Nusa Lembongan is a small island off the southeast coast of the main island of Bali. Fast becoming one of Bali’s most popular attractions, this island paradise is a world away from the hassle and hectic pace of South Bali. Neither hawkers nor traffic mar the magnificent scenery; this is a fine place to just put your feet up and relax. Main activities include surfing, diving and snorkeling. The water is some of the clearest you will find anywhere, and a vivid aqua blue in colour. Nusa Lembongan is approximately eight square kilometres in size, and is one of three neighbouring islands, the others being much larger Nusa Penida and tiny Nusa Ceningan (also covered by this article). The three islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait. Some visitors may find Nusa Lembongan a little slow after the pace of South Bali. Many areas around the island are good for diving and snorkeling, with abundant marine life and healthly coral.
Surfing can get a bit crowded, but the waves are good. There are several white sand beaches away from the main centres which are virtually never crowded. There is a flourishing and well established seaweed farming industry here, and many visitors find it interesting to learn about this. Two main beach areas have traditionally attracted visitors. Jungut Batu in the northwest is the bigger of the two, and has myriad hotels and cheap eateries. This is the area which traditionally attracted backpackers and surfers to the island. The white sand beach here is pleasant enough but nothing to get too excited about, and it is a little narrow in places. In more recent times, the hillside to the south of Jungut Batu known as the Bukit (the hill) has been developed and has attracted higher level hotels. The views from the Bukit are perhaps second to none on Nusa Lembongan. Sunsets are best viewed along the main Jungut Batu beachfront. Mushroom Bay to the southwest of Jungut Batu is a quaint, attractive and sheltered bay.
It is an especially nice spot after 3PM when the day trippers have returned to Bali, and it has a great white sandy beach, along with some cozy little water-side restaurants. Further south, the lesser known beaches either side of the Devil’s Tear outcrop, known as Dream Beach and Sunset Beach, are increasingly drawing more visitors. The coastal landscape in this part of the island is mostly low-lying limestone cliffs, and there are some dramatic cave formations. The north end of the island is fringed by a mangrove forest, and the eastern side of the island is separated from neighbouring Nusa Ceningan by a shallow estuarine channel. The main population centre of the island is Lembongan Village in the southern interior, and it is here that you will find the homes of most traditional island families.
How to get to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan :
From Sanur Beach :
1. Public Boat
2. Lembongan Seahorse Wings
3. Scoot Cruise
From Benoa Harbour :
1. Lembongan Island Fast Boat
2. Island Explorer Cruises
3. BlueWater Safaris
What you can see around Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan :
1. Dream Beach . A wonderful secluded beach with powdery, white sand, located on the south coast. From the main accommodation areas on the west coast, head southeast towards Lembongan Village where you should turn west, and then look for the signposted small track leading south to Dream Beach. There is a cafe attached to the single resort here, and this makes Dream Beach a great place to spend the whole day doing nothing. Be very careful though about entering the water here as the rips can be fierce. Only the strongest swimmers should consider this and even then, avoid the eastern end of the beach.
2. Sunset Beach , (adjacent to Devil’s Tear). A small but spectacular beach with white sand and crashing waves, located just to the north of Dream Beach, and easiest reached via the same route. There is a small beachfront cafe here which should encourage visitors to spend the day. At low tide a dramatic cave is exposed in the low limestone cliff at the eastern side of the bay. Approach carefully and make sure you are not cut off from the beach by a rising tide. All-in-all, this is a delightful spot which is as laid back as anywhere in the whole of Bali.
3. Devil’s Tear . A rocky outcrop on the south western coast. Spectacular crashing waves and water plumes. Easily found by walking either a few minutes north from Dream Beach or south from Sunset Beach.
4. Mangrove Forest , (continue north on the only west coast road from Jungut Batu until you reach the mangroves). Northern Nusa Lembongan has an extensive forest of mature mangroves which can be explored in a jukung outrigger boat.
5. Puncak Sari Temple , Lembongan Village (just north of Lembongan Village on the main route back to Jungut Batu). The largest and grandest Hindu temple on the island. Good views over the straits back to Bali from this area.
6. Seaweed Farms , (make your way to the shoreline anywhere in the southeast quarter of the island and just observe). Seaweed farming takes place in many parts of the island, but the most accessible farms are on the southern side of Lembongan Village. Most of the seaweed grown here is destined for the Asian cosmetics industry.