Lazy Lombok – Best Time to Travel
Lombok is the pearl of the Indonesian islands, and a great place for visitors looking for all the trappings of a tropical island paradise. Wedged between Bali and Sumbawa, the Indonesian beach paradise has often been overlooked thanks to the considerably more developed tourism industry on it’s cousin to the West. This, however, is it’s secret weapon. Lombok is beautiful! Lombok, despite not having the development of the hub that is Bali, has all of the natural beauty and modern convenience, and is a similar size to the island, so has the feel of Bali before it has been overcome with tourists.
Though having slightly different climates despite their proximity, Lombok and Bali share their tropical, equatorial weather patterns. Hot and humid all year round, Lombok does have its wet and dry seasons too, so tourists may be disappointed when they come searching for remote beachside sunbathing and private lodge relaxation to find that they’ve landed in Lombok in the middle of a monsoon.
Lombok is an excellent destination regardless of the weather, but at certain times, it can change your plans. Also, festivals are a big part of life in this part of the world, where religion is still a huge factor in people’s lives, and ties to the native Sasak culture still hold strong. Trying to book a ticket when a festival is ongoing is infuriatingly expensive, and without knowing what’s happening, the pain in your wallet is a mystery! On the other hand, if you manage to land in the middle of one without too much pocket pain, they can provide a unique and unforgettable experience! Prepare for all this and avoid the worst times to go! Read below for my guide on when to go to Lombok, and click here for flight information!
Lombok Weather Facts:
Hottest Month Average Temperature: 28•C (April)
Coldest Month Average Temperature: 26•C (Juli)
Monsoon Period: October – February/March
Wettest Month: November
Most Sunshine: September/October
Temperatures are pretty standard throughout the year, never really going outside of the 20’s. Even during the hottest months, it’s rare that the mercury goes as far as 30. Remember though, that the humidity makes things more difficult, so even if it says 25 on your thermometer, when the weather gets muggy, it can feel like a lot more! Really though, for temperature, Lombok is a perfect beach destination all year round. Click here for flight information!
The monsoon brings rain, but not as much as in Bali or in other monsoon-affected zones. If it rains in Lombok, as it does regularly in November and December, it’s usually not for the entire day. Though torrential, you can get away lucky with 2 hours of rain and an overcast but balmy afternoon.
Festivals in Lombok
One of the most unique festivals in the region is the Bau Nyale Festival, related to catching and cooking sea worms. This takes place in the Sasak Calendar’s 10th month around the full moon, so if you happen to be in Kuta mid-February and see people heading to the muddy flats of the beach, stripping off, and running into the shallows, it’s not a Valentine’s Day pilgrimige to love, it’s Bau Nyale. One of the most interesting parts of this, for foreign tourists and locals alike, is Presean, the traditional fighting that takes place during the festival. Two men face off with sticks and shields and do battle. A fascinating ritual of masculinity and traditional customs, presean is a real sight to behold, believe me!
And it’s not just at Bau Nyale – it can happen any time of thwe year, with a real focus around the time of the Indonesian Independence Day celebrations in August.
Apart from this unique celebration and pastime, Eid, or Idul Fitri Day as it’s called in Indonesia, marks the end of Ramadan, and with the majority of the population being Muslim, it’s a really big deal. Takbir Parade is how the Lombok locals choose to celebrate, and if you get there for the end of Ramadan, seeing it is a real treat. People meet families and exchange gifts, so much of the accommodation will either be full or closed up for the holiday, so you need to book early around this time!
In all, Lombok is perfect all year round, but with a few peculiarities you need to watch out for when booking. Avoid the heavy rains in November, and be aware of the festivals, and you should be good!