Indonesia: 10 days in Lombok

We started our trip in Indonesia with the island of Lombok. Lombok is located to the east of Bali and remains a much more unspoilt island than its neighbour, and is known as the “Bali of old”. It is the ideal destination for backpackers and travellers looking to get off the beaten track. This is what motivated us to go there… But besides the beautiful landscapes and the paradisiacal beaches, it is also the kindness of the inhabitants and their welcome that seduced us! I take you to discover our 10 days itinerary in Lombok between snorkeling among turtles, discovering the Sasak culture and climbing the second highest volcano in Indonesia, the Rinjani, for an unforgettable stay!

Our itinerary in Lombok

Gili Asahan: 2 days
Koeta & the south: 2 days
Tetebatu (homestay): 1 day
Rinjani volcano hiking: 2 days
Gili Meno: 3 days
Pratical info to visit Lombok

Stop 1: Gili Asahan, the secret island in the south-west of Lombok

We started our stay on Gili Asahan, a small haven of peace, far from the tourist radar. Gili Asahan is a small island of 80 inhabitants located in the bay of Sekotong, in the south-west of Lombok, and is close to the so-called “secret gilis”, the secret islands. In short, it’s the perfect place to start our trip after our 30-hour journey!
To get there, the airport taxi dropped us off at Sekotong Bay from where we boarded a small fisherman’s boat that took us directly to the foot of our hotel. Gili Asahan had been recommended to us for snorkeling and we were not disappointed! Just in front of our bungalow, there is a huge natural aquarium full of corals and fishes of all kinds. It is magical! We spend our days with our head under water with our masks and snorkels and we are completely alone. In short, the program for these first two days: rest, beach and snorkeling!

What to do in Gili Asahan
  • Snorkeling: As you can see, the main reason to come here is to snorkel and swim among the fish and corals. I discovered snorkeling for the first time in my life here and it was really magical.
    We had the chance to swim with Nemo, Doris but also turtles and seahorses. The water is warm and very clean, at least when we were there in September and there are many initiatives to replant the corals.
    Walking around the island: The island is not very big and you can easily walk around it in 1h30
    Relaxation: One comes to this small island away from everything and everyone to rest and disconnect
    Kayaking: It is possible to rent kayaks to go around the island or to reach the neighbouring islands (some of them are uninhabited), to have fun!

My best adresses

To sleep
Pearl Beach Resort
Price: 90€/night with brekfast

The choice of accommodation is very limited (at least for the moment as we noticed that a hotel complex was being built on the other side of the island with private villas), but we found our little gem with these bungalows facing the sea. The price is rather high compared to the rest of Lombok but that’s because everything has to be imported.

To eat
The choice is very limited as the only restaurants on the island are those of the 3 hotels present. We tried the restaurants of the Pearl Beach Resort and the Gili Asahan Eco Lodge & Restaurant. The prices are relatively higher than on the rest of Lombok as we are on an island far from everything. We didn’t find the food to be exceptional, but that’s not why you come to Asahan!


Stop 2: Kuta & the south of Lombok

After our first two days of rest, we are ready to explore the island of Lombok. We start our exploration in the south of the island, around Kuta (Koeta, pronounced “kouta”). This is the most developed area for tourism and there are many accommodations and restaurants. Kuta is a popular place for digital nomads and expats to go out, meet other travellers and find stylish accommodation. It is still much less touristy than Kuta in Bali. We preferred to stay a bit further away, between Kuta and Selong Belanak, at Areguling beach. A perfect place to venture out among the villages, rice fields and to discover the coast and its beautiful beaches. We rented a scooter and after getting used to riding on the left (!), we set off to roam from east to west. Personally I love the feeling of freedom that a scooter gives us as it allows us to meet new people and to move around as we please!
On the agenda of these two days (way too short!): discovering Warung (local Indonesian street restaurant), surfing lessons in Selong Belanak (the very first time for me), sunset on the beach, walks in the middle of rice fields and on the seaside and meeting the Sasak people! Our only regret: not to stay longer!

What to do ?
  • Scooter rides: Get lost along the coast, preferably between Koeta and the west of the island (because the eastern part is much more built up and I found it less beautiful because it is less authentic. There is also a GP track that has just been built)
    Take a surfing lesson: There are different surfing spots along the coast. I tried my very first surf lesson at Selong Belanak, the perfect place for beginners and the price is really affordable 200k IDR (12€) for 1h30 private lesson.
    See the sunrise in Selong Belanak (or the cows crossing the beach twice a day)
    See the sunset at Bukit Seger (
My best adresses

To sleep
Blue Monkey Villas
Pice: 35€/night with brekfast


To eat

Treehouse Restaurant & Bar
See here on Google maps

Family Cafe Warung
See here on Google Maps

Local restaurants are not always shown on Google Maps, so I suggest you stop by a local restaurant whenever you see locals 🙂

Stop 3: Homestay in the Tetebatu region

For this third stage in Lombok, we went to the centre of Lombok, in the region of Tetebatu, to spend a night in a local’s house and discover more about the Sasak culture (find out more with this blog post). The Tetebatu region is located south of the Rinjani volcano. It is a very green rural area where the inhabitants live mainly from agriculture.  We arrive in Tetebatu in the late afternoon under a torrential downpour (I’ve rarely seen one like this!). We are warmly welcomed by Roni, our host who is the same age as us and who has created a guesthouse next to his house in order to welcome travellers in his community. Roni speaks French and is happy to talk with us and share his story, his background and his work. We knew from the start that spending only one night here would be too short, but our schedule was full… And what a shame! The experience was so rich that I decided to write about it in a dedicated article (the article is coming soon).
The first evening we prepared the meal with Roni’s family. We cooked a traditional Ayam Bakar (roasted chicken with coconut milk, curry, garlic and chilli sauce) and it was – without exaggeration – the best meal of our whole stay in Indonesia (!!). The next day we went with Roni for a walk through the rice fields and agricultural fields. He introduced us to his region and explained all the activity that is going on there (rice fields, tomato plantations, chillies, avocado trees, banana trees, coconuts). We then walked through the beautiful landscape, with a view of the Rinjani. The walk took us to a waterfall and a forest where we saw many howler monkeys (it reminded us of Costa Rica), before settling down in a local restaurant. At the end of the day, we witnessed the traditional making of coconut oil by Roni’s family (a key ingredient in Indonesian cuisine). We are very happy to have received a bottle and to be able to cook with coconut oil since our return! An experience to live!

What to do ?

There is certainly a lot to do in the Tetebatu area and I recommend spending several days there. Just note that this is an area where it rains a lot and it can be cooler than at the coast. Activities include:

  • Hiking in the rice fields: The area is very untouched by tourism and it is a wonderful experience to be in the middle of rice fields with nothing around
  • Discovering the local handicrafts and food
  • Staying with local people for an authentic and unforgettable experience
  • Hike for 2 days to Sangkareang Peak to see the Rinjani. The hike is less difficult than the Rinjani hike and is done from Tetebatu
Pendant la fabrication de l’huile de Coco

More info about our stay: Meeting the Indigenous Sasak 

My best adresses

To sleep
Al Sasaki Homestay
Price: 17€/night with breakfast
We stayed with Roni and his family, who speaks French, but you can also find other homestays in the area.
What I loved was that we were really inside a Sasak community. We really lived in the village, right next to the school and the Mosque.
Roni and his family are very welcoming and will do everything to meet your needs.
Ps: Don’t hesitate to contact the hosts by whatsapp to book a room and avoid going through third party platforms that take commissions.

Meeting the Indigenous Sasak in Lombok, Indonesia

Stop 4: Climbing Mount Rinjani with an overnight stay on the crater of the volcano

Climbing Mount Rinjani is probably the best memory of our stay in Lombok, or at least the most powerful experience! A great first for both of us: We went for a 2 days trekking to climb the crater of the second highest volcano in Indonesia: Rinjani. To live this experience, we went through a local agency Jou Trekking who accompanied us from the beginning to the end and lent us all the equipment we needed. The agency picked us up in Tetebatu and drove us to the foot of Mount Rinjani in the village of Senaru, which is 600 metres above sea level.
Day 1: After a good night’s sleep in Senaru, we wake up at 6am. We have breakfast to get our strength before our guide Lim comes to pick us up to start the climb to the crater. The climb will take a total of 6.5 hours – including breaks – to get to the crater at 2641m! So we walked over 2000m of ascent for this first day (which I have never done before!). In addition to our guide, Lim, some “porters” go up before us carrying our camping gear and food. They prepare delicious meals for us along the way… It’s a very strange concept but it’s normal in Indonesia. When we arrive at the crater, we are in the middle of the clouds and we can’t see much. However we are very happy to have arrived at our destination and the atmosphere is unique! But most of all… this is not the end! We are about to spend the night in a tent on the Rinjani crater. The night will be very short as at 3am we start climbing again to reach the Second Summit and see the sunrise on Mount Rinjani!
Day 2: The day starts very early as it is 2.50am when Lim comes to wake us up with a coffee. A few moments later, we set off with headlamps on, for a 2 hour walk in total darkness. Fortunately the starry sky and the full moon illuminate the summit of Mount Rinjani and the spectacle is just… wow! I have no words to describe the emotions we experienced. Once we arrived on the Second Summit at 3126m, we admired the sun rising little by little and the sky getting coloured with all the colours. In short, it was such an incredible experience that I have to share it in a future blog post !

More info about the hike

I will share all the info in my next blog post 🙂

Stop 5: Farniente & snorkeling in Gili Meno

To finish this first part of the trip, before continuing the adventure to Bali, we headed to one of the Gilis to recover from the trek to Rinjani gently. The “Gilis”, which means islands in Sasak, are an islet of 3 small islands located northwest of Lombok. There are Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno (the largest to the smallest in size). All 3 are exclusively dedicated to tourism. It was the perfect place to rest after our hike (and I can assure you that if you do the Rinjani you will need at least 2 days of rest)! So we enjoyed our little villa, riding our bikes and exploring the island and its seabed. We chose to come to Gili Meno, the smallest of the 3 Gilis, because it’s the most natural, the most preserved island and the one with the most beautiful snorkeling spots. Verdict: We loved to swim alone in the middle of the turtles and all the fish! We took our time and it was magical (again)! I loved the time we spent underwater, the chill atmosphere that made us feel good and the beautiful sunrises on the Rinjani volcano (Lombok) and the sunsets on the Agung volcano (in Bali). Even though the island is very quiet (you can’t party there), it’s a great place for water lovers and tranquility. I recommend it especially if you are travelling as a couple.

What to do Gili Meno ?
  • Snorkeling: Like Gili Asahan, the main activity on Gili Meno is snorkeling. The seabed here is also rich – although it is much more damaged by tourism. Gili Meno is a paradise for underwater turtles, we saw them every time we went underwater! In addition, there are the famous underwater statues that you see everywhere on Instagram. FYI: you can easily rent tubes and fins for 30k IDR a day (less than 2€)
  • The bike tour: On Gili Meno, like its neighbours, you can get around on foot or by bike. There are no cars or two wheels here.
  • Take a boat tour to explore the sea bed: There are many possibilities to go on a snorkeling tour by boat. We didn’t do it because we preferred to go by ourselves, early in the morning and late in the afternoon, to be alone in the water. If you don’t have the time, this could be a solution.

My best adresses

To sleep

We rented a small villa with private pool.
For personal reasons I don’t want to share the name of the villa publicly, but you can send me a message or leave a comment for more info 🙂

FYI: During the pandemic these islands were completely deserted and so tourism gradually resumed during 2022, but many hotels and restaurants have since closed.

Notre villa à Gili Meno

Practical information for a 10-day trip to Lombok, Indonesia

How to get to Lombok ?

  • By air: If you are arriving from abroad or landing at Jakarta airport (the Indonesian capital), you will need to fly to Lombok airport (Bandara Udara International), the only airport on the island.
  • By boat: If you are in Bali or a nearby island, you can reach Lombok by boat. There are several companies

How to get around ?

  • By scooter/motorbike: In Lombok the easiest way to get around is by scooter (if you have your international driving license!)
    Personally, I loved being able to explore the area on two wheels! Renting a scooter is quite simple as you just have to ask once you arrive. Each accommodation will offer you a scooter solution.
  • By bike: On the islands (Gili Asahan, Gili Meno and the others) there are usually no cars or scooters, so it’s a good opportunity to rent bikes or to go on foot 🙂
  • By Taxi: For our long distance trips we always book a driver. The price for a trip varies between 20 and 35€ (350k – 600k IDR)
  • By bus: There are a few buses that connect Koeta, Mataram (the capital) and the most touristic places. The prices are very interesting, especially if you travel alone (between 100k and 200k IDR per person) but the departure points and schedules can be more restrictive. We did not test the buses but if we had stayed longer, we would have taken the time to do some of the bus routes.

What currency ?

The currency in Lombok is the same as elsewhere in Indonesia: Indonesian rupiahs IDR
1€ = 16 500 IDR

When to go to Lombok ?

The best time to go to Lombok is very similar to Bali. The dry season is from April to October.
However, it rains less on the coast and on the islands than in Bali. So it can be sunny in Gili Meno, Trawangan or Air while it rains in Bali.
The mountainous area around Rinjani National Park, as well as the Tetebatu region, is a wetter area than the rest of Lombok and it usually rains more. In general, the weather is very changeable and it rarely rains for a whole day.

What I wish I had known before I left ? 

Lombok is a destination worth visiting and worth spending more than just a few days in. Most travellers who visit Bali pass through Lombok only to go to the “Gilis”. What a pity! We could have easily stayed another week to take more time and explore the northern part of Lombok with its nature and waterfalls.

The island had an earthquake in 2019 which left many marks and which left its mark as the island had to rebuild itself (just before being abandoned during the pandemic…). What is important to know is that the recommendations of guides or friends who left before these two events, may no longer be valid or relevant. A lot has changed since then…

And what’s more…

  1. Lombok is a predominantly Muslim island (unlike Bali which is Hindu). The inhabitants are religious. There are many mosques and you can hear the prayers during the day.
  2. The local language is Sasak, a language spoken only on the island of Lombok
  3. Gili means island, so saying “the Gilis islands” is like saying “the islands islands”, let’s just call them The Gillis 🙂
  4. The Sasak people are incredibly friendly!
  5. As for any trip, it is better to subscribe to a travel insurance before leaving (to avoid any problem)! We always use Chapka Insurance for their tailor-made insurance

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