The Gilis, especially Gili Trawangan, have become one of Indonesia’s most popular destinations. The islands are easy to get to, reasonably priced, and most of all, stunningly beautiful. For these reasons, trips to the Gilis are always in demand, but when are the best times to go?
Let’s start with peak season, when you’ll find the Gili Trawangan at its most buzzing and energetic. June-August, during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer, and December & January, when just about everyone is off school or has a Christmas break from work, are the busiest months.
During these months you’ll want to book your fast boat or plane ticket, as well as somewhere to stay in advance. Villa Almarik is often fully booked during these times, so get in touch to book as soon as possible.
Because the Gilis have also become a desirable destination for domestic tourists and ex-pats there are also other times you might find the islands are very busy. For example you might find that hotels are booked solid during Idul Fitri, the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. This holiday generally falls between July and October, but the date changes annually.
There is also the Balinese New Year or Nyepi holiday that falls in or around March every year. This is a time when lots of ex-pats and non-Hindus like to get away from Bali and enjoy some downtime in the sun.
If you want to get out and party, this is the time to head to Gili Trawangan, but there are also quieter parts of the island, including north of the main beach where Villa Almarik is located.
The wet season starts around October and lasts until March. During this time (apart from Christmas and New Year), you’ll probably find Gili Trawangan a little quieter. However, this doesn’t mean that the heavens open for 5 months; in fact it usually rains a little in the afternoon and is blue skies for the rest of the day. And sometimes it can be raining on mainland Lombok or Bali and pure sunshine on the Gilis.
The great thing about low season is you’re less likely to be on an overcrowded boat to and from the island, the beaches are quieter and prices are slightly lower.
Visibility when snorkeling or diving might be slightly less than in the dry season, but you can expect a visibility of around 30 metres most of the year. The currents can also be a little stronger in December and January, but your dive instructors will be able to talk to you about your skill level and ensure the dives aren’t too much for you. Check out Gangga Divers if you’re looking for the most professional dive centre on Gili Trawangan.
The waters in the Lombok Strait can be beautifully calm and they can also get pretty bumpy. It’s often best to get on a morning boat from Padang Bai, as the water usually gets rougher as the day goes on. Also July and August when the southern winds blow are the bumpiest months, so if you get sea sick easily you should be prepared with medicine or even book a flight to Lombok instead. Villa Almarik would be happy to advise and book your travel for you.
What time of year would you like to be on Gili Trawangan? Leave a comment below to let us know!