In recent years, Bali has seen a massive influx of tourists and rapid industrialisation. What was once an untouched natural haven is now filled with malls, shoplots and luxury hotels. Because of this, many travellers who long for the serene getaway they were hoping for in Bali begin to turn their attention towards other islands in Indonesia.
Of these, Lombok is the most popular destination. Located east of Bali, not only does Lombok offer pristine beaches and a unique cultural heritage, it also sees far less tourists than Bali. There’s plenty of outdoor activities to try in Lombok, and it certainly gives Bali a run for its money.
So, let’s check out some of the top experiences on Lombok!
1. The Gili Islands
Obviously, the top activity to do in Lombok is island-hopping! The Gili Islands, which lie a little ways north of Lombok’s main island, is one of the top island-hopping destinations. The islands are made up of Gili Tarawangan, Gili Memo, and Gili Air. All three of them are filled with idyllic beaches and crystal clear waters, perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.
However, the three islets each have their own unique attrations. Gili Tarawangan is the largest of the three. With plenty of bars and quirky restaurants, it is widely known as a party island popular among vibrant youths. On the other hand, Gili Meno is a serene and alluring island that is better suited for lovers or newlyweds on their honeymoon. Gili Air is a combination of the two, and it’s the closest to Lombok, making it the easiest to access.
Regardless of which of the Gili Islands you visit, you’re guaranteed a stunning sunset vista, so make sure you don’t miss it!
2. Mount Rinjani, the crescendo of Lombok’s natural beauty
Another must-visit attraction on Lombok Island is the majestic Mount Rinjani. Standing at 3,726 metres above sea level, Mount Rinjani is Indonesia’s second tallest volcano. If you’re looking to hike it, you can only do so between April and November.
The hike is no walk in the park. However, as long as you stick close to your local guide, you should be able to make it to the summit within 3 days at a steady pace. This adventurous journey instantly rewards you as you make your way up. That’s because you’ll be treated to stunning coastal views, sunset vistas, and open valleys and fields along the way. And besides, how many people can claim they’ve scaled an active volcano?
Reminder: if you decide to hike Mount Rinjani, remember to bring some warm clothing! Many people have the misconception that Indonesia is hot and humid, so surely there’s no reason to bring extra layers of clothing. However, given its height, the weather at Mount Rinjani can get really cold, especially during the night. So be sure to come prepared!
3. Tangsi and Semeti Beach
There are plenty of pristine beaches on Lombok Island, so much so that you probably won’t be able to enjoy them all in one go. That’s why, you should head to the two best beaches, Tangsi and Semeti. Tangsi is one of the legendary pink beaches, of which there are only seven in the world!
Semiti is located in Central Lombok, and it is filled with volcanic terrain, leading to some surreal scenery. It’s also a more isolated location so there aren’t that many people who know of its existence, making it the perfect location for an beach getaway.
4. Selong Belanak and Kuta Beach
Fun fact: Lombok’s initial rise to fame was due to it being a great location for surfing. The waves here are suitable for even beginner surfers to enjoy. If you plan to pick up the sport while in Lombok, you can do so at Selong Belanak and Kuta. Not only are the waves here more gentle, there are also plenty of surfing enthusiasts there to land a helping hand.
5. Benang Kelambu and Tiu Kelep Waterfall
Apart from the endless beachers, Lombok Island is also home to some majestic secret waterfalls. Of which Benang Kelambu (located in Northern Lombok) and Tiu Kelep (central Lombok) are the most popular. These two waterfalls can only be reached by trekking through lush jungles and climbing some uneven stair, so it’ll take about an hour for each. However, you can then reward yourself when you arrive by jumping into the icy cool water!
6. Sade Village
Indonesia is truly a unique country. Its many islands are home to many indigenous tribes, each with their own cultures, traditions, and even language. Lombok Island is a good example. Over 80% of the local populace belong to the indigenous Sasak tribe who maintain their traditional way of living even to this day. They even communicate in their own language!
Sade Village, which is one of the attractions of the Sasak, dates back over hundreds of years, and is one of the best places to learn about their culture. The residents are always more than happy to share about their lives and traditions there. It will surely be an unforgettable experience!
I’m sure that you’re already eager to book that flight to Lombok now! Of course, there’s even more to Lombok Island that what’s been said here so far. As one of the more underrated islands in Indonesia, its got enough scenery and charm to make you fall in love with it. So don’t delay, it’s time to plan your trip to Lombok!