The Gili Islands are situated off the northwest coat of Lombok. In all, there are three islands dusted with generous white-sand beaches and rimmed with coral reefs. This is an ideal escape for tourists who need a break from hectic pace of life in Indonesia’s main cities.
Days begin and end on the beach, and Gili Island resorts are equipped with all of the water-sport equipment visitors may need. The offshore reefs make scuba diving especially rewarding, and each of the three Gili Islands has its own dive center. Tourists can visit these centers to get certified as well as to book excursions to offshore dive sites. Snorkeling and surfing are also good on all three islands.
There are no cars on the Gili Islands. Horse-drawn carts are on hand for longer transfers, but most tourists either walk or rent a bicycle. Traveling between islands requires chartering a boat or taking the public ferry. Both are relatively quick and convenient options.
Gili Trawangan is the biggest island in the archipelago, and it has the best selection of resorts in the Gili Islands. One of the main attractions here is the hawksbill turtle hatchery, which is located on the southern coast. Hatchlings are raised to the age of nine months and then released.
After a day on the beach, tourists staying on the Gili Islands head for nearby beach bars. The Gili Islands have a firm reputation among backpackers and partiers, and there’s plenty to do long after the sun sets.