The natural beauty of Lombok is one of its highlights and as such many of the fun things you can do in Lombok are totally free (or will maybe just set you back the cost of transportation). Exploring beaches, walking to waterfalls and discovering small villages and communities can definitely all be done on a backpacker budget.
With the road infrastructure having improved over the last few years, Lombok is now easier than ever to explore so for just the cost of a moped for the day (approx. $5) or a car (approx. $30) shared between friends, you can venture round the whole island uncovering its character and charm along the way!
Read on to find out the best things to do for free in Lombok…
There are simply so many beaches in Lombok that are just beginning to be explored and the bonus is that they are all free and accessible! Whether you stick to the beaches around Senggigi or Kuta or venture further afield to seek out Pink Beach or Tanjung Aan, you’re sure to have an amazing day in the sun. Plus, many of Lombok’s beaches have nearby hills or outcrops that are perfect for climbing to get an even better vista of the beach!
Many of the waterfalls in Lombok are free to enter so if you’re staying nearby you can take a morning stroll to one of the spectacular sites like Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile to soak up the atmosphere and bask in the beauty of nature. If you take a picnic along you can make it a really cheap day out, spending time dipping in and out of the falls and looking out for birdlife.
If you have your own snorkelling gear, exploring the magic of the underwater world can be one of the best things you can do for free in Lombok. The ocean here is filled with tropical fish and coral and if you’re lucky you may be able to get to spend some time with turtles who float and swim among the seagrass. While there are paid snorkelling tours you can take to more remote sites, there are still places you can snorkel for free from the mainland of Lombok.
Some accommodation in and around Kuta Lombok includes the price of surf rental in the room rate. If this is the case you should definitely make the most of the free boards and get out there on the waves. Kuta has some of the best surf on the island and it’s much quieter than breaks in Bali, so even if you’re a beginner you can learn to love the process of starting to surf!
While hiking Mount Rinjani without a guide is definitely not advisable, there are other walks and hikes around the island that can be done by yourself (with a bit of knowledge and pre-planning). Bukit Pergasingan is a great example. This hill walk is extremely picturesque and as the peak lies at 1670 metres above sea level you get incredible views out over rice paddies and towards Mount Rinjani. However, the benefit is, as the starting point is at 1100 metres above sea level, you only have to hike 570m (around 1-3 hours) to reach the top. The route is pretty clear so as long as you check the weather and pick a suitable day/time of year, you’re likely to enjoy a fun and carefree hike!
It is true that some of the traditional villages in Lombok have become a bit of a tourist trap, with communities creating chargeable inauthentic experiences. However, you can still discover an insight into the lives of the local Sasak community just by exploring markets, eating in local restaurants and chatting to anyone you come across. Tetebatu Village lies inland and is surrounded by rice paddies and forests, making it worth a visit for the surroundings themselves. Then, when you wander around the fruit and handicraft markets and chat to locals you’ll feel as though you’ve had a taste of real Lombok life.