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. On Top of that these places are also a great snorkeling and diving locations!
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 IDR, which ist about 12,5 Euro or 14 USD or with another boat from other Islands in Indonesia.
One of the Bali to Gili Boats companies you can find here
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! So better book something in advance in high season time. Booking.com works pretty well there.
SNORKELING TRIP PRICES
Depending on time and location, half day trip can cost you anything from 200-300 thousands IDR and more, up to 900 Thousands for a full day trip. This however is including picking you up from your place, some sort of snack or meal and boat to the diving location. But for sure is worth it as you can go to great coral reefs, swim with turtles or mantas, or even see some great and very big fishes or wracks !
Although Snorkeling in full face masks is pretty amazing. Masks does not get foggy that easly. I do recommend to go snorkeling with a normal mask and snorkel pipe. There is a reason behind it. Full face masks will not alow you to freedive. Just imagine you need to reach something, dropped camera or you are snorkeling with bigger waves. Rmoving water from Full Face Masks is very uncomfortable. Nevertheless, whichever you choose I strongly recommend and encourage you to buy your own mask and take it with you. It will fit you better and will give you this additional comfort. Also some of the rental masks are a bit used, scratched or low quality. Invest in Mask. Find and other gear you can always rent.
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. They mosty look up for fresh grass and roots under it. So look up for a nice green grass under and you have a pretty big chances to see one. While afternoons might also be a good time, over ate afternoons and evenings we have not met any.
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. Water there is not too deep and you can see corals and a lot 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.
SHOULD I BE AFRAID?
Not at all!. Turtles are very friendly and since there are so many tourists over all time of the year this beautiful animals are absolutely not bothered. But still, you should keep the distance, and do not try to touch or hug them as they might bite you back. This might give you a nasty wound! Always remember – you are a guest in their world not vice versa.
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