Indonesia, Travel

Bali: Exploring the Nusa Islands

Our first three days in Indonesia were spent at the Nusa Islands. This district is divided into three islands namely: Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Lembongan.

Each of these islands offer different spots and activities tourists can enjoy.  We originally planned to stay in Nusa Penida but realized that Lembongan is nearer to Sanur (port for boat transfers to the Nusa Islands), and with more research we learned that Lembongan has more Warungs (place to eat), and resort.

A day trip to Nusa Penida is really doable, doesn’t matter if you are coming from Bali or Nusa Lembongan. Ideally, it’s better to arrange it at least day before, and we opted to have it arranged through our accommodation since the owner is affiliated with tours around the island. However, you don’t need to worry about booking beforehand for a daytrip or transfer because there are a lot of ferry companies that sell on the day, even tours to do 🙂

Things To Do:

Okay, so while I was planning our itinerary, I came across the activities that can be enjoyed around like land tour around Nusa Penida, or a Nusa Penida tour which includes a snorkeling trip to Crystal Bay.

For us, our priorities were to be able to snorkel and see the manta rays, and go to the top 4 spots in Nusa Penida — it was an added bonus to go to Nusa Ceningan’s famous Blue Lagoon and go cliff dive.

  • NUSA PENIDA LAND TOUR

If you plan on doing a Nusa Penida Day tour, here are the spots to cover:

We were not able to visit another famous point: Atuh Beach because it was not included in our itinerary from the tour. It may take the whole day to cover Nusa Penida alone, but that’s fully dependent on your pacing. We were able to cover all 4 spots half-day, and got back to Nusa Lembongan in time to catch a quick rest and go for an early dinner and catch the sunset at Sunset Point, then visit the famous Devil’s Tear.

*You may take a dip  at Angel’s Billabong, Crystal Bay, and Kelingking Beach (there were Europeans who went down to the beach to enjoy the clear water). Definitely no swimming at Broken Beach.

*The tour includes a stop for lunch, and our driver brought us in a warung on our way to Crystal beach. he recommended we eat there, even though there were a lot of warungs at Kelingking Beach. (We ordered Mie Goreng too, Rp. 25,000 and drinks!)

  • SNORKELING (300,000 IDR/person)

Oslob, Cebu have the whale sharks, while Nusa have the Manta Rays. Although, there is no assurance that you get to see them, especially if the waves are high and it is windy. Unfortunately for us, it was. So, we just went and snorkel to appreciate the pretty corals Crystal bay has to offer and the massive marine life it has — we even saw almost the whole cast of Finding Nemo! haha (Nemo was missing).

  • SURFING | PADDLE BOARDING

Although we haven’t had the chance to try this one in Nusa Lembongan, it is available specifically in Tamarind Beach, and Song Lambung Beach. You may look for Monkey Surfing Nusa Lembongan for some water fun.

  • HIRE A BUGGY

You can hire a motorbike, but Nusa Lembongan is quite bumpy and the road is narrow going up and down. Try hiring a buggy in Nusa Lembongan, it is actually just like a golf cart you can use around the island — recommended if you are travelling with family.

Price:

Full Day Hire – Rp 800,000 (57 USD)

Half Day Hire – Rp 600,000 (43 USD)

24 hour Hire – Rp 1,000,000 (71 USD)

  • EXPLORE MANGROVE FOREST AND SEAWEED FARM

Located at the northern part f the island, you can take a tour at the Mangrove Forest where you can canoe into. As you explore the jungle, you’ll be immersed in the quiet and serenity as you go through using a traditional boat that does not use an engine to go around, once you had enough  the route will take you to the broad beach — giving you the feel of exiting a cave.

With their rich and stunning waterways, seaweed farming has become evident all over the island. You can make a quick trip to see the seaweed farm in the island to learn more about their process.

WHERE YOU CAN EAT:

Nusa Lembongan has A LOT of restaurants, warungs, and cafes that you can choose from to get your meals. From where we stayed, it took a minimum of 5-minute walk to find a place to eat.

  • DREAM BEACH HUTS RESTAURANT

For our first meal in Nusa Lembongan, we scheduled a pick up for dinner, hoping to visit Devil’s Tear and witness the sunset, but we fell asleep and was able to go in the evening. Nonetheless, the view of the beach was stunning, and the wind was cold making it just right.

  • SUNSET VILLA AND CAFE

After our Nusa Penida tour, we came back to our hotel to freshen up and catch a quick rest — I asked the owner of the home stay to schedule a pick up for us to Sunset Villa and Cafe at around 5 pm, enough time to have an early dinner, catch the sunset and visit Devil’s Tear.

* We also ordered in a Beef Burger (Rp. 95,000) and a fresh Buko Juice (Rp. 35,000)

The driver of Sunset Villa and Cafe was kind enough to bring us to Devil’s Tear, and allow us to stay for 30 mins. and bring us back to our home stay. Plus, he even stopped at a small store where we can buy our emergency food stack: instant noodles and chips. He can speak English well, so communicating with him was easy.

  • BALI ECO DELI

We were not able to try this one, but it is one of the most recommended must try places to eat in Nusa Lembingan. Bali Eco Deli is a cozy cafe is located near the busy beach of Jungu Batu. The foods are made to order, and they offer freshly baked breads daily which were sourced from organic and far-trade farms.

Home-made quality treats and their rates:

Baked treats starting at Rp. 6,000
Espresso drinks starting at Rp. 12,000
Pure juices and iced drinks starting at Rp. 14,000

HOW MUCH WE SPENT | PRICE BREAKDOWN (per person): 

Accommodation

500,000 IDR

35.36 USD

Airport and Boat transfers

450,000 IDR

32 USD

Nusa Penida Tour (no snorkeling)

600,000 IDR

42 USD

Snorkeling

300,000 IDR

21 USD

Dinner at Dream Beach Huts

185,000 IDR

13 USD

Dinner at Sunset Villas

205,000 IDR

15 USD

Snacks (noodles and chips)

30,000 IDR

2 USD

**P.S. The prices for the airport and boat transfers, Nusa Penida tour, and snorkeling can still be lowered. You can canvass in the area for the best prices or negotiate, you can definitely haggle the price!

** Our Nusa Penida tour was priced originally at 850k per head, but they lowered it to 750k since we were coming in from Nusa Lembongan. I asked if we can do it at 600k and they agreed — but I believe you can still lower prices. 

** All our tours were arranged by our home stay owner, and all were private tours. Meaning we did not join in other groups — but you can 🙂 I know I had an offer for 200k per person to join a 14 people tour for snorkeling.

TIPS:

  • HAGGLE! Prices can definitely be lowered from what they offer, but make sure you offer a reasonable price.
  • Canvass on the different tours, you can check out: DnB Lembongan, Visit Nusa Penida, and Penida Tours for Nusa Day trips. They offer lunch too, you can ask for the itinerary, and what are included in the price.
  • If you know how to drive a motorbike, it definitely is the cheapest way to get around the islands. Especially from Lembongan to Ceningan, which are connected by the Yellow bridge.
  • It is always best to arrange you transfers ahead of time, it is less hassle on your part when it comes to tickets and you do not have to worry about finding a taxi to bring you to your next stop.
  • Stock up some emergency snacks, especially if you think there is an instance where you’ll want something to chew in the middle of the night or early in the morning (if you did not pay for breakfast from your stay).

4 thoughts on “Bali: Exploring the Nusa Islands”

  1. Very helpful post, thank you. My friend and I are planning to visit Bali in November and she wants to do snorkeling. Maybe we’ll try Lembongan!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.