EXPLORE NUSA LEMBONGAN OR LEMBONGAN ISLAND, ANOTHER PARADISE IN BALI
What you should know about Nusa Lembongan or Lembongan Island from the location, the local peoples, culture or things to do.
Nusa Lembongan is a small island off the southeast coast of the main island of Bali. Quickly becoming one of Bali’s most popular attractions, this island paradise is a world away from the hassle and hectic pace of South Bali. Neither hawkers nor traffic mar the magnificent scenery; this is a fine place to just put your feet up and relax. Main activities include surfing, diving and snorkeling. The water is some of the clearest you will find anywhere, and a vivid aqua blue in colour.
Nusa Lembongan is approximately 8km² in size and is one of three neighbouring islands, Nusa Penida and tiny Nusa Ceningan (which is part of Lembongan Village). The three islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait. Some visitors may find Nusa Lembongan a little slow after the pace of South Bali. Many areas around the island are good for diving and snorkeling, with abundant marine life and healthy coral. Surfing can get a bit crowded, but the waves are good. There are several white sand beaches away from the main centres which are virtually never crowded. There is a flourishing and well established seaweed farming industry here, and many visitors find it interesting to learn about this. It takes only 30 minutes by speed fast boat from Sanur.
What to see and to do :
Walk the suspension bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Visit the Lembongan Village seaweed farms Snorkeling at Crystal Bay; the coral here is a must-see and largely untouched. Watch the legendary Lembongan sunsets above the crashing waves. Visit the Underground House.
Pura Puncak Sari is the biggest temple on the island, positioned on a hill; the views looking across to Bali are breathtaking.
The local Lembonganese are Hindu and visitors will notice little or no difference from the prevailing culture on the Bali mainland, such us temple or hindu ceremony. You may be able to catch a cock fight, look out for a crowd of local men! This generates a lot of excitement on this tiny island.
Dream Beach. A wonderful secluded beach with powdery, white sand, located on the south coast. From the main accommodation areas on the west coast, head southeast towards Lembongan Village where you should turn west, and then look for the signposted small track leading south to Dream Beach. There is a cafe attached to the single resort here, and this makes Dream Beach a great place to spend the whole day doing nothing. Be very careful though about entering the water here as the rips can be fierce. Only the strongest swimmers should consider this and even then, avoid the eastern end of the beach.
Sunset Beach (adjacent to Devil's Tear). A small but spectacular beach with white sand and crashing waves, located just to the north of Dream Beach, and easiest reached via the same route. There is a small beachfront cafe here which should encourage visitors to spend the day. At low tide a dramatic cave is exposed in the low limestone cliff at the eastern side of the bay. Approach carefully and make sure you are not cut off from the beach by a rising tide. All-in-all, this is a delightful spot which is as laid back as anywhere in the whole of Bali.
Tamarind Beach (between Playgrounds surf break and Mushroom Bay). Good views back to Bali, and of Mount Agung especially.
Devil's Tear. A rocky outcrop on the south western coast. Spectacular crashing waves and water plumes. Easily found by walking either a few minutes north from Dream Beach or south from Sunset Beach.
Mangrove Forest (continue north on the only west coast road from Jungut Batu until you reach the mangroves). Northern Nusa Lembongan has an extensive forest of mature mangroves which can be explored in a jukung outrigger boat.
Puncak Sari Temple. Lembongan Village (just north of Lembongan Village on the main route back to Jungut Batu). The largest and grandest Hindu temple on the island. Good views over the straits back to Bali from this area.
Seaweed Farms (make your way to the shoreline anywhere in the southeast quarter of the island and just observe). Seaweed farming takes place in many parts of the island, but the most accessible farms are on the southern side of Lembongan Village. Most of the seaweed grown here is destined for the Asian cosmetics industry.
Sunsets. One thing not to miss on Nusa Lembongan. The Sunset over Bali is awe-inspiring, and can be viewed from any west facing part of the island, but the beach at Jungut Batu is especially popular. A more rural alternative is to go over the bridge to Nusa Ceningan and view the sunset from one of the west-facing high ridges. Being just a few degrees south of the equator, sunset times do not vary much throughout the year here. Look to be in place between 5:30PM and 6PM.
Suspension Bridge (go through Lembongan Village heading west, sticking on the main road until you hit the estuarine channel). This quirky yellow suspension bridge should not be missed by any visitor. You can walk or bike across the bridge to neighboring Nusa Ceningan. The noise it makes can be quite scary, and contributes to what is an all-round Indiana Jones-type experience. Although it is definitely getting more and more rickety as the years pass, the bridge is still safe, and there are many thousands of incident-free crossings every year.
Nusa Lembongan is a nice place to walk, with coastal paths linking nearly all the guest houses, hotels and restaurants. Most walks will take less than two hours. The less developed southwestern area of the island has some spectacular coast paths which provide easy walking, great views back to Bali, and spectacular sunsets. You can cross by foot to the small neighbouring island of Nusa Ceningan via a scenic suspension bridge.
By Bike or Scooter
Bicycles can be rented at most hotels and guest-houses. Some of the roads are quite well surfaced, but be prepared for some very degraded surfaces in places. This is a great way to see the island at your own pace.
Scooter are also widely available for rent, but may be unnecessary given the short distances involved — the island is only about 4km end-to-end, check the scooter rental information here. Local boys are more than happy to transport you on the back of their motorbike for a fee.
By Truck/Pick up truck
There are virtually no cars on Nusa Lembongan, and any business or local resident wishing to bring one to the island needs special permission from the village elders. This will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Local 4-wheeled transport is available though in the form of basic pick-up trucks which most hotels and restaurants use. These are useful for transport to and from the boat transfer point when you are likely to have heavy bags, but are otherwise not really necessary. If you are in group, island tour with pick-up trucks are great value and option.
Emergency & Medical Clinic
There is a small medical clinic in Jungut Batu with an attendant doctor. This is a perfectly good facility for treating minor ailments, but visitors with anything approaching a serious problem should get back to Bali as quickly as possible. Opening hours are erratic and unpredictable. Ask at your hotel.