Written by Elsa Marie
Co-written by Beverley Lennon and Jiayi Ng
Edited by Jiayi Ng

You know how the grass is always greener on the other side? The grass really is greener on the other side here at Lombok, Bali’s often overlooked neighbour.

If you’re tired of the crippling crowds in sunny Bali, why not escape into a wild adventure in Lombok and its surrounding islands? From gorgeous waterfalls to thrilling cliffs and romantic eats, this island has almost everything Bali has to offer – and more!

What are you waiting for? Scroll your way down to the bottom as we prep you for your first journey into wondrous Lombok – from amazing attractions to lovely restaurants and the most luxurious of stays, we’ve got everything down pat, just for you!

Read more:

Ultimate guide to Lombok: 37 Extraordinary things to do you never knew existed!

The complete guide to Gili islands (Trawangan, Meno, Air)

20 Hidden natural attractions in Lombok you can discover on your next adventure!

10 Affordable luxury beachfront Lombok Villas with ocean view rooms

A. Getting to Lombok

From SingaporeFrom Malaysia (tap here to view)From Australia (tap here to view)

Direct flight (total cost from SGD 324)

Take Silk Air or Singapore Airlines from Singapore Changi Airport to Lombok International Airport. (Flight time: ~2h 45min)

Direct flight (total cost from RM 272)

Take AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Lombok International Airport. (Flight time: ~3h 10min)

Flight from Perth (total cost from 427 AUD)

From Perth:
1. Take Jetstar from Perth to Ngurah Rai International Airport (Bali). (Flight time: ~3h 40min)
2. Take AirAsia, LionAir or Garuda Indonesia from Ngurah Rai International Airport (Bali) to Lombok International Airport. (Flight time: ~40min)

B. Overview of main areas in Lombok

East of Bali, and west of the lesser known Sumbawa, is the island of Lombok. Lombok is a paradise all on its own with excellent surf spots, majestic waterfalls, and exhilarating hikes that will even take you to the rim of an active volcano!

To help you navigate your adventure on this gorgeous island, we’ve broken down Lombok into five areas.

Photo Via Adisitumorang, Flightenjoyneer, Taywag, Sarasester
1. Mataram: The sprawling capital city

The capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, Mataram serves as the business and administrative centre of Lombok. This place is perfect for the basic traveller, as it’s jam-packed with hotels, malls, markets, and yummy street eats… and the beautiful Senggigi Beach! Just outside of Mataram you’ll find the port, where you can catch ferries to and from Bali, and the bus terminal.

2. South Coast: Beautiful beaches of Kuta

Don’t confuse this Kuta with the one in Bali, because the two Kutas are not the same. Unlike Bali’s touristy Kuta, Lombok’s rugged southern coastline is more traditional and less developed, with plenty of breathtaking beaches such as Pantai Segar, Pantai Areguling, and Pantai Mawan.

This side of Lombok is speckled with surfers, sleepy shops, cafes and accommodations, and is the perfect launch spot for diving and island-hopping day trips!

3. East Lombok: Explore scenic sights and the Sasak tradition

East Lombok isn’t as popular as other parts of Lombok, as the land is more dry and barren and there’s generally less to see and do (except for the northeast portions near Rinjani, where you can find lots of gorgeous natural attractions).

But what did we say about judging a book by its cover? This under-explored area is rich in culture and nature – with the Sasak heritage perfectly preserved in traditional villages, as well as sandy islands and mangrove islands! It’s also home to the transit town of Labuhan Lombok, where you can take the ferry to Sumbawa, admire towering mahogany trees, and spot the majestic Mount Rinjani.

4. North Lombok: Home of the sacred and second tallest mountain, Rinjani

Hippies will love the myriad of nature available here, from cascading waterfalls in lush jungles, a scattering of beaches, and cool islands just off the coast.

We’re not forgetting Mount Rinjani, the 3,726-metre-tall active volcano that’s also the site of holy pilgrimages. Why not challenge yourself by embarking on this intense journey to the top? You might reach the summit feeling half dead, but you’ll also be rewarded with a gorgeous sunrise and view of the turquoise lake within the caldera!

5. Gili islands: More than just Trawangan, Meno, and Air

If you know about Lombok, you would most likely know about the Gilis Trawangan, Meno, and Air, but did you know that there are a few more gilis around Lombok?

There’s Gili Kedis, where you can feel like you’re on your own private island, Gili Nanggu, which is great for snorkeling, and Gili Gede, where you can spend the night in water bungalows. Why stay on one island when you can explore them all?

C. Top attractions

Everywhere you need to go in Lombok

It’s time to amp up your stamina if you’re going to be completing everything there is to do in Lombok. We’re not kidding – from beaches to mountains and cascading waterfalls, this island paradise has plenty of adventures in store for you!

1. Seeking seclusion? 6 best secluded beaches on the island

Tucked away in the lesser travelled areas of Lombok are some spectacular beaches. So if you’re looking for breathtaking beaches without the crazy crowds, check out the beaches we’ve highlighted below!

Photo Via Megamuslimah0, Simaun_, Michal-prouza, Lalusopianirsadi, Windarynda, Blackred_leo

a. Pantai Tebing: Witness dramatic coastal views (Coordinates here | More info)
b. Tanjung Aan: Pose to surreal rock formations at Batu Payung (Coordinates here | More info)
c. Pantai Telawas: Balance on fantastic limestone mountains (Coordinates here | More info)
d. Pantai Selong Belanak: Chill with cows and coconuts on the beach (Coordinates here | More info)
e. Pantai Semeti: Enter a world of rocky coastlines (Coordinates here | More info)
f. Pantai Nambung: Stand atop a majestic waterfall by the sea (Coordinates here | More info)

2. Head for the hills! Scenic attractions hidden in nature

Imagine standing on a hillside, with wind in your hair and a panoramic view before your eyes. Or picture yourself looking into the radiant afternoon sunlight from a concealed cave from down below.

Does this sound like an experience you’d like to have? Here are four adventures that’ll lead you deep into nature and its captivating views!

Photo Via Agusm123, aryawiznu, Zoeraa_, Adhy_nata

a. Taman Wisata Pusuk Sembalun: View the majesty of Rinjani from afar (Coordinates here | More info)
b. Lingkoq Datu: Stand on the cliff’s edge (Coordinates here | More info)
c. Bukit Selong: Gaze down into the checkered valley of many colours (Coordinates here | More info)
d. Bangkang Cave: Slip into a hundred-year-old cave (More info)

3. Cascade chasers: 4 most majestic waterfalls

Lombok is home to some of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls in all of Indonesia. Just imagine smooth marble canyons with turquoise swimming pools and vertical forests with water curtains – these are just two of the jaw-dropping sights you can expect to see when trekking out to Lombok’s waterfalls!

Photo Via Az_images, Narisajuzhar, _anakkecill, Simaun_

a. Mangku Sakti Waterfall: Admire the sulfur slide at nature’s art sculpture (Coordinates here | More info)
b. Benang Kelambu: Snap a photo under 6 majestic waterfalls (Coordinates here | More info)
c. Tiu Kelep Waterfall: Find the hidden waterfall within the jungle (Coordinates here | More info)
d. Gangga Waterfall: Two’s company, three (waterfalls) is perfection (Coordinates here | More info)

4. Island life: Trawangan, Meno, Air, and other Gilis you may not have heard of

Almost everyone knows about the three Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok. There’s Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, and each of these three islands has its own unique vibe. But have you heard of Gili Kedis, Gili Nanggu, and Gili Sudak?

Photo Via Evannsutanto, Herkiandi, Tubagusedo, Candicelingli, Dubenets_666, TripCanvas

a. Gili Trawangan: Embrace the party animal life (More info)
b. Gili Meno: Escape into nature in its purest form (More info)
c. Gili Air: Chill out like a true islander (More info)
d. Gili Kedis: Frolic in your own private paradise (More info)
e. Gili Nanggu: Dance to soft white sand and azure seas
f. Gili Sudak: Enjoy lunch by the clean blue sea

5. Feast your eyes on these restaurants with a view

You may have spent the day at the beach or trekking through the jungle. Now it’s time to just sit back, relax, enjoy the view from these 4 dazzling restaurants – and eat yourself silly.

Photo Via Calliewijaya, Yunmizuki, yvonnetham

a. Horizon Restaurant and Lounge: Breakfast and yoga on the treetop (Website | More info)
b. Libra Café Resto n’ Villa: Trek to a breathtaking view at a hilltop cafe (Instagram | More info)
c. Rinjani Lodge Restaurant: MSG-free, 100% Halal, 100% delicious, and 110% beautiful (Website | More info)
d. SENJA Lounge & Bar: Gorgeous sunsets with live music and salty sea air  (Website | More info)

6. Lose yourself in Lombok culture

So by now you know all about the beaches, islands, and waterfalls you must visit – now it’s time you get a taste of the local culture in Lombok! The rich heritage that permeates this island is one thing you wouldn’t want to miss, and it’s hard to when there’s something going on all the time!

If you’re traveling to Lombok in February or March, you can check out a festival that celebrates legends. Any other time of the year, you can go for a relaxing Sasak massage, or journey into the heart of a Sasak village. Whichever one you choose, it’s going to be an interesting ride.

Photo Via Tikprive, Afashionableleo, Thiarapong

a. Bau Nyale Festival: Celebrate the legend of Lombok royalty (Coordinates here, here and here | More info)
b. Sukarara Village: Weave your own traditional fabric  (Coordinates here | More info)
c. Bayan Sasak: Travel back in time to live the old traditions (Coordinates here | More info)
d. Jeevaniya Spa: Loosen up with a strong Sasaknese massage (Website | More info)

D. Where to stay

Unique accommodations and beachfront villas

Lombok may be an island, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be sleeping in rundown tents on the beach. In fact, this place is home to plenty of quaint and luxurious stays that might just surprise you yet!

1. Beachfront luxury villas that won’t break the bank

Photo Via Minsun0022, Sarasester

a. Katamaran Resort: Breathtaking views fit for royalty (Website | More info)
b. Jeeva Santai Villas: Relax by the water’s edge (Website | More info)
c. The Chandi Boutique Resort: Sunset romance under the palm trees (Website | More info)
d. Qunci Villas Hotel: Wake up to a view of crashing waves (Website | More info)

2. Unique stays that will blow you away

a. Mentigi Bay Dome Villas: Entire the fantasy world of the Hobbits (Website | More info)
b. Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp: Live like Robinson Crusoe… luxury style (Website | More info)
c. Hotel Tugu Lombok: Travel back in time to artsy fartsy tradition (Website | More info)
d. Villa Sapi: Avant garde luxury beside the sea (Website | More info)

3. Fantastic beachfront villas for under $90 a night

Photo Via Anoirnan, Lauradubova, Zechian

a. Novotel Lombok Resort & Villas: Surf’s up just 10 minutes away (Website | More info)
b. Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort: Float around a man-made lagoon (Website | More info)
c. Living Asia Resort and Spa: Retreat into relaxing comfort with seaview rooms (Website | More info)
d. Puri Mas Boutique Resorts & Spa: Family house turned cosy resort (Website | More info)

E. Getting Around

Getting around Lombok isn’t too hard at all. While you can flag bemos (minivans) on the streets of Lombok, there are also other far more convenient ways of getting around the island.

Here are some options:

1. Renting a car with private driver/tour guide (our recommendation)

With excellent reviews for his service and reliability, a good sense of humour and all the necessary knowledge to make your stay the best one ever, Lombok driver Mr Gus is someone who’s willing to go the extra mile for your holiday in Lombok.

Most of his packages are inclusive of parking fees, toll fees, and fuel costs, but you might want top up a little for his meals (or simply share your food with him – the Asian way!).

Aside from your set itinerary, Mr Gus will be more than happy to help you discover places only locals know about, so you’ll get to see the whole of Lombok, minus the hassle!

More info (tap to expand)
Mr Gus (Lombok Driver)
Price: From Rp. 550,000 per day (Toyota Avanza) (Approximately USD $38.50)
           From Rp. 600,000 per day (Toyota Innova) (Approximately USD $42)
Contact: +62 877 6534 3999 (Very responsive on Whatsapp)

*Note: Prices differ based on the number of people travelling (type of car required) and tour itinerary.

2. Renting a car without driver

If you prefer to travel at your own pace and favour freedom and flexibility, you might want to consider the car rental services of Kuta Lombok Car Rental (you can take a taxi to Kuta first or request for airport pick-up).

Tip: If you’re unfamiliar with Indonesia’s roads and traffic, we strongly recommend you to rent a car with driver instead, as the road conditions might be challenging to navigate, and fellow drivers might not be easy to deal with!

More info (tap to expand)
Renting a car without driver

Price: From Rp. 300,000 per day for car only (Manual: Daihatsu Xenia; Automatic: Toyota Avanza) (Approximately USD $21 per day)
Address: Kuta Lombok Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia 83573
Contact: +62 819 1598 8334 or via Facebook Message

F. Best time to travel to Lombok

Nobody likes being a travelling wet dog, so most people would want to avoid Lombok’s wet season, which occurs between October to April. It’s really not that bad, though.

The best time to traverse all the natural sights and beautiful views, then, would be during dry season, which happens from May to September! We have to warn you though, “dry” is pretty much a synonym for “peak” here, so people-haters might want to think twice!

Recommended length of stay
–    Heading to beaches or island hopping: 2-3 days minimum
–    Exploring waterfalls, local culture, and other scenic destinations: 2-3 days minimum
–    Adventuring up to Rinjani’s summit: 3-5 days (though it’s possible to reach the summit in 2 days, the trip will be very rushed)

G. Tip and scams

What to keep an eye out for

Now you’re ready for your first trip (and definitely not the last) to the wonders of Lombok! Don’t forget to tell us about your adventures!

PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
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