The Gili Islands consists of three remote islands located at the northwest side of Lombok, Indonesia. They are Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan, also known as “Gili island triplets.” The islands are a popular tourist attraction. Each island has several resorts, including a series of tourist huts, a pool, and a restaurant.
Given the abundance of marine life, scuba diving and wakeboarding are also popular in or around the Gilis islands. Some of the popular diving spots include; Manta point, coral fan, and Shark Point.
The Gili Trawangan
The Gili Trawangan is located on the northwest side of Lombok, Indonesia. It rises about 100 feet above sea level. It has a population of about 1500 people and measures 3 km long by 2 km wide.
Crystal clear blue water surrounds this island with endless coral reefs and has white sandy beaches with tall palm trees. This is the ideal place for a holiday resort and evening outings. You’ll find cozy restaurants and bars where you can grab some refreshments. As a result, Gili Trawangan is the largest and most visited of the three Gili islands.
The underwater life around Gili Trawangan is very diverse, making it ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. Every dive will feature turtles and mini seahorses, moray rays, manta rays, a variety of colorful fish, and occasionally sharks. There are several dive sites in the Gili Trawangan Island for your scuba dives. Water temperatures around Trawangan usually range from 26 to 29 degrees Centigrade, based on the water depths and seasonal changes.
Diving spots surrounding Gili Trawangan
The Manta Point
Manta Point is a diving site that is suitable for divers at all skill levels. The current sometimes drives divers. Mantas usually occurs between March and May, but there is always a possibility to see them in February or June.
When the rainy season begins, saltwater will combine with freshwater, bringing different nutrients from the soil surface and bringing the manta to the surface. As a result, divers’ visibility is reduced during the rainy season, particularly in November and December.
The Manta dive site is definitely worth visiting. You can easily see Lobsters and sea eels in the rocky outcroppings. You can also see Squids floating on the reefs, their dazzling colors shining brightly. The squid’s camouflage skills are amazing. Squids will also imitate the red algae that can be found at the dive site’s bottom. This is the best dive spot for finding reef sharks. At a level of 17 meters, you can even see white reef sharks lying across the reefs.
The Gili Islands, located just off Lombok’s west coast, are a popular tourist destination. the three islands – Meno, Air and Trewangan – offer many different options for accommodation, eating and nightlife. The name ‘Gili Islands’ is something of a misnomer as ‘Gili’ means ‘small island’ in the local Sasak language. The reefs around the islands have some reasonable hard corals and marine life, but have suffered in the past from damage, bleaching events and pollution. However the islands are still worth visiting and are especially good for student divers.
Fan Coral is a common snorkeling place around the Gili Trawangan. It is called a coral fan because several corals live here. Coral Fan is a good snorkeling spot because of the shallow corals and lively fish life.
Titan triggerfish and clown triggerfish are commonly found on the region’s cliffs, ranging from 8 to 30 meters. Since the winds are high, divers don’t have to dive deep to see corals.
This dive site is ideal for divers of all skill levels. The sea bed is smooth and sandy, and you’ll soon find yourself among the cliffs and valleys of this dive site, which run parallel to the beach.
With their contrasting yellow and black body colors, bannerfish and moor idols adorn the corals. We will see coral sharks and a community of Jackfish or Trevally, which are commonly found in areas with heavy currents. Coral reefs will surround you before reaching the final dive stage.
You can easily see squids, blue-spotted stingrays, crabs, basslets, as well as other colorful coral fish In the deeper waters of this dive site.
From the name, you can expect to see reef sharks, which are normally found in small holes underneath coral and sometimes in open water.
Gili Meno is located in the center of the island chain, between Gili Trawangan (west side) and Gili Air (east side) (east side). Since there are few cafes, hotels, and restaurants here, most of which are located near the harbor, it seems quite crowded.
Small hotels and restaurants are located on the island. Saltwater lakes also exist in the center of the island.
We have diving locations called Bounty Wreck and Meno Wall for divers, making this island one of the world’s most famous dive sites.
Meno Wreck (bounty Wreck)
The 30 meters long Bounty Wreck can be found in the southwestern portion of Gili Meno. Several soft and hard corals live around the pontoon and have sunk it for a long time. The Wreck bounty is found at a depth of 13-17 meters. Stonefish and juvenile batfish can all be found on the Bounty Wreck. Fishes like sweet lips, angelfish, and freshwater shrimp also live here.
The Meno Wall is positioned on the west coast of the island, at a depth of 5 to 18 meters, and the second wall is slightly lower. Several species of small fish at this dive site make it ideal for submarine macro photography. Since there are so many turtles along Meno Wall, it is a turtle lover’s paradise.
Gili Air, the nearest island to Lombok, provides a more rural lifestyle than Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno, which are home to a large number of indigenous people. Tourists make up a large proportion of the guests. The bulk of tourism services, ranging from basic hotels to luxurious villas, are situated in the island’s eastern and southern regions. The remote, lush green island provides the ideal setting for recreation, relaxing, and diving.
The glowing soft corals greet you upon your arrival at the Air Wall, located at the west of Gili Air. It’s an excellent scuba dive site. Along the east side of Gili Air, the Air Wall is located at a depth of 5 to 30 meters.
This dive site is abundant with macro fish and a host of very spectacular aquatic life, such as Leaf Fish, Caucasian Cleaner Shrimps, and tens of thousands of GlassFish that live on the Air Wall. White Tip Coral Sharks can be found at a deeper depth.
This is a soft reef with a white sandy floor and varying bommies corals found in the northwest of Gili Air. With an overall 24 meter depth and an average 14-meter depth. This diving place is full of macro fish life, like the Air Wall, where you’ll find smaller aquatic life that’s hard to come by. A wide collection of aquatic life can all be found at this dive site.
Why people prefer Gili Trawangan for diving
Even though it is a popular holiday resort, it is not for everyone, particularly if you value meeting natives and avoiding tourist pressure. Gili Trawangan combines a high tourism market with the local culture. Nevertheless, aquatic activities make it a good location for scuba divers and connect divers to the sea.
How to get to the Gili Trawangan
You will take a shuttle from anywhere in Bali to Padang Bai, which is the port from which boats depart for Lombok and the 3 Gili Islands. If you are in Lombok, take a taxi to Bangsal port, where you’ll find a speed boat to the Gili islands. They cost around $6 and arrives at the Gilis in less than 50 minutes.
You can also find swift boat deals all over Bali that have full transportation service to the Gilis Islands. Bali’s speed boat to the Gilis can take up to 1 hour 30 minutes and costs around $22. Tourists can book a round-trip ticket and keep the return date free while using this transportation program.
Transit to your lodging is included with the return trip. The cost of this service varies depending on your location in Bali, and you can bargain. Some Bali travel agencies can provide you with some figures. If you’re staying in Nusa Lembongan, you can also take a direct trip to the Gili Islands.
Scuba Diving in Gili Trawangan
Turtles, sharks, moray eels can all be seen at Shark Point, one of the most popular dive sites northwest of Gili Trawangan. On the other hand, Bounty Wreck is an artificial reef at the foot of Gili Meno with a plethora of coral and reef fish. You can easily see a cuttlefish, an octopus, and a lionfish, among other animals at this reef.
Dives in Gili are normally arranged on an individual basis due to the proximity of the dive sites to the islands. You can go scuba diving in the morning, come back to the island for lunch, and then go diving again in the afternoon. Lunch is not included in the basic price.
You can always book your launch with the restaurants and cafes around the Trawangan. Diving is done on typical dive vessels, which are big and well-organized. Several Local dive shops like the Blue Bubbles organize small dive clubs, which allows for a more individual diving experience.
The best time to scuba diving in Gili Trawangan
You can Scuba dive all year round in the Gili Trawangan. However, most divers prefer to visit between May and September because underwater visibility would have been restored.
The heavy rains that usually occur between December and January significantly reduce underwater visibility. Hence we recommend scuba diving in the Gilis anytime apart from December and January.
Getting accommodation in Gili Trawangan
There are various lodging options on the Gili Trawangan Island. The cost varies depending on the convenience level. Rooms on the island start at $10 for a double room.
I urge you to get out and walk around the island, asking questions and bargaining room prices. If you are not on a limited budget and would like to feel cozier, I suggest you consider the Martas Hotel for a comfy experience.
Best restaurants around the Gili Trawangan
Restaurant prices begin at $3.5, but the dishes are not usually enough for an adult. Instead, go to the night market and eat something tasty, plentiful, and inexpensive. Rice with tomatoes, chicken, or fish covered in papers is served at street stalls. This happens to be the most cost-effective alternative.
Prices of things are costlier on the Island.
Prices of things are usually higher on the Island; hence I advise you to carry personal hygiene items and mosquito repellent. Some other things you could easily carry along to avoid unusual spending. If you have nautical shoes, they are a safe choice for avoiding foot injuries while diving.
Services available on the island
- Scuba diving schools, apnea, yoga, and cooking classes
- Professional medical help
- ATMs and money trading offices
- Restaurants that cater to a wide range of budgets
- Stores that sell clothing, shoes, and other products
- Renting of kayaks and other water activities
Lombok and its nearby Gili islands have a lot of natural scenery underwater, and scuba diving and snorkeling are wonderful ways to see it. The Gili Trawangan is a place where you can explore what lies underneath the sea’s surface.
There is plenty of opportunities to chill and learn here. It’s time you join the thousands of divers from all around the world to explore the natural beauty lying beneath the Gili Trawangan.