Gili Layar guide – Transfer, accommodation, snorkeling
Gili Layar in Sekotong Lombok is a good choice for solo backpackers, travel couples and families who seek a remote destination at an affordable price to relax on the beach and enjoy snorkeling. Read everything you need to know about Gili Layar from our guide for the best holiday experience!
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How to get to Gili Layar?
This peaceful island is one of the South Gilis in Sekotong, on the southwest coast of Lombok Indonesia, between Gili Gede and Gili Asahan. You can get to Gili Layar through Gili Gede or from Tembowong Harbour in Lombok.
If you arriving from Bali by speedboat (Gili Getaway), it will stop in Gili Gede. You need a second boat ride to reach the island. It is an approx. 10 mins journey, the price depends on how many you are as well as on your haggling skills, but expect to pay 50-100.000 IDR per boat.
If you wish to come from Lombok mainland, you need to get to Tembowong harbor and take a transfer boat from there. It takes about 25-30 mins and costs approx. 150.000 IDR.
South Lombok is not a big tourist hub yet (luckily, this is why we highly recommend this area over the popular North Lombok for those who prefer to stay away from the crowd). Although the transfer services are generally good and reliable, but out of the main season it might be difficult to find taxis/boats around the harbors if you come without fixed plans. Therefore, we suggest pre-arranging your transfer with your hotel.
Tip: Find more inspiration in our Lombok best snorkel spots guide to know what areas and other islands we recommend to visit when in Lombok!
Things to do in Gili Layar
When on holiday, it is nice just do nothing and enjoying the sun and sea, but if you want to know what activities are available, find here our top tips on what to do!
Gili Layar snorkeling
The house reef right in front of the beach bungalows offers safe conditions for snorkeling in shallow water. You can see a wide variety of sea creatures like
- reef fish including parrotfish, damselfish, black anemonefish
- soft and hard corals (plenty of feather corals too)
- different sea star species such as blue sea star, chocolate chip and cushion
- nudibranch and sea slugs
The most interesting things we saw on our Gili Layar snorkeling sessions were a pipefish and red ribbon-like creatures. Later we googled that they are actually nudibranch eggs!
The current is usually very light, only at low tide gets stronger. If you are not a confident swimmer, avoid snorkeling in that time. The best times to see turtles are the mornings and late afternoons.
We recommend to bring your own snorkeling equipment due to hygienic reasons, but if you don’t have, mask and fins are available to rent at the Layar Beach Bungalows!
Gili Rengit snorkel trip
The house reef offers decent snorkeling, but we have to admit that the most beautiful corals in Lombok we saw on our Gili Rengit snorkel trip! Gili Rengit (also known as Ringit) is a small island right next to Layar.
Many years ago, a hotel operated on it, but now it is uninhabited. There is only a few abandoned buildings and a small temple that Balinese owner left there.
Thanks to this fact and the small number of daily visitors, the reef is full of life with tons of fish around! If you are on Gili Layar, don’t miss out a Gili Rengit snorkel trip! The hotel staff can take you there and pick you up when you finish for 100.000 IDR per boat, no matter how many you are. (This snorkel trip can be arranged from mainland Lombok too.)
However, the reef is pretty awesome, the Gili Rengit Beach is not really nice. A downside of that the island is unpopulated that there is a huge amount of plastic washed up on the shore. Plastic pollution is generally a huge problem in Indonesia and you will see an incredible amount of garbage next to the roads and sadly, in the sea too. We encourage you to collect floating plastic when snorkeling and learning some tips to reduce your plastic usage when traveling.
Gili Asahan day trip
If you want to spend your day being active rather than lying on the beach, make a day trip to the other neighboring island, Gili Asahan too. Asahan is bigger than Layar and is known as a remote paradise island with excellent eco resorts! One can visit the traditional fishing village here and of course can go snorkeling too!
Should you need more information, check out our detailed Gili Asahan travel guide. If your travel itinerary allows you to spend a few days in Asahan too, we recommend choosing the Pearl Beach Resort.
Being on a secluded island, what else can be more relaxing than watching stunning sunsets?! The northern side of the island offers amazing sunset views with the silhouette of the majestic Mount Agung on the horizon.
To get there, just turn to the right when leaving the Layar Beach Bungalows and walk on the beach approx. 10 mins. Don’t forget to apply effective mosquito repellent because there are thousands of mosquitos on the island!
Were you always dreaming of a BBQ night on the beach? Well, Gili Layar is the perfect place to make this dream come true! Ask the Layar Beach Bungalows’ staff who will be happy to organize everything from setting up the fire to taking care of freshly-caught fish!
Watching the stars is fascinating but unfortunately, our modern living environment doesn’t provide us with too many good spots that are dark enough to see the starry sky in all its glory. Therefore, don’t miss out the opportunity when in Gili Layar to spend the evenings on the beach with stargazing!
Just walk a little away from the hotel area to the un-lit side of the island and you will discover how beautiful the world of the stars is. Don’t forget to make a wish if you see a falling star!
Tip: when traveling around in South Lombok, don’t miss out signing up for a Secret Gilis island hopping and visit Nanggu, Sudak and Kedis islands as well!
Gili Layar accommodation
There is only one accommodation option in Gili Layar, the Layar Beach Bungalow. This small Indonesian style beach-front hotel has only a few bungalows and double-rooms. This guarantees that the place never gets crowded even if it’s fully booked!
The sea-view bungalows are perfect for couples. They come with a double bed, air-condition, a private open-air bathroom and a small terrace area with a table and chairs.
The double rooms behind the bungalows offer affordable accommodation for travelers on a budget. They are equipped with a double mattress and mosquito net, but you need to use a shared bathroom outside.
The electricity in the rooms is supplied by generators and available only at night time. Keep this in mind and charge your phone and laptop in the evening. Free Wi-Fi is available all day.
The Layar Beach Bungalows has an on-site restaurant. This is where the breakfast served (included in the room rate) which is pretty delicious with omelet, toast, fresh fruit and coffee/tea.
Moreover, they offer throughout the day international, American and Asian cuisine and tasty cocktails at reasonable prices. Don’t forget to try the fresh coconut which is the best refreshment you can have on a hot day!
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