If you’re lucky enough in this lifetime to travel to Indonesia and enjoy a vacation on the “Island of the Gods,” your trip won’t be complete without a relaxing and beautiful adventure from Bali to Gili Island Trawangan, Air, or Meno.
Gili Trawangan, a small island in the Indian Ocean a short ferry journey from Bali with crystal clear waters, white sand beaches dotted with hammocks, swings, beach bars, sea turtles, and an amazingly laid-back atmosphere represents the best of island life, and the Indonesia experience. Once you’re there, the rest of the world fades away and everything falls into place.
Unfortunately for most travelers, figuring out how to book and make the journey from the mini metropolises of Canggu, Ubud, and Uluwatu, to any of the three Gili islands can be a hassle, with haggling and trying to understand all of your options for when to go, where to leave from, and how to book.
In this article, I’ll help you figure out the perfect option for getting from Bali to the Gili islands. We’ll cover the best port to leave from (Padang Bai, Sanur/Serangan, or Amed), the best fast boat companies to book ( Eka Jaya Fast Boat ), and give you the easiest, quickest option for booking from your phone.
To finish up, we’ll share how to get between the best things to do in Gili, where to go for sunsets and beers, and how to get between each of the Gili islands and back “home” to Bali.
(This article contains affiliate links)
From Canggu, Seminyak, and Ubud
From Uluwatu, Sanur, and Denpasar
From Amed, Lovina, and north Bali
Or, keep reading to see which port of departure is best for you
Contents of this Guide to Getting from Bali to the Gili Islands
- The Best Way for you to Get from Bali to the Gili Islands
- How to Book a Fast Boat Online to Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan, Meno, or Air
- From Canggu, Seminyak, and Ubud: Padang Bai to Gili T
- From Uluwatu, Sanur, and Nusa Dua: Serangan or Sanur Bali to Gili T
- From Amed: Amed harbor to Gil T
- From Outside of Bali: Fly To Lombok, Take A Boat To Gili Trawangan
- Getting To Your Hotel in Gili and Getting Around Gili Trawangan
- Getting From Gili Trawangan To Gili Air And Gili Meno
- Best Time To Visit Gili Trawangan: July and August is best, May to October will do
Travelers aiming to experience the peaceful paradise of the Gilis can travel from Bali (or anywhere) by speed boat ferry (via private fast boat companies) or slow boat ferry (public boat) from Padang Bai Port, Serangan Port, Sanur Port, or Amed port. The best port for you to leave from depends on where you will be departing from in Bali
The Best Way for you to Get from Bali to the Gili Islands
- From Canggu, Seminyak, Ubud, and Candi Desa and west and central Bali a fast boat from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan, and on to Gili Meno, and Gili Air, is your best option (jump to the details)
- From Uluwatu, Nusa Dua, and Sanur or anywhere in the southern peninsula (“The Bukit”) a fast boat from Sanur or Serangan to Gili Trawangan is your best and most convenient option (jump to the details)
- From Amed, Lovina, or anywhere on the north and northwest coast of Bali, a fast boat from Amed is your best option (jump to the details)
A Flexible Option for International Arrivals and Late Arrivals: Fly into Lombok, Ferry from Bangsal Lombok
- Flying from abroad: Fly into Lombok International Airport, car to Bangsal port, and ferry to Gili T (jump to the details)
- If need a later departure from Bali: Fly from Nugarah Rai Airport (Denpasar, Bali) to Lombok International Airport, take a Go-Jek/Grab/taxi private car to Bangsal port on the east coast of Lombok, and take a fast boat to Gili T (jump to the details)
Quick Overview of the Bali Ports: Pandang Bai, Serangan/Sanur, Amed
Bali’s three main ports for traveling to the Gili Islands are Padang Bai, Sanur/Serangan, and Amed. Because these ports are situated at opposite corners of Bali, each port is perfectly suited as the departure point for one of Bali’s handful of tourism centers.
Booking your fast boat via 12Go is the best booking option for whichever trip you choose. 5 years of boats, their booking has been the most reliable
Over 5+ years abroad and hundreds of boats, trains, buses, and planes, many of those through Bali, I’ve found 12Go.Asia to be the most reliable, transparent option for booking transport. The cost tends to be between 2% and 10% more expensive than booking direct with a travel company at their office, but you get to see all of your options (times, prices, departure points) and what’s included written on paper. Booking with 12Go costs a little more than the cheapest option and has saved my sanity from the Southeast Asian habit of instinctively overcharging anyone that doesn’t look like them.
Though 12Go.Asia is a little more expensive than booking directly with a company, is most often cheaper than booking with a travel agent, travel kiosk vendor, or a third party, and is always less stressful.
However, if you are against booking online, booking directly via any of the travel kiosks on the side of the road is an unexpectedly reliable option. Just be sure to get Whatsapp contact numbers, and have specific pickup addresses written on your receipt.
Duration: 1.5 to 3 Hours | Cost: $16-$25 | Recommended Company: Eka Jaya Fast Boats | Click here to Book
Fast boat schedule: 9:00, 9:15, 930, 12:30, and 1:00PM
When leaving from Canggu, Seminyak, Tabanan, Ubud, and Candi Desa, leaving from Padang Bai is your best, most convenient option.
Additionally, if you want the shortest ferry rides possible, leave from Padang Bai
Padang Bai Port is located in the center of the south Bali coast and sees most of the ferry traffic from Bali to other tourist islands around Bali – mainly the Gili islands and Lombok.
For most travelers, Padang Bai will require a fairly long car ride to arrive at the port, but it is still the best option for departure. The port has more scheduled departures per day, and you are guaranteed a direct route from the port to the Gilis.
Additionally, more fast boat companies operate the Padang Bai to Gili islands route, giving you a larger selection of operators and speed boats to choose from and in the low season for tourism, all of the fast boats traveling from Sanur and Serangan pass through the Port of Padang Bai, making the
Ride time from Padang Bai to Gili T: 1.5 TO 3 HOURS depending on your fast boat, fast boat company, weather, and how rough the waters are. Note: This is just ride time, and very rarely do boats leave on time
Fast Boat Price from Padang Bai to Gili T: $16 to $25 booked online (~250k Rupiah
Best Company for Padang Bai to Gili T: Eka Jaya Fast Boats
In my 10+ times traveling from Bali to Gili Trawangan, Eka Jaya Fast Boats company has delivered the most reliable and enjoyable experience, more fast boats depart closest to departure time and avoid itinerary deviations. Additionally, Eka Jaya Fast Boats’ larger fleet of boats are larger in size, and thus handle rough waters better, helping to prevent seasickness.
Eka Jaya Boats Depart daily at 9:00AM, 1230AM, and 1:30PM and are best booked via 12Go.Asia
- Reliable service, few deviations from the planned itinerary
- Large boats that are less likely to get you seasick
Traveling from Bali to Gili via Padang Bai: How it works
To travel from Padang Bai port you will need to take a car from your location to Padang Bai port, check-in, and enjoy the ride.
- Book: Book your ferry in advance online or at a tourism kiosk – Note: If you book at a tourism sales kiosk, push to have the transfer, from your hotel, included for free
- Ride to the Port: From Canggu or Seminyak, plan on a 2-hour ride (double check in Google Maps and add 30 minutes to Padang Bai port. Ensure to arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before departure for check-in. If you do not have a transfer ride or hotel pickup booked from your home to Padang Bai, I recommend booking with Go-Jek or Grab rideshare apps as they will be the cheapest and most reliable.
- Arrive, Check-in, and Pay Port Fees: When you arrive at Padang Bai port, bring a printed copy of your ticket or book confirmation to your ferry company’s office to check in and get your bags tagged
- Hop on the Boat: When the boat arrives you will pass your bags (maximum 2 bags totaling 25kg) to be loaded on top of the boat, then hunt for the seat with the best air conditioning.
- Enjoy the ride…from the rooftop: The ride will be 1.5 to 3 hours, and the good boats have a rooftop deck that opens shortly after departure, so you can enjoy the sun and the views.
**ROOFTOP RIDE PICTURE**
Getting to the port of Padang Bai from Canggu, Seminyak, Uluwatu, and Ubud
For getting from west Bali, including Canggu, Seminyak, and surrounding booking a ride via rideshare apps Go-Jek or Grab will be your most convenient and cheapest options, especially if you’ve booked your train online.
When you book, the car will likely arrive within 10 minutes, and the ride will take 2 to 2.5 hours and cost between 150k and 300k rupiah (~$10 to $20) depending on when you book (thanks to traffic surges) and where you’ll be traveling from.
If you book your boat through a travel agency or travel kiosk, ask about including the transfer or hotel pick up to the port as it is common in Bali.
Last, if you’re against using Go-Jek /Grab and have already left the travel agency, ask the front desk of your hotel, hostel, or guesthouse, as nearly all accommodation reception areas in Bali sell travel services, or have an easily accessible “friend” that does.
WHERE TO BOOK YOUR BOAT FROM BALI TO GILI TRAWANGAN, GILI AIR, AND GILI MENO
For booking boats, I 100% recommend 12Go for booking online, as it is all I use.
- Click to see Fast boats from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan prices and availability
- Click to see Fast boats from Padang Bai to Gili Meno prices and availability
- Click to see Fast boats from Padang Bai to Gili Air prices and availability
Duration: 3 to 4 Hours | Cost: $20 to $50 | Click Here to Book
- Ticket Price: Prices start from $20 to $50 – comparable to the price of riding the fast boat from Padang Bai
- Departures: 7:30AM, 8:00AM, 8:30AM, 9:00AM, and 9:30AM
- Duration: 3 hours from Serangan Habor or the Port of Sanur to Gili Trawangan Harbor
- Departs from Sanur Port and Serengan Port (30 minutes apart from each other)
If you’re departing from Uluwatu, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Denpasar, or anywhere in Bali’s southern peninsula (aka “The Bukit”) southwest of Bali, leaving from either Serangan Harbor or Sanur Port will be your most convenient option.
Though boats leaving from Sanur and Nusa Dua do still commonly stop at Padang Bai on the way to Gili Trawangan, traffic on Bali is increasingly atrocious, and leaving from these ports allows you to enjoy more time on the rooftop of a boat staring at volcanic islands dotting the Indian Ocean. A panoramic view of the islands of Indonesia by boat rooftop is much better than staring out of a car window sitting in traffic – even if it is interrupted by a brief port stop.
The ride from Uluwatu to Serangan Port is 1 hour and 15 minutes and cuts out the additional 1-hour ride to Padang Bai
So, as a note on the boat itinerary:
- High season: Direct boat to Gili T
- Low season: Serangan -> Padang Bai -> Gili T
How it works: Steps for taking the Fast Boat from Serangan or Sanur to Gili Trawangan
Step 1: Book your fast boat online via 12Go.Asia or book via a tourism kiosk or travel agent.
Step 2: Book a car via a Rideshare app (GoJek or Grab) to the Port, or get a transfer via your travel agent
Step 3: Arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before departure and check in at the office of the company for your fast boat, and get your luggage tagged
Step 4: Board the boat, load your luggage to the storage space up top
Step 5: Enjoy the ride to the Gili’s. Bonus – move to the boat’s rooftop when the crew opens the doors
How to Book: Book a boat online via 12Go is the best option
You can read above why after 5 years of travel I use 12Go.Asia, and I absolutely recommend booking online because it is more transparent (in options and pricing), allows you to book further out without visiting an agent, and allows you to plan your itinerary further out.
- Click here to see fast boats from Sanur/Serangan to Gili Trawangan
- Click here to see fast boats from Sanur/Serangan to Gili Air
- Click here to see fast boats from Sanur/Serangan to Gili Meno
Another Option for Booking Your Fast Boat to Gili: Book at a Travel kiosk or travel agent
If you choose not to book online, the next best option is a travel kiosk or travel agent. These convenient stalls will know all of the options available and will be able to book at all companies from all ports
(**PICTURE OF A KIOSK**)
HOW TO GET TO SANUR OR SERANGAN PORT FROM YOUR HOME
Both apps offer rates cheaper than taxis and private drivers in Bali
- Partying: Gili “T” or Gili Trawangan: The largest, busiest, and most social
- Chilling + Best of Both Worlds: Gili Air: Chill, Bob Marley vibes and less social (partyish)
- Solo Time and Quiet: Gili Meno: The place for lovers and loners
- Read more about which is the best island for your cravings right now**
Though Gili Trawangan is a truly epic island and the closest you’ll get to being in Pirates of the Caribbean in this lifetime if you are near Serangan and Sanur, Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan offer just as much fun, adventure, and beauty, in a more convenient location.
Whereas the Gili islands are a 3-hour ride away, off the coast of Lombok, the Nusa islands are just off the coast of Bali – a mere 30 to 45-minute fast boat ride away and costs ~$12 for a ride
Cheaper, closer, more beautiful
How Nusa Penida and Gili Trawangan Compare
Whereas both the Gilis and the Nusas have great diving, Nusa Penida is famous for the Manta Ray cleaning station (where you can dive or snorkel with huge Manta Rays), huge “Mola Mola” sunfish, and tons of advanced dive sites.
For Instagram-able views – Gili Trawangan has cool **swings** and **sunset points** but Nusa Penida wins with the **T-Rex head on KlingKling**, **Broken Beach**, **Angel’s Billabong**, and the **Devil’s Throat** and **The Yellow Bridge** on the smaller Nusas.
And Nusa Penida is a huge, mostly empty, mostly wild island that you could motorbike around in a day filled with sites and adventure.
So, if you want to chill, especially with a beer, then head to Gili T. If you want to adventure and see tons, head to the Nusas.
My recommendation: Do the Nusa islands on the way to the Gili islands, or on the way back. With the current tourist climate of Bali, a stacked vacation with the Nusa islands and the Gili islands is just as good as (or better than) a vacation on just Bali
Duration: 1 Hour | Cost: $25 | Recommended Company: Freebird Express | Click here to book
- DEPARTURE: 930AM
- 1 hour to Gili T
- 1 hour 15 minutes to Gili Meno
- 1 hour 30 minutes to Gili Air
If you find yourself in the beautiful and quiet north of Bali, and aching for the Gili life, then leaving from the other port Amed will be your best option.
Fast boat departures from Amed to Gili Trawangan (then on to Gili Meno and Gili Air) only happen once per day at 9:30AM, so plan ahead. I recommend booking online beforehand during high season to avoid missing a sold-out boat and being stuck until the following day
HOW TO BOOK A FAST BOAT FROM AMED TO GILI TRAWANGAN
For fast boat travel between Amed and Gili T, I highly recommend booking online via 12Go.Asia and allowing them to handle the confirmation for you.
If you’re in Amed now you likely already know, but Amed is the kind of beautifully sleepy place where if business is slow, a travel agent will simply close their shop and take a siesta. If you’re planning on normal business hours to book your boat for the following day – you may be surprised and frustrated.
Instead, book online, get your confirmation, and then focus on arranging your ride to the port for the following day.
HOW TO GET TO YOUR FAST BOAT IN AMED FROM AMED, LOVINA, UBUD, AND THE NORTHWEST COAST OF BALI
Because Amed, Lovina, Karangasem, Gili Manuk, and the surrounding places are much quieter, don’t plan on getting rideshare (Go-Jek or Grab) to the port as they likely will not be in the area when you need.
Instead, to get to the port, talk to the reception at your hotel, hostel, or guesthouse the day before and have them arrange a private driver to the port – they may even be kind enough to drive you if you tell them well in advance.
If you are flying into Indonesia from anywhere in the world and want Gili T to be your first stop, then you should first fly into Lombok International Airport, then hop a taxi to Bangsal harbor, and finally, hop a fast boat from Bangsal harbor to Gili Trawangan.
Additionally, if the last boat of the day leaving out of Pandang Bai, 2 hours away from Canggu, is too early, then being able to fly into Lombok may allow you to leave later in the day.
It goes without saying that this will definitely be the costliest option, as you will be paying for a taxi + a flight + a taxi + a (likely private) fast boat
If you decide to opt for this option, plan on arriving at Bangsal port well before sunset to avoid missing the last boat (the last public boat leaves Bangals,Lombok for Gili Trawangan go at 4:30PM) and account for the 1 hour and 30-minute ride from Lombok International Airport to Bangsal Port. If you arrive at the harbor after 4:30PM, your only choice will be a private boat, and will likely cost 450k IDR (~$15 USD) for the 20 minute ride
Plan on the following time table:
- Flight from Bali to Lombok International Airport: 25 minutes
- Go-Jek or Grab Rideshare from Lombok International Airport to Bangsal Ferry: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
- Ferry ride from Bangsal Ferry Harbor on Lombok to Gili Trawangan Harbor: 20 minutes
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF GILI TRAWANGAN, AIR, AND MENO | WHICH GILI ISLAND IS BEST FOR YOU?
Though all of the Gili Islands offer amazing vacation experiences, each Gili island has a very different personality and excels at something special.
If you are just on the travel trail, start with Gili Trawangan (Gili T). You will no doubt enjoy the experience and you can always take a boat to the other islands from there.
However, if you are craving something in particular – partying, beer and sunset vibes, or time with your sweetheart – here’s what I recommend:
- Partying: Gili “T” or Gili Trawangan: The largest, busiest, and most social
- Chilling + Best of Both Worlds: Gili Air: Chill, Bob Marley vibes and less social (partyish)
- Solo Time and Quiet: Gili Meno: The place for lovers and loners
- Read more about which is the best island for your cravings right now**
Gili Trawangan has a well-earned reputation as a “party island” but actually delivers a very very balanced experience. A new walk and biking road that runs completely around the island in a 6.6km loop takes you from the bar, shopping, dive center, and party-filled east coast of Gili T to the quiet, peaceful, sunset point** filled west coast. Gili T delivers the chance to live the best of social island life, aquatic adventures, and retreating to a peaceful escape – if that’s what you prefer – or as much of any of the 3 as you desire
Gili Air offers the best of both worlds – gourmet food spots, cafes, and dive shops – and only lacks in the late night party scene. If chilling and being in bed, before 11 are among your life goals, then Gili Air deserves a few days of your time.
Gili Meno is best for “loners and lovers” as this strikingly quiet island delivers the best beaches of the three islands – with powdery white sand beaches and crystal clear waters – and honeymoon vibes. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway or alone time with a beautiful backdrop, Gili Air is it.
GETTING TO YOUR HOTEL IN GILI
Once you arrive at Gili Trawangan Port, your mission isn’t over yet! You still have to get to your hotel or hostel.
Because Gili Trawangan has absolutely no motorized vehicles on the island (which is simultaneously cool and beautiful) you will have three options for getting you, and your hopefully light bags, to your accommodation:
- Bicycle (rental)
- Horse drawn carriage
If you assume you’re going to walk (which I do half the time) PLEASE use Google Maps and see how far you are from the Gili T ferry terminal (Google Maps location here). I think it’s a great idea – but you may be the type who wants to know the pain you’re in for.
The best option for getting to your hotel is renting a bicycle right across from the port. The bike will make getting to your hotel/hostel easier, and will actually be the perfect mode of transportation for your stay.
The last option is to hop a horse drawn carriage. These carts will be pricey and (to be honest) the horses never look happy to me.
All three of these options are available to hire right outside of the Gili Trawangan Port.
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FOR GETTING AROUND GILI TRAWANGAN
The 6.6 kilometer paved path that loops around Gili is a beautiful part of the island that I love to experience again and again by foot. However, you would be wise to rent a bike for times you don’t feel like moseying 20 minutes to the ATM, or when you are hopping between bars.
As said before, the tiny island of Gili Trawangan does not have or authorize any gas powered motorized vehicles – no cars, no motorbikes. Though you will see tiny electric scooters, they don’t ruin the beautiful quiet and slow pace that comes with a car free island.
I recommend renting a bicycle right next to the port, to use for getting to the hotel with bags, and for easy return on your departure day.
Bike rental on Gili Trawangan will cost roughly 50,000 rupiahs per day (~$3 USD) or ~10,000 rupiahs per hour (~$.75 USD)
I also recommend walking the island as much as possible, especially the loop travel around the island and along all of its beaches – as it is a highlight of the experience.
GETTING FROM GILI TRAWANGAN TO GILI AIR AND GILI MENO, AND BACK FOR DAY TRIPS, OR A WHOLE NEW ADVENTURE
To get back, from Gili Trawangan to Bali, you have three options, depending on how you originally booked:
- Book a return trip online with initial booking with 12Go.Asia.
- Booking an open ended return ticket with round trip booking via a travel agent or kiosk
- Don’t book anything now, wait until you get to Gili, and flexibly book a boat back either online or via travel kiosk.
3 is hands down the best option. Don’t book your boat back until you get to Gili.
Gili Trawangan is awesome and goes with waves of vibes that flow like the ocean. On some visits, you’ll come, enjoy two days, be satisfied, and go home refreshed.
Other times, you’ll stumble into a festival or group of people that are running a few days longer and are worth scrapping your itinerary for.
Lastly…you may not want to go back to Bali, what with Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan islands** being just as great as Gili Trawangan and on your way back, in addition to the Mount Rinjani treks or Komodo Island and Flores boat trips that you can easily take from the island. By not booking you don’t risk much.
Ticket prices stay fairly constant, and though a single fast boat may sell out, I have yet to see a time when all boats from Gili sold out.
When you do know your desired day of departure from Gili T back to Bali, book 1 day in advance, compare prices of online bookings with prices at the kiosks along Gili T’s main street and book whichever is cheaper and meets your needs.
If you book at a kiosk in Gili T, be sure to have the transfer to your hotel or guesthouse included and have the address of your final destination written on your ticket. A common scam is for transfer drivers, driving passengers from Padang Bai to their homes, to tell passengers they will drop them off at a public location (such as a Starbucks and requiring an additional taxi) unless the passenger pays an additional 100K rupiah (~$7). You can avoid this headache by having the sales agent write your drop off address on your return ticket.
HOW TO GET BETWEEN THE GILI ISLANDS
Getting between the islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, for day trips and exploring is cheap and easy, as long as you’re flexible. Public buts run most of the day and leave when full. Private boats run at (nearly) set times, but cost 4 times as much and leave whether or not they’re full
Private Boats Between Gili T, Gili Air, and Gili Meno
Private boats can be booked online via 12Go.Asia:
- Boats run hourly from 10am to 5pm
- Price: $9 for a private boat
- But – you can book super cheap for a public boat at the pier if you’re flexible
Public Boat from Gili T to Gili Air and Meno
For public boats, simply head to the pier, pay the fee, hop on the boat, and wait for departure.
Schedule and Prices
- Runs from 8AM to 5PM leaving whenever the boat is full
- Gili Trawangan – Gili Meno: 40,000 IDR ($2.60)
- Gili Trawangan – Gili Air: 45,000 IDR ($2.95)
BEST THINGS TO DO ON GILI T
- Walk or bicycle around the island
- Check out a Sunset Point**
- Go SCUBA diving at great sites for super cheap**
- Do a SCUBA diving course for your basic, or advanced certification**
- Snorkel with turtles near the beach on the northwest of the island
- Visit the Turtle Sanctuary
- Party and live the island life**
- Hop to Gili Air or Gili Meno for the day**
- If you don’t want to plan anything but want to stay busy, book a 2 day or 3 day tour – this way you can relax and don’t have to deal with haggling with the tourism vendors
BEST TIME TO VISIT GILI TRAWANGAN: July and August is best, May to October will do
Gili Trawangan is a dream destination, however, island life is better when the weather is on your side.
July and August have the most enjoyable weather, with dry sunny skies, cooler comfortable temperatures (yet still “vacation warm”), and the calmest sea conditions and less wind than the rest of the year. This makes for perfect conditions for enjoying the ocean and the pool, diving, exploring, and enjoying boat rides between the islands.
May to October is still in the comfortably dry season, and will nearly guarantee good vacation weather and time on the ocean
November to April is nearly certain to be wet season and windy months, alternating between rainy days and heavily windy days – which translates to choppy seas. FYI, this rainy season period applies to Bali too.
If you have a say, for November to April (during the rainy season) I would advise against Bali as a destination and recommend north to Malaysia** or Thailand** or another Southeast Asia travel destination which will be experiencing perfect weather in their dry seasons during the November to April period.**
WHERE ELSE TO CONSIDER GOING FROM GILI TRAWANGAN, AND HOW
Bali and the Gili Trawangan are simply the adventure iceberg in Indonesia. For those that are satisfied with the standard Uluwatu, Ubud, Canggu, and Seminyak, I highly recommend moving on from Gili T to some beautiful destinations nearby…
The smaller Gilis: Gili Air and Gili Meno
Being only a 5-minute boat ride away, Gili Air and Gili Meno are amazing “additional” adventures that deliver more and less than Gili T in a pleasant way. Also, both islands are a short 5-minute, ~$2.50 boat ride away from Gili Trawangan.
Gili Air is just as fun, but more chill, with a less chaotic (read: nonexistent) party scene, and more cool cafes and restaurants. If Bob Marley was an island, he would be Gili Air. (Click here to read more**)
Gili Meno is the quiet island, seemingly made for lovers and loners, and arguably has the most beautiful beaches of the three islands.
Lombok (Specifically Kuta Lombok)
Bali gets all of the credit as the Indonesian destination (aside from Komodo and Flores) while Lombok sneaks under the radar. Lombok is cheaper than Bali while delivering arguably better and less crowded waves, and the area of “Kuta Lombok” is touted as being what Canggu was like 5 to 10 years ago. Hop a
Climb Mount Rinjani (on Lombok)
While you’re on Lombok, consider a three day trek up the second highest mountain in Indonesia, which just so happens to be an active volcano
Visit Nusa Penida on the Way Back to Bali
Located just 30 to 45 minutes from Bali, Nusa Penida is just as great as Gili T, but larger, filled with more beautiful sights, and a little more open and wild than anything on Bali. With Instagram famous views like the **T-Rex view** **Diamon head Beach** **Broken Beach** **Angel’s Billabong**, and adventures like snorkeling with Manta Rays, Nusa Penida is easily worth 2 days of your time. (**Click here to read more**)
Visit Nusa Lemobongan and Nusa Ceningan
If Bali and the Gilis had a lovechild (or two) these two tiny islands would be the product of that love affair. Tiny, manageable, and beautiful, these islands are just off the coast of Penida, closer to Bali, and just as much fun for an escape
Sumba, Sumbawa, Komodo, and Flores
One of the most heartbreaking things about tourism in Indonesia is most people associate adventure – with only Bali. If you truly want to spice things up, look into taking a boat to Sumba, Sumbawa, Komodo, and Flores – some of the most beautiful, adventurous, wild, and captivating places you will ever experience in your life. Back home, you’ll be days of flights and thousands upon thousands of miles away – but while you’re in Gili T, they’re in your backyard. Consider scrapping your itinerary and heading east in search of dragons, barreling surf, clipper ships, orangutans, and unforgettable travel.
How do I get from Bali to Gili Islands?
The best way to get from Bali to Gili Islands Trawangan, Air, or Meno, is to book a fast boat via 12Go from Padang Bai port or Serangan Harbor on Bali to Gili Trawangan.
How long is the ferry from Bali to the Gili islands
The fast boat ferry from Padang Bai to the Gili islands lasts from 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the boat, the weather, and the seas. The fast boat ferry from Serangan Harbor to the Gili Islands lasts approximately 3 hours.
The slow boat (public ferry) from Padang Bai to the Gili Islands lasts approximately 9 hours
Can you do a day trip from Bali to the Gili islands?
There is no possibility of an enjoyable self-guided or guided day trip to Gili Trawangan from Bali due to the 3-hour one-way fast boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali. Instead, I highly recommend a day trip to Nusa Penida from Bali, a short 30 to 45 fast boat ride from Bali’s peninsula, making it a good self-guided day trip option.
With Instagram worthy views, Manta Rays, sea turtles, and a laid-back vibe that feels like Bali 20 years ago, Nusa Penida makes for a perfect day trip from Bali, and a better day trip option than Gili Trawangan.
How much is the boat from Bali to Gili
The fast boats from Bali to Gili range from $16 USD to $50 USD depending on the company and boat
How long does it take to get from Bali to Gili Islands?
The trip from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan takes between 1.5 hours and 3 hours, depending on the boat, the weather, and the condition of the seas. Getting to Gili Meno takes an additional 15 minutes, and moving further to Gili Air takes an additional 15 minutes.
The trip from Serangan Harbor, on the southern peninsula of Bali takes 3 hours, with the additional trips to Gili Meno taking 15 additional minutes, and the continuation to Gili Air taking an additional 15 minutes.
Am I allowed to travel from Bali to Gili Islands?
You are allowed to travel from Bali to the Gili islands because Bali and the Gili islands are still within the territory of Indonesia.
Should I book with or without pick-up services?
If the price of a fast boat transfer with pick-up service is more than 150,000 rupiahs additional, book without pick-up services and use a rideshare app, such as Go-Jek or Grab, instead for the car transfer from your home to the port.
How can I travel between the Gili islands?
You can travel between the Gili islands via the public boat service which runs from 8AM to 5PM and leaves whenever the boat has enough passengers. The cost of a one-way trip is approximately $2
Why visit Gili Trawangan?
Visit Gili Trawangan to experience island life at its best on a 3.4 square kilometer island with no cars or gas powered motorbikes, white sand beaches, and crystal clear waters, accented by a very social nightlife scene.
Why visit Gili Meno?
Visit Gili Meno if you desire alone time with a beautiful beach nearby.
Why visit Gili Air?
Visit Gili Air if you honestly just want to chill, don’t want to party too much, would love some good coffee and food, and want to spend the in-between time on some beautiful beaches.
What is the cheapest way to get from Bali to Gili Islands?
The cheapest way to get to the Gili islands is to book a fast boat via 12Go.Asia in advance leaving from the port of Pandang Bai, and booking a Go-Jek from your location to the port. All-in, this should not cost more than 400k to 500k IDR (~$25 to $30)
What is the fastest way to get from Bali to Gili Islands?
The fastest way to get from Bali to the Gili islands is departing via fast boat from Pandang Bai port with Eka Jaya – the company that has the best track record for on time arrivals and arguably has the best fast boat fleet.
What is the distance between Bali and Gili Islands?
The distance between Bali and Gili Trawangan is roughly 65 km or 41 nautical miles.
How do I travel from Bali to Gili Islands without a car?
Book a ride via rideshare apps Go-Jek or Grab from your home to Padang Bai port or Serangan Harbor, and from there book a fast boat to the Gili islands
What fast boat companies go from Bali to the Gili Islands
- Eka Jaya Fast Boat
- Blue Water Express
- Ostina Fast Boat
- Kurnia Jaya Fast Boat
- Freedbird Express
WHAT NEXT: LEARN WHICH SUNSET POINT YOU NEED TO HIT ON GILI T, AND WHAT TO DO AFTER…
Click here to learn about the three best sunset points on Gili Trawangan – one for the most beautiful sunset in the Gilis, one for an adventurous hike, and one to just chill Bob Marley style…
Other Great Articles in the Moving to Bali Series
- Moving to Bali: A Complete Guide
- The Bali Digital Nomad Visa: A complete guide
- 73 Awesome Cafes in Canggu
- The Best Bali Coworking Spaces
- Things to do in Canggu
- The Best Sunset Points on Gili Trawangan
- Buying a House in Bali
- Buying Land in Bali
- Building in Bali
- How much does it cost to build a villa in Bali?
- Bali villa design and planning process
Other Great Nomad, Travel, and Expat Lifestyle Articles
- Moving to Malaysia: A Complete Guide
- The Ultimate Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa Guide
- Thailand Visa Exemption Essentials: What to know before your trip to Thailand
- The 51 Best Digital Nomad Jobs among Successful Nomads
- 9 Epic South America Backpacking Routes
- Backpacking the World…2 Weeks at a Time
- Is Geoarbitrage for You? An Ultimate Guide to Living Better for Cheaper as a as a Nomad