Tag Archives: Lombok

From Bali to Gili Islands

A little paradise 1 hour away by fast boad from Bali to Gili islands. The Gili Islands in Bali are 3 small pieces of paradise land lined up off Lombok, Indonesia. Gili Trawangan is the largest and busiest of the three islands. It is also the most accessible by Fast-boat.

The options are endless when it comes to choosing ferry or fast boat from Bali to Gili Islands. There are 9 ferry companies with a total of 13 ferry routes connecting Serangan to Gili Air, Gili Trawangan, Gili Gede & Gili Meno, Padangbai to Gili Air, Gili Trawangan & Gili Meno, Amed to Gili Trawangan & Gili Air, Sanur to Gili Trawangan, Gili Air & Gili Meno & Benoa Harbor in Gili Trawangan.

The fastest route between Bali and Gili Islands is Gili Trawangan with a crossing duration of around 1 hour 15 minutes. With so many routes on offer, we make it easy for you by comparing all equivalent crossings with just one click. So you can quickly find what you are looking for.

Gili Islands Region map
Gili Islands map. User:(WT-shared) Burmesedays,OpenStreetMap, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is no motorized transport on the islands apart from electric scooters. The short distances over land are covered on foot, by bicycle or cidomo (a small horse-drawn carriage). Accessible only by sea, the islands are visited by a variety of fast boats that operate various routes from Bali.

There are a range of direct fast boat services from Bali and Speed ​​Boat from Lombok to the Gili Islands, all of which also serve Lombok, some of which go past Nusa Lembongan en route.

Cidomo Senggigi
Cidomo. Midori, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fast boat the best way to get to Gili Trawangan Meno and Air islands

In addition to this previous article on the different means of transport to get to Lombok, we will here address the same subject but specifically to get to the Gili Islands in Lombok via the port of Padangbai.

What is the best way to get to Gili Islands from Trawangan, Meno and Air?

As a reminder, the 3 Gili islands named: Trawangan, Meno and Air are part of Lombok and not of Bali. These 3 islands located northwest of Lombok have almost become a must for all travelers visiting Bali.
Although it is possible to go to the Gili Islands by Plane, Fast or speed boat or Ferry we will discuss these 3 solutions here but as much to tell you right away the Fast boat is the winning solution.

Ferry from Bali to Gili Trawangan Meno and Air Islands

We recommend this solution for travelers whose decision-making element is only the price (pay as little as possible). Because it is indeed the cheapest solution but the slowest and least comfortable and I would not recommend the Ferry for those going to the Gili Islands.

You need transport from your place of residence in Bali to the port of Padang bai about 1h30-2h from the south of Bali, then the crossing to Lombok about 5 to 6h, you disembark at the port of Lembar in the South West of Lombok , then transport to the port of Bangsal north of Lombok for the Gili and finally the public boat to one of the 3 Gili islands.

Finally the cost will not be very far from that of the Fast boat by including all the costs… The ferry is relevant if you want to go to Lombok and visit the south and the center and not the Gili Islands.

Plane from Bali to Lombok then transport to Gili Trawangan Meno and Air islands

The cost of the plane is quite close to that of the Fast boat but is slower because you will arrive at Mataram airport in the south of Lombok from where you will have to find transport to the port of Bangsal in the North of Lombok to take a boat to the Gili Islands. With this additional transport, the cost becomes higher than Fast boat and longer.

So here again the plane would be a very good solution for those wishing to visit Lombok but in the case of the Gili Islands the Fast boat remains the best solution.

But for some the plane will be more practical, if you are traveling with a baby, or if you are seasick because the waves are sometimes important during the crossing and if you have very little luggage to carry.

The Fast boat best solution from Bali to the islands Gili Trawangan Meno and Air

The Fast boat remains in our opinion the best solution to go to the Gili Islands whether Trawangan, Meno or Air. For a fixed price you will have: the pick-up on the way to your hotel in Bali, the Fast boat round trip and the drop-off at your hotel on the return to Bali.

A driver picks you up at your hotel, drops you off at the port of Padangbai from where you board the Fast boat to Gili. On the return, the boat drops you off in Padangbai and a shuttle will drop you off at your hotel.

Transport Hotel Bali=> Port Padangbai

Transportation from your hotel to Padangbai port normally is included in your ticket. The transport zone covers hotels in the city center of the following cities: Ubud, Sanur, Seminyak, Legian, Kuta, Jimbaran Bay, Candidasa.
If your hotel is outside the transport zone there will be a supplement to pay depending on the address of your hotel.

Transportation Port Padangbai=>Hotel Bali

The shuttle service area that drops you off on the return covers hotels in the city center of the following cities: Sanur, Seminyak, Legian, Kuta, Jimbaran Bay, Candidasa and also at the airport. For Ubud the free shuttle drops off passengers not at their hotel but in town. Likewise, if your hotel is outside the transport zone then they will drop you off downtown.

Duration of crossings from Bali to Gili Islands

The crossing takes 1h30 from Padangbai to Gili Trawangan, 1h45 to Gili Air. The return from Gili to Padangbai takes 1h45-2h.

Return or Depart via Amed

It is possible to leave from Padangbai and return via the port of Amed or vice versa. The routes between Amed <=> Gili are operated by the companies Freebird and Kuda Hitam.

Weather-related risks

There are some risks, if it is too windy the authorities will ban all Fast boat crossings until the situation improves, this rarely happens and when it does the ban lasts only 1 or 2 days I would say 1-2 times a year.
Then the sea can be rough so you can be more or less shaken.

Finally the companies are more or less good, I mainly use for myself, my friends and the readers of lebaliblog the Wahana, Patagonia and Ekajaya companies with which we have not had any problem for the moment and with which we are satisfied.
Overall it’s a great experience and you can even sit on the roof of the boat and enjoy the view during the crossing.

3 Main Gili Islands

1. Gili Meno, a peaceful adventure and the smallest of the Gili Islands

If you want to live a whole new experience with a peaceful adventure, this is the right island for you! Located just one kilometer from Gili Trawangan, it is the smallest of the three islands, but also the most popular with tourists. There is a calm that will please you. In Gili Meno, the sand is powdery white, the landscape surrounded by the beach is charming. This is the perfect place for moonlit walks. No wonder so many couples choose it for their honeymoon. Gili Meno is a haven of peace.

Meno is the smallest and quietest of the three Gili. It is undoubtedly the one that has remained the most authentic with the western part of the island almost virgin of any construction with beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear water.

  • Activity: snorkeling, beach.
  • Housing: limited supply of housing.
  • Restaurant: limited offer of restaurants.

Gili Meno
Gili Meno. Flickr user: yeowatzup https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeowatzup/, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Gili Air, suitable for snorkeling

Covered with powdery white sand beach, Gili Air offers, like Gili Meno, a peaceful atmosphere. If you love snorkeling, then put on your fins, your mask and grab your snorkel, because here the aquatic hike promises to be superb. Your exploration at the bottom of the sea will make you discover formidable aquatic species, you will swim with giant green turtles or hawksbills as well as tropical fish. The warmth of local life mixed with the sublime beauty of the landscape makes this site a destination of choice.

Gili Air is a mix of the other two Gili. It has facilities that have nothing to envy to those of Gili Trawangan (restaurants, hotels) while being much more peaceful.

  • Activity: some diving schools, snorkeling, some evenings, beach, bike…
  • Accommodation: mainly bungalows.
  • Restaurant: wide choice of restaurants for all tastes and all budgets.

This island is made for you if: you want to relax without getting bored and enjoy more upscale facilities than the one on Gili Meno.

Gili Air Eastern coast looking at Lombok
Beach on Gili Air, looking at Lombok Island. Laurent Bigué, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Gili Trawangan, the island to party

We cannot all unanimously love calm; that’s a fact. Fortunately, moreover, because I dare not imagine what our world would be like then. A festive atmosphere, nothing much better to enjoy life. Gili Trawangan is world renowned for this. The parties are exceptional on this island and leave a pleasant taste. More populated, more developed, it is an ideal destination for holidays. Do not be surprised that on the evening or the morning of your departure, a shadow of sadness appears on your face. This island has the magic of never being enough for the visitor. We never want to leave this island.

Read also: 2 Weeks Itinerary in Bali | What to do and visit in Bali for 14 Days | Best Itinerary

It is the largest but the most urbanized and lively of the three islands. The atmosphere in Trawangan is clearly festive with visitors coming from all over the world.

  • Possible activity: diving school, snorkeling, clubbing, beach, night market, cycling…
  • Accommodation: wide variety of accommodation (hostel, bungalows, high-end resort, etc.)
  • Restaurant: wide choice of restaurants for all tastes and all budgets.

This island is therefore rather made for you if: you like to party, you travel alone and/or you like to mingle with other travelers…

Beach - Gili Trawangan (16950555226)
Beach on Gili Trawangan. Jorge Láscar from Melbourne, Australia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The diving sites in Lombok

Scuba diving in Lombok is organized mainly either around Senggigi in the west, or around the Gili Islands in the northwest, or in the south at Belongas Bay.

In Belongas Bay, we discover a wide variety of sites to see hammerhead shark, pinnacles with abundant marine life of tuna, barracuda and mobula rays visible particularly from June to the end of October. Senggigi dive sites are made up of rocky slopes and plateaus on which soft corals and colorful gorgonians host small marine species. They are more macro diving spots. The sites are accessible to all levels of diving.

The dive sites around the islands Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno are also a favorite area from Lombok. This truly charming, car-free Indonesia dive destination offers more beaches and reefs for scuba diving, snorkeling and snorkeling. The dive sites are easy to explore, there is little current, pretty coral gardens, a maximum depth of 32 meters (105 miles) and lots of turtles. Ideal for doing a PADI Open Water Diver (level 1) or for swimming with turtles while snorkeling.

Best time to dive in Gilis Islands, Lombok

Diving in the Gili Islands is possible all year round but try to avoid the months of December and January. Heavy rains during these months reduce visibility somewhat. The best season for diving is from May to September.

Photo credit (main picture): Author: Kok Leng Yeo from Singapore (CC BY 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Photo description: Gili Islands & Gunung Rinjiani, Lombok, Indonesia.

From Bali to Lombok

You can get from Bali to Lombok by: plane, speed boat or ferry. If your budget is tight and looking for the cheapest then the Ferry will be your choice. Then the plane is surprisingly 2 times cheaper than the boat and faster so the plane will be the best choice, unless you fear the plane or prefer the boat you can then turn to these Fast boats.

Lombok is an Indonesian island, separated from Bali by the Lombok Strait. Lombok is what many consider to be the authentic Bali, not yet eaten away by mass tourism. Gorgeous beaches, waterfalls to die for and a volcano towering over the island with stunning views.

Compared to Bali, there are very few tourists in Lombok and the local people have retained their local lifestyle. Although some high-end hotels have already started to appear, the majority remain very accessible with inexpensive and traditional accommodation.

How to get to Lombok from Bali?

You can go from Bali to Lombok either by plane (around 30 minuts flights) or by fat boat (around 2 ½ hours).

Flights from Bali to Lombok

The old airport, Selaparang International Airport (AMI) was closed on September 30, 2011 to be replaced by Bandara Internasional Lombok (LOP) Flights to and from Bali are operated by these companies:

  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Wings Air
  • Lion Air
  • NAM Air
  • Air Asia

Fast boats from Bali to Lombok

Possible to connect Bali to Lombok by Fastboat. These depart from the port of Padangbai first go to the Gili Islands and then go to the port of Bangsal in Lombok. So you can choose to land in Gili or Lombok. Some companies leave from Serangan further south of Bali but the price is twice as expensive as via the port of Padangbai!

Via Padangbai Port:

From the following cities: Canggu, Candidasa, Jimbaran, Kuta, Legian, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Seminyak, Sukawati, Ubud

  • PADANGBAI – GILI – PADANGBAI – City Back
  • PADANGBAI – GILI – AMED
  • PADANGBAI – GILI – NUSA LEMBONGAN – SANUR – City Back

Via Amed Port:

Departing from the following cities: Amed and Tulamben

  • AMED – GILI – AMED
  • AMED – GILI – PADANGBAI – City Back
  • AMED – GILI – NUSA LEMBONGAN – SANUR – City Back
  • AMED – GILI ONE WAY

From Sanur – Serangan:

Only people wishing to visit/stay in Nusa Lembongan and Gili. No direct route between Sanur and Gili.
From the following cities: Canggu, Jimbaran, Kuta, Legian, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Seminyak, Sukawati, Ubud, Uluwatu

  • SANUR – NUSA LEMBONGAN – GILI – PADANGBAI – City Return (itinerary also possible via Serangan see below)
  • SERANGAN – NUSA LEMBONGAN/NUSA PENIDA – GILI – PADANGBAI – City Back
  • SANUR – NUSA LEMBONGAN – GILI – AMED

Bali – Lombok by public boat (Public ferry)

The Ferry is the cheapest and slowest solution. The price is IDR 46,000/person, it is possible to bring a car or a scooter. The departure is from the port of Padangbai in Bali and the arrival in Lembar in the South West of Lombok. The crossing lasts about 5 hours, plus sometimes the wait to embark / disembark. Departures are regular 24 hours a day, tickets to be purchased on site at the port directly before departure.

The ferry designates the public ferry departing from the port of Padangbai in Bali and arriving at the port of Lembar in Lombok, which takes 5 hours. Any other boat is not a ferry but a fast-boat. There is on average a ferry every 2 hours and this 24 hours a day.

Watch out for incidentals! You have to add the price to go to the port of Padangbai (still 2 hours from the south of Bali), and also add the price to go from Lembar to your resort in Lombok, outside the port of Lembarest under the influence of ‘a local mafia that is efficient enough to make it almost impossible to buy the race at a normal price….

In addition, to the 5h crossing, you have to add the road time to go and leave the 2 ports… in short, a very long day awaits you….

Let’s be clear: apart from the few situations described below, the public ferry is of little interest!…

However, the slow-ferry becomes an interesting option in a few situations:

1. if you have a vehicle to transport, such as a scooter rented in Bali. The ferry also takes cars, but beware the price is high: you might as well rent a car and then another in Lombok. The rates per passenger and per vehicle are visible on the official website of the ASDP company. (choose province = Bali, departure = Padangbai, arrival = Lembar)

2. if you are a group of at least 4 people, and you have time to spare (!): at €3 per person instead of €20/30 per fast-boat/plane, the ferry may be amortized. Not recommended, however, if your travel time is short, because you will lose a whole day of transport, and this on each trip… time ismoney…

3. if you leave from Padangbai (or from Amed): if you are already in the north of Bali, the 5 hours of crossing the slow-ferry will be compensated by the 2 hours of road that you will not have to do to reach Bali airport.

The essential things to do in Lombok

Visit Lombok: What are the best things to do and see in this jewel of the Indonesian archipelago?

1. Pura Batu Bolong
2. Senggigi Beach
3. Kuta Lombok
4. Belongas Bay
5. Benang Kelambu
6. Pura Lingsar
7. The Gili Islands
8. Mount Rinjani

Where to stay in Lombok?

Lombok (which means “chilli” in Javanese) is a volcanic island in Indonesia, located in the Bali Sea within the Lesser Sunda Islands, between the islands of Bali and Sumbawa. Recognized by Unesco as a biosphere reserve, the island is indeed famous for its exceptional fauna and luxuriant flora. Renowned for its surfing “spots”, its crystal clear waters and its coral reefs, it has attracted a clientele fond of exoticism and authenticity: it is -for the moment- much less invaded by tourist crowds than its sister Bali , and will seduce you with its typically Indonesian strong character.

Wondering what to do in Lombok during your stay? We present to you the essentials to fully enjoy the treasures of this volcanic island!

1. Pura Batu Bolong

This Hindu temple is located in the middle of an idyllic setting: overlooking the rocky coastline, it allows you to come and admire the splendid sunset on the seaside while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and the spirituality emanating from the place. Its many pagodas and statues impose silence and help to reinforce the tranquility of the place. A must stop for anyone who wants to visit Lombok while getting away from the frenetic atmosphere reigning in its beach bars!

SenggigiPuraBatuBolong
Senggigi Pura Batu Bolong. Torbenbrinker, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Senggigi Beach

If you do not yet know what to do in Lombok, Senggigi is the dream seaside resort; coconut palms, fine sandy beaches, ideal for lazing around and resting! Senggigi beach is a 13 km (8 miles) beach bordered by clear turquoise water: a reference known throughout Asia. The large size of the beach gives you the opportunity to isolate yourself and enjoy a few quiet hours, between sky and sand.

Senggigi Beach Boats
View of part of Senggigi Beach, Lombok, Indonesia. (WT-en) Jpatokal at English Wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Kuta Lombok

Kuta Lombok is an internationally renowned surf spot, and many people come to try their luck in the heart of these exotic landscapes. But who says surf spot says night entertainment: if it is easy to feast in Kuta, it is quite impossible to spend a relaxing and family holiday there, the various nightlife establishments clearly making an eye out for a public young and party animal came to visit Lombok.

Selamat Pagi, Kuta Lombok
Morning view of Kuta beach area, Lombok from Merese hill. Focusfeel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Belongas Bay

What to do in Lombok if you are a fan of diving? Go to Belongas Bay, a small cove where many “dive centers” make it possible to twirl in the middle of a rich fauna and abundant colors! Hammerhead sharks can be approached by the more adventurous, but rest assured: these pose no danger! Easily accessible by car or scooter, it would be a shame to visit Lombok without carrying out this exceptional activity.

The dive sites

Scuba diving in Lombok is organized mainly either around Senggigi in the west, or around the Gili Islands in the northwest, or in the south at Belongas Bay.

In Belongas Bay, we discover a wide variety of sites with abundant marine life. Schools of tuna, barracuda and flights of mobula rays visible particularly from June to the end of October. Senggigi dive sites are made up of rocky slopes and plateaus on which soft corals and colorful gorgonians host small marine species. They are more macro diving spots. The sites are accessible to all levels of diving.

The dive sites around the islands Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno are also a favorite area from Lombok. This truly charming, car-free Indonesia dive destination offers more beaches and reefs for scuba diving, snorkeling and snorkeling. The dive sites are easy to explore, there is little current, pretty coral gardens, a maximum depth of 32 meters (105 miles) and lots of turtles. Ideal for doing a PADI Open Water Diver (level 1) or for swimming with turtles while snorkeling.

5. Benang Kelambu

In the middle of Mahogany (a mahogany forest), inland, a famous trekking path cracks until reaching the waterfalls of more than 30 m (98 feet) of Benang Kelambu. The icing on the cake: it is possible to swim in this water filtered by the volcanic rock of Lombok! Soothing place and offering a magnificent panorama of the lush landscapes of the island.

Located only 1 km (0,62 mile) away, the Benag Setokol waterfalls collapse into a 20 m (65 feet) high cavity, the starting point of a river flowing into a steep valley… where you can nevertheless refresh yourself and eat braised suckling pig, a local speciality!

Benang Kelambu - panoramio (1)
Benang Kelambu waterfall. Erlan Rudiyanto, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6. Pura Lingsar

If you still don’t know what to do in Lombok, we recommend this jewel built in 1714 by the Hindus of Bali, it is the most important religious site on the island: Pura Lingsar is the perfect manifestation of the reigning religious syncretism in the Indonesian archipelago, the fruit of centuries-old mixing between different religions. The temple is a symbol of worship syncretism specific to the Indonesian archipelago, known to be a model of tolerance, and one of the unmissable monuments of the island!

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM De poort van de pura in Lingsar TMnr 10016648
Lingsar temple. Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

7. The Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are the three pearls of Lombok, three paradisiacal islets where you can find all the activities specific to these little pieces of paradise: excursion in the middle of the coral reefs in palm and snorkel, workshops to discover the luxuriant jungle, or quite simply… idleness on the white sand beaches, sipping an iced coconut juice or a mixed fruit cocktail.

From Bali to Gili Islands | Complete guide to visit Meno, Air, Trawangan Islands

8. Mount Rinjani

To climb Mount Rinjani is to embark on a total adventure: it is reserved for an informed public and rather physically comfortable, because it is long – and this, whatever the path chosen – and grueling – the hundreds of meters of elevation gain are still going on. In addition, the paths taken plunge into a wild and luxuriant jungle, humid and sometimes oppressive due to its density! Strong emotions, in short, but which will leave you with lasting memories once you reach the top: well deserved given the effort, the view is quite simply one of the most beautiful in the Indonesian archipelago.

The little extra? It is possible to swim in a lake in the shape of a crescent moon, which took place within the crater formed by the volcano!

Gunung rinjani
Mount Rinjani is located in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara and Mount Rinjani is the 3rd highest mountain in Indonesia. The uniqueness of this mountain is the presence of a large lake and in the middle of the lake there is a new mountain finger which is still active today. Aldoarianto.87, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sources: Adventures and Sunsets, Journey Era

Photo credit (main picture): Hanif Dzaki (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Main photo description: Mount Rinjani National Park is a mountain located on the island of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. There are also Mount Baru Jari and Lake Segara Anak which are tourist attractions. The peak of Mount Rinjani itself is at an altitude of 3 726 meters (12 224 feet) above sea level.

Bali or Lombok? Isn’t it the same thing?

Bali or Lombok? In the end, isn’t it a bit the same? Indeed, Bali and Lombok are two islands located side by side in Indonesia. When you don’t know much about the country, you can wonder if these two islands will not ultimately look a lot alike. I’ll stop you right away, and you’ll quickly realize it if you visit both: there are many differences between these two islands. So how do you choose?

Bali is certainly the most famous Indonesian island for travelers. It is nicknamed “the island of the Gods”, and it is often mentioned that its charm has something bewitching about it. Bali is also one of the smallest Indonesian islands but yet one of the most populated. It has approximately 3.8 million inhabitants. There are small towns where life is good, such as Ubud, located in the center of the island, but also very pretty beaches and superb landscapes of rice fields.

Lombok, which means “chilli”, is an island located west of Bali. It is made up of 3.2 million inhabitants and consists of a very volcanic region, to the north of the island with the Rinjani volcano and a very fertile region to the south, where rice, cotton or coffee again. This island, once not very open to tourism, is now starting to make people talk about it. We discover landscapes of volcanoes, lush vegetation and dream beaches with crystal clear water.

So, what are the similarities between these two islands?

  • Bali or Lombok: common points

If these two islands are very different on certain points, let’s start by discovering the similarities they have.

  • Markets: even if they are better known in Bali (Kuta, Denpasar, Ubud market…), the island of Lombok also has many traditional markets such as Mandalika.
  • The population: if we often mention the kindness of the Balinese, that of the inhabitants of the neighboring island of Lombok also exists. However, the island of Bali is now more touristy. You will therefore find more authenticity in your encounters with the local population of Lombok.
  • Religion: If the island of Lombok is Muslim, like 80% of Indonesia, Bali is Hindu. However, religious life occupies an important place in the daily life of the inhabitants of these two islands. You can therefore discover a multitude of ceremonies and visit many places of worship (temples, mosques) on each of these islands. Buildings that often contribute to the charm of this destination.
  • Fauna and flora: Indonesia is known for its lush vegetation, jungles and important coral reefs. Thus, the islands of Bali and Lombok will be two excellent ways to discover the local flora and fauna during hikes or diving and snorkeling trips: seabed, jungle animals, butterflies and other monitor lizards will necessarily be part of the trip to these two islands.

Read also: Bali Local Ecosystems

Bali or Lombok for the landscapes?

Wondering which is the best Indonesian island when it comes to scenery? Unfortunately, the balance could not be tipped one way or the other. It will mainly depend on your desires and interests.

In Bali, you will of course find landscapes of rice fields such as those of Jatiluwih, classified by UNESCO, those of Tegalalang or even Sidemen. Moreover, it will often be said that the island of Bali is greener than its neighbor Lombok.

Do you rather dream of volcanic landscapes?

So, in Bali, you can survey the south of the Batukaru volcano, the second highest peak on the island, with its 2276 m (7467 ft) altitude. This walk will take you to discover traditional villages but also beautiful views of other rice fields. On the other hand, you can discover Mount Batur which rises to 1700 m (5577 ft) above sea level, wonderful at sunrise.

Volcanic lakes also await you with the Tamblingan and Buyan lake hike which will take you through traditional lands, where local life is in full swing, far from mass tourism.

So Bali or Lombok for landscapes? Finally, in Lombok too, walking enthusiasts will be delighted. The most athletic can opt for the ascent of Mount Rinjani which culminates at 3726 m (12224 ft) altitude. This volcano has a spiritual character for the inhabitants of the island. Indeed, the Sasaks regularly make pilgrimages there and deposit offerings at the top.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a shorter hike, you can opt for the hill of Pergasingan. However, the island of Lombok is also full of waterfalls to discover like that of Mangku Sakti. Finally, you can also walk along the beaches in Lombok. This, in particular to discover the famous rock of Batu Payung, from the beach of Tanjung Aan.

Bali or Lombok: which island has the most beautiful beaches?

When you go to Indonesia, are you mainly looking for an island to relax on a beach? Are you hesitating between Bali or Lombok? No worries ! These two islands will allow you to enjoy white sand beaches and warm and transparent water. In Bali as in Lombok, you can spend hours exploring the seabed. Whether snorkeling or diving.

For example, in Lombok, you can preferably turn to the beaches in the south of the island, which are wilder. In addition, those of the Gili Islands, with postcard landscapes, will allow you to admire fish of a thousand colors.

Read also: 2 Weeks Itinerary in Bali | What to do and visit in Bali for 14 Days | Best Itinerary

While in Bali, you will rather enjoy the beaches around Amed for snorkeling. But you can also discover huge sandy beaches for relaxation, such as those of Jimbaran Beach and Pandawa.

Finally, these two islands are dream spots for surfers. They will find many beaches to indulge their passion. For example, in Bali, Seminyak Beach is ideal for beginners. On the other hand, that of Padang Padang, famous since the film Eat, Pray, Love, will appeal to all practitioners.

To conclude, it must be said that the Gili Islands are truly the pearls of Lombok and it is difficult to compete with them. Travelers often think that the most beautiful beaches are therefore rather on the Lombok side.

The change of scenery: in Bali or Lombok?

For sure: Bali has a special atmosphere. It has been known to bring yoga and meditation enthusiasts together for decades. This is why Bali stands out as THE ideal destination for a stay under the sign of well-being.

However, during the high tourist season (June to September), the island is particularly crowded. This sometimes undermines its charm and authenticity. Is it an island where you will be disoriented? However, the answer is yes. The population, the culture… Everything in Bali will make you travel far from your customs and your daily life. In addition, there are more authentic regions in Bali and the island is attracting more and more expats for its magnetic atmosphere.

Lombok, meanwhile…

Lombok, meanwhile, is not yet well known to tourists. Thus, while some places are popular with travellers, many regions of the island are still authentic. Visiting Lombok will often be an opportunity to discover a new culture. This, in particular through the traditional Sasak villages, where time sometimes seems to have stopped.

For all these reasons, Lombok is sometimes described as “Bali as it was decades ago”. So it’s up to you to make up your own mind.

So, between Bali or Lombok, you have now made your choice. Nevertheless, these two Indonesian islands are complementary. Both can be visited easily during a two or three week stay in Indonesia. The ideal will therefore be to discover Bali and Lombok during your trip. This will allow you to form your own opinion on this question.

Photo credit: Njaj / Pixabay