Welcome to the Nusa Islands: Handy Insights to make the most of your trip to Lembongan, Ceningan & Penida
The Nusa Islands are located to the South East of Bali in Indonesia. Just a 30 minute fast boat ride from Sanur, getting here is not a mission. But, it is an adventure for discovery!
Three islands make up the Nusa trio: Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. Nusa Lembongan is our fave (obviously) and is where our main dive shop is located. It is also where most people come first, and wonder what to do and how to get around.
Beautiful turquoise waters, epic drift dives, Manta Rays, Molas, pumping surf, cliff hikes, great food, yoga, beachfront bars and unbeatable sunsets. Just some of the things we would use to describe our home land! Wow, you booked your flights already? We won’t say anymore then ;)
No matter what vibe you’re looking for, there’s surely something to satisfy your appetite here on Nusa Lembongan. If you want to spend your days underwater exploring glorious coral reefs, and nights eating jalapeno poppers in a beachfront bar, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking to get back to basics and escape to nature it’s only a short scooter or boat ride away.
Maybe you’re here because you’re thinking about diving with mantas and chilling out on the white sand beaches. Or are you here because you’ve realised this is the most epic (and educational) place to do your divemaster training? Well whatever it is that you choose to do during your visit to the Nusa Islands, we have compiled some handy information to help you make the most of your trip. (Or maybe even change your life when you fall in love, decide to stay, live the dream and become a dive professional ;))
So without further ado, let us show you around and hopefully answer some of the questions you might have about our home paradise!
Getting to Nusa Lembongan from Bali
Public or Private? If you are travelling on a budget you can take the public boat (which you can find in the blue office) from Sanur which costs roughly 150K one way. The last boat is at 4.30pm and you will need to arrange your own transport to and from the port. Best to arrive early if you haven’t booked ahead as they do get fill up in the high season months.
The private boat costs between 200 - 300K one way but include pick up and drop off services and a slightly roomier ride. Both of the boats can drop you in Mushroom Bay or in Jungut Batu, depending on where you have decided to base yourself.
Scuba Diving in Nusa Lembongan
Well, we couldn’t exactly write a blog about Nusa Lembongan and not mention diving, could we? You probably already have some idea about the incredible diving we have to offer due to the famous Manta Rays and Molas that frequent the waters around the Nusa Islands. This is a testament to the biodiversity and health of our coral reefs, all drawing ocean lovers from all over the globe to our beautiful island.
Most of the dive sites we go to are in fact around Nusa Penida, with the exception of Blue Corner - our advanced house reef in front of our Jungut Batu Dive Resort... Don’t worry though, It only takes between 15 and 40 mins to get to any of the dive sites, swell and dive site choice depending.
There are no cars on Lembongan! Only scooters, motorbikes and mini taxi / accomodation trucks. Scooting is definitely the best way to get around (if you can ride - if you don’t know how to then maybe best to walk, pushbike or get someone to teach you and not endanger the civilians please) and can be rented for between 60K - 80K (5 USD) per day. For longer term visitors, you can get a monthly price between 800K - 1.2Mil but you might need a contact or to ask around to get a better deal. From the harbour where the fast boats come in it takes about 30 - 40 mins to walk up to the north mangroves. Many of the restaurants, surf shops and things to do are within this section so it is not hard to walk!
Things to do on Lembongan (when you’re not diving)
So you’ve come back from your dives, salty and satisfied. The way we like it. Now what’s next?
With many reef breaks out front, the only thing you need to check is the time to go with the tide for that break (a few hours either side of high tide is ideal). Then you can choose which is the break for you if you’re a beginner or advanced. If you’re a beginner take a lesson and find your feet at lacerations break in front of the main harbour. If you’re more advanced you can paddle out to playground with your own board from coconut beach or take a boat taxi to razors. Shipwrecks reef break is located directly in front of Blue Corner Dive!
There are several yoga centres on the island. To be honest, we have lost count. Getting flexy has never been easier. Take a wander down he next lane to Serenity Yoga or Yoga Bliss (who have a neat shop that has some cool plastic free alternatives).
Go on. Treat yo-self. There are many spa’s on the island. SuBe is an affordable favourite (roughly 150K for the hour) and is located down in behind the Rocky fast boat port.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT PUB QUIZ @ Blue Corner Bar
Whilst Lembongan is the busiest island, it is known for it’s laid back island vibe. A great place to meet people is over a bintang, delicious jalapeno poppers (you won’t understand until you have tried) and some good old trivia to test the compatibility of your brains. If you’re a solo traveller, don’t miss our quiz on Wednesday night, perfect excuse to get together and meet some cool peeps. Or bring your crew and get competitive.
Pretty much everywhere on the island has a good vantage point for sunset. With the sunset directly to the west of the beach at Jungut Batu and Mount Agung to the North, there’s always something to whip out the camera for. Our beach bar is conveniently located with a perfect west facing view over the water, bean bags ready with your name on it.
Where should I stay for longer term rentals on Lembongan?
A common question asked indeed! For a concise breakdown of the options and whether to plan ahead, Rosie has answered these questions for you on our professional dive training blog you can check out here.
Drive over the brilliant Yellow Bridge and explore Nusa Ceningan
20 minutes by motorbike is all it takes to discover a whole new island oasis. Only accessible by scooter or walking, a narrow-laned yellow bridge leads you to the small island of Nusa Ceningan. This brilliant bridge is a sight to behold in itself! Ceningan has some wonderfully picturesque waterside cafes and restaurants nestled in the cliffs, unmissable viewpoints and of course, epic surf.
Discover Nusa Penida!
Getting to and around Penida
Easy peasy. Take your scooter from Jungut Batu and leave it at the Yellow Bridge. Don’t fancy driving a scooter? You can organise a drop off with most accomodation or travel agent for roughly 100K. From the Yellow Bridge you can jump on a boat for 60K-100K over to Toyapakeh on Nusa Penida. From there you can then rent a scooter to discover Penida for about 70-80K per day. To rent a driver for the day costs roughly 600K with a maximum of 5 people usually and can often be organised through the accomodation on Penida including activities like snorkeling tours.
What to do in Penida
This is the largest island of the three and is all about raw scenery and idyllic secret spots.We would recommend spending at least one night on Penida and up to 4 or 5 to discover most of the island. If you would like to dive whilst you’re over there you can visit Blue Corner Dive’s Nusa Penida branch!
Be prepared, the roads and hiking trails in some areas can be a little sketchy so do take care... and your legs will burn from amount of stairs but it will be worth it!
Download the application called MAPS ME, an offline Maps program. You can search locations and accommodation while offline which will be invaluable as, whilst there is good connection in most parts, some of the remote spots are offline in Nusa Penida.The roads are tricky enough without losing your way and your connection!
What about the WiFi situation?
Disclaimer: *Just when I thought I could make a solid statement about the connections here on Lembongan i.e (inland to the North picks up best, here, here & here) I realised there isn’t in fact any rhyme or reason apparently most places. Sometimes the connections are pumping and life is amazing, sometimes it feels like they wait for you to set your laptop up, login and then spitefully mimic a sloth watching paint dry.
That being said!
Depending on what you’re up to here, you may not even need to use your own mobile data as you can pretty much get free wifi most places on Lembongan. At Blue Corner we have two connections that are usually pretty consistent to get all your epic dive pics posted #mantaselfie #blessed.
Mobile data is also super cheap (we’re talking 5 bucks for 8GB). So if you need to make sure you stay connected - grab yourself a Telkomsel sim. It is handy for a rainy day when all the wifi seems to be sucked out of the island through a swirly downcurrent. Any digital nomads will be thankful for the old switcheroo from wifi to their personal hotspot.
So … looks like you may have to extend your holiday to make sure you can experience the best of what these islands have to offer…
We hope this helps answer some questions you may have had! And if it didn’t feel free to drop us a line.
Now drop everything you have and come see what the rave is all about!