For years, the island of Lombok has been touted as Indonesia's next hot destination. The time to visit is nigh before it becomes "too discovered."
Lombok is becoming more and more popular as a world tourist destination and there's plenty of tropical chic in the North. Down south, it's Bali in the 60s, without the crowds and concrete. Get there soon for authentic ecotourism experiences.
Where is it.
The island of Lombok is located east of Bali island and can be easily access by air or by sea. A new international airport has opened in 2012, and its takes a mere half hour to fly from Bali's airport to the southern end of Lombok. For years, travellers have been escaping to the Gili Islands and the northwestern tip of Lombok via high-speed ferry. The lure is the white sand beaches, clear water, coral reefs, brilliantly coloured fish and the best snorkeling on Lombok.
Seems there's plenty to see and do in the discovered and undiscovered halfs of Lombok besides chilling and tropical chic.
Visitors who prefer the undiscovered to immersion in the hip areas are attracted to the simple pleasure of sun, sand, beach, culture and eco-adventures...plus flowers, folklore, ethnic cultures, handicrafts, bicycling, hiking, wildlife, walking, whitewater rafting, waterfalls, caves, hot springs, climbing the volcano and crater lake, jungle expeditions, coral reef diving, game fishing, dolphin watching and sailing.
Now that the southern shores are more accessible by air, surfers, snorkeller, swimmers are headed to Mawun Beach or Kuta. The allure of Lombok's Kuta Beach (compared to the popular Kuta Beach on Bali) is breathtaking turquoise bays, world-class surf breaks and massive headlands – just 30 minutes drive from the airport. Accommodation ranges from homestays through to international brand hotels (like the IGLTA member and gay welcoming Novotel by Accor) . A weekend of discovery is recommended as a Bali Holiday extension.