This trio of tropical islands are located off the coast of Lombok, and a neighbor to the number one tourist destination: Bali. As the ‘Island of the Gods’ flourished and grew increasingly expensive, the Gili islands became a legendary must go location amongst backpackers. Regardless of these beautiful islands beginning to attract hordes of tourists, you can still enjoy a tranquil and personal experience. In this blog post, we’ve written down all the essential information and recommendations to remember for our backpacker friends.

gili islands backpacker

Introduction to the Gili islands

These tropical splendors are fringed by the pristine white sand, palm trees, and turquoise sea: it is the perfect vision of paradise. However, there’s something for everyone between these three islands. Find out which island is for you:

  • Gili Trawangan: Universally known as Gili T, this island is by far the most developed. It is the largest out of the three islands and attracts most of the visitors. By taking a fast boat departing from Bali, it only takes 2 hours to arrive at Gili T. The island now identifies itself as a party island. So for all the party animals out there, this news must be music to your ears.
  • Gili Meno: Only a kilometer away is Gili Meno, the smallest out of the three Gili’s. It is by far the most peaceful and underdeveloped, making it a great getaway for those who dig the castaway experience. The island possesses a popular diving site called the ‘Gili Meno wall’ where large turtles swim freely amongst the vibrant corals.
  • Gili Air: The market here in the third Gili island is targeted to very much backpacker’s, budget travelers, and tropical island explorers. Gili Air is visibly catching up with its sister island Gili T. By installing ATM machines throughout the island, accommodations, café’s, and bars, slowly springing up, and a reduction in power outages.

Getting to the Gili islands

Even though the obvious solution to a budget trip is by taking the public boat, it is not guaranteed that it’s the wisest decision. Public boats do not guarantee your safety, are painfully slow, and only an option for the traveler who has time more than money. The most common mode of transport is taking the fast boat.

gili islands

It’s quicker, safer and far more comfortable compared to taking a public boat. As a specialized fast boat service, at Bluewater Express, we can guarantee a 100% safe trip to Gili. We emphasis on professional service, guest satisfaction, and customer safety. So if you’re looking for a fast, quality trip to the Gili islands, Bluewater Express is at your service.

Budget friendly accommodations

We’ve compiled a list of trusted hostels you can stay in during your trip to all three Gili’s:

budget accomodation blue water express

  • La Boheme in Gili T: La Boheme is in every backpacker’s list of places to stay. For $12 (IDR Rp.150.000), you get a room that resembles a capsule hotel made of stone, 24 hour free pancakes, and friendly staff who are very extremely helpful in organizing your trips for the activities you want to do at Gili T.
  • Gili Meno Eco Hostel in Gili Meno: This hostel may not be for everybody, but it certainly will complete your trip to the Gili’s! The hostel features a volleyball court, table tennis, bar and restaurant, and of course free wifi. It’s the fantasy home you dream about on a cold rainy day.
  • Rival Village in Gili Air: This French owned 4 bedroom homestay is a superb compound situated close to Medana beach. Rival Village offers a cozy and homey accommodation that you will see as soon as you get to Gili Air’s shore.

We hope you keep these essential tips in mind when visiting the Gili islands. Any trip can be unpredictable, which is why we should always be prepared. Bluewater Express  pioneered the fast boat service from Bali to all three Gili islands in 2001. We are consequently the longest running operator in this field. Our fast boats are modern and reliable, boasting a 100% safety record. We may specialize in fast boats, but do not hesitate to ask a little extra information that we’ll be happy to provide before heading to the Gili’s. Contact us for more information.