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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Valenti

Lombok - the last part of a magical trip in Indonesia

If you are planning a trip to Bali, you absolutely must stop to the Gili Islands and Lombok: transport is efficient, fast and cheap, and the Bali-Gili-Lombok triangle can be visited very easily and with little planning!

So, after exploring the Gili Islands, let's go to beautiful Lombok.


Much less known and visited than Bali, the island of Lombok offers just as many unique and authentic experiences: from long white beaches bathed by crystal clear waters, magnificent waves for surfers, dense forests in the hinterland and splendid hiking trails between tobacco and rice fields.. but the greatest treasure of Lombok is certainly the imposing Gunung Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia, on the top of which there is a wonderful lake in the crater, with thermal water springs. Lombok is an unmissable destination, very easy to reach, both from Bali or from the Gili Islands. In Lombok you will immediately see some enormous differences compared to Bali: first of all, in Lombok the most widespread religion is Islam, so you will notice the different way of dressing of the population, less colorful, women with covered heads, and an endless series of mosques take the place of the splendid Indu temples of Bali. Lombok is also a much less touristic island than Bali, from a certain point of view almost more westernized; nevertheless, it offers truly unique landscapes that you cannot miss!

Tangsi beach, Lombok, Indonesia

In Lombok, compared to Bali, the Euro - IDR exchange rate is less convenient: if you are coming from Bali, make sure you already have some cash and you don't have to change much there.


Now let's see the itinerary we planned for this part of the island. As you can see in the map below, we spent two days to Lombok: ⑪ ⑫. On the tenth day of our trip, in the late afternoon we took the boat to Lombok: here we therefore spent 3 nights, but actually only two full days.

Here in Lombok our journey comes to an end: in fact we left for home directly from the airport on the island, making a stopover in Jakarta. I really think this is the most comfortable option: the alternative was to go back to the west coast of Lombok, take a ferry to Bali, then a taxi to the airport. Flying directly from Lombok, despite the extra stopover, is more comfortable and perhaps even a little cheaper!


If you have been following me since the beginning of this trip to Indonesia, you will know that we had also evaluated a 3-week itinerary.

With an extra week available in fact, we would have spent more time in Lombok: the experience that I really regret we didn't is climbing Mount Rinjani, for which you need at least 3 days.

Below is a quick recap of the previous stops in case you missed them.

To find out what and where to eat along the various places.. READ ALSO:


Reaching Lombok from Gili Trawangan

Once on the Gili Islands, getting to Lombok is a child's journey, as these islets are very close to its coast. We chose on one of the tourist agency kiosks located near the port on Gili Trawangan: the day before leaving we asked for a few prices and nearly all the proposals were the same. We managed to negotiate a great price which included both the boat ride to Bangsal (Lombok) and then the private driver to Kuta for 250,000 IDR (€16) each.

Raggiungere Lombok dalle Isole Gili - Indonesia

The boat is quite rustic and mainly used by locals, but the journey is really short, in less than 30 minutes you land in Lombok, so it was ok. As for the journey to Kuta, the price we paid usually includes a public bus but we asked to leave in the late afternoon, and since the buses didn't run at that time, they offered to take us with a private driver. If you consider that Kuta is on the other side of the island compared to Bangsal (the port town where the ferries from the Gili islands arrive) the price was really convenient, maybe too much! I was quite worried and thought that they wanted to scam us. Instead everything went smoothly and perfectly: trust these people, really kind and caring, but above all honest. One more suggestion: don't worry about organization and transport, do everything on the spot and you will save a lot and everything will be simpler than you imagine from home.

To find out more about transport on this trip to Indonesia READ ALSO: Bali, Gili Islands and Lombok: how to plan your trip to Indonesia on your own


How to move around Lombok

Guidare uno scooter a Lombok, Indonesia

As in Bali, even here in Lombok the best and most convenient way to get around is driving a motorbike: we rented it directly from our hotel, at a good price 70,000 IDR per day (4.5€). The roads are mostly well maintained, like in Bali, but much less busy: driving here is easier, believe me. As for the journey from the hotel in Kuta to the airport, as always we booked a transport on Grabapp. Kuta is about 20 minutes from the airport, so it is very quick and easy to get there: it's certainly a strategic area, perhaps the most convenient both for getting around the island and for its proximity to the airport. For more information on scooter rental, Grabapp and how to get around on this trip READ ALSO: Bali, Gili Islands and Lombok: how to plan your trip to Indonesia on your own


Lombok

Lombok is often underestimated, much less touristy and very different from Bali. As already mentioned, the substantial differences lie in the culture and religion: if Bali is Hindu and the temples and statues all over the places prove it, Lombok is instead Muslim. The way people dress and approach each other is therefore different, as are the landscapes: the numerous mosques that take the place of Hindu temples, but the flavors and scents are also different.. still, Lombok is splendid. They certainly have in common the green vegetation, from the jungle to the rice fields, and really little else. As for the sea, Lombok is much better: the southern area around Kuta in particular. But Lombok is also much more .. one of the main attractions is Mount Rinjani (3726m), the second highest mountain in Indonesia. Rinjani is also a volcano that attracts many tourists and trekkers thanks to the numerous paths (its ascent is indeed demanding, but a guarantee of breathtaking and unique panoramas) and to the volcano's caldera (about 2000m), bathed by the lake called Segara Anak, Son of the Sea, which they say has blue waters like those of the sea. We really wanted to do the 3-day excursion sleeping in a tent to climb to the summit and then go back, but unfortunately we didn't have enough time, they say it's a unique experience. In the hypothetical 3-week itinerary we would have stayed one night in Senaru and then two nights in a tent on the mountain, before moving south. In fact, in my opinion, the best place to stay is the one in the south around Kuta: the area with the best beaches. We really liked it, it is a quiet place mostly frequented by tourists.

For more info about where to sleep in Kuta, as already mentioned, we chose - Village Vibes Lombok.


But let's start exploring this wonderful island and all the places you cannot miss!


Selong Belanak

Selon Belanak, Lombok - Indonesia

Selong Belanak is certainly one of the favorite places for surfers in Lombok: located a short distance from Kuta, in the south of the island, this beach is a very long strip of white sand inside a crescent-shaped bay. The beach is full of surf schools and surfers from all over the world populate this heavenly place: the water is crystal clear and very blue, the beach is fine, white and very long, surrounded by palm trees. I couldn't resist a nice walk from one end of the bay to the other. The entrance to the beach costs 10,000 IDR (66 cents) while if you want to rent sunbeds and umbrellas (which I recommend because the sun is really intense), you will pay 50,000 IDR (€3.30) for 2 sunbeds + umbrella, or you can use it free if you take a surf lesson. For lunch, you will have plenty of choice: every surf school on the beach is also a warung, so you really just have to pick one. We tried Warung Aldi where, for the first time, we tasted a Mie Goreng with tropical notes, with pineapple and almonds.

To find out what and where to eat in Lombok READ ALSO:


Mawun Beach

Mawun Beach, Lombok - Indonesia

Mawun Beach is another pearl in the south of Lombok, a very short distance from Selong Belanak: in fact, we took the first one in the morning and moved to the second one in the afternoon. This is also a white beach with very blue water in a crescent-shaped bay, but smaller: there are also fewer tourists here, it is a definetely quiet area. Here too the entrance costs 10,000 IDR (66 cents) and the rental of two sunbeds + umbrella is 50,000 IDR (€3.30).


Tangsi Beach - Lombok Pink Beach

Tangsi beach, Lombok - Indonesia

Tangsi Beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Lombok, so it's absolutely not to be missed in your itinerary. However, there are two small details to take into account before setting off for this little paradise:

  • Tangsi Beach, the pink beach, is not really pink.. or rather it is, but just slightly, and it depends on the light. The sooner you go the better: in the early morning, the angle of the sun and its rays give a slight rosy connotation to the sand, but nothing like the photos you see online. Anyway, the beach is still wonderful, perhaps the most beautiful of this entire trip: practically deserted, with very fine sand and calm water of an incredible blue. That said, pink or no pink, it's definitely worth a visit;

  • So let's move on to the sore point: getting there is a mess. In fact, Tangi Beach is located southeast of Lombok, in an area where the coast is jagged and almost uninhabited. The roads are hell, and from Kuta count almost an hour and a half drive. Is it worth it? Yes… was it a dramatic experience? Yes. What can I say.. we got there and I would do it again, but I don't know whether to suggest you to repeat the experience.. Rather I can tell you that there are boat excursions that take you to Tangsi Beach by sea, and although it is certainly more expensive, it is also much faster and safer.

Anyway, the entrance to the beach by land costs 50,000 IDR per person (€3.30) and you will pay for a totally deserted beach: there is nothing, no services, no warung, nor half an umbrella or a sunbed.

What can I say, beyond the "negative notes", I fell in love with this place!

P.S: if you didn't let my warning scare you and decide to go there by scooter, be careful not to make a mistake by pointing the navigator to Google Maps. There are in fact many Pink Beaches marked along the coast, don't be fooled and choose the one I show you in the photos below, or you will find yourself lost in the middle of the Indonesian countryside, between chickens and dirt roads.. believe me, I know something about this!


Mount Rinjani

As already anticipated, Mount Rinjani is the reason why sooner or later we will come back to climb its summit. In fact, Rinjani is one of the main reasons why tourists visit Lombok: the hike to get to the top is of unique beauty, among the most beautiful treks in the world - I can tell you with certainty because it is one of the best treks on the planet, or at least it is what this splendid National Geographic book says.

Mount Rinjani, 3726m high, is still an active volcano and is the second highest mountain in Indonesia. The trek to the summit is quite demanding and you cannot come and go in the day: after various searches, the most feasible and popular option is the one that involves a three-day journey, sleeping two nights in a tent. The starting point is the village of Senaru, at the base of the volcano, from which the simplest path to the crater starts: consider that up to the top there are about 2,000m in altitude, so not so easy, but they say it's worth it, for the breathtaking view from up there, on the volcano's caldera bathed by Lake Segara Anak. There are many tourist agencies that offer this excursion with porters who will accompany you together with the guide, taking care of the logistics, setting up the tents (which they provide together with sleeping bags) and meals. As for the price, we are around €250 each person, which for an excursion like this seems to me to be a good price. If you wish, you can also venture into this trek on your own: it is not illegal to climb Mount Rinjani without a guide, in fact, it is enough to register and pay the entrance to the national park to be perfectly in order! The path from Senaru is extremely beaten and it is practically impossible to get lost (it is also traced on maps.me) but it goes without saying that you need to have a minimum of experience and above all a good level of training to carry food and camping equipment on your shoulders for at least two days, from this point of view, relying on an organized tour is much easier but not mandatory.


Well, we have come to the end of the last stage of this wonderful journey in Indonesia: from Bali, the Gili Islands and Lombok. To take a look at the entire itinerary we covered and a 3-week variant, with some additional stops that we had personally selected READ ALSO: Bali, Gili Islands and Lombok: complete 2-week itinerary and a 3-week alternative

Also don't forget to read about all the previous parts of this trip:

To find out what and where to eat in Lombok READ ALSO:

If you are looking for practical information on how to plan your trip to Bali and useful advice to make the most of this holiday READ ALSO: Bali, Gili Islands and Lombok: how to plan your trip to Indonesia on your own


If you think this post is useful or if you need any further information about Lombok comment below and I will answer as soon as I can!

Have a nice trip and let me know what do you think of Lombok (:



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