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Do you want to see something different on Lombok than always beaches and the small Gili Islands? Would you like to spend some quiet days amidst lush green nature, rice terraces and paddies as well as a breathtaking mountain panorama with a view at the Rinjani Volcano? Get to know the real Lombok and the life of the Sasak? Then you should definitely visit Tetebatu!

Beautiful rice terraces in Tetebatu on Lombok

Rice fields in Tetebatu, Lombok

The small village Tetebatu is located quite in the middle of Lombok, about 15 kilometers in linear distance south from the summit of the Mount Rinjani. Here the world is still in order. There are slowly coming more visitors to Tetebatu, but compared to other places on Lombok still a very few tourists.


Accommodation in Tetebatu Lombok – our hotel tip

Over the years, several hotels, bungalows and especially homestays have settled in Tetebatu. I last stayed at Tetebatu Sama Sama Bungalows and loved it! The simple bungalows are located in a beautiful and well maintained garden, surrounded by nature. The owner Andy takes good care of his guests and will gladly help you with the onward journey or further excursions in Lombok.

Tetebatu Sama Sama Bungalows
Tetebatu Sama Sama Bungalows

Lombok: Tours and tickets


Sights: What does Tetebatu have to offer?

Tetebatu and the surrounding areas are mainly known for its many rice terraces and paddies. These will most probably remind you of Ubud on Bali and they can almost keep up. Almost. However, the bonus is the view at the Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia.

Because of that, Tetebatu is also known as “the Ubud of Lombok” – but I can only partly agree. Sure, the rice terraces, the peaceful and green surrounding areas as well as the friendly people remind of Ubud. However, it is MUCH quieter and the towns are hardly to compare. Ubud is compared to Tetebatu a destination for mass tourism. In contrast to Ubud, art, crafts and traditional dances don’t play a role in Tetebatu but rather agriculture. But let’s stop those comparisons, after all we on Lombok right now…

Even though Tetebatu is always green and looks nice even in cloudy weather, the spectacular view of the mountain panorama makes it even more impressive in clear skies. That’s why it’s better to visit Tetebatu early in the morning. Then it is more likely that it’s not so cloudy and you can fully enjoy the view of the Mount Rinjani.

View from Tetebatu to Mount Rinjani (right) and Mount Sangkareang (left)
View from Tetebatu to Mount Rinjani (right) and Mount Sangkareang (left)

Green rice fields and palm trees in Tetebatu

Green rice terraces in Tetebatu, Lombok

Besides rice, the people of Tetebatu also grow tobacco, many exotic fruits, cocoa, coffee, nutmeg, chili, macadamia nuts, vanilla and much more. If you want you can buy those products directly from the locals. It’s hardly possible to get it fresher and more natural.

You can also visit the so-called Monkey Forest, which is located about 4 kilometers north of Tetebatu. You can also see the grey macaques (often referred to as ugly), which are pretty common on Bali and Lombok. But also the rarer and “more beautiful” black monkeys can be seen around Tetebatu.

Warung Oktavia in the Monkey Forest Street, Tetebatu
Warung Oktavia in the Monkey Forest Street

You can also explore beautiful waterfalls in the surrounding area. Namely, the Jeruk Manis, Jukut or Otak Kokok/Joben waterfall. However, you need to hike or drive to reach those waterfalls.

However, there are other small waterfalls in the vicinity. You are on an adventurous (but totally harmless) way through nature and through caves. One is the Durian Waterfall and the Indiana Jones Waterfall.

The Indiana Jones waterfall in Tetebatu, Lombok
Indiana Jones Waterfall

That’s still not all you can do on site! You always wanted to know how the Sasak live, far away from the Senggigi or Kuta tourism? In Tetebatu and vicinity you can see the real Sasak life. If you want, you can also help with the rice harvest, like I did.

Rice farmer in Tetebatu, Lombok

Rice field in Tetebatu, Lombok

Rice farmer in Tetebatu

Marcel during the rice harvest in Tetebatu
Marcel at work

You could even start a Rinjani trek from Tetebatu. The route leads (compared to the popular starting points Senaru and Sembalun) of course through the south of the Rinjani National Park. Another trekking option would not be that far to Mount Sangkareang, from where you also have spectacular views of Lombok and the Rinjani Crater Lake.

Have you ever heard of “Presean”, the so-called Stick Fight of the Sasak? It’s really popular on Lombok and a part of the Sasak culture. There are two men fighting each other with a stick and shield, which is sometimes pretty violent. Of course this is only a popular sport and everything is easy and friendly at the end. In the small town of Kotaraja south of Tetebatu, you can watch one of the best Presean fights on Lombok.

How do I get to Tetebatu and how long should I stay?

Usually, a day trip is enough. You can travel there on your own, hire a taxi or driver. The drive on your own with a scooter is long, but otherwise really easy. The journey with public transport is too much to ask of you since it takes really long and is troublesome. I recommend you to hire a driver, which is the easiest way. In addition, the driver will bring you home afterwards, compared to the taxi.

Alternatively you can stay in Tetebatu. There are some cheap and basic accommodations and restaurants offering delicious local food and traditional Sasak dishes. A great, near-natural accommodation is the Sama Sama Bungalows with a super friendly and cool team and a good location. This is of course ideal if you are into nature or just need a few days of peace and seclusion. As mentioned earlier, the best views of Mount Rinjani are only in the early morning, as clouds often build up later.

And you will get a nice cool down because the climate in Tetebatu is much different to the rest of Lombok: it is much cooler and therefore more pleasant. At night the temperatures can even drop below 20° C during this season.

What else is there to keep in mind?

I definitely recommend you to get a guide for a day trip. It will cost you about IDR 150,000. That’s the best way to visit and see the beautiful rice terraces and panoramas. After all, you don’t want to run around private property on your own. Also, it is difficult to find the best views and rice fields alone. If you need a guide, I can definitely recommend Edi to you. He’s a very nice guy and even invited me to a dinner at his home afterwards. He has also opened a Warung called Warung Oktavia and the food there is absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, you can only reach him by phone (call, text or WhatsApp), but he speaks quite good English and replies quickly. His phone number is: (+62) 823 39 168 368.

If you are staying for a couple of days, you won’t need a guide all the time and can do some things on your own, e.g. visit the Monkey Forest or the surrounding areas.

Come to Tetebatu and experience a piece of the untouched and green Indonesia!

Rice terraces in Tetebatu, Lombok - taken with the drone

Have you ever been to Tetebatu? Did you like it? We’re curious, leave us some feedback in the comments below.

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Marcel

Hi, I'm Marcel! Blogger, author, web & graphic designer and digital nomad. I love traveling in Southeast Asia and exploring wonderful beaches and trying delicious food. My home base is Koh Phangan, Thailand. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Steemit.