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Diving in Lombok

The island of Lombok has everything from a towering volcano, rugged cliffs to picture-perfect white sand beaches. Underwater there are pretty coral gardens and staggering pinnacles which are known to attract seasonal hammerheads. Some areas of Lombok are very remote so if you are looking to “get away from it”, this could be the place for you.

Diving in Lombok

Quick facts

Lombok promises many things, and at the top of the list is 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.

When to go

Diving season starts in March and extends into November. Water temperature is usually warm, ranging from 79-86°F (26-30°C).

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

  • Gili Islands

    These three tiny islands offer a bohemian vibe, laid back atmosphere and good variety of dive sites. With generally easy, year round conditions the diving is suitable for all levels. White sand bea...

USD 472Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 877Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 598Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
The Magnet - Located in Belongas Bay, this is Lombok’s most famous dive site – and for very good reasons. The Magnet is a stunning open ocean rock pinnacle which literally attracts fish and pelagics like a magnet does steel. The biggest draw for diving the Magnet is the seasonal hammerheads, which are seen in in schools, together with reef shark sightings, barracuda, trevally, eagle rays and other pelagics. If you enjoy diving with big fish then The Magnet should be on your list. The Lighthouse - Incredible topography and diverse marine life make this dive site a must. Exploring the rocky plateau, canyons and slope you’ll find schools of sweetlips and patrolling white tip reef sharks. Huge boulders create interesting recesses where critters can be found hiding and the huge coral bommies are shrouded with glass fish. Keep an eye out into the blue as well for passing schools of fusiliers, rainbow runners and mackerel. Stairs to Medang - A vibrant coral garden plateau greets you as you start your dive around 14 meters / 45 feet before heading deeper down the “Stairs”. In deeper areas, expect the unexpected – everything from manta rays, reef sharks and passing hammerheads have been seen here. The definite highlight though, is the rugged “stepped” topography from which the site takes its name and the abundant reef fish and corals which bring striking colours to the shallows. Cathedral - This stunning, coral encrusted rock pinnacle is a favourite for many divers. Its open ocean position makes it a major attraction for passing pelagics including eagle rays, hunting trevally, barracuda, schooling mackerel, rainbow runners and fusiliers. Make sure you take time to investigate the corals – there is a wealth of macro-life to be found here as well. Gili Sarang - Best known for “big fish” action and seasonal schooling mobula rays (August and September), Gili Sarang is a collection of pinnacles and boulders which attract pelagics. Frequent encounters here include white tip, black tip and grey reef sharks, huge dog-toothed tuna, great barracuda, giant trevally and jacks. Here you’ll also be able to appreciate the breath-taking, kaleidoscopic soft corals and critters that reside within them.

What to see

Lombok is known for its pelagics, most famously the great and scalloped hammerheads and schooling mobula rays. That’s not all you can find there though - expect to see trevally, tuna, barracuda, reef sharks, marble rays, eagle rays, sea snakes, turtles, schools of mackerel, rainbow runners and fusiliers, hoards of medium sized and small reef fish and if you have a keen eye there is a wealth of critters including numerous nudibranch species, frogfish, scorpionfish, octopus, cuttlefish and so much more!

Calendar

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Area

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 traveler. 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 during 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 snorkeling are top activities there along with it being a wonderful place to rest and relax.

Other attractions

Hiking and camping around Mount Rinjani is highly recommended. Besides that, surfing is also a highlight activity along with visits to waterfalls and other ocean activities like snorkeling and kayaking.

Getting there

Fly to Lombok from Bali on local airlines or directly from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore via airlines like AirAsia, Silk Air or Garuda Indonesia. It is also possible to get to Lombok via ferry or boats which leave from Padang Bai on Bali.

UTC+08:00

Time zone

IDR

Currency

+62

Calling code

230 V

Electric volt

C, 

F

Plug type

LOP

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.