Publicado por: Quatro Cantos do Mundo | 03/11/2019

Gili Meno, home of turtles

No words to say

Gili in local language (basaha is the language used in all of 17.000 Indonesian islands) means small island. Gili is not an island name however many people believe it. For this reason, after the word “Gili” we always find a name. In this post we will talk about Gili Meno.


Amélie my favorite top model

Located in northeast of Bali, Gili Meno is very known as your neighbors and “sisters” Gili Trawangan (nickname Gili T.) and Gili Air. These three islands are closer to Lombok, but it easier to get to them leaving from Bali or Nusa Islands (Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan).

It does not matter where is. Be there The most important thing is to be there

Meno is the less visited of Gilis. You will easily realize it while waiting for ferry boat to the island. Some ferries do not even have a route to Meno. Most tourists will be waiting in the line to Gili T., some in the line to Gili Air and few ones will chose Meno, as us. Right choice.

The less visited Gili. It seems amazing

In short, we recommend Meno for those who love nature and peace (again as us). Trawangan is the party island. Just to give an idea, some young guys were drunk at midday just before their disembark in the harbor island. And finally, Gili Air is a mix of both.

In the islands there is no motorcycles or cars. You must move around by horse, on foot or by bike. We chose walking, once it is too hard cycling on soft sand beach. Even if you travel with kids you can walk around the island in one and half hours.

We have been to Gili Air, but we are sure that Meno is our favorite island. Imagine a really white sand beach like in a tourist magazine photo (means photoshop). In the real life there is no photoshop, however it looks like it. Any comments about blue water? Not even in my most inspired day I can convey in words the beauty of this water.  But anyway, I will try. It is a turquoise blue, but it is not any turquoise blue. Blue tone changes as waves come and go. First it is a so bright blue that it can hurt your eyes, then it becomes a milky blue as beautiful as the first one. And in deep waters it is a dark blue just to contrast. Movie below can give you an idea what I am talking about. But unfortunately, you will just have the same feeling if you live that. There is no photo camera able to replace human eyes.

The best turquoise

Maldives? No, just Gili Meno


Geographic location

As told above, islands are northeast Bali and northwest Lombok. Coming from Bali Gili T. is the first one, Meno is in the middle and Gili Air is the closest to Lombok.

How to get there

We were in doubt until few days before our departure. First clue: don´t buy online tickets. You will pay much cheaper in a local agency. Second clue: there are hundreds local agencies selling tickets to Gilis, but there are just two transportation companies. First one is Eka Jaya and last it is Golden Queen. You can also buy a private transfer, but this one will be really expensive. Just Eka Jaya stops in Gili Meno. Golden Queen stops only in Gili T. and Gili Air. In Eka Jaya web, price, from Nusa Penida to Gili Meno for an adult, is 425.000 Indonesian rupees. We paid for the same trip 375.000 rupees in a local agency. 50.000 rupees saved. It is not that much, a little bit more than 3 dollars, but anyway. It is also important let you know that our three a and five years old kids did not pay for tickets. Just our eldest (seven years old) paid as an adult.

You can travel between Gilis in local boats. They are cheaper and you have a great opportunity to keep in touch with locals. Go to the harbor and ask for trips.

Best time to go

Indonesia is located in south hemisphere; therefore, winter is from July to September. Although it is located in south hemisphere it is to close to Equator line and that is why temperatures are steady during the year (check chart below).

Same temperature all year around

In southeast Asia rains are concentrated in winter, except in Indonesia. There, rainy season is from December to February. That is why we chose Indonesia to spend our European summer vacation. It sounds strange travelling to the beach during the winter, but it will be the hottest winter you´ve ever seen. At the beginning we planned to travel to Myanmar, but it would be hard during rainy season. We changed our mind to Indonesia and I was just perfect.

Between december and march, it is period to avoid

Where to stay

As Meno is the less touristic Gili island, there are not plenty of hotels available. We recommend you book in advance. We also realize that there are no many intermediate level hotels between luxury and low cost. Then if you do not have adventure in your blood, be prepared to pay a little bit more for your hotel (in Indonesia “a little bit more” is still much cheaper than an average hotel in Europe).

Our first recommendation is Gili Meno Getway. Front beach hotel, huge rooms, large balcony and the best swimming pool in the island.

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Mahamaya Gili Meno looks like a Caribbean resort with an excellent restaurant and kayaks included in the price. It is also front beach hotel.

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Our third recommendation is Karma Reef, another front beach hotel in one of the best beach in island. A huge bed guarantees a well slept night, hearing waves breaking.

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Main attractions of Gili Meno


Those who dive or snorkel know how hard is seeing a turtle in the sea. Harder than seeing them, it is swimming together them for long minutes. These difficulties happen in usual places, never at Meno, home of turtles. At turtle point you just get in the water and you will see many of them. At first time I just wet my feet and I almost step on a turtle. Few meters further into the sea I saw another one, and suddenly a third one, it was a giant turtle. As it was so huge, this turtle was not afraid of me.  We swam together for long fifteen minutes until I realize I must bring my kids to live this amazing moment. I brought back my kids holding their arms and the big one was there waiting for us, like we had a silent agreement. It was a really wonderful experience I recommend for everybody.

Blue area, the best place to find turtles

Underwater Statues

They are the famous underwater statues at Gili Meno. Very close to the fringe there is a group of couple statues hugging each other. They are around fifteen meters form the shore. Two clues. First: best time to visit this place is during low tide. At this moment you will be able to touch heads statues using your feet. A shallow dive and you will be beside this wonderful masterpiece in the nature. You don´t need to hold your breath for long. Second clue: few minutes before sunset is the best time to visit this place. Around this time, stay on the sand and just wait all boats go away. It is time to get into the water and enjoy the statues just for you. Local people will try selling a tour for you, but you don´t need to pay for something you can do for free.

Statues just for me

From closer, even more beautiful

Nice pics

Low tide, perfect to be closer

Kids are welcome

Exactly in front of this sign

Turtle Sanctuary

This is a wonderful local project to save little turtles. It is a private project as they do not have any subsidy from Indonesian Government. Their job begins when the turtles lay their eggs on the sand and continue until the eggs hatch. After born, the little turtles live in saltwater pools until they are six weeks old when they can return to the sea. At six weeks old and beyond survival rates in the wild increase exponentially. It is a Meno´s must, mainly you travel with children.

so cute

In love

They look like toys

sense of humor



Walk around the island

Walking around the island is another Meno´s must. There are many desert beaches and if you are lucky, you can have a “private” beach just for you. Green and blue water tones are all possible and imaginable. And of course, we recommend a stop in one of the front beach restaurants. Fish barbecue is the best dish.

Beyond desert beaches, you will find many swings

and so much love

Don´t miss sunset

and the most beautiful beaches in thos region

it is time to make new friends as well



There is a salty lake just behind the underwater statues beach. As you realized there are many attractions in the island and this one it is not one of the best, but while you wait for boats go way from statues region, you can visit the lake.

Just if you have time

The Best Beach

Once at the harbor, looking to the sea, the best beach stays few meters to the right side. From the harbor you will first pass thought some restaurants and then you will find the beach of videos below. Simply unforgettable.

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Lea la versión en castellano aquí

Leia a versão em português

Related posts:

Gili Air, the fashion sister of Gili Meno

How to get around in Indonesian cities?

TOP 10 New York – unmissable tours in the Big Apple

How to arrive/leave São Paulo International Airport


  1. […] Read english version here […]

  2. […] Read english version here […]

  3. […] told in previous post (Gili Meno home of turtles), Gili Air is a mix between the party island Gili Trawangan and the quite island Gili Meno. If you […]

  4. […] Gili Meno, home of turtles […]

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