Nusa Lembongan is one of the three islands located in the south-east of Bali. This picturesque beach paradise untouched by commercialism and remains a top draw for visitors aspiring for a bit of solitude. The area around Nusa Lembongan has an abundance of marine life, including colourful corals that are perfect for diving and snorkelling.
Nusa Lembongan is stunning with clear, blue water exciting the nature lovers as do the glorious golden sunsets. It has been named as a surfer’s dream with the sound of the waves breaking clearly heard from the hotel rooms and the laid back village-like environment prevailing throughout. The three islands neighbouring islands separated from Nusa Lembongan by Badung Strait include the larger Nusa Penida and small Nusa Ceningan.
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Things to Do at Nusa Lembongan
1. Snorkeling There are several snorkeling spots around the island with Mushroom Bay and the mangrove forest being the best of the lot. The lucky snorkelers are able to spot the Manta Ray that can grow up to 20 feet in the waters. It is advisable to book a snorkeling trip with some of the reputed tour operators or hire snorkeling equipment from the beach for IDR 75,000 to IDR 100,000. Boats are also available on rent for tourists at IDR 300,000- IDR 450,000.
Scuba Diving This is an excellent area to go scuba diving with the newbies being warned to go deep into the water only on selected sites. The divers are thrilled to discover an amazing array of marine life including colorful corals and a variety of sharks. Of particular interest are the sea turtles that can be seen here. There are diverse trips offered with different operators offering different priced options and courses. Night time diving is highly popular in and around the island as well.
2. Surfing Nusa Lembongan had first been recognized as a surfer’s paradise. It offers many surfing locations with some of the most popular breaks such as Shipwreck & Lacerations being suited for the experienced surfers. The beginners can learn to surf on the Playgrounds break where the waves are not as high or strong.
3. Walking Exploring the island by walking is a coveted activity here with several walking trails being offered to the tourists who get to enjoy the spectacular locale with birdwatchers excited to spot kingfishers and frigate birds.
Places to Visit in Nusa Lembongan
There are multiple attractions on Nusa Lembongan that include some of the most attractive beaches in the world with idyllic sunsets and views of Mount Agung looming large in the horizon. The natural forests and manmade wonders are definitely worth a visit. However, the following are some of the most popular places that have been termed as must-visits in and around the island.
1. Devil’s Tear This is a rocky outcrop rising expanding from the south western edge of the island and one of the most visited spots that showcases an expansive view of the clear sea waters with the frothy surf crashing onto the limestone cliffs.
2. Dream Beach The 115 meter white sandy stretch is definitely stuff made of dreams. The visitors are awestruck to find the quiet and secluded place consisting of dramatic, jutting out limestone cliffs along with several caves. The sunset viewed from this area is spectacular but it is advisable to avoid swimming near this beach due to the strong undercurrents.
3. Goa Gala-Gala Underground House This is a man-made attraction created within the residential section of the island. It consists of several limestone chambers that are interconnected to form a labyrinth. Inspired by the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the creator of the underground house managed to complete it in 1976.
4. Mangrove Forest A lush mangrove forest is found to the northeastern part of Nusa Lembongan that can be reached by boat from Jungut Bat, the seaside village on the island. It is the primary attraction for nature lovers as well as kids who love to go swimming in the lagoon inside the forest.
5. Seaweed Farm Farming seaweeds is the main source of livelihood for the residents of this island with the farms being located all over the area. Tourists are usually guided to the ones located to the south of Lembongan Village.
6. Yellow Bridge This is a suspension bridge connecting Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. The visitors are free to cross over to the other island and enjoy the panoramic view from above the beach.
7. Puncak Sari Temple This happens to be a grand Hindu Temple and the biggest one across the Bali islands. Visitors are mesmerized by the magnificent views across the Badung strait all the way to Bali.
Accommodation at Nusa Lembongan
There are multiple options available to tourists with almost all the budget accommodations located on Jungut Batu. The more luxurious hotels are situated on different beaches while a myriad of guest houses and home stays cater to the backpackers. Although there is no conventional campsite on the island, many eager visitors simply pitch their tents on convenient locations for free. However, it is advisable to offer a small token of gratitude to the local residents of the beach who find it hard to make a living on the island.
Where & What to Eat at Nusa Lembongan
Stand alone eateries are not very common in Nusa Lembongan while every hotel comes with an attached restaurant to satiate the hunger pangs of their guests. The others are welcome to drop in for a bite or order a refreshing drink, however. The best places to eat while on the island includes but is not limited to the following:-
1. Linda Bungalows This is a budget eatery when one can enjoy an American breakfast. It is known for beef burgers and huge sized pancakes.
2. Sandy Bay Beach Club This club is located right on the Sunset Beach where the diners enjoy a sumptuous meal while gazing at the spectacular view.
3. Pondok Baruna Warung This one offers traditional Indonesian fare with the Bregedel (corn chips) and the spiced Babi Bumbu Bali (pork curry) being hot favourites.
Best Time to Visit Nusa Lembongan
The perfect time to visit Nusa Lembongan is from June to September when the weather is relatively cool and little to no possibilities of rainfall.
How to Reach Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan is the most prominent islands of the three making up the Nusa Penida district. It is located to the south east of Bali and has come to be known as one of the most picturesque locations of Indonesia.
The only option to reach Nusa Lembongan is by taking a boat ride from Bali. The fast boat services from Sanur in Bali take around half an hour to reach the destination. There are a few slow boats starting from Padangbai, East Bali as well. These are cheaper alternatives with the ride lasting 1.5 hours.
Getting Around Nusa Lembongan
Walking through the length and breadth of Nusa Lembongan is the best way to explore it fully. A walk along the coast offers a breathtaking view with many pedestrians making sure to walk in the evening for watching the magnificent sunset. Many of the tourists also find it convenient to rent bicycles at IDR 20,000 to IDR 30,000 to tour the island.
Motorcycles are available on rent as well but can be an unnecessary expense as the island has rugged terrain in parts with the entire area 4 kilometers end to end. Travelers willing to go to Mushroom Bay from Jungut Batu need to negotiate with boatmen with most of them willing to take the tourists to and fro for IDR 50,000 or less.
Tips While Visiting Nusa Lembongan
1. It is important to book accommodation before reaching the island as the best rooms are not likely to be available instantly 2. Travelers are advised to carry plenty of cash as there are no ATM machines on the island 3. The valuable documents and money need to be carried carefully so that they do not get wet while embarking on the boat 4. Many of the up market hotels are located on secluded beaches with the guests having to walk up to the entrance 5. Carrying extra clothing is recommended for there is always a possibility of getting wet while touring the island or taking part in water based activities
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