Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara that is similar in size and density as neighbouring Bali, only with far less tourism. With its great waves, mountainous landscape and gorgeous bays, Lombok is the perfect piece of paradise for more adventurous souls in search of an “unspoiled” tropical experience.
Lombok lags behind Bali dramatically in terms of infrastructure and development. The island’s natural landscape and local inhabitants’ way of life have remained somewhat unchanged for centuries, and the economy is dominated by small-to-medium family run businesses selling goods and basic services. The main form of transport on Lombok is motorbike, but you can also get around via cimodo (horse-drawn cart), minivan, and tourist shuttles, which run between some major sites on the island.
THINGS TO DO
Foreign surfers were the first outsiders to uncover Lombok’s charm, and they helped plant the seed of tourism which we see today. Lombok is home to several notable surf spots, with legendary Desert Point in the west and Ekas in the east. There are also numerous other unnamed breaks along the reefs and rocky inlets that line the coast. The best time to surf in Lombok is when the swell hits during ‘wet season’, which runs from November to March.
The looming volcano that dominates Lombok’s stunning landscape is the second largest in Indonesia. Tourists flock to Gunung Rinjani for an exhilarating trek up the thick, jungly slopes and in search of heavenly vistas which await on the summit. The slippery, sandy, and incredibly steep hike is not suitable for novice hikers. While it is possible to traverse the mountain alone, is is strongly advised that you bring a local guide. A reputable company will provide you with a highly experienced guide, comfortable sleeping bags, and other amenities for your convenience.
Lombok’s vast reefs and deep channels make it a great location for a day spent fishing. Take a guided fishing trip and choose between a traditional wooden outrigger boat or a modern sport-fishing vessel. Depending on skill and a spot of luck, you could catch anything from trevally, wahoo, tuna, mackerel and many others. The most fruitful areas are the south-west of Lombok towards Bangko-bangko, as well as North West of the island, behind the Gilis.
LOMBOK ACCOMMODATION & DINING
There’s an array of accommodation options on the island, though some are dependent upon location. Lombok accommodation ranges from eco-friendly beach huts to luxury villas as well as guest houses and resorts. Senggigi area has the largest range of options, as well as Kuta and Lombok. As you go further in land, your choices will begin to dwindle.
In terms of food, sticking to the more populated areas means you’ll have your choice among a good variety of eateries serving international cuisine. Perched along Senggigi beach are a few hotels with upmarket dining options as well as some affordable ones. Expect to dine on local Sasak cuisine when you’re on the road.