The Best Place to Experience Mandalika
Many people who have visited Lombok will agree that this island is one of the best tourist destinations in Indonesia. The lush hills, white sands, and stunning ocean views are attracting people all of the worlds and one of the best attraction of this island is Mandalika.
Located in the Central Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara, Mandalika is a coastal resort in Indonesia designated as a special economic zone. This long and wide sand beach facing the glistening ocean with lush green hills was once secret heaven for surfers. However, the beauty of the coast has now become a well-known secret and it has become one of the most visited destinations in Lombok.
This special place boasts its stunning and vibrant nightclubs, bars, waterparks, luxurious hotels and resorts, spas, and even has its own racing circuits which are planned to host the MotoGP race in 2021. Its scenic landscape combined with a relaxed atmosphere makes this panoramic region a perfect destination for a vacation.
If you are planning to visit this beautiful coast, here are some of the best destination you shouldn’t be missed:
1. Kotak Cave
Kotak means rectangular in English, and just as its name suggests, this cave really is square. This unique shape makes this cave popular among tourists. Instead of an irregular-shaped tunnel, this cave offers rectangular-tunnel with neither stalagmite nor stalactite on its wall. At the end of the tunnel, you will be welcomed by a vast ocean view.
In the past, this cave was actually a high hill by the beach, however, people then dig a hole until it reaches the beach and creates an artificial cave as we know it today. From this cave, you can see the stunning view of the beaches below with the lush hills surrounding it.
2. Sade Traditional Village
Sade village is a traditional village of Sasak people in Lombok. Upon entering the village, you will be welcomed by the wonderful view of traditional houses made of bamboo and thatched roof. These traditional houses are not the only interesting things you can find here, in fact, there are plenty of activities and attractions you can do too here.
As you explore the village, you may see Sasak women weaving their traditional clothes called Songket. You can see yourself how complicated this traditional weaving process is and you can even buy the clothes they made!
If you are lucky, you can get the opportunity to watch their traditional dances as well, such as Petuk dance, which is performed by children, and Amaq Tempengus dance, which is basically a jester dance. If you love extreme shows, however, there is also the Peresean fight, which basically a fight between two people, armed with baton and cowhide shield. Of course, they’re just pretending to try to hurt each other, but watching how they fight is definitely thrilling.
To visit this village, you can hire a car from Mataram and take a 1.5-hour of ide to Pujut District.
3. Merese Hill
Merese Hill is also known as ‘love hills’ due to its romantic scenery, is one of the best places to visit here in Mandalika. In fact, many tourists fall in love with its stunning beauty. It is a series of lush green hills overlooking the ocean, creating a magnificent scenery and beautiful colour contrast between the green hills and the blue ocean.
This hill is also one of the best spots to watch the wonderful view of sunset in Lombok. Plenty of visitors go to this hill in the afternoon to catch this wonderful view and taking beautiful sunset pictures. With a wooden swing nearby, it creates a nice and relaxing atmosphere that anyone definitely will love.
Merese Hills is located in Central Lombok, or right next to Tanjung Aan beach. It is really easy to access this beautiful hill, and only around 2 hours from the Mataram city or 1-hour drive from Lombok Airport. The roads are well-built and you only need to walk a little after parking your ride to reach the top of the hill.
4. Ende Village
In addition to the Sade Village, Ende is also a traditional village you can find here near Mandalika. This is also a great place to go for you who wish to see how traditional Sasak people live daily with their lack of modern technology.
Their traditional houses are made of reeds and bamboo with floors made of soil mixed with cow dung. Just like how Sasak people in Sade Village leave, people here in Ende also farming and weaving in their everyday life.
Here in Ende, visitors can learn how to weave traditional Lombok clothes called Songket, or simply exploring the village and learn how they live their life with no technology to rely on. When you’re lucky, you can get the opportunity to watch their unique marriage processes.
5. Kuta Beach Mandalika
If you ever visit Bali, you may have heard about the famous Kuta Beach in Bali. Although it has a similar name, Kuta Beach Mandalika is a completely different place. This Kuta Beach is characterized by the blue sea, lush green hills, and the white soft sands. With a beach that stretches up to 7.2 kilometers, you can enjoy the vast view of the beach and have plenty of room to relax at the beach undisturbed.
The pristine and clear sea waters make you easily look into the underwater scenery, making it a great place to swim. This beach is now specially managed into a tourist area and one of the most loved destinations here in Lombok. Therefore, it is easy to find watersport facilities here including banana boat, windsurfer, and jet ski.
If you want to see the beach from above, you can head to the nearby hill. On top of the hill, you can see the beach clearly with its crystal clear water. In fact, it is so clear that you can see the reefs as well.
To get to this beach, you will need to take a ride for about 90 minutes. You can either rent a car or join a tour since public transportation usually does not operate after 15:00. If you choose to take public transportation instead and miss the last ride back to Mataram, your option would be staying the night or call a taxi, which can be really expensive.
6. Tanjung Aan Beach
Another famous beach around the area is the Tanjung Aan Beach, a similarly stunning that you shouldn’t be missed. Upon arriving at the beach, you will be welcomed with the clear turquoise sea water and soft white sand. This beach looks like a private pool from afar due to the low lush green hills surrounding the area, making it a unique yet stunning scenery.
This beach is relatively quieter and there are more foreign tourists than the local one. However, this perhaps will not last for too long since the President has formally announced the town as the Special Economic Zone and the area becomes increasingly famous now.
The stunning untouched beach becomes the very reason why tourists visiting this place. The long beach stretches and relaxing atmosphere makes this beach perfect for sunbathing, surfing, and snorkeling. There are also some great spots here where you can take an Instagram-worthy picture.
Don’t worry about being thirsty or hungry here, since there are food stalls available on the beach. You can also buy some souvenirs here such as traditional Lombok clothes.
Tanjung Aan is around 62km from Mataram and 24km from Lombok International Airport. However, the roads leading to this beach is smooth and really good.
7. Seger Beach
If you are looking for an impressive landscape here in Lombok, then try visiting Seger Beach. Despite being small in size, the unique landscape combined with the stunning beauty creates a wonderful view that you shouldn’t be missed. Added with the quiet and relaxing atmosphere, Seger Beach is definitely the best spot to refresh yourself away from the bustling city life.
In addition to the wonderful landscape, this beach also has a great underwater view, makes it a great place to snorkel in Lombok. In fact, you can also do plenty of other beach activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and also surfing. Some parts of the beach have calm waves, which are great for swimming and snorkeling, while other parts are quite challenging for surfing.
Seger Beach is located only around 2 kilometers from Kuta Beach and it is easy to get there as the location is not really hidden. There are also signs that will lead you to this wonderful beach.
8. Gerupuk Beach
If you consider yourself a surfer, then you should definitely visit Gerupuk Beach when you are in Lombok Island. That is because there are plenty of wonderful surfing spots here in Gerupuk, such as Batu Teong, Prii, Giligoleng, Batu Lawang, and Terasaq. Its challenging waves are even recognized internationally by surfers around the world.
Just like plenty of other beaches in the area, Gerupuk Beach is also surrounded by lush green hills. Some of the hills are even high enough with a quite rough track to reach the top. Challenge yourself to hike this track to the top of the hill and be rewarded with the wonderful view of Gerupuk Beach. As an added bonus, you can view the stunning sunset too, which even more amazing seen from the hill.
When you want to explore other areas, you can walk to the nearby village where you will find local cafes that offer traditional foods. Some villagers’ houses here are also turned into homestays, in case you want to stay the night enjoying the tropical atmosphere.
Gerupuk Beach is located around 8km from Kuta Beach and 4km from Tanjung Aan. It is not hard to find this beach as the route is quite easy to follow and there are signs that will show you the way.
9. Serenting Beach
Next is Serenting Beach, a relatively quiet beach 51kmm from Mataram, right before you reach the more popular Seger Beach. Just like other beaches in this region, Serentinng Beach also offers a stunning landscape of clear blue seawater, soft white sand, and with lush green hills nearby.
The iconic landmark of this beach is Tengkong or Mushroom in the Indonesian language, which is a mushroom-shaped rock in the middle of the sea, making the view of this beach even more interesting. This beach has strong waves, perfect for surfing, but if you want a more relaxing activity, you can walk barefoot along the beach and feel the soft sand under your feet. You can also hike the nearby hills to watch the panoramic view of Serenting Beach from above.
There are plenty of tourists’ facilities available nearby, such as food stalls, toilets, small shops, and even homestays for those who want to stay the night. Since this beach is closely located to Seger Beach, many people usually stop by at this beach when the Bau Nyale festival was held, a traditional festival celebrating local legend.
Those are some of the best tourist destinations that should be on your list when you are planning to visit this beautiful region in Lombok. Don’t worry about looking for a place to stay, since there are plenty of places to stay in this region considering that the area has been dedicated as a tourists’ destination.
It is easy to reach this piece of heaven, as all you need to do is take a direct flight to Lombok International Airport. In fact, this airport is located an only 30-minute drive to Kuta Beach. Another option is by taking a ferry from Padang Bai Harbour in Bali to Lembar Harbour in Lombok. Once you arrive, then take a bus or taxi to take you to Mandalika which is 2-3 hours away.
Now you know how to get to Mandalika and the best destinations to visit while you are there. So, what else are you waiting for? Pack all your things and fly right away!