What are the Nusa Islands?
The Nusa Islands are a group of three small islands to the southeast of Bali’s mainland. They are reachable by a quick 30-minute speed boat ride from Bali, making these epic islands a popular spot for visitors to Bali.
The Nusa Islands are considered part of Bali but feel like worlds away. Each has its own unique vibe and things to offer that feel totally different to classic places like Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu. They are made up of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
If you love nature and adventure then you will be sure to love the Nusa Islands. They are most famous for the dramatic cliffs and beaches of Nusa Penida. However, they are also incredible for diving and snorkelling with Manta rays and Mola Mola fish, hiking, insane views, cliff jumping and interesting and unique beaches to enjoy.
The Nusa Islands are very different from each other and one may be more suitable for you than another depending on what you like and how you travel. In this guide, we’re covering the smallest and least known island, Nusa Ceningan.
This little island is the underdog of the Nusa Islands that deserves not to be overlooked. After reading this guide, you should have a great idea if this hidden gem may be the perfect oasis for you during your trip to Bali.
We’re outlining the basics of the island including how to get there, things to do, how to get around, who is it for and how long you need to stay.
>>> See our guide to Nusa Penida here
>>> See our guide to Nusa Lembongan here
Nusa Ceningan is one of the best islands near Bali and is often very overlooked in favour of its famous neighbour, Nusa Penida. However, this underrated island has a lot to offer! Imagine white sand, sparkling clear sea, inviting beach bars, epic viewpoints and even more epic sunsets. Sounds like paradise right?
Nusa Ceningan is nestled between Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. Nusa Ceningan is great for adrenaline junkies who hunt out the biggest and best cliffs to jump off and beach bums alike. There is no shortage of gorgeous beach bars to laze the day (or days) away.
Guide to Nusa Ceningan: Things to do
Chill out at a beach bar
Undoubtedly one of the best things to do on Nusa Ceningan (and admittedly one of the few things to do!), is to spend the day at a beach bar. Once you arrive you’ll notice that the shoreline is a mecca for beach bars, swings, hammocks and cafes. Set yourself up with a lounger, umbrella, cocktail and calm clear sea to cool off in.
Oh and don’t forget to get a snap for Instagram while you’re there! The beach bars of Nusa Ceningan have set themselves up well for Instagram-worthy picture settings - a great marketing tactic that is a win-win!
What’s even better is the beach bars here won’t set you back like the beach bars in Europe. Paying Bali prices for such luxuries is really one of the all-time biggest draw cards to the Island of Gods.
Here are three recommendations or beach bars to check out when in Nusa Ceningan:
- The Sand: Great place to chill all day long with those Instagrammable swings and hammocks out the front
- Le Pirate: This is a great day venue but is equally as good at night for dinner and drinks
- Seabreeze: Seabreeze is a popular spot for good reason! It’s a great hangout with amazing sun loungers and a pool, good food, and great drinks and they even take credit cards!
Image credit: Seabreeze
Explore the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is Nusa Ceningan’s claim to fame. It is the biggest drawcard for people to Nusa Ceningan!
Expect a beautiful view of the most turquoise water you may have ever seen surrounded by jagged cliffs, perfect for jumping off. This is an amazing place to soak in the views and take some epic pictures.
There are prime cliff jumping locations at the entrance of the cove with relatively safe jumps from various heights. Only attempt cliff jumping if you’re experienced in it, a very strong swimmer and are strong enough to climb back up the rocks! The currents and ocean swells around the Nusa Islands are notoriously strong so always be safe.
Go to Secret Beach
Secret beach is a beautiful spot on Nusa Ceningan that shouldn’t be missed. It is on the south side of the coast a little away from the populated area on the island. Here you will find a gorgeous white sand beach and resort. The resort has stunning beach views, a great menu and even an infinity pool which you can use if dining there.
If you just want to head to the beach, you can do that too! Just walk by the bar and head for the sand. This is a great place to perch for a few hours and enjoy one of the best beaches in Bali.
Mahana Point is another must-do when on Nusa Ceningan. Mahana Point is actually a warung with a difference! It has a deck and jumping platforms to jump into the clear water below. Mahana Point has incredible views and affordable and delicious food. Plus it is an epic place to watch the sun go down with a Bintang or two.
Visit Song Tepo beach
Another thing to do on Nusa Ceningan is to stop by Song Tepo beach. Depending on the tide you will have a totally different view! This beach overlooks the small stretch of water between Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. When the tide is in the stretch of land is covered in water and when the tide is out you can walk between the two islands from this beach. The most beautiful time to visit this island is during high tide so plan accordingly!
Old Tree Viewpoint
Near the Blue Lagoon, you will find the Old Tree viewpoint. This is a great place to soak up a beautiful sunset while watching the waves crashing against the cliffs. This is a lesser-known spot so you may have it to yourself!
How to get to Nusa Ceningan
To get to Nusa Ceningan, you need to cross the famous Yellow Bridge that connects the island to Nusa Lembongan. You can also go over the bridge on a motorbike. There are no boats that take you directly from Bali to Nusa Ceningan.
There are multiple boats a day going from Sanur in Bali to Nusa Lembongan. The journey takes around 30 minutes and costs about $12 USD each way. Sanur is super easy to get to from most of the main tourist spots in Bali, so getting the ferry to Nusa Lembongan is relatively easy! Once you reach Nusa Lembongan, you need to make your way (find a local taxi to take you!) to the Yellow Bridge to walk or scooter across to Nusa Ceningan.
Guide to Nusa Ceningan: How to get around
The only way to get around this island is by scooter or walking as there are no cars or taxis. The island being so small means you can explore it by foot quite easily, however, getting around by scooter will be much easier, faster and more enjoyable in the hot tropics!
The roads here are safer than in Nusa Penida and also it's not as crowded. This makes it a great place to get a scooter even if you aren’t a pro yet at riding one. There is also always the option of hiring someone to ride you around on their scooter. Just ask someone at your accommodation.
You could also give Gojek or Grab apps a go for getting around the island and going to and from Nusa Lembongan. It’s not clear whether these apps are available over there but it’s worth giving it a shot as it is an easy, safe and affordable way to get around!
Guide to Nusa Ceningan: Where to stay
There are several beachfront accommodation options to choose from in Nusa Cenigan, near the Yellow Bridge. The options here are affordable and super relaxing, where you can spend your entire day doing not much except going to the beach AND you don’t need to feel guilty about it! Just search Nusa Ceningan on booking.com or Agoda and you will be able to find the perfect place for you and your budget.
Due to the island's close proximity to Nusa Lembongan, you can also easily stay there and just travel to Nusa Ceningan for the day. There are more accommodation options in Nusa Lembongan and it’s easier to get to. This may be the best option if you’re stretched for time and also want to explore Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida.
Guide to Nusa Ceningan: How long to stay
How long you stay here depends on the type of holiday you want to have. If you are zipping around the Nusa Islands to explore all they have to offer, all you need is a day or even half a day to see all that Nusa Ceningan has to offer.
However, if you want a decent tropical island break, you could have a grand time soaking up the vibes on Nusa Ceningan for days. We’d suggest picking a beautiful place to stay, scoping out your favourite beach bars and fully settling into island life. Getting to the Yellow Bridge to take the ferry over to Nusa Penida is simple so you could also use Nusa Ceningan as a base to explore the Nusa Islands.
Nusa Ceningan is best for
- Beach bums and beach bar lovers
- Adventurers who love cliff jumping
- Hikers and lovers of beautiful blue water and views
- Travellers who enjoy quiet places with fewer crowds
- Couples and friends - may be a bit lonely for a solo traveller unless you love all of the above
Interested in learning about other islands in or near Bali?
>>> See our guide to Nusa Penida here
>>> See our guide to Nusa Lembongan here
>>> See our guide to Gili Trawangan here
>>> See our guide to Gili Air here