - check charity status re Solah foundation. But good Mexican food.
- Warung Java II (turn right after the roundabout when coming into Kuta). Delicious local food. Very friendly staff. Even the "hawkers" are quite fun when you go there regularly. Popular place for expats and surfers. Always a bit crowded late afternoon. Probably the cheapest food in Kuta. Shakes also very cheap (Rp 7,000,-). Rp 10,000-20,000.
- Nuggets Corner (near crossroads just before Kuta Steakhouse). Great value restaurant serving local-style food and chicken nuggets.
- Kuta Steak House, near crossroads. Good place for steaks and burgers. Also has satellite TV with sports channels.
- Warung Jawa 2. Good cheap local food and fruit juices such as Avocado for Rp7,000.
- Riviera Cafe, Kuta (opposite Matahari Inn). Local cuisine, good quality sea food and beverages offered with live acoustic music every Wednesday night.
- Shore Bar & Restaurant, Kuta (at the beach, on the eastern edge of town). This beach bar is probably the only place that boosts somewhat of a night life in Kuta. Cold beers and cocktails. A local rock band playing covers will entertain you on a Saturday night, other nights disco DJ show. Happy hour from 4PM-7PM. Also serves lunch and dinner. BBQ fish and any kind of seafood.
- De Guru, Kuta (between Surfers Inn and Tastura Hotel). Local surfers meet here so it's a good place to have a cold bintang and get some information about the local surf scene.
- Ocean Bar, Inside Gerupuk (next to Inside Gerupuk break). 8am - sunset. Floating bar at Inside Gerupuk, good place to have a cold drink in between surfs or chill while watching other people surf. Also serves fruit platters and basic food
- The Gecko Lounge and Bar (50 m from main intersection). A work still in progress. Good food and cocktails with a selection of local and imported beers, free WiFi. Specialises in wood-fired pizza.
The village of Kuta provides all the basic necessities for a traveler, such as toiletries, tropical clothing, souvenirs, fruits and bottled water. You can buy some medical supplies and antibotics in Warung Kita and Warung Virgin, Diapet is a local medicine for Bali Belly which you are advised to try before taking a trip to the overcharged clinic. Warung Jabar in Kuta village can process photos.
There are now 5 ATMs in Kuta. They are well lit at night, but use caution if withdrawing cash after all the shops close and you've had a few beers. If you are paying per transaction fees the best place to withdraw money is the CIMB ATM located at Novotel reception where the maximum withdrawal is Rp3,000,000. the ATM at Warung Virgin has a maximum withdrawal of Rp1,000,000, The one at Tastura Rp1,250,000 and Sekar Kunning aka Yellow Flower Rp1,500,000. There is also an ATM inside the premises at Segara Anak Bungalows.
- Shore Thing Fishing Trips, Mimpi Manis, Kuta (2 km north of Kuta), ☎ +62 818 369950. Fishing trips in traditional prahu with outboard motor. Trolling, jigging, popping and bottom fishing. Includes English speaking fisherman/guide, experienced captain, all fishing equipment, drink, snack, life jacket and pick up drop off to your Kuta Hotel. Packages also available from Senggigi.
- Massage on the Hill (Massage), Rangkap 1 - Jalan By Pass, ☎ + 62 0370 704 46 05, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9AM to 18PM. Professional therapist educated at Bisa Scholl (Bali). Organic oil only - 1h30 treatment. Appointment only. 250.000 IDR.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Kuta (Lombok) on Wikivoyage.