When people comes to Bali they will likely have a stop at one of these three small beautiful gilis (island): gili Air, gili Meno and gili Trawagan. If you haven’t been there before, we absolutely recommend you to have at least a day on one of these islands.
However, if you like to travel off the beaten path and wants to visit gilis less crowded we can recommend you the Secret Gilis in Sekotong.There are about 12 gilis scattered along the coast of Sekotong, in Southwest coast of Lombok island.
HOW TO GET THERE
By flight: There are very cheap direct flights with Airasia from Bali to Lombok and the fligh takes about 45 min. From the Zainuddin Abdul Madjid International Airport in Lombok we ordered a car from GRAB for about 300K (20 USD) to our accomodation in Sekotong. The ride took about 2 hours.
By public ferry: If you have time and wants some added adventures into your holiday, you could take the public ferry from Padang Bai Harbour in NorthEast Bali to Lembar port in Southwest of Lombok. The duration of the trip should take between 3-6 hours depending on the weather. There are no timetable or schedule. Every one hour, one ferry disembark then replaced with another ferry. The car ride from Lembar port to your accomodation is about 30 min depending of where you are staying in Sekotong.
You can find more informations Here
WHEN TO GO
We were there in the middle of February, during the rain period which is between December-April. And it was raining…but we also had some sunny days but to be honest, we got caught in the middle of a rainstorm once or twice..or three. It seems aswell as if during the rain season, the current brings a lot of trash to this part of Lombok.
WHERE TO STAY IN SEKOTONG
There weren’t many options available in 2020 but there might be more choices by the time you get there as there were a lot of construction going on. We opted for the affordable, quite and simple but very lovely secluded place, Palmyra Indah Bungalows. The food was really good and affordable, free kayaks and snorkeling gears are available, and you can also see these blue glowing plankton right by the beach at night. They also organize Secret Gilis- hopping for a very good price. For a half day we paid 350K for a boat, with four adults maximum. We had two kids both under 5 years old and they were riding for free.
Palmyra Indah Bungalows in Sekotong Lombok, Indonesia.
The view of Gili Gede from Palmyra Indah bungalows.
We had two different boats on our islands hopping. They both felt safe and were very good but we all prefered our first boat (the second photo below). The benches facing each other so we had more space for our legs.
Our favorite boat for island hopping in Sekotong.
Two happy girls exploring Secret gilis in south of Sekotong in Lombok.
OUR FIRST DAY
On our first day of island hopping in Sekotong we started by snorkeling right in front of Gili Rengit which was about 30 min away from Palmyra Indah. We didn’t go on shore to Gili Rengit but jumped right into the sea from the boat. Nevertheless, the snorkeling was actually good! The visibility was not bad, we saw a huge turtle and so much of soft flower corals as far as the eyes could see! Our first day of island hopping in Sekotong started really awesome!
Our first turtle of the day snorkeling at Gili Rengit in Sekotong.
Unfortunately, like many other places in Indonesia we have visited, the locals are still using the same traditional way of fishing, meaning that they walk and jump right onto the corals. I could see from underwater while snorkeling how they jumped on one coral to another destroying the thousands of years old natural mechanisms.
Our second stop on our first day was Gili Layar. If you wish to stay here over night there are Layar Beach Bungalows. We had lunch here, it was affordable but some dishes were better than the other. We relaxed by the deserted beach and had a walk. It was here we saw for the first time how much Sekotong was invaded by garbage. Bottles, shoes, toothbrush, bag…scattered all over the sand floor.
But despite the human trash, we enjoyed snorkeling right off the Layar beach. It was also not bad! Two good snorkeling spots in a day, I was very happy no matter how much trash there were on the beach.
The crystal clear water at Gili Layar in Sekotong in Lombok, Indonesia.
You can’t see the trash but I was actually standing on a pile of trash, on Layar beach. Secret gilis in Sekotong.
If not trash, there were broken corals and it didn’t felt like a walk on the beach for the feet.
My second turtle of the day! Not as big as the first one but as cute, snorkeling off shore at Layar beach in Sekotong Lombok.
When we were at Gili Layar, it was a light current drifting to east. So I walked as far west as I could, swam out as far as the drop off started and I just let myself float with currents as far east as I wanted. There were so much to see! I love that the water is shallow so it’s easy for the kids to see all the beautiful underwater life!
I spotted a sea slug!
Gili Asahan is a popular island for those who are interested to stay on one the Secret gilis in Sekotong. There are some choices of accommodations, an example is the popular Gili Asahan Eco Lodge.
Gili Asahan was our third island of the day, it was late on the afternoon and everybody were really tired so unfortunately we only spend about 30 minutes on the island.
The little we saw, we liked it. I wish we could tell you more about this tiny secret gili of coast Sekotong.
Gili Goleng was our last snorkeling spot on our first day. Nobody else wanted to have a look so I jumped right in and snorkeled for about 5 minutes. It was also here I saw my third turtles of the day.
The visibility was not the best and there were a lot of plastics floating around on the sea surface. There were a lot of hard corals and really not much interesting underwater life to see. But if you have more time, perhaps give Gili Goleng a chance.
There are mostly hard corals by Gili Goleng in south of Sekotong.
On our second day of island hopping in south of Sekotong in Lombok, we had a relaxing morning at Gili Lontar. We called this island for the “Hamburger island” because the island looks like a hamburger from above.
Plastic on every corner of Gili Lontar in Sekotong Lombok.
This island looks absolutely gorgeous from 40 meters above but the reality is that this tiny gili is completely covered by trash. We had a walk round the island and every surface of the gili was covered of garbages. We found a plastic free spot on the sand and enjoyed the blue sea for a moment. As there was a rainstorm approaching us, we decided to have lunch at Gili Layar where the sky looked clear and blue.
Gili Lontar has two habitants, the monkeys.
THE NORTHERN GILIS
Since the distance was too far, Palmyra Indah didn’t organize boats to Secret gilis on the northern part of Sekotong. So I organised a boat with Kristna Hotel, a hotel situated at the northern part of Sekotong where we suppose to move into after Palmyra Indah but we finally didn’t. They have good reviews and a nice pool with a beautiful view of the sea, worth having a look.
We organized a car ride to Krisna hotel where we jumped onto a boat similar to the first one we had on our first day. The price was the same as Palmyra Indah, 300K for the entire boat with maximum of 4 adults.
Our first stop was Gili Nanggu. Before coming to Sekotong, I had already been reading some blog posts so I had high expectation for snorkeling by this island. Unfortunately, snorkeling at Gili Nanggu wasn’t as good as I was hoping for. The visibility wasn’t top however there were a lot of fishes for beginners and the kids to enjoy.
We swam along the drop off and the further away the “hot spot” you are the better is the snorkeling but there were big waves around there so watch out!
We had a walk away from the main beach and found another smaller but beautiful beach and unfortunately also very much plastic all over the sand floor.
There were a lot of fishes at Gili Nanggu in Sekotong.
After Gili Nanggu we went to Gili Sudak for lunch. There were some warungs selling food and drinks. It was a nice looking island with beautiful beach but we didn’t stay long as the weather was turning bad and we wanted to visit Gili Kedis before heading back to the mainland.
Although, I did go snorkeling for a tiny bit but there wasn’t much to see. Perhaps I was on the wrong spot?
Our initial plan was to do a night camping on this tiniest island, Gili Kedis. But as we were on rain season and the weather was unstable we decided not to risk getting wet. But it would have been fun to gather a group of good friends for a night of camping! You can do it independently which will cost a lot less than to organise by an agent.
I snorkeled around the island but it was prettier above than down the sea!
So there you have it! I hope you will the Secret Gilis in Sekotong Lombok!
If you like this post, help us by sharing it!❤️
If you want to snorkel in Amed in Bali, by clicking down below you can find some of the best snorkeling spots around Amed.