3 Options for Island-Hopping Around Bali

Planning a trip to the Indonesian paradise jewel Bali? Besides packing your passport, swimming costume and sun lotion, you will need some tips on how to travel when in Bali.

If you are island-hopping, avoid the wet seasons in Bali to make traveling hassle-free and quick! January to April and October to November are high rainfall periods in Bali, so if you are planning to travel in these months, pack a rain-coat.

Travel tip: Always insist on a life-jacket on any boat, no matter how confident a swimmer you are.

There are three ways to island hop when in Bali, and you will most likely want to make the most of your stay while in Indonesia and visit the Gili Islands. There are no vehicles on the Gili Islands, so you can only reach the Gilis via boat or air. The serene and beautiful Gili Islands are the ultimate Bali experience, and here is how you will want to get around.

Fast Boats

There are many beautiful islands near Bali, but the ultimate island experience is the three Gili micro islands. Near the coast of northwest Lombok Island, lie the 3 Gs; Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air waiting to be explored.

Pristine sandy beaches, tropical palm trees and magical coral reefs make these islands the perfect island-hopping experience for tourists. You can choose a fast boat (speed boat) to ferry you across to one of the islands from Lombok.

Fast boats are quicker than the public boats or ferries, as they are built for speed. They will cost slightly more than a ferry, but if you are in a hurry to get to your destination, a fast boat is what you need.

Public Boats

There are various ferries from Lombok to the Gili Islands, so ensure you choose the right ferry to the right island. You can choose from three ports in Lombok to four ports in the Gili Islands. Ferries are the best mode of transportation to choose if the sea is choppy, but this will mean spending a little more time on the ferry as opposed to the fast boats.

With up to 35 ferry crossings per week between Lombok and the Gili Islands, you can be rest assured that you will reach your destination even if you decide at the last minute to visit one of the islands. Public boats can accommodate 40 Pax while chartered boats can accommodate 20 Pax.

If you need transfers to the ports in Lombok, hire a taxi to take you to and from the port or inquire at your hotel or lodge about transfers. Most holiday packages to island hop will include your transfers and taxis.


There are two airlines that can transport you to Zainuddin Abdul Madjid International Airport (formerly known as Lombok International Airport) and from there you can charter a helicopter flight. If you want the luxury of arriving at the Gili Islands in style, you can book a helicopter flight from air tour operators in Bali. This of course will be the most expensive of the three travel options, but it is also the quickest and most exhilarating.

Many air tour operators can organize a marriage proposal as part of the flight package which makes a helicopter island hopping flip even better! Luxury and an engagement ring with three breath-taking islands to explore could be the marriage proposal you are looking for.

The Gili Islands are a Bali treat and worth exploring, so if you ever find yourself in Bali, try to plan an island-hopping adventure that will suit your pocket to experience the best Indonesia has to offer.

Photo By Mrmerry35 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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August 7, 2019

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