The Gili Islands are known as paradise islands only a boat ride away from Bali but did you know they are also one of the best spots for snorkeling? Gili Trawangan especially draws divers and snorkelers from all over the world to see the majestic sea turtles that lay their eggs on the white sandy beaches of the island.
Even if you’ve never snorkeled in your life, we’ve got some tips for how you can get started and see everything Gili T has to offer.
Gili Trawangan is a great place to start snorkeling. Just in front of Villa Almarik the currents are very gentle and you can practice in shallow water.
Get started by putting your fins on and making sure they fit well. If they are too loose or too tight you will find it hard to swim effectively, which will in turn affect your breathing. It’s the breathing that is most unnatural for beginner snorkelers, so make sure you are as comfortable as possible.
Put your snorkel mask on and make sure it fits snugly without being uncomfortable. You can practice breathing normally with it on before you go in the water. It’s also a good idea to get in the pool at Villa Almarik to try out your mask before you head into the ocean.
It may feel very strange at first, but as soon as you start seeing the wonders of the underwater life around Gili Trawangan, you’ll forget all about it. You’ll quickly be breathing normally through your snorkel without even thinking about it.
What You Might See
Most snorkelers around Gili Trawangan are hoping to swim with the green and hawksbill sea turtles that live here. In front of Villa Almarik is one of the best spots on the island for turtles, so you are likely to see quite a few. Just wading out and swimming 20 metres or so is usually sufficient for turtle spotting. You can also head further north where there is a very long reef that is home to an amazing array of marine life, including turtles that stop to feed here.
On the west side of the island the currents are stronger but if you walk up the beach and let the current pull you along, you will see tons of underwater life. If you’re planning to carry your fins and walk, make sure you have reef shoes with you as the rocks and broken coral can be quite sharp around here.
Apart from turtles, you will probably see shoals of surgeonfish, a number of different butterflyfish, groups of sea goldies, banded sea snakes, brightly coloured false clownfish and a bit further out a variety of wrasse.
Gili Trawangan Snorkeling Etiquette
Just as anywhere else in the world, there are snorkeling etiquette tips that everyone should know. The first rule of snorkeling is not to touch or take anything from the sea. You should be an observer of the marine life, and should not take any kind of souvenir out of the water with you. If you want to remember your time in the water better, make sure you have a waterproof camera with you.
Secondly, do not disturb the marine life. Sea turtles are used to the presence of humans, but this does not mean you should touch them or swim too close. Let them go about their business and stay far enough away that you don’t disturb or stress them out.
Lastly, don’t stand on the coral. This goes along with not touching anything, but standing on coral is extremely detrimental to the marine environment. Coral is delicate and breaks easily. Remember coral a living thing and gives shelter and food to underwater creatures.
When to Snorkel in Gili Trawangan
Luckily for you, snorkeling is a year-round sport in Gili T. Sea turtles visit the island all year round, and the weather doesn’t change very much through the wet and dry seasons.
There are points in the year, usually around Christmas time and into Janurary when waves can become bigger and the currents stronger. During these times you may want to stay out of the water, but weather like this rarely lasts very long.
Do you love snorkeling or have you never tried before? Tell us in the comments why you’ve never been or what is it about snorkeling that you love so much. We’d love to hear all about it.