The world may still flock to Bali on holiday, but one has only to follow the savvy vacationers heading east to find a true(r) tropical getaway. "Bali 20 years ago" is a common phrase used to describe Lombok, the lesser-known cousin across the strait. For those unfamiliar with two decades past, imagine lush, undeveloped headlands carving out stunning bays along the coast and an island rim coated with white sandy beaches.
When it comes to tourist numbers, the more may be merrier, but less is better, as the remote luxury hotels hidden along the coastline can attest. While by no means a "hidden" paradise (the island does have an international airport), Lombok's rustic appeal might lead her visitors to believe otherwise. At its heart, a mighty volcano anchors a surrounding national park, and offshore, the Gili Islands beckon for an equatorial adventure.
To the east of Lombok, the sparsely-populated Moyo Island may not ring a bell, but to the wild creatures that reside in the majority game reserve, it is home paradise home. Close by, the former hidden surfing hotspot of Sumba Island has also been making making waves in the travel world with an outpost of serious eco-luxury right on the edge of wilderness.