Let me begin by telling you that forests aren’t for everyone. I mean, Lombok is famous for its lush, enchanting beaches that are always sunny, warm, full of bars, and beautiful people. The temples are the second-most popular tourist attractions. That’s how it is – that’s how it’s always been.
However, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll realize that all those spots that I mentioned aren’t even the half of what the island has to offer. Make sure to check out my reviews of the beautiful villages and everything will become clear. Right now, we’ll talk about the Sesaot Rainforest that will, without a doubt, take your breath away. Ok, let’s get right to it!
Now, most people think that Lombok is an undeveloped island. And while there is some truth to that, the locals know how to take care of themselves, and all the landmarks always look great. Yes, the trash all over the beaches and the folks “attacking” you with their services don’t add to its overall charm but believe me: this spot is amazing in every sense.
Just take a look at the pictures: isn’t it absolutely lovely? Even if you’ve been to tropical places like this one before (like in Brazil, maybe, or another country in Southern/Central America), Sesaot will still surprise you. Officially, it qualifies as a protected forest area, and the locals talk about it with pride and joy.
Talking A Stroll In The Sesaot RainForest
Alright, it’s time for some sightseeing. This top-class rainforest is about 25 kilometers away from the biggest city in Lombok – Mataram. If you end up in the beautiful Suranadi park, just know that the forest is only five kilometers away. Yes, it’s not hidden somewhere in the outskirts of the island and can be found with ease.
As always, I highly encourage you to rent a room in one of the villages, not the city, as the prices there are considerably lower. From there, you are more than free to travel to any destination on the map including the Sesaot Rainforest.
This place is not only popular among the tourists, but also the local men, women, and children. They come here for that awesome mix of beautiful nature, enchanting waterfalls, the animals/birds, and, of course, the tropical atmosphere that we all miss while living in big, bad cities made of concrete.
Now, while the government has always treated this place with care and restrained itself from introducing any new developments that would rather ruin the original vibes rather than improve them, they are doing a wonderful job of modernizing the forest. The bridges, the tiny tables with cute “umbrellas”, and everything else in between turn this spot into a huge tourist magnet. It’s safe to say that your kids will absolutely love it!
Learning More About The Place
Speaking of the bridges, I have to mention that a couple of years ago, you had to cross a tiny river to get to the park. But nowadays, the bridges make everything so much easier. The mighty renovation turned Sesaot into a tourist magnet. It is a great example of how the local leaders can turn a great spot into an even bigger huge “hit”.
Note: the temperature in the Sesaot Rainforest is pretty cold because it’s located very close to the legendary mount Rinjani. If it’s too hot for you elsewhere in Lombok, this place will be a perfect getaway spot. In the area, you’ll find a pool and a huge line of, let’s say, cabins that will sell you drinks and food for cheap.
Again, this is a very popular place, and the locals make a lot of money during the tourist season. Sate “Bulayak”, the trademark food of the island, can be purchased on every step of the way. I have to say that even though everything is very affordable, the prices are still steeper here in the Sesaot Rainforest than in the villages or even the cities.
Yes, some foreigners prefer to bring food and drinks with them, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that because it’s not fun at all. The land around here is very fertile and you’ll see several beautiful gardens while taking a walk down the alleys.
The Perks Of The Sesaot RainForest
The river here is absolutely amazing. During the high season, it’s crowded with people of all races, sex, nationalities, and creed. Obviously, the children love it the most, but I can tell you that even one quick dip will make you feel like you’ve just been baptized or something close to that.
The water comes directly from the huge mountain – Rinjani. Come on, admit it: now you want to take your entire family and hop on a plane to the Sesaot Rainforest, right? The atmosphere is very friendly and the blue-white water only adds to the “heavenly” feel.
I gotta mention that parking costs money. Regardless of whether you’re driving a bike or a car, you’ll have to pay a tiny fee. Well, that’s more than fair. There never used to be a fee back in the day, but then again, the government wouldn’t have been able to introduce all those new developments without significant financial investments.
By the way, if you want more of the local vibes, I strongly recommend buying the classic Sesaot fruits, including Durian and Rambutan. Again, the little ones will love it! As a journey into a different world, an awesome adventure for the grown-ups and the kiddos, the Sesaot Rainforest is a great pick. I strongly recommend paying it a visit.
Peace And Quiet in Lombok
I can say with certainty that this is one of the must-see spots on the island. It’s always peaceful, sunny, and beautiful out here. The only thing to remember is that the Sasak people are Muslims, and they won’t tolerate any indecent clothing, meaning forget about your favorite bikinis and go with something more conservative.
I’m not saying they will arrest you for not following this rule, but please do try to respect the customs of these people. If you’re not a big fan of noisy crowds, avoid visiting the Sesaot Rainforest during the weekends, because that’s when it will be full of tourists and local folks. Tuesdays, or, say, Thursdays will be perfect for that.
As you get yourself familiar with this place, it will start to feel like you’re in one of the LOTR movies: the trees, the flowers, the river…You’ve probably already heard from somewhere that Lombok boasts a fantastic nature. Well, this spot is definitely a great example of that. Get this: the forest has an area of approximately 6K hectares, and it’s located in the Narmada region.
By the way, the Aiq Nyet river is considered to be sacred, and many locals believe that it can heal many diseases. For some reason, it never gets dry, even though the dry season in this area is pretty long. Who says the gods aren’t looking over their land?
How To Find The Sesaot RainForest
As I mentioned in the beginning, the Sesaot Rainforest is not that far from Mataram. I always say that renting a car/motorbike is the best option when on an island like this one. Or, hire a private driver that will take you wherever you please. That will be the most expensive choice, of course, but worth it for some folks.
Public transportation is great for the locals, as the prices on renting and hiring are steep for them. But for us, the foreigners, 10 dollars a day for a rented vehicle is more than fair. The ride will take you approximately 45 minutes. Don’t rush it: take your time and enjoy the view, because the road will be covered with beautiful trees and fields.
The Sesaot Rainforest is a huge area, which means you can not only walk around and camp out but also fish and even swim. Aik nyet comes down from Rinjani and goes through the forest to reach the rice fields of the hard-working farmers. Yes, it plays a vital role in this region’s well-being, and that is why the locals love it so much.
Ok, that’s it! The fresh air, the friendly people, the breath-taking view, and the fun activities will turn a regular trip into days to remember. Let your body and mind fool around a bit and rest from the daily routine before they go back to being responsible the next week.