With Bali as the well-known Instagram-famous paradise, Lombok stands a bit in its shadow and is often ignored by travelers. Although we are happy that it isn’t as touristic as Bali, Lombok is definitely a must-visit destination when you’re in Indonesia. Because Lombok doesn’t see that many tourists, it isn’t as developed as Bali, which makes you witness the realness and purity of Indonesian life and culture. The island still has a lot of hidden gems ready to be discovered.
Lombok is truly a magical island. In fact, it’s our favorite destination in Indonesia! We just loved being on Lombok; the local people are friendly, genuine and curious. And we’re not even speaking about its nature. Escape the crowds and enjoy a relaxing day on one of the most magnificent beaches or hike through dense jungle admiring its natural beauty. In every corner of the island, there are hidden gems, ready to be discovered, by you! Grab your scooter and follow our directions for the perfect day trip when you’re in Kuta!
WHERE TO STAY?
Well, when you look at the map of Lombok, your eyes will go immediately to Mataram, the capital city of Lombok. Although the city seems good because you might think there’s a lot to do, and it would be a great base for day trips, IT IS NOT. We wouldn’t recommend it. It’s just too busy and not that nice. If you go to Lombok, you want to be in a relaxed atmosphere, which you will find in Kuta.
Kuta (or Koeta) is a small town in the south of Lombok. It’s just 20 minutes from the airport and easily accessible by taxi. Don’t be confused with Kuta in Bali, because this town is completely the opposite of it. Instead of streets lined up with bars and hotels, you’ll find dirt roads with small warungs and beautiful homestays. This little fishermen town is slowly developing to a more touristic place with resorts that are getting build, so be quick and enjoy it while you can.
AWESOME DAY TRIPS TO DO FROM KUTA
EXPLORE THE RINJANI REGION
This hill, north of Sembalun Village, is truly a photographer’s paradise. With its 1200 meter high plateau, you get a rewarding view over the stunning scenery made up by rice paddies, and surrounding mountains (with the almighty Rinjani in front of it). A lot of people camp on top of the hill to witness the sunrise. The hike takes approximately 3-4 hours and is usually done with a guide.
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MANGKU SAKTI WATERFALL
After hiking to the top of Bukit Pergasingan, you’ll probably be tired and up for a refreshment. Just a short drive from Sembalun village is Sajang. Here you can visit the Mangku Sakti waterfall, which is well-known for its beautiful rock formations and clear blue water.
SENDANG GILE & TIU KELEP WATERFALL
There are numerous waterfalls in the Rinjani region, but one of the most beautiful waterfalls we ever witnessed was the Tiu Kelep waterfall. After going through the entrance, you just follow the easy path of stairs down to the Sendang Gile waterfall, which is the closest one. To get to Tiu Kelep, you need to walk a bit back up to the entrance and turn left on a little path. Following this path leads you along a set of stairs, bridge and you’ll need to go through numerous streams to get to this ‘hidden’ waterfall deep in the jungle.
EXPLORE SOME HIDDEN GEMS
Pink Beach (also known as Pantai Tangsi) is a well-known Instagram spot on Lombok. We already hear you asking ‘is the beach really pink?’ Well to be honest, not completely. It has a light peachy-pink color, but you need to look very carefully. Although, you might be lucky when you go at the right time. It looks more pink with the right weather conditions (bright sun, a bit in the afternoon or early morning)! Even if it’s not completely pink, it’s a beautiful beach with crystal-clear water, perfect for an afternoon swim. There are no real facilities except for a couple of food stalls with food and drinks.
THE HIDDEN BLOWHOLE (TANJUNG POKI)
One of the most amazing natural spectacles of Lombok can be found in the Sekaroh district in East Lombok. This part of Lombok has a beautiful rugged coastline, with multiple impressive blowholes. When the big waves of the Indian Ocean crash into these spaces, the water splashes up, meters above your head. Always look out for big waves and the slippery rocks, going here is dangerous! This spot is well-known among the local fishermen, so you might be lucky to see them catch some big fish!
Follow the gravel road that leads you to the blowholes right to the very end, which after a short ride end up at Tanjung Ringgit. This place gives you spectacular views of the ocean and the huge cliffs. This is the perfect place to see a beautiful, peaceful sunrise. Do you dare to sit on the edge?
BATU PAYUNG & TANJUNG AAN BEACH
Around the corner of the Tanjung Aan Beach, you’ll find a uniquely shaped rock in the middle of a small rocky beach. It’s mostly known amongst local tourists as a good photo op location. Hike up the hill behind it and enjoy the magnificent view over the bay. This spot also makes a great place to see the sunset in peace.
Lombok, and especially the area around Kuta is very popular among surfers. When driving around here, you’ll definitely see many surfers carrying their boards on the side of their motorbike. There is an abundance of beautiful beaches and great surf spots along the south coast of Lombok. Some popular surfing beaches around Kuta are Pantai Seger, Selong Belanak (best spot for beginners), Mawi, Ekas Bay and many more! Or try conquering the huge waves at Desert Point, which was voted by SURFER magazine as one of the best waves in the world.
We really hope you enjoy your time in Lombok! Let us know if you’ve done other awesome day trips in Lombok so that we can add these to the list. Everything listed right now are from our own experiences.