Beaches, islands, volcanoes, temples & rice terraces… with so much to see & do on Bali & Lombok, find out the top 5 destinations not to be missed!
#1. Nusa Lembongan
Forget the Gili’s Nusa Lembongan is the #1 island off Bali & Lombok, up there with the best in the whole of Indonesia.
Nusa Lembongan is an easy ferry ride from the mainland, with a wide range of accommodation & dining choices. You can easily spend the days relaxing & indulging in hotel pools with cocktails in hand.
But do make the effort to explore the island, it’s well worth it. Hire a bicycle or motorbike or walk on foot, you’ll discover villages, seaweed farms, lookout points, mangroves & more. Nusa Lembongan also has excellent beaches & snorkelling at Mushroom Bay. Divers can search for Manta Rays at Manta Point & Mola-Mola’s at Crystal Bay.
If you have time for only one island or beach getaway in Bali & Lombok, make it Nusa Lembongan!
For more information, see our post Nusa Lembongan: Three Days in Bali’s Island Paradise.
#2. Mount Rinjani
Mount Rinjani is the 2nd highest mountain in Indonesia & the most challenging hikes in Bali & Lombok. It’s a steep, unrelenting 7-8 hour hike to reach the crater rim, but anyone with a reasonable level of fitness & strong determination can do it – the wild monkeys along the route should certainly get you moving!
Step up camp & then enjoy the late afternoon sun on the crater – your eyes are not deceiving you, that’s indeed a crater within a crater, set inside the crater lake of Mount Rinjani. It’s an unforgettable sight.
You should definitely sleep well at night, despite the bitter cold. Open your tent in the early morning to catch a spectacular mountain sunrise.
Base yourself in the mountain town of Senaru & check out its lovely waterfalls, before or after the Rinjani hike.
For more information, see our post Mount Rinjani: Hiking for Free Without a Tour.
It’s easy to enjoy the good life in up-market Bali, but there’s also something for every budget & taste. From spa resorts to homestays, dance performances to yoga retreats, Ubud offers the most variety of attractions & activities in Bali & Lombok.
Spend at least a day or two in the city center exploring royal palaces, markets & the Monkey Forest. Allow another day or two for the attractions outside Ubud, such as temples & rice terraces. Add extra days if you’re interested in taking classes or courses!
With so many things to see & do, many visitors find themselves staying in Ubud longer than planned.
For more information, see our post The Essential Budget Travel Guide to Bali.
#4. Gili Islands
With easy ferry/boat access, cheap food, drinks accommodation & no cars allowed, the Gili Islands are an extremely popular backpackers getaway destination.
There are 3 islands to choose from: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air & Gili Meno. One’s big, one’s small & the one in the middle is just right.
We prefer Gili Air for it’s strong local atmosphere & cheaper prices, while still offering all the amenities for an island getaway, especially beach-front seafood restaurants & bars.
You can find good snorkelling & diving on any of the islands. The calm waters & good selection of professional dive shops makes The Gili’s a perfect place for beginners to learn to dive or build up their confidence in the water.
If you want to follow the Banana Pancake trail on Bali & Lombok, you’ll find yourself very comfortable on the Gili Islands.
For more information, see our post Gili Island Getaway Guide.
For many people, Kuta is synonymous with Bali – with cheap flights & excellent tourist infrastructure, it’s a popular getaway, especially for Australians.
Kuta’s notorious reputation as a party destination is as appealing as it is off-putting, depending on your taste. It’s definitely an indulgent place, whether your vice is alcohol, partying, fine dining, luxury resorts or health & beauty.
But if you’re seeking more down-to-earth experiences, this place still has you covered – surf, sunbathe or swim at Kuta Beach, shop at the boutiques along Jalan Legian or pay your respects at the Bali Bombing memorial. For sightseeing, take day trips to Ubud, Tanah Lot or Ulu Watu.
Kuta has something to offer everyone from partygoers & surfers to families & couples – that’s what makes it Bali’s #1 holiday destination.
For more information, see our post Kuta, Woulda, Shoulda: Bali’s #1 Destination.
Accessible DIY travel to more distant locations via multiple connections or longer forms of transport