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While the trio islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air in the northwest of Lombok are continuously gaining in popularity and visitors, the island of Lombok still has a secret paradise off its southern coast at the pristine small island of Gili Nanggu.
Situated among the small islands chain in South West Lombok, the 12.5 hectares island is approximately 60Km away from Mataram, capital of the West Nusatenggara Province.
Surrounded by indulging soft white sandy beaches and swaddled by pure serenity, this tiny paradise offers a perfect place to get away from all the hustle and bustle of city life. If the trio Gilis of north Lombok are a favorite laid back destination for backpackers and general visitors, Gili Nanggu radiates a certain romantic atmosphere perfectly fitting for couples and newlyweds.
With the spectacular view of the aquamarine crystal clear water under the brightly clear blue sky and nothing else but the sounds of the waves hitting the shores to disturb you, the beaches of Gili Nanggu are the perfect definition of serenity. The tropical sun gracefully shining up above also makes this a perfect place to sunbathe and get that ideal tropical tan.
Off the shores of its beaches, the tiny island paradise offers more splendors beyond the surface of the waters. Just a few meters from the beach, already various colorful fishes and other sea dwellers greet those who snorkel. There are two notable snorkeling spots around the island, one on the eastern side where various beautiful fish swim freely, and the other on the southern side where various unique coral reefs flourish. Thousands of tropical fish and other sea creaturs find a playground in these waters: among them are Clownfish and Napoleon wrasses, and occasionally also sea turtles.
There is only one accommodation available on this island that provides lodging and meal facilities which is the Gili Nanggu Cottages and Bungalow. Adopting the traditional local Sasak architecture, cottages and bungalows are built of coconut wood instead of concrete structures, to add to that natural rural atmosphere of the island. The hotel also provides services for equipment rental for Snorkelling, Canoeing, Jukung boats, Bicycles, Hammocks, Tents, and others.
Since 1995, the island has continuously played its part in nature conservation activities through the Gili Nanggu Sea Turtle Conservation Program. Over the past 11 years, the program has successfully hatched about 4,500 turtle eggs. The program is carried out in the most practical way, taking the initiative in protecting sea turtle eggs from being sold on the free market by purchasing eggs from fishermen. The eggs are subsequently incubated under the sand for about 30-35 days, before the baby turtles hatch and emerge to the surface, and are then released into the sea.
Located about 60 Km South West, from Mataram, capital of West Nusatenggara, the island can be reached by two alternative routes.
First is through the Lembar Harbor route which will take a 30 minutes’ drive from Mataram and followed by 30-45 minutes’ boat ride. The second follows the route from Tawun Harbor in the town of Sekotong. From Mataram it will take about 60 minutes’ drive to Tawun Harbor, while the boat ride to the island is about 15 minutes. However, from these two harbors there are no public boats available, as there are only charter boats that can take you to the island. From Lembar Harbor the boat costs up to IDR350,000 for 5 passengers, while from Tawun Harbor it costs IDR250,000 for 5 passengers.
From the neighboring island of Bali, aside from taking flights to Mataram, you can also take the ferry from Padang Bai Harbor in Karangasem Regency.