While there are a lot of things to do in Lombok, the island has a reputation as being a difficult island to explore. That is changing. Over the last five years new roads have been built and the international airport has opened. In expectation in a surging number of tourists new hotels are popping up all over the island. A combination of cheap hotels and good infrastructure has made Lombok an increasingly popular tourism destination.
To help you make the most of your holiday in Lombok, here is a list of the 21 of the best things to do in Lombok (and I’m not going to include the Gili Islands). The list includes some of the islands beautiful beaches, Rinjani Volcano and roaring waterfalls. We’ll start the list with the essential guide of things to do in Lombok, before sharing other ideas with you.
4 of the Best Things to do in Lombok
1. Watch Sunrise from the Peak of Mount Rinjani
After visiting the Gili Islands, hiking Rinjani is the most popular tourist activity on Lombok. It’s a tough hike and you can’t do it in a day. Most people choose to take the three-day two-night trek to climb Mount Rinjani. If you are feeling really fit you might be able to do the two-day one-night tour. While the Rinjani Trekking Tour is expensive it is worth it. From the top of Rinjani you have almost panoramic views over the island and can see as far away as Mount Agung on Bali. I’ve climbed Mount Rinjani once before. If you enjoy the outdoors then this is one of the best things to do in Lombok.
2. Trek to Tiu Kelep Waterfall
In the hills of Lombok you can find a lot of waterfalls. If you have to pick the most popular then it’s between Sendang Gile Waterfall and Tiu Kelep. Personally I prefer Tiu Kelep Waterfall, which is located in the North of the island. The setting is beautiful, with lush tropical jungle surrounding the falls. You can find a useful guide on visiting Tiu Kelep Waterfall on Jones Around the World.
3. Chill on Selong Belanak Beach
The beaches of South Lombok are picture postcard beautiful. In my opinion they are a lot nicer than the beaches of Bali and have a fraction of the number of tourists. One of the best beaches in Lombok is Selong Belanak Beach, which is in the South of Lombok. The beach stretches along the front of a crescent bay and the floor of the ocean is sandy. Small stalls line the edge of the beach where you can buy fresh coconuts and even rent a surfboard. Selong Belanak Beach is a good place to learn to surf or just sit down and relax. Add this beach to your Lombok ‘to do’ list.
4. Take an Island Hopping Tour Around the Sekotong Islands
One of the nice things about visiting Lombok is the opportunity to visit the tropical islands that surround it. I personally recommend the Sekotong Island Chain. As you can see from the photo above, the Sekotong Islands are relatively small with beautiful sandy beaches surrounded by coral reefs where you can go snorkelling. These islands are becoming more popular with tourists, but they have yet to attract the same crowds as the Gilis. You can visit the Sekotong Islands on day tours from Lombok. If you enjoy relaxing by the beach and swimming around coral reefs then you will enjoy this activity.
Fun Ideas for Things to do in Lombok
5. Enjoy the Views at Ashtari Kuta
Ashtari, Kuta is one of my favorite cafes in Lombok. The café has tasty food and drinks, but it’s the views that make Ashtari so memorable. Ashtari is on a hill overlooking the the bay of Kura, Lombok. There are beanbags and tables set out on the patio in the front of the cafe where you can sit and relax. In the morning Yoga classes are held on the patio. I’d recommend visiting in the late afternoon. Here’s a link to the café website just in case you want more information. I promise you’ll love it!
6. Jump in the Infinity Pool at Rinjani Lodge
The infinity pool at the Rinjani Lodge is one of the new hip places to visit in Lombok. The lodge is on the edge of the Rinjani National Park and the infinity pool offers beautiful views over the surrounding countryside. You can visit the hotel as a guest and as long as you order some food you can use the infinity pool for free. If you have the money the lodge is a great place to stay as well. The hotel has 5 rooms and each bungalow has a private a terrace.
7. Go Snorkelling at the Pink Beach
Tangsi Beach is commonly known by locals as the ‘Pink Beach’, because of the distinctive colour of the sand. While you need a good camera lens and some imagination to really see the beach as pink, it is worth a visit. There are coral reefs in the sheltered bay where you can go snorkelling. If you are staying at Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp it’s possible to do canoeing across the bay and even some snorkeling (if you do go snorkeling watch out for my Go Pro, I lost it in the bay somewhere).
8. Camp Next to Lake Segara Anak
So here are three more reasons to try the Rinjani Hike. If you join the 3 Day 2 Night Rinjani Trekking Tour then you will have the opportunity to camp by Lake Segara Anak. The lake is in the Rinjani Caldera and surrounded by forests. It’s a great place to camp, because the caldera creates a natural barrier for the light pollution, so you get a really good view of the stars (especially as you are already quite high up).
9. Soak in the Air Kalak Hot Springs
Another highlight of the 3 Day 2 Night Rinjani Hike are the Air Kalak hot springs. The springs are located 200 meters from the main camp site by Lake Segara Anak. After hiking to the top of Rinjani for sunrise you will really appreciate a hot soak in the Air Kalak Hot Springs. Supposedly the waters of Air Kalak have medicinal properties. One thing is for sure, they definitely help get rid of the sore muscles from the climb to the top of Rinjani.
10. See the Colorful Fields from Bukit Pegasingan
Bukit Pegasingan is the final highlight of a hike up Mount Rinjani. The Bukit, meaning viewpoint, offers almost panoramic views overlooking the valley. Following a long climb to the peak of the volcano it’s worth stopping for a minute at Bukit Pegasingan to realise just how far you’ve climbed. It’s a reminder that the countryside is one of the highlights of any trip to Lombok.
11. Climb the Rocks at Semeti Beach
Semeti Beach is located in Central Lombok. The beach is famous for its volcanic rocks, which carve up the beach into small inlets. The nice thing about Semeti Beach is that not many tourist visit here, so it is never very busy and it’s a good place for a swim. If you’re feeling like a big kid you can climb the rocks for a nice photo opportunity.
12. Enjoy Benang Kelambu Waterfall
Benang Kelambu Waterfall reminds me a bit of Madakaripura Waterfall in East Java. The waterfall is a one hour drive from Mataram, the capital of the island. The falls themselves are over 20 meters high and cascade over the edge of a cliff through a curtain of lush green plants. It’s a beautiful and relaxing place to visit and a perfect alternative to a day at the beach.
13. Try a Sasaknese Massage
You can get a lot of different massages when you are in Indonesia, but none are quite as strong (and maybe a little bit painful) as a traditional Sasaknese massage from Lombok. Like many oriental martial arts, a Sasaknese massage is based on pressure points. I’ve never been brave enough to try a full Sasaknese massage, but I did have a demonstration. If you’re feeling brave and you enjoy a massage you should give it a go.
14. Trek Around Tanjung Ringgit
Tanjung Ringgit in the South of Lombok offers many opportunities for trekking. The scenery is beautiful, with open fields, views over the ocean. Mount Rinjani is a constant presence on the horizon. The best time to go trekking is in the late afternoon or in the early morning. When I went hiking in this area I saw turtles surfacing in the ocean in between the breaking waves. It was a really peaceful experience. There are old Japanese gun emplacements and bunkers dating back to WW2 on the tops of the cliffs.
15. Visit Manku Sakti Waterfall
Mangku Sakti Waterfall is a series of waterfalls in a gorge. To get to the waterfall you need to follow small winding roads into the highlands of Lombok. While it is possible to swim at Manky Sakti Waterfall you need to be really careful, because the river flows quickly, especially in the raining season.
16. Try the Local Delicacies
There are a lot of local delicacies that I recommend you try when you visit Lombok. My favorite dish from Lombok is Sate Rembiga, a spicy beef sate which has been slowly cooked over a fire. Other local delicacies that to try include Plecing, Nasi Puyung and Ayam Taliwang.
17. Learn About Pearl Farming
Pearls are one of the big exports from Lombok. One of the most tourist friendly pearl farms in Lombok is Autore Pearl Farm. They offer tours of the pearl farm where you can learn about how pearls are harvested before visiting the showroom. It’s commercial, but interesting. You can find a nice article about what to expect if you visit on Stumble Abroad.
18. Visit Narmada Water Park
Narmada is a historical Water park that was constructed in 1727 by King Anak Agung Gede Ngurah Karang Asem. The park is a spiritual retreat for Hindu’s and was constructed as a replica of the summit of Mount Rinjani (a holy Lombok Mountain and the highest point on the island). The park is set in beautiful cultivated gardens and there is a natural spring. Though it’s not as interesting as the water palaces on Bali, it’s one of the few historical place to see in Lombok. You can find out more about Narmada Water Park here.
19. Join a Pottery Class
Lombok is well known in Indonesia for its brightly decorated clay pottery. There are a number of centers for pottery production. One of the oldest is Penujak village. The village is maintained for tourists. When you visit Penujak village you will be shown all the stages of pottery production from creation all the way through to the glazing and firing of the pottery.
20. See Traditional Weaving at Sukarare Village
Textile production is another home industry in Lombok. There are two well known hand woven textiles from Lombok; Tenun Ikat, string woven fabric traditionally produced by males and Tenun Songket, traditionally woven by women and embroidered with gold and silver thread. There are many traditional weaving workshops at Sukarare Village, which is located in the South of Lombok. The village is a tourism centre of textile production..
21. Learn about Sasak Culture at Beleq Village
If you’re interested in Sasak culture you should visit Beleq Village. While this is a ‘Traditional Village’ that is maintained for tourists it has an interesting history. The village dates back to the 14th century. There are 7 traditional houses, 2 Berugak (gazebos) and a village hall. The village hasn’t grown since it was founded, because the people who live their believe that every new generation should move out of the village and start their life in a different place. The area around the village offers lots of opportunities for trekking. You can check out this article by Indohoy to find out more about the village.
If you are looking for a holiday where you will be surrounded by the beauty of nature I really recommend a Lombok trip. The island is easy to get to and there are a lot of Lombok attractions you can visit. I hope that this article has given you plenty of ideas of interesting things to do in Lombok.
Have you ever been to Lombok? What places would you recommend to people visiting Lombok for the first time? Share your thoughts in the comments below.