Bukit Merese Hill: The Best Sunset near Kuta, Lombok

Chasing sunsets, are you?

Sometimes I wonder what that fuss is all about. After all, there is a sunset every day.

But it isn’t about the apparent disappearance of the Sun, is it? Au contraire – it’s about the fleeting feeling of awe at the almost magical reality of it all. Colors, ambiance, the slight wind, the friends you share time with… there is a reason sunsets are most often enjoyed near a beach.

Sunset at Bukit Merese
Sunset at Bukit Merese

Okay, enough about my philosophy of sunsets. This post is not about it, I promise. But since I recently saw a sunset at a marvelous place – Bukit Merese near Kuta in South Lombok – I had the time to ponder why we enjoy them. Anyway, here I will tell you how you too can experience the best sunset in Lombok at Merese Hill.

Quick Facts about Bukit Merese

Alright, first off – logistics.

  • Distance from Kuta: 10 km.
  • Travel by: Motorcycle; 15 minutes; paved roads.
  • Entrance fee: 10.000 IDR (0.6$) for parking.
  • Open: All the time
  • Walking: 2-3 km return, very easy hike.
  • Go at: 1-2 hours before sunset, so around 16:00.
  • Simon’s Beauty Score: 5/5
Beautiful views from Bukir Merese - rolling green hills, ocean, islands.
It’s so pretty!

Why Bukit Merese is My Favourite Place in Lombok

After exploring Lombok for a couple of weeks, one place stood out from the rest but you already know I am talking about Bukit Merese. It’s just so captivating and I do not sing praises for places I don’t like.

It’s the combination of things that makes it unique. The green hills, the freely-roaming wildlife, the Robinson-Crusoe-style hidden beaches, and secluded coves that you may call privately yours for an hour or two.

Rolling Hills

Rolling hills and the ocean

Bukit means “hill” and with a hill come the rolling slopes which in the case of Bukit Merese are just magnificent. They reminded me of the Irish coast as seen in so many romantic movies. Ireland in Indonesia? I may be the first ever to make this comparison and I stand firmly behind it.

Water Buffalos

The meadows by themselves make one hell of a place to take an afternoon walk but add the herds of water buffalos and you have postcard material.

Simon taking a selfie with a water buffalo.
Okay, maybe this one isn’t “postcard material” unless you really fancy me.

They surely belong to somebody but are left to roam freely. The older buffalos were totally undisturbed by our presence, though the younger ones, with their curiosity bigger than their caution, would come as close as a meter away.

I wouldn’t suggest touching them though – you don’t know how they would react (and they do sport strong massive horns) and they bathe in mud, so aren’t exactly the cleanest.

Hidden Beaches

Where the rugged terrain troughs, coves have formed. Whereas the vegetation on the hills is low and grassy, the one at the beach coves is palm trees and shrubs.

Some of those semi-hidden beaches are hard to get down to, whereas others have easy trails leading to them. But if you’re careful, you may become the first person of the day to go to this beach.

I went to the tip of the peninsula at what’s called Bongo Beach. What a wonderful little beach! The rocks provide a perfect shade from the sun if you go 1-2 hours before sunset.

Wild Monkeys

A monkey drinking water at sunset at Bukit Merese

One of the hills there, not coincidentally the one where most people gather for the sunset, is monkeys’ territory.

They are bold, they are hungry and thirsty, and they are ruthless.

I consider them adding to the overall experience at Bukit Merese but make no mistake – it’s a bit dangerous.

They almost stole the trash bag I had and as I crossed eyes with the pack leader while he was rummaging through it trying to find a snack, he viciously showed me his fangs and threateningly jumped toward me.

The monkeys are no joke. Do not leave your things unattended and do not try to take the male monkeys on – their bites are infectious and will ruin your trip.

Colorful Sunset

The ultimate way to end your visit to Merese Hill is to sit on any of the green hills (or any rock) and watch as this ridiculously hot ball of plasma that brings life to our planet disappears behind Kuta in the distance.

Yulli looking at the setting sun

The images and colors of the sunset will depend from day to day. It wasn’t the most colorful sunset I’ve ever seen (the award goes to this one random sunset I watched in Samarkand, Uzbekistan) but the combination of nature and ambiance I thoroughly enjoyed.

How to get to Bukit Merese

The only way to reach Bukit Merese is by independent transport as there is no public transportation in this part of Lombok. The bemos that used to run before the Pandemic haven’t resumed operation again and it appears that the economic incentives for them to restart are lacking.

This leaves you with two options:

  • Rent a scooter from Kuta and go by yourself;
  • Hire a taxi or ojek (motorcycle taxi) and ask them to wait for you.

The budget option is to rent a scooter. For 1-day rentals, expect to pay around 80.000 IDR (5 USD) but if you take it for longer to explore the awesome beaches of South Lombok, the price goes down to 60.000 IDR (~4$) per day.

Bali to Lombok

If you’re in Bali and reading about a sunset in Lombok, you’d need to hop over a rather large body of water (Lombok Strait) first.

Worry not – fast boats between the two islands operate multiple times daily. Check out these fast boat options.

Where to stay near Bukit Merese?

The best place to stay near Bukit Merese (and I dare say all of Lombok) is in Kuta. It’s such a charming little town, where although the main strip getting increasingly gentrified and overrun by tourists, still isn’t as tacky as similar places on Bali like Canggu, Seminyak, and Ubud.


The place I stayed at was Mandalika Queen Hostel. Although branded as a hostel because of the common bathroom and shower facilities, it features individual AC-equipped bungalows.

For a fraction of the price for similar properties, it’s a steal. It’s near the main street but far enough to be quiet in the evening.


The award for best mid-range accommodation in Kuta, Lombok goes to…. Nativo Hotel!

With a fresh pool, breakfast included (on most room options), and a peaceful setting, it will surely make your holiday great.


Do you have the ka-ching to splurge? Why not stay at Novotel Resort and Villas?

It’s a bit out of town which could be good or bad. But do you know what it’s close to? That’s right – Bukit Merese and the Tanjung Aan beach right next to it.

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