Ahhhh Gili Air, Indoensia…a magical little island nestled between Lombok and Bali. Picture white sand beaches, sandy roads, epic sunsets, tranquility, delicious fresh seafood, and astonishing snorkeling and diving. It’s tough to describe just how marvelous it really is, but I’ll do my best!

There are three Gili islands and we chose Gili Air because it is known to be much more relaxed than its neighboring party island, Gili Trawangan (which you should definitely go to if you want to party!).

Looking For More Info About Bali & The Other Island Nearby? Check Out My Other Blog Posts!

Gili Air Indonesia has beautiful views of Lombok just across the water
Gili Air, Indonesia

Hotel In Denpasar, Bali:

Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport

If you’re taking a late flight in, this hotel has everything you could need, including a great buffet breakfast and gym and it’s just 5 minutes from the airport. $35USD/night

Hilton Garden Inn Denpasar Website

Where To Store Your Boards/Suitcases In Bali:

If you're looking for suitcase or board storage, then Bali Board Storage is THE place to securely leave your items!
Where To Store Your Boards/Suitcases in Bali: Bali Board Storage
Photo Credit: www.baliboardstorage.com

If you’re in need of storing your surfboards or suitcases for a day, week, month, etc. on mainland, then Bali Board Storage in Kuta (near Discovery Mall) is the BEST place around. We stored 2 suitcases and 2 duffel bags for the day for around $10USD. The owner is super friendly and they are really safe and reliable.

Bali Board Storage Website

How To Get To Gili Air From Bali:

The only way to get to the Gili Island's is by ferry boat. You can take a fast ferry boat or, for a cheaper option, the public ferry
How To Get To Gili Air, Indonesia From Bali: Ferry Boat

Getting to Gili Air is a bit of a task, but totally worth the trek.

Option 1- Fly to Denpassar, Bali, then take a small, 50min flight to Lombok. Take a boat from Lombok to Gili Air.

Option 2-Fastboat (our choice): From Denpasar, hire a driver for $280,000IDR ($21.00USD) to drive the 1.5 hour journey to Padangbai Ferry Terminal. The fast boat tickets are $29USD one way to Gili Air.

Fast Boat Ferry Website

Option 3- Public Ferry: It’s a long journey, about 4-5 hours for about $40,000 ($3USD). After you arrive in Lombok, you’ll then need to take another boat from Lombok to the Gili’s (10 minutes).

Public Ferry Website

Hiring A Driver In Bali, Indonesia:

 If you’re looking for a reliable, affordable, safe driver on mainland Bali, Mr. Agus Yudi is your man! He’s by far the BEST driver we’ve had in the many months we’ve spent exploring Bali and his english is GREAT! Contact information on photo below:

Always go with a reliable driver in Bali and Mr. Augus Yudi is surely reliable, kind and speaks great English!
The BEST Drive in Bali: Augus Yudi

How To Get Around Gili Air:

Walking is the best way to get around the island, as it's super small. There are horse drawn buggies available, but they're not exactly ethical.
How To Get Around Gili Air: Walk

There are very few motorized vehicles on the Gili Islands (only a few scooters).

Horse Carriage: $100,000IDR ($7USD) from ferry terminal to your accommodation (overpriced, in my opinion and just unethical for the horses). Riding in these carriages is quite terrifying…imagine the movie Gladiator, without Russel Crow. If you are able to walk, do it.

Walking: Luckily, the entire island of Gili Air is only 5km around

Where To Stay In Gili Air:

Manta Dive:

Manta Dive on Gili Air (Indonesia) is The BEST dive center on the island, with beautiful bungalows.
Where To Stay In Gili Air: Manta Dive

If budget permits and you want an AMAZING open water dive experience, then Manta Dive is the BEST place to stay and get your training.  Of course, you can stay elsewhere and just take the course at Manta. The rooms are modern, spacious, air conditioned, come with a safety box, have a partial open bathroom and the service is excellent. They offer packages that include the dive cert and accommodation for 4 nights, around $500USDpp.

Manta Dive Website

Sunrise Beach Resort:

If you're looking for something more budget friendly on the island of Gili Air, Indonesia, then Sunrise Beach Resort is perfect!
Where To Stay In Gili Air: Sunrise Beach Resort

A 2 minute walk from Manta Dive, it’s much more cost affective at $45USD/night. The included breakfast buffet is great for the price. NOTE: They offer rooms/bungalows with/without aircon.

Sunrise Gili Air Website

Which Dive Certification: PADI or SSI?

I've got all the details for you comparing PADI versus SSI dive certification courses on Gili Air, Indonesia!
Which Dive Certification on Gili Air, Indonesia: PADI or SSI?     

There are two different types of courses available in order to become a certified, open water diver, PADI and SSI. We chose SSI, because the instructors have more freedom to teach you the skills you need help on. In PADI, the curriculum is much more strict and, if you haven’t mastered step A, you cannot move onto step B or step C.

For example: I had no issues with many parts of the course, except clearing my facemask underwater. If we took PADI, I wouldn’t have been able to move on to the second open water dive, without first mastering that skill. With SSI, I was able to do the second open water dive and my instructor had the freedom to practice that specific skill with me so I could be comfortable and master it. Thus, SSI was the best fit for us because of the freedom in the curriculum.

The SSI Open Water Dive Course On Gili Air:

Manta Dive on Gili Air, Indonesia offers an affordable, safe, and thorough SSI Open Water Dive certification course!
Diving With Sea Turtles With Manta Dive On Gili Air, Indonesia
Manta Dive on Gili Air, Indonesia offers an affordable, safe, and thorough SSI Open Water Dive certification course!
Josh And I With Our Dive Master, Kimo During The SSI Open Water Dive Course At Manta Dive On Gili Air, Indonesia
Manta Dive on Gili Air, Indonesia offers an affordable, safe, and thorough SSI Open Water Dive certification course!
The SSI Open Water Dive Course At Manta Dive On Gili Air, Indonesia

Company: Manta Dive

Cost: $400USD for the course only (packages are available for accommodation and the course together)

Duration: 3 full days, 8:30am-4:00pm

Dives: 2 pool dives, 4 open water dives

Videos: 3-4 safety videos

Test: One written test (very easy)

After Certification: 18m depth allowance

Manta Dive has the BEST reputation overall and the deepest pool  on the island, at 3 meters deep (10feet), which helps a LOT with training.  Our instructor, Kimmo, was ABSOLUTELY incredible! He was extremely knowledgeable, patient, kind and you could tell he really enjoyed his job. We had such an amazing experience with this course because of him.

Notes About Diving:

Diving off the shores of Gili Air, Indonesia
Diving In Gili Air, Indonesia

If you’re hesitant about diving, put your fears aside and take the open water dive course. I can honestly say that I was super scared at many times in the deep ocean, but the more I gained experience, the more comfortable I felt. There’s a whole beautiful world under the sea! We saw beautiful sea turtles, clownfish (Nemo!) and many other colorful fish and wildlife! My only regret is not doing the certification sooner and diving in all the amazingly beautiful place Southeast Asia has to offer!

Gym- Holiday Fit Gili Air:

Holiday Fit Gili Air (Indonesia) is surprisingly a descent gym for such a remote island
Where To Work Out: Holiday Fit Gili Air, Indonesia

Cost: $50,000IDR/day ($3.75USD) or $150,000IDR ($12USD) 1 week

Hours: 7:00am-10:00pm Daily

How To Get There: Located on the east side of the island, follow the main road until you get to Gita Gili and there will be a small sign signaling you to go down a back road. Follow this road about 5 minutes and you’ll see Holiday Fit on your left.

Holiday Fit Gili Air Info

Where To Eat/Watch Sunset On Gili Air:


Gili Air, Indonesia offers up some of the most beautiful sunsets
Sunset In Gili Air, Indonesia

About a 15 minute walk from Manta, this is the BEST spot to watch the sunset. Be sure to go early (1++ hour before sunset) to get a good table.

Mowie’s Gili Air Website

Sunrise Cafe:

Sunrise Cafe on Gili Air, Indonesia offers up great drinks, epic views and delicious food
Where To Have Dinner and Drinks On Gili Air: Sunrise Cafe
Photo Credit: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g664667-d6354421-Reviews-Sunrise_Beachclub-Gili_Air_Gili_Islands_Lombok_West_Nusa_Tenggara.html

Located beach side in front of Sunrise Resort, this place was our favorite on the island for food/drinks. Get the tuna steak, it’s delicious!

Sunrise Gili Air Website

Chill Out Restaurant:

For great drinks, epic views and great music, Chill Out Bar on Gili Air, Indonesia, lives up to the name
Where To Have Drinks On Gili Air: Chill Out Restaurant

Who doesn’t love a happy hour of buy one get one free? They also have a huge menu, which includes cuisines from all over the world.

Chill Out Bar Gili Air Website

Check Out Our Video From Gili Air, Amed & Jimbaran, Bali! 

Indonesia: Gili Air & Bali-Amed & Jimbaran

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Gili Air, Indonesia: SSI Open Water Dive Certification

Thank you SOOOO much for stopping by! 

XOXO The Traveling Blondie 

Peace ✌ Love ❤ Travel ✈

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