Whether you wish to surf the massive breaks on the south coast, challenge yourself with a trek up steep volcanic peaks, or hire a bike and cycle through lush, abundant rice paddies – you won’t be disappointed with the spectacular natural beauty of Lombok. The island enjoys a tropical climate with warm and humid weather all year round with a temperature range of 21°C to 32°C. The wet season starts from November through to May and the dry season starts from May through to October. The ideal month to visit is May when the weather is perfect with glorious blue skies.
To get to Lombok, you can travel by air, ferry or fast boat. There are daily flights between Denpasar, Bali and the capital of Lombok, Mataram. Lombok’s Selaparang Airport is located on the northern side of Mataram. The public ferry travels between Padangbai (Bali) and Lembar (Lombok) multiple times a day, and the trip takes roughly four hours. Both motorbikes and cars can be taken on the ferry. Ferries also travel between Labuhan Lombok and Poto Tano on Sumbawa several times a day, and this trip takes one and a half hours. Please be advised however, if you are prone to seasickness – the trip can be rough. Another option is by fast boat – Blue Water Safari’s run express boats from Bali to Lombok, the Gili islands and Lebongan Island. Lombok is the island with something for everyone. Whether you have a few days or a few weeks, you can fill your days with something to do or somewhere to visit.
Popular tourist resort area, Senggigi, is a township that’s positioned on a sweeping bay – providing magnificent views of a rich, fiery red sunset over neighbouring Bali. Visitors to Lombok also flock to one of the three Gili islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. These secluded tropical islands are just a short 20-minute boat ride from Senggigi.
There is a traditional handweaving village in Puyung in central Lombok where visitors can try on a traditional Sasak costume, and the village of Sukarare is a must visit for kain ikat or handwoven textiles. Lombok is also known for its magnificent South Sea cultured pearls grown in pristine waters around the island. Lombok pottery has gained in popularity and is now shipped all over the world.
There is a wide range to choose from and the pottery can be custom-made to your requirements. There are many other traditional handicrafts that make perfect gifts or souvenirs including wooden masks, baskets made out of ketak grass and wooden boxes decorated with shells. Visit the village of Banyumulek where arguably, some of the best pottery is produced. Public transport in Lombok comes in the form of buses and bemos (a small minibus). The main bus terminal is Mandalika at Bertais. Hiring a car or motorcycle is a convenient way to explore the island. Hotels and travel agencies offer the most competitive rates for car and motorcycle hire. For a local experience, take a leisurely ride in a cidomo or horse cart. This traditional mode of transport may not be the fastest way to get around the island, but it’s certainly a great way to immerse yourself in your surrounds, and soak up the magnificent scenery.