If there’s one thing that Gili Trawangan is known for, aside from its nightlife, is its the Gili Trawangan snorkeling in its crystal clear waters with the very high possibility that you’ll see a turtle, or 3!
Most people will go on a Gili Trawangan snorkeling 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 to see the turtles in Gili Trawangan! So here’s my guide to the best Snorkeling on the Gili Islands!
Snorkeling Gili Trawangan
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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 and decide the time that you want to go!
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.
PLANNING YOUR GILI ISLANDS TRIP
I lived on Gili Trawangan island for 6 months so I know it well! Here are my top posts to help you plan your trip:
Turtle Point Gili Trawangan
Turtle Point on Gili T is where I recommend you go because this is the best place to snorkel in Gili Trawangan.
You’ll find Turtle Point on the North-East part of the island along the main beach road.
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, get a drink from and some sunbeds.
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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! From my experience in Gili T and knowing the locals, your stuff will be safe on the beach and on a sunbed but of course, always be careful with what you leave.
The coral just off of the shore is really amazing and you’ll see lots of fish and you may even see Turtles in here too If you keep swimming a bit further you’ll come to the ‘drop off’ where it gets really deep, if you hang around here for a bit you’re also likely to 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!
Gili Snorkeling Tour
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 Gili Castle, they will organise their own snorkel tours so to get a good group and a good snorkelling Gili Trawangan price, I’d recommend booking with them!
People often ask how to go on an early morning snorkeling tour in Gili Trawangan because it’s true that the scheduled boat tours tend to visit the same places at the same time and the water gets busy. This is when a private tour is best because you can leave at any time you want and this way you’re likely to get the water and the underwater statues to yourself!
Gili Island Underwater Statues
There are some very iconic and cool underwater statues in Gili Trawangan!
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, it’s also known as the Nest Sculpture and the BASK Statue.
If you do a Gili Trawangan snorkelling tour, you will stop off at this statue, however, another 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. Or take a private boat over early in the morning.
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. It 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.
To find them, firstly, make sure the water is crystal clear, sometimes it is cloudy in this end of the island and if this is the case, you won’t be able to see them!
Start your swim from the pier that is on Ombak Villa Beach and look for the floating crates you can see in the photo below, they are under here!
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!
GETTING FROM BALI TO THE GILI ISLANDS
There is only one way to get from Bali to the Gili Islands and that’s my fast boat from Padang Bay.
You can wait until you arrive to book your boat or be organised and book it in advance here. Booking in advance is especially good during the summer and Christmas months!
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 so you will need to go diving in Gili Trawangan for that!
- For more posts to help you see the best of Gili T see:
- 30 THINGS TO DO IN GILI TRAWANGAN!
- Where to stay on Gili Trawangan – The BEST Hotels, Hostels & Villa’s for all budgets!
- How to find the BEST swings on Gili T!
- How to get around the Gili Islands – Gili T, Gili Air & Gili Meno by boat!
- How are the horses that work on Gili T treated NOW?