Photo: Just pop over the bridge.


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The smallest of a trio of craggy limestone islands that lie off Bali’s southeastern coast, Nusa Ceningan is wedged between increasingly popular Nusa Lembongan and considerably larger but sparsely populated Nusa Penida.

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Nusa Ceningan is a favourite spot for surfers with a barrelling left hand break at Mahana Point. But the island is (thankfully) still underdeveloped and offers an uber-chilled vibe as well as several scenic spots with spectacular views, making this a worthy low-key alternative to its busy neighbour.

Sadly all washed up. Photo taken in or around Nusa Ceningan, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Sadly all washed up. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Nusa Ceningan is connected to Nusa Lembongan via a narrow yellow suspension bridge for the use of motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians only. The bridge over the Ceningan Strait is known unimaginatively as the Yellow Bridge. This channel runs almost dry at low tide and was until recently given over to seaweed cultivation. The influx of tourism on Nusa Lembongan however has not only increased pollution in the strait to make the seaweed industry unviable, but has drawn the farmers to more lucrative employment. Very little seaweed remains today.

The southern channel separating Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida is the Toya Pakeh Strait. This is a roaring flow with swirling eddies and very fast currents that invite large pelagic species, creating an impressive underwater world for experienced divers. One dive company, Ceningan Divers, operates on Nusa Ceningan, while many more on Nusa Lembongan can organise trips to the various diving sites around these islands.

Surveying the scene at Mahana Point. Photo taken in or around Nusa Ceningan, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Surveying the scene at Mahana Point. Photo: Sally Arnold

Nusa Ceningan’s main village sits on the low-lying coast facing Nusa Lembongan mostly north of the yellow bridge. From here, a paved road runs south until halfway around the island, when it turns into a rutted track to continue over the high cliffs alongside the eastern coast and returns to the village. Roads and tracks lead from this main artery to some spectacular ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 700 words.)

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