When traveling through Indonesia a stop in Bali is often part of the itinerary. If you zoom in a bit, you will notice three comparatively small islands in the east of Bali – Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. The second biggest of the three is Nusa Lembongan, an eight square kilometres small island, which inhabits approximately 5,000 people. Why this tiny island surprised us in a very positive way and what you need to know before planning your trip to Nusa Lembongan will be discussed in this article. Find out everything you need to know in our Nusa Lembongan Guide!
How to get to Nusa Lembongan
Just a stone’s throw from Bali you’ll find the little gem Nusa Lembongan. In order to get to Lembongan from Bali, you take one of the multiple speed or slow boats leaving daily from Sanur. Once arrived in the hectic town of Sanur, the gateway to Nusa Lembongan, you will notice numerous different tour operators.
We have been on Nusa Lembongan the first time in March 2018 and paid for the return ticket 340,000 IDR (approx. USD 30). After we’ve arrived at the Public Boat Office in Sanur, we got a one-way ticket for 200,000 IDR. Before our way back we booked a ticket for the way back through our hotel which only cost us 140k. In the end, a good decision as the ticket was cheaper at the hostel. Why so ever!
As we fell in love with the atmosphere on Nusa Lembongan we came back at the end of our two months trip through Indonesia, in April 2018. Here, our Uber driver called a friend that worked for one of the boat operators. He seemed to have a couple of free seats in the boat and wanted to get us on the boat as fast as possible as it left in just 2 minutes after we’ve arrived in Sanur. He offered us a return ticket for 300k, we took it, ran to the boat and a couple of minutes later we found ourselves sitting on a speedboat heading to the picturesque island.
Besides the option of taking an “official” boat, you can also choose the local boat which is significantly cheaper with a price between 60k and 150k. This cheaper alternative will bring you in about 60-90 minutes to Nusa Lembongan, depending on the swell. For people that tend to get seasick – Ani is one of these people – this would not be the ideal option to choose.
Most boats arrive at Mushroom Beach, whereas slow boats also can also arrive at Jungut Batu.
Tip 1: Please note that the last official boat leaves around 4:30 pm from Sanur. Be on time to not miss the boat to the beautiful island!
✐ Address: Jalan Hang Tuah, Sanur Kaja, Bali 80227, Indonesia
$ Costs: ca. 150,000 Rupiah each way
Beside from Sanur, you can also leave from Padang Bai. However, you’ll find significantly fewer boats here. Further information can be found in the Restaurant Puri Rai directly at Padang Bai.
Tip 2: If you want the whole trip as relaxed as possible you can also book tickets a couple of days in advance on this page. Important to note here, the prices are slightly higher than at the beach in Sanur.
Accommodation on Nusa Lembongan
Now that you arrived on Nusa Lembongan you need a place to stay! Here you find many options in very different price categories. First of all, you need to answer the question where exactly you want to stay on Nusa Lembongan.
Depending on the location prices vary! Accommodation close to the beach tends to be more costly, whereas a place in the centre, a few hundred meters from the beach, is cheaper.
During our first stay, we decided in favor of a homestay located on the main road. Radya Homestay* is a nice little homestay with a great pool and beautiful facilities. A simple breakfast is also included.
✐ Address: Jl. Raya Jungutbatu, 80771 Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
$ Costs: $20-40 per night for a double room depending on AC/fan and floor
We got a deluxe room for the same price as the standard room which was great as we had a balcony with an awesome view of the bay. Especially during sunset! Even if you do not get the same offer as we got (we came in off season) it could be worth spending some additional bucks on that great view.
Frankly speaking, one thing can be annoying but not specific to Radya or any other hostel on Nusa Lembongan but a problem on the entire island. Crowing roosters in the early morning. You might wonder why there are so many roosters on Lembongan? So did we! Here’s the explanation:
Cockfights are a big thing on Lembongan. We, as well as many other people, see this topic very critical but the tradition is still widely-spread. On a daily basis, you will find cockfights in the city centre where men put bets on one of the opponents. For the fight to be over faster, roosters often have blade tied to one of the feet. When we got a real insight into this tradition we have been shocked, frankly speaking. Winning a fight is highly prestigious for the owner and often comes with a lot of won money.
During our second stay, we found a gem! One in the middle of the jungle, close to the beach and just a stone’s throw from the surf spots. The remotely located, small and incredibly beautiful accommodation Darsan Lembongan Boutique Cottages*. It consists of only eight bungalows, a perfect pool surrounded by nature and great facilities. All bathrooms are located behind the bungalows but don’t have roofs. So you can take a shower in the middle of the jungle with all the amenities. Breakfast also included! This accommodation definitely has to be on top of our Nusa Lembongan Guide!
✐ Address: Song Lambung Beach, 80771 Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
$ Costs: from $40 per night for one bungalow
You’ll also find more options to stay when following this link* or looking at the following map.
Activities on Nusa Lembongan
In terms of activities, everybody will find something suitable. Snorkel trips with huge Manta Ray’s, diving, surfing or yoga.
Our Highlights on Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan
The “Theatre Restaurant” shows movies on a big screen on a daily basis, starting at 7.30 pm. Here, you can have dinner in a relaxed atmosphere and watch a movie on the side. Definitely worth a visit.
Devil’s Tear is truly impressive! As everything else, best to explore with your scooter heading west.
At this viewpoint, the deep blue crashes against cliffs and unloads its power in big splashes. Around late afternoon you will be able to witness a dramatic sunset and take one or two great pictures. Most likely you won’t be on your own but you should definitely stop by!
The famous yellow bridge brings you to Lembongan’s little sister, Nusa Ceningan. In a horrible event, the landmark collapsed in 2016 and killed 8 people. In 2017 the bridge got rebuilt and is an adventure itself. We loved crossing it!
Scooter trip to Nusa Ceningan
First, we came here as we pulled in to the wrong street and got lost. Then, after we parked our scooter and walked around we found the great spot “Twilight”. Here you can stare at the ocean and the incredibly powerful movements of the waves crashing against cliffs. Perhaps you are lucky and also spot a couple of brave surfers that dared into the islands “swell magnet” to catch some waves.
Following the main road when coming from the yellow bridge you will end up at Mahana Point. Travelers meet up here to enjoy the sunset with a beer and watch surfers at a truly impressive spot. If you also crave for some adrenaline, you can also jump into the deep blue.
Side Note: Before you jump, consider the power of the waves! Waves are incredibly powerful and currents make swimming quite challenging. If you dare to jump from over 5 meters in the deep, enjoy!
The Blue Lagoon is one of Nusa Ceningan’s main attractions. No wonder! The turquoise water has something magical and will cast a spell over you. Enjoy and get your camera out afterwards.
Nusa Lembongan Guide: Snorkeling & Diving
On Nusa Lembongan, you will find countless snorkel and diving possibilities. In case you are eager to witness the underwater world, consider to book a tour directly at your accommodation as it tends to be cheaper here compared to one of the many street vendors.
Having said that, it always makes sense to stroll through Jungut Batu to get a couple of offers and compare. Most of the trips will go to the Mangrove Point, Crystal Bay, Manta Point, Buddha Point, Gamut Bay or Wall Bay.
If you have a diving licence, you will come to see the Manta’s. At Manta Point – who would have guessed – you will get the chance to see them. With a tiny bit of luck, you can also witness the up to three meters big moonfish at Crystal Bay and Blue Corner. The best season for that starts in May and ends in November.
Please also note here, that the dive spot Blue Corner can have strong currents and isn’t made for beginners but rather for more experienced divers.
The following diving schools can be found on the island:
✐ Address: Blue Corner Dive, Jalan Raya Jungut Batu, 80771 Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
✐ Address: Dive Concepts Lembongan, Jungutbatu, 80771 Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
Surfing on Nusa Lembongan
There are some awesome waves breaking on Nusa Lembongan! You can paddle out to the spot Playgrounds or take a boat to Lacerations, Razor or Shipwrecks. A few kilometres away, on Nusa Ceningan, you will find a massive swell magnet where just more experienced surfer try to catch their wave of the day. Soon, you will find out more about surfing on Nusa Lembongan in a dedicated article.
Yoga on Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan is a yoga mecca. We saw many students that came here to finish their yoga teacher training. At Ginger & Jamu, a vegan restaurant at the beach, you will find yourself surrounded by people studying for exams and talking about postures and breathing techniques.
We also did a couple of yoga sessions on the little island, even if we have been a bit intimidated by all the pros. If you also want to work on your balance, inner and outer strength, we can recommend the Yoga Shack Lembongan. Yoga classes here take place in a circle-shaped bamboo hut in a lush green garden. A great flair!
The following 60-minute courses can be found on a weekly basis. Just pop by 10 minutes in advance, signing up beforehand is not necessary.
|8 AM||Vinyasa||Hatha Flow||Vinyasa||Hatha Flow||Vinyasa||Hatha Flow|
|4 PM||Hatha Flow||Yin||Hatha Flow||Yin||Hatha Flow||Yin|
|6.30 PM||Marine Talk||Marine Talk||Docu Night|
✐ Address: Secret Garden Bungalows, 80771 Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
$ Costs: $7 per person
☼ Opening Hours: Mon closed | Tue-Sun 8 am, 4 pm and 6.30 pm
Further possibilities would be the Serenity Yoga, Yoga Bliss or the Ginger & Jamu.
Best food on Nusa Lembongan
Bali Eco Deli
The name holds true! Sustainability seems to be truly important to the restaurant’s owner. Besides some great vegan and vegetarian meals, you can refill your water bottle for a few cents. The hip café, which could easily be located in Ubud, re-invests earnings into recycling programs and other great initiatives on the island. Of course, the restaurant also has great meals on the menu such as salads, smoothies and breakfast bowls all-day long.
Green Garden was our place to be! The cosy restaurant prepares all meals fresh and offers healthy dishes that feel great after surfing for a couple of hours. We found ourselves having a second breakfast here on a quite regular basis as their bowls are really tasty. Here, vegetarians, as well as plant-based travellers, will find many options.
Tropical Juice Corner
Speaking of bowls! If you crave for a bowl, the Tropical Juice Corner is the place to be! The tiny restaurant is run by a lovely lady that prepares every bowl with a lot of attention to detail and love. You also taste that! Get a taste on her Instagram channel!
Warung Bu Edy
Our personal all-time favorite on Nusa Lembongan is Warung Bu Edy! Food is dirt cheap and extremly good. Not only locals eat here but also travelers come increasingly often. When you come later, the choices can be limited. But don’t you worry! Pineapple fried rice is always available and heaven on earth! Coming early gets rewarded!
Warung Putu also convinced us in terms of taste and especially the setting. Enjoying a great dinner just beside the yellow bridge while the sun sinks in the ocean. How can it get any better?
Pondok Baruna Warung
The Pondok located on the main road offers some good western dishes that are a bit more costly but still affordable. Here, we especially liked the Balinese dishes.
Our tips on Nusa Lembongan
Tip #1: Travel during the rainy season!
During high season prices of accommodation tend to explode. Beyond that, we’ve heard that the island gets extremely crowded with tourists, especially from Asia. We have been on Nusa Lembongan in March and April (end of the rainy season) and can recommend coming during these months, as the island is relatively empty and the weather couldn’t have been any better.
Tip #2: Get enough cash before coming!
The town only has two ATMs, which can be empty so that you aren’t able to withdraw any cash. Plan in advance and take enough money with you.
Tip #3: Adios wifi!
A stable wifi connection is rare on the island. If you are depended on it for work purposes you might encounter problems. Get enough data for your mobile and you should be set for your time on the island with a mobile hotspot.
Tip #4: Ask for a helmet!
Renting a scooter is a must on the island. Rarely you get a helmet together with a rented scooter. Despite the fact that there is no police on Lembongan, better be safe than sorry. A tiny crash can certainly ruin your travels.
Tip #5: The trash problem!
Nusa Lembongan, unfortunately, has a trash problem, too. To be more precise, a big one. It’s sad to see trash floating on the crystal clear water. While surfing during high tight you might encounter balls, backpacks, flip flops and much more floating around you. In the jungle, you will see piles of trash that get burned during the night. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Refrain taking plastic bags when shopping and think of refilling your water whenever it’s possible rather than buying new plastic bottles and say no to straws.
That was our Nusa Lembongan Guide, hope we covered everything you need to know! Leave a comment if you wish :)
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