With over 17,000 islands to explore, Indonesia is an archipelago treasure trove of travel opportunities.
Bali is by far the most popular vacation destination in the country, and the Island of the Gods serves as a gateway to many more island adventures for international tourists.
As a province, Bali is comprised of four main islands: Bali, Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan.
Just a quick fast boat ride away sits the province of Lombok, home of course the stunning island of Lombok, and the smaller outlying Gili Islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air.
There are more ‘Secret Gili’s” dotted around the coastline of Lombok but Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air are by far the most popular.
@paigeecopeland How to get to the Gili islands #gilit #bali #travel #indonesia ♬ original sound – Paige Copeland
While it is possible to fly into Lombok from Bali, the most popular way to travel to each of the outlying islands of Bali is via fast boat or ferry.
Although the crossings are synonymous with choppy conditions, tens of thousands of travelers make the journey every month.
Over the next two weeks, demand for fast boats and tickets to the Nusa Islands and the Gili Islands is going to soar.
Boat operators have already seen a 40% rise in ticket demand, and with many tourists planning their vacations on a day-by-day basis, travelers are encouraged to book tickets as soon as possible.
@nininouxx2 Fun fact of gili #gili#gilitrawangan #giliislands #travel#boat#fun#funfac#funny#travel#bali#indonesia#gilipolllas #giliponchy #gilimeno#lombok#landscape#people#waitforit#wait ♬ Funny Song – Funny Song Studio & Sounds Reel
The Operations Manager from Eka Jaya Fastboat, one of the biggest boat operators in the province, spoke to reporters about what the next few weeks will look like on the boats, in the ports, and on the water.
I Gede Edi Ariana said that the flow of fast boat passengers had increased since 10th December, with an initial increase of 10-15%.
However, since Tuesday, 19th December, demand for travel to the Nusa Islands and the Gili Islands from Sanur Harbour and Padang Bai Harbour has increased by over 40%.
@tj_wonderfullandscape This is a paradise island 🏝️🏞️#diamondbeach #nusapenida #bali #indonesia #scenery #beautiful #amazing #view #foryou ♬ Icarus – Position Music
Ariana confirmed, “We are increasing trips, from two to three trips [per day]. This year may increase more than last year because now Covid has subsided.”
An officer from Padang Bai Harbour told reporters that over 2,000 people on average are now making the crossing to Lombok and the Gili Islands every day, whereas throughout the rest of the year, figures sit far lower, with 1,200 people making it feel like a busy day.
Island-hopping is a great way to experience more of what Indonesia has to offer tourists. Lombok, although only a short hop across the ocean, feels different from Bali.
The island of Lombok is well set up for tourism, though it is nowhere near the level of big resort-style infrastructure found in the south of Bali.
Lombok offers tourists amazing surf, incredible hiking trails around Mount Rinjani, and stunning beaches rarely visited by tourists.
The Gili Islands have long been popular with backpackers and younger travelers. The hidden paradise islands have undergone a period of development, and each is a unique destination in its own right, offering something different to different tourist demographics.
Gili T remains a hidden party retreat for travelers who want to let loose in paradise. Gili Meno is by far the quietest of the three islands, ideal for tourists who want to rest, rejuvenate, and ease into a slower pace of life.
Many feel that Gili Air offers a happy medium, loved by yogis and creatives, Gili Air is home to cute cafes, and yoga schools, and is fantastic for snorkeling.
Tourists can book fast boat and ferry crossings to Lombok, the Nusa Islands, and the Gili Islands from Sanur and Padang Bai Harbor in advance.
It is possible to make boat bookings online, though for most tourists, the most efficient way to secure tickets is through travel agent services on offer at hotels, guesthouses, and resorts.
Tourists are urged to leave more than enough time to travel to the ports this festive season as conditions on the road are expected to be busy.
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