Extreme Nomads’ Sports and Outdoors Guide to Lombok
Sandwiched between Bali and West Nusa Tenggara, Lombok is a breezy, tropical island bursting with potential for outdoor sports and adrenaline activities. Within the surfing community, Lombok already holds a reputation as one of the best surfing destinations in Asia. But big, badass waves are just the beginning of what the island has to offer on sea, land, and even in the air.
The rugged, rural north of Lombok is home to the sky tickling volcano, Mount Rinjani, and at its base lies dozens of tiny rural villages. Meanwhile, the southern portion of Lombok is where the typical tourist trail leads, with hotspots such as Kuta, Senggigi, and Tanjung Aan being the most popular haunts.
Though it wasn’t long ago that Lombok was isolated from the outside world, when life on the island danced to the tune of the local mosque bells and the early morning markets, modern Lombok is beginning to look a little different.
Visit Lombok today and you’ll still hear the prayers from the mosques echoing through the streets at sunrise; but you’re just as likely to catch a glimpse of some surfers tracking down the lip of a wave at Bangko Bangko; of families setting off to explore the underwater world of the Gili Islands; or digital nomads schlepping to their favourite cafe to set up shop for the day.
Lombok’s modern mishmash of culture is changing fast, and- with its tropical vibes, jaw-dropping scenery, burgeoning party scene, and outdoor adventure culture- it’s a pretty exciting time to get to know the island.
Best Sports and Outdoor Activities in Lombok
Kitesurfing in Lombok
The scene for kitesurfing in Lombok is massively underrated, in our opinion. With its big, beautiful sandy beach, flat water lagoon, clear blue water, and reliable trade wind, it’s no wonder locals proudly tout that the kitesurfing in Lombok is some of the best in Indonesia.
Best time to go kitesurfing in Lombok
The season for kiteboarding in Lombok runs from May-September, peaking between June-August. August is the absolutely highest point of the season, but even then the kitesurfing beach is still uncrowded.
This is worth noting in a big, big way, because the majority of Asian kitesurfing spots don’t have reliable wind during the summer months, making Lombok one of the best places to go kitesurfing in Asia from May-September.
Best spots for kitesurfing in Lombok
- Kaliantan (main spot)
- Extra location: Serenting Beach (conveniently located near Kuta)
Conditions for kitesurfing in Lombok
At Kaliantan, the main spot for kitesurfing in Lombok, the average wind range during the season is 16-25 knots. During the peak of the high season (July/August) you can reliably kite almost every day in 20 knots of side onshore wind. Throughout the remaining months of the season, expect to be able to kitesurf on 90% of days. The stable trade winds blow from the southeast during the season and typically kick in by 10/11 AM every morning. Serenting is another kitesurfing beach in Lombok, but the wind is less strong and reliable than Kaliantan.
Both Kaliantan and Serenting are protected flat water lagoons. The outer reef keeps the water inside the lagoon calm and flat (apart from some very small wind chop) which is ideal for freestyle. Meanwhile, the water outside the reef breaks in nice clean waves during high tide, ideal for intermediate and advanced wave riders. The bays are heavily affected by the tides, so kitesurfing during mid-high tide, when the distance between the coral and the surface of the water is +1 meter, is safer.
The average air temperature in Lombok during the kitesurfing season is 29 degrees Celsius. The average water temperature is 26 degrees Celsius. You won’t need a wetsuit when kitesurfing in Lombok, though it’s a good idea to wear a rash vest to protect from UV rays.
The main beach for kitesurfing in Lombok, Kaliantan, is sandy and stretches along the coast for 1.2km. Some parts of the beach have little pieces of sharp coral, so you should always be careful that you pick a safe spot to set up, launch, and land your kite.
Kaliantan is used as a site for seaweed farming. There are several bamboo sticks in the water marking out the seaweed farm, which can be dangerous if a kiteboarder collides with them. The sticks are only placed near to the beach, so experienced riders will easily be able to avoid them; beginners will have no issue as long as they carefully follow the direction of their instructor. The coral underneath the water can be quite sharp (so can the occasional sea urchin), so avoid walking and body drag instead.
Tips for beginners kitesurfing in Lombok
Keep an eye on the tides while you’re riding. Ask your instructor to give you a reference point for when you should come back in (e.g. check the level of the water against a rock so that you can see if it drops too low). Your instructor will be able to tell you where to enter/exit the water to avoid the bamboo sticks.
Schools and clubs for kitesurfing in Lombok
Kaliantan kitesurf: An IKO certified center with qualified instructors, their partnered resort is located 15 minutes away from the kitesurfing spot. They offer awesome downwind kitesurfing tours along the coast for advanced kiters. Kaliantan Kitesurf also provides a shuttle service to and from the kitesurfing beach, as well as motorbike rentals for customers who prefer to fly solo.
Seabreeze Kite Club: With a sister school in Sumatra and further locations in Siargao and Bantayan (Philippines), Seabreeze Kite Club in Lombok offers IKO lessons, gear rental, and are partnered with a local resort to offer kite-friendly accommodation.
Wakeboarding in Lombok
Though, as of yet, there is no cable wakeboarding park in Lombok, the local watersports crew offer jet ski powered wakeboarding sessions. With plenty of flat water lagoons and year-round warm weather, wakeboarding in Lombok is a pretty sweet deal. Advanced riders can even take the chance to try wake foiling with the crew from The Playground.
Best time to go wakeboarding in Lombok
In terms of months, it’s hard to say when the best time for wakeboarding in Lombok really is. The local jetski wakeboarding operations run all year round. Time of day makes a difference though; it’s best to go early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the wind is low and the water is flat.
Conditions for wakeboarding in Lombok
Flat lagoon protected by an outer reef. The lagoon is tidal and the water conditions are affected by the wind (choppy during high wind and flat in the early morning, late afternoon, and during the no-wind season).
Best spots for wakeboarding in Lombok
- Mawon Bay
Tips for beginners for wakeboarding in Lombok
Your wake session will start on the beach with your instructor teaching you about proper riding position. Then, you’ll be given a life jacket for safety and comfort on the water. If you’re hoping to do some wakeboarding with children, you should be aware that jet ski powered wakeboarding isn’t ideal for young kids- though it is technically possible (boat powered wakeboarding is a better option). Speak with the local club before planning a session with young kids.
Clubs that offer wakeboarding in Lombok
The Playground, SeaGypsies
SUPing in Lombok
SUPing (or stand up paddle boarding) is one of the best outdoor sports you can do in Lombok if you’re keen to get out there and explore your new surroundings. And you’ll want to, too, what with all the beaches, untouched coastline, and staggering cliffs that drop right into the ocean. Soak in the views, go island hopping, explore the coast, try some wave riding, or enjoy a sunset SUP yoga session.
Conditions for SUP in Lombok
You’ll find plenty of sheltered bays with flat water surrounded by outer reefs. Experienced paddlers can go to the outside of the reef to ride waves, while novice paddlers can stick to the calm conditions in the lagoon. Spots like Kuta Beach have very little current, which makes paddling far easier. Mawi offers big waves for experienced SUP surfers.
Best spots for SUP in Lombok
- Ekas Bay
- Kuta Beach
- Pink Beach
- Gili Nanggu
- Gili Sudak
- Rungkan Beach
- Tanjung Aan
Shops and clubs that rent out SUPs in Lombok
Hiking in Lombok
Lombok is covered in rolling hills whose peaks offer jaw-dropping inland views and Insta-worthy ocean vistas. What’s better, for every hill on the island there’s at least half a dozen potential hikes.
But the star of the show?
Without a doubt, it’s the monster-sized volcano in the north, Mount Rinjani; a hike so breathtaking that people travel to Lombok just to experience it.
Best time to go hiking in Lombok
April-October is dry season, which is naturally the best time to go hiking in Lombok (even the less-steep trails can get pretty harrowing when the whole hillside turns to mud in the rainy season). June-October is the absolute best time since these are the driest months.
Best places to go hiking in Lombok
Hiking Mount Rinjani
Belonging to the National Park of the same name, Mount Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and measures in at a staggering 3,726 meters. Accompanied by a mandatory guide (it’s illegal to go alone), visitors can take part in a wild camping and trekking experience on Mount Rinjani that typically lasts 3-5 days.
There are a number of different routes you can take when hiking Mt. Rinjani in Lombok, each of which varies in terms of distance, difficulty, and final destination. Typically, hikes begin in Sembulan and end in Senaru. The most popular routes are the Mount Rinjani summit hike, the Mount Rinjani crater hike, and the Mount Rinjani Lake Segara Anak hike.
Over the course of a 3-5 day hike on Mount Rinjani, you can expect to be hiking around 10 hours a day. Not everybody who sets out makes it to the summit! But for those that do, they’re rewarded with the most insanely beautiful views of the sun rising above the clouds and down the towering mountainside.
All of the above are pretty challenging hikes, so we recommend having at least a basic level of fitness before attempting to scale the mountain. The Mount Rinjani hike is steep in many parts- particularly as you approach the summit- and loose volcanic ash makes keeping your footing a little tricky in places.
It gets cold at the top, so we recommend wearing leggings/long pants and plenty of layers on top. A thermal puff jacket that you can easily fold away into a backpack is an awesome choice.
For a deeper look at hiking Mount Rinjani in Lombok, take a look at this detailed guide.
Extra spot for a mini hike – Sunset Peak
Located just on the edge of Tanjung Aan Beach, sunset peak is the spot to head for to catch the last rays of the evening after a long, lazy day of chilling on the beach. One of the easier places for hiking in Lombok, the sunset peak trail takes you meandering up the dry mountain terrain that’s been shaped by years of cattle migration.
Tips for beginners going hiking in Lombok
- If you’re looking to do a Mount Rinjani hiking tour, keep in mind that it’s almost always worth paying more for a better tour company. Quality makes a big difference on the overnight expeditions ( you’ll be given better tents, food, and your trip leaders will usually be more environmental conscious, too). For optimal safety, look for a company that offers 1 guide per 5 trekkers (maximum).
- Stick with easier hikes if you aren’t in great shape. Consider avoiding the full-on 5 day tours if you aren’t physically prepared.
- During your hike, dress appropriately and stay hydrated.
- Prepare in advance for the big hikes by jogging and doing some strength training.
- Invest in a proper backpack (one that buckles at the hips, ideally).
- Resist the urge to overpack!
Tours we recommend for hiking Mount Rinjani in Lombok
Senaru Trekking (they offer 5% discount to anyone who carries a bag of trash down the mountain)
Cycling and Mountain Biking in Lombok
Mountain biking in Lombok? Oh yeah. Think wild jungle, untouched beaches, ocean-facing cliffs, authentic local villages, and miles and miles of rural farmland. For wilderness enduro adventures, Ekas Peninsula is the place to head for.
You can choose to do a guided tour, but few people do. Most prefer to go full adventure style by renting a quality bike and getting down to some solo exploration.
Best time to go mountain biking in Lombok
Dry season is the best time of year to go mountain biking in Lombok. Though it’s technically possible to MTB in Lombok all year round, it’s best to avoid November-January when the rainy season is at its peak.
Conditions for mountain biking in Lombok
A mix of gravel, dirt, tarmac, off-road, hilly terrain (not flat)
Best spots for mountain biking in Lombok
- Ekas Peninsula (one of the driest parts of Lombok, so if you’re hoping to do some MTB during the rainy season, this is your best bet)
- Kaliantan beach
- Cobra beach
- Kura Kura
- Southern coastline
Tips for beginners mountain biking in Lombok
Tours and rental excursions generally start with a safety briefing, which is a good opportunity to ask questions and learn about your equipment. Safety gear is always provided. If your fitness level isn’t up to scratch, consider sticking to the less challenging loops around the beach road and steer clear of the long-distance runs inland.
Clubs and centers for mountain biking in Lombok
Paragliding in Lombok
Paragliding in Lombok is picking up in popularity thanks to the growing community who have set up base in the south of the island. The local club, Whatsup? Lombok, offers tandem rides, paragliding courses, and adventure excursions. With plenty of launch and land sites to choose from, there’s lines and locations for paragliding in Lombok to suit beginner, intermediate, and advanced paragliders.
Conditions for paragliding in Lombok
A mix of thermal gliding, lift soaring, inland soaring, soft and steady breeze, beginner friendly launch and land sites, beach landings
Best spots for paragliding in Lombok
- Kuta has various sites: Prabu, Are Guling, Serentin Hill, Seger, Marese, Torok Air Beleq
- Southwest Lombok: Batu Hidung, Mekaki, Sepi, Meang
- Southeast Lombok: Surgar Beach, Kaliantan, Anak Dara, Pergasingan
Clubs for paragliding in Lombok
Whatsup? Lombok (read more about the local paragliding conditions on their website)
Diving in Lombok
The diving in Lombok is world class. Not only are the surrounding waters filled with coral and rich marine life, but just off the coast of Lombok are the renowned Gili Islands- known around the globe as one of the world’s best diving destinations.
Best time to go diving in Lombok
May-November is the best time of year for diving in Lombok, thanks to the favourable water conditions and presence of the biggest variety of marine life.
Conditions for diving in Lombok
With dozens of sites for diving in Lombok and even more on the outlying Gili Islands, there’s a huge variety of conditions and sites to suit different levels of experience. Spots like Belongas Bay have a strong current and big waves, so schools typically require you to show proof of experience (such as a dive book with a minimum amount of logged hours). Other sites, such as those around the Gili Islands, have virtually no current and calm, clear waters. The diving sites in Lombok feature a mix of slopes, drop-offs, and plateaus.
Best spots for diving in Lombok
Diving in the Gili Islands
Though technically these aren’t on the main island of Lombok, their conveniently close location to the western coast means that many of Lombok’s diving centers take their customers diving in the Gili Islands.
The three Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air) are world-class diving sites, featuring depths of 3-32 meters. Most sites around the Gilis don’t have strong currents and the waters are crystal clear, making them a great choice for beginners and PADI course students. Gili Air is the closest island to Lombok and offers a nice middle ground between the busy tourist hotspot of Gili T and the extreme remoteness of Gili Meno.
There are well over 20 dive sites around the Gili Islands. The waters are home to hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, manta rays, tawny/banded sea snakes, turtles, porcupine fish, barracudas, sharks, seahorse, clownfish, nudibranch, coral, and much more.
Diving in Southwest Lombok & the Southern Gilis
While most divers head for the Gilis in the northwest, Lombok’s south west coast remains virtually untapped as a diving destination- despite the fact that the sites are absolutely gorgeous.
From Sekotong to the Southern Gilis, the Southwest of Lombok is worth considering if you’re looking for a place to take your PADI course. The only downside is that visibility is slightly cloudy since the waters are quite shallow. Even so, diving in Lombok’s southern waters could bring you face to face with turtles, white tip reef sharks, blue spotted stingrays, cuttlefish, and scorpion fish.
Diving in Belongas Bay
With a strong current and up to 2 meter swell, diving in Belongas Bay is very challenging- but equally rewarding. Though this isn’t the best spot to learn how to dive in Lombok, experienced divers will be in their element exploring famous sites like The Magnet (also known as Batu Kapal) and The Cathedral (or Gili Anak Ewok).
Once you’ve tackled these two, you’ve also got a selection of nearby diving sites such as Gili Sarang, Blue Hole, Soft Coral Garden, Boulder City. Any of the above sites could bring you encounters with hammerhead sharks, manta rays, tuna, barracuda, or mobula.
Diving in Senggigi
Though many of the dive schools in Senggigi take their students diving in Belongas Bay or the Gilis, it’s also possible to dive right off the coast of Senggigi. Local dive sites feature a solid mix of slopes, rocks, and sandy plateaus where you can see hard and soft coral, nudibranchs, ghost pipefish, and blue ribbon eel.
Diving in Nusa Lembongan
Just off the coast of Lombok, Nusa Lembongan is an ideal diving destination for anyone looking to have a quality diving experience for bargain prices. Site-wise, the conditions and marine life are similar to the Gilis, but as of now there are way fewer tourists. To boot, the price of diving courses here are a lot cheaper than they are on the Gilis.
Centers for diving in Lombok
Surfing in Lombok
Often overshadowed by its mega famous neighbour, Bali, surfing in Lombok offers equally awesome conditions and a humongous selection of beach breaks and reef breaks for surfers of all levels.
The only downside is that during the high season, surfing in Lombok is one of the most popular outdoor sports, so the lineups can get quite busy (though still less so than in Bali). But it’s not impossible to beat the crowds; head there at sunrise and you might well find your board is the only one on the water.
Best time to go surfing in Lombok
It’s possible to surf in Lombok all year round, but the best season for surfing runs between April-November when the swell comes from the SSW. During the rainy season (November-March), the swell is smaller, but the glassy water and slow rolling waves are loads of fun for beginner and advanced surfers alike.
Conditions for surfing in Lombok
During Lombok’s peak surfing season, you can expect 2-4 meter waves. With a solid selection of both lefts and rights, surfing in Lombok offers a mix of beginner-friendly beach breaks and challenging reef breaks. During the off-season, expect to surf 1-2 meter waves. Many of the surf spots in Lombok are affected by the tides, so keep this in mind when planning your session.
Best spots for surfing in Lombok
Considered to have some of the best waves in Asia, Lombok’s selection of surfing spots is as varied as it comes. With many different spots and types of waves to choose from, there’s something here for everyone- and even plenty for beginners.
Surfing in Gerupuk
This is the main hub for surfing in Lombok. There are two surfable waves here, Gerupuk Inside and Gerupuk Outside. Inside is a soft roller suitable for beginner and intermediate surfers, while Gerupuk Outside is only for the pros. The surf club has a boat that’ll take surfers out to the further wave to save your arms the tiresome paddle out.
Surfing Bangko Bangko
Located on Lombok’s western coast, Bangko Bangko (also known as Desert Point) is a reef break featuring a big, powerful wave. The wave typically measures in 2.5-4 meters and works best in a SW swell direction. Sounds pretty sweet, right? It is; the only downside is that the lineup can get pretty hectic (and it takes some skill to navigate all the other boards in the water whilst steering clear of the rip current).
Perched on the southwest coast of Lombok, surfing Mawi’s massive waves is only for experienced shredders. The good news? Unlike its neighbouring waves in Bali, the lineup here in Mawi is close to empty. With seriously delicious sets of 2.5-4 meter waves, there’s epic lefts and rights to suit all of our goofy and regular friends.
Surfing in Tanjung Aan
This crescent shaped beach is the stuff of dreams. Baby blue water, soft sandy shores, and sets of rollers washing in one after the other. Surfing at Tanjung Aan is suitable for intermediate and advanced riders. The best wave breaks on the reef a couple hundred meters from shore, but you can choose between paddling out or catching a ride with the local boat towing service.
Surfing in Ekas Bay
In the rugged easterly side of the island, Ekas Bay is awash with gorgeous- and vastly untouched- surf spots. The two main waves in Ekas that you should know about are Outside Ekas and Inside Ekas.
Outside Ekas is a powerful barrelling left that typically measures in the 2-4 meter range. Surfing Outside Ekas is best in S/SW wind and during mid-high tide. On big days during the peak Lombok surfing season, the fast-moving Outside Ekas wave should only be surfed by experienced riders. Offseason, intermediate surfers are safe to give it a go, too.
Inside Ekas is the tamer option of the two. The wave breaks close to Ekas village, where it forks off into a long, lazy left over the reef (suitable for longboarders and beginner short boarders) and a fast, frothy right. The right is suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers and works best during low tide.
South of Ekas Bay there’s a solid selection of waves that break over the exposed reefs, the best of which are Are Guling (2-4 meter waves; intermediate) and Belongas (1-3 meter waves; intermediate).
Surfing Runcan Beach
This is easily the best place for beginners to surf in Lombok. The sheltered bay sends in nicely spaced sets of medium sized waves that break near the beach. An awesome spot for beginner surfers as well as more experienced longboarders, you can choose to paddle out yourself or be towed out by the boat service.
Tips for beginners when surfing in Lombok
Stick to the beach breaks, since these offer protection from the strongest swells. Many spots are tide dependent so make sure to check with local surfers to find out what time of day is best.
Extra tip: If you’re planning on sticking around and surfing in Lombok for a little longer, make sure to avoid getting overcharged when you rent a motorbike with a surfboard rack. See our ‘how to get around Lombok’ section below to find out more!
Clubs and schools for surfing in Lombok
The Playground, Nula Surf, Nemo’s Surf School, Monkey Surf Shop & School
Where to stay in Lombok
The island’s backpacker culture and growing popularity as a holiday destination means that working out where to stay in Lombok is easier than ever before. Take your pick between quirky backpacker hostels, cheap and cheerful guest houses, and upscale resorts.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Lombok in order to have the best access to tourist facilities, you might consider staying in Kuta or Senggigi, both of which have a solid selection of accommodation options as well as restaurants, outdoor sports, and other activities to keep you busy during your stay.
Gecko Eat & Sleep in Kuta is one of our favourite places to stay in Lombok. Rooms costs around $10 USD per night and some offer pretty sweet views of the ocean. For backpackers, take a gander at the super chilled out, well-designed digs at Pipes Hostel. Not only is it Kuta’s first ever backpacker’s hostel, it’s also fully kitted out with a swimming pool and skate bowl! Dorm rooms start at $7/night. Fitness conscious travelers should check out Loka, Kuta’s only homestay that has a crossfit gym.
Many areas of Lombok don’t yet have a large selection of accommodation options (Ekas Peninsula being one of these). In Ekas, for example, there are just a handful of homestays and even fewer hotels (if you’re planning to spend time doing some outdoor sports in Ekas, it’s worth taking a look at this resort that’s partnered with The Playground for max convenience).
As for the near future, there’s big plans in the pipeline which’ll see tons of new hotels and resorts opening up all over Lombok (Club Med is even pegged to set up shop at Tanjung Aan soon).
Working & Coworking Spaces in Lombok
While coworking spaces in Bali are a dime a dozen, the same can’t be said for Lombok- not yet, anyway. The first coworking space in Lombok, PuraWorka, is set to open its doors in Autumn 2018. Puraworka already runs a successful space in Switzerland and Lombok is the latest location they’re adding to the roster.
Just off the coast of Lombok, there’s a coworking space on Gili T called Salon de Nomad. The coworking space on Gili T is open 7 days a week from 8-8 and offers some of the best internet in Lombok and the surrounding area. They have both macs and PCs for use, a photocopier, printer, scanner, tea/coffee, and even an additional coliving option.
Apart from official coworking spaces in Lombok, the island has tons of digital nomad friendly cafes and restaurants. We’re big fans of Ashtari’s low tables and floor cushions, which make for a welcome change from the old desk/office chair set-up (they also offer amazing yoga experiences- worth checking out!). Add that to their far out location perched on top of a hill with sweeping views of the island’s surf spots and it’s no surprise this is one of Lombok’s favourite digital nomad hangouts.
If you dig the idea of nibbling on some damn good food while you work, head for Milk Espresso and set up your remote office inside their cool, lofty restaurant. Owned by Aussies, Milk Espresso was built out of containers and features an air-conned indoor area and a breezy outdoor verandah.
Where to shop and eat in Lombok
Most major towns hold a small daily market in the morning that typically runs between 8-10am and sells a mix of fresh fruits and veggies along with basic household necessities. On weekend mornings (Sundays in Kuta) there’s a big market where you can buy not just fresh produce, but also kitchen utensils, household items, fish, meat, eggs, and other local delicacies such as tempeh. For big grocery shops, you’ll need to go to Alpha Mart or IndoMart, both of which are open 24 hours.
When it comes to eating out in Lombok, Tripadvisor is trustworthy since customers are active in reviewing local restaurants. Take your pick between local or western food, the latter of which spans pasta, pizza, burgers, steaks, tons of delicious vegetarian options, and tapas style dining. A European style meal will set you back between $5-12.
Head to Milk Espresso to indulge in rocket fuel coffee and food that looks almost too good to eat. Check out Kenza for seam splitting portions made with fresh ingredients (the smoothie bowls are delish). El Bazar is the one to go for if you’re hankering for some Mediterranean flavours. Vegetarians and lovers of spice should check out The Mexican; don’t miss their jackfruit tacos!
As for where to find the best Indonesian food in Lombok, the local warungs serve up traditional meals for affordable prices. From satay to tempeh to the local specialty ayam taliwang, local food in Lombok is especially good when eaten in a real-deal local restaurant- not one that’s been adapted for foreign tastes. For delicious local food around Kuta, check out Warung at Surfer’s Beach and Lalapan Santai.
Internet in Lombok
The average WiFi speed in Lombok is 5.5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload (as of September 2018; see here). Both WiFi and mobile internet in Lombok are accessible in all major towns and villages (such as Senggigi and Kuta, the latter of which is hooked up to fibre optics). The internet in Mataram, Lombok’s capital city, enjoys top speeds of 25 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload.
If you plan on doing some remote work in Lombok, having a local SIM card offers the option of tethering to your own hotspot if the WiFi goes down (which it occasionally does). Purchasing a pay as you go SIM in Lombok is easy and cheap. You’ll need to present your passport at any local telecom vendor or designated phone store and the attendant will set up the account for you.
The two biggest mobile internet providers in Lombok are Indonesian Telecom (also known as TelKomSel) and XL. For the equivalent of $5 USD you can buy a 4GB data bundle. Fork out a bit more and you can score bigger data bundles and unlimited packages. We recommend topping up your SIM at the designated telecom vendors, as opposed to the supermarket or convenience stores. The language barrier makes the latter one an unnecessarily complicated process.
In the remote, hilly areas of Lombok, such as Ekas, it can be difficult to find internet access. Even 3G is hard to come by in some areas, unless you’re in sight of a signal tower. Some local businesses, such as The Playground Ekas, have invested in their own WiFi setups that provide stable internet within their premises.
How to get to Lombok
Getting to Lombok often involves a few connecting flights, depending on where you’re departing from. Even though there’s an international airport in Lombok, there are few direct flights that serve it (apart from Kuala Lumpur). When traveling to Lombok, you’ll likely need to connect in KL, Jakarta, or Bali (the latter of which can be somewhat costly to fly into, but the flight from Bali to Lombok conveniently takes just 20 minutes).
In terms of getting from Bali to Lombok, you can choose to fly, take the local ferry, or splash out on the speed ferry. The local ferry takes around 5 hours and costs less than $5 USD, though it’s often delayed and the schedule is infamously unreliable. The fast boat from Bali to Lombok (which also serves the Gili Islands and Nusa Lembongan) costs about $26 and takes just 30 minutes.
How to get Around Lombok
Once there, you’ll find the easiest way to get around Lombok is to rent a scooter. Public transport is vastly undeveloped in Lombok, so scooter rentals offer the most flexible and cost-effective option. Expect to pay $5-6/day when renting a scooter in Lombok.
Surfers and kitesurfers should note that renting a scooter with a board rack in Lombok is much cheaper in towns such as Kuta. When you rent them from the surf areas around the beach, you’re likely to end up forking out 2-3 times that price.