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Lombok is with the Gili Islands and Blongas Bay definitely as good for diving as Bali.

Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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Lombok is a small island to the east of the more popular Bali and is part of the West Nusa Tenggara province and Lesser Sumba Islands. The mountainous north of Lombok is home to mount Rinjani, which is with 3726 meters high, Indonesia's third highest volcano. At its slopes at two thousand meters high you can find a sacred crater lake named Segara Anak and a natural hot spring, all part of a National park since 1997. Rinjani's last eruption was in June 1994 and a new active volcano named Mount Baru Jari is rising out of the Crater Lake. Many multiple days tracking tours and hiking trips can be arranged, most from Senaru or Sembalun. Hilly fertile slopes and flatter plains are common in the center and most of them are used for tobacco, coffee, rice and corn agriculture. Packaged tourists most often go to Kuta, the most famous town in the south, for surfing, getting sunburned and beaching. In Kuta and Blongas Bay you will find splendid quiet white sandy beaches, turquoise bays and undeveloped coastal villages. The region of Ampenan, Mataram, Caimanegara and Swete make up Lombok's busiest residential areas, where you can find some nice traditional markets, excellent Indonesian shopping and some musea rich in artifacts and other cultural objects.

Many visitors consider May to be one of the best months to go to Lombok. The rainy season that starts in December has just finished, flowers and plants are blooming and the sky is still crisp providing for excellent views around the island. When you are traveling to remote areas it is best to dress properly and not to forget that Lombok's Muslim majority often doesn't work on Friday.

Most diving around the island is done at the three beautiful and popular Gili Islands and inside Blongas Bay. The Gili Islands Trawangan, Meno and Air offer a quiet and relaxing atmosphere but many divers also spend the night in Senggigi beach or neighboring beach Mangsit and dive around the Gili's from long boat rides. Because of the ripping currents in the Lombok Strait (Indonesian Throughflow), a rich underwater biodiversity has formed. Eagle rays, sharks, barracuda, turtles and even hammerhead are occasionally met. Your best chances to spot Manta Rays are in December.

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