Visiting Lombok near Bali-Detailed Planning Guide

There's more to Indonesia beyond Bali. Lombok island is one such destination you should definitely consider exploring. This post is designed to help you with all the information related to planning your trip to Lombok.

Why visit Lombok, Indonesia?
Bali may feel overcrowded at times. Lombok is less crowded and offers several unique experiences. Hence visiting Lombok or extending your Bali trip to Lombok is always a good idea
How to reach Lombok Island?
Recommended: Lombok has one airport- Lombok International Airport. (Airport code: LOP) Most convenient way to reach Lombok will be take a short flight from Bali. You can reach Lombok International Airport with a 30 min flight from Bali airport. One way tickets (DPS-LOP) cost around 20-30 USD with most low cost airlines like Lion Air, Air Asia etc when planned a week or two advance.

Option 2: You can also fly direct to Bali from major international airports like Jakartha, KUL, Singapore etc. One good option will be to Fly into Bali and return from Lombok or vice versa if such an itinerary works for you.

Option 3: Boat from Bali
You can also reach Lombok via boat. It will be a bit time consuming option and not necessarily cheap compared to flight ticket. Public Ferry available from Padang Bai, leaves approx once an hour and the journey takes about 4-5 hours port to port. Ground transportation on both sides extra. More options like privately operated speed boats or tours that include transportation are also available. Advantage of this boat option will be that you can directly go to Gili island or take a boat from Nusa Penida or other islands to Lombok etc, saving time having to reach an airport. Speed boat tickets cost 25-50 USD per person depending on operator, start/end point, date etc- almost similar to flight cost.

How much time is needed to explore Lombok?
Based on my experience, minimum suggested is 2 full days and 2 half days that would include travel to/from Lombok.
One full day will be needed to take a day trip to Gili Islands, another day to explore various places of itnerest in Lombok and on first and last day depending on time available you can plan some additional activities.

What all can be done if I have more time to explore Bali?
You can plan to stay in Gili islands for a day or two, or you can explore Lombok island in more details. In a relaxed more you can plan to spend 5-7 days easily without getting bored.

What would be a suggested itinerary to explore Lombok?
Day 01: Arrive
Visit South Lombok
Explore Mandalika Beach
Explore Merese Hills Sunset
Rest

Day 02:
Explore Sasak Village
Explore handicrafts, clay objects
Explore Benang Kelambu Waterfalls and more beaches

Possibly some shopping

Rest

Day 03:
Day trip to 3 Gili islands (detailed post coming soon)

Day 04: Return from Lombok

Food (Veg food) situation in Lombok
Unlike Bali, finding Vegetarian food will be a little difficult in Lombok. There are not many Indian restaurants. We have given this feedback to Lombok Tourism, hopefully more options will come up soon. But you will get rice, vegetable curries and few such options. Curd is difficult to get in supermarkets. Make the most of your hotel breakfast, carry some stuff from India if possible. You will get tender coconut and various fruits easily.

Stay options
Lombok has wide range of stay options, from Luxury resorts to budget hotels. I saw multiple Oyo hotels in Lombok for budget stay.

Getting around in Lombok
Lombok doesn't have a reliable public transportation. You will have to hire taxi or try to get a two wheeler/car on self drive basis. I asked my guide to recommend a few trusted operators but he couldn't revert with any. You might be able to find a scooter for rent with help from your hotel staff.

There're multiple tour operators in Lombok- you can book a tour with them and they will take care of taking you around.

Budget Estimate: How much does it cost to visit and explore Lombok?
  • Flight- Bali to Lombok & return: INR 3000 to 5000 return (USD 40-70) per person
  • Stay in Bali: INR 1000 per room per night (Oyo Budget rooms) to INR 6000 per night (entry level rooms in luxury resorts)- That is INR 3000-18000 for 3 nights per couple
  • Local Transport and tours:
  • Gili day trip: INR 5000 per person (USD 70-80)
  • Lombok day tours: Apprx 100 USD per person-varies on multiple factors
  • Airport transfers approx: Approx INR 2000/USD 30 per ride
  • Food & Miscellaneous: Approx INR 5000-10000 for 2 people for 3-4 days
Total: Plan to spend about 39000 INR to 68000 INR (USD 500-1000) to visit and explore Lombok for 2 people over 3-4 days depending on how low budget/luxurious you need plan it. Public ferry options, bike rentals etc can lower the cost further.

Shopping Guide in Lombok
Not my expert area but you will find lots of handicrafts and dress materials that you might want to buy in Lombok.

Things to remember while visiting Lombok
#1 Indonesia domestic flights may have 15 kg checked in baggage limit, usually lower than what is allowed on international flights. Factor this in your planning- either carry less or pay for extra baggage.
#2 Carrying some cash is advised- shops to accept card most local vendors prefer cash
#3 Supermarkets and other facilities are less and further in Lombok (say from your hotel) compared to Bali. Plan your needs well.

My current posts on Lombok
Places to Stay
Attractions
#3 Heritage Village
#4 Gili Islands
Travel to Lombok
Other Lombok Posts


Also read: India-Bali detailed Guide

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