The word ‘Nusa’ means ‘island’ in the Indonesian language. Unsurprisingly, therefore, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida are small islands off of the Balinese mainland. I had the pleasure of staying on Lembongan and so this article is mainly centred around a Nusa Lembongan itinerary. However, the itinerary features trips from Lembongan to both Penida (by boat) and Ceningan (by a small, yellow pedestrian and scooter bridge which connects the two islands).
Many tourists overlook a visit to this part of Bali. This is possibly because some people are not keen on embarking upon the 30-minute ferry ride to the islands from the mainland, or it could be due to the fact that there is SO much to do on the mainland as it is. You can discover which activities can be removed from an extensive Bali itinerary by reading my blog here. Alternatively, if you’re not sure where to start in planning a Bali trip, check out my top 10 things to do in Bali.
For me, the largely untrodden nature of these islands was particularly appealing. Allegedly, Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida reflect mainland Bali before the hordes of tourists arrived. Indeed, I believe that these islands definitely maintain a certain charm that the mainland lacks. Read on to discover how to make the most out of a trip to this wonderfully secluded part of the world.
NUSA LEMBONGAN ITINERARY – DAY 1 AM
Wake up in your private villa at the Lembongan Beach Club & Resort and have breakfast, before arranging (through the hotel) to hire a scooter for around £10-15GBP for the whole day. Relax by the pool or on Jungutbatu Beach until the scooter arrives. **Also use this free time to visit the Star Two Thousand Bungalow (on the beach, next door to the resort) to book a Nusa Penida day trip for the following day (approximately £50 GBP per person).**
Once the scooter arrives, set off on a tour of both Lembongan and Ceningan, using the map as pictured below as a guide for your route. Scoot to the beautiful Panoramic Point for photos, before navigating your way across the islands’ own Golden Gate replica, Yellow Bridge. Slightly beyond the Yellow Bridge in Ceningan you will find a number of small beach bars surrounding the bay. Stop for a light lunch, a swim and a sea swing at The Island Ceningan.
NUSA LEMBONGAN ITINERARY – DAY 1 PM
Post-lunch, visit Ceningan’s stunning Blue Lagoon and Mahana Point, a popular surf break location, where you can watch fearless folk dive into the water from the 6m and 10m diving boards.
Scoot back to Lembongan and admire the golden sands of Dream Beach, before attempting to spot turtles within the crashing waves at Devil’s Tear. End the day with a laidback sunset dinner and drinks at The Deck.
NUSA LEMBONGAN ITINERARY – DAY 2 AM
Start off your morning much the same as ‘Day 1’, with breakfast at the hotel and some poolside sunbathing.
Be picked up by boat for your trip to Nusa Penida, as booked the day before. Nusa Penida day trips will first take you to Manta Bay, where you have a high chance of being able to swim with manta rays. Following this, the tour boat will take you to Crystal Bay, which has stunningly clear waters that are ideal for snorkelling.
A jeep will then pick up the tour group at Crystal Bay and will start negotiating the rough terrains of Nusa Penida. There are a number of coastal formations to explore on Penida. The first destination, Angel’s Billabong, is a spectacular natural infinity pool. Broken Beach, an archway allowing seawater to flow into a cove, is then a short walk away from the Billabong.
NUSA LEMBONGAN ITINERARY – DAY 2 PM
The jeeps will then take the tour group to Penida’s main attraction, the secluded Kelingking Beach. The viewpoint above Kelingking Beach is completely breathtaking and is an unmissable experience for anyone visiting Bali. After soaking up the views, the jeep (and then the boat) will take you back to Nusa Lembongan.
In the evening, opt for an inexpensive, yet good quality, dinner at Lemongrass Bar and Restaurant. This restaurant offers a range of Western and Indonesian dishes in a relaxed environment.