Whether you want to explore the underwater world at Tulamben or try your hand at surfing in Kuta, a boat rental is the best way to see Indonesia’s most popular island. With stunning scenery and warm locals, it’s easy to understand why Bali is loved by travellers from around the world. You can rent a Bali boat at any time of year, but the dry season runs from May to September.
If you’re travelling with a group, consider renting a larger boat to make it easier to get around the islands. Larger boats are also safer for snorkelling and diving. Depending on your budget and interests, you can choose from a wide variety of boat sizes, styles, and prices. For example, a family may prefer to rent a catamaran for a comfortable sailing experience, while experienced sailors might enjoy a sailboat for a more challenging ride.
It’s best to book a ticket with a pickup from your accommodation. This makes it much simpler to get to the port and reduces the chances of missing your boat due to transport delays or a bad weather forecast. The package tickets are usually a bit more expensive than if you purchase them independently, but it’s worth it to avoid the hassle of figuring out transport arrangements in Bali.
The most popular option for getting to the Gili Islands from Bali is by fast boat. There are multiple companies that run this route and their schedules vary depending on the season. You can check their websites for the latest information.
Most of the fast boat companies depart from Padang Bai on the western side of Bali and arrive in Lembar on the southwest of Lombok. However, there are some that leave from Serangan and Sanur instead. If these ports are closer to your accommodation, it may be more convenient for you to book a ticket from one of these locations.
When you book a ticket, make sure to ask what time the boat leaves and what time it returns. Some companies don’t operate on certain days, and others add or remove departure times depending on demand.
During the high season, most of the fast boats will be full, so booking your tickets in advance is recommended. Also, be aware that it can be difficult to find a place to buy a ticket on the day of your trip. If you’re staying in a hotel, it’s often easier to book your ticket through the hotel.
The ride to Nusa Penida is long and can feel bumpy, particularly if the weather is stormy. If you’re prone to motion sickness, it’s a good idea to book a faster boat with more room. Once you reach the port, you can transfer to a minibus or van that will take you to your destination on the island. Some drivers inflate the return price, so it’s a good idea to negotiate (by saying “bisa kurang?”) with the driver when you book your ticket. boat bali