With lots of natural attractions to offer, Lombok could be considered in a very near future as the next Bali. But, what is the main difference between these two beautiful neighbor islands? Lombok is far away from the popularity Bali has, which makes it perfect to enjoy its splendid locations without crowds everywhere! We can say that Lombok remains untouched by tourism business, so what you get there is the purest essence of locals.
Lombok is a little heavenly island in Indonesia, located between Bali at east and Sumbawa at west. It is full of interesting places capable of pleasing everyone’s desires and interests. All the services are offered by locals, as hotel and restaurant chains are hard to find and that what makes Lombok a fascinating city to visit. Getting in touch with natives is so easy and common that you will get to know their culture and traditions very well in a really short time. Keep in mind that different from Bali, the main religion practiced in the island is the Islam, so be careful to not hurt locals’ sensibility.
Wonderful treasures are spread all over the island, including stunning beaches with astonishing white sand and clear blue-green water that make you feel you’re in the Caribbean, breathtaking waterfalls to dive, relax, and why not heal some diseases? Tobacco and grain plantations that deserve being photographed and even an active volcano is part of Lombok’s authentic beauty.
One beach for each purpose
Lombok’s beaches have nothing to envy Bali’s beaches, as they have their particular charm with an unusual plus: you will not have to stand multitudes and noisy places as Lombok’s beaches are way calmer than Bali. In each one, you will find something interesting to spend your day, including the serenity to just lay on the shiny sand, contemplating the view.
Kuta beach is the most touristic one on the island. This surprising beach, located at the south, has the majority of restaurants and hotels of Lombok which can make it a little bit crowded but nothing compared with Bali’s beaches. It is twenty minutes away from the International Airport of Lombok and it’s the perfect place to stay and visit the beaches nearby. There, you can enjoy the sun and the views that the many hills around the beach offer you to capture awe-inspiring sunsets.
Tanjung A’an should be your choice if you are into aquatic sports. This bay is just before getting to the village so you can access it easily. Its rocky sea bottom makes it perfect for practicing snorkeling; also, visiting this beach on windy days would give you a fantastic spot to do some kitesurf. An important thing to be considered about Tanjung A’an is that surfing at low tide is not recommended at all, it can be dangerous because it gets too shallow. However, this beach is worthy even if all you want is a place to get an incredible suntan.
Selong Belanak is a long beach with hills at both sides, this one is particularly famous due to many facts: firstly, local fishermen are established on the south area of this beach, it means you can observe their daily work or even rent one of the boats and try catching some fish by yourself! If you are looking for a calm water to swim in, the greatest area is the north one. There, water is so serene that the little ones can enjoy without worrying their parents. On the other hand, in the middle part of this one-kilometer coast, waves are perfectly shaped to surfers that come all over the world to show their skills in this magical beach. Lastly, Selong Belanak is also known for having one of the clearest water and glittering sand of the whole island. To get to this stunning beach, a simple ride by motorcycle on the route from the airport would take you there and don’t forget to spare some time to appreciate the views from the top.
Tangsi beach is undoubtedly a unique beach with very blue water and yes, pink sand! There is only ten of this kind of phenomenon in the whole world. Also known as Pink Beach, Tangsi beach receives its name by the incredible color of the sand, produced by the tiny pieces of dead red shells that get blended in the sand and give it this unbelievable tonality. It is necessary to say that this exclusive beach is two hours away from Mataram and getting there could be difficult but, what wouldn’t you do to take a bath on this beach? What can be more convincing than laying in pink sand?
The South coast is perfect for surfing
Lombok’s popularity is extremely related to surfers. In the island, you can find from surfers schools to isolated coasts flawless for surfers that don’t like the intensity of Bali. In the southern area of Lombok, there is a famous surf camp called Lombok Surf Camp that is located in Gerupuk area, it is a full camp for people who take surfing more seriously. There, they have two-weeks and all-inclusive plans no matter the level, they accept from beginners to advanced surfers for reasonable prices. Be aware that you cannot simply get there and ask for a plan because they have scheduled ones. However, probably one of their set dates will fit in your itinerary. Even when this camp is mainly for surfing; guides would show you other paradises of the island like the waterfalls nearby.
On the other hand, in Kuta beach, we find a fancier surf camp; its name is Lombok surf shack and the activities you can do there are diverse. Of course, surfing is again the main one but, swimming pools, air-conditioned villas, and spas are part of the resort. The prices here are fully worthy.
In case you are not looking for something formal; this majestic island has entire bays perfectly shaped to bring you all the waves. As mentioned before, if surfing is your goal, the south coast is where you must go. In the South West, there’s another well-saved secret of Lombok, in Sasak language, its name is Bangko Bangko beach but, Australian surfers that visit the island a lot, use to call it Desert point because it is considered isolated. This one is especially suitable for skilled surfers as it can be pretty difficult to handle for the less experienced.
Otherwise, in some bays you will need to rent a boat to catch the best waves, locals offer their service to take you to many different spots to surf such as Kuta Beach and Gerupuk bay. This last one has various spots like Inside Gerupuk where waves are made for everyone over a flat coral reef. Opposite to Inside Gerupuk, in Outside Gerupuk is exactly what you are looking for, just be sure you visit this beach at the low or mid tide.
In Mawi Beach, barrels up to 20 seconds and ten seconds tubes are so easy to find, which confirms the fact that South Lombok is one of the emerging places to practice this interesting sport. Actually, locals say that Mawi studies the surfers and gives them the waves they can handle.
What can be more perfect than a beach that gives you exactly what you were looking for? Definitely, every second spent on this amazing island is totally worth it.
Water but, not salty water!
The fact that Lombok is not as famous as its neighboring island Bali does not mean it doesn’t have as many attractions as Bali. Actually, what keeps Lombok in the spotlight is precisely the great amount and variety of undiscovered wonders that exist in the island. Lombok is not only a place full of beautiful beaches but also different types of natural places full of green tonalities, hills, and mountains, volcanos perfect for hiking and jungles that keep majestic waterfalls hidden like precious secrets to be discovered.
If you are looking for an extreme adventure to do while spending your vacations in Lombok, guided tours to waterfalls are a must-do. Locals are always open to offer you a guided visit to these wonders that they have great knowledge of. The routes are mainly through a walk through the jungle, and the length will depend on the destination you choose.
Sendang Gile is the most visited waterfall on the island, it is located in Lombok’s northern area. This natural beauty is situated on foot of the magnificent Mount Rinjani and it is only fifteen minutes walking into the forest through a very verdant vegetation. An interesting fact about this cascade is that locals use to say that its water has healing powers to any illness you may have. If you are feeling like going deeper, Tiu kelep will be waiting for you. It is a 45 minutes trip in the jungle, crossing a pending bridge over the river that is also part of the expedition, which should be taken into account if you or any of your group has a fear of heights. Nevertheless, how hard it sounds to get there, you will totally forget how tired you are at the precise moment your sight finds the impressive natural pool filled by the 45 meter down fall of water. As a matter of fact, in Sasak language, which is the one spoken by natives of the island, “Tiu Kelep” actually means flying pool and it is a pretty accurate name because that’s exactly the visual effect you get of the pool formed at the bottom of the splendid waterfall.
Locals’ beliefs are also present in the water that flows in Jukut Manis waterfall. This particular cascade belongs to the Mount Rinjani National Park wherein you need to buy tickets to access. The healing powers of this waterfall are specially related to hair! Yes, it may sound crazy but, natives say that washing your head in its water can even help you to get rid of baldness.
Attractions not only exists in this spot but in the 1,5 kilometer path; you will find gazebos to rest in case some members of the group get tired and you will also pass through a hundred and eighty steps made of flat rocks, and to make the trek funnier maybe one monkey or two will like to join you in the journey.
Tiu Tedja if adventure has a lighter meaning than a 45-minute walk for you; it’s your lucky day! Tiu Tedja is an absolutely beautiful waterfall located in northern Lombok, and the best part is that the trek length is less than fifteen minutes! This cascade also has the easiest path of all waterfalls and combined with the fact that its natural pool is little deep.
Tiu Tedja makes an ideal spot for a family plan including children. Moreover, visiting the waterfall on a sunny day gives you extra chances to appreciate amazing rainbows and take lots of amazing group pictures!
No matter which one you pick to visit, there are some essential things you must wear, have, or do. Wear some shoes capable of bringing you comfort, traction, and that keep insects away from your feet. Do not forget to bring another pair of socks, pants, and shirt, you don’t want to get a flu because of wearing wet clothes on your walk back town. Water, fruits, and some snacks are absolutely necessary, remember you are getting into the jungle! Lastly but not less important, wear sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and insect repellent, be respectful of beliefs, religion, and cultures, don’t hurt the environment and, keep your trash with you.
If swimsuits are not for you
You may think that visiting an island on vacations means wearing swimsuits, shorts and flip flops sandals all day long but, it does not apply in Lombok. This charming town has some others activities to make your days unforgettable. Although beaches catch almost all the tourists’ attention; there are still places to delight yourself with the agriculture tours that exist in the island. Lombok is also a productive land; tobacco, rice, garlic, and vanilla fields are some of the items produced in the zone. These fields are managed and cultivated by locals who will be more than pleased to show you their hard work. However, the richness of the island does not come only by land; fishing is a very important economic activity as well as pearl cultivations.
Supposing that neither swimsuits nor grains are your things; do not worry about it, as Lombok is filled with many national parks, wildlife parks and interesting zoos to visit.
Mount Rinjani National Park is considered as the most important one and its main highlight is the active volcano Mount Rinjani. For adventurous souls, climbing to the top will offer you the most awesome views of the island and even Bali is visible from this point. Also, in your way up, you will be in touch with many kinds of animal species, from monkeys, deer, pigs, leopard cats, ducks, and porcupines to a variety of birds such as owls, eagles, pelicans, falcons, pigeons, and doves.
An interesting truth about Lombok’s wildlife parks is that they do not use cages so, be ready to see the animals in their real environment, that’s why guided tours are strictly required. The variety of animal life is not limited to land animals, the rocky sea bottoms of the beaches are home to several types of corals, fish, and many more wonders of sea life.
Another spectacular way to get to know the island is to participate in boat tours around. It combines the best of each attraction that Lombok has without actually getting into them. You can chill on the breathtaking turquoise bays, admire the imposing Mount Rinjani and the lush forest, and watch the astonishing school of fish with all the different tonalities of the rainbow without having to wear a snorkel mask.
And if your budget is flexible; one of the most fascinating things to do is booking a glass-bottomed boat to see the rocky sea bottom to take a closer look into the splendid marine life.
If all the reasons mentioned before caught your attention and you are definitely planning to book your trip to Lombok; we have excellent news for you! There are many transportation options available. Ferries are the main way of traveling, many fast boats depart every day from one island to another and in Baliferry we have the best prices combined with a great quality service, and the latest fleet of boats in the islands, with the safety and comfort you deserve to start and end an unforgettable trip.