Ekas Bay : Riding A New Wave Of Popularity
Once a refuge solely for the adventurous surfer, Ekas Bay has evolved into a well rounded beach destination for ultimate escapism. Tucked away in the far southeast corner, Ekas Bay is right up there with Lombok’s very best natural beauty spots. This is the island’s largest natural bay and a well known surfing destination. It has long been luring adventurous surfers to these parts with awesome waves and an incredibly laid back vibe but Ekas Bay is no one-dimensional surfer haven. There is a well established fishing community here, a series of eye catching beaches of sparkling white sands, and that carefree, back to basics beach lifestyle that we all crave once in a while.
Surfers first discovered the rich wave potential of Ekas Bay a couple of decades ago and it is still very much a go-to stop along the Bali-Lombok-Sumbawa surfer backpacker trail. Over the years a distinct surfer-friendly community has established itself catering to a steady stream of young travellers in search of the perfect wave. In quintessential Lombok style, it’s a tight knit, laid back surfer vibe that seamlessly co-exists with local life. A number of new cafes, homestays, resorts and dedicated surf camps have popped up in recent times catering to the seasonal surfer crowd.
The area boasts several good surf spots and in the bay itself offers two of the best – Inside Ekas and Outside Ekas. Both are quality waves for intermediate and advanced surfers with exceptional barrels in the right dry season conditions. There is also a milder section perfect for newbies with surf lessons available at a handful of resorts. Ekas Bay and the neighbouring ‘Southern Reefs’ are also making a name for themselves in the kite surfing world. Consistent winds roll in over fringing reefs providing top notch conditions for kite surfers here.
The huge waves attest to the area’s wild and rugged beauty – big swells hurtle onto cliffs yet the bay and beyond is dotted with a series of pristine white sand beaches spread out invitingly in front of unruffled, calm waters. Many of the beaches in this area are of the picture postcard horseshoe shaped variety, nestled between forested headlands. This is perfect territory for the dedicated beach bum; check out the captivating scenery of Sungkun beach, Cemara beach and Kaliantan beach. Each offers a wide expanse of dazzling white sand and offshore reefs offer protection from the rolling surf, providing millpond like calm waters for swimming and snorkelling. There is little to distract from the simple pleasures of beach life, with hardly a beach hawker in sight. You are likely to have a wide stretch of beachfront all to yourself.
While surfing and general tourism has been a welcome boon for the local economy, the fishing industry still holds sway as the primary focus for locals. In the water there are dozens of rickety ‘floating’ fisherman’s huts. Fish and shrimp are caught from wooden platforms on the bay, and throughout the village area, there is plenty of industrious activity taking place reeling in a catch of plump lobsters, repairing fishing nets or small scale boat building. Fishing trips out on the water across the bay can also be organised direct with the boatman or at local resorts. There is even an annual fish festival.
On dry land the area’s natural beauty is arguably unsurpassed in south Lombok, offering a compelling contrast of imposing sea cliffs, sugary white sands and tropical greenery. Venturing into the hinterland or along the coast requires transport and it is well worth spending at least a day away from the waves. There are still small tracts of primary rainforest which give way to parched scrubland or rice paddies, while the view from atop the undulating headlands are as captivating as they come. From any elevated position a glance inland will offer far-off views to Mount Rinjani in the north.
As the crow flies, Ekas is actually closer to the coast of Sumbawa than Mataram but what looks like an isolated spot on a map is fairly easy to get to. Thanks to modern infrastructure in the south spurred by Lombok’s new international airport, it is a generally hassle-free two-hour cross island drive down to this sparkling seaside haven. (Credit to : My Lombok Magz)
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