Local boats are are available island for charter at the harbours on each, with prices set at around IDR 150,000 – 200,000 / trip. This price will take up to 10 people between any of the islands, and over to mainland Lombok. Alternatively, there is an “Island hopping” service running at set times between the islands, with tickets costing IDR 20,000 / person. Check at the harbour, or reception, for latest schedules. Prices are higher for longer or return trips, eg a 4 hour snorkeling charter will cost around IDR 300,000, depending on season.
Do not attempt to swim between the islands! Currents are strong and people have been lost trying to do this.
No cars or motorbikes on any of the islands, which is one nof the great appeals of the Gilis. Each of the islands is small enough to walk around in two to four hours (don’t for get your sun-screen!), or cycle in an hour or two, depending on how often you stop off for drinks, photos, dips in the shimmering ocean etc. Bicycles are widely available and cost anything from IDR 50,000 / day upwards, or around IDR 20,000 / hour.
Getting off at Trawangan harbour, you can reach most accommodations on the eastern side of the island with a 15 minute walk. Alternatively you can hire a horse-drawn cart, known as a “cidomo”. Prices for cidomos vary widely depending on how good your bargaining skills are, and how busy the island is. The drivers will try to charge as much as possible, and if the island is busy they will simply wait for the next customer, but generally speaking a 5 minute ride will cost IDR 20,000 – 30,000 (eg from the harbour to Hotel Villa Ombak).
Booking Tickets on the Gilis
If you’re on the Gilis with no ticket out, we strongly recommend you book fastboat tickets to Bali directly at the offices of the operators, or call the head offices in Bali yourself. There are frequent horror stories of people booking a ticket on one of the more reliable services at a tour desk, and then finding they are in fact booked onto a much slower, dangerously over-crowded boat. Small tour desks are accountable to no-one. The BlueWater Express ticket office is the tall wooden structure next to Beach Wind bungalows, about 100m north of the harbour office. Most of the other operators have offices in this area.
To and from the Airport
For flights and transport to the airport, or other destinations in Lombok, the reception desk at all hotels can help. The price of a private transfer service (boat to Lombok + car to destination) transfers to the hotels depends on how many people are traveling, usually around IDR 250,000 for one, IDR 350,000 for two.
To and from Senggigi, Lombok
From Senggigi, there are plenty of car + boat options, or better still a daily direct boat shuttle which can be booked from your hotel or any local agent. The Perama slow boat costs around IDR 100,000 from Senggigi tot eh Gilis, before it goes on to Bali. Alernatively you can charter a boat to explore at your own pace, with prices varying according to season. Expect a minimum of IDR 250,00 for one way, but try not to pay more than IDR 600,000 for a day return.
Avoid using Bangsal Harbour
We strongly advise against using the public service to and from Bangsal harbour. Although the public boat from Bangsal seems like the cheapest option, most people regret using it as local mafia in Bangsal have a terrible reputation for extorting money from passenger for “baggage handling” and other “services”. This includes ticket and charter prices, especially later in the afternoon, and at busy periods such as public holidays: when they realise you have no other option but to charter a boat, the price becomes extortionate. Similarly, if you arrive at Bangsal from the Gilis on the local boat, you are will be forced to use mafia “transport service” if you do not want to walk up to the main road to find a taxi – needless to say they charge far higher for this than most people are comfortable with, and they make sure the road is closed to public taxis in order to do this. There are regular reports that people who choose to walk to the road to get a more reasonably priced local taxi are subjected to a barrage of abuse. Avoid Bangsal Harbour!
It is far better to use a private transfer service, provided by most of the better accommodations. Prices are as above, or ask your hotel to book it for you.