Nusa Lembongan is one of three neighbouring islands that lie 20 kilometers off the southeast coast of Bali. Nusa Lembongan, along with small sister island Nusa Ceningan and the much larger Nusa Penida, lend themselves well to a day trip from Bali. There are also plenty of accommodation options for those who want to stay a little longer and enjoy the respite from Bali’s hustle and bustle.
Lembongan is home to around 5000 local inhabitants and boasts the largest populace of the three islands. The island is around 8 squared kilometers in total, and is encompassed by vibrant coral reefs and dramatic limestone cliffs. Over the last few years, an influx of wealth has brought some changes, with multi storey luxury hotels and developmental projects springing up on this previously sleepy island. Despite the growing popularity, Nusa Lembongan has maintained its easy, mellow vibe.
WHAT TO DO
Nusa Lembongan is famous for a variety of surf spots found along the northwest coast. Playgrounds is an beginner-friendly A-frame wave that’s just a short paddle from the beach, but do beware of the current, which can sometimes be strong. Another A-frame, Lacerations, is only accessible by boat, and despite its ominous name, is actually suitable for beginners on a small day. On big days, the wave is best left to advance surfers as the left closes out and the right begins to barrel. The most famous surf spot on Lembongan is Shipwrecks, which can get awfully crowded on a good day.
Dive and Snorkel With Manta Rays
The crystal-clear aquamarine waters around Lembongan combined with the impressive marine life make diving and snorkelling here a must. Many tourists travel to Lembongan just to catch sight of the elusive, large, angel-like manta rays that inhabit the surrounding waters. To see these gentle giants, you’ll have to take a short boat ride to Manta Point in Nusa Penida.
There are plenty of other snorkel and dive opportunities around the island and gear is readily available from the many companies around. Along with manta rays, you’re likely to catch site of mola-mola, as well as variety of reef sharks and other pelagics.
Visit Neighbouring Islands
Nusa Ceningan can be reached via a 100-meter suspension bridge that takes both pedestrians and motorcyclists. Nusa Ceningan is chock full of jaw-dropping sites and is much quieter and less developed than Lembongan. Traversing the island is near impossible without your own scooter or motorbike.
Nusa Penida can be reached by island-hopper boat and is much larger — around 20 times the size of the other two islands. It has the least number of visitors and has very limited infrastructure. Here you can enjoy some of the most stunning beaches to yourself, though there is little to do otherwise. Roads are rocky and make travel throughout the island challenging.
NUSA LEMBONGAN ACCOMMODATION & DINING
Tourists can take their pick from a multitude of accomodation options ranging from beach front resorts to rustic thatch huts sans running water. The majority of Nusa Lembongan accommodation lies along the two west coast beaches, Jungut Batu and Mushroom Bay. Jungut Batu has a range of wallet-friendly options for food and lodging, while the hillside has recently been revamped with some upmarket hotels and villas.
Jungut Batu and Mushroom Bay are ripe with a variety of restaurants serving everything from Indonesian fare to delicious vegetarian grub. As a bonus, most of the eateries on Nusa Lembongan on offer uninterrupted views of the Indian ocean.