A visit to Indonesia's stunning island of Lombok provides an opportunity to explore the rich nature and vast wildlife across the land. Home to Mount Rinjani, the island's second-highest mountain and an active volcano, brings fertile volcanic soil producing stunning fauna and flora. From cascading waterfalls, scenic treks and wildlife, explore the various the Rinjani National Park sprawling out across the island.
A trip to Sendang Gila and Tiu Kelep waterfalls provide a beautiful day trip to explore the lush forest and cascading waterfalls. Or for the seasoned hikers, take in stunning views on a trek up Mount Rinjani volcano. Across Rinjani National Park learn about the exotic wildlife or visit the Lombok Wildlife Park to encounter orangutans, elephants and reptiles up close. However you choose to explore Lombok, embrace the opportunity to uncover its natural wonders and tropical landscape.
Mount Rinjani, Indonesia's second-highest mountain stands tall over Lombok. Forming part of the earth's 'ring of fire', beyond a volcano, it also holds spiritual significance to local people. The volcanic soil brings luscious wildlife and stunning landscape with flowing waterfalls and green forest lining below it.
Following the crater rim is the stunning Lake Segara Anak. This sulphur lake sits six kilometres in length and considered to be a highly spiritual place. Within the waters of the lake stands Mount Barujari, which breathes clouds of smoke into the air, most recently erupting in 2016.
Mount Rinjani forms part of Rinjani National Park and is home to vast tropical fauna and flora. For those ready to take on an incredible feat, the climb to the top isn't an easy trail. However, the views from the above are worth it. It is considered to offer one of the best hiking treks in South East Asia. The three-day hike from Senaru to the crater rim is challenging. For the more advanced hikers, the option to continue to the summit of the volcano will complete the trek. There are many guided walks on offer, and the trail is not for novice hikers. The trek is available from April to January, as from then the rainy season begins and the path becomes far too slippery. Depending on the tour you join in on, there are a few tracks available - the journey to the crater rim, Lake Segara Anak, or up to Summit Rinjani. Porters join in on the trek however you are required to bring a daypack.
A sunrise climb is available on particular treks to see the incredible colours of the sky light up from the crater, kicking off with a 2.30am start and about three hours of trekking before you reach the summit. The typical climb to crater rim, summit and lake takes three days and two nights to cover. Trek durations are about 7 to 12 hours each day, with trekker's stamina and the weather conditions playing a part in the timeframe too.
Mount Rinjani is also home to several stunning waterfalls. Here you will find Sindang Gila, Tiu Kelep, Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu Twin Waterfalls which is suitable for more experienced trekkers. However, on your visit, often guides are lurking around the entrance, which are not officially sanctioned. Some of them can be quite demanding in terms of payment and to visit the primary waterfalls; a guide isn't required. Therefore do your research accordingly and ensure that your guide is pre-organised should you need one. There are fixed prices to access the waterfalls too. The Jeruk Manis waterfalls sit in Barong Panas village with a 40-metre drop of crystal clear freshwater. The story of this waterfall is that it is believed to cure various diseases, and a traditional ritual led by Pemangku (an indigenous elder) can be arranged. The pool below is shallow, and if you choose to climb to the top, be mindful of the slippery track.
Make the most of the stunning Mount Rinjani on your visit to Lombok. Explore the remarkable natural landscape on a hike, swim at the waterfalls or indulge in the view from the mountain, and see for yourself the dramatic scenery up close.
The journey to Pusuk Monkey Forest will take you through stunning forest and down a windy road. The area is officially a protected reserve, and home to the grey monkey. Due to people continually being around, monkeys have become accustomed to people.
If you plan to stay for a few nights in Senggigi, take the Pusuk Pass, which will lead you on to the forest. On the journey in, pay attention to monkeys treading across the road, as often they are crossing or walking around. The gorgeous winding road follows slowly up to the hill, showcasing views across the thick jungle. Home to an array of birdlife and wildlife species; take note of the birdcalls and sound of nature as you pass.
Wander through the forest, and expect to pass by groups of monkeys lazing about. Take note of your possessions and make sure you do not carry any food with you, as monkeys are known for being confident thieves. Remember that while monkeys look cute and kind, they are still wild animals. Therefore take necessary precautions. Leave the monkeys to relax and refrain from disturbing them. Often travellers put their bags down to take a photo of the monkeys in their element and find that in that short time frame, their possessions get stolen. So pay attention to these cute but calculated creatures!
An adventure to cascading waterfalls and lush rainforest is a beautiful way to spend the day exploring Lombok. Begin by exploring the waterfalls in the north of Lombok, Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall. Sitting at the foot of Mount Rinjani, they are on the trek to reach the summit. Whether you take a taxi, hire a driver or ride a scooter, there are clear signs from the main road directing you to the waterfalls.
As one of the main attractions in Senaru, plan your journey to catch the sunrise, which is one of the most spectacular ways to encounter the site. On your visit, the same trail will lead you to both Sendang Gile waterfall and Tiu Kelep waterfall. The first waterfall awaiting is Sendang Gile, a two-tiered waterfall that drops into a shallow river. Another fifteen minutes down the river will lead you to Tiu Kelep, which is the most well known waterfall in Lombok. On arrival, you'll feel the fresh mist from the waterfall lightly spray your skin as canopying trees sway above you. With one steady stream of water flowing, and many lighter falls rushing underneath, it is quite the spectacle. Due to the vigorous pour of water, swimming under this fall can be quite dangerous, so pay attention. During your stay in Lombok, take some time out to explore the glistening waterfalls, Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep.
In central Lombok, take a journey to the stunning Benang Stokel Waterfalls, greeting you with five different waterfalls to discover. Whether you choose to adventure on your own or take a tour, the waterfalls are easy to navigate and can be reached by car. In the rainy season, the track can become very slippery; therefore bring shoes with a secure grip. On your journey, be sure to leave well before the sun goes down, as the trail can be dangerous in low lighting.
Take a short trek to both Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu waterfall. After about a 10 minute walk from the entrance, you will first reach Benang Stokel Falls. Here you will find a collection of three separate waterfalls flowing into one very shallow pool. This overgrown area is a beautiful site to see; however, it is very shallow, making it hard to swim. Just nearby is the 'jumping spot' with an 11-metre waterfall into a canyon, however, pay attention to the abundant wildlife present here, with green tree snakes and other reptiles happily hiding. If you leave them, they will leave you. Before jumping, always do a depth check to ensure it is safe to jump.
Continue to Benang Kelambu waterfall, where you will see more freshwater flowing down the forest walls surrounded by, beautiful overgrown vines. This two-tier waterfall has a man-made pond that sits below it, perfect for a refreshing swim after your journey to reach the falls. Spend the day wandering through the gushing waterfalls, filled with luscious greenery and crystal clear freshwater; nature's playground.
The King of Mataram built Pura Agung Narmada in 1727, and it now holds a rich history and strong cultural significance to locals. It can be found in the west of Lombok and sits just half an hour from Mataram by car, about 10 kilometres in total. In the dry season, the park is still used as a resting place by the royal family. The history of the park can be explored with a local guiding you, as within it there is little information on display around its history.
Now Pura Agung Narmada has become a destination for locals to explore, swim or picnic at and this three-hectare park is very sacred for Hindus. Starting in the upper area of the park sits a stone step pyramid. There is also Balai Petirtaan, where water springs follow directly from Mount Rinjani and to enter the chamber, a yellow sash must be worn. It is believed that the water from the springs below is the water of immortality. Make sure you visit the royal bathing place, which is a public swimming pool for tourists to cool off too.
A journey through Pura Agung Narmada is a beautiful way to explore the site, learn about its historical value and enjoy the different facilities available. During your visit to Lombok, take the chance to wander through the landscaped gardens or experience the royal bathing pool.
The walk up Mount Rinjani will take you past the scenic crater lake Segara Anak (Lake Segara). Formed in 1257, this blue lake is made up of volcanic water with hot thermal pools sitting within it. To reach the lake, you'll need to join in on one of the many hiking tours up to Mount Rinjani, with an accompanying guide.
Lake Segara sits cradled between the rugged peaks like a refreshing retreat tucked away from the elements. This crescent-shaped lake is set 600 metres below the crater rim of Mount Rinjani.
The hike up to the lake takes about two days and one night, and it will bring you past a diverse range of landscapes; from lush rainforest to rocky terrains and dare dropping cliffs. Waterfalls run directly from Segara Anak, and there are four natural hot springs within the lake. These healing properties are enough to encourage locals to climb up the mountain solely to experience these waters. While high altitude brings colder temperatures, the lake's water isn't as cold as expected. The water temperature sits at between 20 to 22 degrees Celsius, which is much higher than the mountain's average of 14 to 15 degrees. Researchers have found the warmer temperatures are linked to leaks from the magma chamber seeping into the water of Segara Anak. The water is composed of sulphate, potassium, chloride and sodium, which is then thinned by rainwater entering the lake.
Each year, the Balinese visit Segara Anak, which is considered to be a very spiritual place and a ceremony is performed. While local Wetu Telu people visit the lake every full moon and pray.
Lombok Wildlife Park is an incredible way to encounter wildlife up close. Set in the north-west of Lombok's island, it is just a short drive from Senggigi, and two hours from Kuta.
The park is home to 195 animals and 50 different species, and their wellbeing is the top priority. This unique experience will allow you to encounter orangutans, elephants, colourful birds and reptiles all in a day's visit. Learn about the different animal species with talks on orangutans and why they are considered one of the most charismatic creatures. Take the opportunity to bathe with elephants as they play together and enjoy the water. You will also be able to join in on the elephant meet and greet available at certain times throughout the day. Continue to the exotic bird park, to see colourful birds stretch their winds out and glide above you.
The park also provides a choice of facilities on offer including a restaurant, cafe, gift shop and picnic area should you wish to sit down for a rest. No food or drink from outside is permitted to bring into the park, therefore packing a picnic isn't an option. Lombok Wildlife Park is open 365 days of the year from 9am to 5.30pm. Spend a day exploring Lombok Wildlife Park for a close encounter of a vast range of wildlife. From orangutans to elephants, reptiles to birdlife; a visit to the park is sure to be a memorable experience perfect for families, groups and solo travellers.
Gili Meno Turtle Sanctuary was initiated to help preserve the turtle wildlife on the island. Turtle breeding is a unique process and unlike any other, yet with this comes many newborn deaths. The sanctuary’s focus is to protect the turtles by allowing them to grow in a sheltered area. Once the turtles are fully grown, they are released into the water on their own (which only happens every few months). To be a part of the release a small fee is required which is donated back to the turtle sanctuary.
The sanctuary is a tiny patch of beach and relies on donations to keep it alive. Don’t be confused by the name; it is a private initiative and just a small area off the beach. Several shallow pools stand with turtles divided according to their age. The turtle sanctuary can easily be missed, with a sign under corrugated iron pointing you in the right direction. However, even though it is a small initiative, it makes a big difference in the turtle population. Your support and donations keep the sanctuary alive and help feed the growing turtles so that they can then be released into the wild. During your stay on Gili Meno, take a wander down and visit the Gili Meno Turtle Sanctuary to learn about these beautiful creatures.