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Planning a trip to Bali? Read on to find out why you need to visit the Nusa Islands, as well as a full Nusa Islands itinerary for your adventure! This guide will cover Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. You can also find my full guide on visiting Nusa Penida!
As I began planning my return to Bali, after a one month visit a few years earlier, the Nusa islands continued popping up on my radar. Located just 30 mins off the coast of Bali, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida are the perfect quick trip Bali! I decided to take 3 days to visit the Nusa islands of Nusa Lembongan and Cengingan. Don’t worry, I returned to visit the famous Nusa Penida on a second trip to the islands.
Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are conveniently connected by an adorable yellow bridge. There are plenty of fast boats leaving daily from mainland Bali, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding a ride to the island. I chose to cruise with a company called Rocky which charged 500K ($38) for a return ticket with hotel transfers. Many transfer companies charge additional rates if they are picking up from certain areas. As I was staying in Canggu, I found it much cheaper to take a scooter over to Seminyak, and have the transfer company up from here.
The following post is going to outline the perfect Nusa Islands itinerary as I highlight my favorite beaches, restaurants, and activities on the islands!
Visit the Nusa Islands Itinerary
Dining and exploring on the islands can be a bit pricy, however if you stick to local food and beautiful beach days you should have no problem sticking to a budget! The island of Nusa Lembongan is quite small, however if you want to see tons, and get away from the large tour groups, then I definitely recommend renting a scooter. Most places on the islands rent for 60-70K/day, so it’s not a bad way to get around! Do note that a lot of the roads are quite bumpy so it’s not the best place for beginners! Additionally, I found that many of the companies did not have helmets. I cost me just as much to find a place that would rent me a helmet – but i’ve got to keep my noggin safe.
What to Do on the Nusa Islands
Snorkeling with Manta Rays Tour: Scooby’s Snorkeling
Snorkeling, or diving, is a must-do activity while on the island, and therefore a must on this Nusa Islands itinerary. There are plenty of group tours starting as low as 150,000 K ($11) a person, however I highly recommend booking a private tour with Scooby’s Snorkeling. We were charged 250,000K ($19) a person for a group of four. Having a private tour meant that we were able to arrive at Manta Bay well before the boatloads of other snorkeling tourists arrived. We were extremely lucky and had almost an hour alone with 7 massive manta rays before the other boats started arriving and scaring them off. It is truly an incredible experience!
Sunsets at Mahana Point
Located on Nusa Ceningan, this is your spot for sunset viewing, surfing, and cliff jumping. The sunset from Mahana Point is absolutely magical, as you watch the rough waves crash. There are beers, fresh juices, etc available for purchase. This is also a designated cliff jumping spot where you can pay 50K to jump. While the others that I was with loved the experience, I would only jump if you are feeling confident, as my uneasy and poorly landed jumped actually landed me in the hospital.
A Visit to Blue Corner Dive
Blue Corner dive shop and hostel is a great spot for catching the perfect sunset view. With bean bags laid out on the beach, you and your drink will have front row seats to an amazing sunset on Nusa Lembongan!
Explore the Island Beaches
There are so many incredible beaches on Nusa Lembogan to choose from! The following are just a few of my favorites if you don’t have time to explore them all!
Sandy Bay Beach
Sandy Bay Beach was definitely my favorite spot when I visited the Nusa islands! You have to walk through the Sandy Bay Beach Club in order to reach the beach, but as long as you don’t plan on using their facilities they won’t charge you anything. The beach is secluded and absolutely beautiful! The waves are a bit rough for swimming but you can walk up around the left side for some awesome shots!
Although this Dream Beach can get a bit crowded, it’s still a good spot to chill out. It is best to visit in the late afternoon during happy hour. If you buy a happy hour cocktail from the cafe above, you get full access to their facilities – including the most amazing infinity pools overlooking the beach!
Devil’s Tear is a must stop on an Nusa Islands Itinerary for a great view and a picture-worthy moment. However, it is only fair to warn your that you are going to find a ton of tour groups visiting this spot! I would recommend visiting early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Located on Nusa Ceningan, Secret Beach is not the easiest to find, living up to its name. However, if your goal is to get away from the crowds on the island, then Secret Beach is your spot! The beach is located right behind the resort Villa Trevally.
Best Restaurants on the Nusa Islands Itinerary
Overall I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit disappointed by the food options on the Nusa Islands. Personally I found all the best food was found at small local warungs on the side of the road, but I guess that’s often the case!
Warung Prema 2
One of my favorites was a side of the road stand with an excellent 20K ($1.50) Nasi Campur. If you pass the more famous restaurant/guesthouse, Tigerlillys, on the left continue just down just a bit more You’ll find the spot on your left hand side. Check out the photo below for reference!
Sea Breeze Ceningan
Located on Nusa Cengingan, Sea Breezeis a fun, waterfront spot serving up mostly western dishes. They’ve got bean bags, hammocks, and swings – an overall cool vibe! I ordered the yellow bowl and was definitely not disappointed!
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