Indonesia is an exciting and exotic destination, and you’ll be happy to hear that it’s accessible to wheelchair users as well! Here, I’ve compiled some information for wheelchair users about Lombok, an area long considered to be a more idyllic and laid-back neighbor to the world-famous Bali. Lombok is a place for those who love to explore, and its status is still largely that of an “undiscovered” island paradise — so you can immerse yourself in lush volcanic landscapes and postcard-perfect beaches without worrying about a crowd.
What to See and Do in Lombok
Gunung Rinjani National Park
If you ask any local or a tourist who has visited here before, Gunung Rinjani will be at the top of their list. Stretching from the sea to the high mountains, this National Park ringed by traditional villages protects endangered flora and fauna. It’s particularly interesting because it’s here that the flora and fauna typical to Indonesia begin to transition to those characteristic of Australasia, so it’s a really cool mix. The park also shelters the second-highest mountain in Indonesia, beautiful waterfalls and a truly stunning volcanic caldera. Be sure to visit the Senarutraditional village on the slopes of Mount Rinjani to get a taste of authentic Indonesian life.
Pusuk Lombok Monkey Forest
There’s no better place to spot some of nature’s most charismatic wildlife than the aptly-named Monkey Forest in West Lombok. You can do so from your chair or scooter, and it’s conveniently right on the way to Mount Rinjani. You certainly don’t have to go deep into the forest to encounter friendly monkeys eager to interact with you; in fact, they congregate on the roadside, so all you have to do is drive through. Slow your vehicle, stop and get out for a while to play with the monkeys — don’t worry, they’re tame!
Bolong’s Turtle Sanctuary
Located on the small island of Gili Meno off the coast of Lombok, this donation-based attraction is a must-see for turtle lovers. This beach-bound sanctuary has pools and tubs with the cutest baby loggerhead and green turtles. Learn more about these fascinating creatures who are sheltered in the sanctuary from time of hatching until they’re eight months old. Over one thousand turtles are released each year, so if you can, contact the sanctuary in advance and try to be there for one of the times they release the turtles.
Dating back to 1720, this is the largest Hindu temple in Lombok, and it’s one of the most important. Simply stare at the awe-inspiring architecture, or head inside for a closer look. The temple’s caretaker will even let you borrow a sash and sarong to enter, but bring your own if you have them. Once you head inside, don’t miss the marvelous multi-tiered teak shrines and the “meru,” or structures that represent sacred mountains.
This one is a bit difficult to get to, but Lombok is made for adventure, and how many times in your life will you get the chance to see bright pink sand? This is one of the most amazing beaches in the world and the rare, coral-colored sand grains make it absolutely worthwhile. Finding someone to bring you in a car is the best bet, since it’s a rough ride on questionable roads if you plan on rolling there in your wheelchair. An electric scooter can definitely make it, but if you’ve got a manual ride, you’ll want to search for a car that can bring you as far as possible onto the beach, then wait to bring you back.
I would highly recommend getting travel insurance in Indonesia, no matter which of these activities you plan to do. It’s always good to be prepared for the unexpected.
Where to Stay in Lombok
Holiday Resort Lombok
This impeccable hotel bills itself as absolute leisure. It is exactly that, and it’s conveniently close to the popular tourist beach of Senggigi. The resort comes complete with a spa and a restaurant that serves up authentically Indonesian dishes. One of the best parts is their 24-hour-a-day Bluebird Taxi Service that is available to take you out day or night to any points of interest — and the colorful, 15 hectare gardens aren’t bad either! This hotel has ramps, paved pathways, and one room modified for guests who use wheelchairs.
The Lombok Lodge
Prices might seem steep, but breakfast and a delicious five-course dinner are included each day. The lodge is located right on the sea, so you can experience the warm breeze and vast turquoise water firsthand, and a daily shuttle is also available to take you to even more isolated beaches. About 30 minutes from Senggigi, you’ll have to get here by boat, which could be a bit of a challenge — but if you can make it, the luxury that awaits in well worth the effort.
Hotel Tugu Lombok
Hotel Tugu is an excellent option because aside from comfortable accommodations, its activities do a great job of exposing you to local culture. Through the hotel, you can arrange to see baby turtles released, meditate, get a tour of the old city, learn how to cook local Lombok cuisine or even cultivate pearls. In the Indonesian tongue, “Tugu” means “monument,” and once you’re there you’ll see why such a name is appropriate. Plus, they have spacious wheelchair-accessible rooms.
The Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort
Ramps and paved pathways make rolling around the Sheraton easy, and a number of the rooms have grab bars in the bathrooms. Close to the airport, this hotel includes all the classic Sheraton amenities with a distinct Indonesian flair. Take advantage of the live entertainment, and don’t forget to ask the 24-hour concierge on duty for suggestions about what to do. The pool is one of the prettiest hotel swimming holes you’ll ever see, and you won’t soon forget all the fun places close by to this awesome accommodation option.
When you’re looking for where to stay and what to do in Indonesia, hotels and resorts are not only hospitable, but their staff is generally knowledgeable and helpful. You might not find a lot of information about accessibility in Lombok on the internet, but don’t be afraid to reach out and ask, because the locals will know firsthand.
A Lombok vacation is a fantastic look into the Indonesian way of life. From soft sand and soothing waves to friendly locals and easy-to-spot wildlife, it’s a paradise destination you won’t soon forget. Spend some time getting to know the local landmarks, from temples to the best tourist bars in Senggigi, and don’t forget to indulge in the unforgettable local delicacies. Take advantage of wheelchair-friendly hotels and tour agencies to have the time of your life in Lombok!
*I have not personally visited Lombok (yet). All information was found online from various sources.