Visiting the picture-perfect Gili Nanggu, Sudak and Kedis Secret Gilis is an enjoyable island-hopping tour for beach lovers and for those who love snorkeling. If you are heading to South Lombok, I highly recommend adding this island-hopping trip to your things to do list. Learn from this post all the information you need to know before your trip like how to get there, where to stay and where to snorkel!
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How to get to Gili Nanggu, Sudak and Kedis?
Nanggu, Sudak and Kedis are the most popular Sekotong Islands just off the coast in Lombok Indonesia, not so far from Lembar port. They belong to the Secret Gilis in the less visited, therefore more relaxed south part of Lombok. Do not mix them with Trawangan, Meno and Air that can be found next to Bangsal port on the north. However, the North Gili Islands snorkeling places offer vibrant corals and rich marine life too, choose to stay on the south if you want to see the laid-back side of the island and explore some of Lombok best snorkel places like Nanggu, Sudak or Kedis. If you stay longer on the island, make sure to visit Gili Asahan and Gili Layar as well!
Gili Nanggu, Sudak and Kedis can be reached with a short boat ride from mainland Lombok. Since the islands are pretty small and there is not too much to do on them besides beaching and snorkeling, the most popular choice is visiting them within a ‘Secret Gilis’ island hopping day trip. Most hotels and villas have their own boatman so it is handy to ask your host to arrange the trip. If you prefer to organize it on your own, head to Tawun Beach where locals offer day trips. Prices start from 250-300.000 IDR (17-20 USD), but of course you can try to get a better deal.
Nanggu is the first stop of the island-hopping snorkel trip. It is the furthest destination of the day but to the get there shouldn’t take more than 25 minutes from the shore. Gili Nanggu is a postcard-perfect place with white sand and warm water where you can spend long hours enjoying the sun and sea. There is no restaurant or shop on the island, so make sure to bring water and some snacks.
Plastic is a big problem in Indonesia and I’m sure you will see tons of rubbish on land and also floating plastic in the sea. Fortunately, some places started to realize that they should invest in waste management and there are some initiations in biggest tourist regions. Gili Nanggu has a beach cleaning service, therefore when you arrive to the island, you need to pay a small fee for maintenance.
Snorkeling Gili Nanggu
Gili Nanggu offers the best conditions for snorkeling on this Secret Gilis island-hopping trip. With easy access, shallow and current-free water it is a safe place to snorkel even for beginners. There are always huge schools of fish around and the corals are pretty healthy. One can observe several coral restoration structures too. However, depending on the tide and the number of boats around, the visibility can be low. For the best water clarity, try to go as early as possible!
Gili Nanggu Cottages
Should you consider spending a few nights in this remote paradise, we have good news for you! There is a small resort where you can stay at, the Gili Nanggu Cottages and Bungalows. First we thought that the place is not open because we haven’t found it on any booking sites, but arriving to the island we saw that towels hanging on the bungalows’ railings and people walk around. However, we haven’t checked the bungalows from inside, they looked a little outdated from outside, but seemed to be good for 1-2 nights. Finally, we found out that you can book the Gili Nanggu Cottages directly through their website only. You can use the reservation form, but we suggest to contact them through WhatsApp.
The second stop of the Secret Gilis island-hopping is Gili Sudak, which is often mentioned as the lunch island because only Sudak has a restaurant ‘warung’. You might be hungry and thirsty after snorkeling at Gili Nanggu, so take the opportunity on Gili Sudak for a break! Order a fresh fruit juice and enjoy a light lunch before exploring the island! If you want, you can go snorkeling as well. The reef runs parallel to the shore right in front of the bungalows. We haven’t enjoyed it too much and returned to the shore quite quickly since the visibility was not good because of the tide, but you might be lucky to enjoy clear water.
Gili Sudak hotel – Nirvana
Those who want to disconnect a bit from the everyday rush can stay for overnight on the island. The Nirvana Gili Sudak has some simple yet cosy bungalows directly on the beach. The rooms are equipped with fan and come with a private bathroom. Enjoy fantastic sunrises and sunsets directly from the terrace and watch the starry sky at night! Such a romantic getaway!
Kedis is the tiniest out of these 3 islands and often called the honeymoon island! Just take a look at the photo below, and I’m sure you will instantly fall in love with this heavenly island as we did!
Despite of its small size, Gili Kedis is truly idyllic: you find powdery fine white sand on it and a few trees providing visitors with shelter from the strong sun. The shady area is not too big, and if there are bigger groups on the island you might need to stand in the sun. To avoid getting sunburned, make sure to wear sun protective clothes and apply sunscreen that doesn’t harm coral reefs. There is a small shop on Gili Kedis where you can buy some snacks and drinks.
Snorkeling at Gili Kedis is not exceptional. There is reef around the island, but seemed to be destroyed, probably it is the result of the constant boat traffic. One can find some living coral patches with small fishes around them, but not so many like at Gili Nanggu.
However most island hopping tour include Nanggu, Sudak and Kedis in the itinerary, there is one more island that you will see on the way. This is Gili Tangkong, between Nanggu and Sudak. It is not that popular like the other three Gilis because there is nothing on it except stunning sandy beaches, amazing palm trees and a few wooden buildings.
Since there is no business operating on Gili Tangkong, meaning no restaurant or hotel, tourist boats usually just pass by unless you ask your boatman to stop for a few minutes so that you can hang around and enjoy this Robinson island! If you have the opportunity, jump into the water and explore the coral reef around Gili Tangkong which is almost as stunning as at the nearby Gili Nanggu!
Where to stay in South Lombok?
If you don’t want to stay for overnight out on the islands, book a hotel in South Lombok where you easily arrange day trips to the islands. Since South Lombok is not so touristy yet, there are not that many accommodation options like in Bali or the North Gili Islands. However, one can find decent places to stay in all price categories. There are no huge resorts but small, familiar hotels, therefore we suggest to book your room in advance if you arrive in the main season (summer months).
Our Sekotong hotel recommendations:
Luxury: The Suites Lombok
If you want to stay at a luxury beach hotel in South Lombok, don’t look further! The Suites Lombok beach hotel faces directly Gili Sudak and Kedis, so you will not only have an amazing view but also can take a boat anytime to the Secret Gilis directly from the beach.
With an on-site restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool, gym, free bike rental and canoeing, The Suites Lombok will satisfy all your needs no matter you arrive for a romantic getaway or an adventurous vacation. The garden view suites and ocean-view villas are perfect for couples, while the 2-bedroom private pool villas are great choice for family trips!
Best deal: Silver Fern Beach Resort
We stayed 5 nights in the Silver Fern Beach Resort and loved it! This property has a perfect location where you can easily organize a Gili Nanggu snorkeling trip from, and it is also a strategic place to discover the South areas because they offer scooter rental and taxi service too. The rooms have everything you need for a relaxing stay: warm water shower, air-condition, TV and minibar are available. The nice garden area with sunbeds and lounge chairs is a great place to relax. You can have breakfast, lunch and dinner in the in-house restaurant at fair prices. Don’t miss out the New Zealand style breakfast and their delicious burgers!
Budget: Krisna Bungalows
Should you look for budget accommodation, we recommend the Krisna Bungalows! This beachfront property is famous among sole travelers and couples who come to Lombok for surfing, island-hopping or just relaxing. You can choose budget or deluxe rooms that all come with private bathroom and also with breakfast in the price. The Krisna Bungalows hotel has a pretty garden and also a swimming pool. The restaurant serves traditional Indonesian food and the staff can arrange a beach BBQ too. If you book more nights at the hotel, usually they offer a free Gili Nanggu snorkeling!