Lombok Island is often overlooked as a travel destination in favor of neighboring Bali. However, with all the epic things to do in Lombok, it proved to me to be a much choice, especially for those who are into adventure travel.
Where to Stay in Lombok
Where to stay in Lombok will depend on how much time you have and which of the huge list of things to do in Lombok you want to tick off. Below I’ve listed the main areas closest to waterfalls, treks, beaches, and other Lombok activities to help you choose where you want to stay on Lombok.
To avoid bombarding you with ideas, I’ve left the full hist of hostels, guest houses, and hotels at the bottom of this blog post.
TIP: If you’re arriving from the airport, I’d recommend booking pre-arranged transfer to your accommodation in advance. This will save you having to pay ridiculous prices coming out of the airport gate.
Senaru or Sembalun
The northern region of Lombok is best-known for hiking and the two most famous waterfalls on Lombok; Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile. Most travelers tend to stay in Senaru, which is a great place to base yourself before the Rinjani Crater Rim trek. However, I’d also recommend considering a stay at Sembalun, which is a little off-the-beaten-path village with plenty of things to do. I’ve written a blog about Sembalun which you can find here.
Sengiggi is the tourist capital of the Lombok west coast. This is a great place to base yourself for many of the epic things to do in Lombok including beach-hopping, snorkeling, waterfall chasing and more.
This is the unexplored peninsula of Lombok and the location of the “Secret Gilis“. For off-the-beaten-path adventures and to escape the tourist beat, check out Sekotong.
The south has quickly claimed it’s spot as the top tourist spot in Lombok. Kuta Lombok is the place to be for surfing and exploring the epic southern Lombok coastline. If beaches and surfing are more your type, Kuta Lombok is the place to stay in Lombok.
Well-known for its many waterfalls, chilled vibes, and epic rice terraces, Tete Batu is quickly becoming known as Lombok’s own Ubud. Even if you don’t stay here, I’d recommend heading inland for at least a day trip.
Lombok Travel Insurance: Some of the things on this list of what to do on Lombok include long trips on motorbikes and big hikes on volcanic landscapes. I always purchase travel insurance from WorldNomads.com, since I believe that they are the best for travelers who prefer these types of adventures to lazing by the pool.
Epic Things to Do in Lombok – The Complete List
With that out of the way, let’s get straight into the full list of epic things to do in Lombok, Indonesia. This list isn’t in any particular order – it’s up to you to make your own itinerary!
1. Visit The Lombok Waterfalls
Just like Bali, Lombok has its own fair share of incredible waterfalls to visit. The best part is, many are flowing year-round, despite the hot Lombok climate in the dry season. Here are some of my favorites.
READ MY: COMPLETE LOMBOK WATERFALL GUIDE
Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls
I’ll put money on the fact that you’ve already seen the impressive Tiu Kelep waterfall before. This incredible waterfall amphitheater has made the rounds on social media and even across waterfall tour banners as far as Bali and Java.
Located in Senaru, in the north of Lombok, Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls are two falls on the same, short jungle hike. Out of all of the things to do in Lombok, I’d place a visit to these two falls near the top!
Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu Waterfalls
Another set of waterfalls that is value for time and money are Central Lombok highlights, Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu. Although they are located in the same geopark, the two waterfalls are vastly different.
Benang Kelambu is a curtain-like layer of flowing water and dense jungle plants. The other, Benang Stokel is a set of three plunging waterfalls in a large jungle clearing.
Even if you have heard of these waterfalls before, you might be surprised to hear that there are actually another 3 “hidden” waterfalls here too.
Mangku Sakti Waterfall
Visiting Mangku Sakti waterfall ended up being one of my favorite things to do in Lombok. Located in the north close to the trekking town of Sembalun, Mangku Sakti has several levels of fast-flowing rapids and a large main waterfall.
The best part about this one is that you can climb inside and behind the waterfall in a small rocky cave!
2. Explore the Senggigi Coastline
Senggigi was once the tourist capital of Lombok. These days, it has a chill beach vibe with plenty of small cafes and warungs.
To see the best of Senggigi, I’d suggest renting a motorbike, which costs only 50 000 – 60 000 Rupiah per day, and riding to all the epic Senggigi Beaches.
While you can catch a wave on a good day, the Senggigi beaches are more reserved for chilling. Nevertheless, it’s one of my favorite coastlines in Indonesia, and definitely worth an entry on your list of things to do in Lombok.
3. Visit the Tete Batu Rice Terraces
I’ve said it before but, Tete Batu is as close to Ubud as you’ll get in Lombok. Complete with rice terraces, small cafes, waterfalls, and short hikes, Tete Batu is one of the most scenic locations in Lombok.
Here, you’ll also catch a great view of Rinjani and there is also plenty of opportunities for waterfall chasing.
CHEAP CAR RENTAL: Alternatively, if you’re traveling in a group, you could also rent a car to explore all the best things to do in Lombok yourself. Click here to find a good car rental deal.
4. The Gili Islands
Since they’re super easy to reach from Bali, The Gili Islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air are often mistaken for Balinese islands.
However, the Gili Islands are located on the northern coast of Lombok, which makes these islands a convenient transit location from Bali.
On the Gili Islands, you’ll find great snorkeling and scuba diving, calm beaches, lively bars, night markets, and some magical sunset spots.
5. “Secret” Gili Islands
Want island vibes but looking for things to do in Lombok that are more off the gringo trail? The “Secret Gili” Islands in the south of Lombok will be your answer.
Many people are surprised to hear that Lombok actually has several islands all around its coast. The three I’d recommend are located off the quiet shores of Sekotong.
There are several tours running here from Kuta Lombok, or you can make your way to Sekotong yourself and hop on a shared island hopping trip to Gili Kedis, Gili Nanggu, and Gili Sudak.
6. Gili Kedis Camping Trip
One of my absolute favorite experiences in Lombok was a camping trip to the tiny sandbar island of Gili Kedis.
The island is so tiny that you’d almost assume it would disappear at high tide! We finished off a great island-hopping day at the “Secret Gilis” by playing guitar and cooking a fresh BBQ at our private sandbar campsite.
7. Rinjani Volcano Trekking
I told you this list wasn’t in any order. Usually, you’d find Rinjani trekking at the top of nearly everybody’s Lombok to-do lists and rightly so.
Trekking Mount Rinjani was hands down one of the most epic adventures we had in Lombok. Unfortunately, getting to the summit has been a little difficult at late due to a corroding ridge-line. However, it’s still possible to hike to the crater and set up camp to watch the sunrise above the clouds!
Most treks leave from Senaru, however less-popular routes are also completed from Tete Batu. If you’re chasing the summit, I’d suggest trying to negotiate with local trekking guides in Senaru or in Sembalun.
8. Pergasinginan Hill Sunrise Hike
Mount Rinjani isn’t the only opportunity in Lombok for some epic mountain views. Another favorite hike is Pergasingan Hill, located in the mountain town of Sembalun.
The trek itself is quite steep, but shouldn’t take more than a few hours for the return trip. I’d suggest leaving early since the sunrise views from the top are incredible!
You won’t require a guide to reach the top of Pergasingan Hill. However, you can choose to camp at the top with the help of some local tour guides. This blog has some useful information for camping on Pergasingan Hill.
9. Bukit Selong Ricefield Viewpoint
While we’re on the topic of hikes and viewpoints why not consider the Bukit Selong viewpoint over the carpeted Sembalun ricefields?
Unlike the previous two, this Lombok viewpoint doesn’t require much hiking, just a quick walk up the hill at the back of town.
Bukit Selong is a great place to visit for either sunrise or sunset, and even though it’s not very high, the views are pretty spectacular.
10. Explore the Rest of Sembalun and Senaru – North Lombok
You may have noticed that many of the items on this list of things to do in Lombok have been in the north. In terms of adventure travel, the north of Lombok has plenty of variety and countless things to do.
For off-the-beaten-path travel, I’d suggest spending a couple of days in Sembalun to explore the waterfalls, rice fields, and epic hikes and viewpoints.
11. Malase Hill Sunset Viewpoint
Although not typically visited by tourists, Malase has both beaches and viewpoints worth visiting.
The coastal village of Malase is situated only a few minutes south of Senggigi center. To reach the Malase Hill (Bukit Malase) sunset viewpoint, you’ll need to follow the winding roads up and behind the village.
There are two great spots to visit where you can enjoy the sunset over the water. However, these aren’t pinned on Google Maps. If you have a motorbike, you’ll have time to visit both viewpoints – just copy and paste these coordinates into Google Maps.
Viewpoint 1: 8° 30′ 51.81″ S 116° 5′ 29.796″ E
Viewpoint 2 (Bukit Marese): 8° 30′ 44.232″ S 116° 4′ 29.184″ E
11. Try Kopi Rachik (Spiced Lombok Coffee)
If you make the short coastal trip from Senggigi to Malase, then I’d highly recommend stopping by at Henry’s Warung, on Google as “Kedai Mamiq” for some lunch and coffee.
Here, you’ll be able to buy great food at a local price and have the opportunity to taste Henry’s secret spiced coffee recipe.
12. Lombok Monkey Forest
Similarly to Bali, Lombok has it’s own thriving populations of Macaque and also a few Javan Lutung (black monkeys). If you’re planning to stay or make a day trip to Tete Batu, then you’ll nearly be certain to spot a few macaques.
If not, then you could also visit the Lombok Monkey Forest, (Baun Pusuk) located roughly 45 minutes from the main beach at Senggigi. The road here is sealed and in good condition, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and take some photos of the rice fields and local villages on the way.
The Lombok Monkey Forest can be found at the top of a mountain pass, with plenty of places to park a car or motorbike. Even if you’re not that interested in the Macaques, the view from the top and the ride here is worth the effort.
READ THE FULL BLOG POST: LOMBOK MONKEY FOREST – BAUN PUSUK
13. Explore the Sekotong Peninsula
Although it’s arguably one of the least visited regions of Lombok, Sekotong is a place full of adventure. From epic beaches, thousands of islands and one of the best coastal roads on Lombok, Sekotong should definitely be added to your Lombok itinerary.
14. Surfing at Kuta Lombok
Since it’s one of the closest tourist hubs to the new International Airport, Kuta Lombok has become the go-to travel destination in Lombok. One of the best things to do here is to rent a board and catch some waves.
There are plenty of beaches and breaks that cater to both advanced and beginner surfers. This guide has covered pretty much every break in the Kuta Lombok region.
14. Check Out the Best Beaches in South Lombok
Even if you’re not surfing, Kuta Lombok and the southern peninsula is still a treasure trove of epic beaches. The best part is, most of the beaches aren’t packed or busy. In fact, some of the best beaches in Lombok that were only a short moped ride from Kuta Lombok were completely empty!
To help you plan out your beach-hopping, I’ve written a comprehensive guide to all of the southern Lombok beaches here.
15. Lombok Pink Beach
One of the most unique beaches in Lombok is Pink Beach, wedged in the southeast corner of Lombok, in the Ekas Peninsula.
A visit to Pink Beach will mean that you’ll get to see a rare phenomenon only possible in select parts of the world. The water here is crystal clear, and there are some nice little jump rocks too.
This beach takes over an hour to reach from Kuta Lombok, so a visit will most likely be a whole-day trip. Even so, if you’ve got the time, I’d suggest making the effort. Even with the pink sand aside, this part of Lombok is one of the most scenic in terms of coastal landscapes.
16. Semeti Hills
The Semeti Hills, also known as Bukit Semeti, is a set of jagged coastal cliffs and natural pyramids on the south coast of Lombok.
Visiting the Semeti Hills viewpoint is a great way to end a beach-hopping trip from Kuta Lombok, as it’s a great option to watch the sunset. There’s also a good little cliff jumping spot around the corner, as well as a small beach cave.
18. Bukit Merese Viewpoint
In terms of sunset spots in Kuta Lombok, the Merese Hill viewpoint near Tanjung Aan beach is easily the most popular – and for good reason.
Bukit Merese only takes about 15 minutes to reach via moped from the main strip on Kuta Lombok. The viewpoint itself is actually several hills, each looking over the ocean, with views across the southern coastline.
Since the area is quite spread out, it doesn’t ever feel like a crowded sunset spot, even though at times it looks as if all of Kuta Lombok is there. Besides the wild monkeys, you’ll almost certainly be able to watch the sunset in peace.
19. Kuta Lombok Bat Cave – Bangkang Cave
If you thought that you’d seen it all in Lombok, think again. Other than epic beaches, viewpoints, and hikes, Lombok also has its very own cave systems.
Although quite small, the Kuta Lombok Bat Cave is home to thousands of small nocturnal bats. Located only 10 minutes from Kuta Lombok, the bat cave is a perfect stop on the way to some of the popular beaches like Pantai Mawun or Selong Balanak.
20. Nambung Beach Waterfall
Here’s something a little unique yet again. Approximately an hour’s ride from Kuta Lombok is a strange phenomenon that is famous amongst locals.
As the tide rushes out and waves pound the rocky shores of Nambung Beach, a natural “beach waterfall” appears. While it’s not a fresh water waterfall, it’s still a pretty cool spot to check out. If you do, make sure you bring a mask and snorkel, as there are literally dozens of turtles swimming around Nambung Beach!
21. Mekaki Beach
In my opinion, one of the best beaches in Lombok is Mekaki Beach. This beach reminds me a little of those on Nusa Penida, with thick, deep sand and jagged, Jurassic cliffs. The water here is seriously blue, however, it can get a little rough when the swell picks up.
Mekaki Beach is located on the southern shores of Sekotong, which requires a little long, but well-worth ride if you’re staying in Kuta Lombok.
Even if you don’t swim, checking out the beach is still one of the best things to do in Lombok!
22. Drive the Epic New Coastal Road
Just before the road to Mekaki Beach is a newly constructed, long, winding coastal road that makes for one of the most scenic drives in Lombok.
The road is in incredible condition, which means you’ll be excused if you divert your eyes to enjoy the coastal views. There are plenty of opportunities to park your bikes and grab some panoramic shots from the mountains.
My advice is to take the road east after leaving Pantai Mekaki and following it all the way around before diverting North back to Lembar.
23. Malimbu Hill Viewpoint
If you’re staying in Senggigi, then you’ll actually get a better sunset than those in Kuta Lombok, since the sun will set right out on the ocean’s horizon.
The best sunset viewpoint in Senggigi is Malimbu Hill. This is a small, barren headland with a few leaning palms. Like most of the places in Senggigi, it’s usually pretty quiet, and the view is spectacular.
24. Take the 4-Day Boat Trip to Komodo
If you’re traveling Lombok on an open schedule, and you’ve got some time in Indonesia, then I’d highly recommend taking the 4-day 3-night boat trip from Lombok to Komodo.
This trip was one of the most epic experiences I had in Indonesia, and was ridiculously good value for money. Costing only 2.3 million Ruipah, the boat includes accommodation, food, transport, access to all the Komodo highlights as well as all National Park fees.
You can book directly with Wanua Adventures, or, alternatively, let the guys at Feel-Lombok organize it for you for the same price.
Full Lombok Accommodation Guide
Since I knew you’d prefer just to get into the good stuff, I’ve whacked this quick but detailed accommodation guide down at the bottom of this post. So, now that you’ve got some good ideas for things to do on your Lombok trip, why not save some travel cash by booking these budget accommodation options in advance.
The two main areas to stay in north Lombok are Senaru and Sembalun. These are two great places to stay for hiking, especially if you want to climb Mount Rinjani or Pergasingan Hill. You’ll also find some of the best waterfalls in this region, including Tiu Teja, Sendang Gile, and Mangku Sakti waterfalls.
Where to Stay in Sembalun
Sembalun village isn’t exactly the most touristy location in Lombok. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any great guest houses or hotels available.
MY SEMBALUN ACCOMMODATION: Radiyah Guesthouse
This is one of the best value accommodation options in Sembalun. I’d definitely recommend them. The rooms are small, but very clean and have everything you need. There’s unlimited free coffee and tea, as well as a free breakfast included. The owner is extremely helpful and will organize to loan you a motorbike for 50 000 IDR per day.
BEST INN-STYLE ACCOMMODATION: Sembalun Kita Cottage
This is probably the place I would have booked if I didn’t stay at Radiyah. They have great reviews, decently priced rooms, and large beds. It includes a free breakfast which is ranked as “very good” on Booking.Com
Where to Stay in Senaru
My Senaru Homestay: Tiu Kelep Homestay
This one is located literally across the road from Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile waterfalls. The owner is super friendly, offers free unlimited coffee and tea, breakfast and can also organize waterfall, or Rinjani trekking tours. A double room is the cheapest in Senaru at only $7 per night.
Budget Homestay with Hot Shower Embun Rinjani Homestay
The second time around in Senaru I stayed at Embun Homestay, which is right around the corner from Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile waterfalls. This one is also super good value since you get a hot shower, large rooms and free breakfast for a ridiculously good price!
Where to Stay in Senggigi
MY SENGGIGI ACCOMMODATION: OYO 645 Green Asri
In Senggigi, I stayed at this small hotel with a pool, huge bathroom, and TV for only $9 a night. I’m not sure if it was a low-season special offer, but it’s definitely the best value in Senggigi for that price. It’s a little off the main beat, but it’s definitely worth it. If you book here, don’t miss Henry the street vendor around the corner. He makes some of the best spiced-coffee I’ve ever tried and offers Hotel-class meals for 12 000 IDR.
SUNSET BEACH VIEWS ON THE CLIFF FOR UNDER $40: Pasific Beach Cottages
If I had a higher budget in Senggigi, this would be the place I would have booked. It’s located on the coast near Senggigi Beach, where you can catch views from your balcony or the pool. In terms of value, this is as good as you’ll find in perhaps all of Lombok.
Where to Stay in Sekotong
Since this regency is a little tucked away. To save money on transport, I’d recommend staying here for a couple of nights to check out all the best things to do in Sekotong. Here are my top picks for budget accommodation.
MY SEKOTONG ACCOMMODATION: Krisna Bungalows
Krisna Bungalows and Restaurant is located in Pelangan, not too far from Sekotong harbor. Sekotong Beach is only a step out of the room’s door. Each double room is equipped with a fan and bathroom and is conveniently located in a quiet area. You’ll also get a free breakfast and there is a motorbike rental next door to help you explore all the best things to do in Sekotong yourself!
BUDGET HOMESTAY: Pelangi Homestay
Pelangi Homestay Bungalow has both a sun terrace and a garden, along with a private beach area. There is Wi-Fi throughout the property and there is a free breakfast included. Pelangi Homestay Bungalow also offers snorkeling trips to the surrounding islands. This is a great place to stay and costs $17 a night.
SEKOTONG HOSTEL: Bujang Lapuk Hostel
If you’re looking for a hostel then go no further than Bujang Lapuk Hostel. The hostel has a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge, and a garden. There’s free Wi-Fi at the property and the beach is only a step away with a range of colorful beanbags to chill out on. Bujang Lapuk Hostel offers an Asian or halal breakfast each morning. Dorm rooms start at $14 a night however if you book 3 nights you can get the fourth night FREE.
Where to Stay in Kuta Lombok
MY ACCOMMODATION – Banana Homestay
For $9 per night, you can get a double-bed room with AC and free breakfast. The wifi here is fast and the owner is very friendly and accommodating. He gave me a free papaya every single day from his garden. Although it’s a little bit off the main strip, the owner will sort you out with a motorbike for 50K per day to help you get to the Mawun Beach.
BEST VALUE HOSTEL – Merendeng Hostel
If you’re looking for a hostel atmosphere then go no further than Merendeng Hostel. For only $6 a night you can find yourself with an air-conditioned dorm with Wi-Fi and views of the garden. The property is only 600m from Kuta Beach and is close to many restaurants and supermarkets.
BUDGET BUNGALOWS – Star Bungalow & Rooms
Another budget find is the STAR Bungalow & Rooms. This accommodation offers free Wi-Fi and free continental breakfast. The bungalows overlook the garden and are situated in a quiet area. Kuta beach is only 2km away and there are many eateries and supermarkets close by. A night here costs $9.
For more information about visiting Lombok: www.thelombokguide.com