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Which is Better Gili Island or Nusa Penida Island ? Many people ask us whether it is better to go to the Gili Islands, in front of Lombok, or to Nusa Penida. They are always curious to know which is better Gili island or Nusa Penida island !

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There are many other “islands or Gili’s” near Lombok and even in front of Padang Bai . If you are expecting your trip to Bali, Indonesia and you are thinking how to choose between the Gili Islands or Nusa Penida Island, then trust me many are in dilemma 🙂

Which is Better Gili Island or Nusa Penida Island ?

Well , frankly saying there is no one who can give a sure answer to you as it totally depends on your own choices . Our one line will be , if you like night parties and awesome crowd then go for Gili and stay there for 2 nights where as if you are more interested to treat your eyes with aww’s of nature then go for Nusa Penida.What Better , Gili island or Nusa Penida Island

Which Gili island to go : Trawangan, Meno or Air?

Well , Trawangan is more famous for night parties , awesome crowd , parties , good happening resorts and McDonald 🙂

Gili Air if you want to spend your time at a place which is quite ,where you want to sit in a club with singers singing melody on mic and a beer in your hand . In short not happening but quiet and calm.

Memo is again quiet and is almost like Gili air so its totally dependent on your choice.

Day time you will be doing water sports around all these 3 islands so we intended to talk about night 🙂
Gili Islands

What is Cidomo in Gili Island ?

Cidomo is a Horse cart which is the source of transportation on Gili . There are very less or no motor vehicles in Gili. Either cycle or Cidomo’s are the mode of transportation.Cidomo horse cart Gili

Between Nusa Penida or Gili , where best scuba diving can be done ?

Nusa Penida scuba diving sites are beyond beautiful and varied than those of the Gili Islands.
At Nusa Penida, you will watch manta rays, the Mola Mola during the season, from July to October, and a very wide diversity of fish and corals. The coral reef of the Gili Islands has agonized a lot, probably from tourism but also from disobliging use of dynamite fishing.
However, there are still many turtles that you can watch while snorkeling from the beach of the Gili Islands. While the most beautiful snorkeling sites are mostly reachlabe by boat in Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan.

Between Nusa Penida or Gili , where the beaches are better ?

Gili Islands beaches are of course very adorable and corelate well to the idea you can have of a sandy beach on a desert island.
The sunsets are quite pretty and most of the bars have very suitable lounge music.
The beaches of Nusa Penida are more diverse, savage, more awesome, but not quite easily accessible, especially when you are with family.

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Some more facts about both

Tourist infrastructures

Tourism initiated to enlarge in the Gili Islands about three decades before . Past that there were no inhabitants on any of the three islands.

Trawangan is the largest and is only 2 km2. Tourism has expanded a lot since then and now every square meter of each of the 3 islands is developed. It is quite diverse, from small houses to luxurious hotels. There are also many restaurants, bars and diving centres. The west-facing beach bars offer adorable sunsets.

Their size makes it possible to roam around island along the beach. Motor vehicles are strictly not allowed there, with some exceptions for locals. You can walk, ride a cycle or use a Cidomo to take luggage from the port to your hotel.


The award for landscapes without doubt to Nusa Penida with tremendously awesome sites such as Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach or Angel Billabong. The very high cliffs on the west coast of Penida also offer a great view of the sunsets.

Boat connections from Bali

Many companies provide 40 daily fast boat connections between Bali and Nusa Penida in almost 25 to 40 mins, from Sanur or from Kusamba.

It can be called a shuttle. One can make up mind to visit at the last moment. A return trip in the day is even possible and usually people do that only.

Reaching the Gili Islands takes longer sometimes due to bad weather but is very impressive. To make life easier, you can takeall-inclusive ticket .

To reach to Gili island you need to reach out to the ferry port in the morning and then wait for the ferry to initiate and then after reaching to Gili port you will have to hire Cidomo to reach to the hotel. Although Cidomo is the option but if you dont have much luggage you can walk around to the hotel.


We believe that the cultural aspect is much more stronger in Nusa Penida than in the Gili Islands .

Penida is where the famous temple of Ped is located, which has the spirit of the mighty demon Mecaling.

And above all, for tourists, the temple of Goa Giri Putri, inside a very impressive cave to visit. Bali festivals and ceremonies are also celebrated in most villages in Penida .

The Gili Islands like Lombok, have majority of Muslim, however fortunately the consumption of alcohol is accepted there.

Gili Air

But Out of Nusa Penida or Gili’s islands which is Better ?

In conclusion, choose the Gili Islands ,Indonesia:

  • if you want to spend a few days in a quiet setting without a car or scooter
  • to find a festive and relaxed environment by the beach where everything can be done walking
  • if you take a long enough trip and have time to explore Gili Islands and Nusa Penida !

But if you want to rediscover the Bali of 30 years ago, enjoy fabulous landscapes, experience exceptional and varied moments on land, in water or underwater, and if you really need to make a choice : choose Nusa Penida !