17 Epic Things to do in Lombok, Indonesia

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Indonesia is home to over 17,000 different islands, each with its own unique history and culture, but despite this diversity, many travelers will still choose to spend most of their time in the country in the tourist hot spot of Bali.

Just to the east of Bali though, a short ferry ride will bring you to Indonesia’s next big destination, Lombok. Roughly the same size as its neighbor, Lombok has just as much to offer, but you’ll find a fraction of the tourist numbers across the island.

Lombok has mile upon mile of pristine coastline, ranging from white, sandy beaches to rugged, windswept cliff tops. There are bustling local towns and villages to visit, the famed Rinjani volcano to hike, and the paradisaical Gili islands to relax or party on.

It’s a great destination, and to inspire your trip, here are our favorite things to do in Lombok.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Bali & Lombok (Travel Guide)

17 Epic Things to do in Lombok

Things to do in Lombok - Horse carriage ride

1. Sightsee in Mataram

Mataram is the largest city in Lombok, and as a major ferry port and transport hub, then the chances are high that you’ll pass through at some point. Most travelers don’t hang around for long, but actually, Mataram is a great place to learn more about local life and history.

If you’re arriving from Bali, the first thing you’ll notice are the mosques, because Lombok is predominantly a Muslim island, as opposed to Hindu. Visit the Museum of West Nusa Tenggara to discover more about the region, before heading to the historic temples and palaces of Pura Meru and Taman Mayura.

Our top recommended tours of Mataram:

Mount Rinjani in Lombok, Indonesia

2. Climb Mount Rinjani

One of the best things to do in Lombok is the trek to the summit of Mount Rinjani. Indonesia is a volcanic country, and there are hundreds of craters and volcanic peaks spread across the archipelago. Mount Rinjani is one of the most iconic to be found anywhere, and it dominates the skyline of Lombok.

The summit is 3700 meters tall and at the top, you’ll find an impressive crater lake. It’s very much an active volcano, however, with the last eruption occurring as recently as 2016, while earthquakes in 2018 caused several dangerous landslides.

If you brave the hike to the crater, then you’ll be camping out on the slopes before you make the arduous ascent for sunrise!

Our top recommended tours of Mount Rinjani:

Aik Kalak Hot Springs, Lombok, Indonesia

3. Soak at the Aik Kalak Hot Springs

With a lot of volcanic activity beneath Lombok, you can rest assured that there is plenty of thermal water going around too. At the base of Mount Rinjani, you can find one of the most popular hot springs.

The Aik Kalak Hot Springs is a sacred place in the local culture, and legends and myths abound. Increasingly, they are also one of the best things to do in Lombok for travelers and tourists looking to soak up the thermal water and to relax before or after a Rinjani trek.

Senggigi Beach, Lombok

4. Hit the beach in Senggigi

If volcanoes and treks aren’t for you, then don’t worry, because there are still plenty of great things to do in Lombok that don’t involve breaking too much sweat.

Lombok has some fantastic beaches, and much of the coastline is described as similar to how Bali looked before the arrival of mass tourism.

One of the most popular beach destinations is Senggigi, and while it’s the busiest beach on the island, it’s still blissfully quiet compared to Bali. The beach is beautiful, with clear waters and that laid back island lifestyle to enjoy.

Beach in Lombok, Indonesia

5. Get Away from the Crowds in Kuta

On the south coast of Lombok, you can find one of the island’s most pristine beaches. Kuta is one of the most up and coming destinations in Lombok, and you’ll quickly realize why when you see the spectacular white sands fringed by rolling green hills and fields.

You can relax on the beaches, enjoy the peace and tranquility of southern Lombok and escape it all at Kuta.

White sand beach in Lombok, Indonesia

6. Explore Tanjung Poki

In the south-east of the island, you can find one of the most rugged and dramatic things to do in Lombok. Tanjung Poki is a stretch of coastline that’s battered by tall waves crashing into the rocks.

The sight of these enormous king waves smashing into the cliffs is spectacular and will leave you in awe of the power of the ocean.

Our top recommended tours of Tanjung Poki:

Surfing in Lombok

7. Try Surfing

One of my favorite memories from visiting Lombok was spending a whole day out surfing. With numerous surf schools spread out along the coast and tons of protected bays, you are given the perfect environment to learn.

Learning to surf in Lombok is fun and affordable, more importantly, the perfect thing to do in Lombok to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Plus, you can’t beat the scenery either. 

8. Visit Gunung Tunak National Park

Also on the south coast of Lombok, is the small but spectacular Gunung Tunak National Park. The scenery here is varied, but the rugged peninsula is home to beaches, tall cliffs, and green hills.

There are some great hikes through the national park, the best of which leads you to the very southern tip of the peninsula, where you can find a high watchtower. Climb the tower, and you’ll be met with views over the entire national park, and far out to sea.

Camp on Bukit Pergasingan, Lombok, Indonesia

9. Camp on Bukit Pergasingan

Hiking to the top Bukit Pergasingan is one of the best things to do in Lombok if you are looking for incredible views over the island. Bukit means hill in Indonesian, but Bukit Pergasingan rises to around 1700 meters in height, making this more of a mountain.

A three-hour trek will bring you to the summit, and it’s a popular alternative to the Mount Rinjani trek, as it’s much easier and quicker, but offers equally beautiful scenery. If you want to watch the sunrise or sunset, then you can even camp out at the top.

Narmada Park, Lombok

10. Stroll through Narmada Park

Narmada Park is a historic garden that was built in the early 18th century by the King of Lombok, to be used as a royal retreat and a place for religious ceremonies.

The park is gloriously landscaped, and you’ll find verdant surroundings and temples dedicated to the Hindu Gods that used to be worshiped across the island.

It’s also known as the Water Park, because of the heavy emphasis that was placed on sacred pools and water reservoirs. It’s a beautifully peaceful place, and if you are looking to experience a more cultural side of Lombok, then Narmada Park is the place to visit.

Waterfall in Indonesia

11. Swim at Tiu Kelep Waterfall

Lombok is full of jaw-dropping waterfalls, but the pick of the bunch will always be the Tiu Kelep Waterfall. Found in the shadow of Mount Rinjani, the waterfall is part of Rinjani National Park and is close to a second waterfall, called Sendang Gile Waterfall, which can be seen on the same trip.

Tiu Kelep Waterfall is made up of several spectacular plumes of water that form a cascade down the side of the mountain. It’s surrounded by trees and greenery, and it makes for a great swimming spot after your hike through the forest.

Our top recommended tours of Tie Kelep Waterfall:

Monkey in Indonesia

12. See Wildlife in the Pusuk Monkey Forest

Also found within Rinjani National Park, the Pusuk Monkey Forest makes for a unique stop on your way to the waterfalls. The forest has some great hiking trails and takes its name from the fact that the area is home to large populations of monkeys.

Watch out for the local residents, as they are used to tourists and are far from shy when it comes to stealing food and valuables!

Bukit Selong, Lombok

13. Catch a sunset at Bukit Selong

For one of the best views in Lombok, then head to Bukit Selong, where you’ll be treated to endless landscapes and beautiful rice paddies once you reach the top of the hill. It’s a great spot for sunset or sunrise, with a viewing platform that offers spectacular vistas over fields and mountains.

Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

14. Take a trip to Gili Trawangan

The Gili islands are some of the most popular things to do in Lombok because this collection of three islands is the epitome of paradise for many travelers.

Each island, while very close to each other off the north-west coast of Lombok, are also very different from each other, but they can all be reached via Lombok, or using the direct, fast speed boats that set out several times a day from the tourist hubs in Bali.

Gili Trawangan is the largest island and is home to white-sand beaches and clear, turquoise water. There are no cars on Gili T, as it’s known, and you can organize snorkeling trips to underwater statues and reefs teeming with sea turtles.

Gili T though is also known as the party island, and you’ll find endless pubs along the main drag and backpacker hostels hosting bar crawls and pool parties.

Our top recommended tours of Gili Trawangan:

Gili Air, Indonesia

15. Relax on Gili Air

Gili is the second largest island in the Gilis, and it’s much more laid back than its neighbor, Gili Trawangan. The island is just as beautiful but not quite as built up as Gili T, and it’s the place to visit if you are looking for a peaceful holiday.

Gili Air has excellent white sand beaches fringed by palm trees, and you’ll find you can just spend your days kicking back on the coast and watching the world go by.

Our top recommended tours of Gili Air:

Gili Islands, Indonesia

16. Get Away from it all on Gili Meno

Gili Meno is the smallest of the three Gili islands, and the least visited too. It’s laid back, and you won’t find Gili T style parties here, but the island mostly caters to couples and honeymooners.

There are a few high-end resorts on the coast, offering absolute seclusion and tranquility that you can’t find elsewhere, but you’ll have to be prepared to pay for the luxurious setting.

Our top recommended tours of Gili Meno:

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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