When it comes to Gili Islands snorkeling, Gili Meno is without a doubt one of the best spots in Lombok for underwater gems. This is of course partly due to the fascinating treasures that lie beneath the crystal clear waters, as well as the beautiful wildlife that is just too easy to find around the Gili Islands. There is one spot in particular for Gili Meno snorkeling that you simply do not want to miss out on during your next visit to the Gili Islands: the Gili Meno underwater statues. It is possible to view the statues from any of the Gili islands, however, we recommend staying the night on Gili Meno and viewing them first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Despite Gili Meno being the best Gili island for snorkeling. This is simply because of how chaotic the statues are throughout the day, due to the huge number of boat tours that pass between the islands on a daily basis.   Gili Meno Underwater Statues    

Before you set off on your adventure to these paradise islands, make sure you have everything you need! Download our FREE printable packing list, with all of the items you will need to pack, as well as some other useful tips about the islands.

  Nonetheless, this guide will tell you all about how you can make the most of snorkeling Gili Meno, including how to get to the statues from any of the three Gili Island and as our experience of doing so. Who knows, if you are lucky you might even spot one of the many Gili Meno turtles!  

For more information on the Gili Islands, read our ultimate guide to the three Gili Islands over here. 


Don’t forget to subscribe and follow our journey on Youtube here.


Before you set off on your adventure to these paradise islands, make sure you have everything you need! Download our FREE printable packing list, with all of the items you will need to pack, as well as some other useful tips about the islands.

A drone shot of the Gili Meno beaches
The blue waters of Gili Meno are enough to make anyone fall in love.

The Best Spot for Snorkeling Gili Meno

Getting to Gili Meno

Depending on where you are coming from will depend on how you can get to Gili Meno, whether you are going from Bali to Gili Meno or Lombok to Gili Meno, there is an easy option for you.. It is possible to go by fast, private boat or by using the Gili Island’s public boats. The private speedboats are obviously the faster of the two options, however it is also the expensive option. The public boats between the islands are cheaper, although they only tend to run twice a day, and only leave when they are full. Make sure you are aware of the timetable for the public boat to avoid finding yourself stranded until the next departure.  

Public Ferry from Bali to Gili Islands

If cheap is what you are looking for, then the public ferry is your best option for getting to Gili islands from Bali. It takes around five hours to get from Padang Bai in Bali to Lombok. Here you will disembark and wait for the next public ferry to take you over to your chosen Gili Island. In total this trip could take around eight hours, however it will cost you much less than the faster boat options (roughly £3 in total). The public ferry from Padang Bai to Lombok will cost you roughly £2, and the public ferry from Lombok to Gili Trawangan roughly £1.  

Flying from Bali to Gili Islands

We can recommend flying to Lombok from Bali and spending a few days there before heading out to the islands. If you aren’t wanting to do that, you can get a taxi to Senggigi or Bangsal harbour where you can catch a boat to the Gili Islands. You can then catch one of the ferries that head from Gili Meno to Lombok and back again. The cheapest airline is Lion Air and it takes around 30 minutes. If you are flying, make sure to have your ticket printed before hand or you may not be allowed to board your flight.    

Also Read – Living in Bali – All You Need to Know for One Month in Bali


Speed Boat from Bali to Gili Islands

This is the most convenient way to get to the Gili Islands and you can expect this trip to take around 4 hours. There are a few different speed boat options to get to and from the Gili Islands from Bali and from the Nusa Islands. Check out these companies below.   Check out the latest routes and prices for Gili Getaway here. Check out the latest routes and prices for Blue Water Express here.  Check out the latest routes and prices for Ocean Star Express here. Check out the latest routes and prices for Patagonia Xpress here. Check out the latest routes and prices for Scoot Fast Cruises here.   If you have booked a ferry, make sure you have your tickets printed, as some companies will not let you board without a paper copy. We have asked in hotels and doctor’s surgeries before, and they have both printed off the documents we required. Good to keep in mind if there is no print shop nearby.    

Gili Island Hopping Tour – Gili Island Transfers

Transferring between between the Gili Islands is really simple. There are ferry ports on all of the islands and you will recognise this as the place that you arrived into the island, the place with lots of people and bags and the place with lots of boats. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find. Public boats between the islands are normally around £1.80-£2.40. They leave once or twice a day and only leave when they are full of people, so are only really an option if you are not in a rush to get anywhere. Find out the times of departure the night before to avoid getting stranded and having to pay extra for a private transfer. If you are all out of luck with the public boat, hang around the ferry terminal and ask other people where they are off to. We did this when we just missed out ferry and managed to split the cost of a private transfer between the 6 of us, costing only £2.40 each.  
A busy public boat from Lombok to Gili T
The crowded floor of the Lombok to Gili T public boat.

Gili Meno’s Underwater Statues

One of the most surprising and beautiful things that we have found under the turquoise waters of Gili Meno is the underwater sculptures sitting just off shore. Created by the artist and environmentalist Jason deCaires Taylor, the statues found beside Gili Meno are similar to others found in the Caribbean, London and the Canary Islands.  

What are the statues

The statues consist of 48 figures, lying down or embracing each other, set in a complete circle called the “Nest”. Each figure is made from a real human mold, meaning each one is unique to the rest, with different facial expressions, size and position. The idea behind the “Nest” is to provide coral a medium to grow upon, promoting the marine life in this area of the island.  
Fish swim around the underwater statues
Wildlife reclaims the underwater statues.

Getting to the statues from Gili Trawangan

Given that the statues are just across the water from Gili Trawangan, it is not too complicated to make a trip to see them from this party island. This is actually one of the main reasons snorkelling Gili Trawangan is so popular!   Solo by Kayak A popular way of exploring the popular Bali statues from Gili T is to rent a kayak and make your own way across the gap between the islands. The distance between the islands is no wider than 1km, so it should be possible to make the journey in less that half an hour.  

BE AWARE that the current which runs between the islands is very strong, and that care must be taken if you do decide to make this journey. Do not attempt it unless you are confident at sea-kayaking.

  Organised Snorkel Tour The other way to get across this narrow gap of ocean to see the statues from Gili T is by taking part in an organised Gili Trawangan snorkeling tour. These usually cost about £6 and include a snorkel, mask and flippers. They leave from beside the old public market, right beside the harbour. This trip will also include stops at a turtle point on one of the islands, as well as a fish feeding stop, on top of the statues. You will also most likely make a stop on Gili Air for lunch before returning back to Gili T. The trip usually takes about 3 hours in total. Do note that the statues get ridiculously busy at the times when the tours visit the spot, making it impossible to relax and enjoy the underwater marvel that they offer. The best way to see these statues is to stay on Gili Meno and go at sunrise or sunset.  

Getting to the Statues from Gili Air

Given that in order to get to the statues from Gili Air you will need to travel to the other side of the island, it is much more difficult to get to them by yourself from Gili Air. This means that there is really only one way to see the statues from Gili Air.   Organised Snorkel Tour The snorkel tours that run from Gili Air are almost identical to those from Gili T. They will usually start at the harbour and run for about 3 hours around 3 different stops, one turtle spot, the Gili Meno statues and a fish feeding stop, before returning to the island again. Once again, the statues get ridiculously busy at the times when the tours visit the spot, making it impossible to relax and enjoy the underwater marvel that they offer. The best way to see these statues is to stay on Gili Meno and go at sunrise or sunset.  

Getting to the Statues from Gili Meno

Which brings us onto our final (and best) way of getting to the underwater statues, by staying on Gili Meno and visiting them at your own leisure. The statues are located about 20m off the shore of Gili Meno, marked by the huge white sign on the beach reading “BASK”, where a future hotel will be located. The beach here is incredibly coarse, mainly consisting of broken coral from the nearby reefs, which makes it tough to walk on. If you are going out to the statues, it is necessary to either pack shoes that can be worn in the water, or to equip your flippers on the shore and walk backwards for about 20m to get out past the shallow water.  
Underwater Statues at Gili Meno
The beauty of the underwater statues.

When is the Best Time to Go

The Gili Meno weather stays pretty predictable on a seasonal basis; it is hot and sunny almost every day. The same goes for the day to day weather, with a gorgeous sunrise to start the day, followed by blue skies until roughly 3pm, when the Lombok clouds begin to roll over. The best time to go to Gili Meno is therefore not based on weather but more on popularity. “When is the quietest, most peaceful time to go?” is the better question. During the hours of about 8am till 12pm and then 1pm till 4pm, the site of the statues is quite literally crawling with people. The boats pile in and drop people off by the dozen, making it impossible to relax and enjoy the artwork that has gone into these statues during these times. The better option is to arrive there either at first or last light, when the lighting is best for photography and you have the statues entirely to yourself. We would highly recommend doing this and spending the night here on Meno to recover and enjoy the solitude that it brings.    

Before you Go to Gili Meno

What Travel Insurance Should You Get for Gili Meno?

As you would do when you are travelling any country, make sure you have travel insurance before travelling to Indonesia. We can recommend using World Nomads Travel Insurance for the best and cheapest coverage. Always make sure that you are covered for the activities  you will want to take part in whilst you are away, from white water rafting to Gili snorkeling. Get your travel insurance quote before you leave on your trip right here.  

What Visa Should you Get for Gili Meno?

You will still be covered with your Indonesian Visa when you visit the Gili Islands. If you are travelling to Indonesia for less than 30 days, you don’t need to worry about a visa. You will automatically be granted 30 days access to travel around Indonesia. If you are planning to stay longer, you will need to apply for a Visa on Arrival before you leave the airport. Your passport must be valid for more than 6 months for you to fly to Indonesia. You can read more about how to extend your visa in Bali here.  

What Should you Pack for Gili Meno?

As with the rest of Indonesia, the Gili Islands are blessed with year round, tropical weather, rarely dipping below 30oC and showering the islands with a refreshing, warm rain every day or so. For all-intensive purposes, the weather on the Gili Islands is pretty much perfect. It also makes packing for your trip a LOT easier, as there is no need for big, bulky and heavy  clothing items. When packing for locations such as these, we try to stick with the Wash one, Wear one and Dry one principle. This means we aren’t carrying 10 extra pairs of socks that you will never even wear. For a full idea of what to pack, have a look this Summer Packing List for Men and Summer Packing List for Women.  

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Where to Stay on Gili Meno?

There is a huge variety of price ranges for Gili Meno accommodation, meaning that no matter what your budget is, you will be able to find the perfect place for you. Here are some of our top picks from the island itself! Luxury – If you are looking for the perfect place to relax on your next trip to Gili Meno, United Colors of Gili offers you a hot tub and a swimming pool along with your free wifi and air conditioning. You can book your stay at United Colors of Gili here. Mid-range – II Bungalow will provide you with hot showers, wifi and air conditioning for a cheap price. It is also located close to the beach and a variety of restaurants. You can book your stay at II Bungalow here. Budget – Turtle Gili Meno Bungalows are the perfect budget get away to this beautiful island. You can book your stay at Turtle Gili Meno Bungalows here.   If hostels are more your cup of tea, then there are also plenty of social hubs available for solo backpackers. You can browse the hostels Gili Meno has to offer here.  
Crystal clear waters on Gili Meno.
Crystal clear waters on Gili Meno.

Before you set off on your adventure to these paradise islands, make sure you have everything you need! Download our FREE printable packing list, with all of the items you will need to pack, as well as some other useful tips about the islands.


FAQs on the Gili Meno

Which Gili Island is Best for Snorkeling?

In terms of popularity and ease of access, Gili Trawangan is the best for snorkeling with the turtles of the Gili Islands. This is simply due to how large, popular and accessible the island is compared with Gili Air and Gili Meno. Although, if you would like a quieter trip to see the Gili Air Turtles, away from the Gili T party scene, Gili Air is the place for you.  

Which Gili Island is Best for Turtles?

Due to how much quieter Gili Air is with boats and ferries, this island is the best place to spot the (sometimes elusive) Gili Air Turtles. Snorkeling Gili Air is your best way to guarantee a turtle sighting during your trip to the Gili Islands.  

Are there sharks around the Gili Islands?

The Gili Islands are known to be home to the Black Tip Reef Shark, a fish that grows up to 1.6m in length and is not harmful to humans. In saying that, however, they have been known to give the odd snorkeller a nibble if they come to close.     So there you have it, the ultimate guide to snorkeling Gili Meno and how to find the Gili Meno statues. If you have recently visited Gili Meno, let us know how you found it in the comments section below. What were your favourite sights? Did you find the statues? What was your favourite island? Let us know in the comments below. You can also check out our Bali Youtube series, jam packed with information and inspiration for your trip! Also remember that sharing is caring! Share this post with your family and friends, so they can get planning a trip of their own to this beautiful part of the world. If you found this guide useful, check out our other Indonesia content to plan the rest of your trip over here. Catch up with us on social media and tag us in your Bali photos and we will share them with our community of adventurers.     Read Now:     

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Absolutely love those under water statues! I’m in Bali in September and toying with the idea of heading to the Gili Islands, but I think you’ve made my mind up for me!

    1. highlands2hammocks

      Can definitely recommend a visit! So easy to get to and well worth the trip.

  2. Dee Coury

    you have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

  3. ปั้มไลค์

    Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

    1. highlands2hammocks

      Thank you for the feedback! I’m glad you enjoyed the article



    1. highlands2hammocks

      Hi there! How exciting, you are going to have an amazing time. We rented snorkels on Gili Meno when we were there from a local shop, however, I don’t think there are any tours or scuba centres on the island as it is too quiet. Gili T is the main tourist hub and all of the tours leave from there from my recollection. It is very easy to get between the two islands though so there is no need to worry. If you get the local ferry itll take about 30 minutes but it is very cheap. Enjoy!

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