The Gili islands is an archipelago that consists of 3 islands-including Gili Trawangan-Gili Meno & Gili Air off the coast of Lombok in the West Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia. Gili means small islands in the native language of the locals, the Sasak people. The three islands have different sizes and different development progress. Some efforts have been made to preserve the flora and fauna on the three islands. The powdery white sand on the seashore and the blue turquoise water of the beaches ae the main reason why many tours have been organized. Every day, there will be lots of people that travel to these islands on boat.
Gili Trawangan: The Party Island
As the largest and most developed Gili island, Gili Trawangan receives the biggest share of tourists. There are a few popular beaches such as Goodheart and North Beach. North Beach is ideal for those who travel all the way for good diving and snorkeling spot. You can rent the snorkeling equipment from the shacks at around $50,000 rupiahs for half day.
The dive schools are equipped with their own boat fleets. They will take the tourists to a safe area offshore where they can dive and explore the reefs. Strong currents exist in between the islands so it is advised that you don’t swim in this area.
You can travel to Gili Trawangan by either taking a boat ride at Lombok or Bali. Boats returning from the island will stop at Teluk Nare
on Lombok. On the island, you will find lots of accommodations such as hotels, villas, and bungalows.
Tours on the island by motorized vehicles are not allowed and the best way to explore it is by foot or bicycle. It takes about 2 hours to walk around the island perimeter and explore it on foot. There are 4 ATM machines which can be found at Hotel Vila Ombak and Coral Beach.
Gili Meno: The Romantic Escape
Gili Meno is the smallest and also the least developed Gili island. The oval shape island measures only 2km in length and you can route the island in under 2 hours. The quiet and peaceful atmosphere makes it the perfect vacation spot for honeymoon couples.
There are a few operators that offer fast boats from Bali including Blue Water Express and Semaya One. It is best to book your boat trip at least 1 day in advanced as the boats are full of passengers all the time. It does have a few hotels including Karma Beach, and Mahamaya Gili Meno.
If you are hungry, you can order the grilled fish from the cafes that are openedat dusk. You can also visit the restaurant at the resort and beach bungalows. Various types of cuisines are being served including Sasak cuisine, pizzas, and salads. Sunset Gecko is a restaurant near the snorkeling spot at the northern end of the island.
Gili Air: The Chill-Out Spot
Gili Air is the nearest of the three Gilis islands to the Lombok mainland where you can get a boat ride. It earns the nickname Chilly Isle because of the calm atmosphere. It has slow development just like Gili Meno but it is more noisy and lively.
Island tours can be carried out via the horse drawn carriages called Cidomos. It takes about 2.5 hours to explore the island on foot. While exploring the island on foot, you can view the Mount Rinjani that overlooks the Lombok island.
Gili Air is the perfect spot for people who want to relax and chill out at the beach. There are many dive sites for people who are interested in freediving. You can join an organized snorkeling trip at the dive shop.
If you join the organized snorkeling trip, they will include all the gears in the package so you don’t have to rent them on your own. Alternatively, you can visit the east coast to explore coral reefs through snorkeling on your own.
In conclusion, it is a must to visit Gili-Trawangan, Gili Meno & Gili Air if you happen to be coming to the West Nusa Tenggara for a
vacation. The food and accommodation at the Gili island are affordable which makes it a great tours destination for travelers who are on a budget. It is also a great travel destination for families as they offer babysitting services and many kids activities.