Koh Phangan Half Moon Party 2023: Everything You Need To Know!

When we first started planning our trip to Thailand, we were on the fence about visiting one of the famous Koh Phangan island moon parties. We’d heard wild stories of the Full Moon Party from friends who had traveled the area: tales of over 30,000 backpackers packed on the beach, drinking buckets of the local rum mixed with Red Bull syrup (which, by the way, is illegal in most countries), dancing the night away to giant speakers pumping electronic music. We wondered if maybe we were getting a little old for this type of scene (spoiler alert: we weren’t!). So that’s when we started researching the Koh Phangan Half Moon Party.

Half Moon Party Thailand


Half Moon Party at Koh Phangan

The more we researched the Half Moon Party, the more it seemed like everyone not only recommended it, but many said that it was actually better than the Full Moon Party. We found that the Half Moon festival is a bit more low-key than the Full Moon. But don’t take that is a bad sign, it’s still a raging party.

The Half Moon Party at Koh Phangan is located in the middle of the island in the jungle, as opposed to on the beach. The Half Moon is also a properly organized festival ran by a private company called Half Moon Festival, as opposed to the free-for-all atmosphere of the Full Moon. The organizers have been running this festival for a while now and put on an awesome show!

Because it’s properly organized it does mean there’s an entry fee, but it also means that there are amenities that you’d be used to at any other festival around the world. There are proper bathrooms (I shudder hearing stories of the bathroom situation at the full moon, or lack thereof). There’s festival security to keep things safe when you’re partying until the early morning hours.  And because of it’s structure event there’s just an overall festival vibe. Think of a tiny version of Coachella on magic mushrooms (but a hell of a lot cheaper!)



Half Moon Party Dates 2023

Although raging parties on Koh Phangan happen year round, in order to fully experience a Half Moon Party you need to get to one of the official events. Here are a list of Half Moon Party Koh Phangan 2023 dates:

  • January 13th – 14th and January 27th – 28th
  • February 14th – 15th and February 27th – 28th
  • March 15th and March 30th
  • April 12th and April 29th
  • May 12th and May 27th
  • June 10th and June 24th
  • July 10th and July 24th – 25th
  • August 9th – 10th and August 25th – 26th
  • September 9th and September 22nd
  • October 7th and October 21st
  • November – CLOSED
  • December 8th and December 22nd – 23rd


Where to Stay for The Half Moon Party

If you’re looking for a hostel, don’t miss Baan Thai Backpackers. It’s been one of our favorite hostels on our trip so far and the perfect place to stay for any Koh Phangan party. One of the biggest benefits of staying in a hostel is having the chance to meet people to go to the party with, especially if you’re traveling alone.

Baan Thai put on an amazing pre-party, we almost didn’t want to go to the Half Moon Party! They had UV body paint, drinks, music and tons of fun! We made a great group of friends at the party, and the hostel organized transportation to the party so we all went in together. It was awesome. You can read our full review of Baan Tai Backpackers here. 



If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale accommodation, check out la plage beach resort & club, which is right on the sand. This place has a gorgeous pool, great beachside lounging and a super fun atmosphere! 

Sea Love Bungalows is another great choice of hotel for the Half Moon Party. Located in Baan Thai, this beachside resort is perfect for couples who want to have fun at the party and come back to a chill, romantic atmosphere.

The Half Moon Party is the best if you have a bit of a crew to go with. Definitely check out whatever pre-party your hostel puts on to meet people. Not only is it safer to have a buddy, but getting down with your new group of friends is a bonding experience like no other. We were lucky to meet an incredible group that took our Half Moon experience from amazing to one of our favorite dance parties ever! Hey, we even ended up with matching Half Moon tattoos! Party safe and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!



What To Expect at The Koh Phangan Half Moon Party

As soon as we entered the festival we knew we’d made the right decision to go to the Koh Phangan Half Moon Party. There was a certain buzz and energy around the entrance that was just willing us in to party! The entrance to the festival was relatively organized (it’s still a jungle party in Thailand!) and you could tell the organizers put a lot of thought into the set-up.

When you first enter through the gates there are a number of stalls to your left and right. There, artists are available to do black-light body painting at a cost, but it’s much more economical to do that at your hostel before-hand. It’s also a lot more fun to do it yourself! Close to the entrance is also where you claim your free drink, so you can get the party started nice and early!

There are three stages at the Half Moon Party: the Tribal Stage, the Funky Stage and the Urban Stage. The Tribal Stage is the main stage, offering the biggest acts of the event. There you’ll find international DJs playing the best electro, psy-trance and underground bangers. Mix in some epic lights, pumping tunes and a huge dance floor and you’ve got one hell of a party!

The Funky Stage is your place to go for House music and has a more mellow feel to it compared to the Tribal Stage. The Cave, which is the Urban Stage, plays your classic hip-hop and R&B tunes in an underground cave of lights, smoke and UV paintings.

Along with the stages there is also a section to buy food and snacks. The food is simple with pizza, Thai food, etc. and it’s actually pretty reasonably priced for a festival. If you’re planning on a big night you might want to eat before you get there to avoid cutting into party time, as well as pre-lining that stomach!



“Close to the entrance is also where you claim your free drink, so you can get the party started nice and early!”


The Music

We were a little nervous about the music because neither Jules nor I are massive fans of electronic. We can get down to some Groove Armada and Tiesto, but the more obscure psy-trance stuff is not really our favorite. Thankfully, whether you’re in our boat or love to get down to the hardcore stuff, you’re in luck.

The festival has a good mix of music to meet everyones needs. Because of the three different themed stages, you can find exactly what you’re looking for. When we first entered the festival around 11:30pm, DJ Rio Vegas was just coming on. He was introduced as one of the best DJs in the world, which was a pretty big stretch, but he was actually pretty good. He mixed mainstream songs, including some old-school, with electronic beats that everyone seemed to enjoy. It made for some great dancing and singing along.

The Half Moon Festival also announces which DJs will be playing at the upcoming party, so check out their website to see what’s in store for you!



The Half Moon Party Atmosphere

The crowd at the festival is a good mix, with more regular backpacker types than super hippie folks and hardcore trance fans. As Koh Phangan is a big tourist destination for all types, the Half Moon Festival also gets a variety of party-goers. As the night continues the music at the main-stage become much more psy-trance to keep those partiers awake and moving.

If you prefer mainstream electronic music, I would recommend heading to the festival a bit earlier, maybe around 11, or checking out the other stages. We were told the party doesn’t really get started until that time anyway. If you’re a big psy-trance fan, get excited to party all night!

Because the main stage was pumping so hard, we totally forgot about the other smaller stages until the end when were exhausted from all night dancing. As we were leaving we went past the smaller stage and heard the DJ was pumping some great electronic tunes with R&B features and a saxophonist accompanied him.

We had to stop by for a 5 minute dance because the music was that good. Unfortunately it was also about 6:30am at this point and our legs were on strike from dancing for so long. If you are bored with the music at the main-stage at any point, definitely check out what’s going on at the other stages!



” Not only is it safer to have a buddy, but getting down with your new group of friends is a bonding experience like no other “


Other Things to Know for the Half Moon Party

Getting to Koh Phangan

Getting from Bangkok to Koh Phangan usually involves a bus down the coast and a ferry across to the island. If you’ve got a little extra budget to spend you can always board a flight to the neighboring island of Koh Samui and then catch a ferry across to Koh Phangan.


Half Moon Party Entrance Fee

As this party is an officially organized event, and not a free for all on the beach, there is an entrance fee. Tickets cost 1,500 Thai Baht, which is about $45USD, if you buy them at the gate. We’d recommend buying them online, or through your accommodation if you can, to avoid longer lines. They’re also cheaper if you buy them online, costing 1,390 Baht ($41USD). Both tickets come with a free drink and a Half Moon Party neck strap.


VIP Half Moon Party Tickets

For those looking for a little more comfort in the jungle you can also buy VIP tickets to the festival. These go for double the price at 3000B ($90USD), or 2750B ($82USD) for online, but offer a bunch of extras.

Along with your VIP entrance you also get VIP access to your own bathrooms, 2 free drinks, a Half Moon Party t-shirt, a private bar and a VIP zone next to the main stage. For those that like to party it up, but also have a bit of personal space, this might be a better option if you have the extra cash.


What to Do in Koh Phangan

If you’re heading to the Koh Phangan Half Moon Party, we highly recommend having a few days either before or after to check out the rest of the island. There are so many things to do in Koh Phangan, such as exploring beautiful beaches, fun moto rides and gorgeous jungle hikes. The island receives a lot of tourism from the parties, but there is a lot more to do than just down buckets.

Nang Yuan Island Cruise and Snorkel Tour – You came to Thailand to get out on the water, right?! This tour is a perfect chance to see a bit more of the area than just the bottom of a beer bottle. Check out Nang Yuan Island, a private set of 3 islands connected by a gorgeous sandbar. You’ll spend the day snorkeling, cruising around on a catamaran and enjoying a buffet lunch on the island. 

From Koh Phangan you’re also a short ferry ride over to Koh Tao, where you’ll find some amazing diving, entertaining ‘cabaret’ shows and plenty more partying!

Stylish Travel Clothes You’ll Actually Want to Wear

If you’re a traveler, you’ve probably faced the same dilemma that we often do – what to wear while traveling! Traditionally travel clothes have been…. well, ugly! No offense if you love your toe shoes and zip off shorts/pants combination. But it’s 2021, the future is here and we deserve stylish travel clothes!

Forget about the oversized sweater with the built-in money belt that your grandma bought you from the Home Shopping Network. We’ve finally found a brand that makes stylish travel clothes. Hallelujah! *cue angels singing down from the heavens*


Introducing: Bluffworks. Bluffworks is all about versatile, stylish and comfortable clothes that you can wear pretty much anywhere. Because these days, travel isn’t just about flying to a destination, taking a 5 day trek and then heading home. If your travel style is anything like ours, you’re probably doing a mix of outdoor adventures, exploring cities, maybe some fine dining and probably chilling out a bit as well. Bluffworks has created a line of travel clothes that check all those boxes.

And we hate to be those bloggers, but these clothes look pretty swanky on Instagram as well! Bluffworks was started by a bonafide adventure traveler, and their HQ is located in New York City. The whole idea behind the brand was to create clothes that you can wear traveling through Vietnam AND strolling through Central Park. So without further ado, we’re going to share some of our favorite pieces from the women’s and men’s lines.


Travel Clothes for Women

Let’s talk about the women’s line first. While women’s travel clothes have seen a slight improvement in style in recent years, it’s still pretty obvious that they are travel clothes. I.e. clothes you wouldn’t be caught dead in back at home. Luckily, Bluffworks has figured out how to keep the style of your favorite pieces, while incorporating hidden additions that make travel easier. These clothes will become staples in your closet both when you’re traveling and when you’re not.



Azores Blouse

Let’s start with the Azores Blouse. This lightweight, slightly stretchy blouse is super comfy. It looks and feels like silk; no one will know that it’s actually wrinkle resistant, moisture wicking fabric that you can totally throw into a washing machine. All the luxe, without any of the fuss. The blouse has two pockets on the chest with buttons, easy to stash a card or some cash into safely. And you know those annoying buttons on the cuff of most blouses that are impossible to button with one hand? Bluffworks has done away with those completely. Instead, the cuff has elastic, making it super easy to push up the sleeves if you want to get your hands dirty (or at least if you’re chowing down on a margherita pizza in Rome). 



Bluffworks has also added a longer hem in the back, which gives you more coverage and makes it much less likely for any “bend over and reveal your undies” situation. And get this – they’ve added an extra snap in between the two buttons on the chest, so you don’t get that awkward gap between the buttons. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about!

This blouse is super chic and comfortable. It would be perfect for a lunch date by the Eiffel Tower, or to keep covered up while exploring the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.


Comfortable Travel Pants: The Trevi Pants

Next up, the Trevi Pants. These stylish pants are so sleek and tailored; you would never know that there are 8 strategically placed pockets. Finally, pants for women that can actually carry our stuff! Where are these secret pockets, you make ask. Great question! There are two hidden in the waistband, the front pocket on the left has a secret place to stash your phone, and the front pocket on the right has a small zippered pocket inside. And on the back, there are two concealed zippered pockets. Boom!



The pants fall to your ankle, but can be rolled up thanks to an adjustable hem. Having versatile clothes, like these pants, is the key to packing light. And unless you travel with a sherpa who lugs your suitcases everywhere, you’ll want to be packing light. The Trevi pants are made from all-season twill fabric, which is wrinkle resistant and has odor control, perfect for stepping off a red eye flight looking and feeling refreshed! Of course, they’re moisture wicking and machine washable as well!

What I love about these pants is that you can dress them down with Bluffwork’s women’s Threshold T-shirt (so comfy) for a day of exploring. Or dress them up with the Azores Blouse if you have a special occasion. Even if you’re planning on backpacking around, you never know when you may want to dress up. On our way down to backpack through Mexico we met the head of a non-profit we wanted to work with, and ended up scheduling a meeting during our trip. It would have been so helpful to have a pair of the Trevi pants, instead of my black leggings I had to pass off as business casual.


Best Travel Dress: The Trevi Dress

And last, but certainly not least, the Trevi dress. I probably sound dramatic when I say that this dress is a revelation, but it is! I’ve seen a few “travel dresses” on the market, but nothing as chic and pretty as this. First off, I’m in love with dark crimson color. It’s brighter than I expected, but it really pops and I can’t wait to wear it over the holidays. You’ll be seeing this dress on our Instagram account quite a bit in the future.



But it also has the function to match the fashion. Every girl likes a dress with pockets, and this one has six of them! They’re strategically hidden so you don’t look like you’re wearing a dress made out of cargo pants. There’s even a hidden zippered pocket in the side seam near your arm that would be a perfect place to stash some emergency cash.

And you no longer have to worry about your bra straps showing. The dress has snaps under the shoulders to keep your straps secure. Told you they’ve thought of everything!



Travel Clothes for Men

And now on to the men’s line. Men might have it a bit easier in that most of their clothing already comes with pockets and zips, but they still want to look stylish. Bluffworks takes a modern look at the traditional pants, jeans, shirts and tees and adds their personal flare, functionality and style. These were Jules’ favorite pieces:


Zenith Dress Shirt

This travel dress shirt looks like a standard button down, but it’s so much easier to care for than your standard men’s dress shirt. It’s machine washable, wrinkle resistant and made of a comfortable stretch weave fabric. It’s also moisture wicking and has odor control, which is perfect for salsa dancing during those humid Colombian nights.

Not only does it have a ton of great qualities for a travel shirt, but it actually looks stylish! The Zenith Dress Shirt can be matched with some jeans or chinos if you want to look sharp, or even some shorts on a nice summer day.



They’ve even added little secret buttons underneath the collar to keep it from flying up. Jules loves that this shirt is comfortable enough to wear while climbing ancient ruins, but smart enough to step into a business meeting. He also loves that you can choose between a classic or slim fit.


Ascender Chinos

Every guy needs a pair of chinos in their life, and this might be your new favorite pair! First off, they are surprisingly stretchy. The waistband looks like a classic Chino, with the button, zipper and belt loops. It has a special stretch waistband, perfect for if you’ve had one too many tacos in Mexico!

Depending on your style you can go for a tailored fit or a regular fit to give you a little more breathing room, but even the tailored fit doesn’t restrict you too much thanks to the stretchy polyester material. When it comes to practicality for travel the Ascender Chinos have 10 total pockets! That’s right, 10! Including two pockets for your phone and three secret anti-theft zipper pockets. With these chinos you’ll not only look stylish, but you’ll also travel confidently knowing your pockets are protected.



The Ascender Chinos look great dressed down with a pain, but incredibly comfortable, men’s Threshold T-Shirt or dressed up with the Zenith Dress Shirt. They come in five different colors and are also wrinkle resistant for those days on the road where you don’t have time to iron!


Best Travel Jeans: Departure Jeans

If chinos aren’t your jam then check out the Departure Jeans for equally impressive men’s travel pants that offer practicality, durability and just look plain good! Like the chinos the Departure Jeans have ten pockets, with three anti-theft, concealed pockets. The jeans are made up primarily of Cotton (68%) and COOLMAX poleyster (22%) to provide stretchy, breathable jeans.

 Coming in both a slim fit and regular fit means you can choose how you prefer your cut. The Departure Jeans can be dressed up with a shirt or worn casually with a t-shirt. Tackle your travels head on with stylish travel jeans that are ready for action!



There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Finally a travel clothing line that has both the durability to last your craziest adventures, and the style to keep you looking fresh. We chose our favorite pieces from the men’s and women’s lines, but Bluffworks has much more to choose from. Head over to their site and let us know what you think!

Dream Vacation: Katamaran Resort in Lombok, Indonesia

This article is a sponsored post collaboration with Orbitz. It also contains affiliate links. If you click on the links we’ll receive a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. It’s what helps run our site. As always, all opinions are our own and we would never recommend a company that we didn’t fully support or use ourselves.

Some might say that if you’re living in Bali you don’t need a vacation. But one of our main goals when we travel is to get off the beaten track. And Bali is definitely on the beaten track. That’s why we decided to take a break from living in Bali to visit the neighboring island of Lombok. Lombok may be known on the world stage for its series of devastating earthquakes that shook the region in July and August of 2018, but this beautiful destination is much more than a disaster zone. Lombok has a rich indigenous culture, with strong Islamic influences. It also has some of the prettiest coastlines in Indonesia, with a fraction of the crowds of Bali.



From the beginning of our trip planning, Lombok was a clear frontrunner for a getaway from Bali. To seal the deal we hopped on Orbitz to check out the hotel selection. We wanted to start off our trip with a bit of luxury and were stoked to find a variety of gorgeous resorts and hotels throughout the island. From quiet villas to larger resorts, there was plenty to choose from for our trip to Lombok.

In the end we chose the Katamaran Resort in Senggigi, rated as one of the best hotels in Lombok. This place looked drop dead gorgeous on Orbitz, and it was affordable! By booking through Orbitz we were able to get a 32% discount off the regular price of $265/night. That means we only paid $180/night for an ocean view suite! The room included wifi and a huge buffet breakfast in the morning. And if you know us you know that Jules loves a good breakfast buffet!

We were coming from Bali so flights were super cheap, but if you’re coming from the United States or Australia you can find some very affordable vacation packages that include flights and hotel!



Reaping Our Orbucks Rewards

One of the best parts of the booking process was using our Orbucks Rewards points to earn 5% when we booked using the Orbitz app. Unlike other confusing reward systems, Orbitz Rewards makes things really easy. 1 Orbuck = $1. You can use your Orbucks for discounts on any of their 350,000+ hotels, with no blackout dates! So on our 3 night stay we earned $24.21 in Orbucks! You could rack up some serious discounts if you use your Orbitz reward app to book all of your travel. One of the best parts is that you can earn 1% on flights on top of any airline miles you get from airline rewards!

We were also able to use Orbucks that we had earned back at home with the Orbitz Reward Dining program. This program can help you earn discounts on travel before you even decide on your destination! You link your credit card to the Reward program and Orbitz will automatically reward you with Orbucks whenever you dine at a participating restaurant. I was so surprised how many restaurants nearby are in the program. There were plenty of places that we already dined at, and now we’re saving up for future trips when we eat there! We earned enough through dining at home to get a decent discount for our trip to the Katamaran Resort in Lombok.



The Katamaran Resort, Lombok

Because of these discounts we were even more excited to splurge on our luxury accommodation at the Katamaran. Here’s what we loved about our stay at the resort:

We’ve been to some sweet hotels in our day, but we have to say that this is one of the most luxurious! Everything about this place is stunning. They pride themselves on excellent hospitality, which is what you’re met with right when enter their beautiful lobby. At check in, you’re welcomed with a fruity drink and a cold scented washcloth that feels like heaven on the back of your neck. 

The room itself was stunning, with a clear view of both the ocean and the infinity pool below. The style is sleek and minimalist, and the decor reflects the local Lombok architecture. The bed was huge and comfortable. We even had an outdoor shower where we could look up at the palm trees overhead while washing the day away. One of my favorite parts of the room was the day bed on our balcony. I loved curling up with a beach read while listening to the waves crash below us. Heaven!



While we loved our room, the best part of the Katamaran resort is definitely the pool area. The pool is one of the features that we saw on Orbitz that made us think, we have to book this place! Not only is there a large infinity pool that overlooks the ocean, but the sides are made of clear glass! That means you can see in from the side. It makes for some epic photos that you would never be able to get in a standard pool. For us, fun little additions like this quirky pool make a hotel stand out more than anything!



What to Do in Lombok

Before the earthquakes of 2018, Senggigi was known as the tourist hub of Lombok. When went to visit in March of 2019, the town felt quiet. We spoke to some artisan sellers on the beach who mentioned that the earthquakes scared away tourists. It’s been difficult for them to make the same wage as before the disaster. This was an important reminder that where we choose to travel is extremely important. Our tourism dollars have a huge impact on the communities we visit. We really encourage travelers to visit Lombok, not only to support the local economy, but because it’s a really beautiful destination!

One thing you can’t miss exploring in the region are the gorgeous beaches! The best beaches in Lombok are scattered throughout the island, and there are plenty near the Katamaran Resort. One of our favorite things we did in the area was rent a motorbike and cruise to different local beaches. The coastline of Lombok is absolutely gorgeous. If you grab a bike near Senggigi and head north, you can catch the beaches of Sentangi, Ludmila, Nipah and Pandanan. Each beach is stunning and has its own vibe. The turn off for Sentangi and Ludmila is easy to miss, so the beach is incredibly devoid of tourists. Although there’s a bit of trash around the palm trees, down by the water the sand is pristine. Nipah is one of the more popular beaches on the coast. As you drive down you’ll see warungs (local restaurants) lining the sand. It’s definitely worth stopping in for a fresh fish and veggie lunch with spicy sambal. Whichever beach you choose, you’ll definitely see some gorgeous views as you ride along the highway.



Another activity we really enjoyed while in Senggigi was a visit to the Lombok Pottery Center. The LPC is a cooperative of over 200 women potters. They work in different villages around the area, crafting pottery indigenous to the region. You can visit the center or go on one of their village tours to see the pottery being handmade by artisans. This activity may not be as relaxing as laying by the pool, but taking the time to learn about the local culture and support a female owned and operated community project will have a much more positive impact than ordering another Mai Tai.



In the end we were so happy that we chose the Katamaran Resort in Senggigi, Lombok. Finding this resort on Orbitz was such a score. Not only were we able to easily book our luxury room at the best rate, but we actually made Orbucks while we did it. Now we’ll be set with a discount for our future trips!

Don’t forget to plan the rest of your trip to Lombok! Here are some other affordable hotels that are drop dead gorgeous.

Batatu Villa – This villa located in Kuta Lombok is a holidayer’s dream. Each of the four rooms have their own private pool and breakfast is included every morning. Staff can help you organize a bike or car rental. Plus you’ll find some of the best beaches in Lombok around Kuta!

Samsara Villas – These villas on relaxing Gili Air also have a private pool and terrace, perfect for enjoying your morning coffee. They’re right by the ocean so you don’t have far to walk for a snorkeling tour or to take in the sunset. 

Ponte Villas – At less than $100 per night, these villas are luxury at an affordable price. On busy Gili T, you’ll want a relaxing place to come back to after a long day in the sun, and these villas are perfect!


15 Best Beaches in Lombok

There is are lots of things to do in Lombok, Indonesia, but one of our favorite activities was renting a motorbike and exploring the beaches! The beaches of Lombok are drop dead gorgeous. The sand is white, the water is clear and the waves are calm. And getting to Lombok from Bali is super easy!

From the resort beaches of Senggigi to the quiet isolated shores near Kuta to the beach parties on the Gili islands, there are so many impressive beaches to explore. Whether you’re a surfer or just want to lay back on the soft sand, Lombok has something for every interest. These were our favorite beaches in Lombok:


Kuta Beach Lombok

Kuta is one of Lombok’s most popular destinations, but it’s small and quiet compared to super touristy Kuta in Bali. Instead, Kuta Lombok is a cute surf town, with an increasing amount of guesthouses, restaurants and cafes. At night the local bars have live music, where it seems like the bands play the same charming covers ,while travelers knock back a few Bintangs.

The town has a laid back, dusty feel, but you can tell from the increase in hip cafes that Kuta is probably going to boom in the next few years. There is a lot of construction going on near in the beach in town, so you can expect new developments to be popping up here soon.  The beach in town is nice enough for a quick dip, but the beaches surrounding Kuta are much more isolated and beautiful. In our opinion, these are the best beaches near Kuta Lombok.



Selong Belanak Beach

About half an hour outside of Kuta, this beach has something for everyone. Part of the beach is lined with small warungs (restaurants) that double up as surf schools. The waves here are calm, perfect for practicing your surf skills as a beginner. Further down the beach you’ll find a fancier restaurant if you want a nice meal and past that you’ll find a long stretch of white sand all to yourself.

Selong Belanak is definitely one of the more popular southern beaches in Lombok, so it can feel crowded by the warungs, but if you keep walking you’ll find that the further you go, the beach actually becomes very quiet. One a sunny day, the contrast of the white sand with the blue water is really stunning.

Motorbike parking cost: 10,000 rupiah



Mawi Beach

Just south of Selong Belanak is Mawi beach. This Lombok beach is undeveloped and beautifully quiet. On a sunny day Mawi beach is a real stunner. We only spotted one other couple on the long stretch of sand. The road to Mawi is very bumpy and can be a bit treacherous if you’re not used to riding a motorbike. Be especially careful if it’s recently rained as the mud can be difficult to bike through. If you go slow, though, you’ll be fine! The reward for braving the bumpy road is arriving at the sand to find that you have the whole beach to yourself!



There are really two sections to Mawi, the closest to Selong Belanak is a long stretch of sand. We didn’t see any warungs or shops here, so bring your own picnic. If you keep walking along this beach, away from Seong Belanka and toward Semeti Beach, you’ll hit a formation of rocks where the sand ends. It’s definitely worth the small hike up to catch a view of the beach from these rocks. If you continue along the rocks you’ll hit the second, and much smaller, part of Mawi. On this second stretch you’ll find Mawi Surf Cafe, a small warung selling basic food and drinks.

Parking cost: Free (although it could depend where you stop along the beach), but we had to pay 10,000 rupiah to a man who was guarding the road with a parking gate.


Semeti Beach

This is just right next door to Mawi beach and perhaps even less well known than its neighbor. You can reach Semeti by going back to the same dirt road that you took for Mawi and turning right. It will lead you to another quiet, rustic Lombok beach with plenty of rocks and caves to explore.



Semeti beach has some black rock formations that contrast beautifully against the bright blue water. It’s really fun to spend an afternoon here climbing the rocks and exploring. This rugged natural coastline provides more of an adventurous challenge than the other beaches. Semeti is also a perfect place for sunset if it’s not too overcast.


Lancing Beach

Further along the coastline heading back to Kuta is Lancing Beach. There are actually two entrances to this beach. Coming from Semeti Beach, the first entrance is barely marked with just a small wooden sign. This side of Lancing has more of a local vibe. Parking is free and you may even catch a motorbike drag race along the beach. There’s also a bit more trash in this area, so be careful if you’re walking barefoot. Christine sliced her foot on an old beer bottle. If you’re happy to just relax on the sand and chat with some locals, this side is for you.



Further down the beach on your way to Kuta there is a marked entrance which will take you down to a motorbike parking lot right by the beach. Parking is 10,000 and this side of Lancing has a couple of small warungs with bamboo beach chairs for rent. There’s also a swing perfect for lazily looking out over the ocean. If you’re looking for a drink and a chair to relax on, you’ll enjoy this side of Lansing Beach.

Parking cost: Free/ 10,000 rupiah


Tanjung Aan Beach

In our humble opinion, we thought this was the best beach in Lombok. This stretch of beach is very long, and although its lined with small warungs, you can still find a section all to yourself. This beach has the softest, white sand and prettiest turquoise water you could ever want. The water is pretty calm here so it’s lovely to take a relaxing swim. The warungs sell grilled fresh fish and coconuts which make for the perfect afternoon snack. A few of the warungs have swings out front if you want to get your Instagram photoshoot on.



You’ll probably encounter a few locals trying to sell souvenirs, but if you firmly say no thank you, they’ll take the hint. There are also some hikes to do on either side of the beach. At the eastern point of Tanjung Aan is Batu Payung rock formation, a giant rock teetering in the ocean. On the western point is Bukit Merese Hill, which has stunning views overlooking the water, especially at sunset.

Parking cost: Free



Senggigi Beach

Located in west coast of Lombok, Senggigi is the island’s closest thing to a resort town. Senggigi Beach is the main beach in town and it’s a long strip of sand that hugs the bay. The beach is lined with hotels and restaurants, so it can feel a bit over-developed at times. This is a nice spot to visit if you want to stay close to your hotel or grab a drink at one of the restaurants and watch the sunset. However, it’s not our favorite beach in the area. We recommend renting a motorbike (make sure it’s a decent one that can get up and down the hills!) to check out the beautiful nearby beaches.

Parking cost: Free



Don’t forget to check out our mega Lombok travel guide, where we list the 20 best things to do while exploring the island!


Sentangi Beach and Ludmila Beach

We nearly missed the last turn off for this beach because it’s only marked by a small sign, but we’re glad we found it! A short drive through the a field of palm trees will lead you down to the sand. On the northernmost end you’ll find a small shop with coconuts and snacks for sale. You’ll also find….goats! Yep, the women who owns the shop also has a few goats wandering around who are not scared to come straight up to you and try to steal your food. It’s pretty hilarious!



The beach itself is incredibly long, so Sentangi Beach runs into Ludmila Beach and it’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins. We ended up at the Ludmila end where the rocks cut off the beach. Unfortunately there is quite a bit of trash near the palm trees and scattered around the sand. But if you go closer down to the water, you’ll see that this actually quite a stunning coastline that seems to go on forever.

Motorbike Parking cost: Free



Nipah Beach

Nipah is one of the more popular beaches in the area. The beach is lined with warungs where you can sit in a traditional berugaq (a Sasak hut with a raised platform on which you eat sitting cross legged). You can choose from a variety of fresh fish to be grilled and served with rice, veggies and traditional spicy sauce sambal. This area has been very quiet since the earthquake, with warung after warung staying empty during lunch.



Unfortunately the sand is a bit rough because of the broken up coral, but the water here is very calm, so it’s perfect for afternoon swim after your fish lunch. It’s worth a walk up and down the beach to check out the fishing boats. You may even get lucky and see a turtle bobbing in the water!

Motorbike Parking cost: Free


Pandanan Beach

Another beautiful beach just up the road from Nipah. On a sunny day the water here is a stunning blue. Contrasted with the backdrop of green mountains, it’s drop dead gorgeous and perfect for photos! Pandanan Beach is pretty quiet so you’ll probably find an area all to yourself. The sand is a bit coarse but the water is calm and great for swimming. On a clear day, this is also a recommended beach to catch a sunset.

Motorbike Parking cost: Free



Pink Beach in Lombok

Pink Beach, also known as Tangsi Beach, is located on pretty much the southeastern tip of Lombok. It’s famous for its sand that is, well, pink of course! But just how pink is it? Well, when you arrive you might be disappointed to find that the sand isn’t quite the bright pink color you may have seen on Instagram (thank you Photoshop!).

The pink beach color depends on the day and time of day that you visit. It’s more likely to look like a rose gold than a super bright pink. But the sand is soft and the water is inviting. We also recommend taking a stroll up the hill past the west end of the beach to check out the views from above. Pink Beach has gotten pretty famous now, so you may be sharing the beach with quite a crowd.

If you go by motorbike you’ll pass through some small villages and backstreets, which we think make the long journey worth it. Once you get close to the beach you’ll be heading down some bumpy dirt roads so be cautious. You can also get to Pink Beach through a snorkeling tour from Kuta or by boat transport from Tanjung Luar Port.

Entrance fee: A whopping 50,000 per person! They’re definitely cashing in on the beach’s popularity.


Had enough Lombok beaches and want to see some waterfalls? Check out our guide to the 7 Best Lombok Waterfalls


Best Beaches on the Gili Islands

Separate to mainland Lombok, the Gili Islands are an iconic tourist destination from traveler all around the world. If you really want to find the best beaches in Lombok, along with some parties, the Gillis are where it’s at. Here are our recommendations:


Gili Trawangan Beaches

The most happening of the Gilis, Gili T is where you want to go if you’re looking for a party. That being said, it’s also a really nice island to just relax and hit the beach. The beaches on the Gilis don’t have official names, but the islands are so small you can easily get to all of them over the course of a few days.



There’s a beach unofficially called “Surf Point,” that is great for, you guessed it, surfers! Be sure to wear your booties here because the reef will cut up your feet. There are also several snorkel spots perfect for seeing some colorful fish and sea turtles!

In the north western tip of Gili T you can rent snorkel masks and go out looking for turtles. The turtles usually float in the water just a couple meters offshore and they’re really used to seeing people, so they won’t scurry off. It goes without saying, but please don’t touch the turtles. Unfortunately we saw a couple people trying to reach out and touch them.

The southeast area of Gili T has a beautiful stretch of beach that is perfect for wading into the calm water or just relaxing on the white sand. It’s heaven. Lastly, if you want to catch a stellar sunset, head to Gili T’s west side. There are a few beachside bars here where you can pull up a beanbag and enjoy a cocktail. Just make sure haven’t mixed up a pina colada with one of the island’s infamous mushroom shakes!



Gili Meno Beaches

The most relaxed of the three islands, Gili Meno is known as the honeymooners island. Meno also has arguably the best beaches of the Gilis, with pretty much the whole island being one continuous strip of gorgeous white sand. If you’re looking to get in the water right after stepping off the boat then the south side of the island is for you. There’s plenty of accommodation in this area where the port is, but the beach is still clean and beautiful. The north and south sides of the island both have quiet lovely beaches as well.

Gili Meno has a turtle sanctuary that hatches around 500 turtles every year! Chances are you’ll find yourself swimming next to a turtle hatched at the sanctuary at some point during your trip. One of the most unique activities you can do at the beach in Gili Meno is going snorkeling to see the famous underwater statues created by artist Jason DeCaires Taylor. The art installation is called “The Nest” and they are a set of human statues placed on the seafloor as a man made reef.

Motorbike parking: There are no cars or motorbikes allowed on the Gili islands, but you can get around by bicycle or walking. They also have cidomos, or horse-drawn carriages, but there has been some controversy as to whether the horses are being properly taken care of you. If you want to find out more Gili Eco Trust is works with the carriage drivers to help care for the horses.



Gili Air Beaches

If Goldilocks was visiting the Gilis and decided that Gili T was too much of a party and Gili Meno was too quiet, she would probably think that Gili Air is just right! This island has the same gorgeous white sand beaches as the other two with a great laid back atmosphere. The pounding EDM music on Gili T is replaced by beachy guitar tunes on Gili Air. But if you’re looking for a bit of action, this island has that too. Many of the beach bars have live music at night where people gather for drinks.

Gili Air is only slightly larger than Gili Meno, the smallest of the three, so it’s super easy to walk around. Most of the hotels and guesthouses are on the south side of the island by the port. Because of this the north side of the island has the most pristine, untouched beaches. The east side of the island has great snorkeling and, like Gili T, it’s common to see some sea turtles floating around. Some of the beaches around Gili Air have a bit of broken coral, which can make it a bit uncomfortable to walk on. But the water is clear and calm so it’s a perfect spot for floating on your back and soaking up the rays.

7 Best Lombok Waterfalls

Traveling to Lombok, Indonesia and not seeing any waterfalls is like going to Italy and not eating pasta! Not only does the island have some world class waterfalls, but they are quiet and uncrowded. Unlike some famous waterfalls around the world, where you basically have to queue up for a photo, you’re much more likely to have the place to yourself in Lombok. Some of the waterfalls in Lombok, like the beautiful Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep, are more popular and fairly easy to reach. While others, like Mangku Sakti, are off the radar and an adventure to find. Whichever is more your speed, you’re bound to love the Lombok waterfalls!

Tiu Kelep Waterfall

Tiu Kelep is a fan favorite with travelers visiting Lombok. This one is a bit more challenging to reach than Sendang Gile, but in a fun way. You’ll be walking through water and over rocks, so be sure to have your adventure clothes on! It’s about a 30 minute walk from Sendang Gile to Tiu Kelep, but it’s definitely worth the extra hike.



Tiu Kelep is a powerful waterfall, rising to 42 meters in height. You’ll be met with a strong spray from the fall, which after the half hour walk is a welcome refreshment. You can also swim at Tiu Kelep, but the water is pretty chilly.

Both Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep can be easily reached from the town of Senaru in northern Lombok. There are clear signs from the main road and it’s har dot miss. Travelers often visit Senaru as a jumping off point to some of the amazing treks around the region, like hiking Mount Rinjani. If you’re staying in Senaru for trekking, we definitely recommend adding an extra day of exploring to visit two of the best waterfalls in Lombok. 



Sendang Gile Waterfall

Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor (Tiu Kelep), Sendang Gile is definitely worth the visit in its own right. While you’re heading to Tiu Kelep waterfall, you’ll actually pass this waterfall on the way. You can hike down to this waterfall from the main road in about 10 minutes without a guide, but many tours include this and Tiu Kelep in a package. You can also pay a local guide to show you the way for about 50,000 rupiah, but it’s not hard to reach on your own.

While exploring both waterfalls in Senaru on your own it’s important to check with locals about the conditions. It’s always best to check if heavy rains have affected the paths to the waterfalls.

Headed to Lombok? Don’t miss our Top 20 Things to Do in Lombok article!

Benang Stokel Waterfall

One of the more popular waterfalls in Lombok, Benang Stokel is located in the center of the island, just to the southwest of Mount Rinjani National Park. After a 15 minute short hike from the gate entrance, you’ll find that Benang Stokel is actually two waterfalls right next to each other.



The “hike” to the falls is mostly on a concrete path and is not difficult. On your way you’ll also pass another small waterfall that drops down to a pool below. We couldn’t figure out if our guide was saying you can jump into the pool or definitely don’t jump, so we opted for the latter. Since then we’ve found out that you can jump, but perhaps only after it’s been raining enough to make the water deep.

Benang Stokel waterfalls aren’t the most powerful falls we’ve ever seen, but the surroundings are incredibly gorgeous. After the walk down to the falls you arrive at a small valley, surrounded on all sides by towering walls covered in ferns and greenery. Being surrounded by such a natural landscape you almost forget that there’s a parking lot just a 15 minute walk away.



Benang Kelambu Waterfall

From the gate entrance of Benang Stokel, you can take about a 30 – 45 minute hike to Benang Kelambu waterfall. You can also have a guide take you on the back of a motorbike if you’re short on time like we were. If you have the time, the hike takes you on a rocky dirt path through the thick jungle.

The hike doesn’t look particularly difficult, there are some inclines and declines, but nothing too steep. If you do decide to take a motorbike, hang on tight because these guides will take you on a wild ride! It’s actually really fun grabbing on to the metal bar in the back of the motorbike as you zip through the jungle at high speeds.



However you get there, Benang Kelambu is a must! This set of waterfalls is absolutely stunning. It was by far our favorite Lombok waterfall, and one of our all time favorite waterfalls ever! It’s hard to describe what makes this place so special. It’s not the tallest waterfall, nor the strongest, but there’s something about the falls being framed by 10 foot tall ferns and covered in greenery that makes this place magical. It looks like a set out of Jurassic Park. You can climb on the rocks into the waterfall and swim in the pools at the bottom. It’s a super refreshing dip, especially if you’ve opted to hike there.



Tiu Teja Waterfall

This hidden gem is located in the north of Lombok, just outside of Mount Rinjani National Park to the northwest. If you’re looking to have a waterfall all to yourself, this could be your spot. It’s a bit hard to find, but if you put in the effort you’ll be rewarded with a stunning treat.

First you need to drive to Santong Village, then park and hike an additional 25 minutes down to the falls. There are a steep set of stairs leading to Tiu Teja waterfall, but you can take a refreshing dip once you arrive. Tiu Teja literally means “Rainbow Waterfall,” and on a sunny day you can actually see a rainbow at the end of the falls. But even if you catch Tiu Teja on a cloudy day, it’s still worth it. This isolated waterfall will make you feel like an explorer stumbling across a hidden fall for the first time.

It can be pretty tricky to find this place, but you can always ask locals along the way. If you do go by yourself on a motorbike, put in “Parkiran air terjun” in your Google maps to find the parking lot. Or if you’re on a tour, ask your guide to stop at Tiu Teja waterfall.



Mangku Sakti Waterfall

One of the lesser known waterfalls on Lombok, but definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re checking out northern Lombok. The falls are located just to the northeast of Mount Rinjani National Park, about an hour drive from Senaru. It’s not possible to reach the falls by car, so you can either walk from Sajang Village to the falls in about an hour and 20 minutes, or use a 4×4 or dirtbike to ride to the parking lot, then trek for about 20 minutes.

You’ll most likely see a lot less tourists here than Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep. While the waterfall is picturesque, it’s the beautiful rock formations that are the real star here. In the dry season, the water has a milky blue appearance, which is a beautiful contrast against the gray rocks. You can swim at Mangku Sakti waterfall, so be sure to bring your bathing suit!

Just a short walk from this waterfall is Mangku Kodek waterfall. They’re both really close together, so you should definitely visit both on your trip. You have to walk through water to get to Kodek, but it’s worth the wet walk!



Tiu Pupus Waterfall

We don’t hear many people mention Tiu Pupus when speaking about Lombok waterfalls, which is strange because it’s a beautiful spot! To get to to Tiu Pupus waterfall, it’s a short, flat hike along a trail from the carpark, past a small river and to onto Pupus. Since it had rained the night before we visited, the fall was pumping and it made a perfect backdrop for photos.



We had the place to ourselves and the surrounding landscape of trees and greenery gave the waterfall a very natural vibe. There are also some basic seating areas at the base of the waterfall, where you can take a picnic lunch or a few drinks to enjoy while swimming in your very own private waterfall.


Kerta Gangga Waterfall

This Lombok waterfall, next to Gangga village, is worth a look if it’s included in your tour and you feel like a quick dip. It’s a short, easy walk from the parking lot, so we don’t think it’s necessary to hire a guide. You may be stopped at the entrance and hassled to hire a guide, and if that’s the case you can offer 100K for a group, but anything more really isn’t worth it.

Once you climb the slippery steps up to Gangga waterfall there is a metal platform that takes you to an upper part of one of the falls where you can swim. You have to hop over a small dam and it looks like you could fall over the edge, but it’s actually very safe. The water is not super deep and you can swim further back to see another hidden waterfall. Personally, this wasn’t our favorite fall, but if you’re nearby it’s worth a peek.



Lombok Waterfall Tour

We did most of these Lombok waterfalls as part of a tour with Rinjani Dawn Adventures. We highly recommend this company. They are very environmentally and socially conscious and give back to the local community as much as possible. Our guide for the day was incredibly patient as we took our time at every waterfall.

All of our entrance fees were included in the price, so we can’t confirm the price of each waterfall entrance. We’ve heard varying reports of the cost of these waterfalls, including a whopping 300,000 each at Gangga waterfall! It seems like local guides and drivers get better deals than if you just show up on your own.



We also heard that since the 2018 earthquakes there has been less government regulation on the entrance fees. Previously, there were government stands where you could pay for an official ticket to enter. This regulated entrances also had regulated prices. Now, at some waterfalls, the locals are imposing their own entrance fee which can range in price.

Even if you do have a driver to pay entrance fees, you may decide you want to pay extra for a local guide to show you around. We really enjoyed having our guide at Benang Stokel and Kelambu. He was very patient while we took pictures as the sun was setting and stayed out with us even after the office had closed. He also made Christine a fern crown while he was waiting. Paying for a guide, even when you can find the route yourself, is a nice way to give back to the community and support the local economy.



Where to Stay When Exploring Waterfalls

Northern Lombok

If you’re visiting Sendang Gile, Tiu Kelep or Mangku Sakti, we recommend staying in Senaru. It’s a great place to base yourself in the north, while exploring the area and these gorgeous waterfalls. Here are our recommended accommodation near Senaru:

Dragonfly Guesthouse

This is a simple wooden guesthouse with a stunning view. It’s built on the side of the hill and you can get a stellar view of Mount Rinjani. You’ll find out why it’s called Dragonfly immediately, when you sit on your porch and watch hundreds of dragonflies flutter around. If you go during rainy season, bring earplugs because the rain is incredibly loud on the tin roof.

Lighthouse Rinjani

This guest house is owned by a German couple but the decor reflects traditional Lombok style. The cute huts reminded us of a tree house, which is perfect against the backdrop of Senaru’s green hills.


Western Lombok

For Tiu Pupus, Tiu Gangga, or Tiu Tej you can stay in Senggigi to easily visit these waterfalls. Here are our recommended accommodation near Senggigi:

Katamaran Resort

This gorgeous resort is located right on the beach just outside of central Senggigi. This is a perfect place to come back to after a long day of exploring and enjoy happy hour in the infinity pool overlooking the ocean. And the Katamaran has some of the friendliest hotel employees we’ve ever met!

Ibludan Hotel

This budget friendly guesthouse has everything you need during your stay in Senggigi, including a pool and terrace area. Not quite the luxury of the Katamaran, but very cute and comfortable.


Southern Lombok

If you’re exploring Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu, we recommend staying in Kuta Lombok. Here are our recommended accommodation near Kuta:

Dome Village

This Airbnb will soon become an entire resort of eco-domes. The domes are constructed out of earthbags, an environmentally friendly build material that is earthquake safe. There’s only one dome listed now on Airbnb, but it is super stylish and fun to stay in! This property is located in Gerupuk, about a 20 minute drive from Kuta, right next to famous Tanjung Aan beach.

To book it on Airbnb click here. New to Airbnb? Get your free $20USD Airbnb credit for first time users!

Amnaya Resort

A beautiful resort in Kuta if you want to splash out on some pampering. There is a gorgeous pool area, a spa and all the amenities you’d expect at a luxury hotel.

Pipes Hostel

A fun, lively hostel in Kuta. If you’re looking for a backpacker atmosphere (and budget), this is a great choice. The hostel has a cafe/bar and a pool, but the main attraction here is a skate bowl that it’s open to guests and the public every afternoon!

20 Best Things to Do in Lombok

Welcome to Lombok, a small Indonesian island that offers uncrowded white sand beaches with crystal clear water, waterfalls that will leave you breathless, world class surf breaks, unique cultural activities and more adventures than you’re trip could possibly contain! Lombok has often been likened to nearby neighbor Bali, but at least a decade of development behind, with less traffic, less tourists, but equally incredible natural attractions. As cliche as it sounds, Lombok really does have something for everyone. It’s also super easy to get to Lombok from anywhere in Indonesia.

If you’re a couple looking for a romantic getaway, this region has some of the best beaches you’ll find in Indonesia, with affordable hotels that will sweep you off your feet. Surfers, both beginner, expert and everyone in between, will find the perfect wave down in the south. Culture nuts will love learning about the pottery, weaving and art of the Sasak people. Backpackers will love the laid back vibes of the Gili islands.

And if it’s adventure you’re after, you better buckle up because Lombok has some of the best volcano treks, waterfalls and jungle hikes you’ll find anywhere in the world. Enjoy our list of the best things to do in Lombok, no matter what you’re interested in.

Our trip to Lombok was also more than just an adventure, we had the goal of bringing more tourism back to Lombok. After the 2018 earthquakes, tourism slowed down significantly on the island and the local economy took a huge hit. But we’re happy to say that Lombok is back in business and we wholeheartedly recommend visiting! It was one of our favorite trips we’ve taken recently and we expect that this will be a destination we continue to return to!


Traveling to Lombok

With an international airport, as well as ferry ports, you can travel to Lombok by sea or air. Most people traveling by boat are going from Bali to Lombok, choosing either a slower ferry or quicker fast boat from eastern Bali. When flying there are number of countries that now fly directly into Lombok International Airport in Praya, with AirAsia and Garuda being the best choices. In fact, as we write this, Perth to Lombok direct flights have just started with AirAsia, so this only makes it easy for Australian’s to visit Lombok.

Whether you’re taking the ferry, fast boat or plane, each option offers a different ease of travel, as well as a different price range. Ultimately it’s not difficult or expensive when traveling to Lombok. We went by plane and would absolutely choose this mode of transportation every single time. From Denpasar (Bali) to Praya (Lombok), it’s only a half hour flight and it costs between $30-60 USD round trip. Flying out of Bali domestic airport is a breeze and landing in Lombok airport is fast and efficient.



If you want to go to the Gilis, or you just prefer to go by boat, you can take a fast boat from one of Bali’s harbors. Padangbai in eastern Bali to Bangsal Ferry Terminal in northern Lombok is the most common way to get to to Lombok from Bali. There are a number of companies that offer this trip. The boats also go past the Gilis if you want to stop off along the way, or on your way back.

Search Cheap Flights to Lombok


Adventure Activities: What to Do in Lombok

If you’re an outdoor lover who has been searching for a destination that has world class hiking without the crowds, Lombok is your spot. Whether you’re looking for a chilled out walk through the jungle or you want to get your blood pumping on a multi-day trek, here’s what Lombok activities have to offer:


Hike Mount Rinjani

One of the island’s most famous sights, Mount Rinjani is an active volcano in Northern Lombok. This hike is not for the faint of heart; it’s super challenging. Rinjani rises to 3726 meters and is the second biggest volcano in Indonesia. This hike is bound to test your mental and physical strength, but if you can reach the top the views make it all worth it.

You can also take it at your own speed, with different Mount Rinjani tours taking two, three or four days depending on your skill level and how much time you can allot. Two days/ one night is only recommended for expert level hikers who really only have a short window of time. Three days/ two nights is a common choice and allows you more time to take in your surroundings and enjoy a peek at the Crater Lake. The four day/three night trip is for those that want to take it at a slower pace and enjoy the beauty of Mount Rinjani National Park.



When planning your Mount Rinjani hike one good thing to know is that the volcano is closed every year from January to the end of March due to the rainy season. So if you want to hike it, you”d better plan around that. Even within the hiking season it’s always good to reach out to some trekking companies to check the current status.


Mount Rinjani Crater Rim Hike

If you want a taste of Rinjani, without having to commit to the full experience, you can try the Crater Rim hike. This trek is fine for beginners and also great if you’re short on time because it’s only two days/ one night! With this hike you’ll be able to enjoy sunset and sunrise at the beautiful Crater Lake. Just like hiking Mount Rinjani tours, this will be closed during the rainy season, so you should check with your company before booking.


Senaru Walking Tour

If you’re tired after tackling the mammoth hike of Mount Rinjani, or are just looking for something a little slower paced, we recommend going on a walking tour. We did our Senaru tour with Rinjani Dawn Adventures. It was a half day walking tour with their awesome guide Lasa. We started in the town of Senaru, then walked up a trail through the beautiful green jungle to a coffee plantation.



At the plantation there is a beautiful viewing platform that looks out over the surrounding mountains. From this viewpoint you can catch a glimpse of the nearby Tiu Kelep waterfall. Our walking tour also included a stop at our guide’s house and garden, where he offered us a cup of Lombok coffee and avocados fresh from his tree. After, we visited a local rice field which was bright green as far as we could see.


Hike Pergasingan Hill

Another alternative to Mount Rinjani (or an addition if you’re an avid hiker!), Pergasingan Hill is located in eastern Lombok. Pergasingan can be done in just a few hours, but it’s recommended to go up in the late afternoon and camp on the mountain overnight. You’ll wake up to the sun rising and a terrific view of Mount Rinjani.



Waterfalls in Lombok

If you’re planning an adventure in Lombok, you have to visit some of the island’s waterfalls. Not only are they stunning, but they’re often completely crowd-less. Can you imagine, having these beautiful Lombok waterfalls to yourself? 

  • Benang Stokel – One of the more popular waterfalls in Lombok, Benang Stokel is located in the center of the island, southwest of Mount Rinjani National Park. After a 15 minute hike from the gate entrance, you’ll find that Benang Stokel is actually two gentle waterfalls right next to each other. They’re not the most powerful falls, but the surrounding area is gorgeous.


  • Benang Kelambu – From the gate entrance of Benang Stokel, you can take a 35-45 minute hike to Benang Kelambu waterfall. If you’re short on time, like we were, you can also have a local guide take you on the back of a motorbike. However you get there, Benang Kelambu is a must! This set of waterfalls are absolutely stunning and one of our all time favorite waterfalls!



  • Tiu Pupus – We don’t hear many people talking about Tiu Pupus, which is strange because it’s a beautiful waterfall! It’s a 5 minute, flat hike along a trail from the carpark, past a small river/lake and on to Pupus, a beautiful single drop fall.


  • Gangga Waterfall – This waterfall next to Gangga village is worth a look if it’s included in your tour and feel like a quick dip. Personally, we didn’t find it that impressive, but maybe we’re waterfall snobs are visiting the other stunning sites! There is a metal platform that takes you to an upper part of one of the falls where you can swim.

    Want even more amazing waterfalls? Check out our detailed guide to the Best Waterfalls in Lombok! It includes how to get there, opening hours, costs and more!

Bukit Selong Rice Field Viewpoint

If you’re exploring the north of Lombok and heading south, the Bukit Selong Rice Field Viewpoint is a popular stop on your way down. This viewpoint overlooks a rice field that looks like a geometric pattern of shades of green from above. It’s worth coming early to avoid the heat. Come for sunrise if you don’t mind getting up early. Update: As of March 2019 this area has been closed due to the 2018 earthquakes. Check with local tour companies if this has been reopened and we will update our post as soon as we know.



Pusuk Pass Monkey Forest

This is more of a drive than a sight in itself. If you’re heading from Benang Kelambu to Kuta (or vice versa) you’ll most likely drive through the Pusuk Pass Monkey Forest. As you drive on the highway through this dense jungle you’ll start to notice monkeys hanging out on the sides of the road. They often make eye contact with you and turn their heads to continue making eye contact as you drive away.

The monkeys are wild, but they’re clearly accustomed to tourists. You can pull off into a car park where locals will sell you bananas to feed to the monkeys, which are better than normal human food, but we still don’t condone feeding wild animals. This wasn’t cruel, but we didn’t feel like this was a very sustainable activity.



Beaches: Where to Go in Lombok

After spending so much time on Bali island, where the beaches are lacking that white sand and turquoise water combination, we forgot just how gorgeous Indonesian beaches can be! Lombok is a dream destination for beach lovers, and here are a few of our favorites.


Kuta Lombok Beaches in the South

Kuta Lombok (not to be confused with the much more crowded Kuta Bali!) is a cute little surfer town gearing up to the be next Canggu, Bali. It’s a perfect spot to base yourself out of, with plenty of cheap guesthouses, hip cafes and restaurants playing live music in the evening. While the beach in town is so-so, the beaches surrounding Kuta are incredible. Our favorites in the area are Tangjung Aan, Selong Belanak, Mawi Beach, Semeti Beach and Lansing Beach. Rent a scooter for the day (or week) and explore the region to find plenty of uncrowded spots.



Senggigi Beaches in the West

Senggigi is as close to a resort town as Lombok has. Most of the hotels are located along Raya Senggigi which is a long street that hugs the coast. There’s not much to do in the town itself, but the beaches surrounding this area are gorgeous! We recommend renting a motorbike and driving north on Raya Senggigi to enjoy the views. Our favorites beaches in this area are Sentangi Beach, Ludmila Beach, Nipah Beach and Pandanan Beach. While exploring the beaches, stop by Nipah for a delicious fresh fish lunch from the many beachside vendors.


Looking for more fun in the sun? We’ve got an even bigger list of the 15 Best Beaches in Lombok! Come and check it out!

The Gilis

If you really want to find some of the best beaches in Lombok, the Gilis are where it’s at. While there are many gilis around Lombok (gili just means small island in Sasak), there are three Gilis that are the most famous. All three have gorgeous beaches, but very different vibes.



Gili Trawangan, also known as Gili T, is famous for its backpacker party vibes, clubs that pound music till the early morning and easy accessibility to mushroom shakes (yep, those mushrooms!). Gili Air is a chilled out version of Gili T, if you replace the clubs with simple beach bars and spend your evenings sipping cocktails on bean bags at the beach rather than dancing the night away. Gili Meno is the lovers island and the quietest of the three, perfect for honeymooners!


Surfing in Lombok

If you’re looking for surf spots and you’re sick of the crowded waves in Bali, then Lombok has plenty of options. Whether you’re just starting out and need a lesson or you’ve been surfing for years, you’ll find a wave you like on Lombok. Desert Point is one of the most well known around the surfing community. This left hander only works a few times a year, and is definitely an experts only spot, but it’s known as one of the best surfing waves in the world.

If you’re looking for somewhere more beginner speed, Selong Belanak has some great small waves and tons of surf instructors on the beach. There are also some good beginner waves near Gerupuk.


Culture: What to See in Lombok

Even though Lombok is best known for its adventure activities and stunning beaches, the region’s unique local Sasak culture will be fascinating to learn about for any traveler. In between lazy beach days and hiking volcanoes, plan a few local tours to learn more about the history and traditions of Lombok.


Lombok Pottery Center

Lombok is famous for its pottery and if you’re interested in the production, Lombok Pottery Centre is the place to visit. The LPC is a cooperative of over 200 female potters who share the profits of their work, so everyone prospers. They have several tour options available, including a visit to Banyumulek Village, a local village where they create the pottery.



Visitors get to watch the process, from the creation of the clay to the molding of the products, to the outdoor kiln they’ve created. Even if you’re not super into pottery, this is a great opportunity to be invited into a local village and meet with a community. All of the potters we met were so welcoming. Plus you get to visit the LPC office and choose a piece of pottery to get engraved and take home. 


Learn about Islam in Mataram

Indonesia is a country of many different religions, but the majority of the islands are muslim. Bali is predominantly Hindu, Lombok is Muslim and the nearby island of Flores is Catholic. If you’re interested in learning more about Islam in Lombok a visit to the Islamic Center Mosque in Mataram is a perfect opportunity. The colors and architecture of the mosque are quite stunning.

After paying an entrance fee, a guide will take you up to the 9th floor and 13th floor where you will get beautiful views overlooking the city below. Remember to dress appropriately. If for some reason you’re turned away (it sounds like this happens on occasion), you can still enjoy the beauty of the mosque from the outside, especially at night when the building is lit up with colorful lights.



Local Village Tour

One of the things that makes Lombok unique is the indigenous Sasak culture. There are several villages that have opened their doors to tourists, where you can see the traditional houses made of bamboo and thatched roofs. Sade Village is a traditional Sasak village that is probably the most touristy of those available to visit. We’ve heard reports of tourists being pushed to purchase souvenirs, but others have enjoyed the ease of being able to visit.



We visited a small Sasak village during our walking tour in Senaru. It was the village of our guide’s famil,y so we felt more comfortable seeing inside the house of his parents rather than a random stranger. Other small villages that have been recommended to us are Desa Beleq and Segentar. We really recommend only visiting these villages with a Sasak guide who can communicate with you. As always when visiting a local village, it’s so important to be respectful, ask before taking any photos and avoid any tours that feel exploitative.


Visit a Weaving Village

Weaving is another craft that Lombok is well known for. Sasak women learn to weave at a young age and the art has been passed down through many generations. According to Sasak tradition, all women must be able to weave or they will not be allowed to get married. There are several villages where you can watch weaving demonstrations, or you may just come across local women weaving while traveling around Lombok.



If you’re looking to visit a weaving village you can head to Sukarara Village, where they run weaving tours. You’ll definitely be guided into a gift shop and sold textiles at a mark up, but visiting a village likes this means getting a close up look at the production process and the opportunity to ask questions about the tradition. In Sukarara they also dress you up in traditional costume and let you take photos in front of a traditional Sasak house if that’s your jam. Although it’s a little touristy, your money goes directly back into the community, rather than through a third party tour company.


Narmada Water Park

You won’t find any water slides or log rides here, the Narmada Water Park is actually more of a water temple. Historically, Narmada was used in religious ceremonies at the park’s Hindu temple. Now, it’s a nice place to spend the afternoon, enjoy the gardens and have a sip of the holy water which is said to make you look ten years younger.



Lombok Packing List

LifeStraw water bottle You should definitely not drink the tap water in Lombok, even in the taps at a luxury hotel (unless they’ve confirmed it’s filtered). After visiting some of the beaches and seeing plastic bottles and cups wash ashore, you’ll feel much better about your choice to bring a reusable bottle. Plus you can fill up at all the waterfalls!

Sarong – Lombok is a Muslim region so you’ll want to keep a sarong on hand in case you need to cover yourself up. You’ll most likely only need to do this while visiting a mosque, a school or a government building. You can also buy one of these from a local weaver.

Hat – Just like Bali, Lombok is hot and sunny! We definitely got a little burnt in the sun here, so we highly recommend a good hat especially for hikes.

SunGod sunnies – You’ll be grateful you have a pair of these indestructible, polarized sunnies when you’re hiking Rinjani!

A one piece swimsuit – Bikinis aren’t banned here, but I felt more comfortable wearing my one piece in front of the locals. Plus, this one is super cute!

7 Ways To Save On Travel Costs

Even though the old cliché goes, “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer,” it still costs money. And sometimes a lot of it. Thankfully after years of travel, we’ve been able to hone down our best tips for staying on budget. Whether you’re traveling like a backpacker or living large, we know our tips will be helpful to save on travel costs, so you can spend more on the experiences that make travel so amazing.


Create a Budget

Nobody likes the “b” word, but creating a budget for your trip can actually be very liberating. If you’re not keeping track of your finances it’s hard to estimate how much you’ve been spending. Even though keeping your head in the sand may seem easier than confronting your travel costs, you may find out you’re actually staying under budget! Checking your spending at the end of each day of your trip means you can decide when to save and when to splurge. Consciously scrimping on meals here and there will make splurging on an awesome experience even more rewarding! Budget travel apps like Trailwallet are excellent tools for keeping everything organized.



Find Cheap Flights

Chances are that your flight costs are going to be substantial part of your trip. Unless you’re traveling locally or domestically, airline prices are not going to be cheap. If you’re flying to the other side of the world you can expect your flight expenses to be in the 4 figure mark.  Depending on how lavish your trip is, that could be a huge percentage of your travel budget. That’s why finding cheap flights is key for keeping costs at a minimum.

Luckily the internet makes it super easy to find the best deals. These days sites like JustFly compare every possible combination of airline carrier and potential itineraries to make sure you get the best deal. They even have a list of “top daily deals” from your location to get you inspired on where you can travel for cheap! Once you have a cracking airline deal, the rest of your trip planning tends to fall into place.



Stay in Hostels

We know, shacking up with 8 strangers in a dorm room with bunk beds isn’t exactly a dream vacation. But these days you can find some pretty rad hostels/guesthouses. We’ve stayed in some beautiful hostels that have hotel-style amenities like big comfy beds, rainforest showers and even an omelette chef in the morning (check Spin Hostel in El Nido!

Often times a private room in a hostel is still much cheaper than booking a hotel room. The bonus of a hostel is that they usually have very social environments, perfect if you’re traveling solo or in a group looking to make friends. Of course if you’re not interested in chatting with other travelers you can just enjoy the privacy of your own room.

When finding the best hostel deals we always recommend HostelWord, which is basically a massive booking platform for all the best hostels around the world!


Book an Airbnb

If hostels aren’t your scene, Airbnb’s are another great way to cut down on accommodation costs. There are tons of options, from super budget to super splurge. The types of accommodation is also really varied. We’ve seen VW vans, tents and even yurts listed on Airbnb. People often list private rooms in their homes for affordable prices. Since these rooms don’t come with hotel amenities, they are usually listed for quite a bit less than normal hotel rates. Oftentimes, they come with a kitchen which is perfect for our next tip…

New to Airbnb? Sign up through our link and receive $30USD off your first stay, it’s that easy!



Cook Meals

Another pricey expense that comes up when traveling is eating out. When you’re back home eating out is usually a special treat. But when you’re traveling you’re forced to eat out at every meal. That’s why booking an Airbnb or hotel with a kitchenette is a great travel hack. Buying groceries and cooking for yourself can save you so much money in the long-term. Even just having a light breakfast or snack on hand can save you from tourist restaurants that have sub-part food for expensive prices. Plus shopping at a local market or grocery store is a cool way to immerse yourself in the local culture.



Travel with a Water Bottle Filter

When traveling in countries that don’t have clean tap water, having a filtered water bottle is key. Not only do you cut down on single use plastic (the environment thanks you!) but you’ll also save money every day. It may not seem like a lot, but if you’re spending $5 a day on water bottles during a month long trip, you’ll save $150! Wouldn’t you rather spend that on a luxurious night in a swanky hotel knowing you contributed to a cleaner earth? Personally, we travel with these awesome LifeStraw Go bottles.



Test out Your Haggling Skills

In some parts of the world haggling down prices is totally normal. It can feel weird if you’re from the US or another country where haggling is frowned upon. But in many situations abroad, bargaining for a cheaper price is expected. Artisan markets are a perfect place to practice your haggling skills. Sellers will often start with a price that is double what they would normally sell it for.

Haggling is a delicate art that often means standing your ground and sometimes doing the old “walk away” trick. The seller will always have a minimum price that they’re willing to take in the back of their mind. And if you have a maximum price that you’re willing to pay, you’ll eventually find a happy medium between the two. To learn more about the art of haggling check out our guide.

This article contains some affiliate links. Clicking them provides us a small commission, at no extra cost to you. It’s what helps keep our site running, awesome and available to provide you the best travel info! And thanks to the article sponsor JustFly for supporting this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own and we would need support a product or service we didn’t truly believe in.

Nuevo Vallarta Travel Guide

When it comes to vacationing in Mexico, there are a few destinations that tend to outshine the rest of the country; notably Cancun, Cabo, Tulum, just to name a few. But the typical hot spots better move over because there’s a new destination in town, Nuevo Vallarta! Located within Mexico’s Pacific Treasure, an appropriate name for the Riviera Nayarit region, Nuevo Nayarit is right on the Pacific coast. Within the Riviera Nayarit region there are several pueblos (towns) perfect for a Mexican getaway. And if you’re looking for a luxury holiday, look no further than the city of Nuevo Vallarta.

Just 25 minutes from it’s more famous neighbor, Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta is an up and coming destination filled with everything you need to get your Mexican luxury vacation on. Nuevo Vallarta is a 3 mile long strip of sandy white Mexican beach lined with classy, upscale resorts. Perfect for dipping your toes in the water, kicking back with a cocktail and soaking up that vacation sun.



Side note: We always encourage our readers to travel authentically and to explore the local culture of everywhere you visit, but even we understand the worth of a good ol’ fashioned vacation. If you’re looking for a luxury getaway that still lets you get a taste of Mexico, check out Nuevo Vallarta. Here are our top picks for where to stay and what to do:


Where To Stay in Nuevo Vallarta

If you’re looking for a little luxury then you look no further than Marival Residences Luxury Resort. Operating since 2010, this 4 diamond resort is clean, sleek and perfect for any luxury seekers. The Marival Residences Luxury is a sister hotel to Marival Resort and Suites, located right next door. And although some may prefer the amenities (4 pools!) of the resort, we recommend staying at the residences.



The minute we entered our penthouse room, we instantly felt like vacation royalty. The room was huge and immaculately clean with modern decor. It felt more like an apartment (hence, the name residences) than a hotel room, with a full sized kitchen, living room, master bedroom with ensuite and guest bathroom.

Having just come from road tripping the US, having this much space was such a luxury. We joked that the king size bed was bigger than our entire van (it was!). But the piece de resistance of the room was found when we meandered upstairs (yes, our residence was double story!) to find that we had our own private rooftop pool! It was so relaxing spending the afternoon in our pool, overlooking the beach. Even better when we ordered room service champagne to drink poolside!



Marival Residences Luxury Resort is an all-inclusive resort that includes all alcoholic drinks and meals! If you’re not sold on all-inclusives (we know, they sound a little cheesy), read all about why we think everyone has to do a Mexican all inclusive at least once in their lives. Let’s just say, you don’t get in full vacation mode unless you can leave your wallet at home.


What to Do Around Nuevo Vallarta

Ziplining in Puerto Vallarta

Unless you want to lay on the beach or sit poolside all day with a good book (hey! No judgment!), there’s plenty to see and do in the area. With the all inclusive package at Marival Residences each guest is gifted one free tour in the area.

We chose to do the Canopy River tour, which was right up our alley of combining adventures and responsible travel. Canopy River is a local eco-tourism company offering a variety of outdoor activities at their beautiful location. They’re committed to environmental sustainability, focusing on using sustainable tourism to protect the surrounding forests. The tour company was started by a group of farmers who wanted to protect their land from deforestation. Now the company is a cooperative with over 25 farmers who share the profits and are able to support their families.



Canopy River offers a variety of adventure tours including ziplining, river rafting and ATV-ing, and we choose to soar above the tree tops! Cruising through the trees and zipping over the rivers you can see why the beautiful forests of Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit are a perfect spot for ziplining. We finished our afternoon among the trees with a tequila tasting, because, Mexico! After a fun, but tiring afternoon in the sun we were happy to get back to our private pool.



Spa Treatment in Nuevo Vallarta

If you’re looking for an extra dose of relaxation, check out Melange World Spa at Marival Residences. The spa lobby and amenities are beautifully designed. Before and after your massage you can take a dip in the outside hot tub and plunge pool, or get your sweat on in the sauna. What’s even better, you can order a drink to have outside while you enjoy your soak. Champagne + hot tub = full relaxation (obv, drink responsibly!)



The spa has a variety of treatments named after different countries in the world. I had the Mexico Agave Experience (when in Mexico!) which was true to its name, with a small cheese taco and margarita waiting for me in my massage room. The Mexico experiences was more of a skin treatment than a massage, with a full body exfoliation and facial. They also lathered me in a luxurious lotion and wrapped me up in foil like a burrito (I said it was Mexican!).

If you’re into skin treatments, you’ll love this, but if you prefer more of a standard massage I would recommend one of their other options. The Italy Vendimia’ Wine, for example, has you stomping grapes, then soaking in a wine bath while drinking a glass of vino and then enjoying a full body massage. Sounds good to me!



Day Trip to Sayulita

If you have time on your trip we recommend getting out of the resort and enjoying a day trip to one of Riviera Nayarit’s beautiful pueblos. We spent the afternoon at Sayulita, a bustling beach town popular with surfers. For those that want to pick up some Mexican souvenirs, Sayulita is a great place to do a little shopping. Don’t miss grabbing a picture on one of the pedestrian only streets, with their iconic colorful flags hanging from above. Before we left, we had lunch at Don Pedro’s right on the beach and loved the food!



Where to Eat

If you stay Marival Residences you’ll have no shorter of food options. Our favorite was the casual dining restaurant right by the pool called Lemon Grass. You can start your meal with chips, salsa and guacamole and wash it down with a frozen mango margarita. They also have delicious fish tacos and fried calamari, as well as some refreshing salads. As it is with most all inclusive resorts, if you’re looking for really authentic Mexican food, let’s be honest, you’ll have to get out into town. If you end up doing a day trip to Sayulita, Punta Mita or another Riviera Nayarit town, definitely grab some street tacos!



Marival Residences also has a stunning rooftop restaurant, Insu Sky Lounge, where you can enjoy upscale tapas in a beautiful setting. Even if you eat elsewhere, definitely grab a drink there and watch the sun set over the beach. Lastly, don’t miss the resort’s newly opened beach club, Mozza Mare. You can grab a yummy meal at their beachside restaurant, then spend the afternoon kickin it in the infinity pool or lounging at one of the cabanas on the sand. Mozza Mare is also available for private events, with fun elements like fire dancers and a mariachi band!



The only thing we wouldn’t recommend is getting room service. As much fun as it can be to have breakfast in bed, the food is notably better in the restaurants and you may as well take advantage of the resort atmosphere. The resort also has a delicious breakfast buffet that you don’t want to miss. Did someone say made-to-order breakfast quesadillas?! Yes please!

Every once in a while everyone needs an all inclusive vacation to relax to the fullest. We recommend checking out Riviera Nayarit, and specifically Nuevo Vallarta, with its endless options to enjoy. Our penthouse at the Marival Residences Luxury Resorts made us feel like a king and queen and our experience zipping through the trees at Canopy River and lounging by our private pool were exactly what we wanted out of our vacation.

Thanks to Riviera Nayarit and Marival Residences Luxury Resort for hosting us during our stay in Nuevo Vallarta. As always, all opinions are our own.

Conservation and Tourism in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is perhaps the most iconic national park in the United States. From childhood memories of watching Yogi Bear tiptoe through ‘Jellystone Park’ looking for pic-a-nic basket, to hearing about the phenomenon that is Old Faithful, Yellowstone is ingrained in American culture and history.

Adding to its weight as a national and international icon, Yellowstone was actually established as the USA’s first national park and the first national park in the world. It’s often near the top of US itineraries and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t on most American’s bucket lists to visit at some stage in their life. And it’s not just travelers from the US that enjoy Yellowstone, with tens of thousands of foreign tourists visiting the park year after year.



Environmental Conservation in Yellowstone National Park

But besides being a crowd favorite of national parks, Yellowstone also has a rich history in environmental conservation. When the park was first created, it was complimented by the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act, protecting the land from settlement.

To ensure this protection the US Army was brought in to safeguard the park from poachers, woodcutters and vandals. That’s right, they brought in the actual army to protect the park. That’s how seriously they took conserving this beautiful piece of land. Eventually the park was handed over to the National Park Service in 1916, but you can still see the army barracks just inside the park.



Yellowstone also has a reputation for protecting endangered wildlife. In fact, the park is the only place in the US where bison (aka. buffalo, yep they’re the same thing!) have lived continuously since prehistoric times. Within the US, somewhere between 20 and 30 million bison once existed. By 1889 about 1,091 were left and in Yellowstone only 2 dozen were still alive by 1902. Thankfully the protection of the army and National Park Services helped increase the park’s bison population to between 2,300 to 5,500 depending on the year.


Wolf Repopulation in Yellowstone

Another animal species that has been protected thanks to the officials at Yellowstone National Park are wolves. When the park was first established, wolves were not protected from hunting like other animal populations. They were seen as a threat to a variety of prey and by the 1970’s there were no wolves left in the park.

Now with more education available, it’s apparent what an important part wolves play in the park’s delicate ecosystem. In the 1990’s, the National Park Service began their wolf reintroduction program to bring wolves from Montana and Canada. While the wolf population is still on the endangered species list for Wyoming, there are now roughly 104 wolves living in the park, a far cry on the diminished population just a couple decades ago.



Nonprofits and Corporate Partners Supporting Yellowstone

The incredible environmental protection and reintroduction of wildlife species back into healthy, thriving populations is a testament to how important Yellowstone is to the environment. It’s thanks to Yellowstone National Park and Yellowstone Forever, a nonprofit that partners with the park to do fundraising and education. These organizations work tirelessly to keep Yellowstone protected for the 4 million+ annual visitors.

We’ve all heard over the past few years how much budgets have been cut for National Parks. Unfortunately Yellowstone is not immune to this terrible decrease in funding. That’s why the park, along with the help of nonprofits, relies on the continued support of important corporate partners.



That’s where Michelin comes in. Yep, that’s right, the tire company and purveyor of those travel guides that list the best restaurants around the world. (Didn’t you know they were one and the same?!) Michelin has been directing travelers to Yellowstone for decades through their maps and guide books. But for the past 9 years they’ve also stepped up as an integral part of Yellowstone’s sustainability.


Michelin and Yellowstone Forever Working on Sustainability

Since 2008, Michelin has worked directly with Yellowstone Forever contributing to the park by donating more than 1,400 tires for the park’s 800+ vehicles. Between tour groups, ranger transportation, trailers and snow plows, Yellowstone does a lot of driving- 3.75 million miles per year, to be exact. That’s why Michelin’s green technology and tire efficiency are so important to sustainability in Yellowstone. Michelin also sends their field engineers to assist in optimizing tire use for fuel efficiency and performance, as well as training in how to mount specialized tires.



While tire usage may not seem like it would have a huge impact, Michelin’s support has helped save the park approximately $275,000 to $300,000 per year! That means saving precious donations and federal funding can be used to protect wildlife and keep the environment pristine condition. This partnership has also helped Yellowstone reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent.


Michelin’s Sustainable Path Project in Yellowstone

In more recent years, in addition to tire donations, Michelin have been working on sustainability projects throughout the park. They’ve created eco-friendly walkways around the park’s iconic geysers and thermal features. With their support, Yellowstone has been able to dig up old concrete paths and replace them with sustainable materials including recycled tire material. This new walkway helps reduce water run-off and erosion to Yellowstone’s fragile ecology. It also prevents visitors from picking up pieces of concrete that have broken off the pathway and throwing them in the geyser (yep, apparently people actually do this!).



Not only are Michelin donating tires for this project, but every year they send employees to the park to work on the walkways. These employees are nominated by colleagues because they’ve taken the initiative to make their facility more eco-friendly in some way. They get to visit the park without having to take any vacation days, and help out with a cause they’re passionate about. This kind of initiative throughout the company, from the corporate level to manufacturing in the plants, shows just how committed Michelin is to sustainability. With corporate sponsorships like this, as well as the tireless work of Yellowstone National Park and Yellowstone Forever, generations to come will be able to enjoy the park’s beauty!


Tips for Exploring Yellowstone

Old Faithful erupts every 35 to 125 minutes. To make sure you’re not waiting around (like we did), check with the ranger office or download the Geyser app to check times. It’s 90% accurate within 10 minutes.

If you’re going to Grand Prismatic (which you should!) don’t miss the 20 minute uphill hike to the viewing platform. There are also ground level walkways that take you right by it, but you can get a much better view from above! The parking lot for the hike is across the way from Fairy Falls Trail.

Yellowstone has lots of beautiful places to picnic. We recommend Gull Point overlooking Yellowstone Lake.

If you’re staying in West Yellowstone and are looking for a filling breakfast before you head into the park, check out Running Bear Pancake House for a delicious stack of flapjacks.

Always carry bear spray, it’s no joke! When we were walking the Hellsroaring trail we saw bear paws in the snow going the direction of our hike!



Best Locations to Visit in Yellowstone

Lamar Valley for wildlife spotting. You’ll see herds of wild bison all over the plains, as well as moose, bighorn sheep, elk, pronghorn and other amazing animals if you’re lucky.

Hellsroaring Trail for a beautiful hike down to the extension bridge. You’ll get unique views of the river and it’s a pretty quiet spot.

Grand Prismatic and all the other colorful thermal pools. The colors are magical and the pools very alluring, but don’t be fooled. The temperatures are scalding and people have perished. Enjoy the pools from a safe viewing distance.

Specimen Ridge for a beautiful hike along Yellowstone River. It’s a pretty easy hike and gives you 

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, because it’s epic and has a great drive through loop to check out all the viewpoints.

If you’re visiting Yellowstone National Park remember to leave it just as you found it. Take all your trash, don’t disturb the wildlife, stick to the designated trails and help support the future of the park for all to enjoy. While big sustainability partners like Michelin and Yellowstone Forever are doing wonders to support the park, each and every person who visits can contribute in their own way.

A very special thanks to Michelin and Yellowstone Forever for inviting us to check out the sustainability projects in Yellowstone National Park. We were not paid to write this article, and as always all opinions and thoughts are our own. 

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