Published/Last edited or updated: 18th April, 2016
Around 30 minutes or so from Poto Tano, Gili Paserang is one of the most stunning of the islands within easy reach of the port, with a large savannah-covered mesa overlooking a spur of white-sand beach and fringed by some impressively good live corals.
The island is also home to a small uncompleted resort — apparently it has water and paperwork issues — but workers there said we could stay, as long as we had our own food and water. You can also camp here if you have the gear. There is a paved footpath that leads to the top of the mesa and offers tremendous views — make the effort — you’ll be glad you did.
We only had time to snorkel off the “resort” beach and were impressed. There is a long solid coral bank packed with live corals and plenty of fish. We saw huge schools of reef fish and the visibility was very good. Turtles are frequently seen, but we saw none. From the mesa, there looked to be some very good snorkelling on the north side of the island as well, but we didn’t have time to try it out. A trail leads down to an access point to the reef there, or you can have your boat take you around there.
Watch the currents. In close, there were none, but the boatman said further out the current could be very strong.
The beaches on Paserang are predominantly white sand. Litter, especially plastic cups and bottles, is a problem, but the stretch in front of the resort was relatively clean. Allow at least two hours on the island — more if time allows and if you want to snorkel the back of the island as well.
To get a boat to Gili Paserang, leave Poto Tano’s main ferry terminal and walk a couple of hundred metres and you’ll see a second, far smaller wooden pier running out to sea with some small wooden boats attached to it. Head here and stand around looking like you want to hire a boat. It shouldn’t take long before you’ll get some interest.
The prices below are what our boatman quoted us for individual islands, but if you select a few islands, the price drops somewhat – for example we paid 700,000 rupiah to visit Gili Paserang, Gili Kenawa and Gili Namo. Your mileage may vary — bargain hard but be polite. These prices are for boat charters. You get the boat for as long as you want.
Gili Paserang: 550,000 rupiah
Gili Kenawa: 250,000 rupiah
Gili Namo: 200,000 rupiah
Gili Kalong: 350,000 rupiah
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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