Surfing G-land – Travel Tips & G-Land Surf Camp Reviews - Gone To Get Salty
surfing g land

​Photo credit: wikimedia commons, Curley roberton

Thinking of surfing the infamous G-land this season?  maybe you're just looking for G-land surf camp reviews? Located in the deep south of one of the last remaining and extremely dense areas of tropical jungle in Java, within the ‘Plengkung national park’ sits one of the best Lefts on the planet.

You can reach G-land from the island of Bali via a half-a-day overland trip (for the budget conscious), or the preferred (and less life threatening) 2 hour fast boat trip, departing from the west coast of Bali.

Here is where the dense Javanese jungle meets the ocean at a mind-blowingly large section of lava-based coral reef which constantly pumps out a long, mechanical, world class left hand wave, considered by many surfers as the best left in the world.


Welcome to G-land

Visa Requirements

Your standard Indonesia Visa will have you covered when travelling to G-land, so there is no need to worry about extra visa requirements. 

You will have to pay a daily 'national park fee' however this is covered in the cost of your surf camp.

When To Go?

During the dry season from April to October, G-land is hit with a the same constant barrage of Indian Ocean groundswells which hit the south-west coast of Bali.

Combine this with the consistent south-east trade winds which fan offshore from about 9am till dusk, and you have epic conditions, day in, day out - rarely getting below head high.

During the wet season the swell and winds are less favourable and the surf camps (which is your only option for accommodation) are closed. Depending on the weather patterns, sometimes a camp or two will open in late feb/early march and crowds will be at an alltime low.

The weather is during these times is the same as what you’ll find in Bali, however cold water currents often pop-up without warning so if you’re not used to the cold, bring along a spring suit or wetsuit top (yes, a wetsuit in Indonesia!)

Typical Costs

Accommodation - Surf camps are the only option here; you’re in the jungle after all - however they offer a great experience, with all inclusive packages and great vibes.

There are a total of 3 surf camps at G-land: ‘Joyos’ surf camp (formerly called 'jungles'), Bobby’s surf camp, and ‘G-land surf camp’ (otherwise known as 'Raymonds'), all with different price ranges and different facilities.

Expect to pay between $100-$150 per day in accommodation HOWEVER this includes every cost (meals, transport, entertainment etc). See below for an exact description of prices of the 3 surf camps.

Food - meals & drinks are included with the surf camp packages, so spending money on meals is not something you have to budget for. If you’re afraid that it wont be enough, it will - they cater to surfers who have been paddling for 4-8 hours daily, so they know how to deal with a huge appetite - guaranteed.

Getting around - Tide permitting, you can catch a boat out to G-land or one of the nearby breaks (which is included in your camp fees!), however on low tide your only option is to walk to the point and paddle out at the ‘keyhole’. Apart from surfing, there is nowhere to go (you’re deep in the jungle) so transport costs are not an issue.

Daily budget - The camps are all inclusive, so what you pay is generally what you spend. In general, you can get away with $100-$150/day depending on the type of deal you get, which is great considering that you’re staying in an all inclusive surf camp in the jungle!

Quick Money Saving Tips

  • Get in early -  book early or late season (late Feb/early march or late October/early November  providing camps are open)

  • Book when in Bali - If possible, avoid booking online and book through one of the surf camp’s main offices in Bali - you’ll find you can get a better deal doing it this way (and pay less) especially if the camps are not full.

  • Sacrifice comfort - if you’re really tight on budget, book a basic fan room. You won’t be spending much time in your room as the communal areas are very comfortable, and there is always a wave to surf.

A Review Of The G-Land Surf Camps

JOYOS SURF CAMP

Joyos is located at the end section of the point (out the front of ‘speedies’) which means it's the furthest walk from the point, however, it's commonly agreed that Joyos has the best ‘vibe’ out of all of the camps - you'll always feel welcome and be surrounded by happy, smiling faces (surfers and staff)

Best suited for: surfers looking for the most affordable option at G-land; Joyos has the best rates of all the surf camps with great facilities and even better vibes.

PROS

  • Great vibes
  • The most affordable rates
  • Free yoga classes

CONS

  • Limited electricity
  • Furthest camp to the point. Expect a 15-20 minute walk during low tide

Prices & Features

Room Type

3 Nights

6 Nights

9 Nights

Description

Standard

$625

$750

$1050

> Basic fan room (shared)
> Shared bathroom
> electricity until 10pm
> All meals included

Deluxe

$725

$930

$1280

> A/C room + TV
> Private bathroom
> electricity until 10pm
> All meals included

Superior

$800

$1080

$1480

> A/C room + TV/DVD
> King Size beds
> Private bathroom
> 24hour electricity
> All meals included

V.I.P

$850

$1080

$1500

> A/C room + TV/DVD

> Satellite TV
> Private bathroom
> 24hour electricity
> All meals included

* Prices shown in USD
* All Prices are per person
* Includes fast boat transfers

BOBBY'S SURF CAMP

Bobby's surf camp is located in the middle of the lot, between Raymonds and Joyos, and offers the most comfortable facilities out of all of the camps. If you can afford to fork out a little more, you’ll stay in comfort at bobbies, and you’ll never want to leave.

Best suited for:  the surfer who isn’t necessary looking to rough it, who wants a little more comfort while staying at G-land.

PROS

  • More comfortable facilities when upgrading
  • Closer to point
  • Greatest amenities/Facilities
  • Often opens early than other camps

CONS

  • More expensive than other camps
  • Often booked out (book early)

Prices & Features

Room Type

3 Nights

6 Nights

9 Nights

Description

Standard

$640

$770 

$990

> Basic fan room
> Shared bathroom
> 23 hours of electricity
> All meals included
> 3 Beers or soft drinks/day

Deluxe

$770

$940 

$1160

> A/C room
> Private bathroom
> 23 hours of electricity
> All meals included
> 4 Beers or soft drinks/day
> Free Internet 

Superior

$900 

$1100 

$1490

> A/C room
> Private bathroom
> Satellite TV + DVD
> Minibar + room service
> 24 hours of electricity
> All meals included
> 6 Beers or soft drinks/day
> Free Internet 

* Prices shown in USD
* All Prices are per person
* Includes fast boat transfers

G-LAND SURF CAMP (RAYMOND'S)

G-land surf camp (otherwise known as 'Raymond's') is the original surf camp in G-land, and they are located on prime real estate: closest to the point. In terms of comfort and facilities, Raymond's sits in the middle of the spectrum between Bobbies and joyos; comfort at a reasonable price.

Best suited for:  Want to get out there as quick as possible, and stay in relative comfort? Raymonds is for you.

PROS

  • Closest the the point rock off area - be the first out there!
  • Best bar and a-la carte restaurant
  • located closest to the only viewing tower, so you’ll be the first to know if it’s on.

CONS

  • Facilities are reasonable, but not amazing for the price
  • Deluxe rooms are nothing special

Prices & Features

Room Type

3 Nights

6 Nights

9 Nights

Description

Standard Fan Dorm

$550

$700 

$970

> Basic fan room (shared)
> Shared bathroom
> Free internet
> All meals included
> 3 Beers or soft drinks/day

Fan Bungalow

$650 

$850 

$1165

> Private Fan Bungalow
> Private bathroom
> All meals included
> 4 Beers or soft drinks/day
> Free Internet 

A/C Bungalow

$725

$925

$1285

> Private A/C Bungalow
> Private bathroom
> Daily stocked Minibar
> All meals included
> 5 Beers or soft drinks/day
> Free Internet 

* Prices shown in USD
* All Prices are per person
* Includes fast boat transfers

The Waves

g land empty raymonds

Photo credit: G-Land Surf camp (Raymonds)

The jewel wave at g-land is broken up into 4 main sections (Kongs, Moneytrees, launching pads and Speedies) and is not suitable for beginners, and most of the time, is not suitable for longboarders.

Kongs is very start of this wave (the most outside section) and handles the biggest swells. It’s generally a long, walling wave with a few takeoff sections - nothing too serious (unless it’s 10 foot +)

Moneytrees is the next section and it’s here that you’ll find super long, world class almond shaped barrels - the stuff dreams are made of. This is the most consistent section of the wave but also is the most crowded.

Launching pads is not really a section of the wave, more a nickname given to the beginning of ‘speedies’ - it’s here where you will take off or ‘launch’ into the ride of your life - if you know how to ride a hollow, fast and firing barrel, that is.

Speedies can be a very dangerous wave (this is where you’ll find the majority of surfers skin left on the reef) however the reward is well worth it - coming out of a wave here could mean the best wave of your life.​

What about beginners or the less experienced?

A short 20 minutes stroll down the tropical beach away from G-land you’ll find a super fun and mellow left called 20/20’s and even further you’ll tigertracks: a very fun, forgiving right hand wave, that can produce some extremely fun, hollow waves on bigger swells.

Both of these waves are suitable for beginners, and when G-land is getting serious at 10ft +, these waves present less intense surfing experience for less-confident surfers of all levels.

g land wave positions

Flat Day Activities

There is rarely a flat day at G-land; the swell is constant and it’s rare that it gets below head height (Kong’s pulls every bit of swell from the ocean), so you generally won’t find yourself with too much spare time on your hands.

Even though you're in the middle of the jungle with nothing around, there is still plenty to do when not surfing - and this makes G-land a great place to bring your significant other (even if they don’t surf)

Walk through the jungle - Explore the jungle tracks and immerse yourself within nature seeing only boars, monkeys, goananna, deer etc. - a truely amazing jungle experience. The jungle here is thick and tropical, unlike the dry arid landscape of nearby islands such as Bali or Lombok.

g land surf camp

Photo credit volpista, Flickr

Frolic in the crystal clear water - Snorkel, spearfish or paddle-board the unlimited nooks and crannies of beautiful white sand beaches and bays.

Go Fishing - The whole area is teeming with marine life, hop aboard a charter organised by your surf camp, or grab a pair of flippers and a speargun and try your luck somewhere along the KM section of reef​

Watch the raw power of the ocean - it’s hard to take your eyes off the wave at G-land, it’s just so raw, powerful and entertaining. During high tide, observe from one of the many hammocks or watch towers near your surf camp, and during low tide a grab a cold beer, walk across the huge exposed reef and watch surfers negotiate critical barrels from only meters away - one of the best live surfing events you’ll ever witness.

Take advantage of surf camp facilities - the surf camp facilities are second to none here and there is always plenty to do. Check the photographer's daily snaps to see yourself riding a gem; play a little ping pong or snooker, stretch your muscles out with a little jungle yoga session or simply relax and reflect over the waves you just caught while straddling an ice-cold bintang at the surf camp bar.

Packing Tips For G-land

  • Boards - G-land typically chews through boards like they are going out of fashion, and spare boards are a scarce commodity around the surf camps, so it’s best to bring your own.

    The norm among G-land veterans is to bring 3 boards - a normal shortboard for those 3-4ft smaller days, something a little bigger so you’ve got some speed when it’s 4-6ft, and if you plan to tackle G-land once it gets a serious 6ft + (which is often), bring a semi gun.

    As an example, an average 6 foot male sure may a standard sized 6’1 or similar shortboard (or fish) for the smaller days, a 6’4 for those medium/large days and a 6’8 pin tail or similar for when things get serious.

    If you’re a beginner and you plan to surf the mellow, nearby waves, bringing one board should be enough - however check with your surf camp before going because they sometimes will provide learner boards (at an extra cost).

  • Reef Booties - Booties are not 100% necessary but they will make life easier at G-land. During low tide you will have a long walk across an unforgiving and sharp reef, and sometimes when you fall, planting your feet on the reef while you’re getting thrashed is necessary.

    Bring a pair of low cut, thin booties and you’ll avoid getting an infected reef cut on your feet, which could end your trip in an extreme case.

  • Sun protection - apart from the essential sun cream and zinc, it’s a wise choice to bring along a wide brimmed surf hat and surf-sun glasses (for the afternoon glare).

    6 hour sessions are not uncommon when it’s on, and a little sun protection could be the difference between coming in early due to sunstroke, or staying out an extra hour and scoring the wave of the day.

  • Medical - Bring a basic medical kit with all of the Indonesian medical staples; antiseptic cream, bandages, tweezers and some painkillers. If you like to come prepared, check out this medical packing list from the surf doctors.

  • Neoprene - a spring suit or wetsuit top?! As mentioned earlier, cold currents are common around July/August and sometimes later in the season, so if you don’t fair too well in the cold bring some warmth.

Mosquitoes & Malaria In G-land

G-land is not like Lombok, the Mentawai islands or Sumbawa where the threat or malaria is high and constant. During extended periods of rain the mosquitoes do get bad but in the dry season this is quite rare.

This does not mean that there is no way you can get it, so take some anti-malarial tablets with you just in case, and load up on insect repellant.

Apart from your board-shorts, singlets, thongs etc, pack a light long sleeve shirt and pants to protect you against mosquitoes attacks at dawn and dusk.


Other Helpful Travel Tips

Don’t skimp on travel insurance - This goes without saying, however we thought we’d drive the point home here give the remote nature of a trip to G-land.

There IS medical treatment among the camps in G-land and they are well equipped to deal with reef cuts and the common surf trip injury, however for more serious injuries (i.e. broken bones) you’ll be airlifted via helicopter to bali. and If you don’t have travel insurance in a situation like this, you just caught the most expensive wave of your life.

Get the fast boat to and from G-land - if you can afford it. You’ll save a little money if you take the overland option, but prepare for the longest and hairiest 10 hour journey of your life. and keep in mind, your first day after the overnight bus trip will be a right-off as you catch up on sleep - is it really worth it??


Indonesia has an abundance of perfect waves just waiting for your, so be sure to check out our surf travel guide to Indonesia and take a look at some of the other destination.​

We hope you found this destination guide to G-land helpful, but most of all, we hope it's gotten you excited to get over there and experience the G-land magic!

Got some helpful tips/advice about G-land yourself? Leave a comment below and share your wisdom!