The islands are a popular destination for tourists. Each island has several resorts from budget to 4 stars ones. Most local inhabitants live on Trawangan in a township stretching along its east side just inland. Automobiles and motorized traffic are prohibited on the islands by local ordinance, so the preferred method of transportation is by foot and bicycle or the horse-drawn carriage called a cidomo. Scuba diving and freediving in and around the Gilis is also popular due to the abundance of marine life and attractive coral formations. Most famous diving spots are Shark point, Manta point and Simon’s reef.
The Islands are located in the Lombok Strait, to the immediate northwest of Lombok. Bali Island lies about 35 km to the west of Gili Trawangan. Both Bali and Lombok are easily visible from the Gilis in clear weather. Due to their close proximity to the Equator, the Islands have a warm, tropical climate with a dry and wet season. With Mount Rinjani to the immediate east on Lombok, and Mount Agung to the west on Bali, The Gilis are somewhat sheltered and actually enjoy a slightly drier Microclimate when compared to the surrounding archipelago. Dry Season usually lasts from May until October, with Monsoon season starting in November and continuing through to April. Temperatures range between 22 °C to 34 °C, with an average annual temperature of around 28 °C.
Gili Trawangan is the largest of Lombok’s Gili Islands and the only one to rise significantly (30 m) above sea level. Measuring 3 km long and 2 km wide, it has a population of around 1500. The name Trawangan originates from the Indonesian word Terowongan (Tunnel) due to the presence of a cave tunnel built there during Japanese occupation in World War 2. Trawangan is the most developed and geared towards tourism. The Islands can only be reached by sea, and are frequented by a variety of fast boats operating various routes from Bali.
Flights from Ngurah Rai International Airport (IATA : DPS) to Lombok International Airport (IATA: LOP) take about 40 minutes followed by a 2 hour taxi ride to Bangsal harbor to get a public boat or to Teluk Kode to get a private one in Northwest Lombok and a Local boat to the Gili Islands for a further 20 mins.
Fast boats depart from Padang Bai (Southeast Bali) taking a minimum of 1 hour 20 minutes to reach Gili Trawangan.