A Lombok adventure is definitely not one to miss when traveling in Indonesia. It’s not exactly in the island of Bali, however if you’ve been craving for some areas much more relaxed than Bali, Lombok is definitely a good place to go.
We traveled to Lombok and Gili Trawangan with a good friend and another travel blogger Traveltomtom. For today, we’ll take you to our all the things to do in Lombok – the serene beach and private lux area with Tugu Hotels and our Mount Rinjani experience.
Next up is Gili Trawangan, so you’ll see the post here, too.
How to get to Lombok from Bali
Lombok is pretty much a few hours ride from Bali. You can do from Sanur, and also from Padang Bai as we did. There are different options, all of them by ferry. We usually like local transportation however one big discovery for us is Go Jek which allowed us to book cheaper taxi rides between our destinations.
Since there is no public transportation in Bali, we have no choice but use Grab, Go Jek, Uber since we had so much luggage with us to go by motorbike. There are a few places to get to Lombok by ferry – Bangsal and Senggigi, slow boat or fast boat.
It depends on your budget and how much time you have. We chose the fast boat this time which takes around an hour to reach Lombok from Bali and it costs 200 000 INDR. If you have more time and you want to go on a budget, from Padang Bai you can take the slow boat for 50 000 INDR. And the journey takes around 5-6 hours.
Staying with Tugu Hotels
Tugu Hotel is a top holiday hotel while staying in Lombok. The place is just breathtaking, with the wonderful pools and the exemplary villas.
The whole property which is by the beach, is such a great place to relax and catch beautiful sunsets to end your every day in a really good way!
Good food and amazing massages is also more good reasons why you need to visit Tugu Hotels.
We visited Tugu Lombok after staying in Kuta and Canggu Bali, and we’ll definitely have to admit that we immediately fell in love with the serene vibe in Lombok.
Here’s more Tugu Hotel Lombok eye candy for you.
Lombok Adventure – Getting to Senaru
After a few days of a refreshing stay in Lombok, we headed to Gili Trawangan, and from there went back to Lombok to prepare for a Rinjani trek. Time for a full on Lombok adventure!
From Gili Trawangan, you can either take a local boat to Bangsal or a fast boat (cost difference is about $1.5 the local boat and $5 the fast boat). We rode the slow boat, with only the 3 of us foreigners, and the rest are local people. Not really slow at all. We would say the difference is only about 15 minutes.
Remember that one of our hot tips for extending your travel budget is to keep buying the experience that you want and save on the other parts. In this one, transportation is something we definitely can avoid to splurge on.
From Bangsal port, we had our transportation with Jo Trekking arranged to take us from Bangsal to Rinjani Lighthouse. It was a little rainy and about a 2 hour drive from the port, but was so much fun. The road to Lombok is full of greenery and fields, and it’s really really refreshing. Was it a sign that we needed to relax before Rinjani? Haha!
Hiking to Mount Rinjani
Now, for our biggest Lombok adventure, here is an amazing shot of Mount Rinjani.
Stayed and had an amazing night in Rinjani Lighthouse and we left super early the next morning to do the Mount Rinjani Trek and we took the 3-day-2-night trip.
Rachel was left behind and had to stay around the Senaru area while we are in the trek.
We trekked and had our tour arranged with Jou Trekking Mount Rinjani. There are choices on how long you would want the to scale the very sacred mountain for the Hindus. For us we had three days available so we took it. Maybe it was the maximum days we can take without internet connection as we work a lot. Ha! A big reason why Rachel had to stay behind. And also, she’s not really good with treks, and we researched and heard that this one’s quite a difficult one (and to our surprise, more difficult in real life!)
Not too bad, seeing that Rachel can have these views from her place in Senaru.
Below, you’ll see visuals and photos from our 3-day 2 night Lombok Adventure trek in Mount Rinjani with Jou. It was a really challenging trek, one that left me injured for a day or two. It was a funny example of beautiful things worth it once you worked really hard for them.
Mount Rinjani is such a Lombok adventure that requires both mental and physical preparation. Make sure that once you booked your tours, you ask everything that you need to have. You’ll need flashlights and jackets which the tour guides many provide, however we saw a few people during our tours who forgot to have flashlights with them. Ample clothing for the cold is also important as it’s pretty cold once you reached higher altitude, and during the camps at night.
If you have enough time, you might even want to book longer days for the tour for the whole trip to be divided into many days. I had the experience with Jou Trekking and I can say that everything was perfectly organized, since our pick up from Bangsal, we were coming from Gilli Islands until the drive back to Bangsal. I didn´t have to bring anything for the trekking just a small backpack with my camera and a few clothes.
Jou organize everything, Ronnie our guide and two porters who were carrying 40 kilos each. Can you imagine these guys carrying all the staff just wearing flip flops?? Amazing!! They were carrying small chairs for letting us rest properly, even a blanket to set up our lunch, plus the tent, sleeping bag and also a luxury sleeping mattress which let us sleep so comfortably and get ready for next day. Make sure you bring warm clothes and comfortable for trekking. Sunblock and all of your energy to enjoy one of the most amazing trekkings that I have ever done.
Day 1 of the Trek
First thing we did was meet our guide and porters, and from there they checked our permits and we started our official trek to Mount Rinjani. Day 1 is spent mostly climbing Mount Rinjani, and passing by the jungle, having lunch and setting up the tent where we slept. Took about a 7-hour walk from the foot of the mountain.
For each group (4-6 people), there will be two or three porters plus a guide. Tom and I are with the same guide as we were taking the same tour with Jou, and there were more batches of hikers coming with us.
They say it is possible to do the hike alone, as you’ll never really feel alone when you’re there, but I 100% suggest that for this particular trek, you hire a reputable and experienced tour guide. Be careful if you are planning to trek alone Mount Rinjani and be ready for a cold night and long hours of hiking.
It’s really interesting how we all need to be wearing the best shoes for climbing, while porters and guides are wearing slippers, carrying 40+ kilos of food, tents, sleeping mats and foams each, plus other cooking materials (they even have foldable chairs!) – with all of them hiking the trail way faster than all of us.
Porters were so much faster as they carry all our stuff, and prepare and cook our food, so once we reach a destination, food is already prepared.
Below are some of the beautiful shots we took as we hike up Mount Rinjani.
The night is super cold and sometimes it can feel that what you have is not even enough to shelter you from the cold. Good thing the porters also have their own tents. After the long day trekking, our guide and porters prepared a tasty dinner and set up our tent in front of the crater views.
This is the day when all the crazy views will happen. Action-packed but trekked for 11 hours. See photos below.
We woke up at 2 30 am and had breakfast. From there we did 3 hours hiking until the summit 3,726 metres. Last part is really hard since you are trekking in volcanic path and every step is hard to do it. It´s important to bring a jacket when you stop in the summit for pictures or to eat chocolate bars can be little bit cold if you aren´t ready. It was very cloudy after all the effort.
However going down we got amazing views of the Crater Lake. Going down can take a couple of hours including your stops to take pictures and admire the beauty of the landscape.
Is it worth it to climb until the top if it´s very cloudy? In my opinion was a waste of energy since last part was really hard. If you have as a challenge go to the submit go for it! If not you can go climb an hour or so from the Crater Lake Camp Base and get amazing views. Up to your choice and also it depends how fit you are.
How well organized the trekking was that just going down and an amazing breakfast was waiting for us. After that a little rest while our amazing porters put it back the tent and all the staff. There are a couple of hours going down until the lake where lunch is waiting for you.
And yes, also hot springs to relax your muscles before last climb of the day. It took us around 3 hours to climb and get a different point of view of the Crater Lake. An amazing sunset again dinner and rest until the next day.
Day 3 is just for coming down the mountain. I was actually injured and can’t walk properly and it took me 7 hours for to hike all the way back. Tom took 3 hours, which is pretty much normal. It’s doable in 4-5 hours.
Based in my experience, 3 days 2 nights trekking, and aiming to go to the summit is VERY hard. There is also the choice of taking 4 days and 3 nights trekking and you will have more time to enjoy the hiking. If you choose to do the 3-day,2-night trek like us, you will sleep around the lake and next day you will climb to the summit for 3 hours. When deciding, factor in your budget, time and how fit you are.
After the trekking, we said goodbye to our guide, porters, Jou and we thank them for such an amazing experience. They were super happy because that time was the end of the Ramadan and they could spend the night with their families.
After what felt like a really long stay in Rinjani, we had a good 2 nights rest in one of the best hotels in the area – Rinjani lodge. Another great part of our whole Lombok adventure.
It was perfect rest, and couldn’t have wished for a better one. I would have to say that my whole body was aching after the Rinjani trip, and couldn’t even run, let alone walk properly.
Resting in Rinajni Lodge
After such an amazing experience trekking Rinjani Mountain, nothing better than resting in Rinajni Lodge. Two infinity pools with an amazing views where we enjoyed and relaxed taking pictures and swiming around. Go back to reality, catching up with internet and spending great time with Rachel. The place is very quiet and allows you to breath fresh air.
A few tips if you are planning to spend a few days in Senaru as we did. There are no ATMs in the area. Make sure that you bring enough cash or if not just rent a motorbike to do it. Senaru is peaceful but those days was very cheerful and nosy since it was the End of the Ramadan. It was my second time enjoying in a muslim country these dates, first one was in Gambia in Africa.
Tiu Kelep Waterfalls
Just next to Rinjani lodge is about 10 minutes walking to the entrance of Tiu Kelep Waterfalls. Lombok is definitely known for its surrounding landscapes and waterfalls, and these are very touristy, and very beautiful. If you’re around the area, definitely not one to miss. Jou includes this activity in the trekking, but we decided to take it easy since we had two days resting in Senaru.
Til our next travel story comrades! x