The Gili Islands are 3 small islands off the north coast of Lombok Indonesia. The Gili Islands are often referred to as the Turtle Capital of the World as the Gili Islands are the nesting grounds for green turtles and hawksbill turtles.
The Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air) has over 20 good scuba diving sites spots around the 3 islands with a huge variety of different marine life.
The majority of the dive sites are suitable for beginners or inexperienced divers as most have shallow sections of between 5 meters to 12 meters. Most of the dive sites around the Gili Islands do not go deeper than 30 meters.
The best time of year to scuba dive is between May to October when there is not so strong currents around the islands. Other times of the year the currents pick up and it can get quite fast down there. I dove in the gili islands in December and jumped in at the bottom of Gili Meno at the Bounty wreck and did the fasted drift dive I have experienced. It was just under 30 minutes and we popped out the top end of Gili Meno past Meno wall (check the map below for the dive sites)
Dive sites around the Gili Islands
There are more than 20 good dive sites around Gili Islands. Some of the best dive sites around Gili Islands include:
Trawangan House Reef - an easy dive site used by many of the dive schools for the first few open water dives. 5 meters - 22 meters.
Trawangan Slope - another relatively easy dive site with a gentle to medium current for good safe drift diving.
Meno Wall - 8 meters - 30 meters with a dramatic wall with heaps of interesting creatures.
Meno Slope - another relatively easy dive when there is no current. When the current picks up here (around November - January) it can be a tough dive, constantly looking forward so you don't bump into any coral.
Trawangan Coral Gardens - on the north east coast of Gili Trawangan a favourite dive site for many of the instructors as there is so much to see. 8 meters to 30 meters with lots of good soft and hard corals. A gentle current which will bring you back to the centre of Trawangan island to surface at the beach.
Bounty Wreck is an old barge pontoon that used to float on top of the water. It was sunk off the coast of Gili Meno to create an artificial reef. The top section of the barge is at around 8 meters and the bottom of the barge is at around 22 meters.
Artificial Reefs around Gili Islands
For the last few years the Gili Eco Trust have been installing artificial reefs around the dive sites of the Gili Islands to promote coral growth and places for the fish and marine life to live and breed.
The large metal structures are placed at the dive sites and a very low voltage is pumped through the artificial reefs with promotes lime growth on the structures which is what coral attach themselves to.
Every scuba diver that goes for a dive gets charged an extra 50,000Rp which is donated to the Eco Trust to continue the work for the Bio Rock Regeneration Project. You are only charged once, not for each dive.
Scuba Dive Shops in Gili Islands
There are many professional dive shops on the Gili Islands with PADI certification. One each of the 3 Gili Islands you will find dive shops that can arrange scuba dive trips to the various dive spots around Gili Islands. If you do not want to scuba dive, these shops will also offer snorkeling trips. Not all the dive locations are suitable for snorkeling so check with the shops whic are the ideal locations for snorkeling. Some of the dive shops also offer PADI training courses including the Open Water certification, with a swimming pool to do all the basic training in a safe environment. Check out these dives shops in the various areas of Gili Islands: