April 9, 2016

Day Trip from Lombok to the 3 Gili Islands

The View of the 3 Gili Islands from the Boat
A day trip from Lombok to the 3 Gili Islands is possible and it's a great way to spend the day on the water outside of Lombok. The 3 Gili Islands are the Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno.

Taking slow boat is the way to go from Lombok to the 3 Gili Islands. Do note that there's no fast boat to get from Lombok to the 3 Gili islands. We did learn from another tour company there that there's a fast boat that could go there, but it would stop somewhere along the way and you will still have to transfer back to the slow boat for the rest of the journey. It's not really worth it. Seeing those slow boats with stabilizers at first did make us worried about the safety on the ocean, but the boat actually goes along the shore all the way to the 3 Gili islands, so it's not really in the middle of the ocean as we thought. However, as with any other boat rides, check the weather's conditions and take motion sickness pills because there's a chance you could get seasick.

Our Slow Boat With Stabilizers

Slow Boat Price

During our stay at the Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort, there's a tour desk at the hotel but the price was too expensive for a day trip to the 3 Gili islands on a slow boat. We walked out towards the Senggigi beach's direction, right by the resort on the left, there was this gentleman approached us with a tour book. We told him we were interested in a day trip from the resort to the 3 Gili islands. His price obviously was cheaper than the hotel's price. I bargained with him a little bit and the price came to 700,000 IDR (~$53 USD) compared to the hotel's price around $92USD. I'd say the typical price ranges from 750,000 IDR to 850,000 IDR depending on tourist seasons. Therefore, I do not recommend booking through the resort as you can get much cheaper by walking out of the resort towards the pier's direction. The price includes the boat ride for both of us, snorkeling gears and lifejacket. You basically hire a boat and the boat driver will take you to the 3 Gili islands including snorkeling, drop you there and wait for you to return at each island, at your own time and pace. This type of service is very common in Indonesia, even in Bali.

Our Smiley Boat Driver


The distance between Lombok and the 3 Gili Islands is not too far at all, and the 3 Gili islands are close to one another. It took about an hour from Sheraton resort to reach Gili Trawangan. It really is a perfect way to be out on the water and escape from Lombok for a day to check out the 3 Gili islands.

Things to Do on the Gili Islands

The 3 Gili Islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno are known for snorkeling because of beautiful coral reefs there. Gili Trawangan is the biggest and more developed island than the other two islands. It attracts several backpackers and visitors. You will definitely get the "island's atmosphere" on there. They have horse carts as means of transportation there, but you can walk to most places. There are several restaurants, bars, and shops on the island, especially diving and snorkeling shops. Gili Air and Gili Meno are less developed, but they have great snorkeling spots. For us, Gili Air's coral reef is the best snorkeling spot because it's close to the shore thus shallow, and less wave to be able to float better in lifejacket to see things underwater. The reef is simply beautiful, so don't forget waterproof camera! Lodgings and restaurants on Gili Air and Gili Meno are fewer than you can find on Gili Trawangan. These two smaller islands are more quiet and less touristy than Gili Trawangan. 

If you are not into swimming or snorkeling, enjoy the island atmosphere and relaxation! 

Road Walk on Gili Trawangan
Public Transportation on Gili Islands
Relaxing Chairs at a Restaurant on Gili Air
Gili Air's Coral Reef

Complete Bali Indonesia Series

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