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 dive sites have become popular for beginners and experienced divers alike.
There are about 20 dive sites around the islands of Gili 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 Gili Islands dive sites below 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 Gili Islands 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 just outside of 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. The turtles like to have a rest from the current by these, together with cuttlefish and Nemo, and if you take a look in the sand you might see 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!
Located on the west coast of Gili Meno, the Bounty Wreck isn’t actually the wreckage of a boat, it’s an old jetty pier that used to be the base of all boat traffic from Bali to Meno. But it sunk in a storm a long time ago.
The structure resembles a barge boat or platform, and like other shipwrecks, it creates a perfect shelter for marine life seeking protection from currents and bigger predators. Drummers, sweetlips, batfish, etc. are often seen schooling around the wreck. This site is not just the wreck however, it also includes a beautiful sloping reef, full of vibrant rock formations and a few hidden pinnacles teeming with life
Located North of the 3 Gili islands dive sites, this site is situated independently and a bit further out from many of the other Gili dive sites. Simon’s Reef is a deep water pinnacle with gorgeous topography and pristine corals. The site is made up of a main pinnacle, ridges, 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.
Close to Gili Air harbor in the south, we find The Gathering. This is where we go to visit crocodile fish, frogfish, harlequin sweet lips, batfish, cuttlefish, octopus, and a lot more.
It’s foremost a macro site, and the closer you look, the more you’ll notice the abundance of tiny marine life that this site has to offer, like nudibranchs, porcelain crabs and a large 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 make for a very calm and relaxed dive spot, that due to its geographical location rarely has any current or waves.
Bio Rocks are projects that help the re-growth of damaged reefs. They are man-made metallic structures, that have healthy living corals attached, and a small electric current put through them to speed up the process of helping create a new healthy reef.
There are more than 70 Bio Rocks around the Gili Islands dive sites (this is the largest Bio Rock conservation effort in the world). The shape of the Bio Rocks and their placement provides great shelter for several species, and it also attracts a lot of macro life. We love doing night dives at this dive site, where we look for Spanish dancers, flatworms, nudibranch, crabs, shrimps, surgeonfish and feather stars.
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 Lembeh 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 most popular Gili Islands 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 part of Turbo has a white sandy bottom dotted with large coral heads with an average depth of 16m. Divers can take their time and relax here, 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.
Coral Basket begins in the shallow part of Deep Turbo and then runs parallel along Gili Trawangan’s north-east coast, sloping from the shore into deeper water, it is true colorful haven and a perfect nursery.
Coral bommies and outcroppings protrude from sandy areas, thriving with juveniles and smaller species of fish, like damsel, nemos and soldierfish. Turtles are also a common sight here, just as sweetlips, angelfish and boxfish.
Sssshh.. It’s a secret!
This site is one of our favorites, for several reasons. The healthy state of the coral, the diversity of species and the possible surprise visits from larger pelagics, as well as the topography of the site – making it a great spot for both novice and experienced divers alike.
Secret is located in the channel between Gili Air and Gili Meno, and is equally long as the islands themselves. We drop in on a plateau approximately 12m deep and for a shallow dive that’s where we would stay, slowly drifting along, as the reef grows gradually deeper the closer to Lombok you get. For a deeper dive, we make a 90° turn until we get to the sloping reef wall that will allow us to explore the deeper sides of the site.
Here you’ll 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.
Frogfish Point is a true paradise for any beginner diver with it’s shallow depths, clear water, and colorful marine life! You’ll find this site on the most northern tip of Gili Air, just a few minutes by boat from our dive center.
When we visit this site, we’re often welcomed by several familiar faces from ‘Finding Nemo’. Turtles, anemone fish, moorish idols, and many other tropical reef fish love the calm waters and reef structure, which is highly suitable as a nursery for juvenile marine life.
Meno Wall, on the west side of Gili Meno, consist of two sections of steep walls that go down to around 20 m before the sand slowly slopes deeper. Between these two walls there’s a sandy section with several coral bommies.
This site is perfect as a macro dive and for underwater photography with many species of small fishes and nudibranches. Make sure to look out for marine invertebrates such as lobsters, sea slugs, porcelain crabs and various cowrie shells in the many nooks and crannies of the wall. Meno Wall is one of those dive sites where you don’t have to go far to find lots of stuff – the more you look, the more you’ll find!
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 for sweetlips, groupers, and snappers. On the deeper sandy bottom, you can spot both white- and blacktip reef sharks and stingrays. During the rainy season, when the water is rich in plankton, staring out into the blue might give you the chance to see passing eagle rays or even manta rays!
With a maximum depth of 40m and an average dive depth of 25m, Takat Malang is made up of a collection of large rock formations (Takats) arranged in a sloping bed, beginning with a plateau at 15m. There are about 10 major Takats, and 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 stunning, with a large concentration of the bigger reef fish and a fascinating topography.