This guide was written by a local and will help you discover two ways to reach the Gili Islands while also providing some insider tips.
Essentially, there are two harbors in Lombok that offer boat rides to the Gili Islands: Bangsal Harbor and Senggigi Harbor.
Without further ado, let's learn how to travel from anywhere in Lombok to the Gili Islands!
From Bangsal harbor
The most common and popular way to reach the Gili Islands is by taking a boat from Bangsal Harbor, although the journey may take longer and require travel through mountainous roads compared to departing from Senggigi Harbor.
Despite the extra travel time, many tourists prefer to travel from Bangsal Harbor because it's more affordable and comfortable.
Here is what you need to do:
1. Go to Bangsal harbor
No matter where you are in Lombok, you can take a taxi to reach Bangsal Harbor. The cost will vary depending on your distance from the harbor, but here is a rough estimate of the fares:
From Mataram city: Rp 250,000
From Lombok airport: Rp 500,000
From Kuta Lombok: Rp 600,000
You can take a Bluebird taxi or other online ride-hailing services such as Grab and Gojek to get to Bangsal Harbor. If you can't find a taxi nearby, you can order one using their apps.
There are two routes to reach Bangsal Harbor: via Pusuk, a chilly mountainous forest, and Senggigi, a coastal road with sea views.
Pusuk is the shorter route, but it is also more challenging due to its narrow and winding road. It has steep ascents and descents that run along the edge of the cliff.
On the other hand, Senggigi is farther away but has a wider road. It also has steep ascents and descents, but they are relatively easier to navigate compared to Pusuk.
I'm sharing these details in case you have a preference for a certain type of route. If you enjoy sea views, you might prefer taking the Senggigi route.
But if you're up for a more challenging and adventurous drive through a chilly mountainous forest with steep ascents and descents, the Pusuk route might be more suitable for you.
2. Find the ticket office
When you arrive at Bangsal harbor, you'll notice two ticket offices. One is for boats that go to Bali and the other is for boats that head to the Gili islands, which is where you want to go.
Once you enter the harbor's gate, make sure to turn to your left to find the ticket office you need. Look out for the boat terminal with blue fences - that's where you'll find it.
3. Buy your ticket & wait for the departure
There are three types of boats in Bangsal harbor that go to the Gili islands, they are public boat, fast boat, and speed boat.
Public boat: A traditional boat that is equipped with motor engines, and passengers have to sit with up to 40 other passengers with little to no gap between them.
Fast boat: Literally like a bus or plane so you don’t have to sit face-to-face with other passengers.
Speed boat: A private boat that can take you to the Gili islands anytime you want.
Most people prefer public boats and I didn't see anyone taking the more luxurious boat when I was there. Maybe because I wasn’t there long enough 🤔
Lombok to Gili islands boat ticket prices:
|#||Destination||Public boat||Fast boat||Speed boat|
|1||Gili Air||Rp 18,000||Rp 85,000||Rp 300,000|
|2||Gili Meno||Rp 21,000||Rp 85,000||Rp 350,000|
|3||Gili Trawangan||Rp 23,000||Rp 85,000||Rp 400,000|
Lombok to Gili islands boat departures:
Public boat: Once it's full with 40 people or after a certain amount of time
Fast boat: 10.00 am • 11.30 am • 12.30 pm • 01.30 pm • 02.30 pm • 04.00 pm
Speed boat: Any time
Wait for your boat and sail when it's ready!
Lombok to Gili Trawangan boat times:
Public boat: 25 minutes
Fast boat: 20 minutes
Speed boat: 15 minutes
And that's pretty much it on how you can get from Lombok to Gili Islands from Bangsal harbor. Next, we'll learn how to get there from Senggigi harbor.
From Senggigi harbor
Taking a public boat from Senggigi harbor to the Gili islands isn't a popular option because it can take up to two hours and the cost is quite high.
In contrast, you can easily reach Bangsal harbor from Senggigi by taxi, which is a much cheaper option. This is because the two harbors are not far from each other.
Just for the comparison, cost and travel time of public boat in Senggigi and Bangsal harbor:
|1||Senggigi||Rp 750,000||2 hours|
|2||Bangsal||Rp 23,000||25 minutes|
Therefore, it's not worth spending extra time and money to travel from Senggigi harbor to the Gili islands by public boat.
It's better to take a taxi from Senggigi to Bangsal harbor, which costs around Rp 50,000 and takes only a short ride, rather than paying more than Rp 600,000 and sailing for two hours.
Well, the good thing about taking a public boat from Senggigi is that you get to feel like you're on a private boat. You won't have to sit with random strangers or wait for a scheduled departure time.
Another cool thing is that the public boats from Senggigi offer day tours to all the Gili Islands, and you'll be back in Senggigi by 5 pm. So, you can explore all the islands and be back in time for dinner.
How to get to Gili islands from Senggigi:
First, you gotta go to Senggigi harbor, obviously. It's located on the map below.
Once you've reached Senggigi harbor, don't head straight to the harbor as the ticket office there is for boats going to Bali.
Instead, take a walk along the beach and wait for someone to approach you with a boat trip offer to the Gili islands.
And that’s pretty much it!
When you're at Bangsal harbor, be careful if someone offers to help you carry your luggage.
They may ask for a large amount of money for such a simple task and won't give your belongings back until you pay them.
Usually, they will ask for around Rp 100,000 or a little over $6 US. So it's best to decline their offer and carry your luggage yourself.
Another common tactic they use is to aggressively grab your luggage without even saying a word.