There is a high probability that you’ve never heard about Secret Gilis, tiny paradise-like islands. Most people who hear about the Secret Gilis for the first time, often think of the three more famous ones, namely Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno. Moreover, one may confuse Secret Gilis with South Gilis, too. Like all other Gilis, the Secret Gilis are located in the vicinity of Lombok island. Still, the Secret Gilis are the least visited by far. Very new to tourism, these islands offer more of the untouched paradise then other more popular Gilis. There are four tiny and secluded islands among the Secret Gilis – Gili Pasir, Gili Petagan, Gili Kondo, and Gili Bidara.
Why visit Secret Gilis
- World-class snorkeling with rich and diverse coral reefs
- The currents and waves are almost non-existent, making Secret Gilis extremely beginner-friendly for underwater exploration
- Camping on Gili Kondo feels really off the radar, if you are hungry for adventure
- Discover ‘Lightning Island’ with a lighthouse built during the WW2 on Gili Lampu
- Take a boat tour around thick mangrove forest covering the major part of Gili Petagan
- Having a tropical paradise all for yourself as the Secret Gilis are still undiscovered.
Where is Secret Gilis
Scattered off the east coast of Lombok, Secret Gilis is truly an off-beaten-path island-hopping destination, yet easily accessible. Secret Gili Islands belong in the Sekotong area of the Batu Gendang peninsula. Compared to three more famous Gilis (Gili T, Gili Air, Gili Meno) and fourteen of the South Gilis, the whole Sekotong area of Lombok is off the tourist radar. Even when you look at the map, you’ll have a hard time finding these tiny dots in the middle of the Flores Sea. The best way to reach these secluded islands and thoroughly explore Secret Gilis is by booking a private boat tour from Lombok with Islander. Secret Gilis are still waiting to unveil its secrets, literally.
The four Secret Gilis
Gili Pasir is one of the smallest islands in the world. The whole island is a pinky-white soft sand beach that only appears on low tides. Not a single tree or a plant, just a pristine beach. During high tides, the island is entirely underwater, and you will feel as you’re walking on water. Take a quick boat ride to Gili Pasir and enjoy the smallest beach in Indonesia.
Gili Petagan, on the other hand, is the largest island of Secret Gilis, also known as Gili Lampu due to the lighthouse built during the war. One distinctive feature of Gili Petagan is the mangrove forest surrounding the whole island, creating a unique ecosystem. This Secret Gili is a perfect destination for snorkeling enthusiasts. You will find beautiful corals and a wide variety of fish around Gili Petagan.
The most famous of the Secret Gilis is Gili Kondo, which is also known as Gili Trawangan of the east. Very pristine, Gili Kondo promises a rustic atmosphere with limited infrastructure, yet breathtaking sunsets. Gili Kondo is a popular camping site for those looking for the off-beaten-path.
Those who are into snorkeling will find Gili Bidara to be the ideal snorkeling spot, particularly for beginners due to the shallow waters surrounding this island. Gili Bidara is uninhabited Secret Gili, making it a peaceful getaway from Lombok. Many tourists visit Gili Bidara to take a splendid Instagram shot of the legendary Mount Rinjani, visible clearly on a background.
When to visit Secret Gilis
Arguably, the best time to visit Secret Gili Islands is from April to November to avoid the rainy season, despite it not raining that much. The rainy season usually starts at the beginning of November. It’s not suitable to visit the islands as tides are high during this period, and Gili Pasir is underwater. It is highly recommended for tourists to visit during the dry season to experience the best tropical holiday. Fellow travelers recommend visiting the islands in September as tourist crowds tend to leave the country since the rainy season is coming. With limited infrastructure on Secret Gilis, the best place to stay prior to exploration remains Lombok. Don’t worry as Islander private boat tours operate throughout the whole year, including on Secret Gili Islands.