Are you heading to Indonesia and looking for the best things to do in Lombok? Then look no further than this post, which covers all the top adventures you can experience on this small Indonesian island.
Lombok is an island often overlooked in Indonesia due to its trendy neighbor Bali. However, the beauty of the white sand beaches, untouched nature, and authentic living is unmatched anywhere else. Lombok is almost like how Bali was 20 years ago; with much less traffic, far fewer tourists, and untouched natural attractions.
What’s great about Lombok is that it’s relatively undiscovered and an off-the-beaten-track travel destination that has something for everybody. If you are an adventure traveler, get ready for volcano hikes, surfing, and jungle treks. Whereas, if you are a couple looking for a romantic getaway you can enjoy quiet white sand beaches, romantic resorts at low prices, and cultural activities to do together.
Get ready to explore one of the most beautiful and underrated destinations in Indonesia and discover the best things to do in Lombok.
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Best Things to Do in Lombok
Enjoy a beach day at Tanjung Aan
- Cost: 10,000 IDR for parking, 25,000 IDR for a sunbed (0.58€ and 1.46€)
- Location: Tanjung Aan
One of Lombok’s main selling points is the array of stunning beaches. These beaches are beyond post-card perfect and look like the perfect paradise place to sit back and relax. The best beach in Lombok – if you are searching for stretches of white sand that is so white it almost blinds you, turquoise waters that look like cool-aid, and very few people – is Tanjung Aan Beach.
Upon arrival, this beach will surely take your breath away! It’s almost magical how beautiful the water is and just how few people there are. In most places, you would find a beach like this packed with people eager to enjoy its beauty and splendor, but in Lombok, you can have a pretty private experience depending on where you set up base.
The beach is located about 30 minutes from Kuta and can be reached by car or by scooter. There is parking for a small fee of 10,000 Indonesian Rupees (IDR) which is about 1 euro and 25,000 IDR for a sunbed. Just be sure to get to this beach before 12 because as the day goes on, the tide quickly goes out which leads to quite a bit of seaweed on the shore which lessens its beauty a tad.
Tanjung Ann has a bunch of swings along its shore which are great for taking photos on! Plus there are restaurants on the beach and some people selling drinks and snacks. The best restaurant on the beach is called Pink Swing Cafe, which serves Indonesian meals in huge portions at a very low cost. Visiting this beach is by far one of the best things to do in Lombok you do not want to miss.
Explore Bukit Merese Hills
- Cost: 10,000 IDR for parking (0.58€)
- Location: Kuta, Pujut, Central Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara 83573, Indonesia
Beside Tanjung Aan Beach and 15 minutes away from Kuta is Bukit Merese Hills. These hills are a famous and stunning place in Lombok that offers epic views of Tanjun Aan beach and the coastline of Kuta. Plus it is one of the best places to watch the sunset, especially in the Kuta area. Despite its popularity, there is a ton of room for everyone to watch the sunset in a relatively private way.
Once you arrive at the base of the hills you have to pay for parking and start climbing! You can walk as far or as close as you prefer which can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes of walking. Both sides of the hills offer stunning views and are full of excitement. The rolling green hills and water stretching in all directions are something to stare at with awe.
The Bukit Merese Hills are perfect during any time of the day but shine during sunrise and sunset. The sun sets straight into the ocean here and after it sets the sky ignites in a red, pink, and orange fire show. If you are staying in Kuta, Lombok, or want to watch a spectacular sunset show, this is one of the best things to do in Lombok you do not want to miss.
Hike Mount Rinjani
- Cost: From 2,000,000 IDR – 7,000,000 IDR (120€ – 400€)
- Location: Mount Rinjani
A hike up Mount Rinjani is one of the best things to do in Lombok for adventure lovers. This is the second-highest volcano in all of Indonesia and one of the most famous sights in Lombok. Just be warned this is an active volcano and the hike is not easy. Mount Rinjani has an elevation of 3726 meters and is a tiring journey. Despite the challenge, the views from the top are beyond worth it.
No matter your hiking skill you can find a tour to fit your level. There are two-day, three-day, and four-day tours that give you the time you need to hike the volcano. The longer time you have the more you can enjoy your surroundings and even see Crater Lake.
Important: Mount Rinjani is closed every year from January until the end of March because this is the rainy season.
Explore Kuta Lombok
Kuta is the up-and-coming hot spot in Lombok. It is a surfer’s paradise and is full of hip cafes, beautiful resorts, and enticing shops. Kuta is compared to Canggu, Bali as the Lombok equivalent. Spending some time in Kuta is a must to explore the shops and eat at some of the tasty restaurants. It is also the best place in Lombok to set a base for your adventures because the resorts are amazing and very well-priced.
More so, Kuta has its own beach called Kuta Beach which is not the best beach in Lombok by any stretch, but it is great for watching the sunset. The beaches nearby, like Tangjun Aan or Selong Belanak, are much better for a beach day experience. However, if you are looking for some great surfing conditions and a relaxing place to enjoy the sunset into the ocean, this is a good option.
Spending some time enjoying the laidback vibes of Kuta is one of the best things to do in Lombok.
Go to Tiu Kelep & Sendang Gile waterfall
- Cost: Free
- Location: Senaru, Bayan, North Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara 83354, Indonesia
Exploring and trekking to monstrous waters is one of the best things to do in Lombok and luckily there are quite a few waterfalls to enjoy. The best ones are located in Northern Lombok and are called Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile.
To get to these waterfalls you have to go to the small town of Senaru and once there, find the sign that directs you to the waterfall path. If you have trouble finding it, you can ask some locals and they will be more than happy to direct you.
Luckily, both waterfalls are located on the same path and to get to Tiu Kelep, you have to walk by Sendang Gile waterfall. This makes finding and enjoying both waterfalls very easy. However, there is also the option to have a guided tour of the waterfalls. A tour is great because you get local insights and information, plus they show you additional interesting spots and findings. Below is a great option.
Booking your tour: Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile Waterfall Trekking Tour
Enjoy the Food
One of the many great things Indonesia has to offer is its food and in Lombok, they have some amazing options! From curries to spring rolls to fried rice to tempeh, there are so many different dishes and foods to try, and taste them all is a must. Plus, in Lombok, the food is all made so authentically you can taste the freshness in every bite.
The best thing about Indonesian food is that it is very vegetarian-friendly! You will find various dishes on the menus made with tofu, tempeh, and other meat alternatives which is amazing for any fellow vegetarians out there. Plus the food not only looks great but tastes great. I have nothing bad to say about the food, and everything was prepared with care and precision.
If you are staying in Kuta or stopping by, you will find a ton of great restaurants to grab some food at. Some of the best places to eat in Lombok are in Kuta, as they have a ton of hip cafes and restaurants. Some of the best in Kuta is Kenza’s Cafe and Restaurant, Sapori Italian Restaurant, and Bamba.
Watch the sunset at Senggigi Beach
- Cost: Free
- Location: Senggigi
Senggigi is the main tourist spot in Lombok, located on the island’s west coast near Lombok’s capital city Mataram. It is the perfect place to go for a day on the beach followed by a spectacular sunset. The sunsets in Senggigi are some of the best on the island and you can watch it from the beach or a nearby hill. Spending some time here enjoying the waves and stunning views is one of the best things to do in Lombok.
Island hopping on the Gili Islands
- Cost: Depends on tour/transportation
- Location: Gili Islands
The Gili Islands are some of the most famous islands in Indonesia. They are most well known for their crystal blue waters, amazing snorkeling conditions, idyllic Gili Island scuba diving, and exciting atmosphere. Many people take the boat from Bali to Lombok to visit these islands and spend a few nights here. However, if you are staying in Lombok you can enjoy the islands as a day trip or a one-night trip.
The easiest way to go to the Gili Islands is by booking a tour package either online or through your resort. Most resorts have connections in Lombok where they can suggest reputable tours or even have their own, this costs anywhere from 200,000 IDR + (10€). However, if you don’t want to book a tour you can go to Bangsal and take the public ferry to Gili Air, which costs 10,000 IDR (0.58€).
The most popular and famous Gili Islands are Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. Heading to visit and enjoying these famous islands is one of the best things to do in Lombok.
Check out the tours below for these Islands.
However, there are more Gili Islands in Lombok than just the most famous ones. There are actually quite a few private Gili Islands that are much less touristy, but just as beautiful. Check out these tours below for the secret Gili islands.
If you are interested in visiting some additional islands near Lombok be sure to add Komodo Island and Rinca to your visit list.
Visit the Black Monkey Forest
- Cost: Depends on the tour
- Location: Tetebatu, Lombok
Monkeys are a common animal in Indonesia. One of the main attractions in Ubud, Bali is the monkey forest which is home to various brown monkeys for you to see and possibly interact with. What is rare in Indonesia are black monkeys, but they can be found in Lombok.
In a small village called Tetebatu, there is a black monkey forest for people to walk through and spot black monkeys. What’s nice about the black monkeys is that they are shy and just sit in the trees and watch you, unlike the aggressive brown monkeys! Admiring these gentle creatures is one of the best things to do in Lombok.
Be Amazed at the Rice Fields
- Cost: Depends on the tour
- Location: Tetebatu, Lombok
Indonesia is famous for its hills of vast rice fields that litter the land. These rice fields are some of the most photographed and famous attractions in Bali, and luckily, Lombok has some of its own. However, the rice fields in Lombok are 100x better than what you will find in Bali. The ones here are actually in use by local farmers to grow rice for the village whereas in Bali they are simply made and used for tourism.
Since these rice fields are actually used by locals you need to have a tour guide bring you through them. The tour I went on was an amazing private tour in Tetebatu that brought us on a hike through the jungle, the monkey forest, a private waterfall, and the fields, plus a few other places. In the next section of the post (Section: Take an Adventure Tour) I talk more about the tour I went on and how to get in touch with the tour guide who hosted my tour!
Visiting these rice fields is quite a different experience than visiting the ones in Bali. The ones in Bali are made for tourists with clear paths to follow, while in Tetebatu you have to walk through the jungle, climb hills, and watch out for holes in the ground made to drain water. It is one of the best things to do in Lombok for a more local experience!
This adventure is not for the faint-hearted. The physical exertion of climbing the hills (which the guide makes look easy) coupled with the humid air and beating sun make for a strenuous journey. However, it is beyond worth it! An unforgettable experience.
The rice fields in these photos are in Tetebatu, Lombok, and are breathtaking. From all directions in this area, you can see rice stretching into the distance in its unique land formations. The views are amazing and the information that the tour guide can give you while exploring them is invaluable.
Take an Adventure Tour
- Cost: Varies
- Location: Anywhere
One of the best ways to see interesting and unique areas of Lombok is by taking a tour from a local. The tour guides (and people) in Lombok are all extremely friendly and very nice to spend time with. They all love their jobs in tourism and are willing to show and explain to you anything you need to know. This is one of the best things to do in Lombok you do not want to skip.
As previously mentioned, while I was in Lombok I took an amazing tour of the Tetebatu area which included some authentic and beautiful rice fields, a secret waterfall, and the monkey forest. In addition to this, the villagers of Tetebatu also grow fresh cocoa, vanilla, chili beans, tomatoes, banana, and more which are pointed out and examined during the tour.
The best part? You are able to buy these fresh products from the locals. I would highly suggest taking a tour like this to explore the more local areas of Lombok that can only be explored with a guide.
The tour guide who guided my boyfriend and I was named Roonie and he was absolutely amazing. He was extremely knowledgeable about the area and gave us so much interesting and valuable information. If you want to go on the same tour I did and be amazed by all the beauty of Tetebatu, book a tour with him. For more information and to see some other reviews, he has a page on TripAdvisor for you to check out.
Take a Village Tour
- Cost: Depends
- Location: Anywhere
In addition to tours of the jungle and rural nature areas, you can take a tour of an authentic Lombok village or take a class that is special to the area. Lombok is full of tradition and tourists are welcome, and encouraged, to immerse themselves in the ways of life of the island.
The best way to do this in Lombok is by taking a tour of the Sasak Village of Lombok. Here you will be welcomed by music and colors on an exciting journey to see the traditional side of the island. In Sasak Village, you will see woven huts, street performers, and textile workers.
The tours also offer some more hands-on activities like weaving workshops! This is a great option for those who want to learn about the art of weaving with colorful fabrics and materials. Learning from locals is one of the best things to do in Lombok to immerse yourself in the ways of life of the locals and promote the local economy.
Support the local Economy
Lombok is a place that survives off of tourism and supporting the locals for their work is a must. I think it is important to purchase local goods when visiting different villages on the island. It is important to give back to the communities who are working diligently to make your experience amazing.
All places sell different things like coconut straws, coconut cups, bracelets, spices, and much more! You should consider buying a few things to take home as souvenirs from the people here! The people of Lombok use their craftsmanship to create goods for tourists.
Just beware not to get scammed with the prices. Many sellers will bump up the price for tourists to an unfair amount. You will find that you most likely have to bargain the prices in Lombok which is part of the fun of visiting this island.
Visit the Pink Beach
- Cost: 50,000 IDR entrance (2.91€)
- Location: Pink Beach, Lombok
There is only a very small number of pink beaches in the world, and two of those pink beaches are located in Indonesia. One in Komodo and the other a short distance from Kuta, Lombok. The pink beach in Lombok is called by locals Tangsi Beach. With stunning pink sands that is a rare and enticing sight to see. But the hue of pink depends on the time of day you arrive.
It is pinker in the morning than in the afternoon due to the sunlight. More so, the beach is not as private as it once was. The 50,000 IDR (2.91€) entrance is quite steep for Lombok, which shows it’s quite a popular tourist spot. Despite this, it is very unique and a nice place to visit in Lombok.
To get to the pink beach you will have to go on a little adventure. It is located in a pretty remote area in East Lombok and can be reached by car or scooter. The roads towards the end are quite bumpy so if you want a smooth journey renting a car is best. However, renting a scooter for the journey is cheaper. This is one of the best things to do in Lombok which is super unique and special.
Relax at your resort
- Cost: Cost / night
Lombok is full of beautiful resorts that are available at low prices. You can have a 5-star experience at low to midrange prices which results in a pretty relaxing and enjoyable stay. Most resorts are so beautiful that spending some time relaxing at the pool and using the amenities is well worth it. Make some use of your resort and spend time in its beauty and splendor.
The resort I stayed at (pictured above) was called Rascals and it was unbelievable. There is an on-site spa, restaurant, pool, tours, and everything you could ever need. I 100% recommend a stay here. Simply relaxing at your beautiful resort is something to be celebrated and one of the best things to do in Lombok.
Below are some other great resort options that are beautiful, on a budget.
Weather in Lombok
Lombok is located just under the equator and experiences a tropical climate of two seasons; wet season and dry season. The dry season is from May to October and the wet season is from October to March. Although this is the wet season there is only about one hour of rain per day. The temperature in Lombok is around 30 degrees and quite humid.
When to visit Lombok
The most popular time to visit Lombok is in July and August because this is typically the driest season and when the temperatures are slightly cooler. This means more people and booking in advance is a necessity. However, if you don’t mind a bit of rain scattered around then visiting in the rainy season (October – March) is a great option. Prices are lower, the weather is nice, and there are fewer people.
How to get from Bali to Lombok
The cheapest and fastest way to get from Bali to Lombok is by plane. There is an airport in Lombok that has constant planes coming in from Bali. The flights from Bali to Lombok are around 15 euros each way and take 20 minutes. So if you are looking for speed and price a plane is best for you.
The second way to get from Bali to Lombok is by boat. There are two types of boats that go to Lombok; fast boats and the local ferry. The fast boats are significantly more expensive (500,000 IDR each way – 30€) but take only 2-4 hours depending on the water conditions.
If the water conditions are bad the fast boat is a pretty unenjoyable experience as the waves can get pretty high. On the other hand, the local ferry costs 70,000 IDR (4€) each way and takes around 5 hours. The boat is slow but big and there is lots to look at on the open ocean.
How to get around Lombok
The cheapest way to get around Lombok is with a scooter. Most resorts rent out scooters for very cheap, around 60,000 IDR for a day which is about 3.50€. Scooters are convenient and cheap but you need to be comfortable on them as the roads are pretty hectic.
The second way to get around is by hiring a driver. In Lombok, you can hire a private driver for a day to bring you places for around 600,000 IDR per day which is about 34€. This is a very convenient and quick way to get around but it comes at a price.
Is it Safe to Travel to Lombok?
Generally, Lombok is a very safe place to visit. However, just like anywhere, you should always exercise caution while traveling. But walking through the streets of Lombok you will feel quite safe. In fact, the people of Lombok are extremely friendly and will make you feel very welcome.
Where to stay in Lombok
As mentioned, the best place to stay in Lombok is Kuta if you are looking for close proximity to the beautiful beaches. Alternatively, the other great areas to stay in are the Gili Islands, Senggigi, or Tetebatu. Here are some great options ranging from entire villas to resorts and hotels:
Lombok Travel Tips
- The religion practiced in Lombok is Islam, meaning it is a predominately Muslim island. You will hear the call to prayer a few times a day, and notice most women covered up. Be respectful of the culture and traditions and try to cover up on scooters.
- Beware of people selling overpriced items. I got sucked into buying bracelets from children selling them because they said they could name any capital city in the world. Sometimes, I paid for the overpriced item because the slight difference made no real impact for me.
- Be prepared to bargain your prices, this is welcome and encouraged in Lombok.
- Don’t drink the water or have drinks with ice in them unless they are from bottled water. The water here is not drinkable.
- Pack bug spray as there are a lot of mosquitoes
There are so many wonderful things to do in Lombok that will blow you away. This island is full of surprises and beauty and its undercover beauty only adds to its charm.
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