Lombok, is sometimes unjustly portrayed as Bali’s backyard, or perhaps as its calmer and less developed version.This can’t be more further than the truth. Lombok is truly destination of its own with just as rich culture, and immensely captivating natural vista. Beyond its main island, the three gilis of Meno, Trawangan, and Air are kept tranquil with their ban of motorized vehicle. A trip to Lombok, should not be an addendum to your Bali trip, and here are some of the reasons why:
1. Island-hopping at the Gilis
From the main island of Lombok, head to the three main ‘Gilis’ or islands located just 20 minutes away by boat: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno. These islands are very popular for snorkeling and diving due to the abundance of marine life and attractive coral formations. They are particularly attractive among tourists that would like to have a more relaxing holiday, as automobiles and motorized traffic is prohibited on the islands, so either you walk, cycle, or use the horse-drawn carriage!
2. Trekking in Mount Rinjani
Mount Rinjani or Gunung Rinjani is an active volcano in Indonesia on the island of Lombok, and at 12,224 feet is the the second highest volcano in Indonesia. This mountain is a must visit for trekkers, as it offers some of the most beautiful view in the island; There are two ways to approach this majestic mountain, one is via the village of Senaru (600 m), on the northern side of the mountain and thus closer to the main resort areas of the west coast including Senggigi. The next possible entry point is Sembalun Lawang (1,150 m), on the eastern side, which is closer to the summit. It is advised to choose one of the trekking operators around the two entry points (instead of pre-booking online), and for a more relaxed trek, opt for the 4 days 3 nights trip.
3. Visit the Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls
Lombok is not only beaches and snorkeling, with how much sea and sand you see, it is easy to forget that you are in a tropical islands thriving with thick jungle and lush greenery. Two of the most famous waterfalls are the Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep, a unique combination of two waterfalls that overlap each other in a single flow. These two Lombok waterfalls are located in the foot of Rinjani, so a great stopping point if you put Rinjani in your Lombok itinerary.
A reputable and suitably experienced guide is recommended to walk to the second waterfall and is essential for the third which has a requirement for suitable climbing skills and equipment. Although be careful in accepting services from the local guides hanging around the area, as sometimes they have little or no guiding skills.