We had been looking forward to coming to the Gili’s for a while purely for the chilled out atmosphere and the chance to snorkel with sea turtles. We stayed at Bedagang backpackers, which was an amazing hostel, we’d highly recommend it and can be found HERE.
Opposite the hostel was a little shack where we booked our snorkelling tour. It was labelled as the “3 Gili snorkelling tour” and for the cheap price of IDR100,000pp (including equipment) we got 5 hours out on the water with the promise we would see turtles. It was our first experience of open water snorkelling, the current was quite strong so I would definitely recommend using a life jacket. I didn’t for the first snorkel but for the second drop I put one on after breathing in quite a bit of seawater! So much so, that I may have been sick twice into the clear blue water…my bad !
The drops were really good, the water had such good visibility and the multi coloured fish and coral made for great viewing. You can see our video of the tour HERE.
It was when we dropped into the water just off the coast of Gili Meno that everyone got excited. The tour leader had spotted a turtle! He free dived down into the water and waved the turtle up without touching it. The turtle looked around and then swam up towards us, it was the single most amazing part of the trip so far for me. I had always wanted to swim with sea turtles and it was happening right now for the equivalent of £5 lol.
The footage speaks for itself but I swam along side the turtle until he swam back down to the depths. Whilst I was celebrating Georgi managed to see another turtle on her side of the water. It seems this area is just full of these amazing creatures.
Lunch, which is not included, is a stop on Gili Meno. This is where I realised that Gili Meno was going to be my favourite island. The sands are impeccably clean, the water is so clear and it’s ghostly quiet….everything that Gili T isn’t. You can read my “Gili islands overview blog” HERE.
The second half of the tour included a snorkel around the amazing underwater statues that are just off the coast of Gili Meno. The amazing spectacle is only 10ft under water so easily accessible, but watch out for the currents, they are really strong and will pull you 20m in seconds.
I would highly recommend this tour, don’t pay more than IDR100,000pp, you may have to haggle a bit at the start or just show them this blog for proof of the price lol. Our tour consisted of around 20 people, so not that busy for a morning out. Some people had paid double what we did… they must not have haggled very well.
What. A. Morning.