Lombok Travel Guide

Known for its pristine white-sand beaches, magical rainforest waterfalls and scenic volcanoes, Lombok is emerging from its neighbour Bali's shadow as a tropical paradise in its own right.

Many of its regions are less developed than Bali's and have retained a feeling of authenticity. This is especially true of its traditional Sasak villages, where time seems to have stopped. Like the Balinese, the Sasak people have rich traditions of dances, textiles and agriculture, and visitors will relish immersing themselves in a unique, colorful and musical culture.

Nature lovers can look forward to a landscape that is less green but more volcanic than Bali's. The spectacular volcano of Mt Rinjani dominates the mountainous north of the island and is a popular trek for locals and tourists alike. Winding up its lush slopes will take a few days, but views from the submit include astonishing sunrises and volcanic calderas.

American surfers were the first to appreciate Lombok's appeal and the destination is rightly lauded for its epic surf spots. Travellers who venture to the far south will find sweeping bays and pure white-sand beaches. All of them can be explored from Kuta (not to be confused with Bali's Kuta), the main resort town of southern Lombok and the island's surfing Mecca.

Travellers don't really have to choose between Lombok and Bali, as the two are only 45 minutes apart by plane. However, Lombok is the better option for those who are looking for a rich, yet relaxing holiday.