Trek in the shadow of Gunung RinjaniDominating the northern half of Lombok is the surging and brooding profile of Gunung Rinjani, one of Indonesia’s most spectacular mountains. Sacred to both the Hindu people of nearby Bali and the Sasaks of Lombok, ascending the 3726m high peak is a challenge, but definitely achievable by travellers with good fitness. Guides and porters can be hired in villages on the fertile slopes on Rinjani – including Senaru and Sembalun Lawang – and the ascent is usually undertaken across three days and two nights. Located 600m below the massive rim of Rinjani’s huge caldera, the cobalt blue Danau Segara Anak (Child of the Sea) is a 6km long lake trimmed with hot springs – a perfect natural tonic after completing the trek – and on the mountain’s eastern edge, the more recent volcanic cone of Gunung Baru (‘New Mountain’) is a steaming reminder of nature’s immense power. Tetabatu, paths meander through a lush patchwork of tobacco plantations, rice fields and orchards, or continue up Rinjani’s southern slopes to the beautiful Air Terjun Jekut waterfalls. On the eastern side of the mountain, the bucolic Sembalun Valley is another fertile farming area cradled by the iconic profile of Rinjani, and at Senaru, mountain and ocean views combine with walks to nearby cascades and swimming holes. Senaru’s Rinjani Trek Centre has information on local walks and can arrange guides for climbing Gunung Rinjani.
Learn to surf on world famous wavesFrom Sumatra to Java, Indonesia offers some of the finest surfing on the planet, and the boardriding scene in Lombok includes what Tracks magazine has called the ‘best wave in the world’. Located near the town of Pelangan in southwest Lombok, the left-handed break dubbed ‘Desert Point’ rolls in from the Bali Sea to offer rides up to 300m. May to September offers the best waves for experienced surfers.
Find solitude on spectacular southern beachesFor a coastline offering such wild and untrammeled beauty, southern Lombok remains one of Southeast Asia’s undiscovered gems. While it’s true travellers are beginning to discover the region – courtesy of the island’s conveniently located international airport at nearby Praya – beaches including Selong Blanak and Mawun are still well off the mainstream tourist radar. Simple roads negotiate Lombok’s southern coastline west of Kuta, often detouring inland to meander through rice fields and rural countryside, before heading back to a series of arcing beaches framed by rugged headlands. Around 3km from Kuta, Mawun is a sheltered halfmoon cove that’s ideal for swimming, and just further west, more rugged Mawi is a popular surfing destination from May to October.
Make it happenGetting there: Lombok’s Bandara International Airport links the island to Bali – a short 30minute flight – and other domestic Indonesian destinations from Lombok include Jakarta, Makassar and Surabaya. International flights to Lombok include Silk Air from Singapore and Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. By sea, public ferries connect Lombok’s west coast with Bali, and east to the island of Sumbawa. Ferries link with bus and minibus transport. Faster express boats also run between Lombok and Bali.
When to go: Lombok offers warm, tropical weather throughout the year, with a rainy season occurring from late October to April. The dry season runs from May to September, with the least rainfall being experienced from July to August. Note this two-month period also coincides with the highest visitor numbers. Book Now