We went snorkelling around the Gilis four times during our stay there – once as part of a snorkelling trip and then three times off each of the different islands. I definitely recommend just going off on your own rather than joining a trip.
The snorkelling trip cost 100k for about 5 hours and a boat of about 40 people. Our first stop was off Gili Meno, where we saw some nice fish and a ‘shipwreck’. It wasn’t much – or maybe we just missed the main part completely. The second stop was near Gili Air, but there wasn’t much to see. The boat then took us to Air for lunch, but the sea was super choppy and made me feel very sick. Artur and I ended up just leaving the trip early and spent some time on Gili Air before taking a boat back to Gili T.
After our Rinjani trek, we returned to the Gilis for two weeks. We decided to give snorkelling another go but this time just snorkelled straight off the coasts of the islands. This was so much more enjoyable than the boat trip and we got to see a lot more. We did however get super sunburnt on our backs, even though we had applied sunscreen. We don’t have a waterproof camera (or a camera at all), so didn’t get to take photos of all the nice fish and turtles we saw.
Gili Air was best for the fish. We saw the largest variety of colourful fish there, but no turtles.
Gili Meno we saw a few turtles and some nice fish. We spotted around three to six medium sized turtles (we saw three at one time, so we don’t know if later we just saw the same ones or not) and surprisingly there weren’t many other snorkelers around so it was really quite nice snorkelling around and following the turtles, without bumping into other people.
Gili Trawangan wasn’t great for fish but we saw the largest turtles there. We saw four large turtles but there was always a group of snorkelers around the turtles. So it wasn’t such a nice snorkelling experience because there wasn’t much to see and there were a lot of people swimming about.