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 about getting immersed in nature and less about pretty aesthetics and being a Digital Nomad. If you love nature and adventure, then you will love Nusa Islands! They are famous for diving and snorkelling (with Manta rays!), epic sunsets, dramatic cliffs, hiking, surfing and having some of the best beaches in Bali.
Each island has its own unique vibe that can feel worlds away from the tourist stomping grounds on Bali’s mainland. The Nusa islands are made up of Nusa Penida, which is the biggest and most well-known, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
Are you not sure whether to go to Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan? The Nusa Islands are very different from one another and one may be more suitable for you than another depending on what you like and how you travel. In this travel guide, we are going to be covering Nusa Lembongan in great detail!
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. By the end of this guide, you should know whether or not Nusa Lembongan is a travel destination for you!
For our ultimate guide to Nusa Penida CLICK HERE!
Interested in the Gili Islands instead? Learn about Gili Trawangan HERE!
Nusa Lembongan is much smaller than Nusa Penida and offers a completely different experience to its neighbour. They are so different, that it is actually hard to compare the two. If scaling dangerous cliffs and going on adventurous missions isn’t your thing, Nusa Lembongan may be the relaxing place you’re after.
Nusa Lembongan is more low-key and relaxed compared to Nusa Penida. It has retained more of the old-school laid-back surfer essence of Bali before tourists started coming en masse. Because of this, it is more budget-friendly than Nusa Penida (although still a bit pricier than Bali’s mainland) and is a great place to come for budget-conscious travellers. This is the island where you come to have a laid-back holiday. relax on the beach, surf and miss the hoards of crowds that Bali is becoming known for!
While Nusa Lembongan isn’t as big or as well known as Nusa Penida, there are still many options for accommodation and it is just as easy to get to from Bali and the Gili Islands.
How to get to Nusa Lembongan
There are multiple ferries a day from Sanur to Lembongan. The journey takes 30 minutes and will set you back around $12 USD. This ferry will most likely drop you at Mushroom Bay port. From here you can hire a scooter to get to your final destination or find a local taxi driver to take you to your accommodation or drive you around for the day.
You can catch the local ferry between Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. From Nusa Penida, the public ferries leave when full from Toyapakeh harbour. This is just a 10-minute ferry ride that will drop you at the ‘Yellow Bridge’ which is between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan for $5 USD.
Always check updated ferry times and schedules, either on the online platforms or with your hotel when planning your itinerary. Ferry times can change and there may be more options available to you.
Things to do in Nusa Lembongan
Go surfing in Nusa Lembongan
There are several great surf spots in Nusa Lembongan. It’s an awesome place to surf in a spot that is less crowded and more relaxed than Kuta, Canggu and Uluwatu. If you want to experience what Bali used to be like for surfers, then Nusa Lembongan may give you just that!
Go cliff jumping on Nusa Ceningan
One of the most popular things to do on Nusa Lembongan is to go cliff jumping! There are many spots on neighbouring Nusa Ceningan to go cliff jumping. It is easy to go to Nusa Ceningan for a day or half-day, all you do is cross the yellow bridge! Mahana Point and the Blue Lagoon are well-known spots to try cliff jumping. Just note that you should only do cliff jumping if you are a very confident swimmer and are physically strong. The current and waves can be strong and you will also need to climb back up the rocks yourself.
Watch the sunrise or sunset at Panorama Point
Panorama Point is a viewpoint at the end of the main strip on Nusa Lembongan. It has the best views on the island. You can see Jungut Batu beach and Mt Agung in the distance. This is an epic spot to catch the sunrise with the mountain in the background. But it is also an epic spot to go for sunset (or any time of day for that matter as long as it’s clear!).
Train to be a yoga teacher at Santosha Yoga Institute
Bali and teaching yoga go together like peanut butter and jelly! Given that Bali is a predominantly Hindu island, it is a special place to learn and practice yoga. If you are thinking about venturing to Bali to train to be a yoga teacher, then the Santosha Yoga Institute may be the place for you!
Santosha Yoga Institute is a beautiful yoga school situated in a prime position on the beach with stunning views out to sea. They offer monthly 20-day 200-hour yoga teacher training courses if you really want to commit to going deep! Alongside your training you will be able to swim, snorkel, surf, relax and fully get into island life.
Chill out at Dream beach
One thing that Nusa Lembongan is not short of is stunning beaches! One of the best beaches on Nusa Lembongan to visit is Dream Beach on the southwest coast of the island. There is a beautiful resort on the beach. You can either stay at the resort or just visit to enjoy the facilities and the beach itself for free. The resort has an infinity pool overlooking the private cove of white sand and clear water. This is the perfect spot to perch for a day to enjoy the company of friends, eat, drink, swim and just relax. Dream Beach offers you a luxury island holiday experience (without having to shell out to stay there!).
Devil’s Tears is one of the top attractions on Nusa Lembongan and can’t be missed on any Nusa Lembongan itinerary. The Devil’s Tears is made up of a unique rock formation that juts out into the sea. Waves get sucked in and dramatically expelled out of the interesting rock formations, creating cascading walls of water down the sides of the outcrop. This is why it was called devil’s tears.
Jungut Batu Beach
Janet Batu beach is the main strip in Nusa Lembongan and also the main strip of sand. This is the most built-up part of the island with shops, restaurants and accommodations built up around it. Many tour boats and fishing vessels moor here. It is definitely the liveliest part of the island and hard to avoid if you’re visiting.
The beach itself is beautiful white sand and crystal clear blue water, so it is stunning to hang out on. There is a surf break quite far out if you want to hit the waves. This is a spectacular spot to go for a stroll at sunset with Mt Agung majestically in the background.
Mushroom Bay is another awesome spot on Nusa Lembongan that is worth checking out. Many of the boats coming from Bali will stop at this port, making this another lively area on the island. It is essentially a jetty with a beach. Mushroom Bay has a great relaxed vibe for getting a bite to eat or drink with a great selection of restaurants and bars along the strip.
Cross the famous Yellow Bridge
The Yellow Bridge is an iconic landmark not just for Nusa Lembongan but for all the Nusa Islands and Bali in general, so don’t miss it! The yellow bridge is a small, you guessed it, yellow bridge that connects Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan across a small channel of gorgeous clear blue water. It’s the only way to get to Nusa Ceningan so you will have to cross it if you plan on going there. The bridge itself is so cute and picturesque! It is very narrow and so can only be crossed by foot, bike or scooter. It lights up after dark and is a beautiful (and romantic) place to visit again after the sun goes down.
How long to stay
Nusa Lembongan is smaller than Nusa Penida with fewer activities to do if you like to keep busy. The whole island can be covered by a scooter in 30 minutes! You could easily opt to come here just for a day or half-day from Nusa Penida. Or if some relaxing, tropical beach TLC is what is called for, you could easily spend days here, enjoying the beaches. If you choose to stay for a few days, you can use it as a base (especially if you are on a tighter budget) and opt to go to Nusa Penida as a day trip.
How to get around
The only way to get around this island is by scooter or walking as there are no cars. There are buggies on the island to transport people to their hotels. The roads aren’t as dangerous or as wild as Penida so this is a safer option if you are a confident scooter driver. You can walk around the island if you have time or you can hire a scooter driver to take you around. It’s possible to hire bicycles on the island but the hill on the western side of the island can make this more challenging. If you want to explore the island by foot, strategically choose your accommodation so that it is closest to most of the spots you want to visit.
Nusa Lembongan is best for travellers who:
- Are beach bums and surfers
- Are on a budget
- Are travelling solo
- Love beach bars and want to relax and chill out
- Are cliff jump enthusiasts
- Are confident scooter riders (it’s possible without but makes it easier)
Overall Nusa Lembongan is an amazing place to enjoy some of the best beaches that Bali has to offer while having the adventures of Nusa Penida at your fingertips.