NUSA ISLANDS IN INDONESIA
The Nusa Islands – Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan – are three small islands just below Bali in Indonesia. Here, you can experience beautiful beaches, bright blue waters, rugged cliffs, soothing quietness and a super relaxed island vibe.
These islands were absolutely my favorite part of Bali. We stayed a short five days, but definitely could have stayed for more.
If you take the speedboat from Sanur, you will already be in Nusa Lembongan in merely 30 minutes.
We arranged a cheap taxi from our hotel in Ubud to Sanur, which added to the convenience factor. There are a lot of speedboats that depart from Sanur, so you can get your ticket on location.
We booked our stay in Nusa Ceningan in advance through Booking.com and asked the owners of our accommodation to pick us up at the beautiful Yellow Bridge that connects the islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. (Using a sort of automated tuk-tuk, the speedboat company will be able to safely drop you off on one end of this bridge.)
Big vehicles aren’t allowed to be on the Yellow Bridge, so be prepared to sit on a scooter. The owners came to pick us up on two scooters as we were two travellers and we got on these with the hosts and our large backpacks! But rest assured, the Indonesians really are awesome at everything to do with scooters.
And here we were… hello, Nusa Islands!
Top 9 must-do activities
1. Explore the island on a scooter
You can easily explore Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan on a scooter. Renting one costs just about EUR 5 to 6 per day and it’s a super convenient way to get around. Live like a local and feel the wind in your hair!
2. Relax in the lap of nature
You can surf, visit mangroves or just enjoy the surrounding nature.
3. Find the perfect beach
If you like beautiful and quaint little beaches, you’re at the perfect address! These beaches are idyllic, to say the least, and you will often find Pinterest-worthy bars close by. Some beaches to definitely see: Mushroom Beach, Sunset Beach and Dream Beach.
4. See Devil’s Tear
On Nusa Lembongan you’ll find Devil’s Tear, a rocky stretch of coastline where gigantic waves strike the rocks hard, especially during high tides, resulting in water being sprayed high up in the air. We experienced a truly beautiful sunset here and the best part is there were only a few other couples around. You can apparently also also see turtles swimming sometimes.
Oh, and getting there is easy with a scooter. It’s located between Dream Beach and Sunset beach.
5. Go to the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon was quite close t o where we were staying (the Dafish Accomodation Bar and Cafe ). The name of this sight speaks for itself – it’s a serene, quiet and beautiful lagoon that you can easily reach with a scooter.
6. Chill out at the Jungut Batu Beach
Jungut Batu is Nusa Lembongan’s longest beach and boasts a perfect view of Bali and the Agung volcano. Did you know that this volcano had just erupted several times when we started our Indonesian vacay? Yup. In Ubud, we could practically feel the dirty ash in our eyes and lungs. But Jungut Batu was like paradise.
You can spend the whole day relaxing in the sun with drinks from Lembongan Beach Club and Resort. When you purchase drinks from them, you can use the sunbeds and bean bags for free. They also have a super nice pool near the sea and a stunning white beach.
7. Take note of the Yellow Bridge
As mentioned above, the Yellow Bridge that connects Nusa Lembongan with Nusa Ceningan is beautiful and something definitely worth seeing. It collapsed in 2016 but has now been completely rebuilt. Needless to say, it’s kind of like an icon of the Nusa Islands, so shouldn’t be missed.
8. Check out Mahana Point in Nusa Ceningan
After the Blue Lagoon, if you go a bit further, you will reach Mahana Point, a nice surf bar. Here, they also have a kind of springboard that you can use to jump directly into the sea (with your surfboard). A very cool surfer vibe, indeed.
9. Take some diving lessons
The Nusa Islands are an ideal destination for diving. If you want to get your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification, you can certainly do so at Ceningan Divers. They have a super friendly and highly qualified team and you’ll be in good hands. Take out at least three days for a PADI Open Water course, which costs about EUR 325. I was already an Advanced Open Water diver myself, but Peter, my fellow traveller, really wanted to learn how to dive.
Be ready to find very healthy corals and a large variety of tropical fish underwater. Oh, and on the nearby island of Nusa Penida, there’s Manta Point where you have almost a 100% chance of seeing giant manta rays. Of course, you can also simply snorkel – no shame in that at all!