Top 10 Things To Do in Lombok

Mount rinjani - - things to do in lombok

Lombok, often overshadowed by its famous neighbor Bali, is a hidden treasure of Indonesia, offering a unique blend of serenity and adventure. Unlike the bustling beaches of Bali, Lombok promises untouched natural beauty, where pristine beaches, lush forests, and an authentic cultural mosaic await explorers. This beautiful island is perfect for those seeking tranquility, untouched nature, and rich culture.

Getting to Lombok

Before we get to the list of things to do in Lombok. Let’s start first with how to reach the island. Reaching Lombok is a journey as picturesque as the destination itself. Travelers can opt for a quick flight from major Indonesian cities or international hubs like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, landing at the easily accessible Lombok International Airport.

Alternatively, the sea route offers a scenic voyage, with regular boat services from Bali and the Gili Islands, painting a serene picture of the Indonesian archipelago. Various booking platforms and local guides provide a seamless experience in planning your journey, ensuring your adventure begins when you visit this hidden gem.

I highly recommend flying from Bali there (which will take 40 mins and cost you around 100$), as the journey by boat (fast boat (1.5 to 3 hours), and by Slow boat (4 to 8 hours)) is less expensive but much more difficult unless you visit the Gillis before getting to Lombok.

Lombok Island

Accommodations in Lombok

Lombok caters to every traveler’s need with its diverse accommodation options. Mataram buzzes with local life and traditional experiences for those seeking a cultural immersion. Senggigi, on the other hand, offers serenity with its luxurious beach resorts, making it ideal for family vacations or romantic getaways. Backpackers and surf enthusiasts will find their haven in Kuta Lombok, known for its vibrant hostels like Pipes Hostel and incredible surf spots.

For a more secluded experience, consider a Beautiful Bungalow near the beach, available on Airbnb, offering a personal touch to your stay. If you seek luxury, resorts, and Villas provide an exquisite escape with their elegant amenities and stunning beachfront views.

Top Attractions in Lombok:

1. The Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are a top choice for tourists, with Gili Trawangan being the most visited due to its early development and comprehensive facilities. Each island hosts resorts with huts, a pool, and a restaurant, offering comfort and simplicity.

Gili Trawangan’s local community primarily lives in the east, where recent development is concentrated. The islands enforce a no-automobile policy to maintain their serene environment, making walking, biking, and horse-drawn carriages the preferred transportation methods.

The harbor area buzzes with nightlife, attracting those looking for entertainment, while the western shore provides a quiet haven for couples and honeymooners. This balance between vibrant social scenes and peaceful retreats makes the Gili Islands appealing to diverse travelers.

The Gilis consist of:

Gili Trawangan, the largest, blends lively nightlife and gorgeous beaches, perfect for those seeking a vibrant scene.

Gili Meno offers a tranquil escape with its serene beaches and crystal-clear waters, ideal for snorkeling enthusiasts.

Gili Air strikes a balance, offering a laid-back atmosphere with a touch of sophistication.

Discover the underwater marvels, including vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, through snorkeling tours. These islands are easily accessible via a day tour, providing a comprehensive experience of their distinct charms.

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2. Mount Rinjani

Standing at 3,740 meters (12,224 feet), Mount Rinjani ranks as one of Indonesia’s tallest volcanoes. This iconic peak is Lombok island’s standout attraction, drawing trekkers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore its stunning crater lake, Segara Anak, with its deep blue waters. Opting for a three-day, two-night journey is a favored choice among visitors, providing ample opportunity to experience the crater rim and soak in the scenic villages and rejuvenating hot springs.

For those seeking a brisk adventure, a two-day trek offers an invigorating challenge, while a leisurely four-day trek caters to those looking to unwind amidst nature. Participating in a guided tour ensures a safe and seamless exploration of Rinjani’s breathtaking landscapes.

Climbing Mount Rinjani is challenging and demands a high level of physical fitness, thorough preparation, and significant mental fortitude. Whether aiming for Rinjani’s summit at 3,740 meters or the Second Summit at 3,126 meters, adventurers universally acknowledge the journey as unforgettable—a true test of physical and mental endurance.

The climb is widely regarded as difficult, or even very difficult, requiring climbers to push beyond their limits and embrace the rigorous demands of the ascent.

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3. Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile Waterfalls

Lombok is home to some of Indonesia’s most stunning waterfalls, including Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile. Situated just a 90-minute journey from Senggigi, these waterfalls offer breathtaking views.

In the heart of lush jungles and traditional rice terraces, these waterfalls offer a refreshing escape from the tropical heat. The trek to these cascades takes you through the scenic landscapes of Lombok, offering opportunities for both adventure and tranquility.

The entry fee stands at 20k per individual. It’s advisable to hire a guide for the best experience (we had a fantastic guide named, who charged 170k for three people, entry fees and lunch included), especially since locating the second waterfall can be challenging.

While flip-flops are an option, be prepared to cross the river en route to the second waterfall. Those with knee issues might find the trek demanding, and the presence of narrow stairs necessitates caution. A decent balance and a moderate fitness level are beneficial, with the walk between the waterfalls taking approximately 25 minutes.

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4. Lombok Cultural Experiences

Immerse yourself in Lombok’s rich culture with experiences like Sasak village tours, where you can learn about the local traditions and lifestyles.

Lombok’s unique culture largely stems from its Sasak population, which makes up 80% of its inhabitants. Exploring Lombok offers deep insights into the local lifestyle, and various tours are available for a closer look at the island’s history.

For a local shopping experience, Kebon Roek Market in Mataram City is a must-visit. This four-level market is a hub for fresh vegetables, meats, spices, and more, showcasing the community’s daily life.

The blend of religions in Lombok is fascinating, especially at Lingsar Temple, which harmonizes Balinese Hinduism with the island’s Wetu Telu religion. The temple, surrounded by rice fields, features ponds and gardens, symbolizing the unity of these religions in Lombok.

Pura Agung Narmada, a replica of Mount Rinjani and its crater-lake Segara Anak, served as a summer retreat for the King of Mataram. It’s a popular spot for locals to picnic or swim, with guided tours to dive into its history.

Sade Village offers a glimpse into traditional weaving and farming practices, allowing visitors to experience Sasak culture firsthand. The village’s distinctive homes, with their low doorways and cow-dung-covered patios, reflect unique cultural practices of showing respect and maintaining cleanliness.

For those interested in indoor exploration, the West Nusa Tenggara Museum in Mataram City houses a comprehensive collection of artifacts, including geological, archaeological, and biological exhibits that narrate the rich history of eastern Indonesia.

Lombok’s culture is integral to the island’s charm, offering travelers numerous opportunities to learn about its customs, lifestyle, and historical significance.

Sasak village weaving - things to do in lombok

5. Try a Surf Lesson in Selong Belanak

Selong Belanak Beach is renowned as the prime location in Lombok for those new to surfing, offering gentle, slow-moving waves close to shore. The water is exceptionally clear, with minimal seagrass, creating ideal conditions for beginners.

The beach has warungs (local eateries) that provide surf lessons and board rentals. Upon arrival, you’ll notice the eager service offers, but remember, better deals are often found further from the entrance.

Don’t miss the chance to witness water buffalos being led back along the beach by local farmers around 5:00 pm each afternoon. It’s a unique photo opportunity. Just remember to respect the animals and the farmers’ livelihoods.

There’s no charge for entry, though a parking fee of 10,000 IND per scooter applies, which is common for beaches in the area.

For more information, read our detailed guide on Selong Belanak Beach.

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6. Visit Kuta Lombok

Kuta, located on Lombok’s southern coast within the West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia, is celebrated for its stunning beaches and excellent surfing locations nearby. It has evolved into Lombok’s premier destination for tourists. Unlike the busier, noisier party towns you might be used to hearing about, Kuta Lombok feels more like a laid-back surf town.

Thanks to its strategic location, It’s got plenty of guesthouses and restaurants, but even when the tourist season is at its peak, it somehow manages to keep a chill vibe.

While Kuta Beach itself may not steal the show, the surrounding beaches like Mandalika, Seger, Tanjung Aan, and Merese certainly will. Known for their stunning scenery, these beaches are perfect for surfing, kicking back, or snorkeling, despite marine life being richer in other Lombok locales.

Don’t miss Bukit Merese and Bukit Seger, two notable hills offering breathtaking views of sunsets and sunrises. Easy to access, you can drive close to the summit for minimal hiking. Ideal for a daytime picnic or just admiring Kuta from above, these hills are a gentle reminder to leave no trace behind.

Kuta Lombok may surprise you with its vibrant nightlife. While the Gili Islands might hold the title for Lombok’s best night scenes, Kuta brings its unique flavor to the table. With various bars and pubs, Kuta is convenient, offering easy access to the city, motorized transport, medical facilities, police stations, and ATMs, making it a practical choice for evening entertainment.

These highlights make Kuta not just a stopover but a central hub for experiencing the essence of Lombok, from its serene beaches and scenic hills to its lively night scene.

Need a good place to eat in Kuta? Read our post on the 7 best Kuta Lombok restaurants.

Kuta Lombok beach

7. Pink Beach Lombok

Pink Beach, or Tangsi Beach as it’s also known, stands out as a marvel on Lombok. While the southern part of the island, especially around Kuta, is known for its stunning white sand beaches like Tanjung Aan Beach (a personal favorite), Pink Beach is unique with its pinkish hue. This distinctive color comes from the myriad coral fragments and shells scattered across its sands.

What makes Pink Beach even more special is its lack of commercial tourist infrastructure. There’s no concrete sprawl or air-conditioned dining to be found here. Instead, the beach retains an authentic Indonesian atmosphere, with basic amenities that blend seamlessly with nature. The warungs, small local eateries, are constructed from bamboo, offering a more authentic feel. Instead of modern sunbeds, you’ll find gazebos providing shade, inviting you to disconnect and immerse yourself in the surroundings.

The beach is a popular spot for snorkeling, beckoning visitors to explore the vibrant underwater world a little way off the shore. However, like many Southeast Asian places, marine pollution challenges are evident here. Encountering plastic waste, including cups and bags, floating in the otherwise pristine turquoise waters was disheartening. Despite this, Pink Beach remains a must-visit for its natural beauty and serene atmosphere, offering a slice of paradise with a gentle reminder of our oceans’ environmental challenges.

For more information, read our post on Pink Beach Lombok.

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8. Tanjung Aan Beach

Tanjung Aan Beach in Lombok instantly became my go-to spot, almost like a second home, with its stunning clear turquoise water, soft white sand, and the quaint straw parasols dotting the landscape. Colorful warungs (local eateries) framed by a sea of palm trees add to its charm.

Initially, I had the luxury of enjoying Tanjung Aan’s picturesque setting mostly to myself, a surprising delight given its breathtaking scenery. However, as Lombok became popular on social media, the once-secluded beach welcomed more visitors. Despite this surge, it remains far less crowded than Bali’s packed shores.

Visiting during the dry season, from May to September, is ideal for the best beach weather, with lots of sun and little rain. While June to August attracts visitors with their mild climate and reduced humidity, I’ve grown to prefer the quieter months of February to April. Post-rainy season, the island is lush, the crowds thinner, and the weather mostly clear.

For surf enthusiasts, Tanjung Aan offers a long A-frame wave in the middle of the bay, perfect for beginners and longboarders on calmer days and more challenging conditions suitable for experienced surfers when the waves grow larger. Launch your surfing adventure from the eastern beachside towards Bukit Merese, but be cautious of low tide when the reef can pose dangers.

Surf gear, from soft-tops to paddleboards, is available for rent along the beach. We paid 100,000 IDR (about 7 USD) for an hour, a small price for the unforgettable experience Tanjung Aan Beach offers.

Tanjung Aan Beach Lombok

9. Mawun Beach

Mawun Beach is a quiet and beautiful beach in Lombok, about an hour and a half drive from Mataram, about 60 kilometers away. This beach is special because it has really soft, white sand and is located in a bay with hills on both sides.

The sand at the center of the beach is very fine and soft, but if you walk towards the west side of the beach, the sand gets a bit rougher. The waves at Mawun Beach are different depending on where you are. The waves are stronger in the middle of the beach, which might be fun for those who like a bit of a challenge. But near the hills on the east and west sides, the water is much calmer, making it a great spot for families with kids to play in the water safely.

Some people like to try climbing the hills around Mawun Beach to see the amazing views from the top. However, climbing these hills can be tough and risky since there aren’t clear paths to follow.

Mawun Beach is still natural and not very developed, meaning it’s less crowded and more peaceful. The drive to get there is really scenic, though some roads might not be in the best condition. It’s a good idea to take the route from the east if you can. Since there aren’t many places to stay or eat near Mawun Beach, bringing your food and drinks is a good idea if you’re planning to stay for the day.

Mawun Beach Lombok

10. Mawi Beach

Mawi Beach is a favorite spot for surfers in Lombok, especially during the dry season. The waves here are great, whether they’re small or big, making it a fun place for surfing. But remember, there’s a reef below, so you need to be careful when the tide is low.

Even if you don’t surf, Mawi Beach is a fantastic place for a day trip. It’s about a 45-minute drive from Kuta, Lombok. You can rent a car or a scooter to get there, or even hire a driver to make the trip easier. If you’re just there to chill, you can relax on the sand and watch the surfers, or enjoy the beautiful ocean views and sunsets. It’s a peaceful spot that’s perfect for a quiet beach day.

Mawi Beach has some of the most reliable waves in Lombok throughout the dry season, fitting both small and big waves. The beach is safer for surfing at high tide because the waves are gentler, and mid-tide is the best time for catching fun waves. However, surfing at low tide can be tricky because of the shallow and sharp reef.

The beach itself is beautiful, with white sand and rocks around a small bay. There are some huts by the beach where you can find shade and watch the surfers. There’s plenty of room on the beach to relax and enjoy the quiet. The area around the beach has hills and small farms where tobacco is grown, making the drive to Mawi Beach really scenic.

To get to Mawi Beach, it’s best to go by scooter. It’s quicker and easier to navigate the steep and winding roads from Kuta, Lombok, especially the rough dirt road to the beach. When you arrive, there’s a small entry fee of 10,000Rp per scooter, paid to a local at the gate. This fee helps take care of the beach and supports the local community.

Mawi Beach is not just popular with surfers but also with people who love beautiful, quiet beaches. It’s a spot worth visiting for anyone looking for a peaceful day by the sea on Lombok’s southern coast.

To conclude this 10 things to do in Lombok list:

Lombok offers diverse activities catering to adventurers, culture enthusiasts, beach lovers, and everyone in between. From the challenging surf at Mawi Beach to the tranquil beauty of Tanjung Aan, the island is a treasure trove of natural wonders waiting to be explored. Whether hiking up the majestic Rinjani, immersing yourself in the local Sasak culture, or simply soaking up the sun on one of its many pristine beaches, Lombok promises an unforgettable experience.

Each activity on the island presents an opportunity to connect with nature, discover new cultures, and find adventure around every corner. So, pack your bags and prepare for an exciting journey to explore the beauty and diversity of Lombok, an island that truly has something for everyone.

If you fell in love with the island and want to know your options about owning your little piece of paradise – don’t hesitate to contact us!

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