Best Of Lombok with kids: a detailed Guide (of what to do, where to stay and what to know about Lombok before you go)

Best Of Lombok with kids: a detailed Guide              (of what to do, where to stay and what to know about Lombok before you go)

*This page includes affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to You. I only recommend and share accommodations that I personally stayed at with our extended family.

Travelling in South East Asia has brought us to many unexpected destinations. As we explored Bali, we decided we wanted a more relaxed place to experience compared to busy life in Ubud, Bali and Lombok came to such a surprise – it is completely different from Bali, seemed like a different country in our eyes.

We came from Bali to Gili Air island that is located very close to Lombok’s Northwest shore to spend a few nights and celebrate our eldest son’s birthday. We visited Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan before we headed to Lombok. We came to Bangsal port with a local ferry taxi and rented a car to be able to explore this island to the fullest. We have seen beautiful waterfalls in the north, lived in the footsteps of the beautiful mount Rinjani and explored near by rice terraces, soaked up at the southern beaches near Kuta and Selong Belanak as well as drove through the villages of the central Lombok and enjoyed our interactions with the locals and admired unspoiled nature and jungle of this still less touristy destination compared to Bali.

Here we are sharing our insights of Lombok, as we explored it for a few weeks and have seen different parts of it from up close.

Things to know before you go to Lombok, Indonesia

Where is Lombok? – Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It forms part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait between it and Sumbawa to the east.

In short- Lombok island is located east of Bali and geographically is almost the same size as Bali.

Seasons and weather in Lombok – Tropical climate with warm and humid weather all year round. Temperature range from 21 Celsius to 32 Celsius. Wet season starts from November to May and dry season start from May-October. We were in March and it rained up north of Lombok for a few days straight and in the south it rained for couple hours per day in the afternoons which was actually very nice.

How to get from Bali to Lombok?

there are 4 main ways to get from Bali to Lombok:

  1. Private Charter Boat
  2. Plane – there are a few daily flights from Bali Denpasar International Airport flying to Lombok and it takes only about 40 minutes;
  3. Fast Speed Boat –  most of the speed boats leave from Padang Bai port and takes about 2-3 hours to get to Bangsal Port in Lombok (costs start at around 10$ US per person one way (children under 2 are free of charge) – we took Gangari Boat and booked through 12asia.go- it was the cheapest speed boat)
  4. Public Ferry – this ferry leaves a few times per day weather permitting and costs just a few dollars per person, but takes around 4 hours or more to get to Lombok from Bali.

Main Facts about Lombok

  • Population: Lombok has a population of around 3.5 million people.
  • Language: The main languages spoken are Indonesian and Sasak.
  • Currency: The currency used is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).
  • Religion: The majority of people in Lombok are Muslim, but other religions are also practiced here freely. If Bali is considered the island of a thousand temples, Lombok would be the island of a thousand mosques.
  • Lombok has three main districts with three capital cities: Mataram in the west, Praya in central and Selong in east Lombok. The majority of commerce is in the capital city of Mataram in west Lombok.

Main Holidays and Festivals in Lombok

Lombok, Indonesia, has a rich cultural heritage and celebrates numerous holidays and festivals that reflect its diverse traditions and religious practices. Here are some of the main holidays and festivals in Lombok:

  1. Bau Nyale Festival: This annual event is one of Lombok’s most famous festivals. It takes place around February or March, when locals gather on the beaches to catch sea worms (nyale) that are believed to bring good fortune. The festival includes traditional music, dance performances, and boat races.
  2. Idul Fitri (Eid al-Fitr): This significant Islamic holiday marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Families come together to celebrate with prayers, feasts, and giving gifts. It’s a time of joy and communal harmony.
  3. Idul Adha (Eid al-Adha): Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, this important Islamic holiday commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son. It involves prayers, feasts, and the sacrificial offering of animals, which are then distributed to the needy.
  4. Lebaran Topat: Celebrated a week after Idul Fitri, this unique Lombok tradition involves visiting family graves, communal prayers, and the preparation of special dishes like ketupat (rice cakes wrapped in coconut leaves). It’s a time for families to gather and celebrate together.
  5. Perang Topat: This unique festival takes place at Pura Lingsar Temple and involves a friendly rice cake war between the island’s Hindu and Muslim communities. It’s a symbol of unity and mutual respect between the two religious groups.
  6. Sangkep Warige: A traditional Sasak ceremony held to mark the start of the planting season. It involves rituals and offerings to ensure a good harvest and is an essential part of Lombok’s agricultural calendar.
  7. Galungan and Kuningan: These Balinese Hindu festivals are also celebrated in Lombok, especially in areas with Balinese communities. Galungan marks the victory of good over evil, while Kuningan is celebrated ten days later to honor ancestors. Both involve elaborate offerings, prayers, and temple ceremonies.
  8. Chinese New Year: Celebrated by the Chinese community in Lombok, this festival includes dragon and lion dances, fireworks, and family gatherings. Temples are decorated, and traditional foods are enjoyed.
  9. Muharram/Islamic New Year: This holiday marks the beginning of the Islamic lunar calendar. It’s a time for reflection, prayers, and special religious activities.
  10. Nyepi (Day of Silence): While predominantly celebrated in Bali, Nyepi is also observed by the Hindu community in Lombok. It’s a day of complete silence, fasting, and meditation to celebrate the Balinese New Year.

TOP ten family-friendly attractions to visit in Lombok with kids:

  1. Gili Islands: This trio of small islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air) offers snorkeling, swimming, and turtle watching, with safe and clear waters ideal for children. We spent a few days on Gili Air as we wanted a bit less touristy ISland so if you want more action – Gili Trawangan is the way to go.
  2. Mount Rinjani National Park: While the full trek to the summit is challenging, there are shorter, family-friendly hikes that offer stunning views and opportunities to see waterfalls and wildlife. Best to go in the dry season as the trails are closed during the rainy season.
  3. Senggigi Beach: A great spot for a relaxed beach day with safe swimming areas for kids, plus kayaking and paddleboarding opportunities.
  4. Banyumulek Village: Known for traditional pottery, this village offers an educational experience where kids can try their hand at pottery making and learn about local crafts.
  5. Narmada Water Park: This historic park, built as a summer palace, offers pools, temples, and gardens, providing a fun and educational outing for families.
  6. Kuta Beach: A popular spot for families, Kuta Beach offers beautiful sands, gentle waves suitable for beginner surfers, and nearby cafes and restaurants.
  7. Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile Waterfalls: Located in the north of Lombok, these twin waterfalls offer a refreshing adventure with easy trails suitable for families. It is a nice walk through the jungle and kids will enjoy all the climbing and crossing the river. Great to get a guide as the trail is not marked everywhere and you will need to cross the river couple of times.
  8. Pura Batu Bolong: This scenic seaside temple near Senggigi is a great place for kids to learn about local culture and enjoy beautiful ocean views.
  9. Lombok Wildlife Park: A family-friendly wildlife sanctuary where kids can interact with various animals, including feeding elephants and seeing tropical birds up close.
  10. Tanjung Aan Beach: Known for its calm, clear waters and soft sand, this beach is perfect for a day of swimming and playing in the sand with kids. We went there a few times and every time we had a great time!

These attractions provide a diverse mix of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and opportunities for relaxation, ensuring that families can make the most of their time in Lombok. We definitely loved our time at the beaches of Lombok- they are one of the greatest we have been to.

Getting Around Lombok

Getting around Lombok is relatively easy, with several transportation options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Here are the main ways to get around Lombok:

  1. Renting a Car or Scooter:
    • Car Rental: Renting a car is a convenient option for families or groups, allowing you to explore the island at your own pace. We rented a car from a local small car rental place and could not be any happier as we have a bigger family and renting scooters with small kids and luggage was not an option. We actually aim to rent a ca r everywhere we go as we explore a lot more and it offers a lot more freedom.
    • Scooter Rental: For solo travelers or couples, renting a scooter is an affordable and flexible way to get around. However, keep in mind that traffic can be challenging, and wearing a helmet is mandatory.
  2. Taxis:
    • Bluebird Taxis: Bluebird is a reputable taxi company with metered fares, ensuring you get a fair price for your trip. You can hail them on the street or book through their app.
    • Local Taxis: These are more informal and may not have meters, so it’s essential to negotiate the fare before starting your journey.
  3. Ride-Hailing Services:
    • Gojek and Grab: These popular ride-hailing apps operate in Lombok and offer services like motorbike taxis (ojeks) and cars. They are convenient and often cheaper than regular taxis.
  4. Public Transportation:
    • Bemos: Bemos are small minivans that operate on fixed routes around Lombok. They are a very affordable way to travel, but they can be crowded and may not be the most comfortable option for long distances.
    • Public Buses: Larger buses operate on longer routes between major towns and cities. They are inexpensive but can be slow and infrequent.
  5. Private Drivers:
    • Hiring a private driver for the day is a popular choice for tourists who want a hassle-free experience. Drivers are knowledgeable about the island and can take you to multiple destinations. Rates are typically negotiated in advance.
  6. Bicycles:
    • For short distances or exploring specific areas like the Gili Islands, renting a bicycle is a fun and eco-friendly option. Many hotels and guesthouses offer bicycle rentals.
  7. Boats and Ferries:
    • Public Ferries: To travel between Lombok and neighboring islands like Bali and the Gili Islands, public ferries and fast boats are available. The main ports are in Lembar (for Bali) and Bangsal (for the Gili Islands).
    • Private Boats: For a more personalized experience, you can hire private boats for island hopping and exploring more remote beaches.
  8. Walking:
    • In smaller towns and tourist areas, walking can be an enjoyable way to get around. Many attractions, restaurants, and shops are within walking distance of each other. In Kuta, we could walk around – no problem as everything was pretty close in distance. Same was in Selong Belanak, – the beach was only 500 meters away, the restaurants and local fruit stands were also relatively close.


Kuta, LombokJivana Resort– we opted to rent a 2 bedroom villa in a boutique resort and let me tell you – this was one of the best places we stayed. The service is top notch and the breakfast is included. Here is a link (JIVANA RESORT 2 BEDROOM VILLA )to this great 3 start boutique resort that has such a beautiful landscape with tortoises roaming around the area (which was a great adventure in itself). The price we negotiated was 165$ US per night, a little on a higher end but so worth it.

North Lombok, at the footsteps of Mount Rinjani- Pondok Guru Bakti Cottages -link here- PONDOK COTTAGES – the place is amazing, although the rooms are not a luxury resort, but they are very clean and the have the best views of the mount Rinjani and also they have an amazing infinity pool. The restaurant has really superb food- everyone had something to eat there, even the most picky eaters and everything was made from scratch. This great hotel is very budget friendly.

Selong Belanak- Villa Cocody (link: AIRBNB Villa Cocody )- a 3 bedroom villa with a massive pool outside, very secluded and private and a walking distance to a near by Selong Belanak Beach. All bedrooms have King Size beds which is so amazing and a MUST HAVE for our big family. We paid 115$ US per night at the time of booking but they gave a huge discount as we were the first ones that actually booked it.

Hope this gives an idea what to expect when in Lombok. It is a great place to explore and immerse in the local culture or just to relax at the beautiful beaches and enjoy local foods. We spent two weeks on this beautiful island but we easily would have spent more. It is definitely different from a neighboring Bali – that is for sure. We loved Lombok as it was much less crowded, had the most beautiful beaches and is still much undiscovered gem.