While the Gilis offer pristine conditions to swim and snorkel, you should never try to swim to the next island. The islands are further than they look and the currents between the islands can be very strong, even for the strongest of swimmers.
The local currency is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). As of July 2015, Indonesian law mandates rupiah must be used for all transactions in the country. IDR 1,000,000 (yes, million) is roughly equal to USD$ 70, EURO€ 60, GBP£ 45, AUS$ 100.
Please check out http://xe.com/ for current exchange rates.
Electricity is 230v and Indonesia uses the European-style two-pin round plugs.
Adaptors are readily available throughout Indonesia. If the standard voltage in your country is between 220V – 240V you can use your electric appliances throughout Indonesia.
Diving directly after flying is not a problem at all. However, do remember that you must wait 18 hours after diving to be able to fly. Due to the schedule of our dive trips, unless your flight leaves before 9:00am, you will be fine to dive and fly the next day.
Similar to the rest of the tropical world, the Gilis have a wet season and a dry season. With Mount Rinjani to the immediate east on Lombok, and Mount Agung to the west on Bali, The Gilis are somewhat sheltered and enjoy a slightly drier climate when compared to surrounding areas. The wet season is from December to April and the cooler dry season is from May to November. However, even during rainy season, the rains generally only appear for short periods in the afternoon with little effect on diving.
Although there is Malaria throughout Indonesia, the risk to travellers staying at any Blue Marlin location is quite small. Prevention by Malaria tablets is usually not prescribed. You will find that the usual precautions of wearing repellent and long loose clothing are sufficient protection, and most hotels use a spray when they clean the rooms. If you have to take anti-malarial medication be careful about the use of Larium, as in about 50% of cases it produces unpleasant side effects when combined with diving.
Yes, you can dive on the day that you arrive as long as you arrive at the dive shop at least 45 minutes before the scheduled dive.
If you arrive at Praya International Airport, we can arrange to have you picked up in our air-conditioned car and transferred via speedboat. The journey is roughly 2 hours by car and approximately 15 minutes by speedboat. Prices are as follows:
1 person: IDR 950.000; 2 people: IDR 950.000; 3 people: IDR 1.100.000; 4 people: IDR 1.150.000; 5 people: IDR 1.200,000; 6 people: IDR 1.250.000
Yes, Nitrox tanks are available for an additional IDR 150.000/tank.
When in Indonesia there are a few customs to be aware of to avoid any faux pas: it’s usual to leave your shoes at the door of a home or business (look for a row of flip flops outside as a clue); try not to point with your feet or touch anyone on the head, both can be taken quite offensively; and use your right hand when shaking hands with anyone as the left is generally used for, ahem, other matters. Also, on a dive boat or on the beach, a bikini is perfectly acceptable attire. However, do note that being topless or wearing a very small or revealing bikini or G-string is frowned upon. When walking around the island, please cover up with a sarong.
It is perfectly safe to engage in all diving trips while on your period. No, you are not more prone to shark attack. Because physiologists know little about the effects of diving with a foetus, the recommendation is that women avoid diving while pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
The biggest medical problems that may prevent you from diving are asthma, diabetes, recent surgery, high blood pressure and certain prescription medications. If you are concerned, please refer to our medical statement here. If you answer yes to any of the questions, it’s best to get an ok and signed statement from your personal doctor before visiting.
Due to varied topography, conditions and depths, we may limit certain sites to advanced certifications or higher. You can find the certification need to dive each site by visiting our dive site descriptions here.
If you’re lucky, you may see a shark. Although incidents with sharks occur, they are very, very rare and with respect to diving, primarily involve spear fishing or feeding sharks, both of which trigger feeding behaviour. Most of the time, if you see a shark it’s passing through and a relatively special sight to enjoy.
Yes. Due to our remote locations, we strongly recommend dive insurance. We offer DAN (Diver’s Alert Network) Short Term Insurance: 40$ for 10 days or 50$ for 30 days. This is good for anywhere within Indonesia and coverage begins immediately. We are happy to sign you up in advance, or you can sign up the day you arrive. Please note that dive insurance is mandatory for all liveaboards.
We change the dive sites on a daily basis so you can discover many different locations. When you arrive, check out where we are going in the next few days and sign up for the sites that appeal to you. We are happy to try and accommodate requests for dive sites during your stay. Please note that this is not always possible due to course scheduling and ocean conditions.
The Indonesian Government now allows free visa-free travel for 52 countries valid for 30 days. (Check if your country is listed here). Please be aware that this option is not extendable or convertible into another type of visa. Make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 (six) months from the date of arrival in Indonesia.
If your country is not listed or you think you may stay longer than 30 days, we advise you to get a Visa on Arrival (USD 35), which can be extended another 30 days.
Similar to the rest of the tropical world, the Gilis have a wet season and a dry season. Rainy season generally runs from November until March. However, rainy season doesn’t mean it’s raining all day, every day. Most showers fall in the afternoon and very rarely do we have to cancel a trip due to weather. Furthermore, like most of the world, this past year has seen a change in the seasons with rains falling through August. What the weather may be like is anyone’s guess!
In terms of crowds, high season is July, August and September with a busy week around the Christmas and New Year Holidays.
We recommend April, May, October and November as the best months for optimal weather and beating the crowds.
No. We only run liveaboard trips out of Labuan Bajo, Flores. However, there are multiple daily flights connecting Lombok, Bali & Labuan Bajo.
Assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses, no. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how to properly equalise. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you’ll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.
If you haven’t been diving in a while (over 6 months), we ask you to sign up for a refresher course. A quick theory review and pool session the bay before you begin diving again can help you find your muscle memory and become comfortable with previously learned dive skills. If you opt out of the refresher course, we may limit which dives we allow you to join on your first day of diving.
We understand that booking domestic flights within Indonesia can be frustrating and are happy to help! Let us know the dates that you are interested in, which airport you will be departing from and the full passport names of any passengers and we’ll have it sorted for you. Please note that all bookings do incur a 10% service charge.
Our standard tanks are interchangeable between yoke and DIN, meaning we can change our tanks according to your needs.
While the e-learning offers less theory time on site, some people prefer face-to-face teaching and feel more comfortable being taught in person. It is really up to you. Whether you like a personal interaction with your Instructor during theory time or prefer self-study using the PADI website, both options will allow you to pass your course and have a full understanding of the diving world.
Water temperatures vary between 26-30c, so not too much thermal protection is required. We provide a 3mm shorty to all guests, but find that many divers choose to wear just a rash guard or vest. If you tend to get cold we do provide full-length 3mm wetsuits upon request.
At the dive shop, we accept credit cards (Visa and MasterCard at a 3% surcharge), bank transfers, PayPal payments (+5% Paypal fees) and Indonesian Rupiah. Due to Indonesian law, we cannot accept any other currencies.
Yes. Gili Air currently has 6 ATMs on the island, including one in Blue Marlin’s dive shop. Please note that withdrawal limits are usually around 10.000.000/day (USD 750).
There are also several money changers on Gili Air, but to avoid disappointment in exchange rates, change your money on Lombok or Bali at official money changers and/or banks.
Gili Air does have a few small clinics providing basic care and medication. We recommend Blue Island Clinic as it is the only one with doctors. For serious injuries or health care issues we recommend visiting a hospital. The closest international hospital and recompression chamber is ‘Rumah Sakit Harapan Keluarga’ hospital just south-east of Mataram on Lombok.
Yes, Blue Marlin and most shops/restaurants offer WiFi. While this will allow you to check email, please note that internet speeds can be unreliable.