Generally accepted to be the world’s best country for sea life, Indonesia has more marine diversity than anywhere on earth. Located right in the middle of the ‘Coral Triangle’ that extends from Australia to the Philippines, across to Borneo, and into the South Pacific. This area holds an impressive 20% of the world’s coral reefs, holds 3,000 different species of fish and 600 coral species.
As one of Indonesia’s top areas for scuba diving and snorkeling, with a reputation for being the ‘turtle capital of the world’, and year-round water temperatures around 29°c, the Gili islands have become popular for beginners and experienced divers alike. There are about 20 dive sites around the islands of Air, Meno, and Trawangan. With a variety of topography such as slopes, walls, ridges, and canyons as well as an enormous amount of diverse marine life, including black and white tip reef sharks, lots of turtles (green and hawksbill), lionfish, scorpionfish, cuttlefish and octopus, moray eels, sea snakes, different types of rays (blue spotted, Kuhls, eagle and even manta!) crazy critters like peacock mantis shrimp, pygmy seahorse, pipefish, Indian walkman as well as frogfish.
Not to mention schools of bumphead parrotfish and the occasional whale shark, plus countless varieties of hard and soft corals. At Next Level Scuba, we dive 365 days a year and offer multiple dives per day.
None of our dive sites lay more than 20 minutes away by our boat that we launch from the stretch of beach directly in front of our dive center, avoiding long walks to and from the boat in the hot sun.
Read more about our dive sites below, pick your favorites and make your booking at:
At the north of Gili Air, we find Han´s Reef where the perfect white sandy beach gently meets the reef. You will travel over the sandy bottom and various sized coral bommies. This offers a perfect variation seeing how different marine life prefer different habitats, over the sandy areas we often find stingrays, garden eels as well as cowfish and Helmut gurnards.
On the different sized pinnacles, you can find everything from turtles and scorpionfish to cuttlefish and the elusive blue-ringed octopus! The maximum depth is 24m with an average depth of 14m. This dive site is suitable for all certification levels and a must for macro lovers!
This beautiful dive site is located in the north part of Gili Meno. It’s an under water pinnacle with lots of colorful corals and LOTS of turtles! This dive site is appropriate for all level divers. The pinnacle is often covered in shoals of fish like Sergeant Majors and Fusiliers.
The site hosts a resident giant moray eel and octopus, scorpionfish and lionfish are often seen here, you can also find a lot of macro here such as nudibranch, ghost pipefish and different types of crabs
Deep Turbo, is for the more experienced diver. It´s a white sandy bottom between large sea mounds and coral canyons. It is located in the channel between Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno. The maximum depth is 32m with an average depth of 25m.
This site has amazing landscapes and an interesting collection of overhangs and outcrops covered in a variety of hard and soft corals including gigantic sea fans. Barracuda, tuna, triggerfish, snapper, and stingrays can all be expected to show up during the dive. Whitetip and blacktip reef sharks are also frequent visitors here.
On to the west side of Gili Air, we find Air Wall, a dive site that has something for everyone with its diverse topography.
We start our descent by a gentle sandy slope infused with colorful coral bommies. By these the turtles like to have a rest from the current together with cuttlefish and Nemo, and if you take a look in the sand even some stingrays together with the shy garden eels.
As the slope evens out at around 18 meters we come across a series of ridges, cover in purple soft corals and as we turn around the corner of the island the bottom will gradually get steeper and rockier until it has formed into the majestic wall the site is named after.
This section is covered by an array of fan and fire coral, and if you take a closer look, you find small critters in the rock formations. Don´t forget to look out for the curious batfish that might be buddying up with you throughout the dive!
The Bounty Wreck is located on the west coast of Gili Meno. It is an old sunken platform that used to be the base of boat traffic coming from Bali but it sunk in a storm a long time ago.
The structure reminds you of a big box and like other shipwrecks, this is the perfect shelter for a lot of marine life such as Drummers, Sweetlips, Batfish and much more. This site is not just the wreck, there is also a sloping reef and some hidden pinnacles full of life.
Bio Rocks are a project to help the re-growth of damaged reefs. They are man-made metallic structures that have healthy living corals attached to them and a small electric current put through them to speed up the procedure of making a new healthy reef.
There are more than 70 Bio Rocks around the Gili islands (this is the largest Bio Rock conservation effort in the world). The shape of the Bio Rocks and their location provides great shelter for a lot of fish and is a great attraction for macro life. We love doing night dives at this dive site, we look for Spanish dancers, flatworms, nudibranch, crabs, shrimps, surgeonfish and feather stars.
Located to the North of the 3 Gili islands, this site lays independent from the reefs closer to the Gili’s. Simon’s Reef is an excellent coral viewing site for experienced divers. The reef is made up of canyons and massive coral mounds roughly in a figure-eight shape rising from a sandy bottom at a depth of 35m. The average depth for this dive site is around 25m.
The canyons are all well-formed and abundant in superb coral varieties, such as brain corals, gorgonian fans, table coral and more. The channels in between funnel the currents, concentrating large numbers of bigger reef and schooling fish species such as snappers, trevallies, and tuna. It is also common to spot parrotfish, angelfish, triggerfish, sweetlips and whitetip and blacktip reef sharks.
On the harbor-side of Gili Air, we find The Gathering. This is where we go to visit crocodile fish, frogfish, harlequin sweet lips, batfish, cuttlefish, octopus, and a lot more.
The closer you look you will start to notice the big variety of macro life that this site has to offer, like nudibranchs, porcelain crabs and its variation of shrimps.
We also find sunken statues of Buddhas and small fishing boats that have been placed here to increase coral growth.
This site and its surroundings are a very peaceful and relaxing dive spot, and due to its geographical location, it rarely has any current present.
This dive site is for the more experienced diver who appreciates the small and unusual things. In black sand, bad visibility, and a lot of rubbish you will find incredible creatures much the same as you would find in the Lembah Strait, Sulawesi.
Not many of the dive centers visit this dive site because it is located a bit further away than the Gili Island sites. Keep an eye out for hairy frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, seahorses, ghost pipefish and much more. An excellent dive for photographers.
This is one of the Gilis most popular dive sites and starts on a sloping reef, with a series of ridges and valleys running parallel to the shore, leading into the deeper water. It offers a large diversity and abundance in marine life.
Down here we can find whitetip and blacktip reef sharks, barracuda, tuna, trevally, and blue-spotted rays. Turtles are often found in the shallower parts (known as Turtle City) among the soft corals along with angelfish, snappers, groupers, batfish, parrotfish, triggerfish, puffers, moray eels and more.
At Halik, located on the north point of Gili Trawangan, we start our dive at a shallow, sandy platform before we drop over the side of the reef wall that we then follow during the dive. It´s a colorful dive site appropriate for all level divers, it has something for everyone!
In the shallows, you can look for lionfish, scorpionfish, mantis shrimp, fusiliers, bannerfish, moray eels, coral grouper, bumphead parrotfish, and turtles. In the deeper part of Halik, you will find a series of deepwater ridges with beautiful sponge and soft corals, many types of grouper, batfish, and possibly whitetip and blacktip reef sharks.
The shallow end of Turbo has a white sandy bottom dotted with large coral heads with an average depth of 16m. Dives here can take their time and relax because the bottom rarely dips below 18m. Around the coral heads, you will find large amounts of small invertebrate marine life.
You will pass through varied terrain, including small channels with stingrays and fields of Garden Eels. The sponge life is diverse and quite colorful throughout this site and you will commonly find Star Pufferfish, schools of Batfish, Triggerfish, Trevally, and turtles along with a variety of interesting nudibranch species on this dive site.
Located on the west side of Gili Trawangan, is a gentle slope starting at about 5m and running down to about 25m. A large portion of the reef is marked by giant steps of table coral, which shelters small fish.
Bommies with hard and soft coral can be found with cleaning stations containing sweetlips, groupers, and snappers. On the deeper sandy bottom, you can spot Whitetip and Blacktip Reef Sharks and stingrays. During the rainy season, when the water is rich in plankton, staring out in the blue you could have the chance to see passing eagle rays or even manta rays.
Here you follow the shore of Gili Meno as you dive, along the sloping reef and vertical wall you find an array of hard and soft corals with healthy amounts of fish life to keep you entertained. It is common to spot, turtles, snapper, triggerfish, moray eels, pufferfish, cuttlefish and octopus on this dive. Also another great spot for a night dives due to its rich macro life.
Coral Basket begins in the shallow part of Deep Turbo and runs parallel along Gili Trawangan’s east coast sloping from the shore into deeper water. Coral bommies and outcroppings protrude from sandy areas, thriving with juvenile and smaller species of fish, like damsel and soldierfish, seeking shelter in the shallow waters.
At Secret Reef, the corals are as colorful as in Finding Nemo. You will find a lot of cool marine life such as Trevally, large Snappers, Spanish mackerel, and Barracuda. Secret Reef is suitable for all levels of divers and a must for the lover of deep diving. It’s like thick slices of reef stretching deeper and deeper the closer to Lombok you get.
With a maximum depth of 40m and an average dive depth of 25m, Takat Malang is made up of a collection of large coral heads (Takats) arranged in a sloping bed, beginning with a plateau at 15m. There are about 10 major Takats, as if someone has been at work on the reef with a giant carving chisel. Each Takat is sculpted with overhangs, outcrops, and swim-throughs. This dive site will provide you with the same excellent diversity in corals as those found on Simon’s Reef.
The Takats are covered in soft and hard coral varieties growing on top of the stony outcrops, including some very big Gorgonian Sea Fans and table corals. The channels between the Takats are interesting, with a large concentration of the bigger reef fish and fascinating topography. The marine life is quite similar to that found on Simon’s Reef.