Indonesia is a vast country that has a lot to offer visitors, from backpackers to luxury travelers. The diversity of its topography has given it different kinds of flora and fauna and landscapes that are picture perfect. One of the places to add to your itinerary is Lombok, an island in the West Nusa Tenggara province.
The island has mountains to trek, beaches to bum around in, and spectacular waterfalls to drench yourself in. Here are some of the things you can do and see while in Lombok.
Conquer Mount Rinjani
Mount Rinjani is an active volcano in Lombok; on top of the volcano is a caldera partially filled by a crater lake. Measuring more than 3,700m, Rinjani claims the title of the second highest volcano in the country. Its massive stature is an imposing figure overlooking Lombok island.
Reaching the summit is not for the faint of heart as it challenges the skills, fitness, and endurance of even experienced hikers. The hike starts out easy enough before the initial assault to the crater lake to reach the campsite. This site provides spectacular views of the surroundings and the lake below. The assault to the summit takes more than just a strong physique as the loose rock sucks feet in and makes it difficult to move up. Even if you don’t make it to the summit, you are rewarded with spectacular overlooking views of the sunrise, dabbing the landscape with different tinges of orange and red.
Indonesia is famous for its beaches; however, the first thing that comes to mind is Bali. Lombok offers the same tropical island experience, minus the hustle and bustle of its more famous counterpart. The Gilis, consisting of Gili Air, Meno, and Trawangan, are popular destinations for those who want some sun, sand, and parties. These islands are a popular destination for all types of travelers, from backpackers to families. Now, there are accommodations for all budgets, whether you want to stay in a dorm or a private room near the beach.
Catch the sunrise or sunset while jogging or biking around the islands. Gili Trawangan is the biggest of the three and has a variety of restaurants and accommodations while Gili Air and Meno are smaller and provide a bit more privacy and intimacy for couples or honeymooners. There are snorkeling spots near the beach of the islands or places where you can just sit down with a beer in hand and the view of the ocean.
Hit the Beaches
Lombok fits all the definitions of a tropical paradise — laidback and idyllic rural areas, friendly locals, verdant rice paddies and rolling hills, and most importantly, untouched (a cliché here) beaches. This island has quite a few beaches where there is little to no development or mass commercialization, meaning you may have it to yourself for an hour or so.
If you’re looking for bone-white powdery sand, the beach to go to is Tanjung Aan. This long stretch of white has cerulean glass-like waters, perfect for swimming in. It’s long enough for you to find a spot for yourself or your group. Go up the stone platform to get a beautiful overlooking view of the beach.
Another beach to add to your itinerary is Selong Belanak. This also has fine white sand, but one of the must-do activities here is surfing. It has waves calm enough for beginners but exciting enough for those with a bit more experience. If you’re not riding the waves, walk a few meters away from the crowd to get your own spot for tanning or wading in the cool waters.
Mawun Beach may not have the powdery white sand of the first two mentioned, but it still provides everything you need for a relaxing day out. It’s isolated enough to keep the crowds away, and it also has a great overlooking view of the beach when you climb part of the way up a hill beside it.
For those who want to go on an adventure, head to Pink Beach as well. It got its moniker because of its pink sand. Getting to Pink Beach is quite tedious because of the unpaved road.
The beach and the dive spots are what make Lombok popular, but for those looking for something else, they can also chase waterfalls. Two of the most beautiful on the island are Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile. These waterfalls are easy to get to; there are parking lots where you can leave your rented car or motorcycle before the start of the trail. From there, it is an easy half hour to an hour walk to get to the waterfalls. The cold fresh water will douse the heat of the sun and refresh your bodies after a tiring day. Other falls of note are Benang Kelambu, Jeruk Manis, and Benang Stokel.
Lombok is a beautiful island that has plenty to offer visitors — from dive spots with diverse ecosystems to white sand beaches to waterfalls. It still has its idyllic rural charm, but it is developed enough for certain comforts. Make it a part of your itinerary whenever you visit Indonesia as it will show you more of what the country has to offer.