In December 2016 we spent one week road-tripping around Lombok, Indonesia. It was the best way to get around for us as it gave us total freedom to go where we wanted when we wanted. We visited beaches, waterfalls and even a small village. In this guide I will tell you about how we got there from Bali, the places we visited, where we stayed and a few useful tips too.
Boat from Bali to Lombok
We reserved the boat with Bluewater Express from Serangan to Teluk Kode, on the west of the island. The journey took 2 and a half hours. Whilst I had read lots of good reviews about this company, the service definitely wasn’t worth the price (~£28 each). I think I was a bit over cautious about picking the boat company, but there are plenty around to choose from. I would advise you to have a shop around in Bali and find the best deal.
Arriving in Lombok
When we arrived in Teluk Kode, we had to find our way to Senggigi, 25km away. It is just a small port so there was no other option but taxi for us. We paid around ~£20 even with haggling which seemed like a lot. Our driver didn’t actually know where our homestay was but he got us close enough and we found it ourselves.
One night at Hotel Bumi Aditya, Senggigi
This hotel is down a small lane, right next to a beautiful mosque and has a great swimming pool. The rooms were basic but totally fine, and we were overall very impressed with it for the price (£10/night including breakfast). After quite a long journey, we headed straight to the pool to relax.
There isn’t a great deal to do in Senggigi, it’s a small beach town so there are some nice beach bars and restaurants around. We had some great meals at Warung & Cafe Sasak and the staff were really friendly.
We rented a motorbike from a guy that worked at our hotel for ~£2-3/day and the next day we were on our way. We had 5 nights to spare to travel and get back to Senggigi.
One night at Coral Palms, Sekotong
We headed south from Senggigi, and passed through Mataram, a town filled with incredible temples and mosques. We then headed west towards Sekotong. We knew there were a few hotels around but we didn’t have anything booked yet. We stopped at Coral Palms, primarily to use their WIFI and get a snack, but we soon realised it was a nice place so we decided to stay there. It cost us £15/night including breakfast.
If you are looking for quiet and secluded beachfront bungalows then look no further. The bungalows were actually made by some indigenous Sasak people living nearby, based on the style of their houses. We literally had the beach all to ourselves, we couldn’t believe it. We enjoyed breakfast and dinner in an outdoor hut, overlooking the sea which was an idyllic way to start and end the day. It’s the perfect place to relax with a book.
We heard that you can easily get to the ‘Secret Gili islands’ (Gili Gede, Gili Asahan…) from Sekotong by private boat but unfortunately we didn’t have time to do this.
Two nights at Defa Homestay, Kuta
Next, we headed to Kuta, another coastal town, this time in the south of the island. We loved our homestay here, it was such a peaceful location down a dirt track surrounded by fields and farm animals. The staff were super friendly and welcoming, and the price was great at only £8/night including breakfast.
The next day we drove to one of many nearby beaches, Mawun beach. It was a lovely drive and we stopped off at a beautiful viewpoint on the way. Later on we rented some paddle-boards at Kuta beach. This was so much fun, but also quite tiring, especially when we realised how far out we had gone.
We had some delicious Sasak food here and one night we found a great bar with nice cocktails and live music. In general it’s a really chilled place to spend some time with friendly locals and scenic coastal roads.
One night in Bilok Petung
After a relaxing few days, we were ready for some adventure and our next destination was Senaru in the north. We decided to drive around the coast for the most scenic journey, which was 150km total. We knew it was going to be a long day on the motorbike, so we made sure to get plenty of stops along the way to stretch our legs, snack and admire the breathtaking views.
It was a pleasant journey through the lush green countryside but we were eager to get to our destination. I was in charge of directions on Google maps and I thought we were nearly there, when in fact the signal was bad so we were in the totally wrong place. Long story short, a kind man named Rusdi ended up letting us stay at his house in a nearby village, Bilok Petung. Getting lost was actually worth it for the authentic experience we had.
Read more about our little diversion here: Lost in Lombok.
One night at Pondok Guru Bakti Cottage, Senaru
After a great experience staying at Rusdi’s house we made our way to where we had planned to stay the previous night. These cottages are situated in what feels like the jungle, with a waterfall in sight and monkeys that roam around the premises. We really enjoyed our stay here, especially when a monkey came right up to our door. We paid £15/night including breakfast.
The main thing to do in this area is visit the Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls, which costs less than £1. They are really beautiful and definitely worth a visit! You can even swim under the biggest one, Tiu Kelep. The entrance is right next to the cottages. It’s also the base camp for those wishing to climb Mount Rinjani, Indonesia’s second highest mountain. This trek takes 3-4 days, so we didn’t have time for it, but I hear it’s amazing.
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Read more: Our highlights of Indonesia
One night at Hotel Bumi Aditya, Senggigi
We made our way back to the same hotel in Senggigi, returned our scooter and relaxed by the pool. We prepared for our 3-night boat trip to Flores, stopping off at Komodo National Park. We booked with Kencana Adventure as we had read good reviews about them. The next morning we were all ready to go and we received a phone call saying the weather was bad so we couldn’t depart that day. We were pretty disappointed but we quickly decided to go to the Gili islands instead. We’ll definitely be heading back another time to see the Komodo dragons.
I’ll be writing a separate guide to the Gili Islands soon. Have you been to Lombok? Or somewhere else in Indonesia? Did you enjoy it? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!