Transport to Gili Islands. Who doesn’t know the Gili Islands, located in North Lombok, also known as the Gili Islands? These islands are a popular tourist destination in Lombok, attracting both international and local visitors. The Gili Islands are a series of islands in the northern sea of Lombok, consisting of three main islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno. While there are many other Gili Islands scattered in the surrounding seas of Lombok, these three are the most famous.
Among these three islands, Gili Trawangan is the largest and the most bustling with tourists. Known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and the mesmerizing underwater world, it has become a favorite spot for divers and snorkelers.
Especially in Gili Trawangan, renowned for its enchanting underwater tourism, you can find original coral reefs serving as habitats for marine life. Snorkeling here often allows encounters with turtles. Therefore, a visit here mandates either diving or at least snorkeling.
Given its tremendous tourism potential, many wonder about the transportation from Lombok to Gili Trawangan and how to explore the islands. Here, you’ll find explanations for all transportation options to and within Gili Trawangan.
To reach Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air), you can use maritime transportation from Lombok or Bali. Here is a comprehensive explanation of transportation to Gili Islands from Lombok.
There are two main ports to cross to Gili Islands: Bangsal Harbor and Teluk Nare Harbor. Both harbors are relatively close, approximately 7 km apart. At Bangsal Harbor, you can find various types of maritime transportation, ranging from affordable public boats to expensive private speedboats. Teluk Nare Harbor, on the other hand, is specifically for private speedboats.
To reach Bangsal Harbor, you can use Damri buses, which are the most economical option and are usually available at Lombok Mataram or Senggigi airports. Alternatively, you can rent a car or motorcycle in Lombok. If you use Damri buses, the fare is around 35,000 IDR from Lombok Airport.
It takes about 1.5 hours from Lombok Airport, 45 minutes from Mataram, and only 30 minutes from Senggigi to reach Bangsal or Teluk Nare Harbor. The following are the transportation options from these two harbors:
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Public Boat Public boats are the most common means of transportation to cross to Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, or Gili Air. The updated prices for public boats to Gili Islands in January 2024 are: Gili Trawangan: 23,000 IDR, Gili Air: 22,000 IDR, and Gili Meno: 20,000 IDR, excluding taxes.
The operating hours are from 07:00 to 17:00, and each boat departs when full, with a capacity of 40 people. If you’re heading to Gili Trawangan, the boats usually depart every 10 to 15 minutes due to the higher maritime traffic. However, if you’re going to Gili Air or Gili Meno, you may need to wait for a boat every hour.
Booking Method: Purchase tickets directly at the official counter in Bangsal Harbor to avoid unwanted issues. After buying tickets, wait in the designated departure area. It is advisable to keep an eye on your belongings while waiting or during the boat ride.
Tips: At Bangsal Harbor, there are porter services offering to carry your belongings to the boat. If you can manage your luggage, it’s recommended not to use a porter to avoid additional travel costs.
Public speedboats are available at Bangsal Harbor, offering a slightly higher price than regular public boats. The price for a public speedboat from Bangsal to Gili Islands is 85,000 IDR per passenger. Departures occur every hour from 09:00 to 16:00.
It’s essential to note that when using a public speedboat, all passengers heading to the three Gilis (Trawangan, Meno, and Gili Air) share one boat. This means that if your destination is Gili Trawangan, the boat will first stop at Gili Air and Gili Meno. This is not the case for regular public boats, where each boat crosses directly to the intended Gili without stopping at the others. Therefore, the travel time to Gili Trawangan is relatively the same for both regular public boats and public speedboats, approximately 30 minutes.
The advantage of using public speedboats is that they are larger than regular public boats, providing more stability in rough weather conditions.
Renting a private speedboat is an option for those visiting Gili Islands with family or a group. You can rent speedboats at Kodeq or Teluk Nare and also at Bangsal Harbor. With a private boat rental, your journey will be more comfortable as you can depart at any time. The maximum capacity of these boats is 10 people, and the travel time is approximately 10-15 minutes.
Rate: The price for a speedboat to Gili Trawangan is around 450,000 – 1,000,000 IDR, depending on the number of participants and the departure time. Prices may be higher during nighttime departures.
Tips: For private speedboats, it is recommended to depart from Teluk Nare.
In addition to Lombok, you can access the Gili Islands from Bali using a fast boat. Apart from taking only about 2 hours from Padang Bai Bali Harbor, using a fast boat is also cost-effective. The prices offered by fast boat operators vary, ranging from 300,000 to 500,000 IDR per person. The fare is approximately 500,000 IDR for a one-way trip.
Besides being affordable and fast, using a fast boat also offers convenience. Each fast boat operator provides pickup services in popular areas in Bali such as Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Ubud, and many more. Moreover, you can now find fast boat services from various Bali harbors such as Sanur, Serangan, Padang Bai, Nusa Penida, and Nusa Lembongan. The ease of accessing fast boats is one of the reasons why many tourists choose fast boats from Bali rather than from Lombok.
Tips: Find a reliable fast boat agency in Bali or Gili Islands to ensure you get a reasonable price. Additionally, you can negotiate prices with them.
1. Bicycles: A Healthy and Scenic Exploration
Cycling on Gili Island offers not only a healthy means of transportation but also a delightful way to immerse yourself in the breathtaking surroundings. The leisurely pace of biking allows you to savor every moment and take in the picturesque landscapes of the beaches and the sea. Renting a bicycle is a straightforward process—just visit one of the many bicycle rental counters scattered across the island. The cost, a modest 100,000 Indonesian Rupiah, grants you access to a bicycle for a generous 24-hour period.
Tips for Bicycling: Before finalizing your bicycle rental, it’s advisable to conduct a quick check of the bike’s condition. Ensuring that the bicycle is in good working order will contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable ride. In the event of any issues, promptly exchange the bicycle at no additional cost, as long as it falls within the agreed-upon rental timeframe.
2. Cidomo: Embracing Tradition on Wheels
For a more traditional and unique island experience, consider utilizing the cidomo—a traditional horse-drawn cart that serves as a distinctive mode of transportation on Gili Trawangan. Resembling a larger version of a horse-drawn carriage, the cidomo allows you to traverse the island comfortably. You can employ cidomo services to transport you from the harbor to your accommodation, or alternatively, you have the option to rent a cidomo for a personalized exploration of the island’s various attractions.
Cidomo Tariffs: The cost of utilizing cidomo services in Gili Trawangan typically ranges between Rp50,000 to Rp100,000, varying based on the distance covered. If you wish to embark on a comprehensive tour of the island using cidomo, the rental fee is approximately Rp200,000.
3. Walking: Tranquil Strolls Amidst Island Serenity
Gili Island, being a petite paradise, is eminently walkable, offering a serene and peaceful environment absent of the clamor of motorized vehicles. Embarking on a journey on foot around the island provides an intimate and comfortable experience. Most visitors choose to explore Gili Trawangan by walking, creating a laid-back atmosphere where you need not harbor any concerns about strolling alone. The absence of vehicular noise enhances the tranquility of the island, making your leisurely walk even more enjoyable.
Whether you opt for the freedom of a bicycle, the charm of a traditional cidomo, or the simplicity of walking, each mode of transportation on Gili Trawangan promises a unique and memorable way to discover the island’s beauty.