HOW TO GET THERE
By plane: There are very cheap direct flights with Airasia from Bali to Lombok and the flight takes about 45 minutes. From Zainuddin Abdul Madjid International Airport in Lombok, we booked a GRAB car for 300K (20 USD) to our accommodation in Sekotong. The trip took about 2 hours.
On a public ferry: If you have the time during your vacation and are ready for adventure, you can take a public ferry from Padang Bai port, northeast of Bali, to Lembar port, southwest of Lombok. The duration of the trip should be between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the weather. There is no timetable, no roadmap. Every hour a ferry is set up and replaced by another. The journey from Lembar port to your accommodation takes about 30 minutes, depending on where you are staying in Sekotong.
More information can be found here
WHEN TO GO
We were there in mid-February, during the rainy season, which lasts from December to April. And it was raining… but we had a couple of sunny days, but honestly, we got caught in the rain a couple of times… or three. It seems that during the rainy season the currents bring a lot of garbage to this part of Lombok.
WHERE TO STAY IN SEKOTONG
There weren’t a lot of options in 2020, but if you’re there, there may be more because there’s been a lot of construction. We chose an affordable, fairly basic, but very beautiful and secluded location – the Palmyra Indah Bungalow. The food was really good and affordable, there were free kayaks and diving equipment, and you could see the glowing blue plankton on the beach even at night. They also host a secret Gillis jump for a very good price. We paid 350K for a half-day boat ride, with a maximum of four adults. We had two kids, both under five, and they left for free.
Bungalow Palmira Inda in Sekotong Lombok, Indonesia.
View of Gili Gede from the bungalow in Palmira Indah.
There were two different boats that jumped on our islands. Both felt safe and very good, but we all preferred the first boat (second photo below). The benches face each other, giving us more legroom.
Our favorite boat for island jumping in Sekotong.
Two happy girls explore Secret Gilis in the south of Sekotong to Lombok.
OUR FIRST DAY
On our first day on Sekotong Island, we started snorkeling at Gili Rengit, which is about a 30-minute drive from Palmyra Indus. On Gili Rengit we did not go ashore, but we jumped directly from the boat into the sea. Still, the snorkeling was very good! The visibility was not bad, we saw a huge turtle and so much soft-flowered coral our eyes could see! Our first day island jumping in Sekotong started in an incredible way!
Our first turtle of the day snorkeling at Gili Rengit in Sekotong.
Unfortunately, like many of the other places we visited in Indonesia, the locals still use the same traditional method of fishing, which consists of walking and jumping directly onto the coral. Underwater, I saw them snorkel and jump on a coral, destroying natural mechanisms thousands of years old.
Our second stop on the first day was Gili Layar. If you want to spend the night here, there are the Layar Beach Bungalows. We ate here, it was affordable, but some dishes were better than others. We relaxed on the deserted beach and took a walk. Here we saw for the first time how much Secotong had been taken by the garbage. Bottles, shoes, toothbrush, purse… all over the sandy ground.
But despite the human waste, we enjoyed snorkeling at Layar Beach. It was just as well! Two good snorkeling spots in one day, I was very happy, no matter how much trash there was on the beach.
Crystal clear waters on the Gili Layar in Sekotong in Lombok, Indonesia.
You can’t see the trash, but I was really on the trash heap, on Layar beach. Secret Gilis in Sekotong.
If it wasn’t trash, it was broken coral and it wasn’t like a beach walk for your feet.
My second turtle of the day! Not as big as the first one, but so cute, snorkeling off the coast at Laiar Beach in Sekotong Lombok.
When we were in Gili Layar, there was a slight current that drifted to the east. So I went as far west as I could, swam to the starting point of the fall and let the current take me as far east as I wanted. There was so much to see! I love that the water is shallow so the little ones can easily see all the beautiful marine life!
I’ve discovered the sea slug!
Gili Asahan is a popular island for those who want to stay on one of the secret gilis of Sekotong. There are several accommodation options, such as the popular Gili Asahan Eco Lodge.
Gili Asahan was our third island of the day, it was late afternoon and everyone was very tired, so unfortunately we only spent about thirty minutes on the island.
We liked what little we saw. I wish we could tell you more about this little secret gili of the Sekotong coast.
Gili Goleng was our last dive site for the first day. No one else wanted to watch, so I jumped at the chance and snorted for about 5 minutes. That’s also where I saw my third turtle of the day.
Visibility was not good and there was a lot of plastic floating on the sea surface. There was a lot of hard coral and little interesting marine life to see. But if you have more time, maybe give Gili Goleng a chance.
In the south of Sekotong, Gili Goleng, you find mostly hard corals.
For our second day on the island, we hopped south from Sekotong to Lombok, we spent a relaxing morning in Gili Lontar. We called this island Hamburger Island because it looks like a hamburger from above.
plastic on every corner Gili Lontar in Sekotong Lombok.
With a height of 40 meters, this island is absolutely beautiful, but the reality is that this tiny Gili is completely covered with garbage. We walked around the island and every surface was covered in trash. We found a plastic stain in the sand and enjoyed a moment in the blue sea. As the rain was getting closer, we decided to have lunch on Gili Layar, where the sky seemed clear and blue.
Gili Lontar has two residents, monkeys.
Because the distance was too great, Palmyra-Inda did not organize boats for the Secret Gilis in the northern part of Sekotong. So I organized a boat trip with the Kristna Hotel, a hotel in the northern part of Sekotong, where we were supposed to stay in Palmyra Indus, but we didn’t do it in the end. They have good reviews and a nice pool with beautiful ocean views, which is worth checking out.
We organized a ride to the Krisna Hotel where we boarded a boat similar to the one we had used on the first day. The price was the same as in Palmyra-India i.e. 300K for the whole boat with a maximum of 4 adults.
Our first stop was Gili Nangu. Before coming to Sekotong, I had read some blog posts, so I had high expectations to snorkel on this island. Unfortunately, the snorkeling at Gili Nangu was not as good as I had hoped. Visibility was not optimal, but there were plenty of fish for beginners and kids.
We swam along the cliff, and the further we got from the hot spot, the better: we snorkeled, but there were big waves all around, so be careful!
We walked off the main beach and found another beach, small but beautiful, and unfortunately a lot of plastic on the sandy bottom.
There were many fish on Gili Nanggu in Sekotong.
After Gili Nangoo, we went to Gili Sudak for lunch. There were several varungs selling food and drinks. It was a beautiful island with a nice beach, but we didn’t stay there because the weather was deteriorating and we wanted to visit Gili Kedis before returning to the mainland.
I did some snorkeling, but there wasn’t much to see. Maybe I was in the wrong place?
Our original plan was to do a night hike to this small island, Gili Kedis. But since we were in the rainy season and the weather was erratic, we decided not to take the risk of getting wet. But it would be fun to get a group of good friends together for a night of camping! You can do it yourself, which will be much cheaper than going through an agent.
I sniffed around the island, but it was more pleasant than off shore!
Let’s go! I hope you will become the secret Gilis of Sekotong Lombok!
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gili sudak,gili nanggu