Things to do on Gili Meno
On Gili Meno, life slows down and time is focused on enjoying the company of your loved ones and you will not find a very long list of “things to do” or outside entertainment. Should the urge arise for some more exciting activity than relaxing on the beach, the options below should suffice.
Watch the small turtles at the turtle sanctuary
The Gili Islands are famous for their many sea turtles, many of them are hatched within sanctuaries, giving them a much better chance to survive their first couple of months. The most common turtles around the Gili Islands are the green sea turtle and loggerhead turtles. Once fully grown they can reach a diameter of 1.5 meters and get as old as 90 years.
Meno Turtle Sanctuary
At Gili Meno turtle sanctuary the dedicated team works to protect the endangered sea turtles, the beautiful “gentle giants” of the ocean. The sanctuary hatches around 500 baby turtles each year. The turtles are then released into the sea, when they are about a year old; with their chances of survival much better than when they were newborns.
The odds are good that the turtles you have been snorkeling alongside, on the Gili coastline took its very first swimming strokes within the secure walls of the turtle sanctuary.
The turtle sanctuary welcomes all visitors.
Scuba diving and snorkeling
The best places for snorkeling on Gili Meno can be found all the way along the north coast and the southern end of the west coast (starting at Diana’s café and moving down).
The nearest scuba diving site is the Meno Wall, which can be accessed directly from the beach on the northwestern coast. The site is also a popular spot for night diving and usually offers an array of turtles, small fish and nudibranches.
The rest of the Gili Islands’ dive sites are just a few minutes away by boat, so there are plenty of other great options for divers. See our full guide to diving the Gili Islands.
Located on the north western coast right in front of Gili Meno Wall, Divine Divers provide dive classes conducted in English, French, Spanish, German and Dutch.
Blue Marlin Dive
Blue Marlin was the first dive center to open on the Gili Islands, in 1991. The center on Gili Meno opened in 2001 and continues to help divers enjoy the abundant marine life of the island.
Walk or bike around the island
It is impossible to get lost on a small island like Gili Meno, so feel free to go exploring down the small roads or along the beaches to find a new adventure. It is always a good idea to bring some water to stave off the heat of sunny days.
On foot, a round trip will take you somewhere between one and two hours; depending on your pace and how many times you decide to cool off in the tempting blue water along the way.
Visit the inland water lake
On the north-western part of Gili Meno lies a saltwater lake; a great destination for a leisurely walk. In the dry season, this lake is used for salt production.
Bird watching at Gilo Meno’s Bird Park
In the center of the village on Gili Meno, there is a small bird park with more than 200 species; among them are parrots, peacocks, eagles and pelicans. Many of the birds roam freely in the park, while others are held in captivity for their protection.
Entrance: 50.000 IDR
Dining on Gili Meno
Gili Meno doesn’t offer as many choices when it comes to dining as the other Gili Islands, but the Island has at least a handful of good eateries. But seriously, often a cold drink and a grilled fish is all you need when sitting almost with your feet in the water on a stunning Gili Meno beach.
Our favorite restaurants on Gili Meno
Mahamaya is without a doubt the classiest restaurant on Gili Meno. It is pricier than other places on Meno, but the quality of the food and the service standards, far exceeds the rest. Get there early, to enjoy the spectacular sunsets that come part and parcel of the dining experience at Mahamaya.
Delicious Thai food and its superb cocktails continuously draw new people to Adeng Adeng. Don’t miss out on barbeque nights on Saturdays, where freshly caught fish is grilled and served.
Ya Ya Warung
A simple, yet cozy warung, Ya Ya Warung Serves up all the Indonesian favorites like gado gado, nasi and mie goreng. It is the perfect stop for lunch or even a quick dinner.
Other restaurants and bars on Gili Meno
BiBi’s café is located at Villa Nautilus. The menu is fairly standard, but the tables that are placed right beside the ocean make this cafe a definite winner.
A small laid-back place, with turquoise water views, there is nothing fancy about Jetty Bar. The food is tasty and the prices are cheap; a great place to just relax.
Good heart restaurant
A wonderfully relaxed atmosphere invites guests on to the sun loungers and hammocks. Recommended for its variety of drinks, it also serves a few dishes, although the drinks are better.
The Jungle bar (Tao Kombo)
You need to head a little inland to find this cozy little bar. On some nights The Jungle Bar comes alive, especially when there is live music; but on others it is just as quiet as the rest of Gili Meno.
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