During my last trip of at least 8 months I traveled no less than 5 months in Indonesia. First I made a 2 month trip through Indonesia after which I continued to travel to Malaysia, Myanmar and Nepal. After Nepal I decided to go back to Bali. However, this was quite disappointing and I decided to go back to Lombok which turned out to be a very good choice. In total, I stayed in Lombok for 3 months! This allows me to provide you with the most useful tips and of course the best complete Lombok itinerary.
In these 3 months I traveled alone, but actually I haven’t been alone for a moment. I’ve met a lot of locals with whom I traveled and even lived every now and then. So I’ve seen a lot of the island and got to know the culture and their daily life in a special way. Traveling with locals is of course very different from traveling with other backpackers and I really enjoyed it! After a while I met my Austrian travel companion with whom I traveled together for a few months.
Lombok itinerary for 2 weeks
Gili ➤ Senggigi ➤ Gili Nanggu ➤ Kuta ➤ Tetebatu ➤ Sembalun ➤ Senaru ➤ Gili
Chances are that your tour of Lombok will start on the Gili Islands: Gili Air, Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan. These three small islands are located in the northwest of Lombok and are a popular tourist destination. The Gili’s are also easy to reach from Bali.
These islands are highly recommended. Each island has its own charm and it is nice to visit at least a few for a few nights. Party, beaches, peace, you can find it all on those islands! In my other article you can read everything about the Gili islands in Lombok.
From the Gili’s you can travel onward to Senggigi on the west coast of Lombok. Senggigi is just a small place with many different hotels and resorts. There’s not a lot to do, but I certainly have some great tips for your stay in Senggigi!
Do you like a little luxury but your budget isn’t big enough to stay in a resort? Then it’s highly recommended to spend a day at the 5-star Sheraton resort. For less than € 10 you can use the extensive breakfast buffet, the swimming pool and the private beach. A whole day of relaxation guaranteed!
If you’re looking for a nice place to watch the sun go down, you can sit down on one of the beaches on the west coast. But for a really beautiful view, visit the abandoned Villa Hantu. You will a fantastic view over the beaches.
In Senggigi you can also score some very good souvenirs for at home. Certainly at Sasaku you can indulge yourself for dirt cheap gadgets and nice clothes.
Fancy a nice evening with some drinks or karaoke? Then you’ve come to the right place in Senggigi. There are tons of great places to spend your evening. The Happy Café in Senggigi is a very cozy place to spend an evening with life music.
The Gili Islands in the northwest are not the only Gili Islands in Lombok. Also on the east and southwest coast are several small islands including Gili Nanggu. This mini island is becoming increasingly popular because this island and the neighboring islands are very beautiful. You can snorkel beautifully and relax.
You can also spend the night at Gili Nanggu. There are a number of bungalows but there’s also a campsite. For example, rent a tent elsewhere and take it to the island. Of course I knew many locals in Lombok, one of whom knew a camping shop in Mataram. Costs for this tent were IDR 40,000 per day for a tent for 2-3 people.
To reach Gili Nanggu you can drive to the southwest by scooter or taxi and rent a boat with driver from one of the locals. From here you’ll find enough offers from rental companies and families that offer this service. So you can drive there with your scooter, park it there and let it be guarded by the locals so that you can spend one or more nights on the island without worries!
You can also arrange with the people to visit a few islands for a full or half day. Then be sure to visit the tiny Gili Kedis, but also Gili Sudak and Gili Tangkong.
My visit to Gili Nanggu was quite special. Beforehand, I had seen via Facebook that there would be a big party hosted by Japanese and English DJs. The island was fully rented and everyone was welcome. Partying continued into the late hours on the tropical island. That was an awesome experience!
Kuta is one of the most touristic places in Lombok. The area, especially the coastline, is amazing and it’s very suitable for surfing. Kuta can easily be called the surf mecca of Lombok. The most beautiful beaches of Lombok can be found in the vicinity of Kuta. As you may know, there’s also another place in Indonesia called Kuta, in Bali. However, there is a big difference between the two! Kuta Lombok is way less crowded and the area is just way more beautiful.
There’re many surf schools in Kuta where you can take lessons or rent boards. Be careful when renting boards on the beaches themselves. A well-known scam is renting out glued broken boards that break quite quickly as soon as you go into the water. The price that the rental companies demand is absurd. So just look up some reviews about the rental company on Google Maps, for example, to make sure it’s a legit surf shop.
The best surf spots for beginners around Kuta are Pantai Seger and Pantai Selong Belanak. The slightly experienced surfers can also go to Pantai Tanjung Aan and Pantai Mawi. It’s highly recommended to rent a scooter for a few days and tour the coast. You will come across gems of beaches where you would rather not leave!
One of the best places to watch the sun go down is from the Merese Hills. Here you can enjoy a view on the cliffs and beaches of Kuta which is amazing.
In addition, Kuta also has a nice nightlife. Almost every night there is a nice party in one of the bars and clubs with different music. I went to Kuta a number of times to surf, but also to join a party.
One of my favorite local nasi padang warung (eatery) where I’ve eaten delicious rendang is at Rumah Makan Doa Ibu. But also the slightly more commercial Warung Flora is really good! Because Kuta is quite touristy, there are a lot of western restaurants.
The place where I stayed the longest is the village of Tetebatu. This village is located south of the Rinjani volcano between the jungle and rice fields. Here you really come for taking a rest and for the beautiful green nature. Tetebatu can be visited all year round and the climate is a bit cooler and wetter all than in many other places in Lombok. At night it can also cool down a lot, so taking some warmer clothes is recommended.
Tourism is still in its infancy in Tetebatu. That’s why the locals are very happy with new tourists. The best activities in Tetebatu are visiting the many waterfalls, hiking through the rice fields, but also climbing the Rinjani volcano! The Rinjani volcano is the second highest in Indonesia at 3726 meters. At almost each guesthouse you can book a two-day tour to the volcano. The best season to do this is in the dry season roughly between May till October. In the rainy season it isn’t recommended because there’s a chance that you don’t have a nice view and it is simply a bit more dangerous.
As I mentioned, there are many waterfalls in the vicinity of Tetebatu. The most famous and most visited in the village itself is the Tetebatu Waterfall. If you go for a walk with the locals, chances are you’ll visit it too. Don’t forget your swimsuit, because you can also take a dip in the cooling water! One of the most beautiful and largest waterfalls are the Benang Stokel and the Benang Kelambu Waterfall. To get here you can book a tour, but also rent a scooter yourself.
The Monkey Forest is also fun to visit when you’re in Tetebatu. Large groups of black monkeys live here that you can see with a bit of luck!
As far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely recommended to stay in Tetebatu for a few days. Then you’ll have time to see a number of waterfalls and relax. There are plenty of cheap guesthouses in Tetebatu. No hostels, but most double rooms are dirt cheap and you’ll come in contact with the locals quickly enough. As a solo traveler, you don’t have to be afraid to be alone!
From Tetebatu it is a good idea to continue to the beautiful surroundings of Sembalun in East Lombok. The climate in this mountainous landscape is even cooler than in Tetebatu. The road to Sembalun is very beautiful and winding and the chance of a rain shower is often present in the afternoon.
It’s definitely recommended to stop at the viewpoint Taman Wisata Pusuk Sembalun along the way. You can also eat and drink here, but beware of the macaques! If they set their sights on food, you better watch out. The next place where you will find a supermarket and warungs is in Sembalun village.
One of the most beautiful sights is Selong Hill. From this hill you can enjoy a beautiful view over the valley. True enthusiasts can also climb Pergasingan Hill. This is considered one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Lombok. Expect a steep climb of about 2 – 3 hours. It’s recommended to camp there so you can experience both the sunset and the sunrise with a great view.
There aren’t many accommodations in Sembalun. That’s why I would advise you to visit Sembalun as a day trip from Tetebatu (with or without tour) or to continue on to Senaru the same day where there are enough accommodations.
The village of Senaru in the north of Lombok is mainly known for the gigantic Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall. From the starting point you’ll make a small trek to the falls. Don’t worry because the trek is more of a hike on an easy path towards the falls.
In addition to visiting the waterfalls, many people also start their trek here to the Rinjani volcano. This can often be booked at your guesthouse or a specialized organization.
In addition, it is also highly recommended to visit the Rinjani Lodge. In principle this is an accommodation, but it also has a restaurant and an infinity pool where you can stay for a small fee. Both from the pool and from the balcony on the first floor you can enjoy a great view of Senaru.
From Senaru you can travel to Bangsal from where you can take the boat to the Gili’s.
Start of your Lombok itinerary
But where do you actually start this Lombok itinerary?
It’s likely that you start on one of the Gili islands because they are easy to reach from Bali. I didn’t travel from Bali to Gili at first, but first flew from Bali to Flores where I made a road trip on Flores and then a boat trip through Komodo National Park. The four-day tour ended in Lombok where we were dropped off on the Gili islands. Quite convenient!
When I returned to Indonesia after Nepal, I did travel from Bali to Lombok, actually from Nusa Penida to be precise. I then took the public ferry back to Bali, to Padang Bai. From Bali you can travel very cheaply and easily to Lombok. The ferry leaves from Padang Bai and sails in about 5 hours to Lembar in southwest Lombok for only 46,000 IDR (€ 2.90). The nearest destination is Gili Nanggu, but Mataram and Kuta are also not too far away.
You can read everything about the Nusa islands in Bali in this article.
There’s also a chance that your Lombok itinerary starts in the middle of the island, namely from Praya airport. Kuta is the closest here, making it your first logical destination.
But actually it doesn’t really matter where you start, because in Lombok you can make a nice roundtrip so that you can easily end where you started.
Transportation on Lombok
Public transport on Lombok is not comparable to, for example, Java where you can take the train or bus everywhere. There is hardly any public transport on Lombok. The best options to get from A to B on your Lombok itinerary are:
- shuttle buses
- private drivers
- rented scooter or car
The taxi in Lombok is a quick and easy way of getting around. Regular taxis drive around the island with the Blue Bird Taxis being the best most reliable choice. But also Gojek and Grab taxis can be found in Lombok which I’m a big fan of. These Southeast Asian variants of Uber work great. You can see in advance exactly what the ride will cost. However, these taxis do not run everywhere, so sometimes you have to rely on transport options from your guesthouse or regular taxis. Both Gojek and Grab offer rides by car and on the back of the scooter.
Shuttle buses run between some destinations, such as Gili, Senggigi and Kuta, which you can book with your accommodation or tour organization. This cheap way of traveling is definitely recommended if possible, although comfort often leaves the wishes behind.
Private drivers are an excellent option if you are looking for a driver and guide. In my opinion, this option is mainly recommended if you are short on time or want to quickly see the island.
Renting a scooter is also a very fun and adventurous option that gives you the most freedom. Be aware that traffic in Lombok can be quite chaotic. Renting a car would be a less good option in my opinion. With a scooter you are more agile.
You also see cidomo in lombok. These horse taxis are the last form of transportation you should choose. The horses are generally not treated well.
Duration of this Lombok itinerary
How long you take on this Lombok itinerary depends a bit on the type of transport and of course how long you stay at each destination. Roughly you can take about 2 weeks on this itinerary in Lombok. You then have enough time to visit the popular sights and relax at any destination.
If you have less time, it is recommended to skip one or more destinations.
Best time to travel this Lombok itinerary
The best time to travel this Lombok itinerary is in the dry season, which runs roughly from May till October. Nature is of course unpredictable and it could therefore well be that the rainy season starts earlier or later than average.
Lombok can also be visited in the rainy season. I traveled there from December to March and it was easy to do. It could occasionally rain heavily, but there were enough dry moments with sun almost every day. However, the rainy season isn’t the best time for climbing Rinjani volcano or visiting the great waterfalls. For safety reasons, both activities are not recommended in the rainy season.
Good memories of my stay in Lombok