Backpacking Lombok is less crowded and much more laid back than Bali. This beautiful island offers quiet beaches, challenging hikes, picturesque waterfalls and fewer tourists.
For information on currency, budget, haggling, food, vaccinations, and more visit our page Traveling Indonesia.
How To Get There
Lombok is the quiet little island just east of Bali, Indonesia accessible by plane or by boat. Backpacking Lombok is remarkable and I recommend it to anyone looking for a cheaper and more authentic Indonesian experience!
By Boat: You can take ferries or fast boats to Lombok from multiple places on Bali or the Gili Islands. The ride is only a couple hours on a clear day and costs under 688,000 IDR ($50 USD).
Best Time To Travel
May to July is ideal for backpacking Lombok because prices and crowds are lower and rain is minimal.
Motorbike: This was by far the cheapest mode of transportation while backpacking Lombok. It costs $50,000 IDR ($3.75 USD) per day to rent a motorbike and about $1,500 IDR ($1.15 USD) to fill up with gas. The roads can be dangerous and you do have to be careful but in our opinion its the best way to see the island. Here are some tips on what you can do to make sure you have a good experience: Renting a Motorbike in Southeast Asia
Hire a private driver: 40,000-50,000 IDR ($30-$37 USD) per day. Do this when you have a lot planned for a day and/or the places you want to go are far away from each other. For example, we were picked up at the airport at 7:30 am. We were then driven 2 hours to a temple, then 1.5 hours to a viewpoint, and finally back to our home-stay that evening. We didn’t have to deal with the crazy airport taxi mob, we could leave our packs in the car while we were exploring, and we ended up getting a steal of a deal for all the driving.
Take advantage of transportation included in tours: Most tours will pick you up or drop you off anywhere on the same island. This can save you up to 400,000 IDR ($30 USD) on a cab ride.
Walk: We walked A LOT in Lombok. We never felt unsafe and the local people are very helpful if you need directions.
Taxi: Make sure to haggle with your taxi driver beforehand. You can usually offer about half the asking price. Taxi meters are becoming more popular in which case it is more difficult to haggle. Be cautious they aren’t driving you in circles or the long way to up the meter.
Agoda was perfect for finding everything from hostels and homestays to 5 star hotels. You can search by map or by price and they have free cancellation.
- Budget: 80,000-100,000IDR ($6-$12 USD) per person/night. Breakfast is sometimes included in a hostel dorm room, you will get a fan but no A/C. For 2 people it is worth staying in a mid range private room.
- Mid range: 180,000-280,000 IDR ($14-21USD) for 2 people/night. Breakfast and A/C included with a private room in a homestay. A home in Indonesia is made up of many different buildings on one property. Our homestays were all newer buildings with a private room, washroom and a balcony they will bring your breakfast to in the morning.
- Luxury: 375,000 IDR + ($28-$100+ USD) for 2 people/night. Includes A/C and breakfast. Treat yourself for a night or two in a private yurt. Luxury room and bathroom, A/C and quite possibly your own private pool. By doing some research and booking ahead you can easily stay in a stunning 5 star hotel for under $100 USD/night.
Rinjani Lodge: Amazing hotel with an infinity pool and a view! 1,200,000 IDR ($89 USD) per night for a private bungalow.
Bule Homestay: A great location being 5 minute drive from Kuta Beach. 235,000 IDR ($17.50 USD) per night. Private room and breakfast included. The rooms are clean and comfortable and the restaurant is great!
Ibludan Hotel: Great staff, beautiful pool and private room with king sized comfy beds! From 445,000 IDR ($33 USD) per night for a private room including breakfast.
What to Wear
Dressing modestly is an important part of respecting the culture when in Lombok. Cover your knees and shoulders while visiting temples or local areas. The beaches and tourist towns are generally okay to wear swimsuits and shorts. A lightweight rain jacket is good to have if you are going on the shoulder season. For more packing tips check out our Southeast Asia Packing List.
- Get a homestay with breakfast included
- Book tours on travel days to take you from city to city
- Rent a motorbike for transportation
- Eat in smaller restaurants off the beaten path
- Go to temples and attractions on your own instead of with a tour
- The airlines will charge you up to $35 USD per checked bag so bring a carry on sized backpack if you plan to catch any flights.
Benang Kelambu and Benang Stokal Waterfall
Make sure to add this beautiful series of waterfalls to your list while backpacking Lombok! They are 1.5 hours drive from Kuta Beach and you can either take a motorbike or hire a driver to get there. The entrance fee is 80,000 IDR ($5.92 USD) per person if you choose to see the 3 most popular waterfalls. Minimal hiking is required, you can certainly do it in sandals if you prefer. Benang Kelambu cascades down the side of a lush cliff allowing you to go under the waterfall at the bottom. Next you take a short walk to the second waterfall which gives you an opportunity to jump from the top. A small distance from here Benang Stokal is the tallest and offers a natural pool to wade and walk through at the bottom. Go early on a weekday to avoid the crowds.
The most common is a three day two night trek to the summit of Mount Rinjani. This hike is very challenging but absolutely worth the views. Over the three days you will visit Lake Segara Anak, the summit and the natural hot springs. There are many companies offering various options such as a porter or upgraded food and accommodation. You will either start in Sembalun or Senaru at the base of Rinjani with transportation included in some tours. Other options include a one or two day hike to either the crater lake or the hot springs if you decide not to hike the summit. The full three day trek starts at 4,200,000 IDR ($310 USD) and includes your food, equipment, and guides.
A long shallow beach on the south part of the island 25 minute drive from Kuta. This is a great place to learn to surf while backpacking Lombok because the water is relatively shallow and the waves are consistent. The beach is full of local surf shops and restaurants offering board rental and lessons. You can rent beach chairs for 50,000 IDR ($3.70 USD) per day or choose to stay at a resort on the beach.
Air Terjun Tiu Kelep
Located in Mount Rinjani Park, a swim in this waterfall is rumored to give you eternal youth. Rent a motorbike, pay the entrance fee of 10,000 IDR ($7.40 USD) and take the easy 30 minute hike in. Keep in mind that you will have to walk through streams when choosing footwear; but you can easily do the hike in sandals. Alternatively, you can book a tour to the waterfall including transportation from anywhere on the island.
Kuta Town and Beach
Very different from the bustling Kuta on Bali, Kuta Lombok is a quiet and calm beach town perfect for learning to surf. Either rent a surfboard or take lessons from locals in the town. Surfboard rental should be around 50,000 IDR ($3.70 USD) per hour. The town is full of fabulous restaurants and shops to wander around.
Take a day trip or spend the night at these awe inspiring islands. Gili Trawangan is most popular and known for nightlife, diving, and beaches. Gili Meno and Gili Air are much quieter and secluded. You can either take a local ferry or a fast boat from Senggigi or Bangsel Harbor. Once on the islands; spend a few days diving, snorkeling, enjoying the food and experiencing the nightlife. You can kayak or SUP in between all three islands if you’re feeling adventurous!
A 4 hour hike from the village of Sembalun with a magnificent view of the rice fields and Mount Rinjani. You gain 600 meters on the hike bringing you to a total altitude of 1700 m above sea level. You can either do a day hike or camp overnight to see the sunrise.
There is no shortage of yoga classes while backpacking Lombok. The beautiful view from Ashtari`s yoga deck sets it apart from other studios. Only a 5 minute drive from Kuta, they offer 7 classes per day at 100,000 IDR ($7.30 USD) per class. They also have a lovely restaurant upstairs where you can soak up the view.
Probably the most popular tourist area you will find while backpacking Lombok. Enjoy the white sand beaches, hotels, food, diving, snorkeling, fishing and much more. Choose from many luxury hotels and have access to tours operating all over the island. Senggigi is on the west coast of Lombok allowing easy transport to the Gili Islands and Bali.
Pantai Segur Kuta Lombok
A wonderful viewpoint and local beach. Hike up to the top of the hill for spectacular views of the coastline. We sat at the top and watched some experienced surfers on some massive waves. Keep in mind that there is no shade at the top so go early in the day or at sunset if you want to avoid the heat.
Nuggets Corner: Asian, Indonesian, and Vegetarian friendly. A very unique restaurant with fresh food and to die for deserts!
El Bazar Cafe & Restaurant: Moroccan and Mediterranean food. Fresh and delicious! The atmosphere is great and the back courtyard is beautiful.
The Mexican in Town:Tasty nachos, burritos and tacos. Reasonably priced and options for vegetarians.
The Ballroom Restaurant: Great food and atmosphere. Seafood, Indonesian, and International food with a view of the ocean.
Asmara Resturant: Great Place to try local cuisine. Reasonably priced with big portions for sharing. backpacking lombok