For those looking for a paradise island that is home to isolated beaches, Enchanting waterfalls and large looming volcano then a quick hop over to Bali’s neighbouring island of Lombok is the palce to go.
Just a short flight or ferry ride away; Lombok enjoys the rich and enduring indigenous culture of the Sasak people whose quiet and restrained nature have kept the island free from overdevelopment and mass tourism. Contrary to popular beliefs, the origin of the name ‘Lombok’ is actually derived from the Sasak language, ‘Lum-book’ meaning ‘straight line’. It has no connection whatsoever with a variant of the Indonesian name for chilli as thought by many visitors and some Indonesians from other parts of the archipelago.
With a few exceptions, the natural landscape and traditional way of life have remained unchanged for hundreds of years and it has become an increasingly preferred choice for honeymooners and well-heeled travellers seeking to escape the crowds and bustling vibe of Bali.
This is a tropical island with exquisite white-sand beaches, world-class surf breaks and alluring hiking trails through tobacco and rice fields. Visitors can make their stay in Lombok as laid-back or as active as they want. From climbing Indonesia’s second highest volcano Mount Rinjani, to exploring the Gili Islands famous for their exquisite diving and party scene, Lombok is the perfect destination for those wanting a full tropical island emersion.
For others seeking a ‘cast-away’ experience; head over to Jeeva Beloam located in the southern part of the island. This Robinson Crusoe-like beach camp consists of just 11 Beruga’s (thatched bungalows) on a secluded cove bordered by sandy beaches.
While the camp offers an elegant and understated luxury experience it is also environmentally friendly and runs solely on solar power while drawing its water from rain catchment basins. On offer here is full board experience where the seafood dishes are sourced daily from local fishermen, local farmers raise poultry and vegetables are sourced in the nearest market. Jeeva Beloam is a really great place to disconnect from the rest of the world. An absolute must while staying there is to try one of their traditional massages performed by a third generation local healer.
To get to Lombok from Bali visitors can take a 25-minute domestic flight from Denpasar. Other options include the public ferry and express boats that depart from Serangan and Padang Bai harbour.