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Lombok

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Lombok is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Summer Holiday Destinations in Asia.

Lombok is a fraction smaller than Bali across the Strait yet is noticeably more peaceful. Its blissful beaches have long attracted international surfers, but now this once well-kept surfer’s paradise is becoming an increasingly popular stop on a tour of Indonesia. The island is truly a nature-lover’s dream, boasting lush jungle-clad topography, one of Indonesia’s most visually stunning volcanoes and world-class dive spots.

Due to its varied and awe-inspiring peaks, the island is perfect for those looking to stretch their muscles and include some trekking in their itinerary. In fact, in our opinion, no trip to Lombok should be considered complete without undertaking the two-day trek to the top of Mt. Rinjani, an active volcano at whose peak lies a stunning teal crater lake known locally as Segara Anak. Visitors who decide to take on the challenge of this hike will pass a kaleidoscope of waterfalls, rivers and jungle vegetation, making the journey to the top every bit as enjoyable as the summit itself. Camping overnight en route at Plawangan Sembalun and rising early to witness the ethereal sunrise from above the clouds will also guarantee an unforgettable experience.

For those travellers preferring a more restful retreat, we recommend avoiding the backpacker crowds of Kuta and staying along the northwest coast. Beaches here are secluded and far less touristic than those down south or on neighbouring Bali, and locals embrace laid-back island life to the full. Thanks to numerous top international hotels setting up in the region, including The Oberoi, visitors will not have to miss out on luxury when enjoying this relatively quiet paradise either.

Lombok’s satellite islands, the Gilis, have also steadily built up a reputation of their own. A mainstay on the backpacker trail, these three islands have become synonymous not only with raucous nightlife but also with some of the world’s best diving. Located just off Lombok’s northwest coast, they boast idyllic palm-fringed beaches and awe-inspiring marine life that surround the coral reefs just offshore. Dive spots pepper the sea front, so you will find no shortage of schools offering PADI qualifications up to Divemaster level to choose from.

With the popularity of Lombok growing, we recommend visiting sooner rather than later as significant foreign investment on the island is likely to surge tourism in the years ahead.

>> Click here to view our Lombok Gallery

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