Planning a trip to the island of Nusa Lembongan or thinking of visiting on a day trip from Bali? Read on for a complete guide to this beautiful island including the best things to do in Nusa Lembongan and its small sister island of Nusa Ceningan, plus where to eat, where to stay and other essential tips.
Top 9 Things to Do on Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan
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From the moment I laid my eyes on this charming, quaint little island off of Bali, I was in love.
Even though I generally do not travel to the same destination twice, Nusa Lembongan was special.
Not only did I return to this tropical island, but I also made it a home for two months, then eventually found a job in Bali so that I could continue to enjoy the incredible views and vibes of this stunning paradise.
If you enjoy low-key island vibes, beach life and marine activities, schedule as many days as you can on this beautiful island of Nusa Lembongan because believe me, you will never want to leave! But if you are on a tight itinerary, 2 to 3 days will allow you to see the highlights of Lembongan and the smaller sister island, Nusa Ceningan.
In this post, I will share with you the best of the two islands that you can explore, particularly for your first trip. Read on for the top activities, attractions, restaurant, and travel tips to make the most of your tropical holiday in Nusa Lembongan!
1. Snorkeling/Scuba Diving
When traveling to Nusa Lembongan, one thing you should not miss is exploring the underwater world and finding Nemo (and so much more)! Nusa islands are known for some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving sites in Bali.
If you have ever explored the magnificence of the Coral Triangle, you may already have some idea of how abundant, healthy, and vibrant marine life is in this region…if you haven’t, you are missing out!
From the colorful reef fishes to the manta rays and everything in between, the reefs around the Nusa islands are home to incredible marine creatures.
Go hop in the ocean and see it for yourself!
2. Mangrove Forest
Located at the northern tip of Nusa Lembongan, the mangrove forest is a great spot not only for snorkeling, but also for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and chasing sunrises.
Since the mangrove forest is one of the rare locations on the island where you can catch sunrises, I recommend that you get there early for some incredible orange hues over the lush green mangroves. Even if you are not a morning person, head over at least once. You won’t regret it.
Nusa Lemonban is a dream destination for some great surfs.
Along Jungutbatu shores (island’s northwest coast), you can find several surfing schools you can sign up with. The breaks in Lembongan are said to be great for beginners as well as intermediate to advanced surfers.
If surfing is not your thing, you can also rent a paddleboard and take it out for a ride off the beach. With the water so smooth and clear, cruising over the surface at Lembongan is so exhilarating!
Although there are several beaches on the island (more in the next section), Jungutbatu is the only place you can surf or SUP (stand up paddleboard) on Lembongan.
4. Beach hopping
From the blindingly white sand to the turquoise blue waters, the beaches on Nusa Lembongan are everything you dream of when you imagine paradise.
You can enjoy a “relaxing beach day” and work on your bronze tan on Dream Beach, or head to Jungutbatu beach if you prefer an “active beach day” snorkeling, paddle boarding, or catching the waves offshore.
For more details on the best beaches on Nusa Lembongan and helpful tips and information, check out this post.
5. Devil’s Tear
Devil’s Tear is a coastline of limestone cliffs where huge waves crash into the cliff walls and create dramatic blowholes. The spectacular view of the crashing waves is sure to leave you mesmerized.
With a spike in tourism over the last several years, Devils Tear has become quite commercialized. Truckloads of day-trippers now find their way to this location, but you can still find a quiet corner away from the masses.
Despite the crowd, Devil’s Tear is a must-see on Lembongan. You should use extreme caution when walking along the cliffs, as the blowholes can rise unexpectedly and make you lose your balance.
6. Watching the sunset
I don’t know what it is about Nusa Lembongan, but sunsets on the island seem to appear more intense and striking than anywhere else in Bali. The skies light up in bright orange, and if you happen to be on north Jungutbatu, you can see Mount Agung’s silhouette and the view is simply breathtaking.
On Nusa Lembongan, there are numerous spots to catch the epic island sunset – try a different location each day you are on the island. Some recommended spots are Devil’s Tear, Sunset Beach, Ohana’s, and Mahagiri Resort.
7. Get lost
I realize that if you only have a few days, you may find it difficult not to plan your itinerary and line up “things to do” on the island. But, I will say that I have stumbled on some of the most incredible (and private) views getting lost on the island with my motorbike.
Don’t be afraid to get off the beaten path, and explore places that are NOT in guidebooks. It’s especially easy to get lost on Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan, as the signs are scarce and some roads are unpaved. Enjoy a little adventure (with care, of course)!
8. Blue Lagoon (Nusa Ceningan)
When I first saw the Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan, I couldn’t believe just how baby blue the waters were. It was one of the most incredible sights I had ever seen. You can easily spend a few hours being in awe of the blue horizon while sitting on the cliffs.
You will need to rent a motorbike to get to the Blue Lagoon but it’s worth the trip from Lembongan! Note that there are various points from where you can enjoy the grand panoramic view – make sure you walk around the trails and explore the different angles.
Don’t miss this magical place. It’s worth the hype.
9. Mahana Point (Nusa Ceningan)
Mahana welcomes adrenalin junkies from all over the world for cliff jumping adventures during high-tide.
If you are like me and fear heights, Mahana is still an incredible viewing spot where you can enjoy a cold Bintang while watching surfers down below or just staring into the stunning horizon of the limestone cliffs and waves.
Basic Visitor Information
Generally, the best time to visit Bali is during the “dry season” between June to September when the air is drier and cooler compared to the rest of the year. The mornings and evenings can feel cool, and this time of the year is the most comfortable – inevitably, this dry season is also the high/busy season.
The “wet season,” or the slow season, is between December to March, when you can expect sporadic spurts of rain throughout the day. It is rare in Bali, however, to experience torrential rain like other parts of SE Asia where the monsoon can wash out weeks and months at a time.
Cash & ATM
There are only 4 ATMs on the island, which can often be down or out of cash. I recommend that you take enough cash with you before you go to Nusa Lembongan. Although resorts and some restaurants accept credit cards, 2-3% service charge is normally added and smaller, local shops will only take cash.
Getting to Nusa Lembongan
You can get to Nusa Lembongan with fast boasts from Sanur on the mainland of Bali. For more details on costs, how to select a fast boat and what you can expect on your journey, check out this post.
You can also sign up for one of the tours below from Bali:
Recommended Eats on Nusa Lembongan
Bali Eco Deli in Jungutbatu is my favorite all-around restaurant that serves everything from healthy breakfast smoothies to refreshing, delicious salads for lunch/dinner. They have great coffees too if you crave a little afternoon pick-me-up. They also offer free water refill if you bring your own reusable water bottle! That’s what I call eco-friendly.
Ginger & Jamu has a great menu selection for vegan/gluten-free or vegetarians. For great seafood with an amazing view of Mount Agung at sunset, head over to Bambu on north Jungutbatu!
Where to Stay on Nusa Lembongan
Despite the small size, Nusa Lembongan has countless accommodation options ranging from cheap dormitories like Medal Jaya Hostel to private villas at The Tamarind for several hundred dollars a night.
You can find just about anything that will fit your budget.
Jungut Batu area is known as a budget-friendly area, with dorm rooms and homestays starting around $10/night. The majority of the island’s accommodations, restaurants, and retail shops are concentrated in this area, so Jungut Batu is a great area to base yourself if you enjoy the convenience of walking everywhere.
Mushroom Bay is a bit quieter, and the rooms tend to be slightly more expensive overall. This area seems to be popular among couples and families.
Since Nusa Lembongan is a small island, you can get from one end of the island to the other within 30 minutes if you have a motorbike. So you don’t need to concern yourself with where to stay on the island if you plan to rent a bike. You will be able to get around easily.
I hope you found this post helpful in planning your next trip to Bali and finding your little paradise heaven!
Author Bio: Mo is a Bali-based scuba instructor whose current passions include coconut ice cream, rescuing street dogs. You can follow her paradise adventures on Instagram and Facebook.
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This sounds amazing, and actually more of its own trip vs a day trip. Do you know, does Indonesia have restrictions on free-diving? I can’t imagine so, but different municipalities manage it differently…
Hi Rob, I am not a free-diver so I am not familiar with rules or restrictions, but I know several free-divers around Bali. Contact Oli at Freedive Flow in Gili (http://www.freediveflow.com)- he’s a great instructor who I’m sure can help answer any questions you have. Cheers!
Great tips! Bali is super high on my list and these places look amazing. The Blue Lagoon especially looks gorgeous. Thanks for the tips!
Hi Riana, I’m glad you found the tips helpful! I hope you get to visit Bali soon 🙂 And yes, Blue Lagoon was absolutely incredible. Do add it to your itinerary!
Mo recently posted…North Bali: Escape the Crowd and Discover the Raw Beauty of Bali
Looks like a beautiful place. I love the blue lagoon. Good to know about bringing extra cash.