If you’ve toured around Indonesia, you’ve no doubt visited the famous pink beach on Komodo Island. But did you know that there’s a second pink sand beach in Lombok? It’s in a sparsely-populated village which is well off the beaten trail, and you might just end up with the whole beach to yourself!
We’ve visited this beach quite a few times. It’s a secluded spot with very calm, turquoise-blue waters, a stunning rocky border and, of course, that gorgeous pink sand.
We love it, and we want you to love it too! The location is quite remote, so over the next few minutes we’d like to explain why the trek there is most definitely worth it.
Where is Lombok’s Pink Beach?
Lombok is an island in Indonesia, famous for its giant active volcano Mount Rinjani (or ‘Gunung Rinjani’). Lombok is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands, of which its nearest neighbour is the famous Island of Bali.
On Lombok Island you’ll find the culture is heavily influenced by the neighbouring island of Bali. Like the Balinese, the Lombok people are predominantly Muslim – inheriting their religion from the original settlers of Lombok, who were known as the Sasak.
Pink Beach (Pantai Tangsi) sits at the edge of a tiny fishing village called Sekaroh in the district of Jerowaru on the Ekas Peninsula, an extremely remote area of Lombok’s east coast.
Visitors to Pink Beach generally come from Mataram, the provincial capital city, or from Kuta, a former fishing village but now a thriving tourism centre. If you’re planning to stay in the area, we really recommend staying in Kuta. It’s closer to the Pink Beach and there are more bars and restaurants in the immediate area, especially if you stay around Pariwisata Street. By the way, if you’re planning a longer stay in Indonesia, then check out our guide which might give you some interesting ideas.
[Update for 2020: They say that hidden gems don’t stay hidden for long. A recent traveller has told us that there are now quite a few people visiting Pink Beach. If you want to catch it whilst it’s still mostly unspoiled, you should book soon!]
Why is the Sand Pink?
The pink colour comes from the reef, which is a local dive spot. The reef is a pinky-reddish colour, and small parts of it fall off and get swept onto the beach. The waves erode the tiny shards and blend them into the sand, resulting in a gorgeous pink beach which contrasts beautifully with the turquoise sea. To really appreciate the colour scheme (and get the best Instagram shots!), make sure you’re there at the ‘golden hours’ of 10:00am and 4:00pm.
How to get to Pink Beach, Lombok
The journey from Kuta is 55 kilometres and will take you between 1.5 and 2 hours by road. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hire a motorbike or a car and make the journey yourself: we paid 55,000 Rupiah each (about £3) for a pair of scooters last time we took the trip, which seemed a fair price! The drive to the beach is photogenically stunning. You’ll pass mile after mile of lush green rice fields and locals drying sweetcorn by the side of the road, surrounded by chickens and cows. We had to brake quite sharply once to avoid a group of goats that had decided to hold their morning meeting in the middle of the road.
If you’d rather pay someone else to do all the work, you can rent a car with a driver for about 500,000 Rupiah a day (about £27). The benefit here is that the drivers all have local knowledge, and they’ll suggest some interesting places to stop along the way. Although some of the roads have recently been resurfaced, the last 10 km is still pretty bumpy – so from personal experience, we recommend you don’t try to drink coffee in the car!
Although we haven’t tried this (yet), we’ve spoken to a fellow traveller who made the trip earlier this year with her friend. They hired a boat with two boatmen, snorkelling equipment and life jackets for an all-in price of 550,000 Rupiah for the day. She told us the experience of the trip itself was quite invigorating, and they stopped off at some cool locations along the way, including a floating eating spot where the chef catches whatever you order and cooks it right in front of you!
What to Do at Pink Beach, Lombok
Stay on the Beach
Before you can get to the actual beach, you’ll have to pay an entry fee. This is between 25 and 50,000 Rupiah (£1.50 and £3), depending on who’s ‘collecting’ that day. The entrance fee is supposed to go towards beach maintenance, but we were fairly confident it was going towards the fee collector’s beer fund. Ah well; live and let live!
As we’ve said, Pink Beach is very rural – there are no tourist shops or chains of air-conditioned restaurants. The facilities are very basic, but you know you’re getting a glimpse of the ‘real’ Indonesia. If you’re hungry, just visit one of the bamboo warungs – small family-run kiosks selling fresh coconuts and street food. And if you want a sun-lounger here you’ll be out of luck: a hammock slung lazily between a pair of convenient trees is the way the locals do it.
The stillness of the water here makes Pink Beach and the surrounding area a great place for snorkelling and diving. There are plenty of locals who run dive tours from the beach, taking small parties of friends or couples to explore the corals and tropical fish. A favourite trip is to visit a group of tiny islands known as Gili Petelu (gili: small, petelu: three) about 10 minutes away by boat. The tours also include a visit to Gili Pasir – a deserted island that only appears during low tide and is home to hundreds of starfish.
Hike the Volcano
If you’re up for the challenge, a hike up the steep volcanic peaks of Mount Rinjani results in absolutely breathtaking views of the Segara Anak Crater Lake located right at the top. It’s like viewing a volcano within a volcano. We (almost) all agree that it’s the most beautiful mountain in all of Indonesia. The hike takes a minimum of two days, although most people prefer the slightly-less frantic three-day trek.
Although it is possible to make this trip yourself, we strongly recommend you book a tour with an experienced guide. Most recently, two of us used Ali Trekking for a private 3-day, 2-night Mount Rinjani tour, which gave us a guide and two porters for £230 each. We ended up spending a bit more because we tipped the porters quite well – they made carrying 40kg each look easy, and they negotiated the uneven terrain wearing only flip-flops. Those guys are amazing!
For those who don’t fancy a hike, you can drive the spectacular saddle road between Mount Rinjani and a smaller volcano to the east. You can hire a 4×4 or go with a guide, but we wouldn’t recommend a normal hire car as the road can be very uneven. You’ll get good views of the mountain as you drive upwards, but the best views are from the top – looking into the deep canyon that leads to the north coast. Expect this trip to last the best part of a day.
Stay at the Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp
If you’re planning a stay in the area, why not set aside one day for living a life of luxury? We don’t earn any commission for mentioning this place, but two friends spent a night here last year and they absolutely loved it! The Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp has its own private, secluded beach and you stay in berugas – individual indoor-outdoor constructions based on traditional Sasak fishermen’s dwellings. An entire holiday here might be a bit pricey, but one night is definitely worth it.
A Final Word
As we said right at the start, you can experience a pink sand beach on Komodo Island, and even see a few dragons whilst you’re there. But few people make the journey to Pink Beach in Lombok, and we think that’s a shame! We’ve been travelling around Indonesia for some years now, and it’s rare for us to find a place that we all want to go back to. Pink Beach is an exception, and we strongly urge you to set aside some time to visit. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed, and it just might turn out to be the highlight of your trip.
Making plans to visit Bali? We’ve put together some helpful guides which we think will help! Click the links for more information.