Things to Do in Gili Islands

There are many things to do in Gili Islands. The three scenic islands that are fringed with white-sand beach and lie on turquoise water look like perfect places to enjoy a large variety of tropical attractions. The crystal-clear sea water around those islands allures every visitor to dive into it, to relish its sufficiently warm temperature, and to watch its magnificent underwater scenery. The coral reefs around the islands used to be damaged by massive bomb fishing, but now coral reef preservation has become a constant effort in those islands, thanks to the Gili Eco Trust’s coral reef preservation program using Biorock technology. The inland attractions are also great. You can enjoy watching exotic birds and delight in splendorous nightlife during your stay in one of the islands. We will look into all of those attractions here.

Snorkeling and Diving: Two Best Things to Do in Gili Islands

The best attractions that Gili Islands offer lie on their seabed. Even from the surface of the sea, you will already be enchanted by the turquoise water that is so crystal-clear that you can see everything beneath it. The water is warm and cool at the same time, which makes it perfect for enjoying swimming, surfing and other water attractions. If you wish to enjoy the real water attraction in Gili Islands, you should prepare your snorkeling or diving gear. There are many great things that you should see below the water surface.

There are about 20 diving spots around the islands that you can visit. Although they are not as great as diving spots found in Bunaken, the calm water around the islands as well as the topography of the seabed makes those spots great spots for beginners and professionals alike. If you simply wish to enjoy casual scuba diving in spots that are suitable for divers of all levels, spots like Meno Wall, Meno Bounty, Shark Point, and Manta Point should be perfect diving spots to enjoy. If you are a certified diver who is looking for real challenges, you can pick Deep Turbo’s and Japanese Wreck spots, among others.

Due to the mild tropical climate of the region, the islands and all nearby diving spots are enjoyable year-round; however, it is recommended that you avoid months in which heavy rainfalls occur, especially December and January. The sea is relatively calm in those months; however, due to the heavy rainfalls, underwater debris will float and visibility might be limited while you are submerged. The best time to enjoy those diving spots is when the weather is at its best, which is usually between May and September.

Any spots near the beach are great for snorkeling. There are even spots where you can snorkel together with green turtles.

Gili Eco Trust’s Coral Reef Preservation Program

What is great about diving in Gili Islands is that you can watch using your own eyes how the coral reef restoration program is taking place. The program is intensively carried out by Gili Eco Trust, a local non-governmental organization with dedication to improving the islands’ environmental and ecological condition. Among the organization’s most ambitious projects is the construction of underwater electrified metal stems on which coral reefs that were once damaged by extensive bombing may regrow and thrive. These metal stems, coined as Biorock by their inventors, are unique scenery that you will see when you are submerged. Though electrified, the electric current that flows through those stems is so low that it is completely harmless for the sea ecosystem as well as for divers. There are currently 120 Biorock structures that you can see around the islands.

Those structures are not the only scenery that you can see when you are underwater. If you dive near Gili Meno Island, you will see the amazing sight of underwater statues sculpted by Jason deCaires Taylor, a renowned world-class sculptor.

Inland Attractions

We have mentioned before that you can also find great attractions inshore. Among the greatest inland attractions that you can enjoy in Gili Islands is the bird sanctuary located in Gili Meno Island, which is the most serene island among the three. You can see and interact with more than three hundreds exotic birds in the sanctuary, including birds native to Indonesia and birds that thrive in many other parts of the world. If you are a bird lover, you will be amazed to see peacocks, eagles and hornbills, among others, flying around the island’s aviaries. In the past, the condition of those aviaries was just as bad as that of the islands’ seabed and coral reefs. Today, however, it has improved significantly and when you visit those aviaries, you will see the real paradise for both birds and visitors.

The bird park is located within an island-size resort, which will cater to all of your needs while you are staying in Gili Meno. Therefore, although your goal when visiting this island is to see those birds, you can still enjoy luxurious and modern amenities during your stay in the island.

The bird park is not the only animal sanctuary that you can find in the island. There is also a turtle sanctuary nearby. You may want to include it in your itinerary during your stay in Gili Islands.

Rousing Nightlife and Soothing Spa

At the end of the day, when you are done with your exciting tour around the islands, there are mostly two things that you will look for: a great place to shop and to enjoy nightlife and a soothing place to get completely relaxed. Among the three gilis, Gili Trawangan is considered the most cosmopolitan and splendorous, making it the best island to enjoy thrilling nightlife. In this island, you will find Rasta-themed shops, restaurants and bars where you can savor your favorite meals and, especially, the notorious muddy brown super magic mushroom shake. Places that you should visit if you want to savor this hellish drink are Rudy’s Pub and Sama Sama Reggae Bar.

If you think that a class-A narcotics is not the best thing to soothe you, you can visit any spa and yoga centers that you can find in the island, including The Yoga Place, Gili Yoga, and Luce d’Alma Resort and Spa. The real relaxation is there and once you enjoy it, you will be ready to welcome another exciting day and to try all great things to do in Gili Islands.