About the Gili Islands
The Gili Islands are three islands off the coast of Lombok, east of the island of Bali. The Gilis are comprised of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. “Gili” literally translates to “island”. Famous for their white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and incredible coral reefs, the Gilis are a common stop for many backpackers. Gili Trawangan is the most developed of the three, measuring 3 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide.
How to get to Gili Trawangan
There isn’t an airport on Gili Trawangan, so you’ll have to get there by boat. You can catch a boat from either Lombok or Bali with relative ease. If you’re heading to Gili Meno or Gili Air, these options will also bring you there. The following is a summary of your main options:
The Fast Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali:
- Route: Your accommodation in Canggu/Ubud → Drive to Padang Bai (2+ hours) → Fast boat to Gili Trawangan (2+ hours)
- Travel Time: 4-5+ hours total including waiting time
- Cost: from IDR 350,000 one way
Slow Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali:
- Route: Your accommodation in Canggu/Ubud → Drive to Padang Bai (2+ hours) → Slow boat to Lombok (4+ hours) → Taxi from Lembar Port to Bangsal Port (1.5+ hours) → Boat to Gili Trawangan (30+ minutes)
- Travel Time: 10+ hours total including waiting time
- Cost: from IDR 55,000 one way + IDR 300,000-400,000 taxi from Lembar Port to Bangsal Port + IDR 25,000 boat from Bangsal Port to Gili T = about IDR 380,000+ one way (not including transport to Padang Bai in Bali)
Ferry to Gili Trawangan from Lombok:
- Route: Drive to Bangsal Port (from Lombok airport: 2+ hours) → Boat to Gili Trawangan (30+ minutes)
- Travel Time: 30+ minutes from Bangsal Port
- Cost: from IDR 25,000 for the public boat, from IDR 85,000 for a fast ferry + IDR 300,000-400,000 for a taxi to Bangsal Port
Flight from Bali to Lombok + Boat:
- Route: Your accommodation in Canggu/Ubud → Drive to Denpasar Ngurah Rai Airport (1.5+ hours) → Flight to Lombok (30 minutes) → Drive from airport to Bangsal Port (2+ hours) → Boat to Gili Trawangan (30+ minutes)
- Travel Time: 7+ hours including waiting time
- Cost: from IDR 800,000 one way (not including transport to airport)
Mad Monkey Insider Tips:
Driving to Padang Bai and taking the fast boat is easily the most convenient option.
Depending on the season, some routes may not be running. We will update this post regularly, but it is best to always check with your accommodation or a travel agent for the latest information and schedules. You can also arrange transportation through Mad Monkey by contacting [email protected].
The Fast Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali
Coming from Bali is generally the most common route, as Bali is the most popular destination in Indonesia. The easiest and quickest way to get there is to first make your way to Padang Bai Port on the central, east side of Bali. From Canggu, this will take about two hours, depending on traffic. From Ubud, this will take about an hour and thirty minutes (but, traffic). If we didn’t emphasize this enough, the traffic on Bali can be horrendous, so be sure to give yourself a good enough time cushion in case it’s worse than usual.
From Padang Bai, you will take a “fast boat” to the Gilis. The pier where you will board your boat is right in front of the fast boat offices (Google Map search “Padgang Bai Fast Boat Harbour”) This journey will take around two hours. These boats will also stop at the other Gili Islands, so listen to the announcements to ensure you get off at the right stop or ask an employee.
How to Arrange Transportation from Bali to Gili Trawangan
The most convenient way to arrange your transportation from Bali to Gili Trawangan is to book through your accommodation or a travel agent. You can find tourist agencies along the streets of every popular town in Bali. Ask around for the best prices and negotiate. Prices will fluctuate depending on the season, as well. Purchasing a round trip ticket will generally cost you less than two one-way tickets and your return ticket is generally open. These tickets usually include pickup from your accommodation. This will usually be a minibus/van that will make numerous stops to pick up other travelers around Canggu, Seminyak and Kuta.
Book your transport through Mad Monkey by contacting [email protected]
Alternatively, you can arrange your own ride to Padang Bai Port via a taxi, private driver, or ride sharing app like GoJek or Grab. This is more convenient, as you won’t have to leave as early since it’s a direct trip, but you’ll be paying extra. You can even buy your own boat ticket separately at one of the many boat company offices but prices aren’t always cheaper.
From IDR350,000 (or $24USD) one way.
Best Company & Boat Schedule from Bali to the Gili Islands:
We recommend using Ekajaya, as they are the most reliable and timely. Ekajaya boats are scheduled to leave Padang Bai at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 10:30 a.m. daily (subject to change, depending on the time of year) — be sure to be at the dock about a half an hour early, even though the boats sometimes leave half an hour after their scheduled departure. The boats are fairly large and comfortable with air conditioning (usually). The top deck sometimes turns into a party, with music blasting and plenty of socializing. This trip takes about two hours.
NOTE: The scheduled departure times are updated as of June 2023. This is subject to change and they sometimes add or remove departure times so confirm times with the company, your accommodation, or a travel agent.
Mad Monkey Insider Tips:
Remember that this is the island life. Prices and departure times aren’t set in stone. Our best advice is to go through your trusted accommodation, as they generally work with the same tourist agents and companies. Another alternative is to ask around — someone you meet might have the number to a guy who can get you a cheap ticket. It’s common practice in Bali to “have a guy”.
Depending on the season, some of the companies and routes don’t run. Check with your accommodation to confirm times and availability. Book at least a day in advance to ensure a spot. If you choose to buy the package deal that includes hotel pickup, the time they give you may change (read: it’s possible they might be really late, but they’ll almost always get you to the boat on time). If you get to the port early, there are multiple nearby warungs (local restaurants) to eat at before boarding.
Getting to Mad Monkey from the Gili Trawangan Pier:
Once you dock at Gili Trawangan Pier, you’ll find that there are no motorized vehicles on Gili T so all transportation is done on foot, by bicycle, or by horse cart. If you want to foot it and take in the stunning scenery, you can cut through the center of the island which will take around 30 minutes. From the Gili Trawangan pier, head north up the coast for 750 meters. Turn left onto Jalan Vila Kelapa (look for Blu d’a Mare) and head west for 1.5 kilometers. When you reach the beach, turn right. Mad Monkey is 2 minutes up the road.
If you follow the road around the island it would take around 45 minutes. To rent a bike it costs around IDR 50,000 (or $3.5USD) per day. A horse cart, otherwise known as a “cidomo”, costs around IDR 100,000-150,00 (or $7-$10USD).
Other Routes from Bali to the Gili Islands
Additionally, there are other ports in Bali you can depart from, although Padang Bai will be the quickest boat ride. There are daily boat transfers from Serangan, Sanur and Lembongan (the closest Nusa island off the east coast of Bali). If these ports are closer to your accommodation, you may want to consider these routes.
NOTE: Again, routes often change so be sure to check with your accommodation or travel agent.
Slow Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali/Lombok to the Gili Islands
If the water is too choppy, some or none of the boat companies will run. In this case, or if you’re looking to take the cheapest transport option available, you can take the “slow boat”. There is a local ferry that leaves every 60 to 90 minutes daily from Bali to Lombok. The catch is that it’s quite a longer journey at around four to six hours one way. It’s also not as comfortable (you might not even get a seat), and usually more crowded. Not exactly for the faint of heart but it’ll probably wind up being quite an adventurous story to tell (or perhaps an incredibly long, boring one).
The slow boat will leave from Padang Bai; you can find the pier a bit south of where the fast boats leave from (Google Map search “Padang Bai Port”). This will eventually bring you to Lembar Port in Lombok. From here, you must take a taxi or other type of transport up to Bangsal Port (this will likely be included in your ticket if you book through a tourist shop). This drive will take around an hour and a half to two hours and may include extra stops. From Bangsal, you can take a public boat to Gili Trawangan (with stops to Air and Meno on the way), which will take around 30 to 45 minutes. There is also a fast ferry, that costs a bit more.
How to Arrange Transportation from Bali to the Gili Islands
Again, you can either book at one of the many tourist shops around town, through your accommodation, or go to the port yourself. As with the fast boat, booking through an agent or your accommodation will usually include pickup and transportation to Padang Bai. You can arrange your own transportation to the port to avoid an earlier pickup with multiple stops, but this must be done separately and will cost you extra.
Slow Boat from Padang Bai (Bali) to Lembar Port (Lombok):
- From IDR 40,000 ($2.90USD)
Public Boats from Lombok to the Gili Islands:
- From IDR 25,000 ($1.70USD)
Speed Boat from Lombok to the Gili Islands:
- From IDR 85,000 ($6USD)
Flight from Bali to Lombok
Alternatively, you can take a flight from Bali’s Denpasar airport (Ngurah Rai) to Lombok International Airport. This ~25 minute flight is quick and easy and prices start around $55USD. Lombok International Airport is located near the city of Praya and you’ll have to take a taxi or private car to Bangsal Port. This will take approximately 2 hours and prices for a taxi (we recommend Bluebird taxi!) start at around IDR250,000 ($18USD).
From here, you can take the public boats or speed boats from Bangsal Port to the Gili Islands (prices listed above). If you arrive after 4:30 p.m., you might miss the last of the public and fast boats. In this case, you can either stay the night in Lombok or it’s possible to charter a private boat to the Gilis.
Where to Stay on Gili Trawangan
If you want to see the best of the island, stay at the beautiful Mad Monkey Gili Trawangan beachfront property on the sunset side! We’ve got daily events and tours, including our Monkey Sea, Monkey Do snorkel trip where we bring you to the best spots on the Gilis! We also host the most epic pool parties on the island and have a stunning infinity pool to lounge in and meet new friends! Book your bed in paradise today!
Madventures — Experience the Best of Gili Trawangan
Now that you’re one step closer to getting your transport sorted, check out all the amazing things you can do on the Gilis. We’ve selected the top experiences for you so that you can leave knowing that you’ve fully experienced these stunning islands. Our Mad5 will give you a taste of the beauty, culture and adventure of Gili T and we’ve made it super easy for you to book them! Check out the links below or even better, download our app, Mad Monkey Experience, to also gain POINTS for booking a Madventure tour and event! More points = more discounts + free perks to make your Mad Monkey trip even more epic (and cheaper😉)!
- Monkey Sea, Monkey Do Snorkelling Tour: See the best snorkel spots on the Gilis — snorkel gear + lunch included
- Indonesian Family Dinner: Taste the best of Indonesia, enjoy with a free Bintang or house mixer
- Bucket List Bike Tour: Discover the highlights of Gili T – beach spots, photo ops and snorkeling included!
- Foam Party: Get your tan on with a live DJ, free shots every hour, and Happy Hour!
- Beach Clean Up: Help keep our island paradise clean, and get a free drink for your good deed!
More information about how to get from Bali to the Gili Islands:
Are you currently in Indonesia and planning on making your way from Lombok or Bali to the Gili islands? Are you looking for more details about how to get to these beautiful islands? Check out these other articles with more helpful tips on how to get to the Gilis:
- How to Get to the Gili Islands From Bali Indonesia from Almost Landing Bali
- How to Get From Lombok Airport to the Gili Islands from Chasing Places
- Tips and Tricks: Getting to Gili Islands from Bali by Phebe Bay from TripZilla
- An incredible experience on an Indonesia Cruise by Aqua Expeditions
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