Before we start talking about the majestic Belongas Bay, just scroll down to the map and imagine what it would feel like to sit in a comfortable chair near the ocean and watch the sun go down under the moonlight. Sounds pretty great, right? Lombok is one of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world, no doubt there.
Now, even though it’s not as famous and trendy as its neighbor – Bali – it still is quite an important part of Indonesia and its tourist program. Every single year, it attracts tens of thousands of people and most of them fall in love with it. Waterfalls and temples are the main attraction of Lombok, that’s a well-known fact. Today you’ll learn that bays can also be all kinds of awesome.
Please don’t be confused by the different spellings of this place. Some maps like to call it “Blongas Bay”, without the “e” after the “B”, or even “Teluk Belongas.” It doesn’t really matter how you call it, because it will still be an amazing bay where you can relax and have some fun. The beach is lovely, no doubt about that.
And, because it’s located pretty far from the center of Lombok, getting there will be another big, exciting adventure. I would really recommend visiting the Belongas Bay with your friends, because that way, you’ll get to enjoy it the most. The views from the beach are breath-taking and worth a million words. Don’t forget your camera for dozens of selfies!
Learning More About The Belongas Bay
From afar, this place looks like a painting by one of the legendary masters. Everything is perfect: the water is calm and crystal-clear; the beach is covered in white sand and helps your tired feet relax; the sky is always clear and sunny; the centuries-old hills protect the beach from the forces of evil. I’m happy to say that every single detail will be just right once you step foot into the Belongas Bay.
For tourism, this is one of the finest tourist destinations in Lombok. It’s not only beautiful but also comfortable. True, it’s not the closest spot, but, say, the Senggigi Beach is also miles away from the airport, and it’s still loved and cherished by numerous foreigners from all around the globe.
As mentioned earlier, the waves are relatively calm which means the fans of surfing won’t find it particularly attractive. At the same time, the swimmers and the snorkels will definitely appreciate the clear and warm water. The palm-trees are mainly located on the small hills. If you’re trying to escape the sun, climb one of those hills and enjoy the shades.
Most people that want to be alone with themselves hide under these trees with their books or phones. The atmosphere at the beach is amazing. People are minding their own business, having a good time with their families. They are all friendly and will help you out with directions.
What Is There To Do At The Belongas Bay
I just said that the Belongas Bay is great for snorkeling, and that’s true, but it’s actually even better for diving. That is exactly why the majority of folks that visit this place are professionals and use the ocean as their training ground. If you’re a fan of this water activity as well, prepare to be amazed by the coral reefs and multiple species of fish down there.
Tracking is another fun activity for the physically strong tourists. Don’t do it because it sounds cool: do it because you want to and because you’ve got enough stamina. I’ve been a fan of walking and running for a very long time and had a wonderful experience climbing those hills and simply walking up and down the beach.
By the way, did you know that the Belongas Bay is also famous for the pearls? As a matter of fact, it’s one of the biggest centers of pearl cultivation on the island and the locals are busy cultivating them 24/7. According to some of my friends in Lombok, Japan is the major importer of these goods. If fishing is your passion, try to sit the morning out and only get your rood in the afternoon.
The fishermen of the Belongas Bay gather around during the afternoon-evening period because that’s when business is booming. You are more than welcome to join them and learn a trick or two from the hard-boiled and experienced masters of fishing.
Some General Tips For The Beginners
Here’s the deal with the Belongas Bay: since it’s pretty much the only landmark in the area, you’ll have to walk for half-an-hour if not longer to reach the closest tourist spots. So, take that into consideration and don’t rush anything. Treat this bay like the one and only stop on your trip and try to enjoy it as much as you can. I promise you won’t be disappointed and/or bored with it.
But what about food and drinks, you might ask? Don’t worry: the locals know this place better than anyone else and have food stalls along the coast. They sell cheap-yet-tasty snacks and cold drinks that will be perfect for keeping you “alive” for the rest of the day.
And while there aren’t as many hotels/guest houses there as at the other popular beaches/bays, you’ll still find a place to crash not far from the Belongas Bay. If you want to see how the locals handle pearl cultivation, it would be best to visit the place during the working days. If you’re staying somewhere far away, it would be wise to leave the bay before the sun sets.
That way, you’ll have enough time to get back to your hotel room and still have something to eat at one of the local restaurants. In order to protect your sensitive skin from the sun (yes, it burns), grab a decent sunblock/sun cream, a regular hat, and maybe even a pair of sunglasses.
Summing Up – My Verdict
Riding on a boat is another fun thing to do at the Belongas Bay. Unfortunately, there aren’t many passenger boats in the area and you’ll have to rent one. The road to the bay is steep and even a bit dangerous; so, don’t try to drive all the way up to the beach on your car – park it somewhere near the local houses, not a parking spot.
Along the coast, you’ll find several tiny islands that you can get to on that rented boat. The bay itself is perfect for having a picnic. This isn’t a particularly developed part of Lombok and the people here have been living the same way for decades, if not hundreds of years. If you’re not satisfied with the poor choice of accommodations, try reaching Kuta.
It’s pretty far from the Belongas Bay, but renting a room there and traveling to the bay for the beautiful beach could very well work. Sekotong is much closer and also has some options for you. For me, it is the golden middle. So, summing up, let me say that for divers, the bay is wonderful. It is home to numerous marine creatures and will be fascinating even for the experienced folks.
Along with regular fish, you’ll also find hammerheads and stingrays. The loners and the fans of calm, peaceful beaches will, in turn, appreciate the amazing vibes that the majestic ocean and the white sand will send their way.
How To Find The Belongas Bay
Alright, now let’s see how we can get to our destination. Thankfully, it’s not that far away from the airport: only 1 hour and 15 minutes away, give or take. It will depend on the traffic, of course. If you want to drive along the coast, choose the Jl. Bypass Bandara Int. route. As for the quickest and most straightforward route, it lies through Jl. Bypass Bandara Int.
From Kuta, the path will take you 1 hour and 30 minutes (yes, longer than from the airport). And while the roads are pretty solid most of the way, it does get bumpy and quite challenging as soon as you approach the Belongas Bay. Keep that in mind and prepare to walk for at least 10-15 minutes.
Hiring a taxi driver seems like the most reasonable thing to do in this situation. Or, if you’ve got the energy and time, rent a vehicle and ride through the beautiful nature of Lombok. The route from Mataram to our destination is only 46 kilometers long and you’ll actually be able to get to the bay in approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.
And finally, if you arrive on a boat from Bali and land somewhere at, say, the Tembowong Harbor, you’ll still need to drive for +/- an hour. The best time to visit the Belongas Bay is the 8:00 am-5:00 pm period – that’s when it looks best.