Lombok is the most popular destination in Nusa Tenggara, with the fabled Gili Islands drawing visitors for action both in and out of the water, mighty Gunung Rinjani luring trekkers, and the big breaks on the south coast a magnet for surfers. Matram, Lombok's capital, is a good spot for day trips to the surrounding areas, and nearby Senggigi is superbly positioned along a stretch or sweeping bays. In east Lombok, the very scenic Sumbawa offers low key tourism and some good surf breaks.
The island of Lombok shapes up at about 80km from east to west and about the same from north to south, with lush evergreen landscapes and parts which are chronically dry. Droughts, particularly in the south and east, can last for months, causing crop failure and famine – though recent improvements in water management have made life in Lombok less precarious.
Rice is an important crop, though yields are lower here than on neighbouring islands. Tobacco, coconuts, coffee, kapok and cotton are also important crops, while cloves, vanilla, pineapple and pepper have also been introduced.
The indigenous Sasak (around 90% of the population) are Muslims but have a culture and language unique to Lombok. There’s also a significant Hindu Balinese minority – a legacy of the time when Bali controlled Lombok.
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Best places to stay in Lombok
Bali is like no other destination in the world. Its rich culture plays out at all levels of life, from the exquisite flower-petal offerings placed everywhere to the processions of joyfully garbed locals to the otherworldly traditional music and...
Perang Topat (Rice Cake War): tips for Lombok's multicultural food fight
DSC_3835.JPG.jpg by Nicolas Lannuzel. Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 2...
Bali & Lombok - Lombok (Chapter)
Long overshadowed by its superstar neighbour, there’s a steady hum about Lombok that’s beginning to turn into a distinct buzz. Blessed with exquisite white-sand beaches, epic surf, a lush forested interior, and hiking trails through rice...
Lombok destination guides
Classic Bali & Lombok
Snorkel the warm tropical waters and watch Balinese shadow puppets dance in the night. Marvel at floating palaces and temples. Experience the best of Bali and Lombok on this adventure, offering you the perfect combination of guided excursions and free time to explore these fascinating islands at your own pace.
Indonesia is a busy place, and not just because it’s one of the most densely-populated places on Earth. Blessed with rich jungles, imposing volcanoes and mile upon mile of gorgeous beachfront, it’s not surprising that 135 million people live here full-time.