A vision of what Bali must have been like before it got too crowded, Lombok is the next island east in the Indonesian archipelago. A genuine tropical paradise, it's a unique blend of Hindu and Muslim cultures, incredible beaches, and a thriving craft industry.
What We Love
Waterfalls: Lombok's lush interior overflows with spectacular cascades that tumble into jungle pools. The twin falls of Sendang Gila and Tiu Kelep are the most visitor friendly.
Pura Lingsar: Anyone who thinks that two religions can't peacefully coexist should visit this emotive 18th-century temple, shared by the island's Hindu and Muslim worshippers.
Best Known For
Arts and Crafts: Lombok's artisans specialize in woodcarving and weaving. A wide array of decorative and useful household items are available in crafts shops, markets, and stalls outside major tourist attractions.
Beaches: White-sand strands on the three little Gili Islands — a boat ride away — are the most trendy (and crowded), but there are plenty of places on Lombok to soak up some sun, sea, and sand.
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Who It's Best For
Island Hoppers: If you're one of those people who makes a hobby of visiting tropical islands, Lombok should definitely be on your bucket list.
Jaded Bali Visitors: If you used to love Bali but are dismayed by the ever-increasing number of tourists and hotel developments, Lombok will restore your faith in Indonesia; the island's local culture and exoticism are still intact.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Scuba Diving Is Better Elsewhere: Lombok is a great place to learn diving, but the local waters are largely devoid of fish and coral compared to Indonesia's top dive spots.
Hiking up Mount Rinjani Is Not a Stroll in the Park: Trekking to the top of Lombok's 12,000-foot active volcano is tougher than it looks. It’s best done as a three-day, two-night experience rather than rushing up and down in a single day.
Joe Yogerst is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Travel + Leisure.