Lombok itinerary: two weeks travelling with a toddler

We’re a family of three with a two-year-old daughter. We travelled from Bali to Lombok by bike and spent two weeks driving around the island. The very short version of our Lombok itinerary looks like this:

3 nights in Sekotong
4 nights in Kuta
2 nights in Tetebatu
2 nights in Sengiggi
3 nights in Mataram

Below you can see what we did each day, which beaches and sights we visited, and where we ate and stayed in Lombok. There’s a much more detailed account of our Lombok road trip here.

a lombok itinerary must

Day 1: Getting from Bali to Lombok

We drove our bike to Padang Bai and took the ferry from there to Lembar – the port on the west coast of Lombok. We arrived at Padang Bai by 10am but due to delays both on and off the boat, we didn’t get to Lombok until 6:30pm. Then we still had to reach our accommodation.

The first stop on our Lombok itinerary was Krisna Bungalows, where we spent three nights. These rooms are located right on the beach in the area of Sekotong in the southwest of Lombok. You can read all about our accommodation in Lombok here, but I would recommend paying the 150,000 extra for a bungalow with air con at this place.

We ate at the restaurant in the guest house as it was the quickest and easiest option. The food was very tasty but a little on the expensive side for local cuisine.

Day 2: Exploring Sekotong

After breakfast we had a swim in the pool while enjoying the view right over the ocean.

pool at krisna bungalows lombok
First on our Lombok itinerary: Krisna Bungalows

For lunch I went out and bought barbecued fish with rice from a lady on the side of the road – 35k all in. Later in the afternoon we went for a drive further west along the coast.

The scenery all along the road is stunning but it isn’t a touristy area. The only thing you can really do is enjoy the beaches. As they are mainly frequented by Muslim locals, it’s respectful to dress modestly (I kept a tshirt on over my bikini). We went to Elak Elak beach which juts out on a peninsular and offers great views of the coast. Sadly the beach and the sea were full of rubbish, but we still had fun collecting shells.

pantai elak elak trash

In the evening we went out in search of somewhere cheap to eat. We found a local warung and had simple plates of mie goreng (fried noodles).

Day 3: Boat trip to Gili Nanggu

Our guest house offered an all-day snorkelling trip around five of the local islands but this wasn’t really an option for us with our daughter. Instead we asked if we could do a shorter trip to just one island – Gili Nanggu. Loved it and got to see some turtles too!

We ventured out for lunch and found Warung Delicious. Here we sat and enjoyed the sea breeze while eating nasi campur and more grilled fish. And it was indeed delicious.

In the evening we were caught out by the fact that the restaurant at our guest house (Krisna Bungalow and Restaurant) didn’t start serving until 7pm. We’d usually eat by 6 and have our daughter in bed by 7. She wasn’t going to wait that long for her food, so they managed to conjure up some plain rice and curry sauce to keep her going.

Day 4: Travelling from Sekotong to Kuta

We had time for one last swim in the pool before we checked out and headed to our next stop: Kuta.

There are several ways to drive from Sekotong to Kuta but we opted for the quickest, which was also the longest. It took just under two hours by bike heading back up to Lembar and then down past the airport along the well-maintained dual carriageway.

road from sekotong to kuta
Driving from Sekotong to Kuta, Lombok

We checked in at our accommodation, Kuta Bay Homestay, just before 12. Then we headed straight out to the beach in search of somewhere to eat. Turns out that particular area of the beach is lacking in eateries, so we walked back to the main road and had nasi padang at Rumah Makan Doa Ibu. It was not a cheap meal, but they do have signs up warning you of that!

After lunch we went in search of a beach where we could spend the afternoon. Our only requirements were that it had some shade and looked good for swimming. The first two that we tried – Pantai Seger and Pantai Talak – had no shade at all.

We kept driving along to Pantai Aan, which was just beautiful. Soft white sand, a good breeze, trees to sit under and warungs serving food if we wanted it. The only bit I didn’t like was the seaweed wrapping itself around my legs as I swam.

Arriving back at our guest house we gave the pool a try and then went to Regis Pizzeria right next door for dinner. They had only been open about a week and the staff were clearly still learning but they still served up a good pizza.

Day 5: Surfing at Pantai Selong Belanak, Lombok

I went to Milk Espresso in the morning to work for a couple of hours. Then we drove along the hilly road stretching west of Kuta to Pantai Selong Belanak.

This is a great beach for surfing at high tide and swimming and playing at low tide, so we spent a few hours there and had lunch at the reasonably priced Hary Seafood warung.

pantai selong belanak surf
Catching a wave at Pantai Selong Belanak

In the evening we ate at the highly rated Drifters Warung but I wasn’t impressed.

Day 6: Around Kuta, Lombok

This was more of a rest day for us – we decided not to travel anywhere too far afield.

Again I worked for a couple of hours, this time at Nuggets Corner where the food is much healthier than the name suggests.

Around 3pm, once the sun was losing its heat, we walked to the local beach and had a wander along it. The tide was going out fast, leaving behind lots of rock pools. There were plenty of locals out enjoying the scenery there. I’m not sure if it’s called Kuta Beach or Mandalika Beach, or both.

We had dinner at Warung Amanda, which I chose purely because of its name, but the staff were friendly and the fish was tasty.

Day 7: Back to Pantai Aan

Instead of making the long trip out to Pantain Ekas and Pantai Pink in the east, we decided to go back to Pantai Aan. We stopped at a warung along the way to buy nasi campur which we ate on the beach. Being Sunday, there were a lot more local families there than the last time we’d visited.

pantai aan lombok
White sand (and seaweed) at Pantai Aan, Lombok

For our last evening meal in Kuta we went to Bucu Restaurant and loved it!

Day 8: From Kuta to Tetebatu

Half way through our two weeks in Lombok we drove up to the centre of the island, to Tetebatu. This place had been recommended to us if we wanted a few days in the mountains.

It took about two hours to reach our accommodation, Tetebatu Garden. We took a slight detour to visit Panjisari Women’s Group Weaving Village where we saw how the beautifully ornate sarongs are made.

The accommodation at Tetebatu Garden is just lovely. It’s a bit off the beaten track but we had a view out over the jungle and peaceful gardens to relax in. About a five minute walk down the valley through the jungle is a waterfall. It’s not as spectacular as some of the ones visited by tour groups, but the fact that you have the place to yourself more than makes up for that.

river in tetebatu
Just a short walk from Tetebatu Garden guest house

We had lunch at the guest house warung. It was nice, but a bit expensive to want to eat there for every meal.

For dinner we drove down to the main cluster of guest houses and ate at Rumah Daun Homestay. The vegetable curry was good for 30k and we got a free live music performance courtesy of some of the guys working there.

I enjoyed sitting out on our balcony in the evening listening to the noise of the jungle as I did some work.

Day 9: Around Tetebatu

We enjoyed breakfast with a view of the jungle and then headed off to a nearby waterfall, Air Terjun Jeruk Manis (literally: sweet orange waterfall).

We tried following directions given to us by the guest house staff but ended up on a dirt track in a rice field. So we went back and took the long way round that I could see on the map. We got there in the end but discovered we had to walk 1km from the parking to the waterfall itself. Since it was beginning to rain, we decided to give it a miss.

lost in tetebatu rice fields

We drove down to the nearest town, Kotaraja, to get some food, since we couldn’t find any proper local warungs near our guest house. Then headed back to our room and just hung out there while it drizzled on and off all afternoon. Later we had dinner at the guest house restaurant.

Day 10: From Tetebatu to Sengiggi

From the cool mountains back to the heat of the beach, the drive took about two hours. That’s not including the half-hour stop we made to take cover when it started pouring with rain.

We arrived at our accommodation, Sendok Hotel, around 1pm. By this time we were hungry, so it was a case of dumping our bags and going to search for food. We made the short walk down to the beach and had gado-gado and nasi campur at a local warung there.

After a walk around the peninsular we went back to our hotel and had a swim in the pool. In the evening we went to Warung Buana just next door and had great pizza and not-so-great pasta.

Day 11: Around Sengiggi

Our plan for the day was to drive along the coast north of Sengiggi, visit a pearl farm, find a nice beach for swimming and snorkelling, and stay to watch the sunset.

Instead, about 10 minutes into the drive it started raining, so we took shelter in a warung by the roadside. It had great views out over the sea but this meant we could see how miserable the weather looked. We had an early lunch of grilled fish and rice there, but the rain showed no signs of stopping. In the end we abandoned our plans, threw on the poncho, and drove back to our hotel.

ayam bakar in lombok

In the afternoon the weather cleared up but once nap time was done we didn’t have much time for exploring. We went back to the beach closest to us to at least get a glimpse of the sunset and take some photos, then ate at Sunshine Restaurant.

Day 12: From Sengiggi to Mataram

Since we only had a short drive to our final destination we had time to explore some of the places we hadn’t been able to the day before. After a quick swim in the pool we checked out but left our bags at reception.

We drove a short way to Sengiggi Art Market and had a quick look around but it was basically just a collection of souvenir shops. We continued north along the coast, the clouds chasing us all the way, but we stayed dry.

lombok beach

There are some beautiful bays north of Sengiggi and as we drove along we passed several beaches with clear blue sea, but we sadly hadn’t brought our swimming gear. If I were to change one thing about our Lombok itinerary, it would be to stay further north of Senggigi near one of these bays. We got to Autore Pearl Farm but it turned out to be just a very expensive jewellery showroom.

Back we went, past all the beaches, to pick up our bags and head to the city of Mataram. Our accommodation, Puji Homestay, was tucked down a quiet street but just over the road from one of the big malls, Mataram Mall. We headed there for lunch (McDonalds, since it was the first one we’d seen in nearly two weeks).

We spent some time wandering around the mall and in the evening had fried chicken at a warung on the street.

Day 13: Taman Narmada, Mataram

We headed out west of the city to a park, Taman Narmada. We bought nasi campur from a warung just at the entrance but got it wrapped up to eat later.

It’s quite a big park – certainly compared to Denpasar standards – and has water running all the way through it from a decorative pool into a swimming pool into a lake. The freshwater swimming pool was very cold but refreshing on a hot day.

taman narmada lombok

We stayed until about 2pm then headed back to our room for afternoon naps. Later we went to a different Mall, Epicentrum Mall, which was big and shiny and new and had loads going on.

Day 14: Around Mataram

We went to GBI Rock Church in the morning, attending the 10am Indonesian service.

After that we headed back to Epicentrum mall in search of a particular electronics shop (and lunch). Turned out the shop we actually needed was just around the corner from our guest house.

The afternoon was spent shopping around the local area, then we had nasi campur for dinner and got ready for our last night in Lombok.

Day 15: Back to Bali

Our plans to leave early didn’t exactly succeed, but we got to the port around 10:30. It was about two hours before the boat left, but after that the journey was straightforward and four hours later we were disembarking in Bali.

disembarking the ferry from lombok to bali

All that was left to do was drive home, unpack and get back to normal life.

This is just an overview of our two weeks in Lombok with a toddler; if you’d like to read the full account, it’s right here.

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