Nusa Ceningan is a sliver of an island wedged between better known Nusa Lembongan and far larger Nusa Penida, both of which lie off the east coast of Bali. Traditionally Ceningan was a favourite for surfers keen on the not-so-secret Secrets surf break, but over the last couple of years a range of places to stay have appeared, making this a worthy alternative to the now quite crowded and developed Nusa Lembongan.
As with Lembongan (and Penida to a lesser extent) seaweed remains the mainstay of the economy — Ceningan is a rock with little local water – some resorts have fresh water trucked in and many of the showers are saltwater with a garbage bin of fresh water to wash the salt off — glorify it as a double shower.
Unlike Lembongan, true strips of sand on Ceningan are few and far between. The channel between Ceningan and Lembongan is beautiful at high tide and fascinating at low tide, as it’s been given over to seaweed cultivation, while the channel between Ceningan and Penida is home to powerful currents and just a single beach (that we found anyway — Ceningites don’t fess up their secrets easily!)
Accommodation is mixed, mostly surfer focused and a little more expensive than Lembongan for the same standard of room, but in our opinion the island offers a superior feeling of getting away from it all. We stayed at two places on our most recent visit this month but visited just over a half dozen and we’ll be writing about them in the coming weeks.
Our first stop was at the very pretty and cute Le Pirate (Agoda), facing Lembongan and overlooking the seaweed farms. Though we found some management edges that remain to be smoothed, it’s otherwise a comfortable resort with a limited eco-footprint — that is, rooms are very small and space is at a premium.
We switched to the uber-chilled-out Jenny’s after Le Pirate, and, well, we’ve already booked another 10-day stay. Need we say more?
If you thought Le Pirate had fab sunsets (it does), the area around Jenny’s is even better — especially when you clamber down the cliffs for a closer look. We took 180 photos and counting — thank God we don’t use slide film anymore.
There is of course other stuff to do. You can go to the Jumping Place, where you can, well, jump.
You can go to the surfing place, where you can, well, surf.
Or you can just go to the chilling place, where you can, well, chill.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 28th November, 2014.