Gili Trawangan has an incredible array of dive sites within a very short distance of eachother. From Gangga Divers Dive Centre at Villa Almarik you can get to at least 10 sites within 10-15 minutes. A few minutes further and there are at least 10 more. So which of these dive sites around Gili Trawangan are a must when visiting the island? Let us make some recommendations for beginners up to the most advanced divers.
Best Dive Sites around Gili Trawangan for Beginners (or any level)
This is a great site for multi-level diving with different corals appearing all the way down. This steep slope runs from 5 to 24 metres so beginners can dive shallow and still see plenty of marine life, while divers with higher certifications can diver deeper. In the shallows there are always beautiful sea turtles hanging lazing around and they are totally unfazed by divers. The gullies at the bottom of the slope hide plenty of life and it’s also a great site for a drift dive thanks to steady currents.
To the south of Gili Trawangan Manta Point offers a lovely array of hard and soft corals mixed with bommies and large table corals which shelter the fish. The current is extremely gentle here so it’s great for beginners. You will also get the chance to get up close with reef sharks, sting rays, cuttlefish, octopus and in season passing manta rays.
Back to the north of Gili Trawangan, Shark Point has a flat sandy bottom that turns into progressively deeper canyons running parallel to the shoreline. If you want to see bigger marine life, this is the site. Reef sharks, cuttlefish and stingrays settle in the canyons, while turtles rest in the shallows. Every full moon schools of huge bumphead parrotfish stop by this spot. You might also see large rays and schools of passing trevally passing by.
Stingray is another gentle slope just off the east of Gili Trawangan. Huge stingrays can be seen here, hence the name of the site. This is also a good muck dive and has 8 artificial reefs from a recent biorock project where many smaller critters and beautiful reef fish love to hang out.
This slope runs from the west side of Gili Meno towards Gili Trawangan. It runs from 5 to 28 metres and is very sandy. The shallow part of the slope is ideal for beginners, with some beautiful small and large coral bommies.
Meno slope leads to the Bounty Wreck, actually a biorock, which has been well established for many years. It’s full of macro life and corals, which also attract green sea turtles, spiny lobsters, leaf scorpion fish, colorful nudibranchs, large pufferfish, and several species of anemone fish. More advanced divers can drift along with the turtles on the steady currents here.
Advanced Divers Only
Deep Turbos just off the east coast of Gili Trawangan is a dive for those who can get down to 30 metres. At the bottom you’ll find a sandy bottom with large sea mounds. A wonderful variety of corals and huge sea fans shelter some amazing creatures. Thousands of garden eels cover the sany bottom and leopard sharks, giant rays and barracuda can also be founds here.
This wreck from 1945 is actually off the south coast of Gili Air but is definitely worth visiting. This WWII patrol boat is about 20 meters long and sits 45 metres down on the sandy bottom. The wreck is covered in scorpionfish and lionfish, there’s plenty of colourful nudibranchs and huge frogfish to see. You must be nitrox certified for this dive.
Along the north side of Gili Trawangan you’ll find two coral ridges separated by white sand at a depth of 24 metres. This site goes down to 35+ metres and is a favorite spot for speciality and nitrox training. In between the ridges fish school and attract pelagics like white and black tip reef sharks, and big eye trevallies. Occasionally devil, manta and spotted eagle rays are seen here as well.
This site is a little bit further from Gili Trawangan, to the north of Gili Air, but again is very much worth the boat ride. From 10 to 35 metres, these ridges with white sand in between feature some stunning coral gardens. There is no slope but a drop down to the sea mound 10 metres below is good for more advanced divers. In the shallows you’ll find green and hawksbill turtles, while the deeper water holds giant sponges, sea fans and soft rainbow corals. The reefs here attract schooling snappers, fusiliers, anemone and trigger fish.
The variety of dive sites around Gili Trawangan is truly a blessing. You don’t have to travel far at all to see totally different terrain, and there is something for every skill level. Which site sounds most exciting to you? Let us know in the comments below!