You should certainly go to these best destinations in Lombok. It is very true that Lombok really does have the feeling that it is going to be a booming Indonesian tourist destination, compared to Bali. This island’s overall infrastructure and good quality of attractions are starting to reflect its up-and-coming popularity.
In fact, most of the tourist destinations are scattered around the main island of Lombok, with further sightseeing to be found on neighboring islands, such as Gili Islands, Gili Pentangan and Gili Sulat. Meanwhile, on mainland Lombok, the top destinations are located at Kuta, Lembar, Mataram, Praya, Senggigi and Tetebatu, often being of a coastal nature.
Here are the best destinations in Lombok you must visit on your holiday:
1. Gili Islands
You can find Gili Islands just a short distance off the north-westerly shoreline of Lombok, close to Bangsal port. Interestingly, this has long been something of a Mecca for backpackers and travelers. Comprising three islands, all the Gilis come with their own pristine beaches and distant coral reefs, where colorful and rich marine life is just a snorkel away. Amazingly, each of the Gili Islands has its very own character, with the Gili Trawangan being the most developed one occupied with countless villas and a classy resort. Nearby, Gili Air is located close to the mainland. Meanwhile, Gili Meno is the smallest of the islands becoming relatively low-key. Furthermore, the main destination of Gili Meno is the Bird Park. Luckily, a boat service visits all the three Gili Islands, twice a day, meaning that island hopping is both popular and quite easy to do.
2. Gili Sulat (Gili Pentangan)
The islands of Gili Sulat and Gili Pentangan lie alongside each other and roughly 1.5 km/1 mile off the eastern coast. They are worldly famous for their glorious sandy beaches and their beautiful non-commercialized nature. The good news is that these islands are quite uninhabited so that snorkeling becomes an ultimate experience for any divers inside the clear waters. The underwater beauty really features good coral reefs with amazing subsequent marine life. Moreover, boats to these islands can be chartered from either Labuhan Pandan or Sugian.
This magnificent expanse of soft white sand of Kuta Beach is really not to be missed under any possible circumstances. Although often compared to Kuta Beach in Bali, Lombok’s Kuta Beach is uniquely famous for its strong waves that break on the coral reefs that are considered by experienced surfers to be nothing short of world class. Surfers of all abilities will come to Kuta Beach each year to take the advantage of the incredible waves, including those nearby at Gerupak Bay (Teluk Gerupak). In general, this coastline is quite undeveloped, but that is part of its charms and appeals. Therefore, lifeguards are always ready and never far from Kuta Beach. Diverse hawkers are also easy to find nearby.
Lembar is a busy harbor city lying on the south-westerly coast of Lombok as well as the island’s main port for Bali, with passenger ships and ferries arriving and departing on a regular basis. Lembar’s harbor front is particularly beautiful, since its surroundings comprise lush hillsides and plenty of tropical greenery. There are not truly any attractions as such to speak of in Lembar, so that most tourists don’t stay here for long. Instead, they usually use the city’s public transport to reach nearby Mataram or Senggigi.
Mataram is the capital of Lombok and the largest city among all, with a population fast approaching 400,000 people. Although very much categorized as a city, Mataram is actually made up of three adjoining towns of Ampenan, Cakranegara, and Mataram becoming an important administrative center. These towns are connected by one main road that starts its life as Jalan Pabean, before changing to Jalan Langko, Jalan Pejanggik and then finishing up as Jalan Selaparang.
There are a lot of great tourist attractions spread around Mataram area, with the best including Mayura Water Palace, Pura Meru Hindu and the popular Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat. Indeed, there are a lot of further sightseeing opportunities around Mataram, such as the celebrated Taman Narmada (Narmada Park) lying approximately 10 km/6 miles to the east. Dating back more than 200 years ago, it is designed to recreate the summit of Mount Rinjani (Gunung Rinjani). Further to the north are the market town of Sesaot, the Balinese hilltop temple of Gunung Pengsong, and numerous pottery workshops within Banyumulek.
This is the main town located in southern Lombok and often categorized as the island’s second destination, Praya is somewhat spread out and is based around a series of tree-lined avenues. Also, there are some very attractive historical Dutch buildings and structures within Praya. However, the most noteworthy attractions lie outside the town, such as the Penujak pottery, the Sasak houses in Sade, and the traditional houses in Rembitan. Likewise, in nearby Rembitan is the pilgrimage mosque, Masjid Kuno that comes complete with thatched roof and pleasant gardens.
The westerly coastal resort of Senggigi enjoys a superb site, being fronted by a number of picturesque sweeping bays. Thence, no wonder that Senggigi serves as the main tourist strip in Lombok offering plenty of beach-related attractions and best-deal hotels. Moreover, scuba diving trips from Senggigi are always popular and usually head off to the nearby Gili Islands. Yet, there is quite reasonable snorkeling available next to Windy Cottages. The Balinese temple named Pura Batu Bolong is also worth a visit, as it is the nearby Mangsit beach and excursions to neighboring weaving villages.
Nestled on the lower slopes of Mount Rinjani (Gunung Rinjani), Tetebatu becomes a tempting rural retreat. It provides a refreshing atmosphere and outstanding sceneries, overlooking rice paddies and far green expanses of tobacco fields. The village of Tetebatu also features excellent views of Rinjani and the distant sea offers a good place to base yourself. Interestingly, various hiking trails are close by, leading to the cascading waterfalls, handicraft villages, the Monkey Forest (Taman Wisata Tetebatu), and its inquisitive black monkeys.
With all those best destinations in Lombok you must visit, you will surely get tempted to spend your holiday in Lombok. I dare you to come to this wonderful island.