The Mighty Mount Rinjani
The mighty Rinjani mountain of Gunung Rinjani is a massive volcano which towers over the island of Lombok. A climb to the top is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have in Indonesia. At 3,726 meters tall, Gunung Rinjani is the second highest mountain in Indonesia. The climb to the top may not be easy but it’s worth it, and is widely regarded as one of the best views in the country.
Within the mountain is a crescent shaped lake, the breathtaking Segara Anak which is a spiritual place. The Balinese come here each year and perform a ceremony to the mountain spirit. The Wetu Telu people also regard the lake as holy and come here to pray on full moon nights. This lake of sulfur is located 600 meters below the crater rim. Rising from the waters of this lake is a new volcano, Mt Baru, which is a result of a series of eruptions during the 1990’s.
Mt Rinjani lies within the Gunung Rinjani National Park. The park covers 41,330 hectares and sits inside a major bio-geographical transition zone (Wallacea). This is where the tropical flora and fauna of South East Asia meets that of Australasia. This National Park was established in 1997 and is one of over 40 throughout Indonesia.
Three-day Rinjani route from Senaru to the crater rim, down to the Crater Lake then on to Sembalun Lawang, is considered one of the best treks in South East Asia. More adventurous trekkers may want to head all the way to the summit of the volcano. This is best reached from Sembalun Lawang and takes four days, finishing up in Senaru.
The most popular way to climb Rinjani is through a four or five day hiking expedition, starting at Senaru and finishing at Sembalun Lawang. Trekkers begin from Senaru hiking to the stunning crater rim, down to the incredible crater lake and then onto Sembalun Lawang. More information about trekking up Mt Rinjani is available at the Rinjani trekking club website.
Senaru and Sembalun Lawang Villages are the two starting points to climb Gunung Rinjani. Senaru Village is a three hour drive north of Mataram, while Sembalun Lawang Village is approximately a four hours drive to the east of Mataram. You can get to Senaru by taking public transport to Bayan and then walking.
When people travel to Lombok Island, they expect a more peaceful version of its more well-known neighbor Bali. Vivid colorful sunsets, soft sandy beaches, clear crystal waters, or even a hike to the top of the mighty Mount Rinjani are just a few activities that pop in your mind when you think of Lombok.
However, this glorious island still has few other secrets just waiting to be uncovered. Many who come to the island fail to realize that Lombok hides some of the best tranquil waterfalls in the archipelago. Exploring waterfalls is the next best thing – not to mention safer – to exploring a jungle. The journey to a waterfall usually consists of a trek in the forest, best led by an experienced guide, that ends in a sight and sensation so fantastic the exhausting trip would be totally worth it.
So the next time you're in Lombok, take time to explore the island further and visit one, if not all, of these incredible waterfalls during your stay.
1 | Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls
Tucked away in the village of Senaru in the island's northern Lombok Utara regency are two of Lombok's finest and most popular cascades, Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep, located on the foot of the majestic Mount Rinjani. The village is located about a 2 ½ hour drive from Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province.
According to local people, the name Tiu Kelep is taken from the Sasak language. “Tiu” meaning pool, and “Kelep” means flying. Meanwhile, Sendang Gile’s name is taken from a legend which tells the story of a prince who was chased by a crazy lion. He ran into the woods and hid behind a waterfall, hence the name Sendang Gile.
It only takes 15 minutes on foot from the entrance to view the marvelous Sendang Gile waterfall, which is a continuation of the Tiu Kelep waterfall. The clear path to the waterfall passes through a lush protected rain forest filled with towering tropical trees. Once you get there, you can enjoy the sight of the water crushing the rocks or swim in its cool crisp pool.
If you crave a more adventurous trek in the woods that will lead to a more satisfying endgame, then venture further to Tiu Kelep waterfall. The journey to the second waterfall in the area takes around 45 minutes trekking through a lush forest. The bridge used to cross the river could also seem quite intimidating for those who are scared of heights.
But the trip would be totally worth it as you come upon the majestic rush of water rushing around 45 meters down the cliff before crashing against the rocks on the bottom.
2 | Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu Waterfalls
This is another cascade pair you must see when you visit Lombok. Situated in Central Lombok regency, just a one and a half hour’s drive from Senggigi beach, Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu are waterfalls located only around one kilometer apart from each other. The unique must-see quality of these falls is that instead of being greeted by a sight of water pouring from a cliff passing through jagged rocks, you will see fascinating views of water flowing down among lush plants.
The road is paved so this would be a fairly comfortable trek though still exhausting. You can also find some stalls on the sides of the road where you can buy small towels, drinks, snacks or even kaput rice.
The name Benang Setokel means a bundle of thread. This waterfall consists of two levels and each isas high as 20 meters. The water comes from a river upstream on Mount Rinjani. Here, you can play and frolic in the pond that unites the downpour.
Afterwards, journey to the stunning Benang Kelambu waterfall that consists of around two to three levels. The word “Kelambu” means curtain, named after the plants that frame the waterfall just like a window and curtain. Since the water flows directly from a water spring on Mount Rinjani, the water is clean and said to be safe to drink.
3 | Mayang Putek Waterfall
Although Lombok has tens of amazing waterfalls, the Mayang Putek waterfall is the most unique one of them all. Why? Because its waters contain sulfur that locals believe to have healing properties because the water comes directly from Mount Rinjani. The 60 meter high waterfall is located in Bilok Petung village in the Sembalun district of Lombok Timur regency.
Like many names of Indonesia's waterfalls, the name Mayung Putek is tied to a local legend. Long ago at this location, a white stag was often seen bathing or drinking, hence the name Mayung Putek, which literally translates to meaning “White Stag”.
The journey to the waterfall, however, is a trek of around 30 minutes of going down steps, passing through a hill and then across a river. Although the journey heading towards the waterfall seems simpler, the journey back is a bit more difficult. However, it would be totally worth it to feel the benefits of a nice sulfur bath that could supposedly heal your aches and pains and various other illnesses. Not to mention the unique sight of the “white stag”.
4 | Jukut / Jeruk Manis (Sweet Orange) Waterfall
Here is another one of Lombok's waterfalls believed to have special magical properties. Locals believe the cascade located on the foot of Mount Rinjani to the south of the Mount Rinjani National Park can heal various types of diseases and nourish the hair. Yes, locals believe that washing your hair in its waters will cure you from baldness or help you maintain your full lustrous locks.
A haven for nature lovers, the waterfall stands some 30 meters tall and flows down to a narrow river and rocky place. After buying a ticket to enter the waterfall at the entrance gate, you will need to walk around 15 minutes for some 1.5 kilometers in order to get to the location.
On the way to the waterfall, you will pass a path made from flat stones and about 180 stairs. Along the way you will come across many types of interesting plants and an animal or two, like a monkey or a deer.
If you feel tired of walking, you can take a rest at one of the three berugak / gazebos sprawled along the path. However, it's best if you push through your exhaustion a little longer and rest at the gazebo located nearest to the waterfall. Here, you will be able to see a magnificent view of the protected forest spread across in front of you like a huge green golf course.
5 | Tiu Tedja Waterfall
If you're not thrilled of long treks and adventures through forests, than the journey towards the waterfalls above may seem unappealing. However, we do have a treat for those who crave the wonderful experience of venturing to a waterfall without the tiresome treks. Tiu Tedja is the perfect destination for lazers, the not-so-fit and people who want a simple trip to a glorious cascading waterfall.
Unlike many of Lombok's other waterfalls, the journey to Tiu Tedja only takes around 15 minutes from the entrance through a soft trek of semi-permanent steps. Located in Lombok Utara (Northern Lombok) regency, this is basically a waterfall with the most friendly pathway in Lombok.
“Tiu” means water while “Teja” means rainbow in the local language of Sasak. Therefore, this waterfall is guaranteed to give a sight like no other and the added perk of a rainbow if you're lucky. Another bonus? The pool is relatively shallow and perfect for swimming or splish- splashing around.
But wait, before you go off exploring Lombok island's waterfalls, take note that no matter how “light” or “easy” the experience is described to be, you should prepare the following before your journey:
Trekking shoes or sandals seem to be the perfect choice. Some survive in sneakers and regular sandals, but they end up completely wet and uncomfortable to wear after. Some sandals may even get lost down the stream! Yes, it has happened a few times. You may be required to walk through streams with jagged rocks and stones.
Don't be fooled by the locals or tour guides who seem to walk easily using regular sandals, or even barefoot, across the streams. The rocks do hurt and the rush of the streams could be quite strong sometimes so take heed.
A change of clothes
When visiting a location that has water rushing down a cliff, you will surely get wet. Yes, you will. That does not mean you should visit waterfalls wearing a only a bikini or spandex shorts – because that would be just a tad embarrassing compared to the fully dressed and mostly conservative locals. Remember, you might have to venture through a forest first before you get to your destination.
Just prepare some fresh dry clothes and if you can, wear your swimsuit underneath your regular clothes. Some waterfall sites actually do give you the opportunity to strip down and swim around.
Be Aware of local customs and beliefs
Some areas have particular customs and beliefs. It is best to respect this and abide by any rules given by locals.
Be Physically Fit
Depending on which waterfall you plan to visit, make sure you are physically fit for the journey. Some waterfalls require an arduous hike through the woods and/or streams. Not to mention a climb up and down hundreds of stairs. Although there are usually resting areas in between, make sure your physique is up for the task.
Bring Necessary Items
Remember, you will probably be trekking in the woods and end up getting wet so bring the necessary items you usually need to face these conditions. Some useful items are: insect repellent, a raincoat, backpack/ bag and eucalyptus oil or other oils/ balms to warm the body.
Don't litter. Keep all trash in your backpack or bag until you find a trash bin. Respect nature and don't do anything harmful to plants or trees to come across along the way. Also respect the animals you see during your journey. Refrain from taunting or playing with them.
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Mandalika: The Ultimate Paradise in the Heart of Lombok
Along the south coast of the beautiful Lombok island lies a long and wide stretch of beautiful white sand beach facing the glistening Indian Ocean. On the background are lush green hills and mesmerizing landscapes. This is Mandalika, once a surfers’ best-kept secret, now it has emerged as the island’s capital of leisure. Mandalika shouts heaven from all of its enchanting corners.
The special tourism economic zone boasts vibrant bars and nightclubs, thrilling racing circuits, exciting water parks, luxurious hotels and resorts, fascinating golf courses, rejuvenating spas, and plenty more; there’s everything for everyone at this 1,250-hectare paradise. The tourism industry in Mandalika is equalling its neighboring island, Bali. Mandalika is also a melting pot of tourists from all parts of the globe. Here, the tourism industry fused seamlessly with the unique and colorful culture of the local people that is still well preserved for generations.
Mandalika is also conveniently located near some of Lombok’s most outstanding beaches. These include Tanjung Aan, Kuta, Gerupuk, Serenting, and Seger Beach. From the top of the Merese Hill and Batu Payung Beach, you are presented with some of the most amazing panoramas of Lombok. All kinds of fun water sports activities await at Kuta Beach. Those who enjoy swimming, surfing, and fishing can head to Gerupuk Beach, while those who prefer peace and serenity can head to Serenting Beach. For a one of a kind cultural experience, head down to Seger Beach during the annual tradition of Bau Nyale Ritual and join in the local festivity you won’t find elsewhere.
Blessed with beautiful nature and enhanced by the hands of professionals, Mandalika is designed to make your dream vacation a reality. With all its exceptional splendors, a trip here will be unforgettable and will make you long for more.
Getting around in this area is quite simple. A public transportation vehicle called Bemo runs all over Lombok including Mandalika, and it will get you to most places. You can also rent a car, a motorcycle, or a bicycle. However, since most of the facilities in the area are within walking distance, you can simply walk or stroll as you enjoy the vibe.
From Singapore and Malaysia, you can take a direct flight to Lombok International Airport, which is located not too far from Mandalika. Flights are also available from various major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali. From Jakarta, the flight will take about 2 hours, while from the nearby Bali, it will only take about 30 minutes. From Bali, you can also take a ferry from Padang Bai Harbor to Lembar Harbor in Lombok. From there you can take a bus or a taxi to Mandalika that will take about 2-3 hours.
Gili Meno, Gili Islands Indonesia
If you dream of being completely away from it all, or honeymoon on a remote island, but you still want to be near “civilization”, then Gili Meno is your answer. Situated only some 20 minutes from Senggigi Beach by speedboat on the west coast of Lombok island, Gili Meno is one of three islands now gaining worldwide popularity. These are Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. In the local Sasak language, “gili” means island. So take note that there are many “gilis” around Lombok that are either stand-alone or are in cluster.
Among the three islands in this cluster, Gili Meno is the quietest, and Gili Trawangan the most popular. If Gili Trawangan looks more like a tourist village, Gili Meno offers more of serene nature, besides superb diving opportunities. Meno is the smallest island with the least inhabitants, located in the center of the cluster. Here are white beaches, and shady palm trees interspersed with grassland, where cattle graze.
Gili Meno is a most idyllic and romantic retreat for honeymooners, but has sufficient attractions and things to do. Around the island are three dive spots that are favorite with scuba divers, they are called the Meno Wall, Sea Point Turtle, and Point Coral Blue. Besides, there is a seawater lake and a Bird Park that comes complete with homestay facilities.
Amidst amazing scenery of white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, crystal clear seas and the soft lapping of waves, you will hear the chirping of many birds. The Gili Meno Bird Park was built by an Australian in a dome-like structure and has over 200 species of Asian and Australian birds, that include flamingos, cuckatoos, eagles and pelicans, besides other beautifully feathered friends. Uniquely, visitors must pass through labyrinths before reaching the dome.
The Gili islands strictly ban motorized vehicles. Therefore, transport is by bike or on a “cidomo” the local horse-drawn carts. But to really absorb the beauty and serenity of nature you can hike, taking care to bring sufficient drinking water with you.
The small port at Gili Meno is called Bangsal Port, and you must wait until there are 20 passengers before the boat leaves. If you are in a hurry you can rent speedboats. When arriving by plane at the Lombok International Airport, you can take a taxi to Senggigi. You can also take the DAMRI bus to Mataram, capital city of Lombok and continue by taxi. There are direct ferries that ply between Bali and Gili Trawangan. At Gili Trawangan, find a boat to take you to Gili Meno.
Explore the Natural Beauty of Gili Trawangan and the Gilis in Lombok
White sandy beaches. Tropical coral reefs. Warm inviting waters. All this awaits you on the Gili Trawangan and the Gili islands in Lombok. And with no cars, no motorbikes and no distractions other than beautiful tropical island scenery, the Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok are truly an ideal destination for a tropical getaway.
Offering spectacular reefs and ominous dive sites like Shark reef, the Gili Trawangan and the Gili islands in Lombok are the perfect escape for anyone wanting to get away to beautiful, natural and relaxing surrounds. This is why these islands have become a popular destination for Western tourists looking for a remote island experience.
For divers and snorkelers, there are few places better than the Gili’s where you can get up close to all kinds of marine life including a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in all its glory. Swim up and watch this graceful creature glide through the ocean. You should be able to spot these turtles at depths of 10-20 meter below sea level.
The Gilis consist of three islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. In local Sasak language, "Gili" means "island". In the Indonesian language, plural is denoted by repeating a noun. So "Gili Gili" literally means "islands”.
Renowned for friendly locals and superb natural beauty, each of the island’s are well prepared for tourists. Gili Trawangan is the largest and most popular of the three islands. It has a vibrant nightlife to keep you entertained once the sun goes down. With a wide collection of restaurants and bars, you’ll never be short of entertainment here.
If you're after a quiet getaway, try Gili Meno or Gili Air. Gili Air is closest to the mainland and is the most populated of the Gili’s. Gili Meno is the smallest island and, with only a few hundred permanent residents, it has the most remote feel to it. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants built in keeping with the islands’ homely village atmosphere.
Cars and motorbikes are prohibited on the Gili’s giving each island a very peaceful atmosphere. The best way to get around and explore the islands is by bike. You can rent a bike and take a ride and look at the spectacular views of the tropical landscape.
A horse-drawn carriage or cidomo is another popular way to get around for both locals and visitors. A tour around Gili Terawangan in a cidomo taking around half an hour. When you want to stretch your legs there’s nothing quite like taking a leisurely stroll around the island. If you want to travel between the Gili’s you can also hire a motorized boat
The Gili islands are easily reached by speedboat from Senggigi, taking only some 20 minutes boat ride. Many tourists also travel direct to Gili Trawangan by ferry that leaves Bali daily from Serangan or Padang Bai. Travel on the islands are only by bike or “cidomo” the small horse-drawn carts taking 3 persons per ride.
No motorized vehicles are allowed here. There are also regular passenger boats from Senggigi harbour. There are also regular fast ferries from Bali direct to Gili Trawangan, departing Serangan at 08:00 am and 10:00 am, and daily from Padang Bai, leaving at 11:15 am.