What to do in the Gili Islands

The first time we visited Indonesia we decided to focus on getting to know Bali and Java well. The reason? Indonesia is a huge country with thousands and thousands of islands and unique places that make you want to explore … but time was what it was. Of course, we went with a certainty: we would return to know one of those Asian paradises that all travelers speak … the Gili Islands. And here we are, with a promise fulfilled, a few magical sunsets in the pocket and the desire to return again to this little wonder Indonesia.

If you are planning for gili islands tour then takes note of what we are going to tell you next … what to see and do in the Gili Islands?


To be in paradise without exploring what it hides under its waters? Nah, not a good idea! So put on your glasses, grab a snorkel tube and dive into the crystal clear waters of Gili. Now we must be sincere: we did not have much luck and we did not find what we were looking for: they say that in the waters of Gili turtles can be seen with relative ease, we did not see one :-p (we must be the only gili that they have not seen Turtles to the Gili).

You can snorkel for free directly from the beach or hire some excursion that takes you to visit the three islands for about 10 € (no shortage of offers). The best areas to snorkel in Gili Trawangan are :

In the Northeast . Although it is full of boats, it is the easiest area to snorkel, the water covers quickly (not like the west) and although in the area closest to the beach there are only dead corals and little life, if you move a Little more to the deeper area you will find more diversity. It is also the area where it is apparently easier to see turtles … lucky!

In the northwest part . There is a coral reef in this part, although to get there you have to cross a very shallow area full of dead corals. It is not as accessible as the previous one but the effort will have been worth it if the sea bottoms you are molted.


Although if you really want to make the most of your stay in the Gili Islands, it is best to join one of these tours that will take you to explore different areas of snorkeling along the three islands. Normally they make these stops:

The first stop is usually off the west coast of Gili Meno , with corals and goldfish.
The second stop is along the east coast of Gili Meno , where you can hopefully see some turtles.
The last stop is the southern part of Gili Air , perhaps where more underwater life you will find of the whole tour. In Gili Air is also where it is used to eat.
Tours can be hired in a lot of agencies from about 100-150,000 IDR (about 7-10 €) and include food and mask and tube. In principle the most expensive are those that lead to fewer people and can be something more “exclusive”.


But you can also do it for free! Why stay on an island when the other two are a short ferry ride away? Perhaps because of lack of time (as in our case) … Maybe … but listen to our advice: do not go to the Gili in a hurry! If you can give them (at least) a week.


Many say that in Gili you can enjoy one of the best sunsets in the world . And hey, it’s true! Watch the sun hide behind the volcanoes of Bali across the Java Sea … buah, just spectacular! Not counting the hundreds of dyes of red, orange, purple and blue that dye the sky. Yes, they are certainly the best sunsets in the world, and with a cool Bintang in the hands even more.

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