Which is Better Gili Island or Nusa Penida Island ?

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Also, Read – 120 things to do in Bali in 2021! & Best Itineraries of Bali with Nusa Penida and Gili

Which is Better Gili Island or Nusa Penida Island? Many people ask us whether it is better to go to the Gili Islands, or to Nusa Penida. They are always curious to know which is better Gili island or Nusa Penida island!

Also, read- Points to be considered before Booking the Bali package

There are many other “islands of Gili’s” near Lombok and even in front of Padang Bai. If you are expecting your trip to Bali, Indonesia and you are in dilemma to selecting between the Gili Islands or Nusa Penida Island, then trust me you are not alone. People usually get confused. Be it Gili or Nusa Penida Island both are amazingly beautiful but different in nature. Let us find out.

Gili Vs Nusa Penida Island (Some more facts about both)

Points of ComparisonNusa PenidaGili Island
Cultural factsIn Nusa Penida island you will feel the sense of Local culture everywhere even in the food.Gili Trawangan which is preferred by tourists is highly influenced by western culture.
FoodIn Nusa Penida, local food is the major contributor and then other categories contribute.On Gili Island cuisines like Chinese, Continental and local almost have the same contribution.
NatureNusa Penida will give the feel of dense forest, mountains and beaches.Gili is mainly famous for its beaches compared with Nusa Penida it is not much rich in Flora.
Water SportsThough Nusa Penida has options for water sports activities, very few are professional.Unlike Nusa Penida, Gili Islands have some professional underwater activity options.
SizeNusa Penida is around 240 km2Gili Islands are very small compared to Nusa Penida and can be covered by walk or cycle. It is around 18 km2.
HotelsNusa Penida Island started becoming famous in 2017 since then many big chains have completed or started their Hotel projects.Gili Island has some good properties but most of them are being maintained by locals. Because the islands are small, options are fewer.
TransportationIn Nusa Penida Island the transportation usually happens in a car or a few buses that are used by locals.Unlike Nusa Penida, Gili Islands refrains the use of Cars or Buses. Usually, tourists use Cycles, Cedimo or they walk to travel from one place to another.Small Electric scooters are most famous here.
PartyNusa Penida will not offer a party environment as it is more focused on cultural and nature tourism.Gili island is famous for parties whether it is on a boat or on land.
Recommended duration of StayThe mostly 1-day tour can be done, however, 2 nights stay is good enough to explore the depth of it.The sea waves won’t let you come back from Gili in the evening, 2 night’s stay in Gili is the requirement.
How to BookBook Nusa Penida Tour from BaliBali to Gili Island fast boat ferry online booking
Gili Vs Nusa Penida
Which is Better Gili Island or Nusa Penida Island?

Well, frankly saying there is no one who can give a sure answer to you as it totally depends on your own choices. Our one-liner will be that if you like night parties and the awesome crowd then go for Gili and stay there for 2 nights whereas if you are more interested to treat your eyes with aww’s of nature then go for Nusa Penida.What Better , Gili island or Nusa Penida Island

Cost of food in Gili Island vs Nusa Penida Island ?

In Gili Island, the food and beverages are expensive. Small beer usually cost 60,000 Indonesian Rupiah in Gili Island which as compared to Nusa Penida is 30000 Indonesia Rupiah expensive. Talking about meals, Indonesian food is much cheaper in Nusa Penida compared to Gili Islands.The clothes or soveniers are always expensive to buy in Gili compare to Nusa Penida.

Between Nusa Penida and Gili, where best scuba diving can be done?

Nusa Penida scuba diving sites are beyond beautiful and varied than those of the Gili Islands.
At Nusa Penida, you will watch manta rays, the Mola Mola during the season, from July to October, and a very wide diversity of fish and corals. The coral reef of the Gili Islands has agonized a lot, probably from tourism but also from disobliging use of dynamite fishing.
However, there are still many turtles that you can watch while snorkelling from the beach of the Gili Islands. While the most beautiful snorkelling sites are mostly reachable by boat in Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan.

Beaches of Nusa Penida Island Vs Gili Island?

Gili Islands beaches are of course very adorable and correlate well to the idea you can have of a sandy beach on a desert island.
The sunsets are quite pretty and most of the bars have very suitable lounge music.
The beaches of Nusa Penida are more diverse, savage, more awesome, but not quite easily accessible, especially when you are with the family.

On which Gili Island should I stay: Trawangan, Meno or Air?

Well, Trawangan is more famous for night parties, awesome crowds, good happening resorts and McDonald 🙂

Gili Air if you want to spend your time at a place that is quiet, where you want to sit in a club with singers singing the melody on the mic and a beer in your hand. In short not happening but quiet and calm.

The memo is again quiet and is almost like Gili air so it’s totally dependent on your choice to select between Meno or Air : ).

Day time you will be doing water sports around all these 3 islands so we intended to talk about night 🙂
Gili Islands

What is Cidomo in Gili Island ?

Cidomo is a Horse cart that is the source of transportation on Gili. There are very less or no motor vehicles in Gili. Either cycle or Cidomo’s are the modes of transportation.Cidomo horse cart Gili

From Where can I book Nusa Penida or Gili Island tour?

On Lestacworld.com’s portal, one can book Gili Island or Nusa Penida Island tours.

Tourist infrastructures

Also, ReadChecklist to travel to Bali

Tourism initiated to enlarge the Gili Islands about three decades before. Past that there were no inhabitants on any of the three islands.

Trawangan is the largest and is only 2 km2. Tourism has expanded a lot since then and now every square meter of each of the 3 islands is developed. It is quite diverse, from small houses to luxurious hotels. There are also many restaurants, bars and diving centres. The west-facing beach bars offer adorable sunsets.

Their size makes it possible to roam around the island along the beach. Motor vehicles are strictly not allowed there, with some exceptions for locals. You can walk, ride a cycle or use a Cidomo to take luggage from the port to your hotel.


The award for landscapes without a doubt to Nusa Penida with tremendously awesome sites such as Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach and Angel Billabong. The very high cliffs on the west coast of Penida also offer a great view of the sunsets.

Boat connections from Bali

Many companies provide40 daily fast boat connections between Bali and Nusa Penidain almost 25 to 40 mins, from Sanur or from Kusamba.

It can be called a shuttle. One can make up mind to visit at the last moment. A return trip in the day is even possible and usually, people do that only.

Reaching the Gili Islands takes longer sometimes due to bad weather but is very impressive. To make life easier, you can take an all-inclusive ticket.

To reach Gili island you need to reach out to the ferry port in the morning and then wait for the ferry to initiate and then after reaching Gili port you will have to hire Cidomo to reach the hotel. Although Cidomo is the option if you don’t have much luggage you can walk around the hotel.


We believe that the cultural aspect is much stronger in Nusa Penida than in the Gili Islands.

Penida is where the famous temple of Ped is located, which has the spirit of the mighty demon Mechling.

And above all, for tourists, the temple of Goa Giri Putri, inside a very impressive cave to visit. Bali festivals and ceremonies are also celebrated in most villages in Penida.

The Gili Islands like Lombok, have the majority of Muslims, however, fortunately, the consumption of alcohol is accepted there.

But Out of Nusa Penida or Gili’s islands which is Better?

In conclusion, choose the Gili Islands, Indonesia:

  • if you want to spend a few days in a quiet setting without a car or scooter
  • to find a festive and relaxed environment by the beach where everything can be done by walking
  • if you take a long enough trip and have time to explore Gili Islands and Nusa Penida!

But if you want to rediscover the Bali of 30 years ago, enjoy fabulous landscapes, experience exceptional and varied moments on land, in water or underwater, and if you really need to make a choice: choose Nusa Penida!

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