Nusa Lembongan is located 20 minutes away from mainland Bali by speedboat. I finally made my way over on my recent trip to the island and had one hell of a time. It reminded me of the early days of Bali… before the chaos of mass tourism happened. Think ultra chill beach vibes, clear, blue waters and gorgeous nature spots.
I was at Jungutbatu Beach the majority of the time. This is a long stretch of beach and where most people would be based at. This became my favourite beach. The waters here are crystal clear and a gorgeous azure blue colour. Boats come in and out of here, but since it’s such a long stretch of beach, it’s easy to find space to have a swim in. There are also so many dining options along here.
There are other beaches such as Mushroom beach and Sandy Bay – I only rode past them but they all pretty much look the same for me.
Diving or Snorkelling
Manta Rays and Mola molas, what more can I say? The Nusa islands are renowned for diving, and the most famous spot is Manta Point. Seeing large manta rays in the wild has always been a dream of mine, so I had to go out on a trip to Manta Point. The area is located in Nusa Penida and we cruised past the island’s beautiful coastline. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to see any manta rays underwater but our boat captain spotted one feeding while we were on our way to the next dive site.
If you’re there from July to October, then you’re ripe to see the giant Mola molas. Advanced certification is required since you go down some 20 to 30 metres to try and spot them. I went with Big Fish Diving, simply because they were right beside my accommodation… and I wanted to check out their bungalows. Good dive company with good guides and equipment.
Dream Beach is probably one of the more popular beaches in Nusa Lembongan. Is it as dreamy as its name suggests? In spite the crowd, yes. It’s a small alcove of white sandy beach and clear blue waters. I swam a bit, and lounged most of the time I was here. Tread carefully when going in the waters, since there are hard corals.
Right by Dream Beach is Devil’s Tears. This is a rocky area where two coves pull in waves and crash it hard against the rocks, creating angry sprays on impact.
I came at sunset, and there were a lot of people. Everyone was chilling on the rocks, looking out into the sea, waiting for the sun to drop. It’s a therapeutic sight against the loud crashing waves of the Devil’s Tears. Although also a popular spot for tourists, I didn’t think it was overrated. Definitely worth a visit.
There are these rock pools that reflect the pretty sunsets. Apparently there are nooks and crannies around Devil’s Tears that you can explore. On my next visit, I might return earlier in the day to do just that. It does get dark early in Bali.
Nusa Lembongan’s chill vibes gave me a lot of inspiration to do yoga. So I did.
There are a few yoga studios on Jungutbatu beach, and I chose Yoga Bliss for its proximity and the class range. I initially planned to do just two classes, but ended up doing three. Each class is 100,000 IDR for 90 mins – which is a real bargain. There are also class passes that will bring down the total price. Quality instructor, all props provided for, and a calming garden shala. Ommm. Pat on some repellant (that was provided) to keep the peace while in shavasana… because bugs will most definitely flitter on your face.
On my second visit to Nusa Lembongan, I tried Serenity Yoga. It comes at a slightly higher price point than Yoga Bliss, but the shala is bigger, the equipment much newer and looked more well taken care of than at Yoga Bliss. That’s not to say Yoga Bliss’ equipment is bad; it’s simply more worn out. I tried the highly popular and limited Aerial Yoga class at Serenity and found it an ultra-relaxing session with a capable instructor.
Catch Spectacular Sunsets
The first sunset I witnessed was at Jungutbatu itself and it blew me away. Always wait for the egg yolk sun to disappear. The aftermath when the sky is painted purple, pinks and yellows are equally magical. My next sunset was at Devil’s Tears, and it was equally breathtaking.
Up here, you get a nice, well, panoramic view of the bay. My shot isn’t that impressive, but I didn’t get off the scooter to snap this. There’s a restaurant up here if you want to spend more time admiring the view.
Disclaimer: I never went to the mangrove forest, but it is one of the highlights at Nusa Lembongan. I only had transport for half a day, and the sites I was more interested to visit were on the opposite side of the mangroves. I would consider visiting the next time I’m there.
On my second visit to Nusa Lembongan, I went on a Mangrove tour. The initial plan was to just ride over to there, have a look at the mangroves and then be on our way to the beaches. However, we arrived at a very peaceful and quiet mangrove area = quite unlike what I’ve imagined. Deciding it was worth a closer look, we sprung for a boat tour through the mangrove. It was a calming boat ride through the surprisingly clear and not-murky mangrove swamp that added a nice twist to the trip. A favourite section of mine was when the boat manoeuvred out of the swamp and into the still open sea.
Surprisingly – highly recommended.
Fabulous healthy eats
You should eat local while in a foreign country… but I kept finding myself gravitating towards the healthy food. Specifically, this café along Jungutbatu called Ginger & Jamu. Their smoothie and salad bowls are truly divine and a vegetarian’s dream come true. Their fruit juices are freshly pressed and the ambience is good. I had their coffee one afternoon, and it was café quality.
Where to Stay
I would recommend staying along Jungutbatu Beach. Not only is it the most accessible when you arrive to Nusa Lembongan by boat, it’s also a solid place to catch the daily sunsets. After 7pm, the island pretty much sleeps. Since most restaurants and resorts are located along Jungutbatu, you’d have the most dining options here too.
I stayed at Krisna Homestay and chose a bungalow hut to spend my days in. Close to the beach but not close to noise. The hosts are a friendly family who are happy to help with anything.
To get to Nusa Lembongan from mainland Bali, make your way to Sanur Harbour. Hop onto any one of the ferries and speedboats there to Nusa Lembongan.
I made my bookings prior with Rocky Fast Cruise and was pleasantly pleased with how easy and effortless the whole process was. They reply quickly via email, but eventually I was in contact with them over Whatsapp. They picked me up from the airport, made a pitstop to their office for payment, and then right to Sanur Harbour for the boat. They do drop-offs in Nusa Lembongan too.
Unfortunately, there are no taxi or Grab services in Nusa Lembongan. A “taxi” would be the tuk tuks that they use to transport visitors to and fro the boat docks. This costs RP150,000 per way. Yes – per way. You might be able to negotiate for a full day tour.
The best way to travel around and explore would be by scooter or moped – which can be rented easily. I don’t ride, so I booked a scooter tour with my homestay (which was really the owner’s wife bringing me around on her scooter). A scooter tour will cost anywhere from 200,000 IDR to 300,000 IDR.