Snorkeling with turtles, Gili islands, Indonesia
Gili Air, Gili Meno, Gili Travangan. Those 3 islands are full of beautiful sandy beaches, great restaurants, pubs and hostels, but there is much, much more..
HOW TO GET THERE
The only way to get to one of 3 Gili islands is by boat from Bali, Padangbai ( cost around 200 000 ) or from other Islands in Indonesia.
Prices are quite reasonable and depending on island and time of the year, can start from 15-20 Euro per night up to 35-40 Euro and even higher.
SNORKELING TRIP PRICES
Depending on time and location, half day trip can cost you 200-300 thousands IDR and more, up to 900 Thousands and more for a full day trip, including picking you up from your place, and boats to other islands. But for sure is worth it as you can go to great coral places, swim with turtles or mantas, or even see some great and very big fishes or wracks !
WHERE AND WHEN TO GO
When? Local diver told me the best time to meet turtles is between 8-10 am, when the water gets a bit warmer. As Turtles are coming to eat in their favorite places. Afternoon would also be a good time. However it might be quite hard to find them over evenings.
Where? Although you can meed turtles all around Gill T and Gili Air, and you do not have to go far from beach, my most favorite spot was in front of villa Amarik in Gili travangan as there water is not very deep there, and you can see some corals and there is lots of underwater grass. This grass is one of the most favorite snack for those turtles. You can also try to get into one of the boat trips driven by locals who will take you to other spots.
Here is a map with some diving spots around those 3 Islands – GILI ISLANDS DIVING MAP
SHOULD I BE AFRAID?
Not at all, they are very friendly, and since there are so many tourists over all time of the year, turtles are absolutely not bothered. Still, you should keep the distance, and do not try to touch or hug them as they might bite you back, which might give you a nasty wound! Remember, you are a guest and a visitor in their world not vice versa. No matter how fast you swim, they might still chase you and bit your price. So stay safe and keep the distance and they will pay you back with a beautiful poses and smile.