LOMBOK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT is a relatively small airport that handles domestic flights between Bali Jakarta and other Indonesian cities and international flights to and from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Perth. We have found that direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Lombok are often cheaper than to Bali - with the added bonus that you can skip the Bali Airport madness. Check for flight deals on SkyScanner and Kiwi.com.
Getting to Lombok Airport:
Lombok Taxi (Blue Bird) is the most convenient taxi operator throughout Lombok as you can order them using their MyBluebird App - taxis will drop passengers directly in front of the departure terminal. Note though, that Blue Bird Taxis cannot pick up passengers from inside the airport grounds. For low-cost airport transfers, the DAMRI bus is the cheapest way to travel between Senggigi, Mataram and the airport.
From Lombok Airport:
After collecting your baggage, head out of the exit doors of the airport terminal and through the arrivals hall to the official airport taxi parking area (at the end on the right-hand side). Kotama and Kotasi are the main operators - they use dark blue sedans carrying a maximum of 4 passengers (less if you have a lot of luggage). These taxis are licensed and insured and use the meter to calculate your fare anywhere on the island. BlueBird taxis cannot pick up passengers from inside the airport grounds BUT what you can do is to make your way to the departures section where taxis do drop-offs and hop into a BlueBird taxi which has just dropped someone else.
Organising an airport transfer with your hotel is often the best if you have this option and the hotel driver will conveniently meet you on arrival and transfer you to your hotel in comfort. Check with your hotel as charges are usually only slightly more than a taxi.
Approximate taxi fares from Lombok Airport:
Senggigi Rp 220,000;
Mataram Rp l60,000;
Kuta: Rp 100,000;
Bangsal Harbour Rp 350.000;
There are official taxi counters inside the arrivals hall that will allocate you a fixed price taxi to most destinations, plus charge an additional airport fee of Rp 17.500; however, it is just as easy to walk outside and get a metered taxi independently. Whatever you do, ignore the many touts that will approach you with offers of cheap fares - they are not licensed operators and often quote low prices, which can quickly change once you are in the car! Avoid eye contact and avoid the hassle.
If you do need to make use of an independent driver - for example, if you are a large group or have a lot of luggage or sports equipment, make sure you negotiate a fixed price before you get in the vehicle.
The public DAMRI BUS uses air-conditioned buses which seat around 40 passengers and an economical solution to airport transfers to and from Senggigi and major cities.
The DAMRI counter is located inside the arrivals hall, at the end on the left-hand side and is manned by an information officer who issues tickets for the bus service. Fares are clearly shown on signboards at the counter and you will find the busses parked just outside the arrival hall to the left.
DAMRI operate a regular schedule of departures every day to coincide with airline schedules. Three airport shuttle services are available - one to and from central Senggigi (LIA - Senggigi), another to and from Mataram (LIA - Mataram Pool Damri) and one to and from Selongin East Lombok (LIA -
Selong Pancor). Officially, the scheduled departure times are every hour for shuttle buses to the city of Mataram and every 1 and 1/2 hours to Senggigi from 3 am until 8 pm. Be mindful that you may find yourself on a bus that combines both routes, which means a stop first near Mataram before continuing on to Senggigi.
The drivers tend to stop at other popular points along the route, including dropping off passengers at the roundabout in Gerung (which can be useful if you are heading to Sekotong or Lembar), and outside the old Selaparang Airport on the way to Ampenan (where you will find taxis awaiting the arrival of buses). The bus route terminates right across from the Galleria shops on the main street in Senggigi (south of Asmara Restaurant) and if you need to stop beforehand en-route, ask the driver as you embark and he will usually accommodate your request. The trip to Senggigi takes around 90 minutes and costs just Rp 40,000 per person (Rp 30,000 to Mataram and Rp 35,000 to Selong).
If your hotel is outside of Senggigi, flag down a metered Blue Bird taxi from the shuttle stop in Senggigi to take you the last bit.
From the Gili Islands:
There is no shortage of agents and operators on the island to arrange transport with to Lombok and if you want a fairly painless experience you can do it this way. Approximate prices are: Senggigi Rp 100,000; Kuta Beach Rp 100,000
However, you should know that you will be placed on the public boat running from the Gili's to Bangsal in Lombok for which you can buy a ticket directly at the boat terminal for Rp15,000 and the land transport will be an of a shared van variety. (We had a less than ideal experience when the Lombok operator made everyone sit around for more than an hour to give himself an opportunity to up-sell other tours and services to each passenger).
If you are more than one person it might be much faster and cheaper to just buy the local ferry ticket directly and hail a Blue Bird taxi from Bangsal (or use the Blue Bird app) to your final destination. From Bangsal to Senggigi a taxi should be around Rp 150,000. From Senggigi to Kuta Beach a taxi will be between Rp 250,000 and Rp 300,000 as a comparison.
Getting Around Lombok:
Lombok is easy to get around, the roads are generally in good condition with little traffic, apart from in the cities and the road leading up past Senggigi. The island itself is only slightly smaller than Bali at115 km long and 80 km wide and although possible, it is not practical to drive around Lombok in one day.
Taxis are easily available in Lombok and, unlike in some parts of Asia, all use their meters (argo) to calculate fares, there is no need to haggle about fares. Lombok Taxi (operated by Blue Bird Taxi), is the largest company in Lombok and you will find them in the cities and around tourist areas such as Senggigi.
Fares are still relatively low compared to those in the west with short trips around Senggigi costing around Rp 20,000 and a taxi from Senggigi to Mataram around Rp 65,000.
Phone for a taxi (or ask your hotel to phone), or flag one down from the side of the road. Alwasy check that the driver starts the meter when you get in. Lombok Taxi (Blue Bird) Tel: 0370 627000 (or download the My Blue Bird App from Google Play, iTunes, or from the BlueBird Group website). We prefer using the app but you will need an active data connection and ideally a local phone number to make the most of it.
It's also worth having a look on a website like KLOOK as there are often good deals for pre-booked transfers that might be (surprisingly so) a bit cheaper than locally arranged options.
Cars and Motorbikes can be hired all over Lombok and driving yourself is easy and can be very convenient. Modern, air-conditioned cars (which can seat 5 people including the driver) can be hired for between Rp 350,000 - 500,000 per day, including basic insurance.
Motorbikes are the most popular form of transport and are generally small, light 125cc with automatic gears. Modern and economic scooters, such as a Yamaha Mio, are easy to ride and do not have gears. Expect to pay between Rp 50,000 - 60,000 per day for motorbike rental, depending on age and type. Both require n an international drivers' licence.
If you plan on renting a motorcycle make sure to read our guide here first. What most people don’t realize is that even if you have travel insurance, if you don’t have a valid motorcycle license, most policies won’t cover you so make sure you look into this before your trip.
Tours around Lombok are readily available in the tourist areas, and drivers and guides are licensed by the local Kotasi (tour organisation) who also regulate prices in the industry. Most of the tour operators are reliable and will no doubt have a wealth of local knowledge to offer which can make touring a more rewarding experience. It is also the most comfortable way to explore the island, as you have time to sit back and observe, rather than to negotiate traffic and deal with unfamiliar roads.
Popular day tours, such as trips to Sedang Gile waterfall, or to Kuta and the south coast are structured to take in a full day of sightseeing. Tours range between Rp 350,000 - 700,000 a day for a driver and an air-conditioned vehicle for up to 4 - passengers but the final price will depend on distances and the number of places visited. Expect to pay higher prices during peak seasons.
Cidomo (pronounced 'chi doh moh') are traditional horse-drawn carts that were once the main form of transport in Lombok and are still used today, although they have been replaced by cars and motorbikes in the cities. The covered wooden carriages are pulled by small, local ponies and, in villages and at the
local markets in Kebun Roek, they are popular transport, particularly for transporting goods.
Use Cidomo for shorter trips such as getting to and from restaurants and hotels around Senggigi. A short trip should cost around Rp 20,000; however, negotiate the fare with the driver before climbing in.
There are no cars or motorised transport on the Gili Islands, so cidomo is the main form of transport
and the islands - cidomo there has a fixed price fare schedule- much higher than on Lombok.
Bemo (pronounced 'bee moh') are small minibuses used as public transport in most of the Lombok towns and cities. They are a convenient and cheap way of travelling but can be uncomfortably crowded at times making it unsuitable to use if you have luggage. The small versions used around and in villages are vans with an open back and bench seats along each side. You can flag down a passing bemo from the side of the road almost anywhere; climb on board; press the button on the ceiling when you want to stop and get off and pay the driver when you disembark. Short hops should cost around Rp 5,000.
These bemos can also be chartered for private use if you have luggage or more a group; you can negotiate a fare with the driver for a direct trip to a specific location, without stopping to pick up more passengers. In the cities, larger yellow bemos ply the routes from Ampenan to Mataram; Mataram to Cakra, and beyond. If you are travelling between the cities, you might need to change to another bemo, as each serves only a single area. Fares between cities are Rp 5,000.