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The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), Digital Traveler ~ Asia Pacific eNewsletter, September 2006

www.ecotourism.org

Lombok, an Ecotourist's Paradise


Anne Gouyon, director and editor, The Natural Guide

Lombok lies just 35 km east of Bali, across the Wallace Line. Slightly
smaller than Bali, it features spectacular white sand beaches, stunning
dive sites, and some of the world’s best surf spots. Lombok is the home
of the Sasak people, predominatly Muslim, who have kept vibrant
traditions and spectacular rituals. Hinduist Balinese, who ruled Lombok
for about 150 years, form a strong minority in Western Lombok.

The island is dominated by the Rinjani volcano (3,726 m), one of the best
hikes in Southeast Asia. Developed with the New Zealand government assistance since 1999, the
Rinjani Trek Center is a unique partnership between the Rinjani National Park, the local tourism
industry and communities, manageing and protecting the mountain's environment. The Rinjani
Trek Center has received the International Legacy Award sponsored by Conservation
International and National Geographic. Stroll the forested slopes of Mount Rinjani to spot silver
leaf and black monkeys, and parrots birds.

Another natural wonder of Lombok is the Gili Islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno in the
Northwest, where you can spot marine turtles, and maybe encounter a manta ray or a shark – or
Gili Petangan, Gili Bidara and Gili Lampu in the East, where you can admire pristine coral reefs.

To discover the unique culture of Lombok, walk around Tetebatu, Segenter or Senaru to discover
the Sasak rural life and traditions of pottery and weaving, visit the old mosques of Bayan and
Rembitan, remnants of the ancient Wetu Telu religion, or attend local festivities to observe the
colorful and rarely performed Sasak dances, music and rituals.

Recommended in Lombok by our friends -

6-Day Eco-Tour with Lombok Friends of Ecotourism: Lombok


Friends of Ecotourism is an initiative of a group of 4 local tour-operators
that united their forces hoping for a better future perspective of
Lombok’s tourism development. For more information, contact Asmuni
Irpan at +62 370 641 124 or rinjani@indo.net.id.

Tailor-Made Tours with Sunda Trails: Sunda Trails, with its deep
insight into the cultural and natural heritage of Indonesia, offers unique
programs that focus on local festivals and special destinations like Flores,
Sumba, and other islands east of Lombok. See www.sundatrails.com for
more information.

Learn more about Lombok and other ecotourism destinations in Indonesia at


http://naturalguide.org/ng_travel.asp?cat=104&flag=folder.

This article is based on The Natural Guide article on “Indonesia Beyond Bali” The Natural
Guide (www.naturalguide.org) is the first series of responsible travel guide books - written by
local teams, telling the hidden life behind the landscapes, guiding travelers to responsible hotels,
restaurants, dive shops or trekking guides – that promote sustainable ecotourism in a fun way.

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