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Bukit Merese or Merese Hill is one of my favorite places in Lombok. Located on the western side of Tanjung Aan, the best beach in Kuta, Bukit Merese is the best sunset viewpoint around Kuta. And the views aren’t too bad during the day either.
To one side you see the picturesque Serenting Beach and Seger surfing Beach lined with majestic palm trees. And on the other side, you get panoramic views across Tanjung Aan all the way to Batu Payung, which is a large stone shaped like a face also worth checking out (it has recently collapsed).
So as you can probably tell, don’t miss Bukit Merese Hill while you’re in Lombok!
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- How to get to Lombok
- How to find Bukit Merese Hill
- Best time to visit Bukit Merese
- My first time at Bukit Merese
- Where to stay close to Bukit Merese
- FAQs: Bukit Merese
- Looking for more Lombok resources?
How to get to Lombok
If you’re coming from Bali you can take a fast boat from several harbors, I prefer Serangan conveniently located in the south, close to the airport and the Bukit. If you’re staying in Ubud or East Bali, Padang Bai is the closest harbor.
The journey over to Lombok takes between 1 hour and 45 minutes and 3 hours, pick-up from the main tourist hubs in Bali is often included in the price. Learn more in my complete guide on how to get from Bali to Lombok by fast boat.
🌟 You can check price & availability here >> Fast boat between Bali and Lombok
The drive from Bangsal Harbor (Teluk Kodek Port) to Kuta takes about 2 hours, you can arrange for your hotel to pick you up or book a driver online. I prefer to arrange transport in advance so I don’t have to haggle with all the drivers when I arrive.
How to find Bukit Merese Hill
If you have read my South Lombok restaurants and hotels post, you know that I think you should spend most of your time in the south whenever you are on the island. That’s where the true beauty lies! Then from there, you can do day trips to the waterfalls and other sights.
Anyways, when staying in the Kuta area, the drive out to Tanjung Aan and Bukit Merese is easy. You should rent a motorbike for your stay in South Lombok because most of the beaches worth seeing are within a 40-minute scooter ride. And the scenery is so stunning that you will probably want to stop every few minutes to shoot photos.
Since they have paved the road along Kuta beach and made like twenty speedbumps in a row, take Jl. Sengkol going east out of town. That’s what the locals do, which means it’s usually the best. Follow the road until you get to the large roundabout, take the third main exit and follow the signs to Pantai Aan. After a little while you’ll see the sign to “Bukit Marese”.
Before you get to Tanjung Aan you’ll see a large, white wall that did not use to be there! (I can’t believe they ruined part of the beach just so they could charge a parking fee.) Pay the usual 10k at the gate and try to find a parking spot under one of the trees. The black scooter seats get super hot very quickly in the sun.
Bukit Merese Guided Tour
If you’re limited on time and want to explore South Lombok including Bukit Merese, I highly recommend this top-rated 10-hour guided tour.
It covers all the highlights around Kuta such as Tanjung Aan Beach, Bukit Merese, Banyumulek (Pottery Village) and Sade/Ende (Traditional Sasak house and weaving village).
🌟 My top pick >> Lombok Day Trip South Beach & Culture
Best time to visit Bukit Merese
The most popular time to visit Bukit Merese is not surprisingly at sunset. To arrive before the sky turns bright pink and orange, you should get there around 5-5:30 pm. Find a spot away from the crowds and sit down and enjoy the show.
Although the sunset view is amazing, I like Bukit Merese even more during the day. The incredible view of crystal clear water in different shades of blue and white sandy beaches nestled in every little cove is breathtaking! Just take a look above.
To beat both the extreme heat and the crowds you should get there before 9:00 am. Remember to bring a lot of water or buy some from the vendors in the parking lot. It doesn’t look like it should be too strenuous to explore the headland in this photo, but it was. At 8:30 am in the morning, it was already 28ºc and the hills were steeper than they looked.
I went barefoot and wore my flip-flops like I always do and it was not a problem. But if you really want to explore every nook and cranny, you might want to bring some sneakers. And don’t forget to put on sunscreen or you’ll most likely get burnt and end up looking like a tomato/radish. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience!
Pro tip for sunset at Bukit Merese
Instead of using the main entrance, look for the wooden sunset sign right before. It leads down a narrow dirt road to a local home where you can park and walk up the hill behind their house. There you can enjoy the moment in peace away from all the chaos of busses and tour groups.
They still charge 10k but I would much rather pay it to a local family than to the people responsible for putting up that hideous wall.
Bukit Merese opening hours
Bukit Merese is open all day every day.
They have, however, built a large wall so you are no longer able to enter straight from the beach.
Bukit Merese entrance fee
The entrance fee to Bukit Merese is the 10,000 IDR (under $1) you pay for parking.
My first time at Bukit Merese
The day before I took my mum to Bukit Merese I had been telling her about my first trip to Lombok many years ago. How there was literally no one else on the massive and gorgeous Tanjung Aan beach back then. The only people we encountered all day were the ones charging for parking at the main entrance.
But then one day I met an older local man selling coconuts. He got so excited when he saw actual people/potential customers that he ran to meet us with a big toothless smile on his face.
I, of course, had to buy a coconut even though we had just eaten breakfast. After the deal was made he pointed at my camera and made it clear with the words “friends” and “come” that he wanted a photo with me so I could show it to my friends and tell them to visit his beach.
We stood there with him for a long time having a one-word sentence conversation. Not really understanding each other but it didn’t really matter. We made our first friend in Lombok.
Since then I have been back to Tanjung Aan many times without seeing the older gentleman again. I often wondered if he was still around, for some reason he is one of those people from my travels who got stuck in my mind. But then I went to watch the sunset at Bukit Merese and there he was sitting on the swing.
Such a coincidence as I had just told my mum the story. I don’t know if he remembered me or not. He couldn’t possibly, it was so many years since I saw him last. But he stared at me and smiled and then stared some more. How I wish we spoke the same language!
Where to stay close to Bukit Merese
Most of you will probably be based in Kuta while exploring the south coast of Lombok. This is where you’ll find most of the best restaurants, bars and nightlife. One of the most popular places to stay in Kuta is El Tropico Boutique Hotel, the perfect backdrop for those Instagram shots. Just take a look at the beautiful decor.
I, however, find El Tropico a little busy and prefer the much calmer and highly rated Rascals Hotel. The breakfast, the staff, the pool area, I can’t say enough good things about this adults-only hotel. And it is actually quite affordable for everything you get. So be sure to check it out!
Since you need a scooter anyway there is really no reason to stay in town unless you want to be in the midst of the hustle and bustle at all times. Novotel Lombok Resort & Villas sits on its own beach close to Seger Surf Beach and Bukit Merese. If you prefer more upscale accommodation, this is the place to be.
If you’d rather spend your money on Bintangs instead of a place to stay, take a look at Kuta Mountain Bungalows. One of the highest-rated budget options in southern Lombok. The grounds are surrounded by lush forest and wildlife like birds and monkeys often make their way into the garden.
FAQs: Bukit Merese
What should I wear when visiting Bukit Merese?
It’s recommended to wear comfortable clothing and footwear when visiting Bukit Merese, as there is some hiking involved to reach the top of the hill. It’s also important to bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water, as it can get hot and sunny during the day. On days without wind, bring bug spray when going for sunset.
Can I bring food and drinks to Bukit Merese?
Yes, you can bring food and drinks to Bukit Merese. Have a picnic! There are no restrictions on outside food and drinks, but it’s important to clean up after yourself and not leave any litter behind. There are usually also some vendors selling beer, coconuts and other cold drinks.
Are there any hotels near Bukit Merese?
There are accommodation options right next to Bukit Merese. After they built the horrible Mandalika Sirkuit many smaller homestays were closed. One of the nearest hotels to Bukit Merese is Novotel Lombok Resort & Villas which I mention above.
Kuta, which is the nearest town to Bukit Merese, has a wide range of accommodations to suit all budgets and preferences. You’ll also find Gerupuk, a popular surfing village with many hotels, east of Bukit Merese.
Looking for more Lombok resources?
- Discover the top 17 beaches in and near Kuta Lombok
- 5 incredible viewpoints in south Lombok you shouldn’t miss
- Island Life 04: Living in Lombok + House tour
- Tanjung Aan Beach: The absolute best beach in Lombok
- Selong Belanak Beach Lombok: the ultimate first timer’s guide
- Top 5 things to do in Lombok + what to wear