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Nusa Lembongan: The ultimate travel guide

Nusa Lembongan Boat

Nusa Lembongan is a small island (8km2) in the southeast of Bali and only a 30 minutes boat ride away. Even though one of it’s sister island, Nusa Penida, is with 200km2 way bigger, Nusa Lembongan is the most popular and touristy one. With this Nusa Lembongan travel guide, I will show you where to eat, sleep and what fun things to do on the island.

Why you should go

Even though Nusa Lembongan is getting more and more touristy it is still nothing compared to Bali, especially when it comes to traffic. On Nusa Lembongan, you still get the real island feeling. You can find empty beaches, crystal clear water, white sand, amazing corals to dive and snorkel and great waves to surf. It is the perfect island getaway to relax and enjoy nature’s beauty.

How to get there

There are several boat companies that are leaving three or four times a day from Bali (Sanur and Benoa Harbor) to Nusa Lembongan and it will only take you 30 minutes with the speed boat.

I suggest going with Rocky Fast Cruise because they are very reliable and even offer a pick-up in Bali. If you stay around Seminyak area the pick-up is included and if you are a little further away (e.g Canggu) they offer a pick-up for 250’000IDR.

Price: 500 IDR for a return ticket including drop-off to your hotel on Nusa Lembongan. If you go directly to their office in Sanur you can get tickets cheaper (around 300-400 IDR).

Times: Sanur to Nusa Lembongan 10.00 am, 12.00 noon, 14.00 pm, and 17.30 pm

Nusa Lembongan to Sanur 09.00 am, 11.00 am, 13.00 pm, and 16.30 pm

Best places to stay in Nusa Lembongan..

Nusa Lembongan hotels are not always cheap, especially in the high season (June-September).

However, with so many options available, finding somewhere awesome at a low price is certainly possible (you just need to know where to look..)

This brings me on to tell you about my all time favorite place to stay in Nusa Lembongan..

Tigerlilly’s Boutique Hotel

Sounds like it could be a little pricey right?

Well.. actually you’ll be surprised. (I certainly was!!)

Take a look here for yourself! 🙂

This cute little Boutique Hotel is surrounded by a lush garden, has an amazing healthy restaurant; a nice pool and the rooms are in two-story beach huts.

It is centrally located about five minutes with the scooter from the boat drop-off point Jungutbatu. However, it is not a beachfront hotel, it will take you a five-minute walk to go to the beach.

If you get the upper room you get a little more light and privacy, but be aware: You have to go outside of your room and walk down the stairs because the (private) bathroom is downstairs.

If you stay in the room on the ground floor you have an ensuite bathroom, which I personally prefer. Don’t forget to try the Chia seed pudding and the Açaii Bowl in the Restaurant.

 

Nusa Lembongan Tigerlillys

Nusa Lembongan Tigerlillys Garden

Nusa Lembongan Tigerlillys Inside

A close 2nd on my list of  awesome places to stay in Nusa Lembongan is..

Tarci Bungalow

Now I mentioned before about prices being high, but Tarci Bungalow is another great value choice.

When you stay there you can rest assured that you’re getting somewhere that is both affordable and good quality at the same time.

See how LOW the prices are here! 🙂

It’s right on the beach, and next to the French restaurant which serves my favorite dessert! (What could be better right?!)

They also have bean bags and umbrellas at the beach and you can enjoy live music and BBQ at their restaurant (Agus ShipWreck).


Last but by no means least on my shortlist is..

Hai Tide

This resort has its beach huts literally on the seafront with an amazing view over mushroom bay.

Take a look at some pictures of it here!

Since it is a resort it can be a bit busier than other places, but if you want to organize a lot of fun activities (like diving.. and eating amazing food (yeaa that’s an activity too :P), Hai Tide it definitely somewhere you’ll want to take a look at!


Last but not least a recommendation for those luxury seekers amongst you.. 

Batu Karang Lembongan Resort and Day Spa

This place needs no introduction.. seriously guys just check it out here and you’ll see why! 🙂

Things to do

Nusa Lembongan Beach

Of course, you want to visit all the beautiful beaches in Nusa Lembongan. If you go to Nusa Lembongan dream beach you will not only see a wonderful beach, but also this cute little swing to take a picture. 🙂

Nusa Lembongan Dream Beach

There is also a restaurant where you can eat lunch (the food is not overly exciting though) and for 50’000 IDR entrance fee (approx. 4 USD) you can swim in the pool overlooking dream beach.

However, I suggest going for lunch to sandy bay beach club. The food there is amazing and you can swim in the pool for free. The beach at sandy bay is almost always empty and another nice spot to take pictures and enjoy the beauty of the ocean.

Nusa Lembongan sandy bay beach club

Other beaches:

  • Mushroom Bay. Next to mushroom bay is a small hidden beach. You have to walk over the hill and then walk back down, which is a bit of an adventure but it’s worth it because hardly anyone goes there
  • Sunset Beach
  • Tamarind Beach
  • Scoby Doo Beach

Nusa Lembongan Beach empty


Snorkeling and Diving

I am not a diver so I can’t go into detail but I did a snorkeling tour and it was amazing.

Nusa Lembongan is also famous for its Manta Rays and there are various companies, which offer special Manta Ray tours. This is still on my list for the next time, when I go.

Massages

If you are looking for a good massage I highly recommend going to Organic Lembongan Spa. Even though it looks a little more run down than the pictures online, it is definitely worth going because the massages are amazing. I suggest getting the classic Balinese Massage for IDR 150’000.

Where to eat & drink

Whether you want to try cute local warungs, healthy or even fancy restaurants on Nusa Lembongan, you have many options. Most of the restaurants offer a free pick-up and drop-off service for those among us who would like to have a cocktail or just don’t like to drive when it’s dark.

The Deck

A must visit when you are in Nusa Lembongan. The deck cafe and bar overlooks the ocean and the view is just priceless. Sipp a cocktail and simply enjoy life and the breathtaking view.

Tigerlillys

Even if you don’t stay at the hotel you should definitely go there for food. Try the chia seed pudding, acai bowl or a pizza.

Nusa Lembongan Acaii Bowl

Lemongrass

This place has healthy western options and also Indonesian food. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Nasi and Mie Goreng are amazing but my personal favorite is the chicken cordon blue with mashed potatoes – so yummy.

Crêperie Indiana / Indiana Kenanga Villas

This French restaurant is great at everything. I tried a lot of dishes and loved them all, but my all-time favorite is the chocolate fondant for dessert. It is right on the beach so you can even have a table with your feet in the sand or sit on a bean bag and watch the sunset.

Hai Tide

The resort also has a yummy restaurant – I always go there for a pizza and a cocktail. If you want a table for sure it is a good idea to reserve a table. When you go for lunch you have a view of the boats arriving from Bali and can stare at the crystal clear water.

Good to know

Since almost everything has to be shipped in boats from Bali to Nusa Lembongan the prices are a bit higher. You can still find cheap and cute warungs, but in general, expect the price range higher than in Bali.

Talking about money: Until two months ago, there was NO ATM in Nusa Lembongan. Now there is one and they are just installing a second one, but I still recommend taking enough cash. In the bigger restaurants as well as hotels you can pay by card.

Motorbike rent: Yes you should rent a motorbike if you want to go explore all those beautiful places. There are not cars only taxis organized by hotels (for pick-up and drop-off). Since there is almost no traffic it is safer to drive than in Bali and you wont get lost, it is too small. 🙂 Price: 80’000 IDR per day.

Nusa Lembongan bike ride

 

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply Mel

    Now I want to visit BALI Nusa Lembongan! The water and beaches are gorgeous. And Tiger Lily’s looks like the perfect spot to base out of. I think I could spend a lot of time there. The food looks amazing, and I would definitely want a massage!

    March 3, 2017 at 8:15 am
  • Reply Hendrik

    I can see already just from your amazing photos the calm and peace of this lovely place. Mushroom Bay sounds like a hidden gem, something I would definitely try to explore on my Nusa Lembongan trip.
    No ATM sounds actually really adventurous, unbelievable. But on the other hand this obviously proofs that its still a quite undiscovered pearl…

    March 3, 2017 at 8:50 am
  • Reply Only By Land

    This is a brilliant guide to Nusa Lembongan. You have made it look so peaceful and tranquil through your photos and I’m sure that’s how it is. The beach looks beautiful and you’ve explained lots of activities to enjoy days there, as well as relaxing and enjoying the views of course.

    March 3, 2017 at 11:14 am
  • Reply Louiela

    Nusa Lembungan is indeed a picturesque Island offering many adventures… And your photos show that you really enjoyed the place… I like most the last photo with the motorbike on a one lane concrete road lined with coconut trees…
    Tiger Lilly’s serve healthy meals… would love to try the chia seed pudding and acai bowl as well..

    March 3, 2017 at 12:04 pm
  • Reply Christina

    What a beautiful getaway! I can’t believe it is so close to Bali but not so touristy. It looks like it would make for a wonderfully relaxing vacation. As a diver, I am really excited to know that there is the possibility of spotting manta rays.

    March 4, 2017 at 2:32 am
  • Reply Ali May

    Wow this area sounds lovely! I would love to do that tour with the manta rays. But by the looks of it, there are so many other fun things and great foods available.

    March 4, 2017 at 3:49 am
  • Reply Cat | For Two, Please

    I was thinking about stopping by Nusa Lembongan when I visited Bali last time, but didn’t make it due to time constraint. I’m glad you did and shared your experience with us!! It looks like a nice escape from the “relatively” busy Bali life.

    March 4, 2017 at 4:11 am
  • Reply Sandy

    There is so much of Indonesia I didn’t get to see in my short 3 months there and this makes me really want to visit Nusa Lembongan!! <3

    March 4, 2017 at 6:08 am
  • Reply Meg

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me as I am planning a trip to Nusa Lembongan. The information about the ferry recommendation and things to do are really handy, thank you!

    March 4, 2017 at 6:43 am
  • Reply Bhushavali

    I’m hearing so much about Bali of late so I guess its high time I actually go and visit Bali! 🙂
    Empty beaches, crystal clear water, white sand, amazing corals??? You got me there! I have to go!!! The mixed fruit platter you’re holding is just making me hungry right now and the Boutique hotel sounds fantastic!!!

    March 4, 2017 at 8:56 am
  • Reply Cherene Saradar

    This place looks like a dream! I’m headed to Bali and Lombok next month and trying to fit this in. Happy to come across your blog for all the Bali tips!

    March 4, 2017 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply Jacklyn

    Nusa Lembongan was my favorite part of visiting Bali. You’ve truly captured the beauty of it! I loved that swing over dream beach!! You’ve given me the itch to go back!

    March 4, 2017 at 11:55 pm
  • Reply stephanie

    I was on Bali last summer and sadly had no time to visit Nua Lembongan. But it looks amazing!
    Do I understand it correctly that there are no cars on Nusa? Do you know if you can rent and ride a bike there?
    I hope I can visit Nusa somday soon 🙂

    April 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm
    • Reply Blonde Seashell

      Thanks for your comment stephanie. Yes you can rent bikes on Nusa Lembongan no problem. They costs a little more than in Bali so be prepared to pay around 70-80’000 IDR. I hope you will visit soon 🙂

      April 6, 2017 at 2:25 am
  • Reply Elizabeth Seal

    Wow it looks seriously gorgeous, your photos are so beautiful! This looks like paradise 😀 xx

    May 17, 2017 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Fabian Keresztfalvi

    Great post! Would definitely consider going to Nusa Lembongan when I am in Bali!

    May 29, 2017 at 7:59 am
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