The Gilis is easily reached from Bali via the numerous fast boat services now operating between Bali and Gili Trawangan. Alternatively, you can fly to Lombok and travel across to Gilis.
Getting Gilis From Bali
Fast Boats: With Lombok’s airport now based further away in central Lombok, the fast boat services are a popular option, providing fast and easy transfer between Bali to Gili Trawangan. The crossing between the islands can be treacherous in bad weather, so choose a reliable operator and avoid companies that practice “over loading” in busy times.
Blue Weather Express provides transfers between Bali and Gili Trawangan, and Lombok mainland. Blue Weather Express operates two boats, with 30 and 50 passenger capacities, departing from Serangan (near Benoa Harbour) at 08:00am and 10:00am, and from Padang Bai Harbour at 11:15am everyday. Contact info: Ph: +6236 1895 1111 / +62813 3841 8988.
Gili Getaway is a comportable fast boat departing from Benoa Harbour, Bali (only 20 mins from Kuta) daily at 08:00am. The crossing takes around 2 hours to Gili Trawangan and Teluk Kodek on Lombok. Contact info: Bali Ph: (0361) 751570 / 726 523; Ph Gili T: +6287864322515.
Marina Srikandi operates direct fast boat services several times a day between Padang Bai Harbour (in Bali) and the Gilis, as well as a direct service to Senggigi. Contact info: Ph: +623 7069 3383, Bali Ph: +623 6172 9818.
By Helcopter: Air Bali offers a regular helicopter transfer service between Bali and Gili Trawangan. Private charters are also possible (subject to availability). Contact info: Ph: +623 6176 7466.
Getting Gilis From Lombok
From Teluk Nara and Teluk Kodek Harbour: Teluk Nara is a large peaceful bay on the west coast, about 25 minutes drive north of Senggigi. Most of dive companies and many businesses on the Gilis have their boats moored in the bay and transfer guests to the islands everyday from Teluk Nara. It is possible to negotiate private boat trips (including speed boat transfers) out to the islands with local boat owners here, thereby avoiding the hassles of bangsal.
At the northern end of the bay is Teluk Kodek, where Villa Ombak, The Beach House, Kokomo and Scallywags have bases for transferring their guests by Speed Boat to the Gilis.
From Bangsal Harbour: Catch a Taxi or Bemo (or other public transportations) to Bangsal Harbour, the small harbor on the north-west coast, about 30 minutes from Senggigi.
Public ferries (really just large outrigger boats) depart regularly to all three islands and charters are available, with prices depending on the number of passengers and your bargaining skills.
Unfortunately, the area is plagued by touts and scams, so ignore them and head directly to the ticket office on the beachfront. Public ferry and charter boat prices are posted clearly on the wall of the ticket office.
Be aware that public boats leave when there are enough passengers to warrant the trip, so you may have to wait for a while. Best time is between 08:00 am and 04:00 pm. If you don’t want to wait, it doesn’t cost very much to charter a boat, especially if you have a few people in your group.
Don’t let anyone carry your bags or, if they offer to carry baggage, negotiate a price first.
Ignore people who tell you that there are no return public transfers… there are; or that there is no water, mosquito repellent, etc., on the islands. All the essentials are readily available at shops on all three islands. Bangsal is pretty; it’s a shame some of the touts try to ruin it for everyone.
If you get stuck at the harbor in the evening, there are some basic home-stays on the road from the beach.
There are several home-stays with pretty rooms at reasonable prices as well as the restaurant serves delicious meals and the friendly owners can help with everything from vehicle hire to travel information and laundry services.
From Senggigi: You can charter local outrigger boats from the beachfront in Senggigi (in front of the Art Markets). The trip out to the islands takes around one and a half hours.
The journey up the coast in the morning is very scenic, but you may get wet on the way back. Make sure you negotiate a price with the boatman first.
A good alternative is to check out the many dive centers on the main street in Senggigi who offer reasonable rates for transfers, usually including pick up from your hotel.
Arranging snorkeling and dive trips inclusive of island transfers is a good way to save time, money and hassles.
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