Lombok itself definitely has a more off-the-beaten-path vibe than some of the more popular Indonesian islands like Bali and Gili T. However, as more and more people visit and the infrastructure improves, travellers will have to continue to seek out more remote spots around the island to truly enjoy Lombok at its best. Here I’ll help you figure out where and how to get off the beaten track in Lombok.
How To Get Off The Beaten Track?
The best way to do this is to hire a motorbike/moped and set off to explore at your own pace. This gives you the freedom to stop off whenever you like, pausing to take photographs or watch daily Lombok life go by. Aside from transfers, public transport in Lombok doesn’t really allow you to get off the beaten track so if you want to witness waterfalls, discover unknown beaches or roam through the jungle you’ll need to get yourself some wheels. Luckily, most of the bikes in Lombok are automatic so it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it!
Where to Visit?
Some of the most serene spots in Lombok are the waterfalls that are dotted around the island. Whether you visit Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile (en route to Mt Rinjani) or opt for something out in the sticks like Papas Waterfall, you’re sure to admire the natural beauty of the island. Papas Waterfall is usually favoured by locals who know where to go without needing signs, which makes it a fun spot to (attempt to) find as a traveller. There are a couple of signs so keep your eyes peeled or feel free to ask any locals you see along the way as they’re sure to be able to help. While Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile are more well known, if you visit in the morning you may have the whole place to yourselves.
The small village of Tetebatu is relatively untouched by tourism despite its pristinely-layered rice paddies and rolling pastures that make this area lush and verdant. While you can occasionally book tours around the rice paddies here, it’s sometimes nicer to just turn up and explore either on your own or with a willing local who will often be on hand to help you discover their much-loved village. Watching local life is so relaxing and really makes you appreciate the benefits of a slower pace of life!
Senggigi is one of the main hubs on the island, with travellers arriving here by boat from the Gili islands. While the town itself is not much to write home about, it is a good base for exploring Lombok. You can hire a moped from most of the hotels or shops in Senggigi and then set off on a road trip.
Monkey forest in the heart of Lombok is a fun place to visit as you can stop off at roadside shacks along the way to take in the views and witness the cheeky monkeys as they swing through the trees. Once you head back down from the steep, winding roads of the forest you’ll want to follow your instinct, turning down random side streets until you find quiet villages or secluded coves. When my boyfriend and I explored Lombok, we found a spot of beach where around 30 local kids were jumping in and out of the sea from a large fallen tree and having a whale of a time! It was great to stumble upon such a joyous moment just by following our noses and it is something we’ll never forget.
I could go on and on with places to visit in Lombok but the more we talk about these secret spots the less off-the-beaten-path they will be! So instead, get out there and explore and find some gems and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime!