The Gili Islands
Indonesia's Secret Paradise
has long been celebrated as home to some of the most exceptional diving on the planet.
Lombok, lying to the east of Bali, is a semi-secluded island covered in palm groves and ringed with white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters. On the northwest corner of Lombok are the 3 Gili Islands - Trawangan, Meno and Air - all of which are coral fringed and teeming with life. With international flights direct to Bali and Lombok and speedboat transfers available from both islands, The Gilis are easily accessible to all. Voted one of the top ten holiday destinations in the world by The Lonely Planet and The Times, these stunning islands have become famous for tropical holidays, offering high quality restaurants, varied night life and a fantastic selection of coral reef dive sites. Located on the ‘Wallace Line’ Lombok and The Gili Islands boast flora and fauna from both Australasian and Asian influence and are the only place in the world where species native to both these continents can be seen living together. Corals grow within meters of the white sand beaches, making both diving and snorkeling an easy and fun pastime for all.
Gili Trawangan is the largest of the 3 Gili Islands, offering a wide selection of accommodation varying from luxury to backpacker. Trawangan is the perfect place to learn to dive, with wide stable boats transferring students to dive sites within an easy 5-15 minutes, calm conditions and a vast array of colors and species. With depths ranging from 5m – 100+m there are sites to suit any level of diver and multiple dives daily allows divers to choose the schedule that suits their holiday best.
Transfers From Bali
Daily fast boat services operate from Bali to The Gili Islands, offering a door to beach service lasting approximately 2.5 hours. These fast boats can be booked online or from any tourist booking centre in Bali. Alternatively Lutwala Dive is happy to arrange this for you when booking your diving package through us.
For those with more time and less cash, a slow ferry/mini-bus combo runs daily from Bali to the Gili Islands via Lombok. This can take anywhere from 6-12 hours depending on the weather and the captain's mood! Only advisable for those who truly believe the journey should be the most adventurous part of the trip! Must be booked in person on Bali.
Local flights can be easily obtained for transfer between Bali and Lombok. Flights last 20 minutes, run several times a day. On arrival into Lombok a transfer service arranged by Lutwala will collect you and bring you to Gili Trawangan.
Transfers From Lombok
Transfers to The Gilis from Lombok can be arranged through Lutwala Dive. A private car will meet you at the airport or your Lombok hotel reception and transfer you to our local harbor area for a final speedboat ride to Gili Trawangan.
For the more budget guests, local buses or taxis can be obtained for transfer from the airport to Bangsal where public boat services operate regularly to Trawangan. Please note however that Bangsal is not for the faint hearted and will be an adventure in avoiding porters, local salesman and general mayhem!
Transfers From Gili T. Harbour To Lutwala
On arrival into Gili you will find yourself in the main harbor area of Trawangan. You will need to get one of the many horse carts available and ask the driver to bring you to Lutwala Dive. The standard rate is Rp150.000 per cart. If you are a large group, or with multiple bags, you may be asked for more than this. Do hold on tight, as the ride will be a bumpy one.
Cidomos (say chi-do-mo) are part of the local heritage and can be seen all over the GIli islands, Lombok and Bali. The carts are cleverly designed for perfect weight distribution and ease of pulling. The infrastructure is in bad shape here and for a lot of luggage or tired humans, these carriages are the only way to get to your hotel.
The horses work in short shifts and are largely well cared for. Most islanders now know Tori, Lutwala's manager and experienced vet tech, and come to her for help, medication, donated bits and pieces and feed. Follow Horses Of Gili for more information on the horses well-being and what you can do to help!
Doctors, nurses and pharmacies
There are several clinics and pharmacies on the island, often in combination, some open 24hrs. Useful for small injuries and light sickness. For serious matters, the nearest hospital is in Lombok. Some clinics have their own speedboat and can arrange a transfer, others may organise a private driver.
All you ever need...
...is right here, in the island. Be it snacks, drinks, a new toothbrush, some spare batteries or refill for your body wash. Everything people need is available in the various shops. There are even several hardware shops in case your sink or window breaks and you can probably built up a whole bicycle from scratch just with the parts available for purchase. True, it may not always be the same brands that you know but generally speaking, fret not, the island shops got you and your needs covered.
Let's Go Out
Visitors to Gili Trawangan can choose between a relaxing, quiet holiday or one filled with action and adventure.
For those wishing a more peaceful stay on the island, the northern shore offers the quiet side of life; a selection of excellent restaurants with friendly chatty waiters and chilled beach bars with local live music.
And for those seeking a more lively evening, just a 30 minute stroll or 10 minute bike ride from Lutwala Dive the bustling nightlife of Trawangan awaits. A large choice of restaurants, from small local venues to large western style establishments can be found along the beach and down every lane. If you are in the mood for Sushi, Indian, Seafood, Italian, Pub Grub, BBQ, Mexican or Thai you will find a restaurant to suit. Open all day and till late at night you will be able to enjoy a good meal at any hour.
For the true party animals out there, there is again a huge amount of choice. Bars with live bands, DJs and wide ranging music play well into the early hours of the morning. Grab a local drink and hit the dancefloor! After partying the night away, watch the sun rise over Mount Rinjani before wandering home as another day begins.
Should you wish to combine a diving package or course with the freedom to enjoy the night life on the island, Lutwala is happy to schedule your diving to allow for this. Late morning starts are no problem and courses scheduled over longer periods to allow for extra partying are easily structured by us.