Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel

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Family travel in Indonesia isn’t complete without visiting Lombok with kids. There is so much to see and do. Here are a few tips from our family to anyone considering family travel in Lombok.

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel waterfall 3

Lombok with Kids

If you’re a fan of beautiful beaches and lush rainforests, then you’re going to have a blast in Lombok with kids. Here you’ll find amazing snorkeling, incredible waterfalls, and some of the nicest people in Southeast Asia. Below I’ll tell you all about many of the great things to do in Lombok, as well as other helpful info on visiting Lombok with children.

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A Few Things to Know When in Lombok With Kids

Located near the center of Indonesia, Lombok is the island directly east of Bali. Expect lots of boat transport options going back and forth between Bali and Lombok.

There are three main places that travelers go in Lombok with kids: Senaru (north), Senggigi (west), and Kuta (south). These are not the only good places to visit in Lombok, but they have the most hotels, restaurants, and activities for families in Lombok.

Then there are the Gili Islands, which are off the coast of Lombok and an entire category unto themselves. Read our guide to the Gili Islands with kids for more.

Related Posts (Indonesia & Beyond):

Bali vs. Lombok

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel bali from the airplane

Where Bali is predominantly Hindu, Lombok is mostly Muslim like the rest of Indonesia. One of Lombok’s nicknames is the “island of a thousand mosques,” and you’ll hear some of them when it’s time for their call to prayer.

Lombok is much less developed than Bali. That said, there is a thriving tourist infrastructure. When it comes to dining and accommodation in Lombok, options range from budget to luxury. Like Bali, Lombok has a large volcano in the northern part of the island surrounded by spectacular waterfalls.

The Sasak People

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel Sasak People Sasak tribe Sasak village tour

The local residents of Lombok are called the Sasak people. The Sasak have their own language, food, culture, and traditions. This can be an interesting part of your trip to Lombok with kids. Especially if you visit the northern part of the island.

Internet and SIM cards in Lombok

Unfortunately, reliable internet and strong wifi are still in the works on Lombok, but we found a few exceptions, which I mention in the post below.

Prepaid SIM cards are fairly easy to get as there are stands in the airport and in most mid-sized towns. We didn’t get a SIM card for our phones at the airport, but you can if you’re in a hurry to connect.

If we don’t already know a country’s best provider, we often wait and ask the staff at our accommodation. They usually know which provider will be best for where you are going.

Getting Around Lombok with Kids

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel bicycles on Gili air

Taxis or driving yourself on a scooter are the best options for many parts of Lombok such as Senggigi and Kuta. For anything over an hour or two, hired drivers are our recommended means of transport in Lombok. You can hire a driver through most hotels and guesthouses.

The main strips of Senggigi and Kuta also have lots of places to book tours and transport. You can ask for a quote at each one and then negotiate. We found a bargain ride to the airport from Senggigi after we asked several agents on the street. For example, we ate at the same warung three nights in a row. The guy also ran a driver business next door. This may have given us some negotiating power as he ended up giving us a price lower than every other offer.

As for taxis, stick to the Bluebird company (the cars are blue). Bluebird has the best reputation on the island. However, it’s still a good practice to make sure the meter is running.

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel speed boat getting around Lombok and the gilis with kids

Boat transport between Lombok, Bali, and many of the Gili islands is fairly straightforward. Tickets are purchased at Bangsal Harbor and other locations. There are luxury options with air conditioning and a platform from the beach. We used the cheaper option locals used, but that requires taking a few steps into the ocean to climb aboard.

Heading to the Gili Islands with kids? You won’t find taxis there. Or cars of any kind. Most Gili islands have no motorized transport. Instead, people walk, ride bicycles, or hire a cidomo, which is essentially a horse and buggy.

Read Our Guide to the Gili Islands with Kids for more

Things to Do in Lombok with Kids

Want beaches? Want mountains? Lombok has them both. There are so many things to do in Lombok with kids, Here is a short list of some of our favorites.

Beaches & Sunsets

Gili Islands with Kids. Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok's Amazing Islands best beach sunset

It’s easy to find great beaches in Lombok. But if you visit Lombok with kids you’ll be able to find a variety of beach types. The beaches in Senggigi (west) and Kuta (south) are the most popular — and populated. Here you’ll also find lots of accommodation and restaurant options. You’ll also find businesses built around tours, transport, surfing, and other fun stuff.

Want a more isolated beach? No problem. Lombok is an island, after all, so there are plenty of other seaside options, and a wide variety of them, too.

There are white sand beaches straight out of a postcard. There are rocky beaches that look like an alien landscape. There’s even a beach with crushed coral content that makes the sand appear pink.

Sunsets from Senggigi beach area are an exceptional thing to do in Lombok with kids. The Senggigi strip has a number of beach bars and restaurants where parents can sip a cocktail while the kids run around in the sand.

Surfing

Nayaka Surf School Review - Surfing in Lombok with Kids fi practice

If you’re coming to Lombok with kids who want to surf, then you’ll have plenty of opportunities. There are many great surfing schools in Lombok. Most of their operations are based in or near Senggigi Beach or Kuta Beach, as well as in the Gilis.

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, you’ll find surfing in Lombok with kids a rewarding experience. Just make sure you sign up for the right kind of class and let them know what level you’re looking for. In our case, we wanted something tame, but not too tame. Our kids have taken surfing lessons twice before — once in Santander, Spain and again in the Canary Islands — so we didn’t want a total beginner class.

Their surfing lessons at Nayaka Surf School in Senggigi were a great experience. The teachers knew how to handle 11 and 14 year old, and went out of their way to make sure they were safe and looked after.

More on our experience at Nayaka Surf School

Other surf schools:

Snorkeling

Island Hopping & Beach Camping in Indonesia: Our Rinjani Fun Trekking Review Gili Kondo island hopping island camping snorkeling

Like many places in Indonesia, the water off of Lombok’s coasts is teeming with wildlife. Lots of places rent or sell snorkeling equipment. Also, it’s easy to set up a snorkeling trip in most hotels, guesthouses or just along the Kuta or Senggigi strip. Some accommodation options have their own gear you can use.

You can set up snorkeling tours to the Gilis or elsewhere. That said, there are a lot of fish just off the beaches in Lombok, so start there. That goes double if you’re in the south.

We did most of our snorkeling on an island hopping tour with Rinjani Fun Trekking. However, there are hundreds of options around the Lombok and the Gilis.

Scuba/PADI Junior Lessons

Divezone: Scuba Lessons in the Gilis and Diving Gili Air 740 divezone equipment 5

If you’re in Lombok with kids who want to take it a step further than snorkeling, then consider a scuba diving course. Getting PADI certified in Lombok as a PADI junior diver is a great thing to do in Lombok with kids. I should know: my kids got their license and now they’re asking when they can go diving again. The boy already went again in Borneo, but that’s another story.

We chose to take the PADI Junior course with DiveZone, and had a great experience. Good location and equipment, and great instructors. Their PADI instructor Kay knew how to make a two-day course full of lectures and quizzes interesting throughout.

Read more on scuba lessons our kids had with Divezone

Other reputable dive centers

Waterfalls

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel waterfalls 1

We like the beach ok, but if you asked us if we’re beach people or mountain people, we’d definitely say “mountain.” One of the great things about family travel in Lombok is that you can have both!

Want to spend all day at nice waterfalls in Lombok? You have many to choose from We visited half a dozen and felt like we were only getting started.

We rode scooters to Benang Kelambu waterfall. A beautiful green wall with plunge pools nearby.

It was worth it, but quite a haul from Senggigi. We rode scooters for about 2.5 hours, and half of it was on a very crowded road. There was only a narrow shoulder to get out of the way of long-haul trucks barreling by.

Don’t ride this unless you’ve ridden in similar situations. If you don’t want to drive yourself, then hire a driver for a day.

In our opinion, the best waterfall to see in Lombok with kids is Air Terjun Tiu Kelep in the north of the island. A bit of a hike to get to, (stay or stop at the Rinjani Lodge on the way), but it’s easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Lombok.

Ride Scooters

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel scooter rear view mirror

One of my favorite things to do in Lombok with kids is just totter around on small 100-150cc scooters. We all love it, actually. Whether in Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, or Bali, we love riding scooters in Southeast Asia. Lombok is great for this.

One of the best places to ride in Lombok with kids is the coastal route from Senggigi to Bangsal harbor. There are several nice vistas to stop and soak in the view. There are also a number of small and scenic beaches where mostly locals go.

Ride away from the capital city of Mataram, and Lombok looks a lot like Bali. There are lots of small sleepy roads surrounded by rice fields.

Island Hopping

Island Hopping & Beach Camping in Indonesia: Our Rinjani Fun Trekking Review Gili Kondo island hopping island camping gili ocean high tide

When we look back at everything we did in Indonesia with kids, island hopping in Lombok is easily one of the things that we talk about the most.

Lombok is surrounded by hundreds of small islands called gilis. These islands vary in size and level of development. Some have five-star resorts and juice bars. Others are barely an island at all.

The three largest and most developed gilis are Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. You could spend weeks on them and not eat, sleep or do something fun at the same place twice.

**Find Out More About Things to Do in the Gili Islands with Kids**

East Gili Hopping with Rinjani Fun Trekking

These three islands in Lombok are just the beginning. The less populated southern and eastern Gilis are an incredible place for snorkeling and diving. A local driver in Lombok once told me “In Gili Air, you see the fish, in the other Gilis, the fish see YOU!” (He basically meant that you were surrounded).

We did one island hopping tour in the eastern Gilis and it was one of the top highlights of our trip.

Island Hopping & Beach Camping in Indonesia: Our Rinjani Fun Trekking Review Gili Kondo island hopping island camping boat

Gili Air, Gili Meno & Gili Trawangan

Just off the northwest edge of the island, these three are a must to visit when in Lombok with kids. Read our post for more on all the things to do in the Gilis.

The Eastern Gilis

Here you’ll find more fish and fewer people. Our island hopping tour launched from here.

The Southern Gilis

There are many scuba and snorkeling opportunities here. In fact, DiveZone/TwoFish Divers have an operation here. This is the same outfit that trained our kids for PADI Junior certification on Gili Air.

Komodo/Flores

Want to see Komodo dragons? This is the spot. Boat tours in Lombok launch from several places. These are multi-day tours, where you sleep on the boat. If you’re in Lombok with kids and have enough time, we’ve heard great things about this tour.

The underwater and scuba/snorkeling opportunities are amazing here, as well.

Bali

That’s right. Indonesia’s most famous island is only a short boat ride away. We love Bali, as well. Read more on our Bali tips.

Trekking & Hiking in Lombok with Kids

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel trekking hiking

One of our favorite things to do in Indonesia with children is jungle trekking. There is so much amazing wildlife in the country (in fact, we loved trekking in Sumatra so much that we went back a second time )

There are lots of great hiking and trekking opportunities for families in Lombok with kids. The biggest is to climb to the top of Mount Rinjani. This is not an easy hike, so we recommend it for older kids only, but you know your kids better than I do.

Another option is the Rinjani Women Adventure in Senaru, northern Lombok. This tour company was founded by a very strong and charismatic local woman named Katni. She wanted to provide working opportunities to women in the area, where the trekking industry was male-only. She changed the paradigm in her culture.

My son and I took a tour with her company. We visited a local Sasak village, took a dip in a river, and wandered some trails. We navigated some complicated rice fields, and then ate lunch (included) with our guides before returning. Recommended.

Read what others have to say about Rinjani Women Adventure

Fishing

If you’re visiting Lombok with kids who love seafood, then this could be a great opportunity for some great meals. It’s also a great opportunity to see where some of that fish comes from.

You’ll find fishing trips advertised in all the island’s major hubs like Senggigi, Kuta, Gili Trawangan and elsewhere.

Rafting, Canyoning & Tubing

Long-time readers of this blog know that we’re big fans of both rafting and canyoning. Lombok has both options for families as well.

Canyoning should only be considered with older kids, but many rafting and tubing trips can be made with younger ones. Just make sure to see what the age requirements are before you book.

Sea kayak, Stand-up Paddleboard & Sub-wing

It’s hard to resist the pull of all the water sports options when in Lombok with kids. These are just a few of the many fun things to do in Lombok.

Sea Kayaks are great fun, but keep in mind that a kayak on the ocean requires more endurance than a kayak on the river. We enjoy both, but sea kayaking with kids requires a little more work.

Our kids really enjoy stand-up paddle boarding on their own, but this can be something you can do in Lombok with kids together on one board.

We didn’t have a chance to do the sub-wing…yet. That will be remedied soon, as it looks like a LOT of fun. Imagine being pulled underwater while holding what looks kind of like a dolphin’s back fin. Angle it down and explore the depths. Angle it up and you rise to the surface. A great addition for older kids who want to snorkel but aren’t yet ready for scuba diving.

Cooking Classes in Lombok with Kids

Food is an important part of any family travel. With this in mind, we’ve found that cooking lessons can be a great way to learn about the history and culture of a place. We certainly enjoyed it in Chiang Mai and Ho Chi Minh City.

There are well-regarded cooking classes in Lombok for kids and adults alike. You’ll find some very professional operations, but don’t discount something locally done. We’ve had friends who took classes thrown together by the family who ran their guest house, and they found them immensely rewarding.

Massages & Spa Treatments

Gili Islands with Kids. Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok's Amazing Islands Gili T night market gili air spa

Traveling to Lombok with kids can be stressful: the long flights, the uncomfortable airplane seating, the jetlag, etc. One great way to work out all the kinks of a long travel day is by pampering yourself at one of Lombok’s many spas.

Lots of hotels and resorts have massages and other treatments available on site. On the other hand, you’ll also find plenty of spas and other wellness centers scattered across the gilis and the main island itself. The prices can be quite reasonable — enough to let the kids have a massage too!

Where to Stay in Lombok with Kids

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel Pool Villa Club

There are plenty of great accommodation options for family travel in Lombok. No matter your budget, you’ll find some great options while in Lombok with kids. Here are a few places to stay in Lombok with kids that we can recommend.

Accommodation in Lombok

Rinjani Lodge

Exceptional Family Accommodation in Senaru, Lombok: Rinjani Lodge Review both beds

The first one of the best hotels in Lombok for family travel is Rinjani Lodge. This small boutique hotel is perched over a valley in the northern part of the island. Their large villas overlook one fo their two infinity pools, and the food in their restaurant is first-rate. You’re also close to Tiu Kelep Waterfall and many of the trekking outfitters that climb Mount Rinjani.

Pool Villa Club

Pool Villa Club Review: Luxury Family Hotel in Lombok

Another option for family travel in Lombok is Pool Villa Club in Senggigi. This is best for those who want excellent access, an exceptional pool, and some pampering. Our kids loved the pool here, and we loved the villa, which was essentially a luxury apartment. It’s steps away from the action of Senggigi Beach, but quiet and calm at night. Great breakfast buffet, and did I mention they serve cake and other snacks in the pool from 2 pm?

Vila Nipah

Villa Nipah Review: Great Family Villa in Lombok pool day bedroom 1

If you are looking for a secret spot away from tourist chaos, Villa Nipah may be one of the best family hotels in Lombok. These villas are located between Senggigi and Bangsal Harbor. When we were there, we had a private villa, and they were building more nearby.

The kids loved having a pool (and stereo system) all to themselves. We loved having some privacy and being a short walk to a local, less touristy beach and the restaurants that come with it. Staff can hire you a taxi if you want to head into town.

Whiterose Guest House

We loved this place so much that we returned twice. TWICE. No, there’s no pool. No, it’s not in the middle of town (rather about 10-minutes south of Senggigi Beach).

What made this place great was the building, the people, and the internet. The owner is Bob, a retired fisherman and safety officer from England. He and Stef, his Indonesian wife, are incredibly helpful and funny. Bob designed the place himself, and the rooms were super clean, comfortable and efficient. Good AC, good water pressure, clean sheets, all of that. He and Stef offer lots of freebies such as water refills, cup noodles, oatmeal, snacks, and fruit. Our kids took full advantage of it all.

What makes White Rose stand out even more is the excellent wifi we had there. The best internet in Lombok and the Gilis that we had anywhere…much better even than the luxury resorts we stayed at. Bob and Stef went back & forth to Jakarta multiple times to buy the right routers and other gear just so that could have fast, reliable wifi. I almost hesitate to share it with you. Once other internet-addicted travelers discover this then they’ll be booked solid forever and ever.

Their breakfast is also great. I found portions to be larger if you ordered the Indonesian option instead of the western ones. We rented scooters from them and hired Bob or his staff for a number of pick-up/drop-off rides to the airport and Bangsal Harbor.

Rumah Putih Abu Abu

This small accommodation is located south of the Senggigi strip and has only a few rooms. Our room felt like a stylish studio apartment, and the pool at the center of the compound was beautiful.

The owner is a nice middle-aged Dutch/Indonesian guy who just hangs near the pool most days. It should be said that he has a sweet dog that can be a little protective of him (minor barking when someone arrives).

Accommodation in the Gilis

We highly recommend hopping over to Gili islands while you are in Lombok. There are so many things to do in Gili island. When you do, don’t forget to check out our list of the best hotels for family.

Eating in Lombok with Kids

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel girl at warung eating indonesian food in Lombok

Food in Lombok is not as diverse or ubiquitous as Bali, Lombok’s island neighbor to the west. That being said, there is plenty of good eats around. If you need western food, you’ll find it is populated areas like Senggigi, Mataram, and Kuta.

For us, some of the best food in Lombok was found at local warungs, small, family-owned restaurants and cafes. Many of them are not much more than a hut with thatch roofs and walls of concrete or straw. Here you’ll find Indonesian staples like nasi goreng (fried rice) and mie goreng (fried noodles). Many of them also serve chicken, fish or other seafood.

Slow & Spicy

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel girl at warung eating indonesian food in Lombok fish tempeh dinner at warung

Two things you should know about eating in Lombok with kids: be ready for food to be spicy and come slowly.

Let’s talk about the slow part first. At many warungs and other restaurants in Lombok, our food came well over 30 minutes after we ordered. Sometimes it’s because they start everything from scratch. Sometimes it’s because they’re busy and just can’t cope. Other times it’s because they just don’t know what they’re doing.

Be patient. Bring books or cards or other games. Plan it into your eating schedule.

If you like spicy food, then you’ll really enjoy Lombok cuisine. If you can’t handle chile peppers, then practice the phrase “tidak pedas” (no spicy) right now. Say it every time you order. Say it respectfully but repeatedly. It still may arrive too spicy for you, but be considered mild by locals. In that case, you either eat as is or order white rice. Sorry…they tried.

In our experience, food is either spicy or plain. For example, I love my fish doused in the local fiery marinade. When the kids ordered “tidak pedas,” their fish arrived well done but not even salted. If this happens to you, smile, thank them and then ask for kecap (sounds like “keh-CHAP”). It’s a sweet, dark soy-based sauce that goes great with just about any Indonesian food.

Things to Eat in Lombok with Kids

If you’re in Lombok with kids who are picky eaters, you’ll be able to find pizza, burgers and other food you may be familiar with in the populated areas near resorts. If you want to try local food, however, here are a few things you’ll find all over and that can usually be ordered non-spicy (“tidak pedas”) if needed.

  • Nasi Goreng: Fried rice
  • Mie Goreng: Fried noodles
  • Ayam Goreng: Fried chicken
  • Bakso: usually a meatball soup, but there are many variations
  • Ikan Bakar: Grilled fish
  • Tofu & Tempeh: Deep-fried fermented soybeans — similar to tofu
  • Gado Gado: A mixed veggie dish with peanut sauce
  • Satay: grilled chicken skewers with peanut sauce
  • Soto: a soup usually made with chicken, noodles and/or rice. Salty, but usually not spicy

There are many other Indonesian foods to try with children, but are more prevalent and have the best chance of getting without being doused in chiles. But always ask.

Places to Eat in Lombok with Kids

A few recommended places to eat in Lombok with kids

Food in the Senaru Area

Rinjani Lodge

Yes, we stayed here and had an amazing time. Their restaurant is open to the public even if you don’t stay, and the menu is excellent. Besides, you have access to one of the infinity pools if you eat here.

Rifka Cafe Rinjani

Food in the Senggigi area

Warung Jawa

On the northern end of the Senggigi strip, this warung fixes more local-style food at super cheap prices. We ended up eating here a few times. In fact, we even arranged our transport to the airport through them (they own the tourist & driver shop next door).

Good juices, too, but if you order the dragon fruit juice, be warned: they’ll put chocolate syrup in it unless you tell them not to.

Their sister store (Warung Jawa 2) is in Kuta and highly rated as well.

Kedai Setia Pak Jenggot (map)

A little fancier than the usual warungs, this has a nice wooden seating area and English menus. They do takeout, as well.

La Chill

This place on Senggigi Beach is a little overpriced, but a prime spot for the sunset. Come early, have a few drinks and let the kids frolic in the sand.

Read what others say about La Chill

Ares Warung (map)

Walking distance from Rumah Putih Abu Abu, this local warung fed us three nights in a row. Grilled fish, local veggies (bean sprouts & eggplant in a peanut sauce, a soup with corn), and tempeh. Fried rice, too.

The Cicak Restaurant (map)

It’s located at about 10 min south of Senggigi Pool Villa Club. We rode by this place several times and wondered if we should try. Glad we did. It’s run by a Swiss guy with an Italian in the kitchen, and their pizza was quite good. Our kids were very happy to eat there.

It might be different, but when we went there, there’s only one chef so that it took a long while to get our meal. They have a nice garden to sit in. And a pool table. Be sure to bring bug repellent. There’s Stanley Villa behind the restaurant.

What others say about the Cicak Nest restaurant

Food in the Gilis

You can see our tips for where to eat in the Gilis here.

Conclusion: Lombok with Kids

Our Ultimate Guide to Lombok with Kids — Indonesia Family Travel rinjani lodge watermelon juice

I hope that this helps you on your upcoming trip to Lombok with children. Indonesia family travel is amazing, and Lombok is a big part of that.

Have you been to Lombok with kids? Where did you go? What did you do? Tell me about it in the comments, or contact me directly!

Further Reading:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This costs you nothing. However, when you use our links, we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book a room. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help during your family travel in Lombok with children!

Image credits: #12

Comments

  1. Tonkin-Travel Vietnam says:

    Thanks for the great post and keep up with your good work!

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