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Secret Lombok, Indonesia: The Best Things To Do


by Roslyn Murrell



Welcome to the secret paradise of Lombok, Indonesia. Nestled in the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean, Lombok is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. With its lush landscapes, picturesque beaches, and warm hospitality, Lombok is an idyllic destination for travelers seeking an authentic and off-the-beaten-path experience.


While Bali has long been the go-to destination in Indonesia, Lombok provides a more laid-back and tranquil alternative. From the breathtaking Gili Islands to the majestic Mount Rinjani, there are countless attractions waiting to be discovered on this enchanting island. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a nature enthusiast, or a culture lover, Lombok has something to offer everyone.


In this article, we will unveil the best things to do in Lombok, allowing you to make the most of your visit to this hidden paradise. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Gili Islands, explore the stunning waterfalls, delve into the rich cultural heritage of traditional Sasak villages, indulge in delicious local delicacies, and experience the thrill of snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters.


So, pack your bags, leave the crowds behind, and embark on an unforgettable journey to Lombok, where paradise awaits.


Exploring Gili Islands

When it comes to tropical island getaways, the Gili Islands in Lombok are a must-visit destination. Comprising three stunning islands — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air — these picturesque islands offer pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and a peaceful atmosphere.


Gili Trawangan, also known as the “Party Island,” is the largest and most developed of the three. Here, you can enjoy a vibrant nightlife scene, water sports activities like snorkeling and diving, and delicious food from the local restaurants and beachside cafes. Gili Meno, on the other hand, is perfect for those seeking a tranquil escape. With its secluded beaches and laid-back vibe, it is the ideal spot for relaxation and romantic getaways. Gili Air strikes the perfect balance between the two, offering a mix of both vibrant energy and tranquility.


One of the highlights of visiting the Gili Islands is the absence of motorized vehicles. Instead, you can explore the islands by foot, bicycle, or take a horse-drawn carriage known as a cidomo. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the islands and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.


Aside from lounging on the beaches and soaking up the sun, the Gili Islands offer incredible opportunities for snorkeling and diving. The colorful coral reefs teeming with marine life make it a paradise for underwater enthusiasts. Swim alongside tropical fish, spot sea turtles, and explore the vibrant underwater ecosystem.


As evening falls, don’t miss the chance to witness a breathtaking sunset. Find a cozy spot on the beach, sip on a refreshing cocktail, and watch as the sky transforms into a mesmerizing canvas of colors.


With its picturesque landscapes, vibrant culture, and incredible marine biodiversity, exploring the Gili Islands is an absolute must-do when visiting Lombok.


Visiting Mount Rinjani

For adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers, a visit to Mount Rinjani is an absolute must when exploring Lombok. This majestic volcano stands at a staggering height of 3,726 meters, making it the second highest volcano in Indonesia.


Trekking to the summit of Mount Rinjani provides a challenging but rewarding experience. As you ascend through lush forests and rugged terrains, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of valleys, lakes, and even neighboring Bali. The trekking routes vary in difficulty, catering to all levels of fitness and experience.


One of the main highlights of Mount Rinjani is the stunning crater lake, called Segara Anak. The lake, nestled within the caldera of the volcano, shimmers in shades of blue and green, creating a mesmerizing sight. This serene lake is believed to be sacred by the locals, and taking a dip in its healing waters is said to wash away all worries and troubles.


Not only is Mount Rinjani a natural wonder, but it is also steeped in cultural significance. The volcano holds great importance in Sasak mythology and is considered a sacred place. Along the trekking trail, you will come across traditional villages where you can immerse yourself in the local culture and witness the daily lives of the Sasak people.


A trek to Mount Rinjani is usually a multi-day adventure, with camping at various campsites along the way. Sleeping under a blanket of stars and waking up to the stunning sunrise against the majestic backdrop of the volcano is an experience that will stay with you forever.


It’s important to note that Mount Rinjani is a protected area, and visitors are required to obtain a permit and trek with a licensed guide. This ensures the preservation of the natural environment and the safety of trekkers. Make sure to plan ahead and be prepared for the challenging yet unforgettable journey to the summit of Mount Rinjani.


Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply want to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature, visiting Mount Rinjani is an adventure you won’t want to miss while in Lombok.


Discovering Waterfalls in Lombok

Lombok is home to a plethora of enchanting waterfalls that offer a refreshing retreat from the tropical heat and a serene escape into nature’s beauty. From cascading falls hidden deep within lush jungles to gentle streams flowing over rocky terrains, each waterfall has its own unique charm.


One of the most famous waterfalls in Lombok is Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep located in Senaru village at the foot of Mount Rinjani. The journey to these falls takes you through dense forests and picturesque landscapes. As you reach the falls, you’ll be amazed by the sheer power and beauty of the cascading water. Take a dip in the cool natural pool below or simply bask in the awe-inspiring surroundings.


If you’re up for more adventure, head to Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu waterfalls. These twin falls are tucked away in the lush hills of Central Lombok. Benang Stokel features a multi-tiered waterfall with crystal-clear waters, while Benang Kelambu offers a unique experience with its cascading water falling over a curtain of moss-covered rocks, creating the illusion of a natural veil.


For those seeking a more remote and tranquil waterfall experience, Tiu Pupus is the perfect choice. Located in East Lombok, this hidden gem is surrounded by lush greenery and boasts a stunning five-tiered waterfall. Embark on a short hike to reach this secluded oasis and indulge in its serene beauty.


Exploring Lombok’s waterfalls not only allows you to connect with nature but also provides opportunities for adventure. Many waterfalls offer trekking and hiking options, allowing you to navigate through winding paths and challenging terrains to reach these natural wonders.


It’s important to practice responsible tourism when visiting waterfalls in Lombok. Respect the environment by not littering, follow designated trails, and be mindful of local customs and regulations. Remember to bring proper footwear and swimwear for an enjoyable and safe experience.


Whether you’re seeking tranquility, adventure, or a breathtaking backdrop for your vacation photos, Lombok’s waterfalls are sure to captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.


Exploring Traditional Sasak Villages

A visit to Lombok is not complete without immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Sasak people, the indigenous population of the island. Exploring the traditional Sasak villages offers a unique insight into their customs, traditions, and way of life.


One of the most well-known traditional Sasak villages is Sade Village, located in Central Lombok. Here, you can witness the traditional architecture of the Sasak houses known as “Bale,” which are made from a combination of bamboo, clay, and thatch. Take a stroll through the narrow lanes of the village, interact with friendly locals, and learn about their daily lives and customs.


Another village worth visiting is Sukarara, renowned for its traditional hand-woven textiles called “ikat.” Watch as skilled women weave intricate patterns using traditional techniques passed down through generations. You can also purchase these beautiful textiles as souvenirs, supporting the local artisans and preserving this ancient craft.


If you’re interested in traditional music and dance, make sure to visit Rambitan Village. This charming village hosts regular performances showcasing traditional Sasak music and dance, providing a captivating glimpse into their vibrant cultural traditions.


As you explore these villages, you’ll also have the opportunity to taste authentic Sasak cuisine. From succulent grilled chicken satay to savory spicy sambal, the flavors of Sasak cuisine will tantalize your taste buds and introduce you to the distinct local flavors.


While visiting traditional Sasak villages, it’s important to be respectful of the local customs and traditions. Dress modestly and seek permission before taking photographs of the locals. Engage in meaningful conversations, ask questions, and gain a deeper understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the Sasak people.


By exploring traditional Sasak villages, you’ll not only gain insight into their unique way of life but also contribute to the preservation of their cultural heritage. Take the time to appreciate the simplicity, warmth, and authenticity of these villages, and create lasting memories of Lombok’s rich cultural tapestry.


Enjoying the Beautiful Beaches

With its pristine coastline and stunning turquoise waters, Lombok is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia. Whether you’re seeking a vibrant beach party atmosphere or a secluded stretch of coastline, Lombok has something to offer for every beach enthusiast.


Kuta Beach, located on the southern coast of Lombok, is a popular destination known for its white sandy beaches and excellent surf breaks. Spend your days lounging on the beach, catching some waves, or exploring the nearby scenic hills. Kuta Beach offers a laid-back vibe with its beachside cafes and bars, perfect for enjoying a refreshing drink while watching the breathtaking sunset.


If you’re looking for a more serene beach experience, head to Selong Belanak Beach. With its untouched beauty and gentle waves, this beach is ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Take a leisurely stroll along the soft sand and enjoy the tranquility of this hidden gem.


Tanjung Aan, located near Kuta Beach, is another must-visit beach in Lombok. With its crystal-clear waters and unique sand formations, this beach provides a surreal and picturesque backdrop. Relax in the shade of the swaying coconut trees and marvel at the stunning panoramic views of the coast.


For a truly secluded beach experience, make your way to Mawun Beach. Surrounded by lush hills and dramatic cliffs, this hidden paradise offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Dive into the sparkling waters, sunbathe on the untouched shore, or simply revel in the peaceful ambiance.


No matter which beach you choose to visit in Lombok, you’ll be greeted with warm hospitality and a refreshing atmosphere. Explore the vibrant underwater world through snorkeling or diving excursions and discover the diverse marine life that inhabits these crystal-clear waters. From colorful coral reefs to graceful sea turtles, the underwater beauty of Lombok will leave you in awe.


It’s important to be mindful of the environment when visiting Lombok’s beaches. Respect nature by not littering and avoiding activities that may harm the delicate ecosystems. Let’s work together to preserve the pristine beauty of these beaches for generations to come.


Whether you’re a sun seeker, a water sports enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, Lombok’s breathtaking beaches will leave you with unforgettable memories and a longing to return.


Trying Local Delicacies

When it comes to experiencing the true flavors of a destination, exploring the local cuisine is a must, and Lombok offers a tantalizing array of traditional delicacies that will delight your taste buds. Influenced by the flavors of Indonesian, Malay, and Chinese cuisines, Lombok’s culinary scene is a vibrant and diverse reflection of its cultural heritage.


One of Lombok’s signature dishes is Ayam Taliwang, a spicy grilled chicken dish named after the town of Taliwang. Marinated in a blend of local spices and grilled to perfection, Ayam Taliwang is known for its fiery flavors and smoky aroma. Served with rice and accompanied by sambal, a spicy chili sauce, this dish is a must-try for those with a love for spicy food.


If you’re a seafood lover, indulge in a feast of fresh seafood dishes such as grilled fish, calamari, or prawns. As Lombok is surrounded by bountiful waters, the seafood is incredibly fresh and flavorsome. Dine at a local warung (small eatery) by the beach to enjoy a satisfying seafood meal while relishing the picturesque view.


Sate Rembiga is another local delicacy that shouldn’t be missed. This dish features skewered and grilled meat, usually made from beef or chicken, marinated in a rich and flavorful spice blend. Served with peanut sauce and accompanied by rice cakes and cucumber, Sate Rembiga offers a harmonious combination of textures and flavors.


For a unique culinary experience, try Plecing Kangkung, a popular vegetable dish in Lombok. Made from water spinach dressed in a spicy tomato-based sauce, Plecing Kangkung is both refreshing and spicy. It’s a perfect side dish to complement your main course.


To satisfy your sweet tooth, don’t forget to try Lombok’s traditional desserts. Brem, a fermented sticky rice cake, offers a unique blend of sweet and tangy flavors. You can also savor Dodol Lombok, a sticky rice-based sweet treat flavored with coconut milk and palm sugar.


When exploring Lombok’s local delicacies, be sure to venture beyond the tourist areas and seek out traditional warungs and street food stalls, where the true essence of the local cuisine can be experienced. Engage with the friendly locals, ask for recommendations, and embrace the authentic flavors of Lombok.


From fiery spices to fresh seafood and tantalizing sweets, Lombok’s local delicacies are sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds and provide a memorable culinary adventure.


Snorkeling and Diving in Lombok

Lombok’s crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life make it a paradise for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner snorkeler, exploring the underwater world of Lombok is an unforgettable experience.


One of the top destinations for snorkeling and diving in Lombok is the Gili Islands. These three picturesque islands boast an abundance of colorful coral reefs teeming with a fascinating array of marine life. Strap on your snorkeling gear or take a diving excursion to discover the vibrant coral gardens, swim alongside schools of tropical fish, and marvel at the graceful sea turtles gliding through the water.


For those seeking a more remote and secluded diving experience, head to the Secret Gili Islands. Located off the northwest coast of Lombok, these hidden gems offer pristine dive sites with stunning coral formations and encounters with rare marine species. Dive into the depths and spot reef sharks, rays, and even elusive critters like pygmy seahorses.


The South Gili Islands, which include the islands of Gili Nanggu, Gili Sudak, and Gili Kedis, are perfect for snorkeling and shallow dives. These tranquil islands feature vibrant coral gardens close to the shore, making it easily accessible for snorkelers to marvel at the underwater beauty.


Another popular diving spot in Lombok is Belongas Bay. Experienced divers flock to this area for its challenging dive sites, featuring deep walls, strong currents, and splendid marine biodiversity. While exploring the depths, you may encounter sharks, barracudas, and other pelagic species.


If you’re new to snorkeling or diving, fear not! Lombok offers plenty of dive centers and snorkeling tours that cater to all levels of experience. Professional guides and instructors can provide guidance and ensure your safety while introducing you to the wonders of the underwater world.


It’s important to practice responsible snorkeling and diving by respecting the marine environment. Avoid touching or damaging the coral reefs, refrain from feeding the fish, and never remove any marine life or artifacts from their natural habitat. Let’s work together to preserve the beauty and health of Lombok’s underwater ecosystems.


Whether you’re snorkeling around the Gili Islands, exploring the Secret Gili Islands, or diving in Belongas Bay, Lombok’s underwater world promises to deliver awe-inspiring sights and unforgettable encounters with marine life. Grab your snorkel or scuba gear and dive into the magic that awaits beneath the surface.


Taking a Trip to Kuta Lombok

Located on the southern coast of Lombok, Kuta is a charming coastal town known for its breathtaking beaches, world-class surfing spots, and laid-back vibes. A trip to Kuta Lombok offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures.


Kuta Beach is the centerpiece of this vibrant town, with its pristine white sandy shorelines and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Enjoy a day of sunbathing, swimming, or simply strolling along the beach. Surf enthusiasts from around the world flock to Kuta for its fantastic waves, suitable for both beginners and advanced surfers. Rent a board or take a lesson to catch some waves and experience the thrill of riding the surf.


When you’re ready to explore beyond the beach, take a drive to the stunning Tanjung Aan. Located just a short distance from Kuta, this bay offers picturesque landscapes with rolling hills and stunning vistas. Relax on the soft sand, swim in the clear waters, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this hidden paradise.


For a cultural experience, venture to nearby traditional Sasak villages such as Sade or Rambitan. These villages provide a glimpse into the unique cultural heritage of the Sasak people, offering insights into their traditional way of life and customs.


Take a break from the heat and explore the scenic beauty of the surrounding area by embarking on a motorbike or bicycle tour. Discover hidden beaches, visit local markets, and witness the breathtaking views from the top of nearby hills. With its untouched landscapes and dramatic cliffs, Kuta Lombok’s countryside offers endless possibilities for exploration.


As the day comes to an end, treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the local eateries or beachfront restaurants. Indulge in freshly caught seafood, traditional Sasak dishes, or try international cuisines to satisfy any craving.


With its picturesque landscapes, world-class surf breaks, and warm hospitality, Kuta Lombok has become a popular destination for travelers seeking a unique and laid-back beach escape. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural experiences, Kuta Lombok has it all.


As you plan your trip, consider visiting Kuta Lombok during the annual Lombok Kuta Festival, which showcases the rich culture, food, music, and traditional arts of the local Sasak community. This colorful event provides a deeper understanding and appreciation of the local culture.


So, pack your bags and get ready to uncover the charms of Kuta Lombok, a destination that promises to captivate and leave you with cherished memories of your time spent in this coastal paradise.



Lombok, Indonesia’s hidden paradise, is a destination that offers a diverse range of experiences for every type of traveler. From the tranquil Gili Islands to the majestic Mount Rinjani, from the enchanting waterfalls to the traditional Sasak villages, and from the stunning beaches to the local delicacies, Lombok has it all.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or simply a break from the crowds, Lombok’s unspoiled beauty and warm hospitality will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.


Immerse yourself in the underwater wonders of the Gili Islands, where vibrant coral reefs and marine life await snorkelers and divers. Challenge yourself with a trek to the summit of Mount Rinjani, where breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment await at the top. Discover the hidden waterfalls and be captivated by their pristine beauty and rejuvenating ambiance. Explore the traditional Sasak villages and connect with the rich cultural heritage of the Sasak people.


Relax on the beautiful beaches, soak up the sun, and let the gentle breeze wash away your worries. Indulge in the flavors of Lombok’s local delicacies, from spicy grilled chicken to fresh seafood dishes, and experience the true essence of the island’s culinary delights.


Conclude your journey with a trip to Kuta Lombok, where picturesque beaches, world-class surf breaks, and a laid-back atmosphere invite you to unwind and embrace the coastal charm.


As you bid farewell to this enchanting island, you’ll carry with you the vibrant memories of its hidden gems and the genuine warmth of its people. Lombok, with its captivating beauty and diverse offerings, will forever hold a special place in your heart.


So, embark on your adventure to Lombok, the secret paradise waiting to be discovered. Allow yourself to be captivated by its natural wonders, immerse yourself in its rich culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime.