During your time in Lombok there are many things to explore. One of the things which is really worth a day trip is a snorkel tour to the secret Gilis. When hearing ‘Gili Islands’, you’ll probably think about the three popular Gili Islands Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. But, there are way more Gili Islands around Lombok. In fact, there are 26 Gili Islands in total! On the South west coast of Lombok are the Secret Gilis located. Despite the islands are not that secret anymore, they are stunning with lots of marine life and coral, deserted paradise beaches and a lunch-stop on a tiny, uninhabited island. Read in this blog post everything you need to know about a snorkel tour day trip to the Secret Gili Islands of Lombok!

Where are the secret Gilis Lombok?

The so called “Secret Gilis” are located on Lombok’s South west coast. From Kuta Lombok, it’s a 1 hour drive to the spot where the boats depart for the island hopping trip. You can see the Secret Gilis from the shore, so you won’t be long on the way to the first island stop which is mostly Gili Nanggu.

The snorkel tour to the Secret Gilis Lombok

We got picked up from our accommodation in Kuta, South Lombok, at 8 AM and drove for 1 hour towards Lembar where we could jump on the boat. This pick up and drop off service was included in the tour for which we payed a total of 1,100,000 IDR for 2 persons. When we arrived at the docking place of our boat, we tried on the rental fins and snorkels and when everything seemed fine we were off to the first secret Gili Island! 

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Gili Nanggu

The first stop was at Gili Nanggu which was a short 15 minute boat ride from Lombok island. The powdery white sand and turquoise blue water welcomed us on this tiny paradise island. This was our first stop to explore the underwater world and of course the beautiful island. We put on our masks, snorkel and fins, got fish food in a bottle and were off! There were many tropical fish underneath the surface, and the coral was on some spots beautiful. Unfortunately, a lot of coral has been damaged in the past years due to fishing, tourism and earthquakes. Therefore, you will see so called ‘restoration structures’ underwater where they grow new coral.   Huge schools of fish swim in and around of the coral restoration structures which provides lots of entertainment during snorkeling. The coral reef itself is quite nice but the many tropical fishes and sea stars made this spot really fun and a perfect place for snorkeling!

Gili Nanggu itself is a beautiful tiny tropical paradise island with a lovely beach. If you’re seeking for a little island adventure, you can book a night at the Gili Nanggu cottages.

Read everything about Gili Nanggu in this blogpost.

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Gili Sudak

After exploring Gili Nanggu we went to Gili Sudak for lunch. It was just another short boat ride from 15 minutes. On Gili Sudak you will find a local warung serving basic food and drinks. Here you can order your lunch and enjoy the views. It was such a lovely lunch on this deserted island overlooking the turquoise sea and mountains of Lombok. After lunch, you’ll have time to explore this little island, or rest a bit before you make your way to the last island stop of the day. 

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Gili Kedis

After lunch on Gili Sudak, we spread our towels on the beach and had a little nap. The sound of the ocean and wind was so calming, we almost forgot the time. But luckily our boat pirate asked if we were ready to go to the last stop of the day; Gili Kedis! This is the tiniest island of this day trip to the Secret Gilis. Only one small beach shack serves snacks, and you will only see a few palm trees and beach chairs on this tiny island. The several swings and beach chairs made this a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the surroundings, tan, or continue your nap haha 😉 The Secret Gilis boat tour turned out to be a great and relaxing way to spend a day from Lombok.

We found a beautiful sea star and decided to take our GoPro out for the last time to make an underwater split shot.

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For a result like this picture, you need a dome where you put the GoPro in. Then you can make the half underwater and half above the water shot. Read everything about making underwater split photos in this blog post!

  • Be a conscious traveler: Please be aware that if you find a sea star, it KILLS the sea star if you touch it or take it out of the water. Unfortunately, we saw way too many tourists, and even tour guides (!), taking out the sea star from the water. The bacteria, oils, sun screen and many other things on our hands is deadly for the sea star. So look with your eyes and just leave this beautiful creature in the ocean, where it belongs.

Packing list for a day to the Secret Gilis Lombok

For a day on the water you need some preparation. Because the tour includes snorkel gear, you don’t have to think about that. But here some tips on things you need for a one day tour to the Secret Gilis:

  • Biodegradable sunscreen (biodegradable so you don’t damage the coral with your sunscreen full of chemicals)
  • A hat to protect your head from the sunshine or a heatstroke
  • Sunglasses
  • Enough water. Bring your own refill bottle so you don’t need to drink from plastic bottles. This is a serious and big problem in Indonesia; plastic pollution.
  • Slippers
  • Swim wear
  • Towel
  • Dry snacks
  • Camera, Go Pro and drone (if you have one). The aerial view on these tiny islands is beautiful!