If you’re a keen island hopper, visiting Bali simply isn’t going to be enough once you spot those vast looming cliffs off the east coast in the distance. Now those actually belong to Nusa Penida, a rugged, desolate, stunning island in its own right; next door though is the slightly more easily accessible Nusa Lembongan. Jump on a speedboat from Sanur in Bali and 45 minutes later you can enjoy ... Read more about Two days on Nusa Lembongan .
Having had a splurge dinner on Nusa Lembongan, what better way to follow up than a splurge spa visit? Batu Karang Lembongan Resort and Day Spa is one of the island’s higher-end spots to stay or to go for a massage, so expectations for a visit here were high. I called in advance and couldn’t get in the same day; a good sign, I thought, as I booked for the following day ... Read more about Batu Karang Lembongan Resort and Day Spa .
Quite isolated, there is a single resort here positioned to overlook the beach. This makes for a reasonable excursion, but if the sea is rough the waves can get quite grasping here — this is not a swimming beach for children or novices. At least the resort behind is handy for cold drinks. From here you can walk across the cow-filled paddock to the Devil's Tear, which is an odd little ... Read more about Dream Beach .
The seas were quite rough here when we visited, so we didn't get wet, but we've heard from others that when the sea is calm, this is a particularly beautiful spot, but that even on calm days you need to be wary of the currents. It doesn't enjoy the dramatic views of the north-facing beaches though, so this isn't the best sunset point on Nusa Lembongan. This is best reached by bike or motorbike ... Read more about Sandy Bay .
There is plenty of sand and, at higher tide, good swimming and some passable snorkelling off the western point. At low tide much of the west is exposed. This is a popular destination for daytrippers with both people arriving by bike and on boats from the day-cruises from Bali. In the middle of the day is can be quite hectic, but serene in the early morning and afternoon. Mushroom Bay can be ... Read more about Mushroom Beach .
At low tide this is no good for swimming, but as with the other beaches, when the water comes back so does the swimming. Given much of the accommodation here is of the private villa variety, this isn't nearly as busy as nearby Mushroom Bay. You can reach here on foot from Jungut Batu in 20 to 30 minutes or there is an exceptionally rough, teeth-rattling road that leads here from the main road ... Read more about Tamarind Beach .
If you're planning on doing some surfing at Playgrounds, this is the closest spot to paddle out from. If you're not a surfer and instead are just looking for a sleepy slice of sand, you could do far worse than head here. You can reach here either by boat or by following the trail that runs along the headland from either Jungut Batu or Tamarind Bay — each is about a 10-minute walk ... Read more about Coconut Bay .
There is plenty of sand obviously and some hotels do put out deckchairs, but there is a fair amount of refuse and you just don't see many people swimming here. That's not to say it isn't a pretty beach though. The sunsets can be fabulous and at low tide the entire seaweed industry will be laid out for you to observe. Fascinating — and very photogenic. You cannot swim here at low ... Read more about Jungut Batu Beach .
There is some seaweed cultivation going on in close so hightide is a better time to visit, and if you go to the far eastern end there is some excellent snorkelling offshore. The beach has a half dozen or so basic cafes lining its length making this a good choice for a seafood barbecue and a sundowner or three. You can get here on foot, though it's a long walk, or by bicycle or ... Read more about Mangrove Beach .
While most of the dive shops are on Lembongan, many of the best sites are actually in the waters off Nusa Penida. Blue Corner and Lembongan Point are the only two we were told about near Lembongan itself, with the more famous spots such as Crystal Bay, Manta Point and SD Point (among others) all off Nusa Penida. The waters around here, especially off Penida, are known for their strong and ... Read more about Diving on Nusa Lembongan .
As with the diving, the best snorkelling around Nusa Lembongan is actually off Nusa Penida and agents in town will offer you a one-, two- or three-spot snorkelling tour, with the most common destinations being Mangrove Point, The Wall (Nusa Penida), Gamut Bay (Nusa Penida) and Crystal Bay (Nusa Penida). Most noteworthy is Mangrove Point, which lies off the eastern tip of Nusa Lembongan. It's a ... Read more about Snorkelling sites at Nusa Lembongan .
Tours can easily be arranged in Jungut Batu town, but it is just as easy to ride up to the mangrove forests yourself (just take the road and follow it till you can't go any further) and arrange a deal with one of the boatmen right there. Once arranged they'll paddle you through either in a jukung or sampan. This is a good trip to do with kids. Early morning and late afternoon are the best time ... Read more about Mangrove tour .
It is a pretty ride and, with the exception of one rough patch on the east coast of the island, most of the riding is on fairly well sealed roads. Non-beach highlights include a very pretty temple under two massive trees at the northern end of Jungut Batu village, the yellow suspension bridge across to Nusa Ceningan, and the view across the Ceningan Strait, especially at low tide when the ... Read more about Cycle Nusa Lembongan .
The three most popular breaks are all reef breaks with the best waves between April and September. The most convenient is Playgrounds, which is suitable for beginners and is a short paddle offshore from Coconut Bay. Lacerations and Shipwrecks are off the northern coast and are reached by either a long paddle out or a ride in a jukung. These latter two are for the more capable surfer — as ... Read more about Surfing Nusa Lembongan .