The loveliness of the Gili Islands, with their idyllic beaches and perfect coral reefs, is wonderful at any time of day, but the sunrises and sunsets are spectacular.

One reason for this is that they happen against the backdrop of volcanoes: towering Mount Rinjani to the east at dawn and more distant Mount Agung on Bali at sundown. Lombok’s Mount Rinjani is 3726 metres high – the second highest volcano in Indonesia – and it dominates the eastern skyline.

Add to those views the golden light on the azure tropical sea, all seen from the white sandy beach, with a glass of chilled fruit juice or a cocktail in hand, and you really are in paradise. You can watch from a hammock, a swing over the water, or lounging on a bean bag on the sand.

All three Gili islands have great places to watch the sunrise and sunset, and you can also take a sunset snorkeling tour or start your day with yoga on the beach. Whether you have only one day or a full holiday on the Gili Islands, make sure to factor in sunsets and sunrises as part of the reason to be there. This is your complete guide to enjoying those marvelous sunsets and sunrises.

Because the sun’s position relative to the horizon changes during the year, from April to September the sunsets are best seen to the north-west of the islands, while from October to March the south-west points are the best. However, the Gili islands are small enough that the difference isn’t great, and other factors, such as beach bars, the hill on Gili Trawangan, and the view past Gili Trawangan to Bali from the north of Gili Meno, will likely be more important.

Always aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the sunrise or sunset to maximize the beauty of the experience, if not longer. And bug spray is recommended: mosquitos come out to play at sunset in the Gili Islands!


Sunset times on the Gili Islands

Sunset is always sometime between 18:00 and 18:45 pm. The average monthly times are as follows, listed for the 15th day of each month:

January – 18:41

February – 18:40

March – 18:29

April – 18:13

May – 18:04

June – 18:05

July – 18:12

August – 18:15

September – 18:12

October – 18:10

November – 18:15

December – 18:29


Sunrise times on the Gili Islands

Sunrise is always sometime between 5:45 and 6:30 am. The average monthly times are as follows, listed for the 15th day of each month:

January 6:08

February 6:18

March – 6:20

April – 6:20

May – 6:20

June – 6:27

July – 6:31

August – 6:25

September – 6:09

October – 5:53

November – 5:45

December – 5:52



How to get to the Gili Islands with Bluewater Express.

Bluewater Express’s fast boats leave from Serangan and Padang Bai every morning for the Gili Islands. Check the schedule and book your tickets here:….


Sunsets On Gili Trawangan

It’s popularly understood that the sunsets from Gili Trawangan are the most amazing you will ever see. But it’s important to know exactly where to go for the best views, and the best refreshments and beach-bar vibe. There are enough different sunset options on Gili Trawangan that if you’re here for several days you can choose a different one every night – a hilltop view, bean bags on the beach, a sunset snorkeling tour, a photoshoot on an ocean swing above the water, a party bar, a party boat cruise…

Check today’s Gili Trawangan sunset time here.

Before we get to the beach, it’s important to know that unlike the other two Gilis, which hardly rise above sea level, Gili Trawangan features a hill in its south-west corner that rises to 127 metres. This is a perfect place to watch either the sunrise or the sunset. It’s not usually crowded, partly because there are no bars or cafés there – the hill is off limits for tourist development. You really do get a spectacular view of Lombok’s Mount Rinjani from here, with both Gili Meno and Gili Air in the foreground, while at sundown Bali’s Mount Agung rises to 3031 metres on the western horizon, dramatically silhouetted against the setting sun.

Most people who stay on Gili Trawangan do so on the built-up east side of the island, where most of the bars and dive schools are found. The best way to get from there to the sunset points is by rented bicycle, although if you go to Gili Trawangan Hill you’ll have to park the bike and hike to the top. The bike ride from the east to the west takes around 25 minutes, depending on where you are and where you’re headed. Make sure your bike is equipped with a headlamp for the return journey! Otherwise it’s a 45 minute walk.

The view from Gili Trawangan Hill is marked on Google Maps as ‘Hilltop Hiking View Point’. Find it here: Hilltop Hiking View Point. You’ll see on that map that Sunset Bar is just to the south-west on the coast road. Steps behind the bar lead up the hill. There’s also a route on the south-east side of the hill starting at Stud Horse Riding Stables.

There’s another viewpoint on the hill close to that one, find it here on Google Maps.

For this hike it’s best to swap the beach flip-flops for shoes as it can be a bit steep and slippery. Bring a bottle of water.



Sunset on the beach on Gili Trawangan

The original Sunset Point on Gili T was and is a stretch of undeveloped beach just to the north-west of Sunset Bar. Find it at this map location. There’s no bar there, just a couple of benches, a sandy beach and a lovely view, including Bali’s Mount Agung in the distance as the sun sets into the sea. Bring your own drinks and entertainment!

As mentioned above, there’s a difference during the year as to whether the sunset is better from the north or south of the island. The above is the South Sunset Point, the North Sunset Point can be found here: North Sunset Point. This is the most convenient north-western place to get to from the east coast because there is a road cutting across the island, Villa Kelapa Street, from La Bella Hotel at the northern end of the main central district over to the north-western side. This stretch of beach is fairly narrow, and can get crowded at sunset.

Both of those locations are just stretches of beach. However, there are lots of west-coast bars to choose for your sunset party. At the south-west corner of the island, not far from the turnoff to the Trawangan Hill Viewpoint, you’ll find Pink Coco (labelled on the map as “Pink Coco Gili Trawangan – for Cool Adults Only”). This is the place to go if you only have one night on Gili Trawangan. It has bean bags and loungers on the beach, a DJ playing tunes from 5 pm to 9 pm, a bar serving drinks and snacks – and everything about it is pink. Like the hilltop view, it’s easy to get to from the south-east of Gili T. Find it here.

More remote, but with a great party vibe, is Mad Monkey Hostel to the north-west. Renowned as a party hostel for backpackers and solo travelers, Mad Monkey Gili Trawangan is just north of the North Sunset Point, with wonderful views, a party bar and restaurant. Find Mad Monkey here.

Just south of Mad Monkey Hostel you’ll find Villa Gili Bali Beach. This is a new upmarket hotel whose beachfront is a great place for sunset views. Villa Gili Bali Beach.


Ocean swings at sunset on Gili Trawangan

Posting a photo of yourself on a swing over the turquoise sea on Instagram or Facebook has turned into a craze. It was Hotel Ombak that began the Ocean Swings phenomenon, and it still has the best one, facing the sunset from over the water. Hotel Ombak have added other photo-friendly props on the beach as well, and there’s a Sunset Bar for refreshments afterwards. You will have to queue for your photo op at sunset during the busy season July-August. Right in the very middle of the west coast, it’s the furthest place to get to from the middle of the east coast, but it’s worth it. Find Hotel Ombak here.

There’s a swing at Pink Coco, and of course it’s pink. Other ocean swings for photo ops can be found at The Exile Bar and Window Bar. The Exile is a mellow chill-out bar, while the chic Window Bar is definitely a place to stay long after sunset. Here’s where to find The Exile Bar and Window Bar.

There are also swings at Ponte Villas Beach in front of Ponte Bar, Le Pirate, Aston Sunset Beach Resort and Ergon Pandawa Hotel and Resort. If you’re on Gili T for a week, take sunset photos at all of them!


Sunset Snorkelling on Gili Trawangan

See the main article on snorkeling in the Gili islands here.

Snorkeling in the Gili islands is a beautiful activity at any time of the day, but sunset snorkeling trips are a special experience. There are several companies offering sunset snorkeling tours from Gili Trawangan, all including snorkeling around Gili Meno, and a visit to the famous Nest underwater statue installation. (See the main article for details).

A great place to start is at the Ombak Bar. From there, a two-and-a-half-hour trip takes you to three snorkeling spots, ending up at sunset. There’s no need for any experience, and snorkeling gear is provided.

Another option is provided by the Ozzy Snorkeling Centre, found on the beach on the east coast near Trawangan Dive Centre. The tours leave at around 3:30 pm each day, and take in three snorkeling spots, the Nest statue installation, Turtle Point, and then Sunset Point. Again snorkeling gear is provided.

A third option is given by Paket Wisata Lombok In front of Kayu Kafe restaurant, right next to the harbour and Sama Sama Reggae Bar. The tour itinerary is the same as above.

All three tours include GoPro camera footage for you to record your experiences.


Sunset boat cruise on Gili Trawangan

Another option, that also includes snorkeling, is to take a boat cruise around the islands, with dinner or drinks (or both) on board at sunset. These cruises are more expensive than the regular sunset snorkeling tours, and include on-board barbecues and beers and spirits available at sunset after the snorkeling is done.

One recommended cruise is offered by Gili Yacht Private Tours, on the yacht the Bintang Selatan. Book your cruise at Fly Gili Watersports office, at the entrance of Vila Ombak.


Watch the Sunrise on Gili Trawangan

The sunrises on the Gili Islands are all set against the backdrop of Lombok’s majestic Mount Rinjani. They are amongst the most stunning daybreak-to-sunrise views in the world. If you are an early riser, then a sunrise on the eastern beach is a must-have experience. Anywhere on the east coast of Gili T is suitable.

Check today’s Gili Trawangan sunrise time here.

If you’re up for a hike up the hill at daybreak, then the very best sunrise views in the whole of the Gili Islands can be had from the viewpoint on Gili Trawangan Hill. From the hilltop the wonderful view eastwards takes in Gili Meno, Gili Air, their coral reefs and the surrounding sea, then the rugged coast of Lombok with volcanic foothills, above which towers the great volcano itself, rising to 3726 metres. Backlit by the light as daybreak turns to dawn it’s a wonderful sight.


Sunrise yoga on Gili Trawangan

Pearl of Trawangan Soraya Yoga offers three sunrise yoga classes on the beach every week. You can start the day practicing breathing exercises and yoga positions on the sand with amazing sunrise views over Mount Rinjani on Lombok. Find Pearl of Trawangan here.

You can also do sunrise stand-up paddle yoga on Gili Trawangan! On the eastern beach at daybreak, you paddle on your board out over the water and the coral reef, with turtles and reef fish underneath you, for an hour and a quarter of breathing exercises, balancing and simple yoga poses. The experience is offered by Fly Gili SUP Yoga.


Watch the sunset on Gili Meno

The sandy strip along the west coast of Gili Meno is actually called Sunset Beach, with good reason. Anywhere along that strip will give you a wonderful sunset view. However, Gili Meno is deliberately not built up with party bars like Gili Trawangan, meaning that there are far fewer places to hang out with drinks or food to watch the sun go down.

Depending on the time of year, the sun gets low in the sky sometime from 5:30 to 6:15, with sunsets from 6:00 to 6:45. The best places to watch the sunset are all to the north-west of the island, where you can see past Gili Trawangan to Bali’s Mount Agung, as the sun sets behind it.

The best upmarket place to watch the sunset from is Mahamaya, a spot that’s perfect for honeymooning couples. Featuring a high-end dinner service with white linen tables on the beach next to the water, it’s suitable for a special occasion, and if it is such an occasion, including your honeymoon, they will spread flower petals beneath your feet. Find Mahayama here.

One of the peoples’ favourites for watching sunsets is Diana Café. It’s very near the famous underwater sculpture installation called Nest, and you can go snorkeling to the sculptures from Bask Eco Resort just to the south of Diana Café, then head to the café for sunset. Nearby are Malfina Beach Bar and Restaurant, and just to the north is Happy Sunset Café. From all of these northern locations you can not only watch beautiful sunsets but also see distant Mount Agung on Bali on the horizon. Diana Café is here.

The long stretch of beach from there south to Sunset House hotel on the south west corner of Gili Meno is undeveloped, with just a few up-market resort hotels, but mostly deserted sandy beaches with wooded interiors. Here though you will find Sasak Café, Sunset Beach Restaurant and Two Brothers Café, all of which offer great views to the west.



Watch the sunset on Gili Air

As with the other Gili Islands, the whole west coast of Gili Air is perfect for sunset-watching. But as before, there are some places that are the most popular hang-outs to do this. Here is a selection of top recommendations.

Sunset Point. As was the case on Gili Trawangan, there is a specific spot on the beach that has been singled out as the best place for sunsets. Find Gili Air’s sunset point here.

Gili Lumbung is one of the most amazing places to watch sunsets in the whole of the Gili islands. It’s found at the south-west corner of Gili Air, just a ten minute walk from the harbour. There are two great photo-op attractions on the beach: a swing made for two, and a big loveheart frame facing the sunset where couples can have romantic photos taken. The view offers a panoramic vista of Bali and Mount Agung. There are beanbags on the beach, a DJ plays ambient music, and the restaurant serves western food including burgers and spaghetti bolognese. Find it here.

Pink Coco is one of the very best places to watch the sunset on Gili Trawangan. And there’s a Pink Coco on Gili Air too. Located on the western tip of the island, close to Sunset Point, Pink Coco is a great place to watch the sun setting over Gili Meno to the west, either by the pool or on beach chairs, or while eating pizza and drinking jugs of sangria – and just as on Gili T, everything is coloured pink. Here.

Mowies, on the south-western tip of Gili Air, is the ex-pats’ and divers’ place of choice at sunset. It’s a wonderful place to chill out, with a perfect beach for sunbathing. Its bungalow accommodation is well reviewed, the bar is good and the food is tasty – meaning that it’s always busy, especially at sundown. Find Mowies here.

At Luckys Bar you can watch the sunset from a beach hammock while drinking cocktails from a fresh coconut, while listening to the DJ playing reggae music. They offer a simple menu of burgers and pizzas. Luckys is here.

Legends Bar is right at the northern tip of Gili Air, meaning that you get a great view of Lombok and majestic Mount Rinjani to the east as well as Bali and Mount Agung on the western horizon. You can sit on a baruga – a bamboo recliner with large cushions – or a bean bag on the beach. Choose this place for late night partying on Wednesdays, when from 10 pm until dawn partygoers are entertained by reggae music and fire dancers. Find Legends here.


Ocean swings at sunset on Gili Air

Following from Gili Trawangan’s lead, there are now several beach swings and ocean swings on Gili Air. There’s one right at Sunset Point on the western tip of the island, at Island View Bar. Find the swing here.

For the best ocean swing photo op with a great bar, choose the pink one at Pink Coco.


Sunset diving on Gili Air

Manta Dive Gili Air offer sunset and night dives as well as standard daytime diving. Their boat sets out at 17:30 to go to Seahorse Bay off the coast of Lombok, and it’s a 25 minute ride, meaning that the dive starts at sundown. The dive is for all levels, including beginner, as the sea is shallow and calm, without strong currents. The coral reef at Seahorse Bay is home to a wide variety of marine life swimming amongst the staghorn coral, including seahorses of course, but also anemonefish, frogfish, pipefish and ribbon eels. The shallow water means that you can see the beautiful reef and its inhabitants in the pink and gold sunset light.

You can receive beginner instruction on scuba diving with Manta Dive and use their equipment. Find Manta Dive here and check out our main article on Scuba Diving in the Gili Islands.