Photo: Lakey Peak on a small day.

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Stand on the beach at Lakey, look out to sea, and if you had Superman eyes that allowed you to see really, really far (curvature of the earth notwithstanding), you’d be able to see Antarctica. This is to say that there is an awful lot of water between here and anywhere else. When the swell gets going, particularly pumped by storms in the Southern Indian Ocean, a clockwork, world-class wave rolls in here that has surfers from around the globe coming to visit.

Broadly speaking, Lakey Peak and the breaks that surround it are one of Sumbawa’s two surfing hotspots — the other is in western Sumbawa, centred around Maluk and Sekongkang. While both are reasonably easily accessed, Lakey, with Bima Airport (and its direct flight connections to Bali) only a couple of hours away, draws a steady trade of traveller and expat surfers who come here to surf and surf and surf some more.

A lot to love. Photo taken in or around Pantai Lakey, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

A lot to love. Photo: Stuart McDonald

A number of breaks happen up and down the coast, but the main ones are all within a short motorbike ride of the centre of “town”, which makes for an easy surfing vacation. A range of accommodation is available, from rustic shacks to well-fitted out wooden houses. By Sumbawa standards, a solid eating and drinking scene can be enjoyed.

Is it worth coming here if you don’t surf? Yes.

Taxi! Photo taken in or around Pantai Lakey, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Taxi! Photo: Stuart McDonald

The main beach is good. It is apparently cleaned semi-regularly (we were told weekly) and it isn’t bad for a frolic in the shallows. A shallow reef lies towards the northern end of the beach, before Ali’s Bar. It’s exposed at low tide and will be rock-hopping fun for kids. The beach backs onto a paved footpath that makes it easy to walk along and pick your bar or cafe of choice and there are also plenty of salas along the way where you can sit back and relax. Or you can just lounge back at Fat Mah’s and watch the waves roll in while eavesdropping on older male Australian surfers whining about child support and alimony.

There’s also a popular waterfall to visit — we didn’t have time to check it out, but it looked pretty in the photos. For those with their own transport, the road south, especially around Nangadoro, offers some good viewpoints and another, totally deserted strip of white sand at Matiti Beach. Some hotsprings can also be visited.

Afternoon bananas anyone? Photo taken in or around Pantai Lakey, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Afternoon bananas anyone? Photo: Stuart McDonald

If you surf, stay as long as you want. If you don’t, probably two to three nights will be enough. We think the beaches are more spectacular in Western Sumbawa, particularly for non-surfers, but Lakey is no slouch.

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There is not much to Lakey. It is basically a north-south running beach with the main road running parallel to the beach, but 100-200 metres back away from the sand. A couple of rough roads run in from the main road, notably emptying out by the beach at Ali’s to the north. A trail finishes up behind Fat Mah’s and Lakey Beach Inn to the south. Other places to stay just about all either back onto the main road or an access trail.

What more do you need? Photo taken in or around Pantai Lakey, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

What more do you need? Photo: Stuart McDonald

It is a pleasant 30-minute walk along the beach from north to south, with a paved walkway dotted with gazebos along the way.

There are no ATMs in Lakey. The closest international-access ATMs are in Dompu, roughly an hour away by scooter. Accommodation may be able to exchange cash, but we’d imagine the rate would not be great — bring enough cash with you. The closest real hospital is in Dompu. Many places to stay offer free WiFi. There is also a decent 3G signal in Lakey proper.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Pantai Lakey.
 Read up on where to eat on Pantai Lakey.
 Read up on how to get to Pantai Lakey.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Pantai Lakey? Please read this.
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