All you need to know to prepare for your next adventure!
Welcome to our Marine Conservation Project’s FAQ page! Here, we’ve compiled a list of common questions to help you prepare for your exciting journey to Gili Air. As you embark on your conservation adventure with us, we want to make sure you have all the essential information to make the most of your time here. From travel logistics to island amenities, we’ve got you covered!
Travel and Logistics
The drive from south Bali to Padang Bai is around 1.5 hours, traffic dependent. The ferry crossing can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the sea conditions. From the harbor of Gili Air, it’s just a short 5-minute horse cart ride to your new home in paradise.
There are no cars or motorized vehicles on the island. The best way is to rent or buy a bicycle. You can also take a “cidomo” (horse cart) however they are a little expensive and only run during the daytime. Otherwise, you can walk! And shoes are optional 😉
Most businesses offer free Wifi and therefore internet connection is widely available on the island! However, for western standards, it is quite slow.
Gili Air is very small. It only takes one hour to walk around it and only 10 minutes to bike from one side to the other.
You cannot drink the water from the tap, however, it is fresh water. Water jugs and refill stations are available throughout the island. Please make sure you bring a reusable water bottle with you to refill instead of purchasing one use plastic bottles when you’re here.
There is an assortment of international restaurants on the island, from Mexican, Italian, and of course local Indonesian food. The local food is delicious! Based around mixed rice with your choice of meats, fresh fish, and vegetables. There is a lot of spicy food in Indonesia but you can always ask for ‘tidak penas’ (no spicy!).
This is a small island and the power comes from a large solar panel field and wires from Lombok. This means that island-wide rolling blackouts are very common. But this is all part of the fun! Fortunately, we have a generator so the headquarters and volunteer accommodation have power during those longer power outages.
The rainy season lasts from November until March, but don’t let this deter you from visiting during this period! It doesn’t rain every day, all day long. In fact, we have our own microclimate, which typically results in mostly sunny mornings, with rain occurring mostly in the afternoons. During the rainy season, there may be one or two weeks when it rains every day, but it’s difficult to predict exactly when this will happen.”
Lombok, Bali, and Nusa Lembongan are a short boat ride away and easily accessible if you want to get off the island and explore. Gili Air is known for its diving, yoga, and food! There are multiple yoga studios offering a variety of classes including acro and fly high!
There are also many water sports including snorkeling, stand-up paddleboard, surfing, Subwing, and many more!
The Gili’s are made up of three islands and you can also explore the two small neighboring islands! Gili Trawangan is a busy tourist island with shopping and lots of nightlife. Gili Meno is the quiet ‘Honeymoon Island’ known for its white pristine beaches.
Health and Safety
There are several clinics that provide basic healthcare and medication. For serious injuries or health care issues we recommend going to the International hospital in Lombok or Bali.
Although there is malaria throughout Indonesia, the risk to travelers staying on the Gili islands is quite small and prevention by malaria tablets is usually not prescribed. Check with your local health authority for the latest recommendations. Use repellents and cover your body around sunrise/sunset.
Let’s Talk Money
The local currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Keep in mind that there are a lot of zeros in the currency and it can be confusing. 1,000,000 (yes, a million!) is roughly equal to USD$ 70, EURO € 60, GPB £ 50, AUS$ 100.
Yes, we have several ATM machines which most international debit and credit cards. Make sure you contact your bank before traveling to avoid any account freezes.