Complete island hopping and snorkeling guide to the Secret Gilis off Lombok Indonesia; Gili Kedis, Gili Nanggu, and Gili Sudak. Find out how to these hidden island gems on an island hopping tour from Lombok and experience a true hidden gem in Indonesia!
Gili Kedis, Gili Nanggu, and Gili Sudak are three epic southwest Lombok Islands tucked away from their frenetic island cousins in the north. Nicknamed the Secret Gili Islands of southwest Lombok, they’re known for incredible snorkeling and actually aren’t really that secret.
But, compared to the more famous Gili Islands like Gili T. These are remarkably more peaceful and off-the-beaten-path Lombok travel destinations.
In this blog post, I’ll outline my experience on the overnight Secret Gilis Island hopping tour visiting Gili Nanggu and Gili Sudak and camping under the stars on the tiny island of Gili Kedis.
- Secret Gilis Island Hopping Video
- How to Get to the Secret Gilis off Lombok
- Camping on the Secret Gili Islands
- More Photos from the Secret Gili Islands of Lombok
- More Lombok Travel & Adventure Guides
Secret Gilis Island Hopping Video
Below is a video that I made of my experience camping on Gili Kedis and exploring the nearby Secret Gili Islands.
How to Get to the Secret Gilis off Lombok
For those looking for a more authentic Lombok experience, visiting the Sekotong coastline and the island-speckled coastline will be a fresh sigh of relief. Here you'll find epic coral reefs, tiny tropical sandbars, and palm-lined islands without a tourist in sight.
However, due to being a far more remote region of the island, getting here takes a little bit of planning. Below I'll offer the two best options for getting to the Secret Gilis from Lombok.
Option 1: Secret Gilis Island Hopping Day Trip from Lombok
By far, the easiest way to reach the Secret Gilis is on an epic boat trip from Lombok. This is a full-day snorkeling tour on a traditional lebar (motorized outrigger) boat and includes hotel pickup in popular tourist areas like Sengiggi or Mataram.
Option 2: Public Transport Route
Gili Kedis, Gili Nanggu, and Gili Sudak are located in the region of Sekotong. While there is some tourist infrastructure here, it's still very raw, and finding regular transport here will be difficult.
Since there are no regular shuttles or public transport services to Sekotong, you'll have to organize private transport. After asking around, I found that the cheapest and easiest option was to get a metered Bluebird Taxi, which cost me 27 000 IDR from Senggigi.
Once you arrive in Sekotong, there are a number of small boats at the main harbor that opportunistically offer island-hopping trips to Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis, and Gili Sudak. Quality for these island-hopping trips are hit and miss and price will vary dramatically depending on the size of your group.
Therefore the independent route can often work out more expensive than just booking the local tour above.
However, if you'd rather spend the night on Gili Kedis, make sure to check out Feel Lombok. These guys run an incredible tour (the one I did) and are some of my best friends on Lombok.
What to Expect at the Secret Gili Islands
Wondering what to expect on the islands of Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis, and Gili Sudak? Below is a breakdown of my trip with highlights so you know what to expect once you arrive.
Gili Nanggu Snorkeling
After arriving in Sekotong Harbour, a Secret Gilis and Gili Kedis Lombok island hopping trip usually begins with snorkeling on the beautiful Gili Nanggu island.
Gili Nanggu is one of the largest of these islands and even has a resort at the back. The main beach is a stretch of white sand on the southern tip, which backs onto a pristine coral reef.
The vibe at Gili Nanggu is extremely relaxed. There's almost nothing going on here, which is a relief from the constant tourist buzz of Kuta Lombok or Gili Trawangan. It's easy to see why they call these Gilis are called the Secret Gili Islands!
However, once you strap on your mask and snorkel, you'll find one of the most diverse snorkeling locations on Lombok. There are huge schools of fish of all colors and even a bio-reef formed around a sunken berugak (traditional gazebo).
If you're lucky, you might even spot the odd turtle making its way from Gili Kedis and the other islands.
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Gili Nanggu Snorkeling Tip
While the snorkeling at Gili Nanggu is quality anywhere around the island, if you swim over to the northeast tip, you'll find some larger sections of hard corals. Just remember to not stand or touch corals.
Before heading to Gili Kedis, the boat will stop at Gili Sudak. Compared to the other islands off Sekotong, Gili Sudak is probably the least impressive. However, here you'll find an authentic Lombok Island experience. There are no resorts or tourist infrastructure, just rows of palm trees, some cows and small local huts.
If you choose to join in on a camping trip, you'll stop at Gili Sudak to get some firewood. There is a healthy supply of dry and old wood on this island. What I liked about Feel Lombok's island camping tour is that they use resources sustainably, and they didn't cut down any trees or leave any rubbish behind.
If you're only here for a Secret Gili Islands snorkeling and island hopping tour, you'll still get to check out Gili Sudak.
The last island is my personal favorite; Gili Kedis. It's a tiny sandbar island that you can walk across in about 15 seconds. There's not much here, just a small swing, some benches, a hut, an outdoor toilet, and a few trees.
Gili Kedis is also the island sunset spot of choice. You'll get to watch as the sun sets behind the horizon, lighting up the floating pearl farms and tiny islands that dot the Sekotong coastline.
After sunset, our tour cooked a traditional BBQ dinner of fresh fish, vegetables, rice, tempeh, and tofu. We then sat around the campfire, watched the stars, and learned some local Sasak songs by the talented guitarist and singer; Ilham.
Camping on the Secret Gili Islands
While day trips for island hopping and snorkeling are popular, by far, the best way to see the Secret Gili Islands of Sekotong's Gili Kidis, Gili Nanguu, and Gili Sudak is to join in on a camping trip.
As far as I know, Feel Lombok is the only tour company that organizes overnight trips.
Where to Stay in Sekotong
Since this regency is a little tucked away. To save money on transport, I’d recommend staying in this largely unexplored part of Lombok Indonesia for a couple of nights to check out all the best things to do. Here are my top picks for budget accommodation.
- Cocotinos Sekotong Lombok - The property overlooks the incredible secret Gilli islands, has a large outdoor beachfront pool, a wellness center, and has its very own digital nomad video editing room. A great choice for those wanting a quiet location.
- Krisna Bungalows and Restaurant - located in Pelangan, not too far from Sekotong harbor. Each double room is equipped with a fan and bathroom and is conveniently located in a quiet area. You’ll also get a free breakfast.
- Silver Fern Beach Retreat if you’re looking for a place in Lombok Indonesia to escape the crowds, meet some great people and unwind by the swimming pool, then this is it. Breakfast is included and the owners can organize loads of tours and activities in Lombok.
More Photos from the Secret Gili Islands of Lombok
Looking for more Lombok island travel inspiration? Here are some more photos from my trip to Gili Kedis and the Secret Gili Islands!
More Lombok Travel & Adventure Guides
I hope you've enjoyed this quick guide to visiting the Secret Gili Islands of Gili Sudak, Gili Nanggu, and Gili Kedis in southwest Lombok, Indonesia.
While you're still here, make sure to check out some of my other travel guides to the region below!
Wednesday 27th of July 2022
I as a local person are very grateful, have reviewed the natural beauty of Lombok, hopefully one day I can meet and take you to tourist attractions on the island of Lombok.