If you are planning a backpacking trip to Indonesia, Bali is usually the first stop. Over the last few years, this island has developed into one of Indonesia’s biggest tourist hotspots. Countless travellers come here every year and visit for the first time. Some only spend their time on the island itself, but others take the chance to explore the surrounding islands.
The Nusa Islands, for example, are immediately a top choice. Increasingly, more tourists and backpackers are opting to check them out. But how about something completely different? Perhaps, Lombok?
Located to the east of Bali, this island belongs to the large Indonesian province of West Nusa Tenggara. Even if Lombok is often times overshadowed by its neighbour, it also has amazing highlights and promises a great experience.
We will show you all you need to know about Lombok. One thing is for sure: once you are done with this article, you will have forgotten all about Bali. Ready to make Lombok your next Indonesian destination? Then let’s go!
The Highlights of Lombok
Lombok is a very diverse island that fascinates visitors. In contrast to Bali, the island is much less touristy and more authentic, so you can really get to know the culture. Lombok is predominantly Muslim, which is also why the ambience is different from the Hindu Bali. Religion and tradition are the main focus here and these, along with the island’s idyllic nature, make up the main highlights.
Lombok’s biggest attraction is probably Mount Rinjani, the second-highest volcano in Indonesia. Hiking enthusiasts in particular get their money’s worth, but outdoor lovers and adventurers will simply love it here too. The special thing about this volcano is the Crater Lake with its turquoise water. Here, you can relax after the long hike up to the crater rim and be welcomed by an unbelievable picture! Trekking on Mount Rinjani is also considered one of the most beautiful hikes in Indonesia and an obvious favourite with backpackers. The hike takes about three days and with a guide you will have an unforgettable time in the mountains of Lombok.
Kuta is Lombok’s tourist centre. The airport, popularly used by travellers to reach the island, is also nearby. Kuta itself is a mix of tradition and tourism. Here you will find small restaurants, many bars, and attractions. From Kuta, you can explore the area’s beaches or rent a scooter and drive through the streets of Lombok. There is definitely a lot to do here and for backpackers, Kuta is an especially good base for exploring the island.
The next place tourists like to visit is Senggigi. Its wide beaches are the most beautiful in Lombok, and its many restaurants indicate that tourism is here to stay. You will find resorts and hotels directly on the beach, along with a few inviting homestays.
Waterfalls are an absolute beauty! Here you will see what the great outdoors of Lombok have to offer and understand why your trip was worthwhile. Especially during the rainy season, the waters come roaring down in the middle of the rainforests, creating a beautiful backdrop. You can reach most of the waterfalls on foot, without a scooter. All you need is a good pair of shoes and a sense of adventure. You may even be lucky to have the spot all to yourself. Unlike Bali, you do not have to stand in line for the perfect Instagram shot, and can give all your attention to nature.
The most popular waterfalls are the Tiu Teja, the Sendang Gile or Jeruk Manis, which is located in the middle of the island. Some of the waterfalls are really extraordinary and are among the most impressive in Indonesia.
The Beach Paradise in Lombok
Of course, Lombok’s beaches can not be forgotten. What else can you expect from Indonesia but a real beach paradise? Lombok does not disappoint in this regard and boasts of a large variety of beaches. You can always expect clear water, dense palm forests, and tranquil bays. Although some of them are a bit overcrowded with tourists, you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the beaches near Kuta or Senggigi. We have picked the backpackers’ favourites for you:
- Pink Beach: Yes! You read that well, a beach with pink sand. You will find it on Lombok, on the Ekas Peninsula.
- Selong Belanak: Whether surfing or just relaxing in the sun, this beach leaves nothing to be desired, and the view over the bay can’t be beat.
- Mawun Beach: This is a perfect getaway from the crowd of tourists to experience peace and quiet. You can easily reach Mawun Beach from Kuta. Get ready for some pure bliss. Surrounded by the mountains of Lombok, this beach is indeed an alluring sight.
- Tanjung An: Here you can experience the best side of Lombok. The bay is very impressive with its clear water and white sands.
You can reach all of Lombok’s beaches by scooter. Whether in Senggigi or Lombok, scooters are available for rental.
Surfing in Lombok
Most backpackers come to Lombok for the waves. The island is considered a small paradise for surfers from all over the world, and the conditions are unbeatable. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you will find the perfect spot to enjoy the waves. Kuta is the centre for surfers, and you can rent equipment in the small shops or even buy a board. The beach breaks are a hit and one of the reasons why this island is gaining popularity.
Surfing in Lombok is an experience in and of itself, especially in Kuta. Surfing enthusiasts from all over the world meet here and ride the waves from dawn to dusk. You can jump in and join them!
Backpacker Life in Lombok
What is it really like to be a backpacker in Lombok? It is much more budget-friendly in comparison to Bali, and a lot easier on your wallet. You can get an inexpensive room at one of the many homestays and grab a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants for a few bucks. Renting a scooter is also much cheaper here, allowing you to speed across the island almost every day and enjoy your freedom to the fullest. So you can have a memorable time in Lombok for little money, and isn’t that the deciding factor for most backpackers?
Without mincing words, Lombok is a great destination for backpackers through and through. Here there is a fusion of culture and tourism, and you get to know a completely new side of Indonesia. This island has everything you need plus a little more. With good prices, a rich religious and cultural scene, unique nature, heavenly beaches and a variety of offers for every tourist or backpacker – Lombok is a pure delight! Take a minute to daydream and make it a reality.