Updated August 16th, 2018.
With Mount Rinjani a two-hour drive to the east, Kuta (Lombok) an hour and a half south, and the Gili Islands a quick boat trip west, Senggigi is a hub for travellers who are on their way somewhere else…
The town itself is a relatively charmless strip of souvenir shops, bars, and restaurants all geared towards the tourist crowd. The narrow road through town is busy with buses, motorbikes and taxis which fly past at alarming rates on their way up or down the coast. (Not a pleasant spot for a walk.)
Senggigi’s coastline, on the other hand, is an uninterrupted stretch of white sand beaches falling into turquoise waters. Luxury and mid-range resorts crowd the beachfront but there are several spots for public access if you can’t afford waterfront property.
Venture slightly south of town to experience local life, where tiny wooden huts line the black volcanic beaches and fishermen catch their dinner right off the shore.
While Senggigi is OK for a day or two, unless you’re up for spending all your savings on a luxury resort, it doesn’t stack up to the more popular spots on and around Lombok.
Places To Stay in Senggigi:
A modern hostel offering 4-bed dorm rooms and budget double rooms, Selasar Hostel is in an ideal location. It’s just a one-minute walk from Senggigi Beach (Pantai Senggigi), a short walk to the main strip of restaurants and bars, and very close to the ferry dock where fast boats whisk visitors away to the Gili Islands and Bali.
Almost next door to Selasar, on the road leading to Senggigi Beach, Oggie’s Place has dorm beds, single, and double rooms for budget travellers. The onsite bar is lively and friendly – it’s a great place to spend the evening getting to know the staff and fellow travellers.
About six minutes from the beach and a short walk from the centre of Senggigi, the highlight of Jazz Senggigi Hotel is the clean and spacious pool area. Dorm rooms consist of two single beds in a small room — perfect to share with your travel buddy but maybe not ideal if you’re travelling alone.
Homestays in Senggigi
There is a wide range of budget homestays in Senggigi, most within easy reach of the beach. Homestays on Lombok tend to offer no-frills accommodation and may not provide hot water or air conditioning, so be sure to check the fine print before booking.
Food & Drink in Senggigi:
In Indonesia, tempeh and tofu are staple foods, making it easy for vegetarians and vegans to get their protein. One of the most famous Indonesia dishes, Gado Gado, is a vegetarian salad of compacted rice, tempeh, veggies and boiled eggs doused in a thick, spicy peanut sauce.
As with most seaside towns, fresh seafood is available almost everywhere you look in Senggigi, from the budget-friendly local “warungs” to the high-end exclusive resorts. You’ll find a huge selection of fresh whole fish, squid, and juicy prawns cooked over a charcoal grill.
Local Beach Snacks
Head to Senggigi beach to try a helping of a local beach snack, sate bulayak. Traditional sate, which is a grilled skewer of chicken or beef served with spicy peanut sauce, is paired with bulayak, a rice cake wrapped in palm leaves. You can grab this Lombok speciality at vendors all along the beach.
Though Senggigi isn’t a great foodie destination, those looking for pizza, pasta, Mexican, and steak will find a decent selection along Senggigi’s main road.
Things To Do in Senggigi
Lounge On Pantai Senggigi (Senggigi Beach)
Senggigi’s big attraction is its long stretches of white sandy beach. Head to Senggigi Beach to hang out with tourist crowds and local hawkers. A trip to Kerangdangan Beach on a Sunday afternoon will give you a taste of local beach life, as families from the area enjoy their day off. The sunsets in Senggigi are magnificent, so don’t miss a chance to watch the sun sink behind Bali’s Mount Agung.
Scuba & Snorkel
While it’s possible to snorkel just off Senggigi beach, a day trip to the Gili Islands will be more rewarding. There are some up-and-coming scuba sites arrayed on the Senggigi coast but to dive the more popular (and busier) sites will also require a trip to the Gilis.
Learn to Surf
Senggigi beach is a great place for novice surfers to get their first taste of riding the waves. Experienced surfers can find much better waves elsewhere on Lombok.
Get a Traditional Massage
After an active day on the water, unwind with a local massage or spa treatment, which will cost just a fraction of what you would pay at home.
There are regular public classes at Lombok Yoga House and Gypsea Yoga, and many Senggigi resorts offer classes too, some of which are open to the public.
Day Trip to the Waterfalls
One of the most popular day trips from Senggigi is to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls. The waterfalls are just outside of Senaru, which doubles as a base-camp for Rinjani hikers. The drive to Senaru is around two hours and from there, an easy 45-minute walk through the jungle takes you past both sets of falls. You will get wet at Tiu Kelep, so bring a water-resistant bag or case for your phone and camera.
Visit Pura Batu Bolong Temple
Located near Senggigi Beach, the Hindu temple Pura Batu Bolong sits above a holey rock (that’s holey, with an ‘e’). It is, in fact, named after this volcanic rock, ‘Batu Bolong‘ translates as ‘Rock with Hole‘. The temple makes for another great place to watch the sunset, with the sound of the waves crashing below you.
How to get to Senggigi
From Bali, you can take a fast boat from Padang Bai directly to Senggigi which takes around 2 hours. The trip costs around 750,000 IDR, depending on the company you choose.
You can also fly from Denpasar Airport on Bali to Bandara International Lombok Airport. The half-hour flight may be cheaper than the fast boat, but it’s also less exciting and less environmentally friendly.
From Lombok Airport, an official Airport Taksi costs around 150,000 IDR to Senggigi, while the public bus costs 35,000 IDR and takes 1.5 to 2 hours. Officials at the DAMRI bus counter outside the terminal will show you where to get the bus. Pay for your ticket after you board.
Where To Go Next
For those who want a physical challenge, take a 2- or 3-day hike up Mount Rinjani. You can arrange the trip at any hotel or travel agent in Senggigi. For more laid-back beach time, the Gili Islands (Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan and Gili Air) are only a short boat ride away. Surfers and divers will want to head south to Kuta, where you’ll find some of Lombok’s best dive and surf spots.
About the writers:
Jane & Stephen are adventure-seekers and full-time yoga nomads. Five years ago, they quit their jobs and sold all their stuff. Now, they travel full-time, teaching Adventure Yoga around the world and sharing their mindful adventures on My Five Acres. If you’re aching to live an extraordinary life, follow them for inspiration, advice, and adventure! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram.
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