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Know Before You Go
- Head to Lombok's southern coast if you want empty, pristine white sand beaches. There is hardly any infrastructure in this part of the island, and fewer visitors venture this far down as well.
- It is illegal to trek alone on Mt. Rinjani. You will need to hire a guide and porters for this multi-day hike. For the best value of money, do your research and choose a trekking company that is eco-friendly.
- Due to unpredictable ocean conditions, boats and ferries are cancelled without warning. Give yourself some breathing room and avoid booking your flight on the same day you are travelling between Bali and Lombok.
- Bartering is normal in Lombok. Everything from accommodation, bike rentals and physical items can be haggled to a lower price.
- If you plan on swimming or snorkelling in the ocean, keep a look out for stonefish. They are common in the coral reefs and can be poisonous if stepped on.
- In Lombok and other parts of Indonesia, tipping is customary. Leave a 10% tip for your server at restaurants and tip your hotel porter, tour guide and car hire as well.
Getting Around Lombok
- From the late afternoon, public transport becomes scarce. If you need to get around after dark, you will need to book a taxi. It's an inexpensive way to get around Lombok, and all taxis are metered.
- If you have an International Driver's Licence, you can hire a car for the duration of your stay in Lombok. Motorcycles are also available for rent and are a great way to explore the island. Keep in mind that if you rent a bike in South Lombok, you aren't allowed to drive it onto Northern or Central Lombok without permission from the owner.
- Buses are another cheap way to get around the island if you want to go any of the main towns. However, it can be challenging to figure out the schedule without knowing the local language.
- For short to medium distances, Bemo's are the best way to get around Lombok. It's an inexpensive mode of public transportation that is widely used by the locals. If you do have large bags, the driver will charge you extra.
When is The Best Time to Visit Lombok?
For great weather, lower prices and fewer crowds, visit Lombok in early June and after Chinese New Year in September. You'll also find cheaper airfare for this period if you book your flights 12 weeks in advance. If you are a surfer, the best time to experience Lombok's world-class surf breaks is from April to November.
Peak season is in August, December and January. With an increase in tourists, there is heavy congestion on the roads, and you can expect to pay almost double for accommodation. Shop owners are less likely to drop their prices, and popular restaurants will need reservations.
With the limited number of flights to Lombok, it's recommended to book your trip a few weeks before peak season to avoid disappointment.
Low season is during Lombok's wet season (October to March). Despite the threat of a downpour, the weather is still great during this time. You'll be able to negotiate better deals on accommodation and tours.
Even though prices will be higher during the dry season (April to August), it's the perfect time to visit for multi-day hikes. There will be little chance of rain, and the cooler weather will make the hike easier with none of the wet season's high humidity and temperatures.
Airports in Lombok
Lombok International Airport
Lombok International is the island's only operational airport. It is located near the city of Praya and is 40km south of Mataram.
As with other Indonesian airports, you will be subject to a departure tax. For domestic departures make sure you have IDR 25,000 or IDR 100,000 for international flights. It can only be paid in the local currency so withdraw or exchange your money beforehand.
Getting to and from Lombok International Airport
There are two ways you can get from Lombok International Airport to your hotel.
The DAMRI public bus runs from the airport to Mataram and Senggigi. It runs from 3:30 am to 20:00 pm and departs every 1.5 hours from the airport. Fares cost IDR 25,000 to Mataram and IDR 35,000 to Senggigi.
If you want to take a taxi from the airport to your hotel, you'll need to purchase an airport taxi surcharge. Once you have bought the coupon proceed to the taxi rank outside the arrivals terminal. All taxis are metered and are available 24 hours from the airport. Depending on your final destination, you can expect to pay IDR 200,000 one way.