There are a few companies based on Gili Trawangan that offer boat trips to the surrounding islands of Lombok, Sumbawa and to Komodo.
Blue Water Cruises are based just north of the harbour and run trips around the 3 Gilis, to Lombok and Komodo.
South Sea Nomads South Sea Nomads have 2 bases on Gili T, one at Gili Hostel and another at Manta Dive. They offer private half day, full day and sunset charters for up to 30 people, group Party Boats , 2 night trips to Sekotong and Desert Point for island hopping and surfing Lomboks most famous break Desert Point. They also run a 6 night trip to Moyo and Satonda where they visit waterfalls, a sunken volcano, caves, a crater lake, deserted beaches and uninhabited islands, stunning reefs and a WW2 wreck, a 5 night island hopping trip to Sumbawa and a Reef Check expedition twice per year. South Sea Nomads also run UV night diving on Gili Trawangan, Flyboardin and the Reef Check Training facility based at Manta Dive.
Perama are based near the art market on the main beach road. They offer trips all around Indonesia as well as trips from Bali to the Gilis and Komodo.
There are regular party nights on Gili Trawangan – the various bars take it in turn to host the late night gig (up to 4AM), to ensure that everyone gets together in one place rather than being spread around. The island is small and it is easy to find everything; just ask around for where the party is going to be on any given night.
Nightlife is very laid back here, and somedays you might not notice any at all. This is very much the anti-Trawangan.
Gili Air usually has one party a week rotating at different bars during the peak season only. Locals and restaurant owners will usually mention them to you, and sometimes flyers are posted around. The party scene on Gili Air is much more low-key, and not nearly as rowdy as the wild all-nighters on Gili Trawangan
Trawangan has a huge range of eating options from simple local warungs up to fairly grand places serving inventive modern cuisine. Many of these are attached to hotels or dive shops, and are not independent restaurants as such.
Budget places are thinner on the ground that they used to be, but still not hard to find. If you really want to watch the pennies, do as the locals do and eat in the local warungs inside the village, or at the night food market near the beachwalk south of the jetty. These serve the usual range of Indonesian staples: fried rice, fried noodles and bakso (meatball soup); on the night market, you will also find seafood (marked up for tourists’ wallets, though), pancakes, snacks, desserts, and even beer. The push carts and few “warungs” on the main beachwalk are overpriced as much as twice compared to Bali or Indonesian cities (for example, selling sate ayam on the street for Rp 20,000 or nasi padang for Rp 22,000). Barbecued fish is excellent here and every evening many of the better restaurants fire up the charcoal. The deal is that you chose your fish – red and white snapper and trevally are especially good – and it is grilled on the spot. Be very careful with locally produced spirits, especially arak. It can contain methanol and has caused many cases of serious injury and even death (as recent as new year 2012/13) among tourists and locals alike. If you suspect that what you’ve been served is not what you ordered, take it back. Sticking to western owned and managed bars will reduce the risk. Read more
There are some lovely walks to be had on the island, although the perimeter coastal track is perhaps not as scenic as those on Gili Meno and Gili Air. A leisurely stroll all the way around will take 90-120 minutes, depending on just how leisurely you are. The hill in the south can be easily reached by taking one of the tracks that lead west or southwest from the back of the village. Dawn and dusk are the best times to climb up here. The sunset views back towards Bali are quite lovely, and in the mornings the sun rises over majestic Mount Rinjani on Lombok. On the top of the hill lie the remains of a World War II Japanese gun bunker. Read more
The easiest spot to find some productive snorkelling is off the main beach, north of the boat landing. Enter the water approximately in front of the Almarik hotel. If you start north of the beach (about where you can see seaweeds growing at low tide roughly level with Gili Meno’s northern extent), and go with the current back towards to the most crowded sunbathing area, you will likely need to kick only when you want to stop to look at something. The healthy corals are around the area where the wall drops off and the deeper water begins. Nearer the shore you will find only dead coral. Turtles can be seen often, and also the occasional trigger fish amongst the more common reef inhabitants. At low tide it is difficult to get in without reef shoes. Always watch out for potential waves that can push you into the coral that are just below water level. A better coral reef is off the northwest coast, but you have to be very keen to go through the hardship of getting out there. The only access to the reef involves walking over a substantial area of dead, sharp coral, and back again when you have finished. If you are a keen snorkeller the effort is worth it, and you are very likely to have the waters to yourself. Small, purple jellyfish are sometimes plentiful around the island, and they seem to love stinging snorkellers. The reaction is one of considerable irritation, but the stings cause no serious harm. Alternatively, you can take a snorkeling boat tour. Most trips take 4-5 hours with a lunch stop in Gili Air. The costs start at IDR 100,000 and come with mask, snorkel, vest, and fins. Read more
Bicycles are available for rent and the main tracks are good enough for riding. Expect to pay about Rp 60,000 per day, and for two hours about Rp 25,000. A ride around the island is less than an hour, but you need to walk your bike at a few points due to the sandy nature of the track. A bike is also great for exploring the inland areas, where you can see a lot of cows, goats and chicken as well as local homes. Unsurprisingly though on a tiny island, walking is the preferred and most appropriate way of getting around. If you have heavy bags and are staying well away from the departure area, you will need a cidomo (horse cart) to get to and from the boat. A short trip should cost about Rp 50,000. Read more
As the other Gili, sea was the only way to get Gili islands, here are some suitable transportation that you can used:
Public boat (ferry), was the standard method to reach Gili Meno and is used by both local residents and tourists. The afternoon boat departs at 2PM, arrive with plenty of time prior to departure to avoid overbooking problems or last moment confusions. The maximum number of passengers is fixed at 20 persons but it is often overloaded with goods and or passengers. If it seems clearly unsafe due to either overloading or prevailing weather conditions then it is most likely best not to board it. Buy your tickets direct from the official Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari office. In Bangsal this is located inside the main building near the door at the eastern corner. The Koperasi operate the Public Boat, the Shuttle boat, the Island Hopping boat and also offer (official) Charter boats. There is a ticket office on Gili Meno to buy your ticket back to Bangsal, it is located adjacent to the arrival and departure point. Read more
The Gili Islands are an archipelago of the three small islands which are Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, located just off the northwest coast of Lombok Island, Indonesia.
The islands are 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.
The name of “Gili Islands” is a misnomer, because Gili simply means “small island” in Sasak. As a result most of the islands around the coast of Lombok have Gili in their names, although confusion is averted by referring (in English) to the other Gilis around the Lombok coast by their proper names only.
There is no motorised transport on the Islands. The short distances on land are traversed on foot, by bicycle or Cidomo. The Islands can only be reached by sea, and are frequented by a variety of fast boats operating various routes from Bali. Fast boat services are the quickest and most direct way to travel to the Gili Islands from Bali. There are now numerous direct boat services from Bali to the Gili Islands, all of which continue onto the main island of Lombok, and a few of which also pass by Nusa Lembongan en-route. Established daily services depart from Benoa and Serangan Island in South Bali and from Padangbai and Amed (Bali) in East Bali. Benoa Harbour and Serangan are around 25 min by car, (dependent upon traffic) from the South Bali tourist hub. Padang Bai about another half hour by road. Public ferries and private charters also sail to the Islands from Bangsal harbour on the Lombok mainland, speedboat charters operate from Teluk Nare, south of Bangsal. Lombok International Airport (IATA: LOP) in the south of Lombok is the closest airport to the Gilis. Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (IATA: DPS), is larger and serves more international routes. Connecting Fast boat services on towards the islands from Bali are frequent and take approximately 90 minutes or more, the aircraft services connecting to Bali have a flight duration of around 30 minutes.
Gili Air is the most easterly of the three Gili Islands of Lombok. 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 Standup Paddleboarding and Kite surfing are also now available.
Traditionally, Gili Air was seen as the domain of families and couples wanting a quiet, off-the-beaten-path escape, while the rowdier hoardes had their fun on Gili Trawangan. With Trawangan now upscaling so obviously, more and more backpackers seem to be chosing Gili Air as their primary option. This island has more of a rural, established feeling than the other two, and it is no surprise that many of the local Gili Islanders seem to prefer living on Gili Air. Read more
Gili Meno is the middle of Lombok’s three northwest coast Gilis. With a population about 500,Gili Meno is the mellowest of the three islands, and certainly the most in-tune with a desert island ethic. The beaches are much nicer than you will find on Gili Trawangan and Gili Air.
Gili Meno mainly concentrated on the centre of the island. 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 bird sanctuary. A coastal path leads all the way around the island, and can be covered at a very leisurely pace in 90 minutes. Most of the tourist facilities, including the boat arrival and departure point, are on the southern part of the east coast. Read more