The Gili Islands are a popular destination for travelers who want to enjoy the pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife of these three small islands off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia.
But how do you get to the Gili Islands from Bali, the most visited island in Indonesia?
I will show you the different options, costs, and tips for traveling from Bali to the Gili Islands by ferry.
Fast Boat from Bali to Gili Islands
The fastest and most convenient way to get to the Gili Islands from Bali is by taking a fast boat.
There are several companies that operate fast boats from various ports in Bali, such as Sanur, Serangan, Padang Bai, and Amed.
The fast boats can take you directly to Gili Trawangan, the largest and most popular island, or to Gili Air or Gili Meno, the smaller and quieter islands.
Travel time varies depending on the departure point and the destination, but it usually ranges from 1.5 hours to 3 hours.
Cost of a fast boat ticket also depends on the company, the route, and the season. Generally, you can expect to pay between $25 USD to $50 USD for a one-way ticket or between $50 USD to $100 USD for a return ticket.
Some companies offer online booking, while others require you to buy tickets at the port or through an agent. You can compare prices and schedules of different fast boat operators, a reliable online booking platform.
Some tips for taking a fast boat from Bali to Gili Islands are:
- Book your tickets in advance, especially during peak season (July-August and December-January), as the fast boats can fill up quickly.
- Check the weather forecast before your trip, as the fast boats can be canceled or delayed due to bad weather conditions.
- Bring some snacks and drinks with you, as there may not be any food or beverages available on board.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as you may have to walk on the beach or in shallow water to board or disembark the fast boat.
- Be prepared for some motion sickness, as the fast boats can be bumpy and rocky on the open sea.
Public Boat from Bali to Gili Islands
Another option to get to the Gili Islands from Bali is by taking a public boat. This is a cheaper but much slower and less comfortable way of traveling.
The public boat consists of two parts: first, you have to take a bus or a taxi from Bali to Padang Bai port; then, you have to take a ferry from Padang Bai to Lembar port in Lombok; finally, you have to take another bus or taxi from Lembar to Bangsal port in Lombok,and from there, you can take a small boat to the Gili Islands.
The total travel time for this option can be more than 9 hours, depending on the traffic, the waiting time, and the connections. The cost of a public boat ticket is around $10 USD for a one-way trip or $20 USD for a return trip.
You can buy tickets at the ports or through an agent. However, be aware that there may be some scams or overcharging involved in this process.
Some tips for taking a public boat from Bali to Gili Islands are:
- Avoid traveling during weekends or holidays, as the public boats can be very crowded and chaotic.
- Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, as there may be some pickpockets or thieves around.
- Negotiate the price of your bus or taxi fare before you get in, as some drivers may try to rip you off.
- Be patient and flexible, as the public boats can be unreliable and unpredictable.
How long is the ferry from Bali to Gili Islands?
The duration of the ferry from Bali to Gili Islands depends on the port of departure and the route taken. The average sailing time from Bali to the Gili Islands is around 2 hours.
Shortest sailing duration is from Amedin the north of Bali, with a ferry crossing of only hour and 30 minutes. The fastest ferry from Bali to Gili Islands is from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan, with a crossing time of approximately hour and 30 minutes.
The distance from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan is 33 nautical miles. Another option is to take the ferry from Serangan to Gili Trawangan, which takes on average approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Where is the best place to get to the Gili Islands from Bali?
The best place to get to the Gili Islands from Bali depends on your location in Bali and your preferences. If you are in Ubud,Padang Bai is the best and most popular port to reach the Gili Islands.
Journey time from Padang Bai is only 2-2.5 hours, so it is faster than traveling from Sanur Harbor. Alternatively, you can catch a fast boat at Sanur Beach or Serangan Harbour.
The trip takes less than one hour from either point and return tickets cost about $105 USD per person.
Is Gili Islands worth going?
Yes, the Gili Islands are definitely worth visiting! The Gili Islands are an irresistible tropical paradise, making them undoubtedly worth visiting for travelers seeking sun-kissed beaches, turquoise waters, and a laid-back island atmosphere.
Comprising three main islands—Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno—each offers its own unique charm. Gili Trawangan is a pumping party mecca with bamboo-built reggae bars spilling out onto the shoreline.
The others are much quieter affairs, with sleek resort hotels hidden between their jungles and unbusy beaches offering proper R&R. The beaches are simply awesome and the closest thing you’ll get to the Caribbean in Southeast Asia.
They offer incredible diving, stunning beaches, and plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation. So if you’re looking for a chill beach spot away from the chaos of Bali.
Can you do Gili Islands as a day trip?
Yes, you can definitely do a day trip to the Gili Islands! There are many options for day trips to the Gili Islands from Bali or Lombok.
You can take a fast boat from Bali to the Gili Islands, which takes about 2-3 hours. Once you arrive, you can spend the day snorkeling, swimming, and exploring the islands.
Some popular day trip options include a snorkeling day trip from Lombok to Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, or a private tour of all three islands departing from Lombok or Gili Trawangan.
There are also many other tours and activities available on the islands, so you can choose the one that best suits your interests.
In conclusion, there are two main ways to get to the Gili Islands from Bali: by fast boat or by public boat.
The fast boat is more expensive but faster and more convenient; while the public boat is cheaper but slower and less comfortable.
Depending on your budget, time, and preference, you can choose the option that suits you best. Whichever way you choose, you will be rewarded with an unforgettable experience in the Gili Islands!