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If there’s one thing that Gili Trawangan is known for, aside from its nightlife, is its crystal clear water which is perfect for snorkeling and diving in Indonesia.
Most people will go on a snorkeling Gili Trawangan tour which is a good way to see some of the best snorkel spots on Gili Trawangan and is one of the best things to do in Gili T, however, you can also snorkel from the beach in Gili T and in my opinion, this is best place to snorkel Gili Trawangan, and to see the turtles in Gili Trawangan! So here’s my guide to the best snorkelling on the Gili Islands!
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Snorkeling Gili Trawangan
Gili Trawangan Snorkelling from Beach.
One of the best things about snorkeling in Gili Trawangan is that you can snorkel from the beach in Gili T which means you don’t need to commit to a snorkelling tour and you can enjoy having the ocean to yourself.
There are a few places on Gili T where you can go snorkelling from the beach, essentially, the thing to keep in mind is that the best place to snorkel on Gili Trawangan is on the East and North side of the island. Not in the West on the sunset side of the island.
Turtle Point Gili Trawangan
Turtle Point on Gili T is where I recommend you go because this is the best place to snorkel Gili Trawangan.
You’ll find Turtle Point on the North-East part of the island along the main beach road. However, when looking at a Gili Trawangan map, the further up the road you go, the better.
Some of the hotels and restaurants on the beach have signs for Turtle Point because they want you to sit there but you’re best off going right to the top where the beach restaurants disappear and there are just some shacks to rent snorkel equipment from and get a drink from and some sunbeds. You’ll also see signs for magic mushrooms and once you see these, you’re in the right place!
Personally I think this is the best beach on Gili Trawangan because it’s much quieter up here.
The snorkel hire price in Gili Trawangan is 50,000 IDR for a mask and flippers and you can hire this from any of the guys on the beach. Buy a drink from them, get a sunbed and get in the water!
The coral just off of the shore is really amazing and you’ll see lots of fish. To see Gili Turtles from turtle point on Gili T, you don’t need to go out too far but you do need to go out far enough to see where the coral bed drops off and it suddenly gets deep! This is where you’ll see the Gili Trawangan turtles!
The tide is always changing on Gili T, so for the best time to see turtles Gili T I would recommend checking with the guys on the beach as they know when and where you’re most likely to see turtles in Gili T!
North Gili Trawangan – Wilsons Retreat
After reading Greta’s post about swimming with turtles on Gili T around Wilsons Retreat, I headed up here. When looking on a Gili T map, Wilsons Retreat Hotel is on the very North side of the island. The positive to going around here is not only that you are pretty much guaranteed to see turtles as I did making it the best place to snorkel Gili Trawangan, but the beach is much quieter as this is where many of the resorts on Gili T are which makes for the best beach in Gili Trawangan.
The downside is that if you are going from Beach Road by bike, you will need to push your bike through some sand first as the path stops!
Snorkeling Tour in Gili Trawangan.
If you want to go on a snorkelling tour of Gili Trawangan there are endless possibilities. You can join a group tour or hire a private boat if you are already in a group and these are sold by pretty much everyone on the island!
Generally, the snorkelling tours from Gili T will stop at the underwater statues of Gili Meno (more on those below), Gili Meno and Gili Air.
You are pretty much guaranteed to see turtles on a Gili T snorkel tour and another positive to going on a tour like this is that the Gili Air snorkelling is really good too! This way you can go snorkelling from all 3 Gili Islands and decide for yourself what the best Gili Island for snorkelling is.
In terms of the snorkelling Gili Trawangan price, you’ll be looking at 100,000 IDR per person to join a group.
If you’re staying in a hostel in Gili Trawangan, especially one of the party hostels like My Mates Place or Gili Castle, they will organise their own snorkel tours so to get a good group and a goof snorkelling Gili Trawangan price, I’d recommend booking with them!
Gili Island Underwater Statues.
There are some very iconic and cool underwater statues in Gili Trawangan!
Firstly, there is the round statue which is most popular and iconic, however, this underwater statue in the Gili islands is closest to Gili Meno, not Gili Trawangan.
If you do a Gili Trawangan snorkelling tour, you will stop off at this statue, however, the best way to see it is to do a day trip to Gili Meno yourself and visit it early in the morning as later on all of the boats go there and if you’re on a tour you’ll be with lots of other boats and people too.
To find the underwater sculptures of Gili Meno, head to BASK which is a hotel still being developed on the west side of Gili Meno, however, it is located on all Gili Meno maps and has a huge BASK sign on the beach so you can’t miss it!
Related Post: How to do a day trip from Gili Trawangan to Gili Meno!
For Gili T snorkelling statues that are off the coast of Gili Trawangan, head to Restaurant Ombak connected to Villa Ombak, in the South-East part of Gili T and play on the Gili T underwater bikes! They have some sunken motorbikes including Vespa scooters which are a lot of fun and make for a great Instagram photo.
Related Post: The Gili T swings also make for great Instagram photos, Here’s where to find the best swings in Gili T!
Gili Eco Snorkel Tour.
If you want to go on a snorkel tour in Gili T with a difference and to give back, head out on an Eco Snorkel Tour with Gili Eco Trust who is an NGO based on Gili Trawangan. They started off to help the marine conservation but now deal with waste management and sustainable eco-tourism on the Gili islands!
Their Eco Snorkel Tour of Gili T includes getting in the water to explore their artificial reef restoration and how they are rebuilding Gili’s damaged reefs. The minimum donation price of this snorkel tour is 50,000 IDR which is the same amount the snorkel hire price on Gili T so price-wise, it’s worth it and you’ll learn a lot too!
There are dive sites in Gili Trawangan called Manta Point and Shark Point but if you are just going snorkeling on Gili T, it’s unlikely that you will see Manta Rays and Sharks in Gili Trawangan as you need to go as far as 20m deep!
For more posts to help you see the best of Gili T see: