Nusa Tenggara Travel Guide
Apart from Bali, Nusa Tenggara is little developed when compared with the likes of Java and Sulawesi. It is split into three provinces: Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara. Lombok lies in West Nusa Tenggara and sits next to Bali, while nearby Sumbawa is known for its excellent, remote surf.
Bali, a province in west Nusa Tenggara, is the top attraction in Indonesia. It has fine beaches and a lively nightlife as well as arts and crafts and tons of cultural sights like major temples. Denpasar is Bali’s capital but most tourists stay at Kuta or any one of the other popular beach resorts.
Other popular Nusa Tenggara islands include Komodo Island, which is home of the legendary Komodo dragon. Lying in East Nusa Tenggara, these pretty islands are also home to pristine coral reefs making them superb snorkeling and diving spots. Those in search of the Komodo dragon can also see it on Flores and Rinca islands as well within the Komodo chain.
Flores, with its multicolored lakes, the Alor Islands and Timor are other major, less visited draws. Lombok’s capital of Mataram in West Nusa Tenggara and the East Nusa Tenggara capital of Kupang should also not be missed.
Nusa Tenggara is also a launching point for trips to the Gili Islands, three beautiful, tiny islands off Lombok Island that make up a posh backpacker center.
The best time to visit the region is May through to September/October but if you arrive between July and October you can catch thebull races, an event that sees jockeys race bulls on sleds in Bali.
Getting There & Away
Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, southern Bali, is the main gateway to Nusa Tenggara and receives flights from Jakarta. Other major airports are in Mataram (Lombok), Maumere (Flores), and Kupang (East Timor). SilkAir flies from Singapore to Mataram regularly. Bali to Lombok is a popular ferry route, while sailings to the rest of Nusa Tenggara are quite limited.