Forget about the time and dive in the big blue ocean around the enchanting Gili Islands in Indonesia. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere on these unspoiled isolated islands, untouched by the tourist masses.
The tiny islands of Gili are only a boat ride away from the islands of Lombok and Bali. They are becoming more popular as destinations for independent travelers, but still remain peaceful. Absence of cars and motorbikes make the atmosphere feel lower tempo. The beaches of Gili are without a doubt cooler than on Bali or Lombok. It is easy to move between these tropical islands and there are good deals for low budget bungalows. Perfect chill out place for sunbathers and divers!
The main destinations for travelers are these three islands:
Gili Air is the closest island from Lombok and home to the largest population of all three islands. The best beach is on the West of the island. Around it lies a cool diving site, a large Japanese wreck dating back to World War II, although this is a deep dive.
This is the largest island of the Gili Islands. This is the place for budget travelers and party people. It has developed a lot during the past years making it more touristic. The island has many bars with regular party nights.
If you want a more peaceful beachfront, Gili Meno is perfect for you being the smallest of all Gili islands. There are not as many accommodation options as the other two islands, but it has less people and less hassle. There’s also a so-called bird sanctuary. Enjoy the quiet relaxed atmosphere and superb beach line. Best beach is on the west side.
The Gili Islands are a diver’s paradise! There are fantastic dive sites around all of them. The biodiversity on the coral reef is incredible and crystal clear water brilliantly colored fish and sea creatures. The coral reef offers underwater views with manta rays and hawksbill turtles.
You have a variety of PADI licensed scuba diving operators to choose from. Dive courses are available too and there are sites for all experience levels. Liveabord sailing trip for several nights is a great way to use your time and money.
The islands are great for snorkeling. Take your fins and head to the coral reef straight from the shore. You can also rent a kayak or go sailing with a glass bottom boat to see the beautiful marine life. Deep fishing is best on the Northwest side of Gili Trawangan. On this island you can also catch some surfing waves during the high tide.
In general Gili Islands are nice for swimming and lazy life!
Use Cidomos, meaning horse-drawn carriages or rent a bicycle. But really, the islands are so small, you might as well use your feet.
And don’t try swimming between the islands even though it looked doable, there are currents and some adventurers have died trying this.
Take a boat from Lombok Bangsal, the ride takes less than an hour, or hop on a fast boat straight from Bali, which takes only couple of hours. You can also make a scenic day trip from Lombok Senggigi.
The dive operators in Lombok make dive trips to the diving sites of Gili islands.
Take enough cash with you, as there’s no ATM on the islands.
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