Somewhere between relaxing beach getaway and family holiday, sits a tropical island paradise different to the rest. Located in the heart of Indonesia, a stones throw from Bali, Gili Trawangan Lombok offers much more than your typical dream destination.
At just 15 square kilometres small, Gili Trawangan is the place to visit for a sun filled holiday in paradise with a twist of entertainment and energy mixed in.
As the most visited of the three Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan is know to be the party island, due to the number of lively bars and restaurants. That’s not to say Gili Trawangan isn’t the place for those less social sun seekers. There is a healthy mix of activities to do, sights to see, and relaxation to be had on this incredible paradise.
Gili Trawangan Beach
The East of the island is where all the hype is because it is also the place the ferry’s dock. The foot traffic inevitably attracts stores, guesthouses and restaurants making it the most crowded parts of the island. A long stretch of white sandy beach is on this side of the island too, and a popular place for swimming, water sports and lounging on the sand. The northern part of the island is similar, but less busy. The beach is pristine, the ocean bright blue, and the atmosphere peaceful with a hint of restaurant or bar flare thrown in for good measure.
The reality though, is that the entire island is surrounded by ling stretches of white sandy beach with tepid waters perfect for swimming. If you want to know where the best Gili Trawangan beach is, the answer is the entire way around the island.
Gili Trawangan Turtles
One of the major draw cards to Gili Trawangan is the islands efforts to increase world turtle population. There are two hatchery’s on the island where visitors are welcome to sight baby turtles and read about the reintegration and rehabilitation efforts of growing turtles for release in the wild.
While there are plenty of boats available for day trips snorkelling with turtles, you don’t have to go far. Swimming close to shore on the numerous beaches on the island offers ample opportunities to have turtles swim right beside you. Snorkel sets can be hired cheaply for extra visibility, and if you’re swimming on Gili Trawangan theres very little chance you’ll leave without having swum with completely wild turtles.
Gili Trawangan Diving
Manta Dive is the most popular dive provider on the island but there are others to choose from. Gili Trawangan Lombok is definitely a good place to choose for your dive adventure; the ocean here is full of healthy, vibrant reefs wiht the odd ship wreck thrown in too. Sharks, rays, ribbon eels and your usual colourful tropical fish are all on the agenda with Gili Trawangan diving.
Getting Gili Trawangan from Bali
Because there is no airport on Gili Trawangan, Lombok, you need to arrive by boat and the best way to get to Gili Trawangan is from Bali.
There are two ferry departure points in Bali; Padang and Serangan. While departing Padang might seem faster because it is more central to touristy parts of Bali, the boat leaving here is slower. The Serangan boat is faster but further away form central Bali, The result is that if you want to get to Gili Trawangan from Depensar both options will have you arrive not eh island at the same time.
Tickets can be purchased at the wharf or through any of the ferry’s on this site. Most will encourage you to buy a return ticket, suggesting you will pay more if you wait until you get to Gili Trawangan, but this is not necessarily true. A one way ticket is absolutely fine; there is no risk of tickets selling out before you return.
Tickets cost around $45USD each way and ferry will take from 1.5 – 2.5 hours. Blue Water Express are reliable and comfortable with common TV, and toilet facilities. You can even buy a beer or crisps while you travel.
Gili Trawangan Accommodation
There are plenty of guest houses, resorts and hotels with an equally broad range of budget and style. We can’t recommend highly enough Kelapa luxury Villas (we can book them for you too). They are heaven away form home, competitively priced and located perfect distance away form the hustle, yet close enough to enjoy. Bikes are available to rent from reception making it a convenient and quality place to stay.