When in Bali, or in Lombok for that matter, an escape isn’t what most are looking for. There is, indeed, plenty to explore on the mainland but for those like myself, always looking for extra adventures, there are the Gili Islands.
Just a 45-minute boat trip away from Padang Bai, you’ll find yourself in a tropical paradise with pearly white beaches and turquoise waters. On the island, cars are not allowed, so be aware that if you don’t want to carry your bags all the way to your hotel, you’ll have to take a horse cab. A horse cab? Yes, a horse cab, Gili style. For the rest of the days, it is easier to rent a bike for transportation, for the sake of the horses but also because they only come and go as the “cab” driver pleases.
Gili Trawangan has made quite the name for itself as a party island, as many young backpackers flog here to enjoy themselves. If you’re into that, great, if not no worries. All the way up North (all the way up sounds far, I assure you it is not) you’ll find more secluded resorts and the beaches get better and better. During our short stay we slept at the Oceano Resort Jambuluwuk, which offers all sorts of accommodation, but the white tropical cabins -that have an additional shared pool located in the back of the property grounds- are by far the nicest.
Another bonus is that the North of the island is known for their turtle areas. Most resorts rent snorkel gear, but if not you’ll also find plenty of spots to rent them nearby the designated area. An early rise will give you more likely to spot the magnificent turtles as they tend to move away from crowds. We were one of the first to arrive at 08:00 am and had the chance to swim with dozens of them, an incredible experience.
Costs to get to the Gili Islands from Bali
The fast boat to the Gili Islands, from Padang Bai, will cost you $67,68 per person and allows you to stop off at Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno or Gili Air. There is a slower alternative that is cheaper, but this will take you approximately 3.5 hrs.
More information on the fast boats can be found here
More information on the resort can be found here
All prices are in USD, as of 10’Oct-17, converted at xe.com