Gili Islands – Drop dead sunsets, great snorkeling, and holiday time beaches
If you want to feel like you are really on vacation, on an island getaway, and don’t mind if it is a little bit touristic, the Gili islands are terrific. We relaxed there for 5 nice sunny days. They offer beautiful snorkeling, blazingly beautiful sunsets, a relaxed happy vibe, and almost everyone there is wild about the song Hotel California! You can walk or ride a bike around the main island, Gili Trawagan, in less than 2 hours, going from beach to beach,
enjoying ocean side beach bars, easy snorkeling, and swimming. We even went horseback riding on the beach one day. If you want less company you can stay on one of the other Gili islands – Menos or Aire. We were happy to stay put on Trawangan. One thing that makes these islands so delightful is the absence of motor vehicles. Everything from construction materials to tourists are transported by horse cart.
A current runs parallel with the shore so we did a drift snorkel. First we walked up the street in our bathing suits, carrying our masks and snorkels. We were passed by horse carts carrying tourists and their luggage, horse carts carrying building supplies, kids going to school, a trash pickup horse cart. We swam out off a beach to find a couple of handsome turtles, and then drifted down on the current to the other end of the island, marveling at the colors of the parrot fish and taking photos of clam lips. Later we went out on a boat snorkeling trip. The most amazing thing we saw on that boat trip was a Muslim woman in a full body black suit and a hijab who dropped down 20 feet to swim with a tortoise on the bottom. A 30 second video of a turtle and a puffer fish from this snorkel trip is here.
Other favorite photos from Gili Trawangan are below. Click on a photo to see a slideshow with captions. The fish we saw on Gili are mixed into the Fish Photo post.