All About Lombok!

Lombok is an Indonesian island east of Bali and west of Sumbawa, part of the Lesser Sunda Island chain. It’s known for beaches and surfing spots, particularly at Kuta and Banko Banko (in south Lombok). The motor-vehicle-free Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno), off Lombok’s west coast, offer more beaches, reefs for diving and snorkeling, and a sea turtle hatchery.

Many people who come to Indonesia looking for a beach holiday and Lombok is the best option for it.


Some of the highlights of this island include its stunning white sand beaches as well as clean seas and some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities to be had in Indonesia. It is also the home of the famous Mount Rinjani, so if you like trekking then a trip up to the summit of this active volcano is not to be missed. You will also find a slower pace of life here as well as a more relaxed setting, and if you want something different that is still easy to reach from Bali, then Lombok is a perfect choice.

Here are the best things you should know in Lombok:

1. The Gili’s Island (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno)

  • Gili Trawangan
  • Gili Trawangan Maps

Gili Trawangan Lombok, located in the southwest of the island of Lombok, is Asia’s top tourist destination ranked sixth as the island’s most desirable destination in Asia. Only 30 minutes from Bangsal Harbor or 1.5 hours from Bali.

Gili Trawangan was once a fishing village that in recent years has transformed tourist areas that offer a variety of classes of accommodation, restaurants, and exciting activities from backpacker style to exclusive.

Trawangan never fails to attract visitors who come from all over the world, drawn to the amazing coastline, white sand, turquoise waters, and amazing marine life. During the holiday season such as July-August or New Year, Trawangan is filled with foreign tourists and can even run out of rooms.


  • Gili Air
  • Gili Air Maps

Although Gili Air is closest to the Lombok mainland it is the most overlooked of the three Gili islands in terms of development. However, that is all set to change as the market here is geared very much towards the budget traveler and tropical island explorer. A lot of visitors actually prefer the grassroots atmosphere of Gili Air and the feeling of really being part of a close-knit local community.


  • Gili Meno
  • Gili Meno Maps

Gili Meno is a small island located in the northeast of Lombok Island. Gili Meno is one of three exotic islands, which is more commonly known as the Gilis.

Gili islands are famous not only for their stunning white sand beaches but also for their underwater life. The water here is very clear with very high visibility in almost all seasons. Gili Meno is famous for having many dive spots on all parts of the island.

Almost all parts of Gili Meno can be used as an exciting snorkeling arena. But if you really want all the best that can be served by Gili Meno, you can rent a boat with an experienced captain. You will be shown to the best spots for snorkeling that might be missed if you do it yourself.

You can see many attractions like sunken ships and various bicycles that become home to coral reefs. The most sought after animals here are turtles which you can find quite easily on Gili Meno.


2. Mount Rinjani

  • Rinjani Mountain View

The mighty Rinjani mountain of Gunung Rinjani is a massive volcano, which towers over the island of Lombok. A climb to the top is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have in Indonesia. At 3,726 meters tall, Gunung Rinjani is the second-highest mountain in Indonesia. The climb to the top may not be easy but it is worth it and is widely regarded as one of the best views in the country.

Part of the famous ‘ring of fire’ this mountain also holds spiritual significance for the local people. It was thought that the name Rinjani comes from an old Javanese term for ‘God’.

Around the slopes of Rinjani, there are lush forests sprinkled with waterfalls and surrounded by stunning scenery.

Within the mountain is a crescent-shaped lake, the breathtaking Segara Anak that is about 6km across at its widest point. This lake of sulfur is located 600 meters below the crater rim. Rising from the waters of this lake is a new volcano, Mt. Baru, which is a result of a series of eruptions during the 1990s. Segara Anak is a spiritual place. The Balinese come here each year and perform a ceremony called PEKELAN where jewelry is placed in the lake as an offering to the mountain spirit. The Wetu Telu people also regard the lake as holy and come here to pray on full moon nights.

Mt Rinjani lies within the Gunung Rinjani National Park. The park covers 41,330 hectares and sits inside a major bio-geographical transition zone (Wallacea). This is where the tropical flora and fauna of South East Asia meets that of Australasia. This National Park was established in 1997 and is one of over 40 throughout Indonesia.

For visitors, the three-day Rinjani trek route from Senaru to the crater rim, down to the Crater Lake then on to Sembalun Lawang, is considered one of the best treks in South East Asia. More adventurous trekkers may want to head all the way to the summit of the volcano. This is best reached from Sembalun Lawang and takes four days, finishing up in Senaru.

To ensure that local communities benefit from tourism revenue, the Rinjani Trek is managed by a partnership of National Park officials, the public and private sectors of the Lombok tourism industry and community representatives. Community-run cooperatives coordinate the Trek at the Rinjani Trek Center (RTC) in Senaru and the Rinjani Information Center (RIC) in Sembalun Lawang.

Revenue from tourism activities and entry fees is used for conservation, management and assisting the National Park with the maintenance of the Rinjani Trek, thus ensuring its sustainability. This management model is unique in Indonesia and considered an example of the best practice of ecotourism in Indonesia.

3. Senggigi

  • Senggigi Maps

The Senggigi region is formed by several adjacent yet subtly different areas all lying along the same 2 lanes coastal road. The exact boundaries of each area can seem rather ill-defined. While pockets of development can be found in some areas, long stretches of open undeveloped land lie in between. Nightlife and major restaurants are concentrated in the central township of Senggigi. The first time visitor should be aware of these distinct regional differences. Simply booking a hotel in Senggigi could mean a relatively remote location where the town center can only be reached by taxi or public transport.

Mangsit — a little to the north of Senggigi township it has a well-established hotel strip running along a long tranquil sweeping beach with traditional outrigger boats resting on the sand. Mangsit is the gateway to the northern area of activities at Gili Islands, Tanjung, and Mount Rinjani. It has well-established resort hotel choices but few other tourist activities, such as shopping and nightlife. Mangsit can be quickly and conveniently reached from the center of Senggigi by taxi or public Bemo.

Kerandangan — in a large quiet bay to the immediate north of the Senggigi township with some rental villas in the valley behind the beach.

Senggigi (center) — not a typical tourist resort town, such as may be found in Bali where a day can be spent shopping and socializing at the local bars and restaurants. However, there are enough bars, pool tables, TV screens with sports broadcasts, relaxing lounge areas and beachside restaurants to keep people occupied should that be their focus. Many visitors use Senggigi as a home base and take day trips to the waterfalls, the Gili Islands, or just go exploring the still authentic villages, temples, and forest habitat found within a couple of hours drive.

Batu Bolong — is to the immediate south of Senggigi and has a sparsely spread out collection of hotels, cafes, restaurants, several karaoke style establishments, and a large barn-like nightclub all situated along the coast road. A smaller restaurant and hotel strip is concentrated at the Senggigi end. It feels in the most part like a southern satellite extension of the Senggigi township. In the valley behind Batu Bolong is a large housing complex catering to both Indonesian and expatriate long term residents and visitors. Taxis, or Bemo if during daylight hours, give very quick access to the center of Senggigi.


4. Kuta

  • Kuta Beach View

Kuta has a wide variety of accommodations and restaurants, ranging from backpacker offerings to a four-star resort for more wealthy travelers. Many people come to Kuta just to unwind, lie on the beach, and rent a motorcycle to look around, or just relax by reading a book or taking a nap in the afternoon.

Most of Kuta retains its sleepy, natural character as a typical fishing village. The local people live in housing clusters (called kampungs) and are largely unaffected by tourist activity. Travelers can walk along dirt roads and see the villagers going about their normal daily activities. Food is usually cooked over a wood fire and the children live a carefree life of playing on the beach and climbing trees. Most people are exceptionally friendly to foreigners

Lombok International Airport is around 20 minutes away, and there has recently been a huge amount of land speculation in the Kuta area from high-end hotel operators and other investors.

Note that Google Maps thinks this location is called ‘Kute’, so try that if you search for it on a map.


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