Diving The Gili Islands

This three island tropical paradise is located 1.5 hours by boat from Bali, close to the coast of Lombok. If you want to combine tropical island relaxation with diving, The Gilis is the place for you.

Overview: Gili Islands

Tropical island diving
Rating
Quality 4/5
Visibility (m)
15 - 25 m
Level
Beginner - advanced
Currents
Gentle
Depth (m)
3 - 40 m
Temperature (°C)
26 - 30
Highlights
Sea turles, reef sharks
Number of dive sites
20+
Best time to dive
All year round.
Reduced visibility Dec - Jan

About the Gili Islands

The Gilli Islands have everything you would expect from a tropical paradise. White sand beaches, crystal clear waters, cozy beachfront restaurants serving up fresh seafood and a small town where you can party all night three days a week.

The three islands are named Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno, with Trawangan being the most visited of the three islands. Read more about the Gili Islands in our Gili Islands travel guide.

Diving the Gili islands

Sea turtles are easily spotted here as the Gili community takes turtle conservation seriously. In fact, turtle spotting is almost guaranteed when snorkeling off the coast if you are in the right spot — just ask the locals where to look.

For scuba diving The Gili islands have more than 20 sites. Pigmy seahorses, thousands of colorful fish, whitetip reef sharks and sting rays are among the many creatures you might encounter in the waters around the Gili islands.

The sea around the Gilis is generally calm and the waters warm, making it a great place even if you are new to diving. In December to January visibility can be reduced due to heavy showers.

Some of the corals around the Gili islands are damaged due to dynamite fishing. Efforts are made to restore the reefs, but it will take time before they are fully recovered.

The Gili Islands also have a free-diving school if you want to try deep diving without tanks on your back.

Popular dive sites around the Gili Islands

With more than 20 good sites around the islands there are plenty to choose from. These are some of the better options.

Shark point

As the name indicates, sharks – white and black tip reef sharks in particular — are the highlights of this site east of Gili Trawangan, but the diversity in species is generally very good at Shark Point. Turtles are very common as well as eels, sting rays and cuttlefish.

Deep turbo

This dive goes down to 30 meters, so you need to have an advanced certificate or similar qualifications.

The coral is among the best you’ll find around the Gilis and the sea fans are huge. You can’t miss the garden eels and you have a good chance of spotting barracudas, pygmy seahorses, eagle rays and leopard sharks.

Haan’s Reef

Haan’s Reef is found just east of Gili Air and is a good place for lovers of muck diving and macro photographers. Frog fish, black spotted morays, nudibranch, seahorses and leaf scorpion fish are among the photo opportunities around this reef.

Have a look at our Gili villas to find the perfect base for exploring the waters around the Gili Islands.