There is 3 operator that run from Denpasar, Bali to Gili Trawangan Island, Lombok, with 1 departure per day. If you decide to take a ferry, you can take the High Speed option.
Gili Trawangan is the largest of three Gili islands located in the Lombok Strait in Indonesia. The island is known for its stunning crystal blue waters, white sandy beaches, and vivid marine life. So it’s no wonder tourists from Bali and Lombok flock to Gili T to enjoy the laid-back island lifestyle.
The island is only three kilometers long and two kilometers wide. There are no cars on Gili T, which adds a charming element that you won’t find on the mainland. And while it seems hectic when you arrive at the port with all of the other tourists, somehow, the island does not feel crowded.
Gili T is made for scuba diving or snorkeling. There are so many fish and sea creatures to discover, plus all the interesting shipwrecks and underwater statues make it a marine paradise.
If you prefer to simply relax at the beach, you may get lucky and swim with a sea turtle right off the shore.
Head to The Exile Bar for sunset and hop on one of the Instafamous swings for a selfie.
Every night from 6pm, Gili Trawangan has an exciting night market in the main square. It’s one of the better tourist markets because it also has a local appeal. Prices are cheap, and you can find authentic Indonesian food and delicious homemade cakes for dessert.
If you’re not interested in the local food at the market, grab dinner on the beach. There are so many restaurants to choose from, and many of them set up tables in the sand. Options range from fresh seafood to pizza and pasta, and they’re all very reasonably priced.
Gili T packs a mighty punch for such a tiny island. So now it is time to start planning how you’ll get from Denpasar Bali to Gili Trawangan.
The distance from Denpasar Bali to Gili Trawangan is 94 km (about 58 miles). Because Gili T doesn’t have an airport, the only way to get to the island is by boat.
The ferries only operate during part of the year and cannot run during poor weather conditions. Occasionally, the seas can get rough. If you are prone to seasickness, make sure you pack medicine to get you through the journey.
Views from the boat are beautiful. But sadly, the high-speed ferry doesn’t have an outside deck. So try to grab a window seat so you can see Gili Trawangan as you approach the island.
Pro tip: there may not be a pier on Gili Trawangan. You may have to hop off the boat into ankle-deep water to make it to dry land.
At this point, you may be wondering how do I get from Denpasar Bali to Gili Trawangan? There are a few choices to get you to the island safely and comfortably. Read on to see which option is best for you.
Options for transport from Denpasar Bali to Gili Trawangan are limited. The only way to get to the island is by ferry or fly to Lombok and ferry from there. Luckily there are a few ferry options with various amenities and price points.
The best way to get from Denpasar Bali to Gili Trawangan is by direct ferry.
The direct ferry takes approximately 3-4 hours, regardless of which company you choose to travel with. There are currently three options: Blue Water Express, Gili Gateway, and Golden Queen Fast Boat.
Blue Water Express is the most expensive option, starting at $55 per person. It’s the most costly, but it does have the best amenities. There are two departure times to choose from – 8am or 11am.
The boat comes equipped with AC, toilets, and TVs. In addition, passengers can bring two 25kg pieces of luggage with them, a very generous allowance.
You can arrange to be picked up from your hotel in Bali and taken to Serengan, the port in Denpasar.
Blue Water Express serves passengers tea or coffee before departure while in the waiting area in Serengan. It also has a full restaurant and showers if you get there really early.
An added bonus is that you can change your ticket with Blue Water Express up to seven days before departure for free. You can cancel your ticket up to 48 hours before departure – minus a 50% fee.
Another high-speed ferry option to choose from is Gili Gateway. Tickets with this company start at $42.
If you opt to travel with Gili Gateway, you can bring one bag that weighs up to 25 kgs on board. The boats sometimes have WiFi.
There is only one departure per day at 9am, but you can cancel or change your ticket for free up to 48 hours before you are set to leave. This is a great feature if your travel plans change or if you decide to stick around the island a little longer (who could blame you?).
Gili Gateway also offers complimentary hotel pick-up and transport to the port from many areas around Bali.
The final direct ferry option is with Golden Queen Fast Boat. This option also starts at $42 per person. This company has boats that depart daily at 8:30am, and they offer their passengers water and AC on board.
Gold Queen Fast Boat also offers hotel pickup in many areas.
Ferry via Nusa Penida
Another option to get from Denpasar, Bali to Gili Trawangan is to take a ferry to Nusa Penida and then switch to another ferry from Nusa to Gili T. Making the transfer may be a bit of a hassle. Still, it could save you an hour of travel time if you organize it properly. The downside could be that two separate ferry tickets may end up being a bit more expensive.
Ferries depart Denpasar Bali for Nusa Penida fairly frequently and only take 30 minutes. You then take the ferry from Nusa Penida to Gili Trawangan. That boat takes an hour and a half.
It is important to note that this ferry only departs at 10 am. Therefore, be sure to leave Denpasar early enough to make this connection.
Fly to Lombok + Ferry
Your final option to get to Gili Trawangan is to fly from Bali to Lombok and ferry from there. The Lombok to Gili T distance is a mere 18 km, and there are several ways to get from the mainland to the island.
Internal flights in Indonesia can be cheap, especially if you book early enough. Once you are in Lombok, you have several options to get over to Gili Trawangan. There are public boats, shuttle boats, and ferries, all of which cost less than $1. They also only take 35-45 minutes, which is much less time on the water.
However, the airport in Lombok is on the opposite side of the island from the port to the Gilis. So, you’ll need to take a two-hour taxi to reach the harbor to get your boat.
For that reason, this route isn’t the best way to travel from Denpasar Bali to Gili Trawangan. You should only consider this if you get exceptionally seasick, you plan to explore Lombok, or if you are visiting when the sea conditions are very poor.
In the end, no matter how you get to Gili T, you’ll have an amazing time soaking up the sun and exploring the tiny, charming island from the moment your toes hit the sand.