It’s no secret that surfing is one of the most thrilling and fun water activities. And Lombok, the picturesque Indonesian island, is perfect for that. It has dozens of beaches with both calm and steep waves that will equally please the big-time pros that have been around the globe and the beginners that are just starting out.
Many foreigners visit the island just to watch others surf and have a good time. Today we’ll talk about the Gerupuk Bay, one of the finest spots for this water sport. The ocean in that part of Lombok is very aggressive and you’ll instantly feel your heart beating faster once you face the humbling waves.
Without a doubt, the fans of water activities will find this place totally satisfying. The so-called “flying” waves have turned Gerupuk Bay into a center for surfing not only for Asia but also the entire world. Located in a village of the same name, it boasts a wonderful climate, friendly locals, and a beach that’s equally suited for loners and big, loving families.
And while it is mostly favored by the active folks that can’t imagine their lives without surfing, as mentioned earlier, you are more than welcome to hang out there, have a couple of cold drinks, and enjoy the amazing atmosphere. I’m not great at this sport – not even close – but still had one of the best times in Lombok while lying in the sand and chatting with my friends.
Learning Your Way Around The Gerupuk Bay
So, there are 5 spots for surfing in this bay, and they are all worth your while. Obviously, they all were named by the citizens of Lombok, but the foreigners call them differently. You’ve got Inside, Outside, Outside Left, Dondon, and Kids Point. Sounds pretty exciting, right? Every single spot is a huge challenge, even for the experienced and hard-boiled surfers.
The waves often reach a height of three meters, which is quite impressive. The entire bay looks like a million bucks, and that is why the sandy beach is always full of people (both locals and foreigners). As the elders in Lombok like to say, it’s a place where different destinies come together.
English, German, Swedish, and Australian folks have a sweet spot for the Gerupuk Bay and are known as the most frequent visitors. If you’re all about breath-taking views, find a relatively tiny hill on the east side of the “party” and climb to the very top. Once you’re there, the enchanting view will make you fall in love with the place.
Grab your camera and take pictures so that you can share them with your loved ones at home. Remember I mentioned the Gerupuk village earlier? Well, it’s full of tents, bungalows, and numerous hotels/guest houses, which means you won’t ever have a problem with renting a room.
Renting And Dining At The Bay
The entire place is covered with accommodations and cafes/restaurants/food stalls. Even some of the locals have turned their own houses into eating spots and guest houses for the tourists. I guess that’s a clear sign that this place is becoming more and more popular and Gerupuk Bay is always crowded (at least during the high season).
The women of the village are busy harvesting seaweed. They put it in big sacks and send to the neighboring islands (Bali, for example). OK, what about the men of the village? They are some of the finest fishermen on the island and are great at breeding fish. They have enough boats and will be happy to rent you one for surfing.
Or, if you’re not really a fan of that, just rent a boat to sail into the ocean and enjoy the view from there. The seaweed plantation is quite impressive, by the way. Make sure to visit it if you’ve got the time and energy. However, please keep in mind that it usually smells horrible. The locals will sell you a mask at one of the nearby stores.
Planning on getting a nice tan? Don’t forget to grab a sunscreen/sunblock and a pair of glasses to cover your skin. Many tourists think something like “I didn’t come to the Gerupuk Bay to cover my body – I want to get tanned”, but they clearly have no idea that sunburns can be quite nasty. So, always protect yourself!
What Is There To Do At The Gerupuk Bay
Along with the aforementioned cafes, restaurants, guest houses, hotels, and surf-shops, the bay also has a camp that is worth a visit, especially if you’re traveling with little kids. I bet they’ll love everything they see there. You can always rent a surfing board – no need to bring it with you. The famous Kuta beach is less than ten kilometers away.
As one of the biggest tourist magnets in Lombok, it’s almost always crowded. As I like to say all the time, don’t just stay in one place for weeks: go out there, see as much of the island as you can. The Gerupuk Bay Is amazing, no doubt about that, but, say, Kuta also has a lot to offer.
For me, a man who’s been to both spots more than once, the entire Central Lombok district feels like one spot. The cost of Gerupuk is where you’ll find the best restaurants and luxurious hotels. The views from there are magical, and the prices aren’t really that steep. Make sure to check them before landing on the island, though. The Tanjung Aan beach is 10 minutes away.
As always in Lombok, the locals are very friendly, and you’ll get a chance to learn more about the lives of the regular Sasak people. The boat captains will teach you a trick or two, while the surf instructors will show you the basics of surfing in just a couple of hours.
The Beauty Of A Coastal Village
The elite hotels might be a bit too expensive for the regular visitors, but if you’ve got some bucks to spare, you’ll definitely enjoy the delicious food, the gorgeous rooms, and the parking facilities. Hot water, AC, and a solid Internet connection will also be on the menu. Thankfully, even the mid-range hotels will cover everything I just mentioned but cost a lot less.
What’s the catch then? No catch! It’s just that people visit the Gerupuk Bay for the riveting view, and you might not get that from a more affordable hotel. Summing up, I want to say that this place has everything a man/woman could ever wish for.
The five surfing spots are more than enough to impress even the most experienced surfers. The food is delicious, and there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from. The bay is not that far away from the airport and the capital. Kuta is right there around the corner, and the atmosphere of a celebration never fades at the Gerupuk Bay.
So, stop whatever you’re doing, book a flight to Lombok, and enjoy the hot sand and the crystal-clear water of one of the majestic beaches. Oh, and did I mention that the views there are extraordinary because they are!
How To Find The Gerupuk Bay
From the Lombok Airport, the drive to the Gerupuk Bay will take you less than an hour. The road is ~30 kilometers long and lies through a beautiful land. Public transport leaves for the bay (or, rather, the Kuta village) on a regular basis. If you think that riding in a crowded bus is fun, then by all means, buy a ticket at the airport and hop on this journey.
But I’d rather rent a motorbike and drive along the coast on my own. It’s safe to say that no matter where you go in Lombok, the coastal areas are always great for some bike riding. Renting a car is also a popular choice. Just try to park it at one of the cafés, because there are no spots for that further into the bay.
Central Lombok is a well-developed district and the infrastructure is advanced. As I mentioned earlier, you’ll find a hotel/restaurant on every step of the way. Now, from Mataram, the big city, the ride will take you 1 hour 20-30 minutes. If that’s too long for you, hire a taxi driver. Even though Mataram is pretty far away, the fee won’t be that steep (at least for an American/European tourist).
The road is pretty straightforward and if you get lucky, traffic won’t get in your way. Again, driving in Lombok is an entirely different adventure, which is why I encourage you to skip the temptation to chill in the back seat and get behind that wheel.