Backpacking Gili Trawangan is an increasingly popular trip. Gili T is the largest of 3 islands in between Bali and Lombok. Known for amazing beaches, scuba diving, and night life you are sure to fall in love with this beautiful place. The path around the edge of Gili Trawangan is only 7 km making the entire island easily accessible by foot. Because there are no vehicles your other transportation options are by bike or by horse drawn carriage.
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How To Get There
There are no airports or cars on the island, so you will have to plan transportation from either Bali or Lombok. Both Islands have an international airport and would be a great place to start your adventure of backpacking Gili Trawangan.
Your best option is to take a bus transfer and fast boat package from Ubud to Gili Trawangan, which most hotels or homestays can arrange for you. Expect this to take about 4 hours in total and cost around 250,000 IDR ($18 USD) each way. Another option is to take a fast boat from Amed on the west side of Bali. The price will be roughly the same and it takes about 1.5 hours.
You can take a fast boat or a local ferry from Lombok to Gili Trawangan. The fast boats cost about 175,000 IDR ($13 USD) and take 30 minutes. The Local ferry will be slower but substantially less expensive at 10,000 IDR ($0.75 USD).
Best Time To Travel
May to July is ideal for backpacking Gili Trawangan because prices and crowds are lower and rain is minimal. The average temperature during this time is 27-28°C (80-82°F). July to September is the next best time to visit offering similar weather with an increased number of tourists.
Walk: Since the island is only 7 km all the way around, you can very easily walk anywhere you need to go. We never felt unsafe and people are very helpful if you get lost.
Bicycle: Homestays or bike shops will rent you a bicycle for 50,000 IDR ($3.70 USD) per day.
Horse and Carriage: Although many people do this, it isn’t our favorite option because the horses are severely dehydrated and overworked. Instead; check how far your hostel will be from the ferry station before arriving. Chances are it will be less than a 10 minute walk so you can save some cash and give the poor horses a much needed break.
The Agoda App was perfect for finding everything from hostels and homestays to 5 star hotels. You can search by map or by price and they usually have free cancellation.
- Budget: 80,000-100,000IDR ($6-$12 USD) per person/night. Breakfast is sometimes included in a hostel dorm room, you will get a fan but no A/C. For 2 people it is worth staying in a mid range private room instead.
- Mid range: 180,000-280,000 IDR ($14-21USD) for 2 people/night. Breakfast and A/C included with a private room in a homestay. A home in Indonesia is made up of many different buildings on one property. Our homestays were all newer buildings with a private room, washroom and a balcony they will bring your breakfast to in the morning.
- Luxury: 375,000 IDR + ($28-$100+ USD) for 2 people/night. Includes A/C and breakfast. Treat yourself for a night or two in a private villa. Luxury room and bathroom, A/C and quite possibly your own private pool! By doing some research and booking ahead you can easily stay in a stunning 5 star hotel for under $100 USD/night.
Our Recommendation: Stay at Gili Nyepi for $500,000 IDR ($36 USD)/night. The rooms are lovely in addition to the most amazing and helpful owner! She will give you a map upon arrival and go over everything you need to know about backpacking Gili Trawangan. A/C and breakfast included.
Because Gili Trawangan is a major tourist island, I felt very comfortable wearing shorts and sundresses everywhere. A lightweight rain jacket is good to have if you are going on the shoulder season. For more packing tips check out our Southeast Asia Packing List.
- Get a homestay with breakfast included
- Eat in smaller restaurants off the beaten path
- Booking scuba diving in a package of 2 or 3 can significantly decrease your cost per dive.
- Walk everywhere
There are many to do on this beautiful island including snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, biking the island, checking out the beach bars and so much more! Click here for the full post on Our Favorite Things to Do on Gili Trawangan.
For being such a small island; Gili Trawangan has tons of places to eat! You can easily find all different types of food in every price range. There are so many unique restaurants offering stunning views, nightly bonfires or live music; it`s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to decide where to go. Check out Our Favorite Places To Eat on Gili T!