When you have a neighbor as popular as Bali, it’s no wonder many don’t even notice your presence. This is what happened to Lombok for decades, until a few years ago travelers began to look at it looking for alternatives to the Island of the Gods. They were sure to be in for a surprise to discover the wild and virtually unspoiled nature that this Indonesian island boasts.
Things are changing rapidly in Lombok, and although tourism development is still far from making it the new Bali, we would recommend not waiting too long to visit it… now is the time! Spectacular surfing, dreamy beaches, a wooded interior full of waterfalls, rice and tobacco plantations, the second highest volcano in the country … much more is what you will find in Lombok.
Don’t think twice and start planning your next trip to this incredible place. We make it easy for you with this Complete travel guide to Lombok, where we give you all the useful information to prepare the trip on your own and the list of the best things to see and do in Lombok.
Content that you will find
1. Getting to know Lombok
Lombok is located between the famous Bali and the unexplored island of Sumbawa. Despite the fact that his name sounds louder and louder and that his developing is being more than remarkable during the last years (next Moto GP circuit included), there is still a long list of places to discover and explore beyond the conventional tourist route.
You will notice it quickly, but we already anticipated that one of the main differences of this island with respect to Bali is that the population of Lombok is mainly muslim. Although only a few kilometers separate them, having a different religion also makes their culture and its traditions are completely different. One more reason to meet her.
2. When to travel to Lombok
Although Lombok generally rains less than Bali, they can be distinguished two seasons well marked:
- The dry season From May to October. Although always high, temperatures are milder during these months and it hardly ever rains. It coincides with the high season, the time of year when the island receives the greatest number of travelers (especially July and August) and when prices are highest.
- The wet season from October to March. The heat is sticky, but showers don’t usually last long and usually happen in the afternoon. If you start the day early, you can visit Lombok during this period without problems and with the calm of the low season. Sure, we can’t 100% guarantee that it won’t rain all day while you’re there, but that can happen even during the dry season … just a matter of luck! 😉
3. How to get to Lombok
Since it is an island, you can obviously only get there by boat or plane.
Getting from Europe to Lombok:
Inaugurated less than a decade ago, the Lombok International Airport It is the only one on the entire island. It is where a multitude of flights from other national destinations (especially Bali) land every day and a few international ones arriving from Malaysia Y Singapore. If you want to travel to Lombok directly from Europe, you will have to do it after passing through one of these two countries or through Bali or Jakarta.
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Getting from Bali to Lombok:
Today the easiest, fastest, and sometimes also cheap way to get to Lombok is with one of the many Daily flights connecting the two islands. Prices from 200,000 IDR (about € 13) and less than half an hour of travel. AirAsia, Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air and Wings Air are the main airlines operating the Bali-Lombok route.
The cheapest, but by far the slowest way to travel to Lombok is with the public ferries that leave from the Padangbai port and they arrive at port of Lembar. They leave 24 hours a day, but you never know exactly when the next one will sail (usually one every hour). You can buy the ticket directly at the port for about € 2.5 if you travel without a vehicle and around € 7 if you want to bring your own motorcycle. The duration of the journey can vary from 4/5 hours to all day. This is a good alternative only for travelers who are not in a hurry, but are on a tight budget.
Also by sea, but a much faster option than the ferry is the fast boats reaching the west coast of northern Lombok (Teluk Kode port) and departing from the ports of Serangan, Sanur Y Padang Bai (all on the east coast of Bali). The trip takes about two hours and the price of the ticket will depend on the company you choose, the place where you buy the ticket and even your ability to haggle. Although normally the trips between accommodation and port are included, it is advisable to clarify all the conditions before payment to avoid surprises. From € 40 round trip with transfers included. Blue Water Express, Eka Jaya Fast Boat, Sindu Express Fast Boat or Scoot Fast Cruises are some of the companies that cover this tour. You can compare prices and book the most convenient on the web bookaway (search “from East Bali” to “Lombok”).
4. How to get around Lombok
Own transportation is undoubtedly the most comfortable and easy way to get around the island. In addition to avoiding headaches and having total freedom, you can reach places that would not be accessible otherwise. It’s relatively easy rent a car (with or without driver) or rent a motorcycle in the main tourist places and even in the lodgings themselves. Car prices are around € 40 / day with driver and € 20 without driver. Motorcycles can be found for approximately € 3 a day.
To transfers from the port or airport you can previously agree on the pick up service with accommodation, or negotiate in person with a local driver. ** Personal experience: in the northern port (where the fast-boats arrive), getting good prices is much more complicated than at the airport, so our recommendation is that in this case it is better that you take it already closed or prepare to sweat the fat drop negotiating. To give you an idea, these are the prices you can pay until Kuta (but you know, negotiate!):
- From the airport: 80,000-100,000IDR
- From the port of Lembar (local ferry): 100,000-120,000IDR
- From Teluk Kode port (fast boats): 250,000-300,000IDR
5. Where to stay in Lombok
These are the zones where we recommend you to look for accommodation in Lombok:
If you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere, white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and good surf, this quiet town on the south coast of Lombok is the perfect place to base yourself. Accommodation for all tastes and budgets, the possibility of exploring the fantastic surrounding beaches during the day and enjoying the good restaurants around the town’s main street at sunset, or having a drink in a local with live music. From there you can also make day trips to other parts of the island. Kuta is our favorite place to stay.
Some recommended accommodations in Kuta are:
It is the main urban core of Lombok. Nothing touristy, but the best option for those who want to sleep cheaply and experience the authentic local life of the island first-hand.
Some recommended accommodations in Mataram are:
Located in the northwest of the island, Senggigi is the most popular destination for tourists looking for some nightlife. It is also the perfect base for visiting the sights of northern Lombok and trekking to the Rinjani volcano.
Some recommended accommodations in Senggigi are:
6. The best to see and do in Lombok
Ok, you already know how to get there and you have booked your little hotel. You are planning to rent a motor scooter and now it is your turn to explore the island! To do this, below we tell you what they are the best things to see and do in Lombok and that you cannot miss:
– Southern beaches. Near Kuta you will find a good handful of beautiful beaches where you can relax coconut in hand, snorkel or download adrenaline while surfing. Do not miss Tanjung aan, Selong Belanak, Mawun or Mawi.
– Without a doubt the rinjani volcano (the second highest in Indonesia) is one of the protagonists of Lombok. Since the 2018 earthquake, the ascent to the top has remained closed, but it seems that during 2020 the summit will open again and it will be possible to reach its 3,726 meters high again (almost nothing!).
– Precisely on the slopes of Rinjani is Tetebatu, a small village surrounded by tobacco and rice plantations. In addition to the peace that is breathed in this place and the beautiful natural environment, there you will have the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Sasak people (descendants of an ancient Malay civilization that inhabited Lombok more than 2000 years ago). If you are interested in delving into the traditions and customs of the Sasak, take a look at this organized day trip.
– Lombok is a true paradise for women waterfalls. There are many, and among them are some of the most spectacular in the entire country. Sendang gile, Benang stokel, Benang kelambu and the jewel of Tiu Kelep are just some of the best known.
– If you don’t have too much time to travel on your own, one idea is to book one day trip to visit the main attractions of northern Lombok at once. Reserve here.
– Desert point it is one of the best left waves from all over the planet. Although lovers of surf We can tell you little that you do not already know, it is a must see … And if you are not an expert in this sport, you can also stop by and enjoy the show from the sand.
– From Lombok you can give the jump to other islands like the famous Gili islands (Trawangan, Meno and Air), the less known “secret Gili”, Flores, Komodo, Sumbawa and of course, the three Nusas: Penida, Lembongan and Ceningan.
– Lovers of snorkel They will have a good opportunity to dive and see the seabed in this area of Indonesia. Book a full day of diving in the Gili Islands, or a day of snorkeling in the uninhabited Gili Kondo, Gili Kapal and Gili Lampu.
7. Map of Lombok
Here is a map with all the points of interest in Lombok:
So far our Lombok travel guide, with all the useful information so you can plan your visit and with the best things to see and do on this Indonesian island. Happy journey!
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