Laid-back Lombok is the antithesis to bustling Bali. Nothing dramatic usually happens, but therein lies its charm. Explore by bike, motor scooter or on foot and discover waterfalls, patchwork paddy fields and traditional tribal villages. The beaches are rustic and formed from coarse volcanic sands, but what else would you expect from a coastline in the shadow of Mt Rinjani? If you're after more traditional, golden sands to sink your toes into, head to the Gili Islands. Meno and Air, the closest Gilis to Lombok, offer ultimate relaxation whereas big brother Gili Trawangan has a more hedonistic vibe.
Obviously there's a lot more, this is just to get you started...
Smoke spirals out of Sembalun Valley at the base of Mount Rinjani. This breathtaking high plateau is a patchwork of water logged rice paddies and verdant allotment plots. Various vegetables, strawberries and garlic are grown in abundance. Towering above the Sasak villages, Rinjani casts an indomitable shadow. The rainforest covered slopes are sacred to the Sasak people and have become one of the trekking community's best loved moderate climbs. This, after all, is the second tallest peak in Indonesia. It's a 25 kilometer, porter-assisted, trek to Rinjani's crater rim summit on steep, muddy creeper-clad slopes. The views are magnificent but don't underestimate just how tough this climb can be if you're not already a keen hiker.
Sitting on snow white sands watching clouds drift over the Bali Sea can be all the excitement you need for one day on Gili Meno, the middle of the three Gili islands. This super secluded spot entices you to snorkel, swim and paddle in sheltered turquoise waters before retiring to a beachfront bar for a cocktail as the sun sets. If Lombok is the laid-back antithesis to busy Bali, then the car-free Gilis represent somewhere in between. Gili Trawangan, in particular, has proven to be a real hit with party loving backpackers - you can still find plenty of exclusive accommodation options, however, just pick your beach wisely. Gilis Meno and Air, on the other hand, represent complete and utter R&R - perfect for honeymooners and families alike.
We won’t be taking you to each of Indonesia’s 17,500 diverse islands, but this trip will have you exploring four of Indonesia’s islands - Java, Kalimantan, Bali and Komodo. From cruising the jungle waterways of Kalimantan’s rainforest and spotting orangutans, to soaking in the culture in Java to a few days relaxing on Bali and Komodo island - this is a trip full of beautiful contrasts.