Lombok, Indonesia is an island just east of Bali and offers a wide range of things to do and see. If you’ve already traveled around Bali, or are looking for something slightly less touristy, then here are number of things to do and see in Lombok, Indonesia.
1. The Gili Islands
Located just 20 minutes away from the island of Lombok by a quick ferry, the Gili islands are three examples of paradise. The islands include Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.
The islands are a fabulous spot for scuba diving and snorkelling because of the coral reefs and abundance of sea life. You can also swim, relax on the beach or even party at night.
2. Mount Rinjani
Mount Rinjani is the second tallest volcano in Indonesia, which makes it one of the top places to visit on Lombok Island. This volcano is currently active, so beware that there may be a lot of ash in the air. You can book guided tours to trek around the volcano and visiting Crater Lake is a must do.
3. Baun Pusuk Monkey Forest
Baun Pusuk is a nature conversation in West Lombok, close to Mount Rinjani. The forest is filled with monkeys who never tire of eating food from tourists. These monkey are smart, though, so keep a watchful eye on your belongings.
4. Sendang Gile Waterfall
North of Mount Rinjani you can find the Sendang Gile waterfall. It is only a 10 to 15 minute trek and not too difficult to get there. Afterwards, spend another 20 or 30 minutes hiking to get to the Tiu Kelep Waterfall. Both offer fresh, clean water to cleanse your soul.
5. Lombok Golf Kosaido Country Club
If you are an avid golfer, don’t miss out on the opportunity to take in a round at this championship course. Set in the middle of intense scenery, you might be too mesmerized by the forest to get your hole in one. The course has views of all kinds, from mountain tops to white sand beaches; it is a golf course set in the middle of paradise.
Located on the west coast of Lombak is Senggigi, a place with many hotels and restaurants. Senggigi is also home to some of the most popular surf spots on the island. If you’re in the market for local souvenirs, there are many vendors selling trinkets on the beach.
Kuta is the second most well-known town to visit, after Senggigi. It is located on the south of the island. There are many beautiful beaches here as well as plenty of hotels and restaurants.
The capital of Lombok is Mataram and it can be found on the west coast of the island. The city is the largest on the island with almost a half a million people. The city takes care of all of the business of running a province, including government and education, so it is a chance to see how Indonesians live without tourist attractions.
Located near the base of Mount Rinjani, Tetebatu is a small village made for relaxation. You can unwind and enjoy the atmosphere, or relax with a drink after a long hike. Nearby are rice fields that you can visit and the refreshing Jukut Waterfalls.
10. Mawun Beach
Just west of Kuta is Mawun Beach, complete with lush white sand and clear turquoise water. The beach is not a hotspot for tourists, so it should be a bit quieter than the more popular beaches. The current can be a bit strong and while it is great for surfing, be careful if swimming.
11. Selong Belanak Beach
Set in a bay on the south of Lombak, Selong Belanak Beach is very shallow and great for swimming. There is a fabulous viewpoint nearby that offers breathtaking views of the ocean and beach. While there is no surfing at this beach, close by you can find Mawi, which offers a lot of opportunities to surf.
12. Tanjung Aan Beach
Another beach on the south coast of Lombok, Tanjung Aan Beach has white sands and turquoise waters, perfect for swimming. There are nearby cliffs that offer breathtaking views.
13. Pink Beach
Located in the southeast part of Lombok, Pink Beach can be found at the very tip of a peninsula. It is very off the beaten trek, and the ride out can be a bit wild. But at the end of the road is a beautiful, very quiet beach. The beach itself is named after the color of its sand, which gets its pink hue from the abundance of coral.
14. Visit a market
What better way to experience a new culture than to visit a local market. The markets on Lombok offer delicious local food including fish, spices and vegetables. You can also find local artisans. One of the best markets to discover is in Ampenan, one of the towns that makes up the city of Mataram.
15. Visit a mosque or temple
The majority of people that live in Lombok are Muslim and this is reflected in the number of mosques that can be found on the island. You will often hear a mosque before you see it, and the sound can be quite pleasant.
There is also a Hindu minority on Lombok and a number of Hindu temples can be found. Most temples are located on the western part of the island.
Even if you are not religious, these houses of worship are usually quite architecturally impressive.
16. Get to know the Sasak People
85% of the population of Lombok are indigenous and known as Sasak. Take the time to experience this culture. The Sasak people are known for their spicy food, music and artisans. A major part of the culture revolves around weddings and on the weekend you can usually find yourself party to a wedding parade.
17. Get Spicy
Lombok is actually a name for a chilli pepper, so it’s fitting that the chili pepper features predominantly in the cuisine of Lombok. Be brave, but not too brave when trying this spice. The chili pepper also comes in the form of a condiment called sambal, which is used for dipping and can be found at most local Indonesian restaurants.
18. Ride a motorcycle
While there are many main roads on Lombok, much of the island is best discovered by motorcycle. If you feel you are able, you can rent a motorcycle and find all of the hidden gems on the island.
Lombok is about relaxation, and what better way to relax than with a massage. The local Sasak people have a traditional massage that you can get in any tourist area.
20. Celebrate Bau Nyale
The Bau Nyale festival happens every February or March on Lombok, and one of the most popular places to celebrate is at Seger Beach, near Kuta. The festival brings together everyone to comb the sand for nyale, or wormlike fish.
The mythology around the festival tells of a princess who drowned in the water in order to escape an arranged marriage. After catching the fish, they are roasted in banana leaves and feasted on.
There many attractions to see, towns to visit, beaches to discover, experiences to have and things to do in Lombok. Enjoy the island and explore all that it has to offer.