What do you know about Lombok tourism other than Gili Islands, Senggigi Beach, and Mount Rinjani? There are absolutely lots more. While many say that Lombok is the twin counterpart of Bali, Lombok actually offers distinctive charms that will impossibly be found on Bali. Lombok is like a kaleidoscope of natural beauty that provides mixed experiences hard to forget.
Take a look at the following hidden gems of Lombok that I have explore during my trip there:
Pergasingan Hill: Poetic View over Lombok and Rinjani
Besides the summit of Mt. Rinjani, the foothills below the volcano features just as magnificent. The best spot to enjoy the panorama is definitely Pergasingan hill in Sembalun village. It’s located not so far from the hamlet to the east and all you need to do is trekking up as high as 600 meters.
The view up there is truly something. Rice fields lay beautifully next to each other, forming a colorful, scintillating nature carpet. You’ll also be amazed with the jaw-dropping landscape of rolling hills running as far as the cost. To the west, the bird’s eye view of almighty Rinjani turns to be magical when the sun rises from and set to just right behind the back of the mountain. And what is the best way to celebrate the view other than paragliding over the highland.
Pergasingan is an alternative spot for both soft hike and practice before the real hike to Rinjani. From Sembalun, the climb takes about 4 hours with mostly easy trail and superb scenery. The only part that takes some effort is the sloppy hills at the start with an angle of approximately 70 degrees. Another one hour hike from Pergasingan is a spacious meadow which gives favorite camp ground for those who want to join in “sunrise attack.”
Semeti Beach: A Piece of Krypton Planet on Earth
Photographers, this beach will sure to give you dramatic view to capture. There are stones forming remarkably like the crystal box found in Planet Krypton, the homeland of Superman, scattering along the shore. And beyond, some rocks resembling Egypt pyramids stands firmly in the middle of the sea. Semeti does remind us about the planet, hence people popularly call it the Krypton beach.
Semeti is located in Central Lombok and only a few kilometers away from the already known Selong Belanak beach but it’s still a secret place hardly visited by tourists. The road there is mostly bumpy dirt road that will get worse during rainy season. But with the blend of that dramatic view and the peaceful situation, you won’t regret each effort you attempt to get there.
The best spot to get the whole view is climbing the rocks nearby the shore. Make sure you sport proper covered shoes as the path there can be rough and you may need to hike as high as 20 meters boulder.
Nambung Beach: Waterfall of the Sea
There is something unique in West Lombok. A salty waterfall flows just next to a beach. This natural attraction is what makes Nambung beach slowly gain its popularity. The waterfall effect is created by large waves that crash against the cliff rocks and flow back into the ocean. A huge lagoon with crystal clear water lays low right under the rock, making it lovely to swim. And beyond the shore, big swells provide good chance for surfing. Be noted you need to bring your own surfing stuff as there are not hired surfing boards and even public rest rooms.
Nambung is one of the most exotic, untouched beaches in West Lombok. From the parking lot, extensive brown sandy coast stretches away, leading to green hills to the east. It’s behind the hill where the cliff formation blends perfectly with turquois surf. You can either climb the hill or walk through the slippery rocks to enjoy the best picture of the waterfall. But when the wave there is too dangerous, take a closer look at sea weed farm along the beach is another leisure highlight to enjoy.
Nambung can be easily reached from Mataram City. It’s located 60 km to the east from the city and takes less than three hours by private car (there are no public transport directly transfer to the beach). The trip includes greenish rice paddy and some beaten track some kilometers from the beach entrance. Ask the people a lot as there is hardly road sign to the location.
Tanjung Poki: The Water Thunder
One kilometer to the west of Tanjung Ringgit is another exotic bay named Tanjung Poki. To a great extent, the landscape of Tanjung Poki resembles much Tanjung Ringgit. Both of them boast an extensive rocky cliff standing just right next to the sea with a limitless view across Alas strait. What makes them different is the wave. At the end of Tanjung Poki, the water of the sea flows into a narrow curvy cliff formation, crashing harshly and creating a 10 meter high blowhole effect. This ferocious water blow will remind you to a serious tsunami.
It’s definitely dangerous to look at the wave up-close as there are always chances to get swept away by the surf. But some visitors dare to climb down at a lower part of the curvy cliff for a dramatic picture. Without doing that, the distant view of this natural beauty is just as awe-inspiring. While swimming is impossible here, fishing is common at the other side of the canyon. In fact, there is weekly fishing competition hosted by locals.
Tanjung Poki is located at the beaten track of Lombok, the southeastern tip of the island to be precise. Vehicles can’t reach right at the edge of the cliff that you are required to trek down barren area for several meters. The neighboring Tanjung Ringgit, the famous Pink and Ekas beaches are only a driving distant from Tanjung Poki, making it a perfect mix for day trip destination across southern Lombok.
Bangkang Cave: Surreal Limestone Cave
If you have plan to visit Kuta beach in Central Lombok, it’s better to add Gale-Gale cave (popular as Bangkang cave) in your bucket list. The stalactite and stalagmite formation inside the cave is remarkable, resembling a cave in Indiana Jones movie. The wall is naturally carved and the floor is rocky. The space inside is huge with several karst pillars that adds to its appeal. It looks dreamy how the sunshine gets its way through the holes into the cave body.
As you wander around the cave, make sure you don’t disturb the many bats hanging on the cave ceiling. They are not seen as the cave is completely dark. But if you want to witness the dramatic moment of the cave, come here at dusk, when the bats wake up and leave the nest for hunting in a huge group. This ancient cave is absolutely must-see new destination in Lombok.
Bangkang cave is hiding under a hill in the interior of Bangkang village, Pujut district. This place is rarely visited and only famous among locals. The access is relatively easy with some trekking to get to its opening. Bangkang enjoys a strategic location as it’s surrounded with Kuta beach to the east and Mawun beach to the west. It’s less than an hour away from both beaches.
The destinations on the above list are some of the best hidden spots dotting around Lombok which will surely be a perfect additional destination for your Lombok unordinary adventure.
Keep traveling and never stop exploring guys!