Lombok is often an island that is overlooked and skipped in many people’s Indonesian itineraries. This island is Bali’s bigger neighbour that is more mountainous, less crowded and is still a surfers paradise. Think lush green jungle, towering waterfalls, epic viewpoints over rice fields and almost deserted beaches and you have Lombok.
Sounds dreamy doesn’t it? If you’re the type of person who likes to get more off of the beaten track then skip some of the attractions in Bali and make your way to Lombok island or even further to Flores. Though the island isn’t totally off the beaten path, far fewer travellers come to Lombok than Bali and it is home to the famous Gili Islands.
I’ll be honest, Lombok was my least favourite island in Indonesia mainly because it cost more to get around and I didn’t find the locals as friendly as other Indonesia islands but this was my personal experience and I’m sharing details below so you’ll be prepared price wise. Many people rave about Lombok, especially if they’re surfers.
Believe me, I think the island is well worth visiting if you love natural landscapes, trekking, waterfalls and beaches! But you’ll have to travel Lombok and find out for yourself.
All prices are in Indonesian rupiah. See up to date conversions with XE Currency.
How to Get to Lombok
You have a few options when getting to Lombok.
How to get to Lombok from Bali: From Bali you have the choice of flying or by boat. A flight is half an hour and you will land in Lombok’s only airport in Kuta which is in the south.
Or you can choose to travel by boat. The public ferries depart from Padang Bai Harbour in Bali and arrive in Lembar Harbour in Lombok (near Senggigi). The journey takes 4-5 hours, ferries leave every hour and tickets can only be bought at the harbour for 46,000 per person (prices change frequently though).
Lastly, you have the option to take a fast boat which takes about 2 hours. Fast boats in Bali don’t always have the best reputation so make sure you do your research before booking. Prices range from $35+ USD.
How to get to Lombok from Gili Islands: You have two choices to get to the Lombok Bangsal Harbour from all of the Gili Islands. Public boats are available that cost less than 20,000 and differ depending on which island you’re travelling from. The furthest away is Gili T and takes 40 minutes. The downside is that you have to wait until the boat is full to leave.
The second option is to take a fast boat which are more expensive (around 80,000). Tickets are be purchased at one of the many tourist shops on any island.
READ MORE: How to Create a Backpacking Budget for a Southeast Asia Trip
How to Get Around Lombok
Getting around Lombok is just like Bali, there is no public transport but there are multiple places to visit in Lombok. There is no GoJek in Lombok like there is in Bali for cheap rides. Instead in Lombok you will have to hire private drivers to get around between destinations which is costly. I paid 500,000 to get from Sembalun in the north to Kuta in the south which was about a 2.5 hour drive. From places such as Kuta and Senggigi you will have options to get shared buses at stalls lining the main streets and Rinjani tours usually include transfers from Kuta or the harbour.
To get to waterfalls and beaches you will have to hire private cars or drive yourself as day trips. So make some friends and split the cost of a car if you can!
There is the option to rent a bike for Lombok travel but be prepared for long drives or places not wanting to let you rent bikes for long drives. You can however rent a bike in Bali and then head over to Lombok on the public ferry (the only way to bring a bike over) and then scoot around.
Travel Insurance Lombok
READ MORE: Common Southeast Asia Travel Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)
Your Lombok itinerary can differ depending on what you’re after on this island but I recommend to spend at least a week on Lombok and its neighbouring Gili Islands but 10 days would be ideal. These itineraries break down where to go in Lombok and for how long but of course it all depends on how much time you want to chill.
Lombok 7 Day Itinerary
- Gili Islands: Days 1-2
- Mount Rinjani: Days 3-5
- Kuta: Days 6-7
Lombok 10 Day Itinerary
- Gili Islands: Days 1-3
- Mount Rinjani: Days 4-6
- Kuta: Days 7-10
Things to do in Lombok
To make things simple I’ve broken down the island into areas to help you plan how much time you want to spend in each area. Keep reading to find out what to do in Lombok for each region.
Things to do in North Lombok (Senaru and Sembulan)
Senaru and Sembulan are both mountain towns at the base of Rinjani. Senaru is the most popular of the two and where most people start their trek up Rinjani, however many tours will also pick up people staying in Sembulan or start the trek from Sembulan which is actually closer to Rinjani.
Trekking Rinjani is no easy task and is not for beginner trekkers. Trips up Rinjani can be done is 2-3 days and include trekking for 7-8 hours a day on sometimes lose rock and step points. You start the trek with a 1500m over 8km. I’m not trying to discourage you from trekking Rinjani but just making you aware! I personally skipped it because I didn’t feel that I was fit enough (read: not fit at all) so I chose to do a soft trek, Perigasingan Hill.
Two-day treks will take you to the summit or the crater rim and include a guide and a porter. Three-day treks will take you to the summit, a lake and the hot springs on Rinjani.
Sendang Gile Waterfall
Waterfalls are some of the best Lombok attractions. This towering waterfall is certainly a site and will give you some great Instagram pictures. It is extremely easy to get to from Senaru and it’s right in the main town. Locals will be happy to point you in the right direction.
Locals will be waiting for you to enter and will offer you services as a guide for 150,000 or more. You do not need a guide as there is an obvious path to Sendang Gile. The entrance fee is 10,000 and it covers the cost for both Sengang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls.
Tiu Kelep Waterfall
When you visit Lombok you’re going to want to see this waterfall. Tiu Kelep waterfall is a jaw-dropping waterfall that is a moderately easy walk to get to as it is quite accessible. Tiu Kelep is the second of two waterfalls, the first being Sendang Gile waterfall. But Tiu Kelep is even more impressive. There is a second path at the bottom of the stairs. When heading back towards the stairs take the path on the left and you’ll be led to Tiu Kelep.
Kids are hanging around and will offer to be your guides, they ask for about 20,000. Most speak good English and they’ll help you take pictures and walk through the areas when you’ll need to go through water. The water is not deep (below the knees) so getting through is no problem.
For both of these waterfalls avoid going on the weekend, especially Sunday if you can because this is when they are the busiest.
Tiu Teja Waterfall
I personally didn’t visit this waterfall but it is also in the north of Lombok and can be visited on your way to or from Senaru or from Senggigi (which is about 1 hour away). It’s located in the middle of the jungle close to Santong village. You can find more info on how to get there in this article.
Trek Perigasingan Hill
Since I skipped trekking Rinjani I still wanted to do something active so I opted for this soft trek that takes you up Perigasingan Hill (I call it a mountain) in Sembalun. The trek takes 2-3 hours up and down and is ideal for sunrise so you can see Rinjani as the sun comes up. This hill is where porters train for Rinjani. It can also be done as an overnight trip so you don’t have to trek up in the dark.
I wouldn’t call this trek easy though as at some points it is a 70° climb and there is lose rock, but it is totally doable. I am totally out of shape and managed!
Unfortunately, even though it’s a short trek it is not cheap. I booked through my accommodation in Senaru which included lunch and a transfer from Senaru for 800,000. This was the cheapest price I had found and it was a private tour!
Bukit Selong Rice Field Viewpoint
This rice field viewpoint has got to be one of the best I’ve ever seen and is worth checking out on your Lombok trip. The viewpoint is located in Sembalun and can be visited on your way down to Kuta from Senaru. In the distance you can see Perigasingan Hill but if you do the Perigasingan trek you will get views of the same rice fields.
There is a 10,000 rupiah fee and it’s a short 10-minute hike up.
Take a right at the top of the stairs to get to the point with the star. Just behind the star there is a small bridge that is falling apart but gives you views over all of Sembalun.
Things to do in Central Lombok
There is not much to do in central Lombok other than some waterfalls so I don’t recommend staying here but visiting the waterfalls instead as part of your trip down from Senaru or Sembulan or as a day trip from Kuta.
Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu Waterfalls
In central Lombok, Air Berik, is where these two waterfalls are located. There are actually 5 waterfalls but these two are the most impressive (so I’ve been told since I didn’t get to see the others!).
Bengang Stokel is the first waterfall and is down the path to the left just through the entrance. It’s about a 5-minute walk on a path and then you’ll come to this double waterfall that has a perfect area to take pictures without even going into the water.
My personal favourite was Bengan Kelambu waterfall as it was like something from out of a fairytale where the water flowed down in light streams from the lush greenery. It is about a 15-20 minute walk from Benang Stokel and there is a path with stairs up on the right when you start heading back towards the path you came in on.
When you get to the waterfalls locals will usher you into the office where they will then try and charge you 150,000 for a guide or 60,000 to see each waterfall. I haggled and myself and my friend got in without a guide for 50,000 each. Though you may want a guide since I had no idea how to find the other 3 (less impressive) waterfalls were.
These waterfalls are about a 2 hour drive from Kuta so they can be done as a day trip easily. Do not use Google Maps as your navigator (unless you enjoy driving through farmers paths that are just rocks). The correct location for these waterfalls is on Maps.me, an app where you can download an offline map to help you get there.
Things to do in Kuta Lombok
Kuta is where all of the surfers head to catch some epic waves without any crowds. But it’s also a beach lovers paradise and the perfect place to just chill out. Kuta is also where the island’s airport is so Kuta should be your starting or finishing point.
Merges Hill (Sunset Point)
Locals and tourists alike gather on Merges Hill to watch sunset over the hills. It’s the best place to watch sunset in Kuta and can be hiked up in less than 10 minutes. It’s also right beside Tanjung Aan beach so both of these can be done on the same day as it’s a 20-minute drive outside the main town.
Tanjung Aan Beach
This was my personal favourite beach in Kuta because of the calm waters that are a stunning blue shade and because it is more developed. Bamboo lounge chairs dot the shores and there are a number of simple restaurants set up so you can enjoy a cool coconut and some lunch without having to leave the beach.
Because it is more developed there are people and kids trying to sell you sarongs, pineapples and bracelets so be prepared to have them asking you more consistently than is necessary.
The drive to the beach is about 20-minutes from the main town on mostly good roads. The last two roads have plenty of potholes but can still be driven on.
Batu Puyung Rock Formation
This is an umbrella-shaped rock that is close to Tanjung Aan beach. You can get to this rock for a photo op by boat from the beach or by walking. It will take about an hour to walk over some rocks and rock pools and you may be the only one walking over.
Kuta Beach Lombok is the main beach and is the closest to town. It has nice sand and the waves are small so it’s okay for swimming. There are some food stalls here where you can get drinks and some light snacks. Most locals hangout here and it is the busiest beach in Kuta, though it is never packed like the beaches in Bali. Parking is 10,000.
Mawun beach is a 20-minute drive from the main town but will bring you over hills and past some spots where you’ll want to pull over and take some scenic pictures. It’s a quiet beach and has bamboo lounge chairs and restaurants lining the beach. Swimming is possible but the waves are bigger.
At the moment the driving is not great as there is a lot of construction so the road is covered in gravel and dirt but the roads are improving quickly and it is a paved road already. Parking is 10,000.
Pink beach is about an hour drive away from Kuta and has a few water activities but is generally a quiter area. The beach itself is not very pink but has a definite pink hue to it. You can snorkel here, dive or go island hopping. The water is also crystal clear and is perfect for a swim. There is also a hill on the side and its a great lookout over the beach.
Kuta, Lombok is known as one of the surfing destinations in Indonesia. It is not spoiled by a ton of tourists yet like Bali and it is an actual surfers paradise where you can ride waves without all of the crowds.
I won’t pretend that I know how to surf or know the best spots so I recommend further research!
Kuta is turning into a mini Canggu with restaurants and yoga studios already established. So between your beach or surf sessions why not zen out at one of the two studios currently in Kuta. Yoga classes are available for walk-ins with package deals for 3 classes at both Mana Retreat & Yoga and Ashtari Lombok.
I went to 3 classes at Mana and loved the classes and instructors. The property is absolutely gorgeous and the accommodation looked amazing. Ashtari has multiple locations for classes and I saw one of the locations on top of a hill and it has awesome views!
Sunset at Ashtari
Ashtari is also a restaurant. It’s perched on top of a hill so you can get good views even if you don’t do a yoga class here. The prices are typical of a western restaurant in Indonesia and is a good spot for sunset (though not as good as Merek Hill). Either way, the food is delicious!
Eat at El Bazar
I don’t usually include where to eat in my guides as things to do but this place was so Insta-worthy that I had to include it. To sit in the best spot of the restaurant, the back terrace, head over during the day as the terrace closes for dinner. Just look at how cute the picture is above! It is pricer but not ridiculous and the food is extra yummy.
Where to Stay in Lombok
Find affordable to luxury options with these Lombok accommodation suggestions.
If you don’t have accommodation included in a package for trekking Rinjani check out these options.
- Budget: Rinjani Trails Hotel | BOOK NOW: Booking.com
- Mid-Range: Dragonfly Senaru Lodge | BOOK NOW: Booking.com
- Luxury: Rinjani Lodge | BOOK NOW: Booking.com
You’re bound to spend some time in Kuta as you’ll fly in or out of here so find where to stay in Kuta Lombok.
- Budget: Bamba Capsule Hostel | BOOK NOW: Booking.com
- Mid-Range: Aldi’s Bungalow and Homestay | BOOK NOW: Booking.com
- Luxury: Kies Villas Lombok | BOOK NOW: Booking.com
I didn’t recommend Senggigi in my itinerary but if you end up taking the boat over from Bali you may want to spend a night in Senggigi before travelling north or south.
- Budget: Selasar Hostel | BOOK NOW: Booking.com
- Mid-Range: Kebun Villas & Resort | BOOK NOW: Booking.com
- Luxury: Katamaran Hotel & Resort | BOOK NOW: Booking.com
Enjoy your Lombok trip!