While you can snorkel directly from the beach, a good deal is to join the daily snorkeling tour at the very reasonable rate of Rp35,000 per person. As the boat has a glass bottom, those unable to snorkel, such as young kids, can also have the opportunity to see a wide array of beautiful multicolored tropical fish and, if lucky, even the odd turtle. A tip here: bring your own snorkeling gear as the quality of the stuff available for hire leaves much to be desired.
The Gili Islands (Indonesian: Tiga Gili [Three Gilis], Kepulauan Gili [Gili Islands]) are an archipelago of three small islands — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air — just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia.
The islands are a popular destination for tourists looking for a remote island experience. Each island has several small resorts, usually consisting of a collection of huts for tourists, a small pool and restaurant. Most local inhabitants live on Trawangan in a township stretching along its east side just inland (which is also where most recent development is taking place). Automobiles and motorised traffic is prohibited on the islands by local ordinance, so the preferred method of transportation is by foot and bicycle or the horse-drawn carriage called a cidomo. Diving in and around the Gilis is also popular due to the abundance of marine life and attractive coral formations.
Geography and climate The Islands are located in the Lombok Strait, to the immediate northwest of Lombok. They extend outward from a tiny peninsula called Sire near to the village of Tanjung on Lombok. Bali lies about 35 km to the west of Gili Trawangan, the islands' most westerly member. Both Bali and Lombok are easily visible from the Gilis in clear weather. Mount Rinjani, Indonesia's second highest volcano, is close by on neighbouring Lombok, and dominates the views towards the east.
Due to their close proximity to the Equator, the Islands have a warm, Tropical climate with a dry and wet season. With Mount Rinjani to the immediate east on Lombok, and Mount Agung to the west on Bali, The Gilis are somewhat sheltered and actually enjoy a slightly drier Microclimate when compared to the surrounding archipelago. Dry Season usually last from May until October, with Monsoon season starting in November and continuing through to April. Temperatures range between 22 °C to 34 °C, with an average annual temperature of around 28 °C.
Gili Trawangan is the largest of Lombok's Gili Islands and the only one to rise significantly (30 m) above sea level. Measuring 3 km long and 2 km wide, it has a population of around 1500 (see demography). The name Trawangan originates from the Indonesian word Terowongan (Tunnel) due to the presence of a cave tunnel built there during Japanese occupation in World War 2. Of the Gilis, Trawangan is the most developed and geared towards tourism. The main concentration of settlement, recreation, accommodation and diving business is situated on the eastern side of the island. A local pub, Tîr na Nôg claims that Trawangan is the smallest island in the world with an Irish pub. It was previously administered under Lombok Barat Regency along with Senggigi until 2010 when the Gili islands came under the jurisdiction of the new North Lombok Regency (Kabupaten Lombok Utara).
On Gili Trawangan (as well as the other two Gilis), there are no motorised vehicles. The main means of transportation are bicycles (rented by locals to tourists) and cidomo (a small horse-drawn carriage). For travelling to and from each of the Gilis, locals usually use motorised boats and speedboats.
Some of the first inhabitants of Gili Trawangan were fishermen and farmers from Sulawesi. Previous to human settlement Gili Trawangan was covered in forest and deer lived on the island. (Source: Inhabitants of Gili Trawangan — no printed source available).
The economy of Gili Trawangan centres on tourism, as the island is too small to support any broad scale agriculture, and too remote to allow economically viable industry or commerce. There is a mosque on the island.
Gili Meno is the middle of Lombok's three northwest coast Gilis. Gili Meno has a population of about 500, mainly concentrated on the centre of the island (see section on demography). The main income comes from tourism, coconut plantation and fishing. On the west side of the island there is a small shallow lake that produces salt in the dry season. Until a few years ago there was also a small production of seaweed on the reef at the north end of the island. Gili Meno has swimming beaches all around the island, and a turtle sanctuary.
The island attracts fewer tourists than Gili Trawangan and is the quietest and smallest of the islands. However, honeymooners are often drawn to the crystal clear water and idyllic, secluded white beaches.
There is no fresh water on the island and it has to be brought by boat from Lombok. Electricity is supplied by underwater cables from Lombok. There are no cars or motorbikes.
Gili Air is the second smallest of the islands and the closest to mainland Lombok, making it popular with honeymoon couples and travellers seeking a quiet retreat. It has a population of about 1,800. The island offers excellent snorkelling and scuba diving off its east coast, and turtles can be seen along the coral reef. Other water sports such as Stand Up Paddleboarding and Kitesurfing are also now available.
Continued investment in tourism is seeing these islands develop very quickly and each year sees new resorts and accommodation on the islands while attempting to retain their individual character. Proximity to Gili Meno, the smallest and most secluded of the islands and to Gili Trawangan the largest island, known for its many restaurants and parties, makes Gili Air a happy Medium of seclusion with adequate services. Both other Islands are a quick boat ride away.
Gili Islands Snorkeling Full Trip
The three Gili islands are still excellent for snorkeling despite the devastation wreaked by the El Nino weather phenomenon in 1998. Some 90% of the hard corals around the islands down to 20 meters suffered badly at the time from bleaching and are still recovering.
Nothing can be as relaxing as floating amidst a beautiful coral reef watching the undersea life, join our boat crew for a short ride to one at the nearby island reefs. Giant sea turtles and schools of Indo Pacific reef fish are abundant.After snorkeling our boat crew will land you on one of the Gili’s (Indonesian for Island). The Gili Islands are famous for their white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Here you can relax, swim along the fringing reef or take a ride around the island using one of the local pony and cart. Gili Island snorkeling trips disembark from our Jetty two times per day.
When you need a break from the snorkeling, the sugary white beaches are a perfect place for relaxation and sunbathing. The few hawkers that ply their trade here are much less aggressive than in Bali, and when they realize you don’t want what they are selling they quickly get the message. If the blazing tropical sun becomes too much to bear, shelter can be found under the palm trees that conveniently line the beaches.If the weather is good – which it usually is – beautiful red sunsets can be seen, with the sun setting in the west over Mount Agung, Bali. Either head for Gili Trawangan’s northern coast else climb the island’s 100-meter hill (going up here is the only time you are likely to venture into the island’s interior during your stay).
As for Gili Air and Gilo Meno, they are even quieter than Gili Trawangan. Accommodations and restaurants are basic, but then that’s part of the charm. If you need more facilities, it’s more convenient to stay on Gili Trawangan and make day trips to these two islands.
Gili Islands Snorkeling Tours One day Gili Trawangan and Meno Tours ( 08 Hours )
We offer your our special and jnique tours to explore the wonderful coral reefs and marine life of Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno.
Starting the Tours; We pick you up at 08.00 Am in the morning at your Hotel in Senggigi Area, Directly transfer to Senggigi harbor and by our outrigger boat ( Private ), we take you to Gili Trawangan through beautiful coast of West Lombok. This boat ride takes 1.5 hours.
Upon arrive in Gili Trawangan. Swimming, snorkeling, beach combing or riding a Cidomo ( Horse carriage in additional charge ) in Gili Trawangan. On the 03 gilis islands, there is no motor bikes, no cars and barking dogs.
Afterward we take you to Gili Meno which located in the middle of the 03 Gilis. also swimming, snorkeling or just beach combing. Lunch provide at local restaurant by the sea on your own cost.
Before sunset, we take you back to senggigi via Malimbu to see the spectacular sun set view over Mount Agung in Bali and also scenic view of west Lombok.
Transfer back to your hotel End of services.
Using public boat via Bangsal Harbor: Rp. 650.000/person excluded lunch
Using private boat via Senggigi Harbor: Rp. 750.000/person excluded lunch
Rate included: - Private Boat - English Speaking Guide - Entrance Fees in Gili Islands - Snorkeling Equipments - Life Jackets - RefreshmentRate excluded: - Travel Insurance - Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks - Tipping - Lunch at restaurant - Phone Call - Diving