WHERE ARE WE GOING?
Today we are diving in Lombok, from Kuta, which is down in South Lombok, in Indonesia!
HOW DO WE GET THERE?
Direct flights to Lombok Praya International airport are easy to come by. If arriving to Indonesia via Bali (Denpasar) the flight from Bali to Lombok is 25 min and costs around 23 Euros return. Getting from the Airport to Kuta Lombok is an easy 20 min taxi journey which normally costs 100.000 IDR
WHY ARE WE DIVING IN LOMBOK (KUTA)?
Scuba in Lombok historically has been only known for diving in and around the Gili Islands (Trawangan/Meno/Air). Check out our Guide to Diving in Gili Air.
The South Coast has some diving but due to the big Indian Ocean, the diving can be subjected to surge from the swell. Surface conditions are not always predictable.
However, a new dive shop has opened in Kuta Lombok providing day trips over to the Alas Strait which is in between Lombok and Sumbawa islands. This is the East coast of Lombok. The area is already known for its pink beaches and great snorkeling and has now opened up to some new discoveries in an untouched area.
The corals are healthy and super colorful. Tunas can be seen on most dive sites along with reef sharks and Mobula rays. If you are into photography for macro or topography this is a one-stop destination. The town itself is up and coming and has many choices of restaurants and accommodation for all budgets.
LOMBOK DIVE SITES
Deep topography dive with a chance of schooling tunas. There is a stunning swim-through and is located either side of a wall dropping down to 90m. Healthy corals and loads of marine biodiversity.
Coralgarden and Half Way House.
Beautiful corals, considered to be equal than that in Komodo, this area has world-class corals. Both dive sites join onto each other with Coralgarden being more of a gentle slope leading onto Half Way House which overhangs at 18 meters. Both drop-down to 90m further out from the reef. Schooling tunas and Mobula rays are often seen and for the macro enthusiasts, you have giant and painted/warty frogfish with all the shrimps and crabs thrown in for good measure. Sometimes when the current is on you can drift 1km from Coralgarden to Gamechanger. With the right conditions, this is fantastic for all levels of divers.
Jimmy’s Wall and Eagle Rock
Both are located around the corner from Gamechanger and are open to the Indian ocean being South facing. Some small surge is expected. Amazing corals in the shallows that extend to the walls. Jimmy’s Wall has two other dive sites connecting to it. One being Bommyland, which has big seamounts with glassfish and lobsters. Then away from the walls is a beach under the water called Bikini Bottom.
Bikini Bottom is great for training in the shallow sandy areas. Around the corner from the walls is a stand-alone island called Batupilar, there are a couple of sea eagles living in the top jungle so we called it Eagle Rock. Close to where the swell breaks on the small island the ocean has carved the sides creating beautiful topography with shallow overhangs, arches and boulders. The plateau leading out from the island base is 14m and then to the South, it drops down a wall to 35m. This area is great for macro hunters after the harlequin and bumblebee shrimp.
Nusa Tiga (22m) and CumiCumi (14m) are shallow dive sites with beautiful soft and hard corals in the shallows. Nusa Tiga has a rubbled bottom and CumiCumi has a sandy bottom. Both are for great for the concerned macro hunter or someone looking to witness the Blue Ring octopus or even the Wonderpus octopus.
Les Arches/Marsha Wall and Mantahari, are excellent dive sites in West Sumbawa. Accessible by a 35min speed boat with Blue Marlin Dive. Adventure diving with topography, fish and again amazing corals.
TELL ME MORE
The dive sites are in a pretty remote area of East Lombok. In order to get to the jetty in the mangroves, you have to go on a 50-minute adventure drive through the local villages and rice fields. The diving itself is just 30 min from the Jetty with the wooden boat, passing by local fishing islands and pearl farms amongst desolated white sand beaches. The Sumbawa dive sites are 35 min away by speed boat. It’s a full day trip with a snack after the first dive and lunch after the second. Hot water for tea and coffee with cookies and fruit served later.
DO I NEED ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT?
The corals are in good health as the average water temperature is around 27°c. It can drop to 20°c in the Summer (July-Nov) but then averages at around 25°C and the water is relatively warm in the wet season (Dec-May).
A full-length wet suit (3mm) is provided with open heel fins and booties. BCD, Regulator, and Mask is also included in the price. A complimentary torch is available on request for divers looking to explore the nooks and crannies. A dive computer is available for rent at a small charge if not used by students.
WHAT LEVEL CERTIFICATION SHOULD I BE?
The dive sites discovered by Blue Marlin Dive Kuta Lombok will provide beginner divers with the skills necessary to dive anywhere in the world.
Variable ocean conditions with swell, current, surge, waves and wind makes a great Divemaster course and even better Advanced course.
For beginner divers, we have bays and shallow reefs that are perfect for introduction diving and even snorkeling.
Some dive sites are definitely for experienced advanced divers only. Overhead environments, current and steep walls make for some world-class diving at its best.
WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS?
The reef systems rely on cool water in order to live and thrive, and the Indian Ocean in the south makes sure of this. As the dive sites are located in the strait between Lombok and Sumbawa, some current is expected. Visibility fluctuates with the moon phase and lower visibility can flush away with the change in tide. Dive sites are always chosen on the day based on ocean conditions and customer experience/certification.
HOW MUCH WILL I SPEND?
Fun diving in Lombok, Kuta, runs in at 1,900,000 IDR for 2 dives and 2,200,000 for 3 dives.
Adventures looking to go over to Sumbawa will incur a small fuel surcharge to cover the distance.
The PADI courses run-in at the same price as in The Gili Islands. 5,900,000 IDR for OW, 5,000,000 IDR for the AOW.
If you are a certified dive Pro you can receive a 5% discount off the fun dives. Another 5% can be gifted if you bring a full set of personal gear.
WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION IS AVAILABLE?
Kuta Lombok has a wide range of accommodation for variable budgets. Private pool villas, hotel suites, hostels, and homestays are readily available. The cheapest coming in at around 100,000 IDR (Fan and cold water), Mid-range comforts at around 250,000 IDR (AC and hot water) and boutique hotels are around 1,200,000 IDR.
WHERE DID YOU STAY?
Jivana Hotel Resort located next to Rascals Resort both offers very similar rooms for rent with great food options and close proximity to Kuta’s amenities. Rascals come in at 1,200,000 a night. ’S Hotel’ where other divers were staying was a lot cheaper running in at 200,000 a night.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
The diving in Lombok, and more specifically, on the East side is truly magical. After visiting Komodo I can say that the dive sites recently discovered are comparable in terms of quality and quantity of hard and soft corals.
The guides are knowledgeable about the marine life and their attitude to work ethic shows in the lifestyle they have chosen to lead. Kuta Lombok is a great hub for the diving experience, with plenty of food and accommodation options.
WHAT DO WE DO ON SURFACE INTERVALS?
Kuta Lombok is actually a surfing town. This means beaches! There are amazing white sand beaches scattered along the south coastline and it is not hard to find your own magical space on a beach. The topography caused by the volcano Rinjani has made a rugged coastline worth exploring.
A short trip to the base of Rinjani brings you to the mountain village of Tete Batu which is basically like Bali Ubud 20 years ago. For the more adventurous, the option of trekking up to the summit of Rinjani is there, or not.
As Kuta is a surfing town it is not hard to find healthy food options alongside a drink of kombucha with surf and yoga retreats. There are loads of boutique retail stores to keep you occupied in the latest imported Australian beach fashion.