Complete island hopping and snorkeling guide to the Secret Gili Islands off Lombok Indonesia; Gili Kedis, Gili Nanggu, and Gili Sudak. Explore 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”, these are a remarkably more peaceful and off-the-beaten-path Lombok travel destination.
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.
In this blog post, I’ll outline my experience on the overnight Secret Gili Island hopping tour visiting Gili Nanggu and Gili Sudak and camping under the stars on the tiny island of Gili Kedis.
How to Get to the Secret Gili Islands off Lombok
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 shuttle 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 trip.
However, if you don’t want to waste any time, then I highly recommend just booking a Secret Gili Islands tour, available from either Senggigi or Kuta Lombok and includes there-and-back transport.
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.
Secret Gili Islands Hopping and Camping Trip
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.
Gili Nanggu Snorkeling
After arriving in Sekotong Harbour, a Secret Gilis and Gili Kedis Lombok island hopping trip usually begins with Gili Nanggu snorkeling.
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 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.
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.
Gili Kedis Lombok Island Camping
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, 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.
Accommodation Near The Secret Gili Islands
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.
SEKOTONG ACCOMMODATION: Krisna Bungalows
Krisna Bungalows and Restaurant is located in Pelangan, not too far from Sekotong harbor. Sekotong Beach is only a step out of the room’s door. 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 and there is a motorbike rental next door to help you explore all the best things to do in Sekotong yourself!
BUDGET HOMESTAY: Pelangi Homestay
Pelangi Homestay Bungalow has both a sun terrace and a garden, along with a private beach area. There is Wi-Fi throughout the property and there is a free breakfast included. Pelangi Homestay Bungalow also offers snorkeling trips to the surrounding islands. This is a great place to stay and costs $17 a night.
SEKOTONG RETREAT: 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 organise loads of tours and activities in Lombok.
Source: We Seek Travel