Surfing in Bali at the Dicovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, Bali Surf Camp Images

Dicovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, Bali, Indonesia

The Surf

Kuta Beach is a trip: a long, wide, big-sky area of sand and palm trees and ocean where the First World and the Third World meet in swift collision. You can think of Kuta as the Waikiki of Bali, a surf zone fronted by a vast tourist zone of luxury hotels and resorts, bungalows, cafes, restaurants and more surf shops and rental board places than you ever thought possible.

Walk along the beach and you will see thousands of tourists mixing with the locals, riding horses, bringing in fishing boats and surf taxis, flying kites, playing volleyball, sun-bathing, kite surfing, sailboarding. You can do all your shopping without leaving the beach as you will be offered everything you can imagine and many things you never knew existed by beach vendors.

Most surf areas swarmed by tourism have lackluster surf, and while Kuta is not nearly as famous as the reef breaks lurking out on the Bukit Peninsula, this is a stretch of beach that can offer mile after mile of tropical a-frames – waves that range from perfect for beginners when it’s small, to just perfect when the swell is up and the winds are right.

The Kartika Plaza Hotel is the perfect place to stay for surfers wanting to get into the Bali thing. Just meters south of the hotel, Kuta Reef, Airport Rights and Airport Lefts are a good introduction to the kinds of long, fast, powerful reef waves lurking farther up the Bukit Peninsula. These waves break way out on reefs that protect the airport from the ocean, and most surfers hire boats and canoes for a faster ride out to the lineup.

See how you go on the reefs close by, then get going up the Bukit for Padang and Bingin and Uluwatu. Surf guides can easily be arranged to access any of the breaks north or south of the hotel.