Scuba Diving In Gili Islands

Scuba Diving In Gili Islands

Indonesia is an archipelago with thousands of dive sites that you can visit. And yes, the country is very famous among divers worldwide. Aside of Bali, you can also visit Lombok for a new experience of diving in tropical sea.

Fortunately, I was blessed with another opportunity to explore Indonesia more. This time, I went to Gili islands in near Lombok. If you look at this map below, you can see how tiny the three Gili islands are.

Around the three Gilis (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno) alone, there are more than 20 dive sites that you can explore underwater. And no need to worry as the sea temperature around Gili islands is not as cold as in Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan as the Indonesian Throughflow Current does not pass Gili.

Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan is considered as the party island among all the three Gilis. It is the largest Gili islands and you will find many bars along the harbour beach.

Accommodations in Gili Trawangan ranges from the cheapest to the most expensive. I stayed in a relatively cheap and cozy bungalow that I can book for IDR350.000 per night.

Where To Eat?

Seriously, you are greeted with a lot of options for eating. One of the best restaurants that I went was to Regina Pizza. The restaurant serves pizza with variety of toppings and cheap price.

Also, if you crave seafood, you can try Ego Seafood located just in front of the beach along with the harbour. This restaurant can be pricey depending on which menu that you order. But overall, the seafood is super fresh and cooked properly.

Another thing that you cannot miss when you are in Gili Trawangan is to visit the night market. You can find many seafood stalls, dessert, drinks or even souvenirs here. However, do keep in mind that you might have to bargain the price when you buy food here.

When you travel to the other side of Gili Trawangan, you can find Surfer’s Beach and just across the beach, there’s a restaurant called Pearl Lounge. It is by far the nicest restaurant to chill in the island. Imagine seeing all the sunset to yourself as this side of Gili is not normally crowded.

Diving Around Gili Islands

Map of dive sites around Gili islands (credit: Wikimedia)

Shark Point

This is the most popular dive sites in Gili and every dive centre would recommend this site for first timers.

Although sighting of any creatures cannot be guaranteed in all dives, there is still a great chance that you can spot white tip sharks as well as black tip sharks.

The site is also great for macro dives as there are little to no current along with many rock corals.

Turtle Heaven

This dive site’s name was created as the site became one of the resting areas for turtles. Although it is not known why and how turtles settle here. But, you are almost guaranteed to see at least three turtles.

Most of the turtles here are green turtles and a couple of hawksbills.

Deep Turbo

Now this is a unique dive site in Gili. Many dive shops would require advanced open water or equivalent license to dive here.

The current in this site can be quite strong depending on the weather. And down there, it is like a labyrinth of canyon in 28-30m depth. Dive time in Deep Turbo will normally last shorter as it is mostly a deep dive.

Halik

Halik is a nice dive site to see reef fishes. You can spot many fishes in the 12-15m depth and it is so colourful here.

It is also a good site if you are thinking of taking a discover scuba diving if you don’t have diving license already.

Bounty Wreck

To call this site a wreckage is not actually accurate as the wreck is indeed not a ship. But, as any other wreck sites, you can find many macro critters here. From huge anglerfishes / frogfishes, nudibranches, twinspot lionfish, to scorpionfishes.

Gili meno

Opposite to Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno is the most secluded island. The island is best for honeymoon as the sunset view from the island is beyond romantic with the white sand and green sea.

There is not much to do in Gili Meno, but that is exactly the selling point of the island if you are looking for a quiet time.

Accommodations in Gili Meno is not as many as in Gili Trawangan. And most of the accommodations are bungalows and they are cheaper compared to the neighbours.

Okay.. How To Get To Gili?

To get to one of the Gili islands, you have two options:

  • option 1: If you are coming from Bali, you can book an airplane to Lombok airport or you can opt for fast boat. Of course the fast boat price would be cheaper compared to airplane.
  • Option 2: You can land straight at Lombok airport and go to Bangsal harbour and purchase a fast boat ride to Gili.

If you are crossing from Bangsal to Gili, you can choose for public boat, fast boat, or private charter.

Public boat has 2 kinds of tickets:

  • If you don’t mind waiting until the boat quota is filled, you can choose the public boat ride for IDR15.000 from Bangsal to any Gili island (one way)
  • Another option is to pay IDR85.000 one way for a fast board that leaves on time (normally once every hour)

Enjoy your vacation in Gili!

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