White sandy beaches. Tropical coral reefs. Warm inviting waters. All this awaits you on the Gili islands. And with no cars, no motorbikes and no distractions other than beautiful tropical island scenery, the Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok are truly an ideal destination for a tropical getaway.
Offering spectacular reefs and ominous dive sites like Shark reef, the Gili islands are the perfect escape for anyone wanting to get away to beautiful, natural and relaxing surrounds. This is why these islands have become a popular destination for Western tourists looking for a remote island experience.
For divers and snorkelers, there are few places better than the Gili’s where you can get up close to all kinds of marine life including a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in all its glory. Swim up and watch this graceful creature glide through the ocean. You should be able to spot these turtles at depths of 10-20 meter below sea level.
The Gilis consist of three islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. In local Sasak language, “Gili” means “island”. In the Indonesian language, plural is denoted by repeating a noun. So “Gili Gili” literally means “islands”.
Renowned for friendly locals and superb natural beauty, each of the island’s are well prepared for tourists. Gili Terawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air are the largest and most popular of the three islands. It has a vibrant nightlife to keep you entertained once the sun goes down. With a wide collection of restaurants and bars, you’ll never be short of entertainment here.
If you’re after a quiet getaway, try Gili Meno or Gili Air. Gili Air is closest to the mainland and is the most populated of the Gili’s. Gili Meno is the smallest island and, with only a few hundred permanent residents, it has the most remote feel to it.
The Gili islands are easily reached by speedboat from Senggigi, taking only some 20 minutes boat ride. Many tourists also travel direct to Gili Trawangan by ferry that leaves Bali daily from Serangan or Padang Bai.
Travel on the islands are only by bike or “cidomo” the small horse-drawn carts taking 3 persons per ride. No motorized vehicles are allowed here.
There are plenty of hotels and restaurants built in keeping with the islands’ homely village atmosphere.
Discover the beauty of underwater life and snorkel in the blue corals. This kind of coral can only be found in the Gili Islands and the Caribbean Sea. Explore Turtle Point on Gili Meno for your best chance of seeing a sea turtle. Snorkel equipment can be rented at any of the diving spots nearby or on the beach itself. Take the plunge and dive in Meno Wall’s diving spots at Gili Trawangan At depths of 18-20 meter divers you’ll meet with white pit sharks, manta rays and turtles. The bright marine life and coral here will take your breath away. Explore Wreck Point, around 500 meters from Mentigi beach where, at 43 meters below the surface, you’ll discover the remains of sunken ship full of ridge of rocks.Need a break from all that diving? Why not just relax on the beach and soak up some rays in the tropical Indonesian sun. Dance up a storm at a full moon party. These are held on the southern part of Gili Trawangan. Here DJ’s will spin tracks of house, dance and techno until dawn.