If you’re trying to travel from Bali to Lombok, or Bali to Gili Islands, you have a few options to consider. Taking a fast boat from Bali is one of them.
In short, if you want to know how to get to Gili Islands from Bali, then keep reading because we're going to explain.
Our family was excited to try a new form of transportation after spending so much time flying over the first few weeks in Indonesia. We had just come from spending 2 weeks in Ubud, Bali.
So, even though it was about the same price to fly from Bali to Lombok, we choose the fast boats.
There are many companies with fast boats that will take you from the Padang Port Harbor or the Benoa Harbor in Bali to Lombok, but they will most likely also stop at the Gili Islands first.
I was excited to stop and get a view of the Gili’s before we arrived in Lombok. With the soft sand beaches and turquoise water, we were excited to plan a trip to the Gilis from Lombok later during our stay!
The harbor area is busy and a little confusing. Even if you book a car pick-up from somewhere in Bali through the Fast Boat company, the man driving you may not even know where to go. Like ours.
We actually drove to the local ferry dock first and got lost. I’m so glad we were early enough that we didn’t miss our boat during the mix-up.
There will be many vendors on the dock to load that will try to sell you fruit, snacks, drinks, and their wears. Some can be pushy so be prepared.
We brought a bag of snacks and several water bottles to keep the kids happy and full during our morning traveling.
Your luggage will be tagged for the Gilis or Lombok and then tossed on top of the boat and strapped down. With how much water splashed, I’m so glad we kept our camera bag and all our backpacks with our laptops with us inside. The only bags that went on top had our clothes in them.
The fast boats go FAST and in the ocean! You bounce a lot in the waves but you are seated inside with air conditioning and a movie. Yet, I was getting nauseous even with my seabands so I did end up taking some Dramamine which helped a lot.
You will not have a western toilet on the fast boat, so prepare your kids for a ‘squatty’ style or make sure they don’t drink too much. It took our daughter 3 attempts before she could get herself to go as she just wasn’t used to the ‘squatty’ bathroom.
There are many taxis and drivers offering to give you a ride at the harbor and it can feel overwhelming. It felt pretty amazing when I driver …… called out ‘Mr. Tony’ as we were getting off the boat. We felt taken care of and ready to haul our luggage to his car.
If your plan is to visit the Gili Islands from Bali, and not first spend time on Lombok Island, then I suggest taking a fastboat.
Your other option would be to fly from Bali’s International Airport to Lombok’s International Airport, however, you’ll have a 2 ½ hour car drive from Lombok’s airport to the Bangsal harbor in Lombok. Then you could take a local ferry for only 15-20 minutes to the Gili Islands.
Yet, if you choose to instead book a Fastboat from Bali to Gili Islands, you’ll arrive in just 1 hour without any need to fly.
So, if you’re plan is to go from Bali to Gili Air or Bali to Gili T, your best option is to book a Fastboat from Bali.
It takes about 1 hour to make it from Bali to the Gili’s. Our fast boat stopped at 2 of the islands, Gili T and Gili Air, but honestly, it didn’t stay long at each. They are quick about unloading passengers and their luggage and then loading some passengers.
From Gili Air to Lombok it was only a 10-minute ride and we were at the harbor.
Fast boat trips from Bali to Gilis can coast anywhere from $20 USD to $45 USD each way per person. If you book ahead of time, you can often find a better deal. When booking, you can choose to do a one-way ticket or pay upfront for a round trip ticket.
We chose a one-way ticket when traveling to Lombok.
No, not at all. Take a local ferry for only $3 USD per person and arrive in 20 minutes from Lombok to the Gili Islands.
If you’re planning your trip to the Gili Islands, then check out our video where we share our top tips for making the most of your time and some of our experience snorkeling and staying in the Gilis.