Lombok, the Indonesian island immediately to the east of Bali, offers beautiful highland areas, unspoiled beaches and a culture relatively untouched by the marks of widespread international tourism.
Thirty-five kilometers (22 miles) east of Bali at its closest point, or a mere 20 minute flight between airports, Lombok is inevitably compared to its better-known western neighbor, although it differs considerably in many respects: physically, culturally, linguistically and historically. It also contrasts quite visibly with less-marked tourist facilities, unspoiled beaches, and a culture less touched by the marks of widespread international tourism. Lombok’s charm truly lies in its century-old, tranquil coastal areas with virgin white beaches and green mountains.
Lombok has a rich and enduring indigenous culture that has withstood the pressures of modernity remarkably well. The strong remnant culture and history of the Sasak people is one of the many unique attractions of the island.
The island has a total population of around 3,000,000, with 85% being the indigenous Sasak people whose origins are thought to have arisen from Java in the first millennium BC. The Sasak people are culturally and linguistically closely related to the Balinese, but unlike the Hindu Balinese, the majority practice local Muslim faith and traditions.
In terms of the arts and crafts of Lombok, villages tend to specialize in certain crafts, and it’s interesting to travel to a number of them, seeing hand weaving in one village, basket ware in another and pottery in the third village.
Lombok is the ideal place to relax and unwind, but there is lots to do also. For those who like culture, there are many places to visit such as traditional villages, the many temples in Lombok, or a city tour of Mataram.
If nature is more your thing then you can visit one of the many pristine beaches on the island, take a tour through the rice terraces, or go on a waterfall tour.
For the adventurous there is diving, cycling and surfing. And for the really adventurous there are treks up to the top of Mount Rinjani: the second highest volcano in Indonesia at 3,726 meters above sea level.
Climate & Seasons
Lombok is a typical tropical — hot and humid — Indonesian island situated in the archipelago of Lesser Sunda in the south central part of Indonesia. Though there is a significant level of humidity, Lombok has a much drier climate than that of the neighboring island of Bali.
Lombok’s annual climate is divided into two general weather patterns — that of wet and dry seasons. The wet season usually arrives in the month of October and intensifies during November, the wettest month of the year, and may last until March of the following year. The total annual rainfall is at 1088mm and annual humidity averages at 84.6 percent. Dry season starts as early as March and lasts until the month of September.
These small coral-fringed islands – just minutes off the northwest coast of Lombok – have become enormously popular with visitors who have come to the Gili islands for the very simple pleasure of sun, snorkeling, and socializing. The islands are free of cars, motorbikes and hawkers, greatly adding to the pleasure of a visit.
Guests of Qunci Villas can easily access the Gili Islands either by a 30 minute car-ride up the scenic coastal road to the shuttle boats to the islands, or you can do what many of our visitors do: rent a perahu (outrigger boat) in front of the hotel for an exciting 45 minute ride across the calm sea directly to the Gili Islands. The boat will stop at numerous sites along the way for a personalized snorkeling adventure!
Gili means ‘small island’ in Indonesian and although most people think of the three Gili Islands to the north west of Lombok, there are many more Gilis in Lombok. The south has a few idyllic islands such as Gili Asahan, Gili Naggu and Gili Gede where you can escape the crowds and get lost in nature.