With dozens of different islands and regions to visit, Indonesia offers the adventure traveler or holiday goer an infinite amount of places to experience. From the bustling city life of Jakarta to the laid back island life on Bali, each traveler will find something to appease their travel thirst.
Bali and Lombok are two islands in particular that are special to us, as we’ve spent the most time exploring and getting to know their distinctly different, yet utterly amazing cultures. As different as they are, both share amazing food, beautiful people and enough waterfalls and beaches to keep you coming back for years to come!
This article is a sponsored post collaboration with Orbitz. It also contains affiliate links. If you click on the links we’ll receive a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. It’s what helps run our site. As always, all opinions are our own and we would never recommend a company that we didn’t fully support or use ourselves.
Some might say that if you’re living in Bali you don’t need a vacation. But one of our main goals when we travel is to get off the beaten track. And Bali is definitely on the beaten track. That’s why we decided to take a break from living in Bali to visit the neighboring island of Lombok. Lombok may be known on the world stage for its series of devastating earthquakes that shook the region in July and August of 2018, but this beautiful destination is much more than a disaster zone. Lombok has a rich indigenous culture, with strong Islamic influences. It also has some of the prettiest coastlines in Indonesia, with a fraction of the crowds of Bali.
From the beginning of our trip planning, Lombok was a clear frontrunner for a getaway from Bali. To seal the deal we hopped on Orbitz to check out the hotel selection. We wanted to start off our trip with a bit of luxury and were stoked to find a variety of gorgeous resorts and hotels throughout the island. From quiet villas to larger resorts, there was plenty to choose from for our trip to Lombok.
In the end we chose the Katamaran Resort in Senggigi, rated as one of the best hotels in Lombok. This place looked drop dead gorgeous on Orbitz, and it was affordable! By booking through Orbitz we were able to get a 32% discount off the regular price of $265/night. That means we only paid $180/night for an ocean view suite! The room included wifi and a huge buffet breakfast in the morning. And if you know us you know that Jules loves a good breakfast buffet!
One of the best parts of the booking process was using our Orbucks Rewards points to earn 5% when we booked using the Orbitz app. Unlike other confusing reward systems, Orbitz Rewards makes things really easy. 1 Orbuck = $1. You can use your Orbucks for discounts on any of their 350,000+ hotels, with no blackout dates! So on our 3 night stay we earned $24.21 in Orbucks! You could rack up some serious discounts if you use your Orbitz reward app to book all of your travel. One of the best parts is that you can earn 1% on flights on top of any airline miles you get from airline rewards!
We were also able to use Orbucks that we had earned back at home with the Orbitz Reward Dining program. This program can help you earn discounts on travel before you even decide on your destination! You link your credit card to the Reward program and Orbitz will automatically reward you with Orbucks whenever you dine at a participating restaurant. I was so surprised how many restaurants nearby are in the program. There were plenty of places that we already dined at, and now we’re saving up for future trips when we eat there! We earned enough through dining at home to get a decent discount for our trip to the Katamaran Resort in Lombok.
The Katamaran Resort, Lombok
Because of these discounts we were even more excited to splurge on our luxury accommodation at the Katamaran. Here’s what we loved about our stay at the resort:
We’ve been to some sweet hotels in our day, but we have to say that this is one of the most luxurious! Everything about this place is stunning. They pride themselves on excellent hospitality, which is what you’re met with right when enter their beautiful lobby. At check in, you’re welcomed with a fruity drink and a cold scented washcloth that feels like heaven on the back of your neck.
The room itself was stunning, with a clear view of both the ocean and the infinity pool below. The style is sleek and minimalist, and the decor reflects the local Lombok architecture. The bed was huge and comfortable. We even had an outdoor shower where we could look up at the palm trees overhead while washing the day away. One of my favorite parts of the room was the day bed on our balcony. I loved curling up with a beach read while listening to the waves crash below us. Heaven!
While we loved our room, the best part of the Katamaran resort is definitely the pool area. The pool is one of the features that we saw on Orbitz that made us think, we have to book this place! Not only is there a large infinity pool that overlooks the ocean, but the sides are made of clear glass! That means you can see in from the side. It makes for some epic photos that you would never be able to get in a standard pool. For us, fun little additions like this quirky pool make a hotel stand out more than anything!
What to Do in Lombok
Before the earthquakes of 2018, Senggigi was known as the tourist hub of Lombok. When went to visit in March of 2019, the town felt quiet. We spoke to some artisan sellers on the beach who mentioned that the earthquakes scared away tourists. It’s been difficult for them to make the same wage as before the disaster. This was an important reminder that where we choose to travel is extremely important. Our tourism dollars have a huge impact on the communities we visit. We really encourage travelers to visit Lombok, not only to support the local economy, but because it’s a really beautiful destination!
One thing you can’t miss exploring in the region are the gorgeous beaches! Thebest beaches in Lombok are scattered throughout the island, and there are plenty near the Katamaran Resort. One of our favorite things we did in the area was rent a motorbike and cruise to different local beaches. The coastline of Lombok is absolutely gorgeous. If you grab a bike near Senggigi and head north, you can catch the beaches of Sentangi, Ludmila, Nipah and Pandanan. Each beach is stunning and has its own vibe. The turn off for Sentangi and Ludmila is easy to miss, so the beach is incredibly devoid of tourists. Although there’s a bit of trash around the palm trees, down by the water the sand is pristine. Nipah is one of the more popular beaches on the coast. As you drive down you’ll see warungs (local restaurants) lining the sand. It’s definitely worth stopping in for a fresh fish and veggie lunch with spicy sambal. Whichever beach you choose, you’ll definitely see some gorgeous views as you ride along the highway.
Another activity we really enjoyed while in Senggigi was a visit to the Lombok Pottery Center. The LPC is a cooperative of over 200 women potters. They work in different villages around the area, crafting pottery indigenous to the region. You can visit the center or go on one of their village tours to see the pottery being handmade by artisans. This activity may not be as relaxing as laying by the pool, but taking the time to learn about the local culture and support a female owned and operated community project will have a much more positive impact than ordering another Mai Tai.
In the end we were so happy that we chose the Katamaran Resort in Senggigi, Lombok. Finding this resort on Orbitz was such a score. Not only were we able to easily book our luxury room at the best rate, but we actually made Orbucks while we did it. Now we’ll be set with a discount for our future trips!
Don’t forget to plan the rest of your trip to Lombok! Here are some other affordable hotels that are drop dead gorgeous.
Batatu Villa– This villa located in Kuta Lombok is a holidayer’s dream. Each of the four rooms have their own private pool and breakfast is included every morning. Staff can help you organize a bike or car rental. Plus you’ll find some of the best beaches in Lombok around Kuta!
Samsara Villas– These villas on relaxing Gili Air also have a private pool and terrace, perfect for enjoying your morning coffee. They’re right by the ocean so you don’t have far to walk for a snorkeling tour or to take in the sunset.
Ponte Villas – At less than $100 per night, these villas are luxury at an affordable price. On busy Gili T, you’ll want a relaxing place to come back to after a long day in the sun, and these villas are perfect!
So you’re planning a trip to Canggu, Bali! Lucky you! Over the course of our many years of traveling, we haven’t found somewhere that feels like home more than Canggu. Whether you’re an avid surfer ready to hit the beach breaks or you just want to watch the surfers from a beach bar down at Echo Beach, Canggu is always a fun place to be. But you want to make sure you book the hotel right for you. That’s why we put together our Canggu Accommodation Guide with the best hostels, guesthouses and hotels in Canggu, no matter what your budget is. So get excited, because the waves are calling!
Best Luxury Canggu Accommodation
One of the best parts of traveling to Bali is being able to splurge on a budget! Accommodation is super affordable. You can get gorgeous villa mansions for the price of a basic hotel room in the US or Australia. If you’re looking to spend a bit more and immerse yourself in complete luxury, we’ve got you covered.
If you love the beach, and you’re looking for luxurious accommodation, it doesn’t get much better than COMO Uma Canggu. It’s one of the best hotels in Canggu. The modern design is exceptional and rather striking, and the property sits just a stone’s throw away from the famous Echo Beach. Needless to say, there is no shortage of stellar views!
Each room is large, fully kitted out, and incredibly comfortable. Some rooms even offer a terrace. A buffet breakfast is available each morning and the onsite restaurant offers a delicious array of cuisines from around the globe.
Free on-site parking is available to all guests and the staff is welcoming and happy to provide locally informed guidance on what to do and see in the area.
COMO Uma Canggu offers plenty of gorgeous and comfortable communal space, both indoors and outdoors. The property features several large swimming pools which look out over the Indian Ocean, a fully equipped gym, and a surf shack that offers great surf lessons.
ZIN Canggu offers beautiful, simple, and rustic accommodation that is delightfully luxurious. It features exceptional design and the entire place has a light, airy, atmosphere to it. Much of the decor is reflective of traditional Balinese design, offering the perfect blend of immersion and comfort.
Large sliding glass doors make up an entire wall of each unit, with exceptional views of the dense green array of plants outside. Sunken sofa suites in the villas are perfect for relaxing and admiring the gorgeous surroundings. There are shared pools for the rooms and private pools for each of the villas.
Each unit is fully equipped with everything you’ll need for a comfortable and luxurious stay, and the communal areas are all beautiful and welcoming. The outdoor living space is peaceful and absolutely gorgeous and there is always comfortable seating available. Curl up in one of the beautiful hanging chairs for some peace and tranquility.
Better yet, Zin Canggu is just a short walk from the beach, and the town center is very accessible. It’s certainly one of the best places to stay in Canggu.
Theanna Eco Villa and Spa offers incredible world-class luxury with traditional Balinese design elements. The private villas feature gorgeous decor and immersive garden views.
All of the usual amenities are featured in each of the beautiful villas, including air-conditioning, flat screen TV, minibar, and an ensuite bathroom. Guests are provided with bathrobes, slippers, and a hairdryer.
The rustic, yet clean and modern outdoor living space wraps a stunning infinity pool which looks out over the luscious jungle-like surrounds.
The outdoor living areas feature comfortable seating, water features, a bar, and gazebo style structures which provide an indoor-outdoor feel. Enjoy a fine dining experience at the restaurant or treat yourself to a relaxing massage in tranquility at the on-site spa.
Whilst is located a short drive away from the beaches and town center, free shuttle service around Canggu is provided, and is pretty much always available.
Best Midrange Canggu Accommodation
If you prefer a bit of peace and privacy, but don’t want to fork out too much cash, the following hotels and guesthouses will be a perfect fit.
This sleek and modern motel is clean, comfortable, and stylish. It features an incredible rooftop area with a bar, a pool, comfortable sun loungers, and outstanding sea views, which is a great place to drink and socialize.
Surf Motel, as the name would suggest, is ideal for surfers. It’s a very short walk from Old Man’s Beach, and close to a surf rental shop for those who don’t have a board with them.
There is a large communal lounge area which, coupled with the free WiFi, can double as an effective workspace. Each of the air-conditioned rooms have their own private bathroom and guests are provided with fresh towels and linen. This chic motel is located in one of the best parts of Canggu!
Located within walking distance of Berawa Beach, Koa D is awesome for surfers. The stunning bamboo architecture and laid back styling offer a great backdrop for your time in Canggu.
Best of all, the hotel has an amazing rooftop lounge area with a large swimming pool and a thatched bar that sells delicious cocktails. This makes for a fun evening atmosphere (nothing too hectic). There is even a sandy section on the rooftop and the views are exceptional, stretching out over the beach and ocean.
Surfers will feel right at home – the hotel offers board racks and even an onsite surfing equipment store. The air-conditioned rooms are all comfortable and come equipped with satellite TV and a private bathroom. There is an onsite restaurant, and car and scooter rentals are available from the hotel.
A mere 150m from the nearest beach, Serenity Eco Guesthouse offers a tranquil paradise with a colorful vibe. The property is an alcohol and smoke-free zone with a focus on a healthy body and environment. It offers 10 yoga sessions each day for individuals with any amount of experience.
Both private rooms and dorm rooms are available, each with their own bathrooms. The guesthouse is committed to environmental sustainability and utilizes a grey water system throughout and natural pesticides for the on-site permaculture garden. A stay here is perfect for anyone interested inresponsible tourism.
There is a relaxed atmosphere throughout the guesthouse and lush gardens, which feature a large pool and outdoor chilling area. The in-house restaurant serves delicious health conscious vegan food.
Semimpi is located further inland than many of the hotels on this list, but it offers incredible value for money! It is a modern, stylish, and comfortable guesthouse with great facilities, all for a very affordable price.
The air-conditioned rooms all come fitted with a satellite TV, private bathroom, coffee maker, seating area, and a desk. Many of the rooms even have a balcony overlooking the pool area. The pool is large, and the outdoor living space is laid-back and lovely. There is also a restaurant on site.
Best Hostels in Canggu
Hostels are awesome for those traveling on a budget, and a great way to meet like-minded travelers and have fun. Fortunately, Canggu is home to many amazing hostels and welcomes a constant stream of enthusiastic adventurers!
The Farm is a gorgeous place that goes beyond what one usually expects from hostel accommodation. Each bed is big and comfortable, and each of the rooms has air-conditioning and an ensuite with an open-air shower. Each bed even has curtains so you can enjoy some privacy despite being in a shared room.
The staff is friendly and professional and the rooms are clean and comfortable. The fiber optic WiFi is free and fast, and the hostel offers some great other amenities. These include scooters up for hire, surfboard racks (which will come in useful – Canggu has great surf), yoga mats, and a clothesline. There is a social atmosphere, but it’s really relaxed and you can always find some privacy.
The pool and wooden deck which wraps around it are both incredible; the deck is warm underfoot, lined with lush green plants, and kitted out with sun loungers and comfy bean bags. The hostel is in a great location near the center of Canggu and not too far from the beach.
Black Pearl Hostel is ideal for beach lovers and surfers. It’s perfectly located just 200m from the world-famous Old Man’s Beach with its legendary surf break. Each of the five rooms contains four comfortable beds and comes equipped with ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning.
The friendly staff will make you feel right at home. The included maid service will ensure the rooms stay clean and tidy, leaving you with more time to explore Canggu. Grab a drink at the awesome rooftop bar and admire the views or relax by the hostel’s beautiful swimming pool. The vibe here is great, with a good balance between partying and getting enough sleep.
If you’re an entrepreneur or digital nomad looking for a well-priced place to stay while you build your business from Canggu, then Tribe Theory is an incredible option. The hostel has a relaxed vibe and is geared entirely toward entrepreneurs and digital nomads, populated with a community of ambitious, creative, young people.
There is free WiFi, and a co-working space where you can network, collaborate, and share ideas with like-minded individuals. The hostel even hosts start-up events where you can further your knowledge and make new connections. Located just a 10-minute scooter ride from Canggu’s beautiful beaches, Tribe Theory offers both shared and private rooms, as well as incredible views out over scenic rice fields.
It also offers comfortable beds, towels and linen, a great swimming pool, and a free parking spot for each guest.
A stay at Kos One Hostel is almost a luxurious experience. The beds are incredibly comfortable with privacy curtains and reading lights, the building is clean and beautiful, and there are even two open-air hot tubs on site!
The vibe at Kos One is awesome, and the guests are always looking to have a good time with like-mindedadventures travelers. The views from the hostel stretch across rice fields to the Indian Ocean, which is only a short walk away. Kos One is also close to several great restaurants and the Canggu town center.
One of the best features of this hostel is its amazing Mediterranean inspired pool. It features a diving platform, swing, pool bar, and an artificial sand beach. The whole area surrounding it is perfectly crisp white and peppered with plants.
The Hideout is a cozy boutique yoga and surf hostel, tucked away in a dense green garden. It features great outdoor chill spots and a lawn that welcomes all kinds of activities. A couple of friendly dogs roam the property and there is a great relaxed communal vibe!
The hideout delivers on its promise of being a surf and yoga hostel. It offers top-notch yoga sessions in the onsite yoga shala and is an easy walk away from beaches with great surf. There is also a swimming pool and self-catering kitchen on site, and the hostel offers free WiFi.
You’ll be welcomed and taken care of by friendly staff who are more than happy to share their wealth of local knowledge. The dorms are air-conditioned and the comfortable beds each come with charging points and a reading light.
Gypsymoon is a beautifully designed hostel with a laid back vibe that is simultaneously rustic and modern. The communal spaces and dorm rooms are all large, open, light, and airy with a great atmosphere.
The beds here are incredibly comfortable and large. Each of the four beds in the large shared rooms comes with privacy curtains, a reading light, and a charging point. Private rooms with double beds are also available. All of the rooms come with a wardrobe and their own ensuite bathroom.
There is a great swimming pool with a fantastic communal area around it. The wooden deck is lined with beanbag chairs, sun loungers, and plants. At night, the outdoor area glows with atmospheric lights, and the vibe is relaxed.
WiFi and a delicious daily breakfast are included, the hostel is clean, and the staff is friendly and welcoming. Gypsy Moon is a little further from the beach than some of the other hostels, but it more than makes up for it in style and atmosphere.
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If you’re planning a trip through Southeast Asia, you don’t want to miss a visit to the beautiful island of Lombok. From epic waterfalls to fantastic white sand beaches, you will be so glad you visited this true hidden gem. With its quiet dirt roads and secret spots to explore, Lombok that has been compared to Bali 20 years ago. The island also has some stellar hostels and hotels that you can get at a killer deal. Use our Where to stay in Lombok accommodation guide to find the best places stay in Lombok, whether you want to stay super budget or splash out on a nice resort.
Kuta, Lombok Accommodation
From rustic hostels to luxurious beachside suites, take a look at our list of the top Kuta, Lombok accommodation choices.
This gorgeous spot on Lombok’s south coast makes for the perfect backpacking experience.
The Livingroom Hostel is close to a number of stunning beaches including Selong Belanak Beach, Tanjung Aan Beach and the white sands of Kuta Beach. Enjoy lounging on the terrace where you can look over the gardens or have a dip in the pool.
One of the most spectacular features is The Livingroom’s terrace bar which sits under the shade of a giant tree. You can recline on bean bags or epic swings that are dotted around the bar as you enjoy the ultra chilled atmosphere. This fantastic hostel is situated close to local restaurants and attractions. It also provides free parking on-site.
Prices range from around $30 USD for a quadruple-bed room or $12 USD for a 6-bed room.
Experience a taste of true Lombok paradise at the incredible Batatu Villa.
You can begin each morning with tasty choices from their varied breakfast menu which is served in your room. Each unit also has a well-equipped kitchen if you would like to do some cooking of your own. The hotel is a stone’s throw away from the Kuta Lombok Traditional Market where you can pick up souvenirs and some tasty treats.
Batatu Villas has a gorgeous design with aesthetics to match. Everything about this hotel puts you at the height of relaxation. Enjoy the glistening pool and lush garden, or bask in the Indonesian sunshine on the terrace. The immaculate rooms also come with a private pool and lounge to recline in. The hotel also happens to be pet-friendly so you won’t have to leave your furry friends at home.
The hotel provides some excellent transport options for exploring the island – you can rent a car or motorcycle, and take advantage of their airport shuttle service. You’ll also be a short walk away from Kuta Beach as well as the fantastic Legend Cafe & Bar where you can enjoy some delicious fusion food including Japanese and Indonesian cuisine.
Accommodation at Batatu Villas begins at approximately $93 USD.
Enjoy some of the best Indonesian hospitality at the Sikara Lombok Hotel.
Situated on a lovely quiet street on Lombok’s coast, this fantastic hotel is close to some of Lombok’s best beaches, including Tanjung Aan beach and Kua Beach. Cool off in the hotel’s stunning swimming pool as you gaze at nearby mountains. You won’t want to leave your luxurious room, which is filled with top-notch amenities. This oasis has everything you could need, including BBQ facilities and an outdoor dining area. The hotel also has some amazing Indonesian architecture to admire.
Sikara Lombok provides the option to book cooking classes, snorkeling, diving and hiking to enjoy on your trip. You can even grab a delicious hot drink at their on-site coffee house as you relax into this Indonesian paradise.
Rooms at the Sikara Lombok Hotel start at around $70 USD.
This gorgeous area in the North Lombok Regency makes for a spectacular taste of nature, and vies for the role of the best area to stay in Lombok. Take your pick from mountainside villas and homey accommodation on offer in Senaru.
Make yourself at home on your trip to Lombok at the Tiu Kelep Homestay. This lovely spot, tucked away in the wilderness, is close to a number of truly stunning Lombok waterfalls. You can take your pick from this incredible line-up:
Sindang Gila Waterfall
Tiu Kelep Waterfall
Umar Maya Waterfall
Telaga Madu Waterfall
Tiu Teja Waterfall
Hiking is the order of the day in this area. Tiu Kelep Homestay sits in the impressive shadow of Mount Rinjani, a must-see on your trip to Senaru. Choose between views of the lush gardens or breathtaking mountains in Tiu Kelep’s backyard. Some of the rooms also have a balcony where you can take in the sights and snap some pics.
The owners of Tiu Kelep go above and beyond! They offer informative tours about the local culture, as well as themed dinners. The on-site restaurant serves an array of Asian and international cuisine. The owners can even cook you a traditional meal on your first night! You’ll definitely feel part of the family at this incredible homestay.
This gorgeous spot makes for the perfect Lombok getaway. Situated in the middle of rice fields, the Hakiki Inn offers cozy and comfortable bungalows, which come with breathtaking mountain views.
Every room is well-furnished and fitted with seating for when you want to relax in your bungalow. These quaint wooden houses promise an idyllic experience in the wilderness, where you can hike the day away or recline in your hammock. There are also a ton of waterfalls nearby including:
Jeruk Janis Waterfall
Benang Stokel Waterfall
You can also enjoy a memorable hike to Mount Rinjani, or enjoy the tranquility of the Tetebatu Monkey Forest. The hotel also organizes a fantastic hiking trip to Sangkareang, which has amazing views of Mount Rinjani and the crater lake next door.
Double rooms at the Hakiki Inn Bungalows start at $25 USD.
Enjoy an unforgettable holiday at the amazing Rinjani Lighthouse. Complete with facilities as incredible as its name, you won’t want to leave this serene spot in the hills of Senaru.
Enjoy breakfast and dinner open to the sky where you can do some next-level stargazing. There Rinjani Lighthouse also features a fantastic balcony complete with bean bags and hammocks. You can also enjoy hikes to the surrounding waterfalls and the lighthouse’s namesake, Mount Rinjani.
This gorgeous hotel is situated in a lush area surrounded by hills and mountains, making it a true oasis. Take in the natural wonders of Senaru, where views of the summit are breathtaking and memories are made.
Deluxe double rooms start at $29 USD and family bungalows are around $41 USD.
This gorgeous area in west Lombok looks out over the Bali Sea from a stunning coastline. Find the very best in Senggigi accommodation from comfortable villas to 4-star hotels (and potentially the best hotel in Lombok).
Take it back to the beach with a stay at the amazing Selasar Hostel in Senggigi. A prime spot that’s close to just about everything, this is a backpacker’s paradise.
The Senggigi Art Market is a few minutes away, or you could hop on over to the Cakranegara Market for some shopping time. Food is no problem thanks to the hearty breakfast served every morning plus an in-house restaurant that offers a variety of dishes.
The hostel also has handy bicycles and motorbikes for rental if you’re looking to do some sight-seeing further afield. You can check out nearby spots like Malimbu Hill and the gorgeous Monkey Forest Waterfalls, or hit local beaches, including the stunning Senggigi or Malimbu Beach.
Rooms are on offer at the Selasar Hostel from $22 USD.
Enjoy the calm side of Lombok at this incredible spot, a definite player for the best resort in Lombok, which is perfect for your holiday and your budget.
You can spend some of your time enjoying the refreshing pool and immaculate grounds, which are home to an impressive vegetable garden and lush greenery. Then, head out for a trip to the Senggigi Art Market and Malimbu Beach, or get a taste for Senggigi with a meal at one of the nearby restaurants and cafes. You can also enjoy some top-shelf cuisine at the hotel’s in-house restaurant and bar.
The incredible staff at the hotel will warm your heart and make you feel right at home. Enjoy one of the hotel’s gorgeous bungalows, which are close to the pool and perfect for a relaxing getaway.
Double rooms at the Makarma Resort start at $13 USD.
This 4-star hotel has everything you could want and more. Enjoy the stunning private pools that come with every room, as well as an outdoor bathtub for a unique experience at your secluded villa.
The on-site restaurant and bar produce some fine dining, while you enjoy exquisite views of the Lombok Strait. You can also experience ultimate relaxation at the hotel’s spa and wellness center.
If you’re an adventure-lover, take advantage of some of the nearby activities on offer, including surfing, canoeing and diving. The stunning beachfront is only a short walk from your private villa, or you can enjoy a dip in the oh-so-amazing infinity pool. Make use of fantastic facilities such as the poolside gazebos and daybeds, while enjoying the unforgettable sea view.
The Jeeva Santai is also in a prime spot, which is right by the Senggigi Art Market, the Bangsal ferry Terminal and a boat ride away from Gili Islands.
Enjoy every aspect of this unbelievable hotel, where you can watch the sunset and gaze over at Bali in the distance.
Find your home-away-from-home on this gorgeous collection of isles – Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan and Gili Air. Whether you’re looking for eclectic hostels, or a stay at one of the area’s finest hotels, peruse our list of top picks of the best places in Lombok.
Just like its intriguing name, this hostel is something special, and is a definite contender for the best place to stay in Lombok. Its incredible host creates an unbelievable vibe to socialize. Personal touches take this hostel to the next level.
Enjoy everything from an in-house cinema and library, to table tennis and temporary art galleries. Then, make your evenings memorable with some nighttime entertainment provided at the Rabbit Tree.
This pet-friendly hostel caters for families with their kids play area and a games room. The rooms are also beyond inventive with amazing themes like the favorite ball-pit room. You can also enjoy fantastic views of the garden or nearby mountains.
Begin each morning with a delicious French breakfast, then head off for a day of exploring the natural wonders of Gili Meno. The hostel is close to attractions like Meno Lake, Bangsal Harbor and the golden sands of Meno Beach.
The Rabbit Tree Hostel is the perfect blend of a social atmosphere and discovering the wilderness of Gili Meno by snorkeling, hiking and horse riding.
Prices range from double rooms around $14 USD to single beds in a dorm around $9 USD.
This amazing hotel is the perfect spot for a trip to Gili Trawangan. With a prime location near North West Beach and Sunset Point, the natural features of Gili Trawangan beckon.
The hotel offers snorkeling, diving, canoeing and fishing for an extra charge, as well as bicycle hire for some island exploration. With the Gili Trawangan Art Market and the Turtle Conservation Gili Trawangan a stone’s throw away, you can enjoy the sights of the island.
You can also take a dip in the glistening saltwater pool, recline on beanbags around the terrace or enjoy a relaxing foot bath. Finish off a spectacular day of fun with a low-key evening by the hotel’s cozy outdoor fireplace.
Crafted wooden gates lead you into this slice of Indonesian tranquility. With Medana Beach and the white sands of Gili Air Beach just a bike ride away, this makes for the perfect luxury beachside spot.
Start your day off with a continental breakfast accompanied by incredible views of Indonesia’s west coast. With fantastic restaurants just down the road and the hotel’s handy bicycle rental service, you can experience the tastes, sights and shoreline of this incredible Lombok islet.
Enjoy comfort to the maximum with a fitted kitchen, well-stocked minibar and private outdoor bathroom in one of the fantastic villas.
Recline on the sun-kissed terrace or in the cool waters of your private pool, then enjoy the hotel as it comes to life at night under an Indonesian moon and garlands of light.
Samsara villas are on offer from approximately $156 USD.
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No trip to Bali is complete without a visit to one of the island’s gorgeous rice terraces. You’ll see them everywhere as you motorbike or drive around, but if you want to visit the big kahuna of rice fields, Tegalalang Rice Terrace. This is the famous rice terrace near Ubud that you’ve probably seen in everyone and their mother’s Instagram photos. It’s touristy and most people visit for the photo opp, but these fields really are stunning. Unlike some places around the world that have been spoiled by tourism, the Tegalalang Rice Terraces are definitely still worth visiting despite their notoriety. That being said, you can definitely ensure you have a less crowded and overall better quality experience if you follow some basic tips.
How to Get to Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Also known as the “Ubud Rice Fields,” it makes sense that most people stay in Ubud to visit Tegalalang. Driving to the rice terrace, Ubud is only a 20 minute taxi or motorbike ride away from the city center. The rice fields are a great start to a day of exploring things to do around Ubud. We recommend renting a motorbike in Ubud, so you can then jet off to some local waterfalls or the water palace. But if you’re nervous on a bike, there are a ton of taxis that will take you to the fields from Ubud.
You can also visit from Canggu/Seminyak area, but it’s a bit further out. It’ll take you about an hour and a half depending on your form of transportation and traffic. For the most part it’s a really beautiful and peaceful drive up to the Ubud area.
If you drive a motorbike to the rice terraces you can park anywhere along the main street.
Best Time to Visit Tegalalang Rice Terraces
The best time to visit the rice terraces are sunrise. We know, getting up early is a pain! But if you really want to get the most out of your visit, early morning is the best. We left Ubud at about dawn to get to the fields just as the sun was rising. The office wasn’t even open yet, so we skipped paying the entrance fee. Not only are there much less people, but it’s so much cooler at this time of day. The rice fields are exposed to the sun with very little shade, so after the sun comes up you’re pretty much baking under the heat.
Tegalalang rice terraces get pretty busy so if you want those sweeping photos of empty rice fields, you’ll want to beat the crowd. When we were there at sunrise there were only a handful of other visitors, but as the morning progressed it started to get busy. The early morning is also a great time for photography because the lighting is really even throughout the rice terrace. As the sun comes up, you start to get a bad glare and stark contrast on the fields that look bad in photos. You also get nice misty rays of light coming through in the early morning.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace Entrance Fee
There is an office on the other side of the main road to purchase an entrance ticket. The ticket costs 10,000 rupiah per person. There doesn’t seem to be anyone checking if you got a ticket, but considering the low price we were fine paying. As I mentioned the first time we visited was before it officially opened so we didn’t pay the entrance, but the second time we visited mid-morning and our driver dropped us at a parking lot by the payment desk.
How to Navigate Tegalalang Rice Terrace Ubud
Many companies offer a Tegalalang rice terrace tour, but they are easy enough to navigate on your own. You can enter the rice terrace at a number of entrances. The street adjacent to the terrace is lined with cafes and shops, so you just duck into one of their entrances and go through. As you walk the steps down, take a moment to look out and see just how vast these terraces are. It’s a huge place and there are tons of paths you can take. The first part of the terrace is shaped like a valley, so you’ll walk down, cross off the small river and can start walking up to the other side. The paths are step and mostly made of dirt which can get a bit slippery in the wet season. There are some concrete and wooden steps, as well as hand rails in some parts to make it easier to get around.
We recommend going straight down, coming back up the other side and continuing over to the rice terrace on the other side of the hill. There are fewer people on the other side because it’s far to walk. The paths aren’t super clear and you may start following one only to realize that it’s not going where you wanted or just ends abruptly, then have to turn around and start over. It’s all part of the fun!
There are cafes and little shops dotted throughout where you can buy snacks or drinks. You may get stopped from time to time by farmers who want a donation to visit their section of the rice fields. I don’t think there’s a set amount to pay, but 10,000 rupiah seemed like a good donation. When we first visited in 2018 it felt like there were more farmers asking for money. We even came across one woman who brought out a wooden stick with a bunch of nails in it to stop us from going any further without payment. When we visited again in 2019, we only came across one farmer asking for a donation.
Farmers may also come up to you with the traditional rice baskets balanced by a bamboo stick. If you take their picture they’ll ask for some money. They’re probably making way more from photos than from actually growing rice, so we applaud their initiative!
Traveling to Ubud, why not check out all the other amazing things to do, see and experience in our Ubud Travel Guide!
Rice Terrace Swings
There are several Ubud swings made famous by Instagram, but Tegalalang rice terrace has some pretty epic ones. We’ve all seen the photos of young women in flowy dresses swinging across the rice fields. There are a fews swings at Tegalalang, so you can take your time deciding which one looks best. The prices vary depending on which one you choose. Our friend paid 300,000 and got to ride one single-person swing, one double-person nest swing, as well as take photos another nest and a wooden love heart. The price is probably negotiable, especially if there’s a group of you paying.
The swings do have harnesses so you won’t fall off. It does look a little crappy for photos when you first get on, but once you’ve been pushed out you can barely see the harness. Unlike other Bali swings where we’ve heard that you get a limited amount of swings, the guys working these swings seemed pretty chill. There was no wait in line and they made sure we got all the photos we wanted.
What to Bring to Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Make sure you bring a water bottle (extra points for an eco-friendly reusable bottle or purchase one at a shop on your way in. The sun is no joke at Tegalalang and you can get heat stroke pretty quickly. You may want to bring in some snacks to keep you energized along the way. Of course you can always buy something at one of the little cafes on the terrace. Bug spray is also a good thing to bring because there are mosquitos around.
Make sure you bring small notes for the entrance fee and to pay farmers along the way. Other than that you’ll want to pack light for when you visit Tegalalang. You’ll be walking up and down some steep paths so you’ll be grateful if you don’t have much to carry!
What to Wear to Tegalalang Rice Terraces
First and foremost you’ll want to make sure you’re staying cool. The last thing you want is to get the perfect photo opp and then pass out because of the heat. The long flowy dresses do look amazing amongst the rice fields and on the swing. But make sure you have a shawl or something to cover yourself with in between the photo shoots. We also highly recommend bringing a hat, you’ll be so grateful you did! Here are some outfits that we think would look amazing amongst the rice terraces.
There are plenty of places to stay in Ubud, from hostels to guesthouses to luxury villas. These are some of our favorites:
Puji Bungalow – This is where we stayed the first time we visited Ubud. It’s simple, cheap and they have a great pool overlooking a rice terrace. We highly recommend this as a great budget accommodation in Ubud.
Pajar House – This super cute guest house is a popular choice in Ubud. The rooms are midrange, about $40-50 USD per night.
Goya Boutique – This gorgeous luxury hotel is upscale without breaking the bank. Just a ten minute walk from the the Ubud temple, Goya has an amazing location. The hotel also has a beautiful infinity pool.
Hanging Gardens – This is the hotel with the famous tiered pools that overlook the jungle. If you’re going to splash out on a Ubud hotel, this is a good choice. It’s not cheap but each villa comes with its own private infinity pool! Doesn’t get any better than that!
Things to do Near Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Pura Tirta Empul
This water temple near Ubud is the perfect place to visit after your trip to Tegalalang. You’ll most likely be dripping with sweat from the rice terrace so visiting water temple is perfect. We recommend bringing a bathing suit. They have changing rooms where you can put on your swimmers and then put on a rented sarong that you’re allowed to get wet. Then you’ll enter the temple, get in a pool of water and dunk yourself under a series of water fountains. Each fountain signifies a different blessing. Pura Tirta is a bit touristy but there are plenty of locals in the water with you, placing offerings and going under the fountains.
Pyramids of Chi
Ubud is all about health and wellness, and that includes some new age techniques like sound healing. The Pyramids of Chi are a sound healing experience just outside of Ubud. Basically you book a session and your group lays down in a large pyramid shaped tent for about an hour. During this time you’re laying in the dark while they play different instruments. It’s pretty trippy and we really recommend it if you want to try something different during your visit to Ubud! Plus the Pyramids of Chi are only a 15 minute drive from Tegalalang.
This may not be one of the most popular waterfalls in Bali, but Pengempu is one of the closest waterfalls to Tegalalang rice terrace and an easy addition to your Bali day trip. It’s also pretty secluded and relatively unknown so you may even have the whole place to yourself!
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The landscape of Bali is undeniably beautiful, from the coastline to the traditional architecture of the cities. But there’s nothing more stunning, or iconic, than the Bali rice fields. Maybe it’s the perfectly engineered geometric shapes of the fields or the mesmerizing shades of green, but the Bali rice fields are a natural beauty.
As you explore the island of Bali you’ll see fields of green to your left and right, they’re everywhere! But if you want to visit the bigger fields, it takes a bit of planning. When it comes to the best rice terrace in Bali, the island has some beautiful ones on offer. The Tegalalang rice terrace near Ubud is the most famous one and a top pick for Instagrammers looking for the perfect shot. We loved visiting the Tegalalang rice field, but when we visited the Jatiluwih rice terrace, it absolutely took our breath away. The Jatiluwih rice terrace is not only less crowded and easier to navigate, but it’s equally as beautiful as Tegalalang rice terrace. Here are our top tips for visiting the Jatiluwih rice terraces.
Take a walk with us through the Jatiluwih rice terraces in our video below.
The Jatiluwih rice fields are located in central Bali. It’s about an hour to an hour and a half drive up from Canggu, depending on traffic and whether you ride a motorbike or go by car. The length of time to travel from Ubud to Jatiluwih rice terrace is about the same, an hour and a half.
On your drive up from Canggu or Ubud you’ll start to catch a glimpse of the vast rice terraces. Eventually you’ll pass a checkpoint where a guard will signal you to pull over and purchase an entrance ticket. If you pass the first checkpoint, there’s a second one waiting for you. And if you pass both (like we accidentally did!) they’ll find you when you go to park in the parking lot across from the entrance.
The Jatiluwih Rice Terrace entrance fee is 40,000 rupiah per person. Compared to the Tegalalang rice terrace entrance fee of 10,000, this seems a bit steep, but it’s still only $3 USD. The entrance fee includes parking. Also, you won’t be asked for donations at different areas of the rice field like at Tegalalang. There is simply one entrance fee and that’s it.
Best Time to Visit Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
When planning a trip to Jatiluwih there are two things to take into consideration, the time time of day and the time of year. Although you can visit the rice terraces at any time of year, if you visit during the rainy season then you’re more likely to get randomly rained on in the middle of the day. Bali’s rainy season is typically early November to the end of March, with torrential downpours more likely to occur in the afternoon.
That being said, the weather is super unpredictable and you could just as easily get stuck in the rain in June. So if you’re visiting Bali at the beginning of end of the year don’t be put off by the chance of rain, just don’t forget to pack your umbrella!
When it’s not rainy season, like most places around the world, the best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon. The sun is considerably less hot and the lighting is much prettier for photos. The cooler morning and evening air also means less sweat drenched clothes as you climb up and down the terrace paths.
Spending some time to Ubud? Check out our Ubud Travel Guide for all the best things to do, see and experience.
Navigating the Bali Rice Terraces
Jatiluwih is actually really well laid out, which makes it easy to navigate. Guides and drivers may offer you a Jatiluwih rice terrace tour, but we enjoyed going through on our own. At the entrance, and dotted throughout the paths, there are maps that show you all the routes you can take. There is one main concrete path that circles through the field and from there you can take little offshoots. To get around you can walk, ride your motorbike, rent electric bikes and or rent a regular bicycle. We chose to park our motorbike at the main parking lot and walk through.
There are several hikes available, all of which are laid out on the map and can be navigated by sign posts. There are several points of interest to see along way, including an outdoor amphitheater, a UNESCO monument and a few small temples. We arrived in the late afternoon, so we mostly stuck to the main paths. You could probably walk the entire thing in just a couple of hours, depending on how often you stop for photos.
While you’re exploring you can walk off the main path and into the fields themselves. At first I wasn’t sure if this was allowed, but I had multiple farmers pass me while I was trekking into the fields and they all gave me an enthusiastic waves. So I guess it’s game on! Obviously, be careful you don’t fall over and ruin someone’s crop. I actually found the trails in the Jatiluwih rice terrace easier to walk through than at Tegalalang. It can still be hazardous, though, as some of the paths look like a trail but are really just long grass with no sturdy ground underneath.
While the hikes around Jatiluwih aren’t as grueling as trekking through Tegalalang rice terrace, you’ll still want to make sure you have plenty of water. There are several shops and a couple of warungs around the rice terrace, so you can pick up a bottle or better yet, grab a coconut to keep you hydrated! Shout out to the eco-conscious warung owner who has bamboo straws for her beverages!
You’ll also want decent walking shoes, so you can keep up your stamina for exploring. There isn’t much shade on the main path, so a hat and sunscreen are key. We didn’t encounter any bugs, but it’s never a bad idea to have bug spray with you in Bali.
What to Wear to Jatiluwih Rice Terraces (for the ladies!)
We visited on a day with lots of cloud cover and it was surprisingly cool. But considering the lack of shade, it looks like it can get really hot on a sunny day. Clothes that keep you covered up are a must, as is a good wide brim hat.
Because there are a lot less people at Jatiluwih rice terrace, it’s a perfect opportunity to get some epic photos of yourself. Flowery dresses look beautiful in the terrace, especially in colors like white or red that contrast the green. There aren’t any photo props like the nests or swings near Ubud, so don’t expect any staged Instagram photos. But the rice terraces are pretty easy to walk into so it’s not hard to get a shot of you surrounded by green!
Where to Stay Near Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Adhi Jaya Suite– Probably the closest Jatiluwih accommodation to the rice terraces. This hotel has simple rooms with stunning views of the terrace. Considering the proximity to this tourist attraction, the rooms are affordable at around $20USD/night.
D’wan Tea Mountain Side – If you want something a little fancier, this secluded homestay is built into the mountains. The rooms are gorgeous and the views are stunning. They also make tea on site.
Sang Giri: Mountain Glamping Camp – Perfect for those that want to feel outdoorsy sense of camping without giving up their creature comforts. It may be the most expensive camping you ever do, but the luxury tents make it all worth it.
Things to Do Near Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
The area near the rice terrace is called Jatiluwih Green Land, an appropriate name considering just how green the rice fields are! There are several things to do in the Jatiluwih area:
Yeh Hoo Waterfall
This is a small waterfall that you may just come across accidentally as you explore the rice terraces. It’s a perfect spot for taking a dip after a hot afternoon trekking through rice!
Angseri Hot Spring
These hot springs are only about a 15 minute drive from the rice terraces. Angseri Hot Springs are pretty unknown and you may find that you’re the only tourists there. From the entrance you have about a 1 km walk through the jungle to get to the spring. It’s not a fancy spa type hot spring, but a natural heated pool surrounded by lush trees and rocks.
Hike Mount Agung
You can actually hike the famous volcano in the center of Bali! It is active, but you can still hike up as long as you don’t go super close to the crater. Unlike Mount Batur, Mount Agung is a pretty challenging hike and takes about four hours to climb up. You need to be in good physical condition to do this trek. Most travelers go up late at nigh,t so they can catch sunrise at the top. If and when you make it up (you can do it!) you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and the feeling of being amongst the clouds.
The following article may contain affiliate links. Clicking these links can provide a small commission to us, at absolutely no extra cost to you. It’s just a little way we keep this site running for free, so thanks for helping support us.
For as long as Bali has been a travel destination, Ubud has been one of the island’s most popular cities. As you drive in to Ubud you wonder how such a hot spot can exist amongst the dense jungle that surrounds you. And then, through the giant trees with overhanging branches, a small bustling city emerges.
The center of Ubud is really only a few streets, but they pack as much in as possible. The traffic can be insane and the shops are crammed in right next to each other, but somehow Ubud still manages to be a place of serenity. Unlike the crazy party town of Kuta or the cool surfer vibe of Canggu, Ubud is all about wellness, clean living and getting in touch with yourself.
With its endless amount of vegan restaurants and healing centers, Ubud might feel pretentious to some, but if the hippie life isn’t your jam, there are plenty of other things to do in Ubud, Bali that don’t involve releasing your chakras. We recommend getting a taste of everything, from exploring the gorgeous natural sights, to getting a taste of the local culture, and yes, even dipping your toe in the wellness waters. These are our recommended best things to see in Ubud.
Getting to Ubud
Getting to Ubud is as easy as jumping on a bus, hiring a private car or renting your own scooter. Because Bali is such a small island it’s a convenient place to travel to no matter where you’re staying in Bali. Whether you’re coming in from Kuta, Sanur, Canggu, the Bukit Peninsula or the north, traveling to Ubud is an easy location to get it.
What to Do in Ubud: Nature
Unlike the rugged coast of the Bukit Peninsula, or the sandy shoreline of Canggu, Ubud is a lush green oasis in the middle of Bali. From levels upon levels of stunning rice terraces, to wild life and adventure activities. Here are our top suggestions for things to do in Ubud for the nature lovers.
Visit a Bali Rice Terrace
You can’t go to Bali and not visit a rice terrace! Rice is a huge part of the Indonesian diet (hello Nasi Goreng!) and it’s pretty cool to see where it all comes from. As you travel around Bali you’ll likely see rice fields everywhere, but visiting the big terraces is an awesome experience.
The most popular Ubud rice field is, of course, Tegalalang rice terrace. This beautiful rice field is only 20 minutes from Ubud and it’s a gorgeous sight to see. The entrance fee is only 10,000 rupiah and you can easily spend a couple hours wandering the different paths around the terrace. They also have the iconic Bali swings and nests for photos.
If you’re looking for an equally stunning, but a bit less crowded, the Jatiluwih rice terrace is a great alternative. Although further from Ubud (you have to drive about an hour and a half), Jatiluwih is definitely worth visiting. The path around the rice terrace is easier to navigate than Tegalalang and because it’s less popular, it’s easier to get photos where you’re the only person in the rice field.
Read our complete guide to Tegalalang Rice Terrace for information on how to get there, entrance fee, the best time to visit and more!
Ubud Monkey Forest
As soon as you drive close to Ubud you’ll start to notice monkeys on the side of the road. That’s because you’re driving past the Monkey Forest! The forest itself is really beautiful and you’ll feel completely enveloped by the lush trees around you. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth of monkeys; there are over 600 in the forest!
The monkey’s go about their daily business and are mostly interested in whether you’re going to feed them or not. You can buy bananas at the front desk to feed them, but it’s prohibited to give them any outside food. The monkeys are able to smell food in your bag and may try to take it from you, so we recommend not bringing any food with you. Personally, we don’t like to feed wild animals because it creates a dependence on human interaction, so we recommend just enjoying watching the monkeys as you walk through the forest. There are also rumors of thieving monkeys so be sure to keep your sunglasses and valuables tucked away.
The forest is sacred to the local people and there are temples throughout. However, only three temples are accessible for foreigners – Pura Dalem, Holy Water Temple and Cremation Temple. The Ubud Monkey Forest entrance fee is 50,000 rupiah.
This impressive waterfall is about a half hour drive outside of Ubud and definitely worth a visit. When you arrive you’ll pay 20,000 rupiah entrance fee and then walk down a set of stairs to the waterfall. Tegenungan is one of the most popular waterfalls near Ubud, so chances are there will be a bit of a crowd by the falls. When we went we had to wait our turn to get a shot in front of the waterfall without any other people in it. To the right you’ll find a swing that you can hop on for photos at an extra charge.
Admittedly Tegenungan waterfall isn’t the most secluded spot, but at 25 meters in height it’s pretty impressive. Plus you can wade into the water for a refreshing dip.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
We loved the Campuhan Ridge Walk and highly recommend it if you’re visiting Ubud! The entrance to the Campuhan Ridge Walk is just outside of the Ubud city center. The walk is mostly flat and easy, with stunning views of the rice terraces on either side. There’s very little shade cover, so you’ll want to start really early in the morning and make sure you’ve got plenty of water and a hat. As soon as the sun starts to get hot, you’ll basically be baking during your walk.
The entire nature trek is 9 kilometers, so you can definitely get your steps and really work up a sweat. Be on the look out for the free version of an Ubud swing. Not far into the path there’s a small swing tied to a tree that is a fun, free alternative to the swings around Ubud that you have to pay for.
White Water Rafting
If you need to cool down a little and want some adventure, do some white water rafting in Ubud! The Ayung river is a perfect mix of rapids and relaxation. As you cruise down the river you’ll be able to take in the lush jungle and breathtaking gorges that surround you. This a great activity for anyone who wants to see a different part of the Ubud landscape, while getting your blood pumping!
What to See in Ubud: Culture
Ubud has long been regarded as a cultural center of Bali, way before travelers started doing downward dog on their yoga mats. If you want a real taste of Balinese and Hindu culture during your trip, Ubud is a great place to learn about it.
Pura Taman Saraswati
This is an easy one to visit, considering this temple is located in the heart of Ubud. The temple was built to honor the Hindu goddess Saraswati. The architecture here is simply stunning. One of the temple’s most popular features is the water garden, filled with floating lotuses. If it’s not too busy, this is a lovely spot to come by yourself and enjoy a moment of introspection.
Pura Tirta Empul
This water temple is one of our favorite things to see in Ubud. We stumbled across this place after our first visit to Tegalalang rice terrace and, boy were we excited about cooling off in the water! Not only is the Pura Tirta Empul water temple a great opportunity to get a deeper understanding of the local culture, but you actually get to participate as well!
When you first enter you’ll be given a sarong if you’re not already covering your knees. Then right before you enter the water temple you need to rent a water sarong that you can actually get wet. There are changing rooms to put on a bathing suit under the water sarong.
Once you’re good to go you’ll get in the water and dunk yourself under each fountain to purify yourself. Each fountain represents a different blessing. There are local guides that you can pay to explain the history and process, but we found most locals who were bathing were happy enough to explain the blessings to us. There are a couple of water spouts that you shouldn’t go under, as they’re reserved for post-funeral, so be sure to check with the locals. And make sure to save some time before or after bathing to walk around the nearby temples, they’re stunning!
Goa Gajah, also known as Elephant Cave, is another popular temple to visit near Ubud. When you arrive you’ll walk down a flight of stairs to the cave entrance. To walk into the cave you’ll enter through the mouth of a demon carved into the rock. Inside you’ll find paintings, shrines and small statues. It gets pretty busy at Elephant Cave, but considering its proximity to Ubud it’s still worth a look.
Things to Do in Ubud: Health & Wellness
Unblock those energy lines, loosen up your chakras and awaken the spiritual curiosity within when you spend time exploring Ubud. With a range of holistic healers, classes and workshops to find your inner balance, Ubud is the perfect place to experience something different. Here are a couple of our suggestions for the best activities for the soul in Ubud.
Pyramids of Chi
One of the newer wellness activities in Ubud, the Pyramids of Chi is an experience hard to grasp until you’ve actually been there. Basically, you enter a large pyramid shaped tent and lay down on one of the thin mattresses on the floor. The pyramid is almost entirely pitch black, but they give you a weighted eye mask to ensure total darkness.
For the next hour a sound healer plays a variety of instruments, including gongs, drums and the Didgeridoo. The sound healing is meant to release your chakras and heal your energy. They hold different sessions throughout the day, but the standard “Ancient Sound Healing” session is 300,000 rupiah. Even Jules, who is usually a skeptic with all sorts of new-age healing, found the session enlightening and definitely beneficial. If you end up booking a session we’d love to hear what you thought of the experience.
Yoga Class at The Yoga Barn
Even if you’re not a practicing yogi, it’s worth going to the famous The Yoga Barn for a class. Known as one of the best yoga studios in the world, The Yoga Barn has a variety of classes from beginner to expert. One of the biggest draws to the classes is the opportunity to practice overlooking a beautiful jungle landscape. Classes fill up, so be sure to get there early to get a spot in the front. You can put your name down and then grab a juice at the studio’s cafe.
Don’t think shopping is a form of wellness? You’ve clearly never heard of retail therapy. And the Ubud market is the perfect place to get your retail therapy fix! Made famous by Eat Pray Love, this market is located in the center of Ubud. You’ll find pretty much everything here, from beautiful traditional wood carvings to cheap plastic sunglasses. A lot of the shops carry the same stuff, so be sure to get a sense of the prices before purchasing. Haggling is definitely recommended!
Where to Eat in Ubud
Being the health and wellness capital of Bali, there are some amazing Ubud restaurants on offer. Here is our list of top recommended place to eat in Ubud.
Breakfast in Ubud
Watercress – This cafe is pretty well known in Ubud. It’s definitely on the pricier side of what you can pay for breakfast in Bali, but the food is worth it. They have a variety of healthy choices and delicious coffee!
Habitat Cafe – Specializing in Pan-Asian cuisine, this modern cafe serves up a diverse range fresh and authentic dishes. Conveniently located next to the Monkey Forest, you can have a cup of coffee and share a slice of banana bread with a new furry friend.
Lunch and Dinner in Ubud
The Fair Warung Bale – We’d go so far as to say this is one of the best restaurants in Bali, period. Not only are they serving up an incredible fish curry and Tom Yum soup, but they give 100% of their profits back to helping local people pay for medical procedures and health care. So awesome!
Warung Makan Bu Rus – An excellent local restaurant that serves up traditional food with an incredible amount of flavor. The first time we visited Ubud we ate here on numerous occasions!
Dessert in Ubud
Tukies Coconut Shop – You can’t go to Ubud and not eat at Tukies. There are actually three locations, so it’s hard to miss. These little shops serve up the best coconut ice cream in the world. Their secret? It’s topped with young coconut slices, roasted coconut chips and a sweet coconut brittle. It’s best to go during your first day in Ubud so you can keep going back everyday.
There is are lots of things to do in Lombok, Indonesia, but one of our favorite activities was renting a motorbike and exploring the beaches! The beaches of Lombok are drop dead gorgeous. The sand is white, the water is clear and the waves are calm. And getting to Lombok from Bali is super easy!
From the resort beaches of Senggigi to the quiet isolated shores near Kuta to the beach parties on the Gili islands, there are so many impressive beaches to explore. Whether you’re a surfer or just want to lay back on the soft sand, Lombok has something for every interest. These were our favorite beaches in Lombok:
Kuta Beach Lombok
Kuta is one of Lombok’s most popular destinations, but it’s small and quiet compared to super touristy Kuta in Bali. Instead, Kuta Lombok is a cute surf town, with an increasing amount of guesthouses, restaurants and cafes. At night the local bars have live music, where it seems like the bands play the same charming covers ,while travelers knock back a few Bintangs.
The town has a laid back, dusty feel, but you can tell from the increase in hip cafes that Kuta is probably going to boom in the next few years. There is a lot of construction going on near in the beach in town, so you can expect new developments to be popping up here soon. The beach in town is nice enough for a quick dip, but the beaches surrounding Kuta are much more isolated and beautiful. In our opinion, these are the best beaches near Kuta Lombok.
Selong Belanak Beach
About half an hour outside of Kuta, this beach has something for everyone. Part of the beach is lined with small warungs (restaurants) that double up as surf schools. The waves here are calm, perfect for practicing your surf skills as a beginner. Further down the beach you’ll find a fancier restaurant if you want a nice meal and past that you’ll find a long stretch of white sand all to yourself.
Selong Belanak is definitely one of the more popular southern beaches in Lombok, so it can feel crowded by the warungs, but if you keep walking you’ll find that the further you go, the beach actually becomes very quiet. One a sunny day, the contrast of the white sand with the blue water is really stunning.
Motorbike parking cost: 10,000 rupiah
Just south of Selong Belanak is Mawi beach. This Lombok beach is undeveloped and beautifully quiet. On a sunny day Mawi beach is a real stunner. We only spotted one other couple on the long stretch of sand. The road to Mawi is very bumpy and can be a bit treacherous if you’re not used to riding a motorbike. Be especially careful if it’s recently rained as the mud can be difficult to bike through. If you go slow, though, you’ll be fine! The reward for braving the bumpy road is arriving at the sand to find that you have the whole beach to yourself!
There are really two sections to Mawi, the closest to Selong Belanak is a long stretch of sand. We didn’t see any warungs or shops here, so bring your own picnic. If you keep walking along this beach, away from Seong Belanka and toward Semeti Beach, you’ll hit a formation of rocks where the sand ends. It’s definitely worth the small hike up to catch a view of the beach from these rocks. If you continue along the rocks you’ll hit the second, and much smaller, part of Mawi. On this second stretch you’ll find Mawi Surf Cafe, a small warung selling basic food and drinks.
Parking cost: Free (although it could depend where you stop along the beach), but we had to pay 10,000 rupiah to a man who was guarding the road with a parking gate.
This is just right next door to Mawi beach and perhaps even less well known than its neighbor. You can reach Semeti by going back to the same dirt road that you took for Mawi and turning right. It will lead you to another quiet, rustic Lombok beach with plenty of rocks and caves to explore.
Semeti beach has some black rock formations that contrast beautifully against the bright blue water. It’s really fun to spend an afternoon here climbing the rocks and exploring. This rugged natural coastline provides more of an adventurous challenge than the other beaches. Semeti is also a perfect place for sunset if it’s not too overcast.
Further along the coastline heading back to Kuta is Lancing Beach. There are actually two entrances to this beach. Coming from Semeti Beach, the first entrance is barely marked with just a small wooden sign. This side of Lancing has more of a local vibe. Parking is free and you may even catch a motorbike drag race along the beach. There’s also a bit more trash in this area, so be careful if you’re walking barefoot. Christine sliced her foot on an old beer bottle. If you’re happy to just relax on the sand and chat with some locals, this side is for you.
Further down the beach on your way to Kuta there is a marked entrance which will take you down to a motorbike parking lot right by the beach. Parking is 10,000 and this side of Lancing has a couple of small warungs with bamboo beach chairs for rent. There’s also a swing perfect for lazily looking out over the ocean. If you’re looking for a drink and a chair to relax on, you’ll enjoy this side of Lansing Beach.
Parking cost: Free/ 10,000 rupiah
Tanjung Aan Beach
In our humble opinion, we thought this was the best beach in Lombok. This stretch of beach is very long, and although its lined with small warungs, you can still find a section all to yourself. This beach has the softest, white sand and prettiest turquoise water you could ever want. The water is pretty calm here so it’s lovely to take a relaxing swim. The warungs sell grilled fresh fish and coconuts which make for the perfect afternoon snack. A few of the warungs have swings out front if you want to get your Instagram photoshoot on.
You’ll probably encounter a few locals trying to sell souvenirs, but if you firmly say no thank you, they’ll take the hint. There are also some hikes to do on either side of the beach. At the eastern point of Tanjung Aan is Batu Payung rock formation, a giant rock teetering in the ocean. On the western point is Bukit Merese Hill, which has stunning views overlooking the water, especially at sunset.
Parking cost: Free
Located in west coast of Lombok, Senggigi is the island’s closest thing to a resort town. Senggigi Beach is the main beach in town and it’s a long strip of sand that hugs the bay. The beach is lined with hotels and restaurants, so it can feel a bit over-developed at times. This is a nice spot to visit if you want to stay close to your hotel or grab a drink at one of the restaurants and watch the sunset. However, it’s not our favorite beach in the area. We recommend renting a motorbike (make sure it’s a decent one that can get up and down the hills!) to check out the beautiful nearby beaches.
Parking cost: Free
Don’t forget to check out our mega Lombok travel guide, where we list the 20 best things to do while exploring the island!
Sentangi Beach and Ludmila Beach
We nearly missed the last turn off for this beach because it’s only marked by a small sign, but we’re glad we found it! A short drive through the a field of palm trees will lead you down to the sand. On the northernmost end you’ll find a small shop with coconuts and snacks for sale. You’ll also find….goats! Yep, the women who owns the shop also has a few goats wandering around who are not scared to come straight up to you and try to steal your food. It’s pretty hilarious!
The beach itself is incredibly long, so Sentangi Beach runs into Ludmila Beach and it’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins. We ended up at the Ludmila end where the rocks cut off the beach. Unfortunately there is quite a bit of trash near the palm trees and scattered around the sand. But if you go closer down to the water, you’ll see that this actually quite a stunning coastline that seems to go on forever.
Motorbike Parking cost: Free
Nipah is one of the more popular beaches in the area. The beach is lined with warungs where you can sit in a traditional berugaq (a Sasak hut with a raised platform on which you eat sitting cross legged). You can choose from a variety of fresh fish to be grilled and served with rice, veggies and traditional spicy sauce sambal. This area has been very quiet since the earthquake, with warung after warung staying empty during lunch.
Unfortunately the sand is a bit rough because of the broken up coral, but the water here is very calm, so it’s perfect for afternoon swim after your fish lunch. It’s worth a walk up and down the beach to check out the fishing boats. You may even get lucky and see a turtle bobbing in the water!
Motorbike Parking cost: Free
Another beautiful beach just up the road from Nipah. On a sunny day the water here is a stunning blue. Contrasted with the backdrop of green mountains, it’s drop dead gorgeous and perfect for photos! Pandanan Beach is pretty quiet so you’ll probably find an area all to yourself. The sand is a bit coarse but the water is calm and great for swimming. On a clear day, this is also a recommended beach to catch a sunset.
Motorbike Parking cost: Free
Pink Beach in Lombok
Pink Beach, also known as Tangsi Beach, is located on pretty much the southeastern tip of Lombok. It’s famous for its sand that is, well, pink of course! But just how pink is it? Well, when you arrive you might be disappointed to find that the sand isn’t quite the bright pink color you may have seen on Instagram (thank you Photoshop!).
The pink beach color depends on the day and time of day that you visit. It’s more likely to look like a rose gold than a super bright pink. But the sand is soft and the water is inviting. We also recommend taking a stroll up the hill past the west end of the beach to check out the views from above. Pink Beach has gotten pretty famous now, so you may be sharing the beach with quite a crowd.
If you go by motorbike you’ll pass through some small villages and backstreets, which we think make the long journey worth it. Once you get close to the beach you’ll be heading down some bumpy dirt roads so be cautious. You can also get to Pink Beach through a snorkeling tour from Kuta or by boat transport from Tanjung Luar Port.
Entrance fee: A whopping 50,000 per person! They’re definitely cashing in on the beach’s popularity.
Separate to mainland Lombok, the Gili Islands are an iconic tourist destination from traveler all around the world. If you really want to find the best beaches in Lombok, along with some parties, the Gillis are where it’s at. Here are our recommendations:
Gili Trawangan Beaches
The most happening of the Gilis, Gili T is where you want to go if you’re looking for a party. That being said, it’s also a really nice island to just relax and hit the beach. The beaches on the Gilis don’t have official names, but the islands are so small you can easily get to all of them over the course of a few days.
There’s a beach unofficially called “Surf Point,” that is great for, you guessed it, surfers! Be sure to wear your booties here because the reef will cut up your feet. There are also several snorkel spots perfect for seeing some colorful fish and sea turtles!
In the north western tip of Gili T you can rent snorkel masks and go out looking for turtles. The turtles usually float in the water just a couple meters offshore and they’re really used to seeing people, so they won’t scurry off. It goes without saying, but please don’t touch the turtles. Unfortunately we saw a couple people trying to reach out and touch them.
The southeast area of Gili T has a beautiful stretch of beach that is perfect for wading into the calm water or just relaxing on the white sand. It’s heaven. Lastly, if you want to catch a stellar sunset, head to Gili T’s west side. There are a few beachside bars here where you can pull up a beanbag and enjoy a cocktail. Just make sure haven’t mixed up a pina colada with one of the island’s infamous mushroom shakes!
Gili Meno Beaches
The most relaxed of the three islands, Gili Meno is known as the honeymooners island. Meno also has arguably the best beaches of the Gilis, with pretty much the whole island being one continuous strip of gorgeous white sand. If you’re looking to get in the water right after stepping off the boat then the south side of the island is for you. There’s plenty of accommodation in this area where the port is, but the beach is still clean and beautiful. The north and south sides of the island both have quiet lovely beaches as well.
Gili Meno has a turtle sanctuary that hatches around 500 turtles every year! Chances are you’ll find yourself swimming next to a turtle hatched at the sanctuary at some point during your trip. One of the most unique activities you can do at the beach in Gili Meno is going snorkeling to see the famous underwater statues created by artist Jason DeCaires Taylor. The art installation is called “The Nest” and they are a set of human statues placed on the seafloor as a man made reef.
Motorbike parking: There are no cars or motorbikes allowed on the Gili islands, but you can get around by bicycle or walking. They also have cidomos, or horse-drawn carriages, but there has been some controversy as to whether the horses are being properly taken care of you. If you want to find out more Gili Eco Trust is works with the carriage drivers to help care for the horses.
Gili Air Beaches
If Goldilocks was visiting the Gilis and decided that Gili T was too much of a party and Gili Meno was too quiet, she would probably think that Gili Air is just right! This island has the same gorgeous white sand beaches as the other two with a great laid back atmosphere. The pounding EDM music on Gili T is replaced by beachy guitar tunes on Gili Air. But if you’re looking for a bit of action, this island has that too. Many of the beach bars have live music at night where people gather for drinks.
Gili Air is only slightly larger than Gili Meno, the smallest of the three, so it’s super easy to walk around. Most of the hotels and guesthouses are on the south side of the island by the port. Because of this the north side of the island has the most pristine, untouched beaches. The east side of the island has great snorkeling and, like Gili T, it’s common to see some sea turtles floating around. Some of the beaches around Gili Air have a bit of broken coral, which can make it a bit uncomfortable to walk on. But the water is clear and calm so it’s a perfect spot for floating on your back and soaking up the rays.
Traveling to Lombok, Indonesia and not seeing any waterfalls is like going to Italy and not eating pasta! Not only does the island have some world class waterfalls, but they are quiet and uncrowded. Unlike some famous waterfalls around the world, where you basically have to queue up for a photo, you’re much more likely to have the place to yourself in Lombok. Some of the waterfalls in Lombok, like the beautiful Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep, are more popular and fairly easy to reach. While others, like Mangku Sakti, are off the radar and an adventure to find. Whichever is more your speed, you’re bound to love the Lombok waterfalls!
Tiu Kelep Waterfall
Tiu Kelep is a fan favorite with travelers visiting Lombok. This one is a bit more challenging to reach than Sendang Gile, but in a fun way. You’ll be walking through water and over rocks, so be sure to have your adventure clothes on! It’s about a 30 minute walk from Sendang Gile to Tiu Kelep, but it’s definitely worth the extra hike.
Tiu Kelep is a powerful waterfall, rising to 42 meters in height. You’ll be met with a strong spray from the fall, which after the half hour walk is a welcome refreshment. You can also swim at Tiu Kelep, but the water is pretty chilly.
Both Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep can be easily reached from the town of Senaru in northern Lombok. There are clear signs from the main road and it’s har dot miss. Travelers often visit Senaru as a jumping off point to some of the amazing treks around the region, like hiking Mount Rinjani. If you’re staying in Senaru for trekking, we definitely recommend adding an extra day of exploring to visit two of the best waterfalls in Lombok.
Sendang Gile Waterfall
Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor (Tiu Kelep), Sendang Gile is definitely worth the visit in its own right. While you’re heading to Tiu Kelep waterfall, you’ll actually pass this waterfall on the way. You can hike down to this waterfall from the main road in about 10 minutes without a guide, but many tours include this and Tiu Kelep in a package. You can also pay a local guide to show you the way for about 50,000 rupiah, but it’s not hard to reach on your own.
While exploring both waterfalls in Senaru on your own it’s important to check with locals about the conditions. It’s always best to check if heavy rains have affected the paths to the waterfalls.
One of the more popular waterfalls in Lombok, Benang Stokel is located in the center of the island, just to the southwest of Mount Rinjani National Park. After a 15 minute short hike from the gate entrance, you’ll find that Benang Stokel is actually two waterfalls right next to each other.
The “hike” to the falls is mostly on a concrete path and is not difficult. On your way you’ll also pass another small waterfall that drops down to a pool below. We couldn’t figure out if our guide was saying you can jump into the pool or definitely don’t jump, so we opted for the latter. Since then we’ve found out that you can jump, but perhaps only after it’s been raining enough to make the water deep.
Benang Stokel waterfalls aren’t the most powerful falls we’ve ever seen, but the surroundings are incredibly gorgeous. After the walk down to the falls you arrive at a small valley, surrounded on all sides by towering walls covered in ferns and greenery. Being surrounded by such a natural landscape you almost forget that there’s a parking lot just a 15 minute walk away.
Benang Kelambu Waterfall
From the gate entrance of Benang Stokel, you can take about a 30 – 45 minute hike to Benang Kelambu waterfall. You can also have a guide take you on the back of a motorbike if you’re short on time like we were. If you have the time, the hike takes you on a rocky dirt path through the thick jungle.
The hike doesn’t look particularly difficult, there are some inclines and declines, but nothing too steep. If you do decide to take a motorbike, hang on tight because these guides will take you on a wild ride! It’s actually really fun grabbing on to the metal bar in the back of the motorbike as you zip through the jungle at high speeds.
However you get there, Benang Kelambu is a must! This set of waterfalls is absolutely stunning. It was by far our favorite Lombok waterfall, and one of our all time favorite waterfalls ever! It’s hard to describe what makes this place so special. It’s not the tallest waterfall, nor the strongest, but there’s something about the falls being framed by 10 foot tall ferns and covered in greenery that makes this place magical. It looks like a set out of Jurassic Park. You can climb on the rocks into the waterfall and swim in the pools at the bottom. It’s a super refreshing dip, especially if you’ve opted to hike there.
Tiu Teja Waterfall
This hidden gem is located in the north of Lombok, just outside of Mount Rinjani National Park to the northwest. If you’re looking to have a waterfall all to yourself, this could be your spot. It’s a bit hard to find, but if you put in the effort you’ll be rewarded with a stunning treat.
First you need to drive to Santong Village, then park and hike an additional 25 minutes down to the falls. There are a steep set of stairs leading to Tiu Teja waterfall, but you can take a refreshing dip once you arrive. Tiu Teja literally means “Rainbow Waterfall,” and on a sunny day you can actually see a rainbow at the end of the falls. But even if you catch Tiu Teja on a cloudy day, it’s still worth it. This isolated waterfall will make you feel like an explorer stumbling across a hidden fall for the first time.
It can be pretty tricky to find this place, but you can always ask locals along the way. If you do go by yourself on a motorbike, put in “Parkiran air terjun” in your Google maps to find the parking lot. Or if you’re on a tour, ask your guide to stop at Tiu Teja waterfall.
Mangku Sakti Waterfall
One of the lesser known waterfalls on Lombok, but definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re checking out northern Lombok. The falls are located just to the northeast of Mount Rinjani National Park, about an hour drive from Senaru. It’s not possible to reach the falls by car, so you can either walk from Sajang Village to the falls in about an hour and 20 minutes, or use a 4×4 or dirtbike to ride to the parking lot, then trek for about 20 minutes.
You’ll most likely see a lot less tourists here than Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep. While the waterfall is picturesque, it’s the beautiful rock formations that are the real star here. In the dry season, the water has a milky blue appearance, which is a beautiful contrast against the gray rocks. You can swim at Mangku Sakti waterfall, so be sure to bring your bathing suit!
Just a short walk from this waterfall is Mangku Kodek waterfall. They’re both really close together, so you should definitely visit both on your trip. You have to walk through water to get to Kodek, but it’s worth the wet walk!
Tiu Pupus Waterfall
We don’t hear many people mention Tiu Pupus when speaking about Lombok waterfalls, which is strange because it’s a beautiful spot! To get to to Tiu Pupus waterfall, it’s a short, flat hike along a trail from the carpark, past a small river and to onto Pupus. Since it had rained the night before we visited, the fall was pumping and it made a perfect backdrop for photos.
We had the place to ourselves and the surrounding landscape of trees and greenery gave the waterfall a very natural vibe. There are also some basic seating areas at the base of the waterfall, where you can take a picnic lunch or a few drinks to enjoy while swimming in your very own private waterfall.
Kerta Gangga Waterfall
This Lombok waterfall, next to Gangga village, is worth a look if it’s included in your tour and you feel like a quick dip. It’s a short, easy walk from the parking lot, so we don’t think it’s necessary to hire a guide. You may be stopped at the entrance and hassled to hire a guide, and if that’s the case you can offer 100K for a group, but anything more really isn’t worth it.
Once you climb the slippery steps up to Gangga waterfall there is a metal platform that takes you to an upper part of one of the falls where you can swim. You have to hop over a small dam and it looks like you could fall over the edge, but it’s actually very safe. The water is not super deep and you can swim further back to see another hidden waterfall. Personally, this wasn’t our favorite fall, but if you’re nearby it’s worth a peek.
Lombok Waterfall Tour
We did most of these Lombok waterfalls as part of a tour with Rinjani Dawn Adventures. We highly recommend this company. They are very environmentally and socially conscious and give back to the local community as much as possible. Our guide for the day was incredibly patient as we took our time at every waterfall.
All of our entrance fees were included in the price, so we can’t confirm the price of each waterfall entrance. We’ve heard varying reports of the cost of these waterfalls, including a whopping 300,000 each at Gangga waterfall! It seems like local guides and drivers get better deals than if you just show up on your own.
We also heard that since the 2018 earthquakes there has been less government regulation on the entrance fees. Previously, there were government stands where you could pay for an official ticket to enter. This regulated entrances also had regulated prices. Now, at some waterfalls, the locals are imposing their own entrance fee which can range in price.
Even if you do have a driver to pay entrance fees, you may decide you want to pay extra for a local guide to show you around. We really enjoyed having our guide at Benang Stokel and Kelambu. He was very patient while we took pictures as the sun was setting and stayed out with us even after the office had closed. He also made Christine a fern crown while he was waiting. Paying for a guide, even when you can find the route yourself, is a nice way to give back to the community and support the local economy.
Where to Stay When Exploring Waterfalls
If you’re visiting Sendang Gile, Tiu Kelep or Mangku Sakti, we recommend staying in Senaru. It’s a great place to base yourself in the north, while exploring the area and these gorgeous waterfalls. Here are our recommended accommodation near Senaru:
This is a simple wooden guesthouse with a stunning view. It’s built on the side of the hill and you can get a stellar view of Mount Rinjani. You’ll find out why it’s called Dragonfly immediately, when you sit on your porch and watch hundreds of dragonflies flutter around. If you go during rainy season, bring earplugs because the rain is incredibly loud on the tin roof.
This gorgeous resort is located right on the beach just outside of central Senggigi. This is a perfect place to come back to after a long day of exploring and enjoy happy hour in the infinity pool overlooking the ocean. And the Katamaran has some of the friendliest hotel employees we’ve ever met!
This budget friendly guesthouse has everything you need during your stay in Senggigi, including a pool and terrace area. Not quite the luxury of the Katamaran, but very cute and comfortable.
If you’re exploring Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu, we recommend staying in Kuta Lombok. Here are our recommended accommodation near Kuta:
This Airbnb will soon become an entire resort of eco-domes. The domes are constructed out of earthbags, an environmentally friendly build material that is earthquake safe. There’s only one dome listed now on Airbnb, but it is super stylish and fun to stay in! This property is located in Gerupuk, about a 20 minute drive from Kuta, right next to famous Tanjung Aan beach.
A fun, lively hostel in Kuta. If you’re looking for a backpacker atmosphere (and budget), this is a great choice. The hostel has a cafe/bar and a pool, but the main attraction here is a skate bowl that it’s open to guests and the public every afternoon!
Welcome to Lombok, a small Indonesian island that offers uncrowded white sand beaches with crystal clear water, waterfalls that will leave you breathless, world class surf breaks, unique cultural activities and more adventures than you’re trip could possibly contain! Lombok has often been likened to nearby neighbor Bali, but at least a decade of development behind, with less traffic, less tourists, but equally incredible natural attractions. As cliche as it sounds, Lombok really does have something for everyone. It’s also super easy to get to Lombok from anywhere in Indonesia.
If you’re a couple looking for a romantic getaway, this region has some of the best beaches you’ll find in Indonesia, with affordable hotels that will sweep you off your feet. Surfers, both beginner, expert and everyone in between, will find the perfect wave down in the south. Culture nuts will love learning about the pottery, weaving and art of the Sasak people. Backpackers will love the laid back vibes of the Gili islands.
And if it’s adventure you’re after, you better buckle up because Lombok has some of the best volcano treks, waterfalls and jungle hikes you’ll find anywhere in the world. Enjoy our list of the best things to do in Lombok, no matter what you’re interested in.
Our trip to Lombok was also more than just an adventure, we had the goal of bringing more tourism back to Lombok. After the 2018 earthquakes, tourism slowed down significantly on the island and the local economy took a huge hit. But we’re happy to say that Lombok is back in business and we wholeheartedly recommend visiting! It was one of our favorite trips we’ve taken recently and we expect that this will be a destination we continue to return to!
Traveling to Lombok
With an international airport, as well as ferry ports, you can travel to Lombok by sea or air. Most people traveling by boat are going from Bali to Lombok, choosing either a slower ferry or quicker fast boat from eastern Bali. When flying there are number of countries that now fly directly into Lombok International Airport in Praya, with AirAsia and Garuda being the best choices. In fact, as we write this, Perth to Lombok direct flights have just started with AirAsia, so this only makes it easy for Australian’s to visit Lombok.
Whether you’re taking the ferry, fast boat or plane, each option offers a different ease of travel, as well as a different price range. Ultimately it’s not difficult or expensive when traveling to Lombok. We went by plane and would absolutely choose this mode of transportation every single time. From Denpasar (Bali) to Praya (Lombok), it’s only a half hour flight and it costs between $30-60 USD round trip. Flying out of Bali domestic airport is a breeze and landing in Lombok airport is fast and efficient.
If you want to go to the Gilis, or you just prefer to go by boat, you can take a fast boat from one of Bali’s harbors. Padangbai in eastern Bali to Bangsal Ferry Terminal in northern Lombok is the most common way to get to to Lombok from Bali. There are a number of companies that offer this trip. The boats also go past the Gilis if you want to stop off along the way, or on your way back.
If you’re an outdoor lover who has been searching for a destination that has world class hiking without the crowds, Lombok is your spot. Whether you’re looking for a chilled out walk through the jungle or you want to get your blood pumping on a multi-day trek, here’s what Lombok activities have to offer:
Hike Mount Rinjani
One of the island’s most famous sights, Mount Rinjani is an active volcano in Northern Lombok. This hike is not for the faint of heart; it’s super challenging. Rinjani rises to 3726 meters and is the second biggest volcano in Indonesia. This hike is bound to test your mental and physical strength, but if you can reach the top the views make it all worth it.
You can also take it at your own speed, with different Mount Rinjani tours taking two, three or four days depending on your skill level and how much time you can allot. Two days/ one night is only recommended for expert level hikers who really only have a short window of time. Three days/ two nights is a common choice and allows you more time to take in your surroundings and enjoy a peek at the Crater Lake. The four day/three night trip is for those that want to take it at a slower pace and enjoy the beauty of Mount Rinjani National Park.
When planning your Mount Rinjani hike one good thing to know is that the volcano is closed every year from January to the end of March due to the rainy season. So if you want to hike it, you”d better plan around that. Even within the hiking season it’s always good to reach out to some trekking companies to check the current status.
Mount Rinjani Crater Rim Hike
If you want a taste of Rinjani, without having to commit to the full experience, you can try the Crater Rim hike. This trek is fine for beginners and also great if you’re short on time because it’s only two days/ one night! With this hike you’ll be able to enjoy sunset and sunrise at the beautiful Crater Lake. Just like hiking Mount Rinjani tours, this will be closed during the rainy season, so you should check with your company before booking.
Senaru Walking Tour
If you’re tired after tackling the mammoth hike of Mount Rinjani, or are just looking for something a little slower paced, we recommend going on a walking tour. We did our Senaru tour with Rinjani Dawn Adventures. It was a half day walking tour with their awesome guide Lasa. We started in the town of Senaru, then walked up a trail through the beautiful green jungle to a coffee plantation.
At the plantation there is a beautiful viewing platform that looks out over the surrounding mountains. From this viewpoint you can catch a glimpse of the nearby Tiu Kelep waterfall. Our walking tour also included a stop at our guide’s house and garden, where he offered us a cup of Lombok coffee and avocados fresh from his tree. After, we visited a local rice field which was bright green as far as we could see.
Hike Pergasingan Hill
Another alternative to Mount Rinjani (or an addition if you’re an avid hiker!), Pergasingan Hill is located in eastern Lombok. Pergasingan can be done in just a few hours, but it’s recommended to go up in the late afternoon and camp on the mountain overnight. You’ll wake up to the sun rising and a terrific view of Mount Rinjani.
Waterfalls in Lombok
If you’re planning an adventure in Lombok, you have to visit some of the island’s waterfalls. Not only are they stunning, but they’re often completely crowd-less. Can you imagine, having these beautiful Lombok waterfalls to yourself?
Benang Stokel – One of the more popular waterfalls in Lombok, Benang Stokel is located in the center of the island, southwest of Mount Rinjani National Park. After a 15 minute hike from the gate entrance, you’ll find that Benang Stokel is actually two gentle waterfalls right next to each other. They’re not the most powerful falls, but the surrounding area is gorgeous.
Benang Kelambu – From the gate entrance of Benang Stokel, you can take a 35-45 minute hike to Benang Kelambu waterfall. If you’re short on time, like we were, you can also have a local guide take you on the back of a motorbike. However you get there, Benang Kelambu is a must! This set of waterfalls are absolutely stunning and one of our all time favorite waterfalls!
Tiu Pupus – We don’t hear many people talking about Tiu Pupus, which is strange because it’s a beautiful waterfall! It’s a 5 minute, flat hike along a trail from the carpark, past a small river/lake and on to Pupus, a beautiful single drop fall.
Gangga Waterfall – This waterfall next to Gangga village is worth a look if it’s included in your tour and feel like a quick dip. Personally, we didn’t find it that impressive, but maybe we’re waterfall snobs are visiting the other stunning sites! There is a metal platform that takes you to an upper part of one of the falls where you can swim.
Want even more amazing waterfalls? Check out our detailed guide to the Best Waterfalls in Lombok! It includes how to get there, opening hours, costs and more!
Bukit Selong Rice Field Viewpoint
If you’re exploring the north of Lombok and heading south, the Bukit Selong Rice Field Viewpoint is a popular stop on your way down. This viewpoint overlooks a rice field that looks like a geometric pattern of shades of green from above. It’s worth coming early to avoid the heat. Come for sunrise if you don’t mind getting up early. Update: As of March 2019 this area has been closed due to the 2018 earthquakes. Check with local tour companies if this has been reopened and we will update our post as soon as we know.
Pusuk Pass Monkey Forest
This is more of a drive than a sight in itself. If you’re heading from Benang Kelambu to Kuta (or vice versa) you’ll most likely drive through the Pusuk Pass Monkey Forest. As you drive on the highway through this dense jungle you’ll start to notice monkeys hanging out on the sides of the road. They often make eye contact with you and turn their heads to continue making eye contact as you drive away.
The monkeys are wild, but they’re clearly accustomed to tourists. You can pull off into a car park where locals will sell you bananas to feed to the monkeys, which are better than normal human food, but we still don’t condone feeding wild animals. This wasn’t cruel, but we didn’t feel like this was a very sustainable activity.
Beaches: Where to Go in Lombok
After spending so much time on Bali island, where the beaches are lacking that white sand and turquoise water combination, we forgot just how gorgeous Indonesian beaches can be! Lombok is a dream destination for beach lovers, and here are a few of our favorites.
Kuta Lombok Beaches in the South
Kuta Lombok (not to be confused with the much more crowded Kuta Bali!) is a cute little surfer town gearing up to the be next Canggu, Bali. It’s a perfect spot to base yourself out of, with plenty of cheap guesthouses, hip cafes and restaurants playing live music in the evening. While the beach in town is so-so, the beaches surrounding Kuta are incredible. Our favorites in the area are Tangjung Aan, Selong Belanak, Mawi Beach, Semeti Beach and Lansing Beach. Rent a scooter for the day (or week) and explore the region to find plenty of uncrowded spots.
Senggigi Beaches in the West
Senggigi is as close to a resort town as Lombok has. Most of the hotels are located along Raya Senggigi which is a long street that hugs the coast. There’s not much to do in the town itself, but the beaches surrounding this area are gorgeous! We recommend renting a motorbike and driving north on Raya Senggigi to enjoy the views. Our favorites beaches in this area are Sentangi Beach, Ludmila Beach, Nipah Beach and Pandanan Beach. While exploring the beaches, stop by Nipah for a delicious fresh fish lunch from the many beachside vendors.
If you really want to find some of the best beaches in Lombok, the Gilis are where it’s at. While there are many gilis around Lombok (gili just means small island in Sasak), there are three Gilis that are the most famous. All three have gorgeous beaches, but very different vibes.
Gili Trawangan, also known as Gili T, is famous for its backpacker party vibes, clubs that pound music till the early morning and easy accessibility to mushroom shakes (yep, those mushrooms!). Gili Air is a chilled out version of Gili T, if you replace the clubs with simple beach bars and spend your evenings sipping cocktails on bean bags at the beach rather than dancing the night away. Gili Meno is the lovers island and the quietest of the three, perfect for honeymooners!
Surfing in Lombok
If you’re looking for surf spots and you’re sick of the crowded waves in Bali, then Lombok has plenty of options. Whether you’re just starting out and need a lesson or you’ve been surfing for years, you’ll find a wave you like on Lombok. Desert Point is one of the most well known around the surfing community. This left hander only works a few times a year, and is definitely an experts only spot, but it’s known as one of the best surfing waves in the world.
If you’re looking for somewhere more beginner speed, Selong Belanak has some great small waves and tons of surf instructors on the beach. There are also some good beginner waves near Gerupuk.
Culture: What to See in Lombok
Even though Lombok is best known for its adventure activities and stunning beaches, the region’s unique local Sasak culture will be fascinating to learn about for any traveler. In between lazy beach days and hiking volcanoes, plan a few local tours to learn more about the history and traditions of Lombok.
Lombok Pottery Center
Lombok is famous for its pottery and if you’re interested in the production, Lombok Pottery Centre is the place to visit. The LPC is a cooperative of over 200 female potters who share the profits of their work, so everyone prospers. They have several tour options available, including a visit to Banyumulek Village, a local village where they create the pottery.
Visitors get to watch the process, from the creation of the clay to the molding of the products, to the outdoor kiln they’ve created. Even if you’re not super into pottery, this is a great opportunity to be invited into a local village and meet with a community. All of the potters we met were so welcoming. Plus you get to visit the LPC office and choose a piece of pottery to get engraved and take home.
Learn about Islam in Mataram
Indonesia is a country of many different religions, but the majority of the islands are muslim. Bali is predominantly Hindu, Lombok is Muslim and the nearby island of Flores is Catholic. If you’re interested in learning more about Islam in Lombok a visit to the Islamic Center Mosque in Mataram is a perfect opportunity. The colors and architecture of the mosque are quite stunning.
After paying an entrance fee, a guide will take you up to the 9th floor and 13th floor where you will get beautiful views overlooking the city below. Remember to dress appropriately. If for some reason you’re turned away (it sounds like this happens on occasion), you can still enjoy the beauty of the mosque from the outside, especially at night when the building is lit up with colorful lights.
Local Village Tour
One of the things that makes Lombok unique is the indigenous Sasak culture. There are several villages that have opened their doors to tourists, where you can see the traditional houses made of bamboo and thatched roofs. Sade Village is a traditional Sasak village that is probably the most touristy of those available to visit. We’ve heard reports of tourists being pushed to purchase souvenirs, but others have enjoyed the ease of being able to visit.
We visited a small Sasak village during our walking tour in Senaru. It was the village of our guide’s famil,y so we felt more comfortable seeing inside the house of his parents rather than a random stranger. Other small villages that have been recommended to us are Desa Beleq and Segentar. We really recommend only visiting these villages with a Sasak guide who can communicate with you. As always when visiting a local village, it’s so important to be respectful, ask before taking any photos and avoid any tours that feel exploitative.
Visit a Weaving Village
Weaving is another craft that Lombok is well known for. Sasak women learn to weave at a young age and the art has been passed down through many generations. According to Sasak tradition, all women must be able to weave or they will not be allowed to get married. There are several villages where you can watch weaving demonstrations, or you may just come across local women weaving while traveling around Lombok.
If you’re looking to visit a weaving village you can head to Sukarara Village, where they run weaving tours. You’ll definitely be guided into a gift shop and sold textiles at a mark up, but visiting a village likes this means getting a close up look at the production process and the opportunity to ask questions about the tradition. In Sukarara they also dress you up in traditional costume and let you take photos in front of a traditional Sasak house if that’s your jam. Although it’s a little touristy, your money goes directly back into the community, rather than through a third party tour company.
Narmada Water Park
You won’t find any water slides or log rides here, the Narmada Water Park is actually more of a water temple. Historically, Narmada was used in religious ceremonies at the park’s Hindu temple. Now, it’s a nice place to spend the afternoon, enjoy the gardens and have a sip of the holy water which is said to make you look ten years younger.
Lombok Packing List
LifeStraw water bottle – You should definitely not drink the tap water in Lombok, even in the taps at a luxury hotel (unless they’ve confirmed it’s filtered). After visiting some of the beaches and seeing plastic bottles and cups wash ashore, you’ll feel much better about your choice to bring a reusable bottle. Plus you can fill up at all the waterfalls!
Sarong – Lombok is a Muslim region so you’ll want to keep a sarong on hand in case you need to cover yourself up. You’ll most likely only need to do this while visiting a mosque, a school or a government building. You can also buy one of these from a local weaver.
Hat – Just like Bali, Lombok is hot and sunny! We definitely got a little burnt in the sun here, so we highly recommend a good hat especially for hikes.
SunGod sunnies– You’ll be grateful you have a pair of these indestructible, polarized sunnies when you’re hiking Rinjani!
A one piece swimsuit – Bikinis aren’t banned here, but I felt more comfortable wearing my one piece in front of the locals. Plus, this one is super cute!