first time lombok - gili swing

First timers: Lombok or the Gili Islands?

It can be difficult to choose between traveling to the Gili Islands or Lombok, especially if you’ve never been to either. The Gili Islands are a part of Lombok and the distance between them is easily navigated by fast boat.

The differences between the two are quite distinct. The Gili Islands are relatively more popular and internationally recognized than the main island, Lombok. You can expect both The Gili Islands and Lombok to be of a slower pace, peaceful, and less crowded than Bali.

Here’s a brief overview of Lombok to help you on your way to these beautiful and unique islands..

first time lombok - gili islands swing

Lombok

To the east of Bali is Lombok, home to wonderful beaches, enchanting waterfalls, unspoiled forests, and Indonesia’s second highest volcano.

Lombok is not your normal tourist destination. Not much happens in Lombok and visitors who seek an escape find Lombok a delightful place to unwind. Though less developed than Bali, Lombok has begun to appeal to tourists opting for an alternative to the crowds and expectations of Bali. Even more so now that daily fast boats, direct from Bali to Lombok, are easily found.

Central and East Lombok boast rice paddies, tobacco growing areas, and some established tropical natural reserves. Southern Lombok attracts surfers and beach-bums alike, looking for the perfect break or deserted beach. To the north stands majestic Mount Rinjani with its crater-lake and exceptional views. On a clear day you can even see Gunung Agung on Bali.

Culture

Its indigenous Sasak people boast a rich and endearing culture, making it one of the many unique attractions of the island. They are related to the Balinese in language and ancestry, although the Sasak are predominantly Muslim, while the Balinese are Hindu.

The Gili Islands

gili meno, gili air, gili trawangan

Read about the Party Paradise Gili Trawangan to get an overview of how it differs to the more reserved Lombok.

Looking for an escape to a mini paradise with your loved one? Try out Gili Meno.

The sophisticated and minimalist Gili Air is as untouched as Lombok, but read more on how it is different to its mainland here.

Verdict: Weigh out your needs – do you want more variety or privacy? What activities are you looking to do? What is your budget? If you’re still indecisive, then try them all out! Patagonia Xpress offers fast boat services from Bali to the Gili Islands and Bangsal, Lombok. You’ll rest easy knowing you can travel back and forth whenever your heart pleases.