The growing development of facilities in these islands makes it also a suitable destination for those who would like to spend their entire trip in an exotic paradise.
This archipelago includes Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. They are only 90 minutes to 2-hour speedboat ride away from Padang Bai port. This is the perfect escape for those looking to unwind and spend a few days enjoying powdery white sand beaches with sparkling turquoise waters.
There are no motorized vehicles on these islands; the only transport means are by feet, bicycles or cimodo (small horse-drawn carriage). So, it is important to pack thoughtfully since you may have to carry your own luggage to the hotel. You probably have to disembark directly on the shallow waters, so use appropriate footwear or none at all.
The three islands host reputed diving schools allowing divers of all levels. Snorkeling is also possible and wonderful as well. Some other water sports are also available such as kite surfing, stand up paddle, flyboarding and surf. There are several projects involved in the restoration of the coral reefs that have been damaged by the climate change.
Gili Trawangan, as the most visited, hosts the largest number of upscale accommodation facilities, restaurants and cafes ranging from local warungs to inventive modern cuisines. The footpath that circumvents the whole island is perfect for walks or bicycle rides. Bicycles can be rented hourly or full day to explore the inland areas where you can see cows, chickens, goats and the local homes. For horse lovers, there is also a small stable that rent out horses for rides around the island. The main diving schools are located on this island, apnea diving is also offered among other diving specialties. There are a couple of yoga studios that offer daily classes of yoga and meditation that can host retreats.
Gili Air is witnessing an increasing development in the last few years. With a much more rural feeling, it has the highest number of local population. A leisure walk through the coastal paths around the island will take you approximately 90 minutes. Bicycles are also available here. Gili Air is the perfect place to experience the amazing and fast growing sport of freediving. There is a wide variety of restaurants and cafes. A nice spacious yoga studio on this island hosts retreats and yoga teacher trainings.
Gili Meno is the less visited and developed of the three islands. This island is well known for hosting the turtle sanctuary project where you can participate in releasing a young turtle into the ocean. There is a small salt lake on the island as well as a bird park nearby. A gentle stroll around the coast path of Gili Meno is not to be missed, and it is probably the nicest walk anywhere on the three islands. Various range of eating establishments and accommodation facilities are available on the island. There are two resorts perfect to host retreats and yoga teacher trainings in paradise.
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