Lombok

For a general audience, Lombok is more famous as the island next to Bali and is only known for its three Gili islands. But diving in Lombok has been part of the industry for a while, and the proof is the many dive centers in Gili Trawangan. To those who are still oblivious about diving in Lombok, the diversity of marine life here certainly has the opportunity to captivate your attention.

Lombok is undoubtedly a worthy diving destination among Lesser Sunda islands, from the Gili islands in the north (Trawangan, Air, and Meno) to Belongas Bay in the south. Whether you are a novice diver or have been diving your whole life, Lombok gets you covered.

Top highlights of Lombok

  • Head to Belongas Bay for some incredible sightings of hammerhead sharks
  • Gili Islands are certainly not to be missed, as these tiny islands have remarkable underwater scenery
  • Treat yourself by witnessing green and Hawksbill turtles gliding gracefully across the water in Lombok
  • For macro enthusiasts, Will’s Beach is a worthy recommendation for critter hunting

About Lombok

Lombok is the neighboring island of Bali, located on the east side of the Island of Gods. Along with Sumbawa, these two are the largest islands forming West Nusa Tenggara province. Unlike Bali, where most of the population is Hindu, almost 97% of the population in West Nusa Tenggara is Muslim, with less than 2,5% practicing Hinduism.

Sasak is the largest ethnic group in Lombok, comprising 85% of the total population, with Balinese, Sumbawa, and Javanese following behind. Though related in language and ancestry to the Balinese, the biggest difference is religion, as Sasak people are predominantly Muslim.

The second-highest volcano in Indonesia is located in Lombok. Mount Rinjani (3,772 m) is famous for its caldera, which UNESCO declared as part of the Global Geoparks Network. The newest addition to Lombok in hopes of boosting tourism is the Mandalika International Street Circuit, which was opened in late 2021 and hosted the Grand Prix Motorcycle race for the first time in 2022.

Diving in Lombok

Talking about prime diving destinations in Indonesia, Lombok is often overlooked as people focus more on Bunaken or Raja Ampat. Primarily in the Lesser Sunda region, Lombok is frequently overshadowed by Bali and Komodo. But with many fantastic dive sites, ranging from the Gili islands in the north to the spectacular ones in the south of Lombok, the region should be on any diver’s itinerary.

Gili islands are famous for their turtle population, so it is no wonder that you can easily spot hawksbill and green turtles around these small islands. Belongas Bay, in the southern part of the island, is the place to be for hammerhead shark sightings. This area is filled with a school of scalloped and great hammerhead sharks from June to October. Most of the dive sites in the southern part are only for experienced divers due to the strong currents and their location in the open sea. Other shark species that can be seen roaming around the waters of Lombok are greytip, whitetip, and blacktip sharks.

Turtles and hammerhead sharks are surely not the only inhabitants in the Lombok waters. From barracudas, tuna, fusiliers, Napoleon wrasse, mackerels, sweetlips, jacks, and eagle rays to critters like nudibranchs, different species of shrimps and crabs, octopuses, lionfish are easily spotted in Lombok. Gorgonians, sea fans, and hard and soft corals in various shapes and colors complete the beauty of the underwater scenery in Lombok.

Discover your next adventure in

Lombok

The Hammerhead Sharks' Magnet in Lombok

Belongas Bay lies in the southern part of Lombok, an area rarely visited by tourists. This area is quite remote. The phone and internet reception are limited, and no ATM is in sight. But for avid divers, the remoteness is the reason why Belongas Bay is one—if not one—of the must-visit spots when diving in Lombok.

The reason being? The hammerhead sharks.

From June to October, it is possible to spot these distinctive and most recognized shark species in Belongas Bay. The Cathedral and Magnet are two of the most famous dive sites in the region for hammerhead sightings. Out of the nine species of hammerhead sharks, the most commonly seen during the period are great hammerhead and scalloped hammerhead sharks. And it is not only one or two but dozens of them. Even though other fish species like barracudas, reef sharks, eagle rays, fusiliers, and tuna are present, the leading star of Belongas Bay is the hammerhead shark.

Both hammerhead sharks are on the critically endangered list from the IUCN Red List due to overfishing. Seeing these two species in great numbers is undoubtedly one of the most memorable experiences for divers.

Diving Environments in Lombok

The diving conditions in Lombok are excellent in general. The visibility in most dive sites ranges from 10 to more than 40 meters, primarily when the weather is clear and without any rainfall. The same thing can also be said about the water temperature, which is always within the range of 26 to 30 degrees Celsius.

Lombok offers different types of diving, from deep dives, wall dives, and drop-offs to muck diving, with the depth of the dive sites going beyond 50 meters. The currents vary depending on the dive sites, tide, and the lunar cycle, but rest assured that the currents are suitable for beginners and advanced divers. Kindly ask your diving operators about the dive sites and suit them with your level of diving. It is advisable to wear the 3mm (or even 5mm) wetsuit when diving in Lombok.

Discover your next adventure in

Lombok

How to get to Lombok

Getting to Lombok is relatively straightforward. Taking the plane is the easiest and the most comfortable option. Flying from Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali (Wings Air and Citilink) to Lombok International Airport only takes approximately 40 minutes. Direct flights to Lombok are also available from Surabaya, Jakarta, Singapore (Scoot), and Kuala Lumpur (Super Air Jet and Air Asia).

Taking a ferry to Lombok is possible if you’re feeling adventurous. It takes approximately 5 to 6 hours, depending on which part of Lombok you are going to, and the ferry operates 24 hours with an hour interval from Padang Bai harbor in Bali. A fast boat is also an option, especially if your destination is one of the Gili Islands (Air, Meno, and Trawangan). Many fast boats leave from Padang Bai, but departing from Sanur and Serangan Island is also possible, with a longer travel time.

Diving Seasons & Weather in Lombok

Even though it is possible to dive all year long, the best months to explore the dive sites and see the beauty of Lombok at its peak are from March to November, with May to September being the best period. During these months, the weather is excellent, with spectacular visibility and warm temperatures (ranging from 26 to 30 degrees Celsius).

The wet season lasts from November to March, making it the least ideal diving period due to heavy rainfall. December and January are the peak holiday season, especially in the Gili Islands, so booking the accommodation in advance is mandatory. The visibility is reduced during this wet season, and the sea surface is rough.

Dive Sites in Lombok

Gili Islands

Lombok

Will’s Beach

Lombok

The Cathedral

Lombok

Magnet

Lombok

Blue Hole

Lombok

Marine Life in Lombok

Liveaboards in Lombok

Amalia Liveaboard

Price on Request

Tambora Liveaboard

Shared trips from $3850pp

Shared trips from $3850pp

Charter Trips from $7900
Per Night

Elbark Cruise

Price on Request
Charter Trips from $4200
Per Night

Gandiva

Shared trips from $418pp

Shared trips from $418pp

Charter Trips from $3604
Per Day

Papiton Lopi

Price on Request
Charter Trips from $904
Per Day

Papiton Duwa

Price on Request
Charter Trips from $937
Per Day