Diving in Lombok
Lombok promises many things, and at the top of the list is an adventure. Pristine white sand beaches through to rugged cliffs and towering volcanoes make Lombok a truly unique destination. Tourism outside of the main towns of Mataram and Senggigi is still on a small scale so it’s the perfect destination for exploration and experiencing local culture. Enjoy the beaches, get your adrenaline pumping on some of the south coast dive sites and spend time with the friendly locals. If you’re looking for big fish and diverse marine life away from the crowds, Lombok is an excellent choice. At the south of the island, top areas to visit include Belongas Bay, Kuta, Tampah and Gerupuk Bay. Dive sites vary from gentle slopes to walls and there is also a cavern at Belongas Bay to explore. At the southwest of Lombok, Sekotong is a treasure trove of pristine dive sites, many of them only recently discovered. This is a great place for critter hunting. Diving is relatively easy around Lombok and welcoming to new divers. This makes it a great place to get a diving certification.
Lombok lies within West Nusa Tengarra province in Indonesia and is known to many as the quieter cousin of Bali. The island is similar in size to Bali but is culturally different despite its close proximity with a smaller, mostly Muslim population of 3.3 million people. Lombok’s popularity has grown only in recent years with the Lombok International Airport opening in October 2011.
Mount Rinjani, a live volcano, is the highest point of the island and is also the second-highest volcano in Indonesia, rising to 12,224ft (3,726m). It’s most recent eruption was in May 2010, which saw lava flowing into the caldera lake within Mount Rinjani.
Lombok has something for every kind of traveller. Hikers will be pleased to know that Mount Rinjani and its surrounding areas are crisscrossed with beautiful hiking trails. Ocean lovers will find stretches of white sand beaches and healthy coral reefs to snorkel and scuba dive. Lombok is also a top surfing destination from April to October. This coincides with the dry season and is an ideal time to visit Lombok.
Lombok is surrounded by many small islands which are known as Gili in the local Sasak language. The most popular of these islands are known as the Gili Islands consisting of Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. Diving and snorkelling are top activities there along with it being a wonderful place to rest and relax.