With exquisite white sandy beaches, world-class surf breaks and a lush forested area with hiking trails, Lombok is quite a different experience from Bali. Lombok is also home to the mighty Mount Rinjani, Indonesia’s second-highest volcano with a dazzling Crater Lake and hot springs on its summit. And just off the west coast, three exquisite small Gili Islands surrounded by coral reefs have become an earlier tourist paradise.
You can reach Lombok by plane from major cities in Indonesia, or you can take the ferry from Bali to Lombok. If you come from the Gilis, there are daily public boats to transport passengers from Lombok and Gilis. The development of Lombok beaches and the surrounded areas is still ongoing, but it will be developed sooner than you think. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable holiday surrounded by nature and lovely white sandy beaches, Lombok is the place for you.
You may reach these famous Gilis earlier than Lombok, so the first itinerary on your unforgettable holiday is definitely exploring the surrounded coral reefs that make Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno so famously known in the world. You can start your itinerary by exploring Gili Trawangan, the largest of the three Gilis. You can rent a bicycle or take a ride on a horse cart to explore the small island. There are no cars at the Gilis, so it’s safe to wander along the small roads and feel the relaxed atmosphere of Gili Trawangan.
After that, Gili Meno will be your first snorkeling activity from the boat. It has wide reef garden and various types of fishes. There are also turtles swimming lazily in the area and a big Pontoon wreck sunk down under 16 meters (52 feet). If you take the glass bottom boat on a clear day, you might be able to see it. Gili Air is the perfect place for lunch and relaxing. The coral garden is right in front of the beach, so basically, you just need to swim a bit and you’ll see hundreds of beauty little fish that will surround you waiting for you to feed them. With coral gardens and turtles, it’s an amazing way to start your holiday!
Gili Island Snorkeling Day Trip
Sitting at 3,726 meters (12,220 feet) above sea level, Mount Rinjani is a very active volcano. The perfect time to climb Mount Rinjani is between April to September, during the dry season. The Mount Rinjani National Park will be closed during the rainy season and other times when there are volcanic activities detected.
Due to its height and level of difficulties, you cannot climb Mount Rinjani on a day trip. It is advisable to take 3D/2N Rinjani trekking tour, where the tour will take you to visit Segara Anak, the Crater Lake and the summit of Mount Rinjani. You will spend the nights at the campsite area close to the summit. At 3 a.m., you will start your trek to the summit just in time to catch the spectacular sunrise at the top of Mount Rinjani. There are many levels of trekking trails for those who want to explore Mount Rinjani, from beginners to advanced. You just need to be in fit condition to ascent and descend on steep hills of Rinjani.
3-Day Mt Rinjani Volcano Trekking Tour
Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls are famous for their beauty and isolated waterfalls in Lombok. The waterfalls set on 600 meters (1,970 feet) above sea levels and located beneath the foot of Mount Rinjani, at Senaru Village. Sendang Gile can be accessed on a short hike with a relatively easy 10-minute descent from the entrance park. It is a beautiful cascade surrounded by rocks and trees. There are a few small stalls and rest areas for those who wish to enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch.
It’s a more challenging and longer hiking to reach Tiu Kelep. The trek has less ascend or descent path, but on the last 30 to 40 minutes of the hike, you need to remove your shoes because you have to cross a few knee-deep shallow streams. Make sure that you have all your valuables in a waterproof bag. The trek is totally worth it. Tiu Kelep is such a beauty with its towering cascade made of stones, and the high walls amplify the falls’ throaty song and send out thick clouds of cold mist to the surrounded area. Take a dip in the icy pool beneath the falls and relax in the water or just sit on the rock and enjoy the serene area.
Mountain Biking and Waterfall Tour from Lombok
Take a break on your adrenaline pump activity and join a cultural tour to Sasak Sade Village. The Sasak tribe is the native people of Lombok and the Sasak Sade is a real village, not just for tourist attraction. At the village, the Sasak people preserve their traditions, culture and way of life. One of the culture’s ways of life is the marriage tradition where the groom has to kidnap the chosen bride as the first step in marriage tradition. Since Sasak village doesn’t have outsiders, they tend to marry their cousins and the kidnapping act is a sign of respect for their tradition.
Other cultural and traditional signs of Sasak can be seen on the traditional Sasak house. The floor is made from clay and the houses are made from dried grass roofs and wooden frames with bamboo walls. There are only two rooms inside the house. The inner room is both a kitchen and a sleeping quarter for the single girls.
The traditional woven cloth, Ikat, is the most interesting part of their culture. It’s handmade by the women of Sasak, who are taught to weave from a young age. The whole process of dyeing and weaving can take months to become a high-quality product.
Sasak people live on agriculture. The men do the farming and they store their rice and other food in a building called “lumbung,” the granary that stands higher than the rest of the houses. This tour is a glimpse into the Sasak people’s daily lives and the preservation of their cultures and traditions.
The Sasak Trail of Lombok Full-Day Tour
5. Chill out by the Senggigi beach
You’ve heard of Lombok’s exquisite beaches. Now it’s time for you to head out to Senggigi beach, the most famous white sandy beach in Lombok. Find your spot along the white sandy Senggigi beach and soak under the sun or swim in the sea. You can stroll along the beach and explore some of the traditional boats. You can also find a beachfront restaurant or café at Senggigi beach where you can have delicious lunch while overlooking the calm sea. Don’t forget your sunscreen and fancy sunglasses.
The Beach Club
Address: Jl. Raya Senggigi, Batu Bolong, Batu Layar, Mataram, Kabupaten Lombok Barat, Nusa Tenggara Bar, 83355
Website: The Beach Club
Gili Air is famous not only for the snorkeling activity at its coral garden but also as a favourite destination for scuba diving. With more than 25 dive sites around Gili Islands, bring yourself to truly experience the beautiful underwater world by scuba diving at Gili Air. If this is your first time, you should try the Discover Scuba Diving (DSD). You will be introduced to underwater life and learn how to explore the underwater using all the equipment and safety guidelines.
Then you will take a 5 to 30-minute boat ride to a dive site where you can try scuba diving with a certified dive instructor. The experience will take your breath away as you see turtles and other creatures swimming right in front of you. If you already plan to earn your diving certificate while you’re on holiday in Lombok, check out the best dive operators in Lombok for the best price and value.
PADI Discover Scuba Diving at Gili Air
7. Explore Gili Nanggu, Sudak, and Kedis
There are many other less popular Gilis spread around Lombok Island with beautiful white sandy beach and rich coral reef life. Take a boat tour to go island hopping on the southwest of Lombok and enter a different world of Gili Nanggu, Sudak and Kedis. Gili Nanggu is the largest Gili in the area and you will feel like you are in Gili Trawangan 20 years back. There is only one hotel on the island and the most beautiful white sandy beach with rich coral reef lives are right next to the jetty.
You can walk further along the shore to find a peaceful place with literally nobody there. But you have to return to the jetty if you want to swim and snorkel. Gili Sudak is the place where you can stop by a bit longer for lunch and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. It’s smaller than Gili Nanggu, but the shade is perfect for a delicious grill fish lunch. Gili Kedis is the smallest of all with the size of a tennis court. There is nothing there but white sandy beach and solitude. It’s perfect for a private romantic picnic!
Gili Nanggu Tour
Website: Gili Nanggu Tour
8. Ride the waves at Kuta Lombok Beach
Eddie is one of the best and most popular surf guides in the whole of Indo (really!). He is a legendary coach for...Posted by Lombok School Of Surf on Sunday, 17 May 2015
Just like its big sister Bali, Lombok has world-class surf breaks on certain areas of its beaches. Kuta Lombok Beach is one of the famous beaches that has surf breaks for every level. Beginners can explore Grupuk Beach, Island Ekas and Selong Belanak, which have beach breaks perfect for long boards, and the advanced level surfers can explore the waves of Mawi. It is recommended that you try a surfing lesson or hire a surf guide when you are surfing at Kuta Lombok beach, especially for beginner surfers.
Lombok School of Surf
Address: Pujut Kab. Lombok Tengah, Indonesia, Jl. Pariwisata Pantai Kuta, Kuta, Pujut, Nusa Tenggara Barat, 83573
Website: Lombok School of Surf
9. Eat spicy Taliwang chicken
It’s not a holiday if you don’t explore the local delicacies. And one of the famous local dishes from Lombok is the spicy Taliwang Chicken. It’s a dish made out of small chicken grilled with a “handful” amount of chili. It comes with a portion of white rice and fresh “pelecing kangkung,” a vegetable cooked with a reasonable amount of chili as well. You will have an extraordinary experience when you eat Taliwang Chicken and it’s even more interesting if you eat it with your hands, just like the locals. The spicy Taliwang chicken is very spicy, so when you think you cannot handle the spice anymore, just stop and drinks lots of water.
Lesehan Taliwang Irama
Address: Jalan Ade Irma Suryani No.10, Karang Taliwang, Cakranegara, Mataram, Nusa Tenggara Bar, 83239
10. Explore Selong Belanak Beach on a scooter ride
Lombok Island can be explored within a day or two on a scooter ride. It’s a great way to visit different places from different angles. One of the places you must explore is the less accessible Selong Belanak beach. There is a basic road to access Selong Belanak Beach at the moment with a small parking lot for few cars and scooters.
Selong Belanak Beach has a coastline of less than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) but long enough to walk from one to the other. It’s famous also for its cleanliness, something that you don’t always see in Indonesia beaches. Have a relaxing time on the white sand and explore the hills that sit on each edge of the beach. Usually, beaches are surrounded by palm trees, but on Selong Belanak Beach, you will see many hills surrounded the beach. There are several warungs on the beach if you want to have some local lunch while you enjoy the sun. Wait for the sunset and catch its beautiful color when the sun sets behind the hills at the edge of Selong Belanak beach.
Create unforgettable moments
Lombok Island’s landscape will surely give you an unforgettable holiday. With the serenity of a majestic mountain, beautiful white sandy beaches and rich underwater life, you can create unforgettable moments while you are in Lombok.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.