Lombok is an island in Nusa Tenggara Province. The island has several spots with exotic nature. But unfortunately, not many people are well aware of that. Lombok Island is located very close to the famous Bali Island. Sometimes, tourists who visit Bali would continue their tour to Lombok. Some travel agents even offer a Bali-Lombok tour package. This way, you can get double tourism experience with cheap price. If you make your way to Lombok, make sure to visit these exotic spots:
1. Senggigi Beach
Senggigi is the most famous beach in Lombok. The scenery is very beautiful with huge corals that break the waves apart. Palm trees and coconut trees are everywhere, enriching this beautiful view. The sand is brown and clean. It is perfect to make sand castle or to just run along the way.
The beach is facing the Lombok Strait; a strait that confines Lombok with Bali (or Kuta beach to be exact). That is why Senggigi beach has similar atmosphere with Kuta beach. Overall, this beach is smaller but less crowded than Kuta beach in Bali.
Because it is facing a strait and having some huge corals, the wave is not so wild here in Senggigi beach. That means the beach is safe for swimming. Besides that, you can also do some snorkeling as the underwater view is stunning as well.
Senggigi beach is located on western Lombok. From Lombok International Airport in Mataram City, you need to drive north for about 10 kilometers. Taxis are available at the airport. You can also go there with travel agents which are available nearby the international departure gate.
2. Batu Bolong
Batu Bolong is very near from Senggigi beach. You just need to walk about 30 minutes or less to reach this object. Batu Bolong is a cape formed by huge coral with a hole in the middle. That is how the “Batu Bolong” name came from. Literally, “batu” means rock and “bolong” means hole. So “batu bolong” means a holed rock.
At the top of the coral, there is a Hindunese Pura with ethnical architectural style. The Pura is facing the open sea, allowing you enjoy the view and the breeze from the ocean. At the afternoon, if the sun shines bright, you will be able to see Mount Agung at the distance. When it is almost dark, the view of sunset will be mostly enjoyable from this Pura.
3. Mount Rinjani
Mount Rinjani is the second highest active volcano in Indonesia. It is 3,726 kilometers high with nature beauty to enjoy such as calderas, a lake, new small mount, and various floras and faunas. From Mataram, you can get a public transportation to Aikmel with $1.5. From Aikmel, get another public transportation to Sembalun Lawang for another $1.5. It is recommended to have one night stay at Sembalun Lawang before you start hiking the mount the next morning to avoid exhaustion.
The most popular one is Segara Anakan Lake. The lake is naturally formed due to volcanic eruption. That is how the lake got the name of “Segara Anakan” because literally it means “the lake of a child”. The water on the lake is clear blue, similar to ocean water. That is why sometimes people name the lake as “Segara Laut” which means the lake of the ocean. Local people believe that Segara Anakan Lake has a magical power to cure disease.
Nearby the lake, there is a small volcanic mount named Gunung Jari Baru. The name means “the new finger of mount”. It is named that way because this mountain is newly formed as the residue of the last eruption of Mount Rinjani. Although it is small, no one has ever succeeded to make it to the top. This is because the new mount is still very active and produces so much sulfur gas.
Volcanic mount allows various living creatures to grow there. For the flora, you can see various grasses, acacia, edelweiss, ficuses, and much more. As the animal, there are silver Balinese monkeys, long-tailed monkeys, deers, porcupines, and about 109 kinds of birds.
4. Gili Archipelago
If you are looking for a pure beauty of nature, then you must take a visit to Gili Archipelago at the northwest side of Lombok Island. Gili archipelago consists of three small stunning islands; Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. Around these three islands, you can see the bright greenish blue color of the ocean. At the beach, you can even see the sea bottom as the water is very clear. Each island has its own characteristic. But all of the islands have cafes, restaurants, hotels, and any other accommodations.
Gili Trawangan is the best place for water sports such as kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, and scuba diving. You can also try horse riding along the beach or ride a Cidomo (traditional horse carriage). Cidomo can be rented for $11 and can occupy 4 people in it.
If you want a quite environment, then Gili Meno is your best choice. Gili Meno is the least visited island amongst the three. So it would be the least crowded. Exploring the beach at this tiny island takes up only 90 minutes of your time. So you can spend your rest of the time sitting by the beach and enjoying the quite breeze.
Gili Air, meanwhile, is perfect for family holiday. This closest island to Lombok has the most accommodation for family such as restaurants and hotels. At this island, you can find mangrove trees and sit by its roots.
At these Gili islands, machined vehicles such as cars and motorcycles are not allowed. They are very strict at keeping the natural environment. To explore the island, you can just walk as the islands are tiny. Or, you can also rent a bike which is easily available there.
5. Pusuk Monkey Forest
Pusuk is a natural forest in Lombok which is used as a conservation center for Lombok monkeys. It is located at Lombok main road between West Lombok and North Lombok so you can easily acces this place by taxi, personal car, or public transportation.
Exploring the forest is very much interesting with twisted path, many kinds of tropical trees along the way, and of course, the fresh air to breathe in. The monkeys there are already used to the visiting tourists so they will not be so aggressive. But still, they are waiting for you to give out foods. So make sure you bring along some peanuts or fruits for them.
While visiting the forest, you can find some locals selling out a beverage called Tuak Manis. Tuak Manis is a traditional beverage made out of natural ingredients. Buy at least a bottle of it and feel the unique and sweet taste of traditional Tuak Manis.
6. Sendang Gila Waterfall
Sendang Gila means “the crazy river”. The waterfall is located at the borderline between West Lombok and North Lombok. The location is not easy to access because it is still far from modern live. But the view you will enjoy at this spot will pay off your tiring trip.
Basically there are two ways to reach this spot. Choice number one is from Pusuk Forest. Along the way, you will see the green trees and grass from natural forests and farms. Sometimes you can even see monkeys hanging around. Though it is a little bit up and down, the path from Pusuk is the closest path to reach Sendang Gila Waterfall. Choice number two is from Senggigi beach. This path is longer and will take more time. But you will see many beautiful beaches along the way such as Batu Bolong, Kerandang, Malimbu, the Gili archipelago, and many exotic beaches.
The waterfall comes out of a cliff from 30 kilometers height. The water debit is quite big and then there is a small river on the base of the cliff. The river is not so deep and the wave is mild. It is nice and safe to swim there. The water is seriously fresh and clean.