The snorkelling and diving around the Gili Islands is some of the best and most accessible in Lombok, despite the havoc wreaked by an El Niňo in 1998, which locals estimate has cut down the visible marine life to around a fifth of what it was. Despite this, and a lot of visitors, however, the reefs remain in reasonable condition. All the islands are fringed by coral reefs and visibility is generally around 15m. The fish life includes white-tip and black-tip reef shark, sea turtles, manta rays, Napoleon wrasse and bumphead parrotfish.

There are good snorkelling spots just off all the islands’ beaches. Snorkel gear is widely available, but the condition does vary. Dive companies take snorkellers further afield for about and half-day tours of the three islands in a glass-bottomed boat are commonly advertised. The offshore currents around the island are strong and can be seriously hazardous. Dive operators are aware of this, but if you’re snorkelling or swimming off the beach it’s easy to get carried out further than you intend and then be unable to get back to land. There has been at least one drowning in recent years.

The best dive sites involve short boat trips. There are plenty of dive operators on the islands, and there’s a price agreement, so they all charge the same. All divers pay a one-off reef tax to the Gili Eco Trust, which works to protect the reefs around the islands.

The nearest hospital is in Mataram, where there is also a recompression chamber at Jl Adi Sucipto 13B (24hr hotline t0370 660 0333).

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Indonesia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Bali travel tips: 10 things to know before you go

Bali travel tips: 10 things to know before you go

With its coral-speckled beaches, luscious green rice terraces and blissful azure seas, Bali has long been a haven for surfers, sun worshippers and yoga junkies …

29 May 2018 • Henry Fry insert_drive_file Article
Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Modern Bangkok, historical Hanoi and tourism-boom town Siem Reap — home to the world-famous Angkor Wat temples — are some of Southeast Asia's best drawcards…

21 Nov 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
A postcard from Indonesia: life and death in Tanah Toraja

A postcard from Indonesia: life and death in Tanah Toraja

In Tanah Toraja, Indonesia, long-held animist beliefs mean the dead are laid to rest with elaborate ceremonies that last for days. Daniel Stables attends a f…

02 Nov 2017 • Daniel Stables insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs