Lombok has been slowly gaining in popularity over the years as people escape Bali and search out the road less travelled. That said, if you are looking for a quiet hideaway far from the crowds then Lombok is not what it used to be. Still, there are definitely some nice areas to visit including stunning volcano treks and lazy beaches without too many people.
If you really want a challenge when you visit Indonesia then Rinjani may well be it and volcano treks like the 45 minutes to the top of Mount Bromo in Java will seem like nothing compared to conquering this monster. The second highest volcano in Indonesia, a trek to the top of Rinjani is not for those without an adequate level of fitness and a great deal of enthusiasm. If you choose to make the climb though you will be rewarded with amazing views over Bali and neighboring Sumbawa, but you do need to be sure before you go that you can handle it.
The fastest that you can climb Rinjani is by staying overnight for one night, although there are also two and three night packages available which go slower and give you more time to take in your surroundings. Basically if you are going to make the effort to visit Rinjani at all then you may as well take your time and enjoy it. Including the park that it is housed in.
Kuta Lombok may share its name with Kuta Bali but aside from the fact that they both have beaches these two places really couldn’t be more different. A mile away from the party scene of Kuta Bali, Kuta Lombok is under visited and much quieter which is a good reason to come here. An even better reason to come here is not for the main part of Kuta Lombok or its beach, but rather for the surrounding area.
If you really want to explore tropical Indonesian beaches then this is the place to come and you can easily rent a scooter and drive around stopping wherever the mood takes you. Along the way you will find hidden coves, secluded spots, and little food stalls in case you want something to eat or drink, so this is well worth a visit if you want to get out on your own and really scratch beneath the surface of beach life in Indonesia.
Lombok is not as firmly on the tourist map as it would like to be, and many people only come here to head straight for the Gili Islands, but if you have the time then the beaches really are hidden gems and the opportunity to hike the second highest volcano in Indonesia (and an active one at that!) is too good to be missed.