Famous for its dive sites “The Magnet“ and “The Cathedral“, here you’ll find pristine reefs and an abundance of marine life. Diving in south east Lombok, the seasonable sighting of schooling barracudas, tunas, and other pelagic life is fairly regular, and apart from the mobula- and eagle ray season during September, hammerheads have the tendency to sometimes school around the Magnet end June until early November. As currents and dive conditions in south east Lombok can at times be quite challenging, we recommend diving “The Magnet” only to the more experienced diver!
Minimum Prerequisites for diving the “Magnet” and the “Cathedral” are a advanced certification and, from November until end April, 50 logged dives. From May until end October, 100 logged dives. The dive center reserves the right to ask for a check dive before diving at these dive sites.
The Magnet (Batu Kapal) is the name given to the furthest and most prominent dive site at Belongas (Blongas) Bay, a pinnacle in the open sea with challenging conditions and big fish action! The pinnacle can be reached by boat in half an hour. Located in the open sea, rising up to the surface from 80m, a big surge can be felt down to 15+ meters on challenging days. Divers need to enter the water negatively buoyant and descend quickly to 5-15 meters to encounter tuna, barracuda, while descending deeper to see white- and black tip reef sharks while being on the lookout to spot the hammerheads.
The Cathedral (Gili Anak Ewok)
Another signature Belongas dive site, ‘The Cathedral’. It features a large pinnacle with 2 main peaks, and is notable for the schools of eagle rays as well as tuna, mackerel and “Great Barracuda”. Abundant with sea snakes gliding around, thus it is not surprising when a diver spots as many as a dozen during a dive. This pinnacle comes up from around 50m and sometimes offers less challenging conditions than “The Magnet”.
Gili Sarang features incredible small creatures such as Harlequin Shrimp, Pygmy Seahorses, a multitude of Nudibranch as well as big fish action. Giant trevalies, mackerels, sweet lips, surgeon fish, and August/September is the best season for schooling mobula- and eagle rays. The bay also offers plenty of fishing, either from the beach or on chartered fishing boats, and tuna, mackerel and wahoo are regular catches. The sea is rich enough in food to attract schools of hammerhead sharks. The beaches are white and inviting, and the perfect setting for picnics. The many small islands along the coast offer opportunities for exploration.
Belongas (or Blongas) Bay is one of the lesser developed areas of Lombok, and a good centre for trekking if you feel like exploring on foot. Local guides will show you a way of life that does not appear to have changed for hundreds of years.
How to get there
Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air and a number of domestic airlines fly to the Lombok International Airport located in Central Lombok. SilkAir flies to Lombok from Singapore. From the airport it you can stay at Kuta Beach or stay at Sekotong Beach, closest accommodation to Belongas Bay.
Belongas bay is located around 50 km from Mataram, capital of West Nusa Tenggara and can be reached by a 3 hours’ drive by car. You can take the route from Mataram to Cakranegara-Banyumulek-Gerung-Lembar-Sekotong Tengah-Belongas.
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