FIRST TRIP TO INDO?
If it's your first trip to Indonesia, or even your first trip overseas, then BALI is best for a great variety of things to see and do, with a level of comfort and ease that is harder to find in the outer islands. For decades Bali has been voted "World’s Best Holiday Island" for backpackers, families and now also luxury 5-Star travel enthusiasts.
Bali offers you great hotels on any budget, from $20 to $2,000 a night, good food from $2 a meal to $25, easy transport to the surf, exciting cultural sightseeing, adventure sports, and cheap shopping for when the surf is flat. Bali has it all made easy!
If your total budget is closer to $50 a day than $1,000, then Indonesia is ideal for you. "Losmen" home-stay hotels have private rooms from $20 to $30 a night. "Warung" meals cost from $4 to $10. Transport is cheap with motorbike rentals from $10 a day. You can even get by on total $30 a day, although $50 is more comfortable. If you’ve got $100 a day then you’ll be styling! Most surf beaches in Bali have losmen close by. So Bali gets the vote for first trip!
See our full recommended Hotels & Surf Camps section on Page 142, with options all over the Indonesian islands for every budget level.
2nd TRIP TO INDO
You've been to Bali, loved it, but are ready for the next adventure. Assuming surf is your first priority, then maybe go to Bali again, but add a 7 to 10 day yacht trip. Dreamweaver, Moggy, Cruisecatline and Sri Noa Noa leave Bali to Nusa Lembongan, Lombok and Sumbawa, surfing a wide range of waves from fun Playgrounds and YoYos to hollow Desert Point, often claimed "The Best Wave in the World".
10th TRIP TO INDO
You already know and love Indo, but are looking for more unique experiences off the beaten track. If you're a competent surfer and have already done The Essentials of G-LAND and the MENTAWAIS first, then maybe explore east to Timor and island hop from Rote to Sumba. Or check the Banyak islands north of Nias. Or try the south or north Sumatra mainland. Or even go exploring for "off-season" waves in Indonesia's Pacific from Halmahera to Morotai. Get a 60 day visa in advance for these longer trips, and be prepared for a lot more than just another surf adventure. Get out there!
BEST HONEYMOON & FAMILY
Once again BALI is best. Comfort and a bit of luxury at great
value prices. Beachfront 4-star resorts are about $100 a double. For surfers we can recommend Discovery Kartika Plaza and Poppies Cottages Kuta; Uluwatu Surf Villas: Blue Point Villas Uluwatu; Puri Raja Hotel Legian; Tugu Canggu; Playgrounds Lembongan, Lembongan Beach Villas; and in the Mentawais - Aloita, Macaronis, HT's, Togat Nusa, Kandui Villas and Wave Park resorts.
LEAST CROWDED ?
Finding a groovy beach villa with uncrowded waves is getting harder, and isn't cheap any more, but check these first: Moro Ma Doto, Sumba Surf Camp, Banyak Surf Bungalows, Cimaja Point West Java, Aloita Mentawai, Resort Latitude Zero, Aura Simeulue, Kandui Villas. Best bet is “off season” Macaronis Resort - perfect, uncrowded 3 to 5 foot.
YOUR SURF ABILITY?
A major thing to consider is your surfing ability. What kind of waves do you really want to experience in Indonesia? Relaxing beachbreaks or life-threatening tube rides? Of course if the swell hits 10 feet everywhere will be challenging, but the breaks listed below are less hollow and dangerous most of the time:
LEARNING TO SURF
Kuta and Legian in Bali are best for first time beginners.
Five kilometres of sandy beachbreaks, surfboard rentals and
surf schools, beachfront hotels and cafes. The best schools are
Pro Surf Kuta, and Rip Curl Legian. Most other spots in Indonesia are too dangerous for learning, breaking over sharp coral reefs, except for Bali's Dreamland, and West Java's Batu Karas.
The six Kima Surf Camps are very popular with learners and intermediate surfers who want to experience the surfing lifestyle for a week or two, sharing surf trips and fun evenings with young European surfing enthusiasts. Kima Surf has six camps in Bali for all levels of experience - www.kimasurf.com, Ph: 0361 736 737
If you're becoming a relatively competent surfer, or maybe don't surf as often as you used to, aren't in peak fitness, or would prefer to enjoy more relaxed cruisy sessions in the water, then these are the breaks for you, up to around head high or 6 feet:
Bali: See F.A.Q. page 159 for Bali's easier breaks. Or let Bali Surfing Tours show you all the spots: www.bali-surfing.com.
Lombok: Grupuk, Mawi and Ekas are great fun reef breaks.
Nusa Lembongan: Playgrounds is just 2 hours from Bali.
Batu Karas, West Java: Gentle sandy point, fun for longboards or learners. Best January to June. Stay at Java Cove Hotel: www.javacove.net, or Sunrise Resort: www.sunrisebatukaras.com
Cimaja, West Java: Nice right hand point, not too hollow. Stay right at Cimaja Point, or 5 minutes walk Pondok Kencana Resort.
Kerewei Point, Sumba: A super fun long righthander
Nemberala, Roti: Long left reef break. "A softer G-Land"
Sumbawa: Nungas is a slower left. Lakey Peak a fun left tube
Krui: Sumatra's Longest Left. Check Freeline and Damai.
You're keen to push yourself into bigger waves, hollower tubes. Time to score the best waves of your life! Here's our pick:
MENTAWAIS: Awesome variety of "The World's Best" waves. On a 10 day yacht trip you'll see dozens of breaks, and probably catch the most memorable rides of your life. #1 pick for sure! Head for Kandui, HT's, Telescopes, Bankvaults - it's all good!
Panaitan Island: Hollowest lefts and rights on the planet. No crowds.
G-Land: Goofy heaven. Consistently overhead all year. Legendary.
Lombok: Desert Point. Longest fastest tubes on Earth! But crowded.
Nias: Nirvana for natural footers. 10 second tube rides possible.
Sumba: Nihiwatu is Indo's least crowded world-class left $$$
Bali: Padang-Padang is the double barrelled Indo Pipeline.
Anywhere, Anytime: Every break can be world-class on its day! With a 10 foot swell, even the beachbreak at Halfway Kuta will give you tube rides to remember. Pull in and don't look back!