While we weren’t so crazy about Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan did steal our hearts. We had come to Bali to find some peace and quiet, but because we picked our locations poorly, we were a little disappointed. So after a few days, we picked ourselves up and set off to the Sanur pier for Lembongan. Best decision ever, we even stayed about 10 days.
Located off the coast of Bali, it’s clustered with Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. Lembongan is quite a lot smaller than Penida, but we found it much easier to navigate, and had a lot more options for cute cafes and food!
Nusa Lembongan Travel Guide
Things To Do
Find the hidden beach
Mushroom Beach can get quite busy with all the boats anchored there, and what a lot of people don’t know is there is a small, quieter beach just around the corner. On Mushroom Beach, the beach will end at the rocks on the right side. In those rocks, there are stairs carved out, and a (pretty!) path that will lead you to the beach in about 10 minutes. There is a small cafe and a little shop there, but not much else!
On the northern end of Lembongan, you’ll find a mangrove forest. For some weird reason we’ve always loved mangroves, so when there’s one, we have to see it! Once you get there, there are multiple vendors that will try to have you go with them, but it should be around 100-150k for 20 minutes. We did also see people SUPing through the forest! Once finished, there’s plenty of cafes to choose from by the beach.
Find the Lembongan panorama point
If you have rented a scooter (and you should!) and followed the main road around the island, you will inevitably pass by the panorama point. Especially on Lembongan a scooter is the best way to go. There are so many little towns and small roads once you get off the main roads! We loved just riding around and seeing where it landed us.
It won’t surprise you that this is the perfect place for snorkelling! There’s a lot of companies where you can book an organised tour, but we found a fisherman that wanted to take us. We had the boat to ourselves and told him to take us where he thought was best. This of course included seeing manta rays at Manta Bay (depending on the currents there might be a lot of plastic in the water though) and a spot near Crystal Bay at Penida.
Hang out at Sandy Bay Beach Club
Only after 4 days of practically staying next door did we find out about Sandy Bay. It’s a beautiful beach club close to Dream Beach, with spectacular views. They do an excellent western breakfast and better, pretty stiff cocktails that they serve poolside. We loved our day here and literally did nothing else than swim and drink cocktails. And douse ourselves in SPF 50.
Watch the sunset in a hammock
Come sunset, cross over the yellow friendship bridge from Lembongan to Ceningan and pick one of the beachside cafes for a perfect sunset. Every one of them has hammocks in the water. We hung out at Sea Breeze, they also have a swim up bar!
Get a massage
When there’s torrential downpour, the best thing to do? Get a massage. I loved Harumaya Day Spa so much, I went back twice and even convinced Jochem to come with me. You really can’t beat Bali prices when it comes to spa experiences, and Harumaya steps it up a notch while still being pleasantly priced.
Where to Stay
We stayed at 2 separate places, the first one was Komodo Garden. We paid around $25 per night for a cute, private bungalow with outdoor bathroom, good aircon and breakfast included. We spent a lot of time in their pretty pool! They’re just around the corner from Dream Beach.
Koji Garden Huts
Due to availability we moved to Koji Garden Huts. Another cute bungalow in a well kept yard for $27. The staff here was super cute!
Where to eat
- Sandy Bay Asian Bistro. Contemporary Asian food with a rooftop and a pool!
- G Pan corner for a little upscale fish. Lobster from the bbq!
- Soka Warung, a tiny local place. Only a few dishes on the menu, but excellent, and cheap. Close to Mushroom Bay
- Warung Putu, another family run little place. It is not where your map tells you it is, but up the hill. Ask the locals.
- Oishii if you’re in the mood for something else. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sushi.
Good to know
- A lot of spas, restaurants etc have a pick up and drop off service so you don’t have to drive if it rains or you want to drink. Call for a reservation and ask for it.
- There are a few ATM’s on Nusa Lembongan, and usually there is always 1 that works, but be safe and bring cash
It you are looking to stay on Bali, don’t be like us, and do your research! Jackie at Life of Doing has written en extensive itinerary for 2 weeks on Bali, that we wish we had read sooner!
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