THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE NUSA ISLANDS IN BALI, INDONESIA

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE NUSA ISLANDS IN BALI, INDONESIA

The Nusa Islands in Bali are 3 of the most beautiful and most adventurous islands I have explored to date! A short 30 minute boat from mainland Bali and you will arrive to the foreshores of the magic that the Nusa Islands has to offer. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie who loves the thrill of heights and cliff jumping or a laid back beach goer who loves those sun-kissed hammock days and snorkelling the reefs, the Nusa Islands has something for everyone!

WHERE ARE THE NUSA ISLANDS BALI

This trio of islands are located off the west coast of Bali. To get there from the mainland you can take a fast boat from Sanur Harbour which will take a short 30 minutes over the water to reach either Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Penida. You can book your trip through The Lembongan Traveller, this travel company organises the boats and hotel transfers for approximately $50 for a return trip.

NUSA ISLANDS – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

From my experience having visiting all 3 Nusa islands I recommend spending at least 3 nights on Nusa Lembongan, a day trip to Nusa Ceningan and then at least 3-4 nights on Nusa Penida. This will give you plenty of time to enjoy all the awesome spots the Nusa Islands has to offer!

NUSA LEMBONGAN ISLAND

Nusa Lembongan Island is one of my favourite destinations in Indonesia. This island was known widely within Indonesia for its seaweed farming before it became a popular destination for surfers and its beautiful coastline.

BOAT TO NUSA LEMBONGAN

The most efficient way to get to the island is by taking a 30 minute ferry from Sanur Harbour in Bali to Nusa Lembongan. For a return boat to Nusa Lembongan the ticket will cost you $50 Adult and $30 Child. The ferry leaves from Sanur in Bali daily at 10:00am, 12:00 noon, 14:00pm and 17:30pm. The ticket includes free transfers from the airport and/or hotels.

NUSA LEMBONGAN ACCOMMODATION

Nusa Lembongan has hundreds of accommodations to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favourite places to stay that caters for luxury travellers to budget backpackers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

For all other accommodations on Nusa Lembongan Island, you can click HERE to search on booking.com.

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TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN NUSA LEMBONGAN

1. Dream Beach  

As of late, dream beach has become the most popular white sand beach on the southern coastline. Here you can find cliff jumps, turquoise waters, colorful reefs, rugged view points and hidden caves!

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Dream Beach.

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2. Devil’s Tear

 A unique cave rock pool that sits on the edge of rocky cliffs. This is my favorite location on Nusa Lembongan and a must see spot. I visited Devil’s Tears at sunset and was spoiled with an incredible pastel sky.

Devil’s Tear Nusa Lembongan draws attraction to visitors to see the forceful flow of water entering the cave and spitting it back out again with a roar. The water in Devil’s Tear is crystal clear and you may be lucky enough to see turtles cruising around the cove.

Devil’s Tear is one of the best spots on Lembongan Bali to watch the sunset. There are a number of reflection pools along the cliffs where you can get creative and potentially capture some amazing shots.

I discovered some cliff jumping spots at a smaller cove in front of the reflection pools. If you do decide to jump, you will have to time your jump in between the sets of waves to avoid being caught in a sticky situation.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Devils Tears.

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3. MANTA POINT SNORKELLING 

This is one of the best things to do in Nusa Lembongan. Snorkelling with Giant Manta Rays is up there with one of the most unforgettable experiences I had on the Nusa Islands.

These majestic creatures are absolutely incredible! They glide effortlessly through the ocean and are really friendly to swim with. The manta rays can be quite intimidating to begin with due to their body size of up to 5 meters, though you will soon realise they are harmless, humble giants. I counted roughly 8-10 different mantas at Manta Point on this mornings snorkelling adventure, which is more than usual. I think it is safe to say we got very lucky!

Snorkelling adventures to Manta Point can be booked at Toya Pakeh harbour at any one of the boat companies along the waterfront. My friends and I booked our trip to Manta Point through a tour company called Monkey Activities. Our snorkel trip cost 200,000 Rupiah ($20).

 CLICK HEREto see the full blog post of Manta Point.

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4. YELLOW BRIDGE NUSA LEMBONGAN

The iconic yellow suspension bridge has become an Instafamous spot and it is one of the best things to do in Nusa Lembongan. The Yellow Bridge connects the two islands, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.

It is a pretty awesome experience riding a motorbike over the ocean across the Yellow Bridge Lembongan Bali. It’s also a great spot to take some awesome photos if you time it right with the traffic.

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Yellow Bridge – Nusa Islands Guide

5. SHIPWRECK POINT

Surfing the right-hand reef break at Shipwreck Point is not for the inexperienced surfer. On a good swell, Shipwrecks is the best spot on Nusa Lembongan island to surf. This world-class reef break attracts surfers from all over the world.

If you are not a keen surfer it is not a bad spot to spectate from the beach at one of the many shady shacks along the waterfront. Surfboard rental shops can be found throughout the main street of town and you can find a rental board for approximately 50,000 Rupiah for 2 hours.

Shipwreck Point on the Nusa Islands

NUSA CENINGAN ISLAND

Nusa Ceningan is the baby island of the 3 Nusa Islands. It is located in between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida.

GETTING AROUND NUSA CENINGAN

The ferry from Bali will arrive to Nusa Lembogan first and then from here you can access Nusa Ceningan Island via the Yellow Bridge that connects the two islands. Renting a scooter is the cheapest and most convenient way of getting around. As soon as you arrive to the port at Lembongan you will most likely be approached by the locals asking if you need a scooter rental. If not you can ask at your accommodation and they will be able to assist you. I payed 50,000 Rupiah per day for a scooter rental, so put your bartering skills to the test and try to score a deal at this price.

NUSA CENINGAN ACCOMMODATION

Nusa Ceningan has dozens of accommodations to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favourite places to stay that caters for luxury travellers to budget backpackers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

For all other accommodations on Nusa Ceningan Island, you can click HERE to search on booking.com.

 TOP 3 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN NUSA CENINGAN

I have put together a list to hopefully inspire you to explore Nusa Ceningan based on my adventures on the island. See below for the three best things to do in Nusa Ceningan.

1. BLUE LAGOON NUSA CENINGAN

The Blue Lagoon on Ceningan Island is a beautiful cove with the most electric blue coloured water I have ever seen. It is also a cliff jumping haven for those adventurous, thrill seekers out there. Follow the cliff edge around to the rocky point on the eastern side of the lagoon. There are remains of what used to be a bar from where people would hang out for the day in between swimming and cliff jumping.

There are a range of cliff jumping heights starting at 4-meters and finishing at 13-meters. We had all intentions of jumping from the cliffs on Ceningan Island this day although the waves were too big and there was a lot of water moving around. Make sure to assess the situation before jumping because the only exit out of the blue lagoon is to climb up a small cliff face and back to dry land.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Blue Lagoon Ceningan.

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2. MAHANA POINT CLIFF JUMP

The Mahana Point Cliff Jumpon Nusa Ceningan Island attracts thrill seekers from around the world. A 10-meter diving platform hangs over the rocky cliffs at Mahana Point.

There are two diving platforms, one that sits at about 5-meters above the sea level which is recommended to warm yourself up on before braving the much higher 10-meter cliff jump at Mahana Point.

The depth of the landing from the 10-meter jump point is around 3-4 meters, so it is unlikely you will hit the bottom. It is best to jump after the sets of waves that crash up against the cliffs and jumping on high tide is also recommended.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post or Mahana Point Cliff Jump.

3. SECRET BEACH NUSA CENINGAN

Secret Beach is a hidden gem surrounded by cliffs. It is a 5-minute drive from Blue Lagoon and to access the beach you will have to park in the car park at Villa Trevally and walk through the restaurant. You will also find an infinity pool next to the restaurant that overlooks the ocean. Buy a drink and some lunch from the restaurant to use the pool.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT SECRET BEACH NUSA CENINGAN

A shallow colourful reef stretches across the bay making it difficult to swim. If you adventure down to the far left corner of Secret Beach Nusa Ceningan you can find a sandy spot to walk out past the reef for a swim and a snorkel.

If you have a hammock on hand, there are two palm trees on Secret Beach Nusa Ceningan that are perfect for hanging it up and taking in the serenity.

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Secret Beach Nusa Ceningan

NUSA PENIDA ISLAND

Of all the places that I have been to in the world, I would have to vote Nusa Penida Bali in the top 3 most awesome destinations to visit! This magical island offers a mecca of adventures and locations that will leave you jaw dropped and gasping around every corner!

HOW TO GET TO NUSA PENIDA 

A Nusa Penida trip can be booked throughDirect Ferrieswho can help you to organise transfers from your accommodation in Bali to Sanur Harbour. It is here that you can take the 30 minute fast boat to Toya Pakeh Harbour in Nusa Penida. A return trip will cost you around 500,000 Rupiah ($50) which includes car transfers and the boat to and from Nusa Penida. Click Here to see the time schedule and availability.

You can also take a boat to Nusa Penida from Nusa Lembongan if you happen to be exploring this island first. A return Nusa Penida trip will cost you 100,000 Rupiah ($10). You can organise the boat via your accommodation or simply head to the main harbour on Lembongan Bali and ask one of the boat companies down there.

NUSA PENIDA ACCOMMODATION

Nusa Penida has hundreds of accommodations to chose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favourite places to stay that caters for luxury travellers to budget backpackers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

For all other accommodations on Nusa Penida Island, you can click HERE to search on booking.com.

13 THINGS TO DO IN NUSA PENIDA BALI

1. Kelingking Secret Point Beach

Kelingking Secret Point Beach is up there with one of the most amazing places I have ever been. Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida island has become the biggest tourist attraction on the island thanks to Instagram and for a good reason, I mean just look at this view!

The reason why Kelingking Beach is such a popular location is because the cliffs form the shape of a T-Rex dinosaur. The head of the T-Rex can be seen on the left of the bay and the body and tail wraps around to the right.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Kelingking Secret Point Beach.

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2. Banah Cliff Viewpoint

Banah Cliff Nusa Penida is yet another epic view point along the cliffs of this incredible island! This particular location is not as popular as Kelingking Beach though it is equally impressive in my opinion.

There is not just not one but two incredible view points at Banah Cliff Nusa Penida. Surprisingly, we did not have to pay for parking or any entrance fees for this location which was great. It is spots like these that I love to discover before they get too popular.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Banah Cliffs.

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3. Angel’s Billabong

Angel’s Billabong is one of Nusa Penida’s most popular attractions. This natural infinity pool is framed by rock cliffs and hangs out over the ocean overlooking Manta Point Beach.

There are a number of viewpoints of the Angels Billabong, my personal favourite was down in the infinity pool itself. The water is clear as crystal and the temperature was nice and warm on a crisp early morning.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Angel’s Billabong.

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4. Broken Beach

Broken Beach Nusa Penida is one of many awesome locations on the island and it is not to be missed! The natural bridge stretches over turquoise waters that flows in and out of the arch way, hence the name Broken Beach.

Although you can’t go swimming at Broken beach Nusa Penida it is such an unreal setting in itself. The ocean water flows in to a bowl that is surrounded by towering cliffs. You can take a panoramic walk all the way around Broken Beach to several different viewpoints offering incredible views of this hole in the cliff.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Broken Beach.

5. Atuh Beach 

Atuh Beach is one of Nusa Penida’s most iconic locations. The natural rock arch that stretches over crystal clear turquoise waters will have you in awe as soon as you lay eyes on it.

The natural arch rock, in my eyes, forms the shape of a prehistoric dinosaur of some sort that looks like it is ready for battle haha. Would you agree?!

We were so curious of the formation of this natural arch, so we decided to swim out to it on low tide. It was much more impressive once we were swimming through the arch. We checked the depth of the water to see if it was possible to cliff jump. Our guess was that it was between 3-4 meters deep which was plenty enough for us, so we scaled the rock arch and jumped off one by one!

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Atuh Beach.

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6. Tree House (Rumah Pohon)

If you haven’t seen the Ruma Pohon Tree House Nusa Penida on social media I would be amazed. This Tree House has become popular very quickly thanks to the social media platform Instagram. This cute little beach shack over looks one of the most gorgeous beach coves known as Thousand Island Nusa Penida.

You will arrive to a car park on top of the cliffs, park here and make your way down the track towards the beach. You will come across a small wooden ticket office where you will have to pay 5,000 Rupiah for the entrance ticket.

The hike down the ridge takes no more than 5-10 minutes to the first view point that over looks the bay known as thousand island. I don’t know why they named it thousand island when I could only see five or six islands haha. Regardless of the name, this is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever laid my eyes on.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of the Rumah Pohon Tree House.

Rumah Pohon Tree House – Nusa Islands

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7. PEGUYANGAN WATERFALL

The Peguyangan Waterfall is located at the bottom of a very steep cliff on Nusa Penida’s south coast. The way down to the waterfall is via the blue coloured steel stairs that are amazingly constructed into the side of the cliff face, hang on tight! The entrance ticket to the waterfall is 10,000 Rupiah ($1).

When you reach the bottom of the 700 or so stairs, you will find a few stone temple structures surrounded by water that is said to be holy. You can find the Peguyangan Waterfall at the end of the trail and also a few small rock pools in the cave under the cliffs. There a number of viewpoints of the surrounding cliffs that are absolutely mesmerising!

Take plenty of drinking water and some snacks if you intend to spend some time down here as the hike down and up the blue stairs can be very exhausting.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Peguyangan Waterfall.

peguyangan waterfallPeguyangan Waterfall – Nusa Islands Guide

Peguyangan Waterfall – Nusa Islands

8. PURA GOA GIRI PUTRI CAVE 

The Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave is underrated and underestimated! This location is not as popular as some of the other spots on Nusa Penida such as Kelingking Secret Point Beach and Rumah Pohon Tree House, though it is a must-see attraction on Nusa Penida island.

Take the winding staircase midway up the mountain and you’ll be greeted by a man that will bless you with some holy water to the forehead. The entrance fee is by donation so we each paid 20,000 IDR.

At first, I thought the man was joking when he said “enter here” and pointed to a small crack in the rock. It was a challenge trying to squeeze through this crack with my backpack and then having to crawl down into the cave.

I was absolutely jaw-dropped at how insanely huge the Pura Goa Giri Putri cave is, my guess is 300 meters long and 15 meters tall. It was like walking into a scene from the movie Alice In Wonderland, from feeling too big to squeeze through a tiny hole in a rock to feeling like the size of an ant once inside the cave.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Pura Goa Giri Putri.

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9. DIAMOND BEACH NUSA PENIDA

Diamond Beach Nusa Penida is the most amazing beach I have ever been to, purely for the fact that it has only just recently been made accessible and I am one of few fortunate enough to experience this untouched paradise before it becomes one of the most popular things to do in  Nusa Penida.

There are two sections to Diamond Beach, one has vivid green mossy rocks and tidal rock pools but unfortunately quite of bit of trash was washed up on the sand here. The second section of Diamond Beach Nusa Penida has glistening white sand, coconut palm trees, small caves and a more suitable spot for swimming.

I was in complete awe at the sheer raw beauty that this location has to offer and to have the entire beach to ourselves took the experience to the next level!

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Diamond Beach Nusa Penida.

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10. TEMBELING BEACH & FOREST

Tembeling Beach and Tembeling Forest are up there with one of my favourite things to do in Nusa Penida. Tembeling Beach offers a number of cool things to see including pristine white sand beaches, tropical rainforests, blue lagoons, hidden caves and cliff jumping spots.

5 THINGS TO DO AT TEMBELING BEACH

1. SWIM IN THE BLUE LAGOON: The main attraction at Tembeling Beach is the freshwater blue lagoon nestled in the Tembeling Forest. This freshwater natural pool is the perfect spot for a swim on the way down to Tembeling Beach.

2. CLIFF JUMPING AT THE BLUE LAGOON: There are 2 cliff jumping spots into the blue lagoon at Tembeling Beach. One is 3 meters high and the other is 5 meters. I did a depth check of the lagoon before doing some cliff jumping and I wasn’t able to touch the bottom. My guess is that the lagoon is approximately 3-4 meters deep.

3. SECRET BEACH AND CAVES: Discover the hidden cave and secret beach just a short 2-minute walk from the blue lagoon through the Tembeling Forest. Squeeze through the crack in the rock into a cave that opens up on to a secret beach. There are hundreds of carefully crafted rock sculptures scattered across the beach on the other end of the cave.

4. JACUZZI POOL: Right before you get to Tembeling Beach there is a freshwater jacuzzi pool that the locals have creatively built on the edge of the cliffs. This is one of Nusa Penida’s best-kept secrets! Take a refreshing dip in the jacuzzi pool with incredible jungle views of the Tembeling Forest and Tembeling Beach in the distance.

5. TEMBELING BEACH: Last but not least is the beautiful Tembeling Beach. There is a rocky reef on the shoreline of Tembeling Beach and there a number of tidal pools to take a dip in but swimming in the waves here is definitely not recommended.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Tembeling Beach.

12. TELETUBBIES HILL NUSA PENIDA

Teletubbies Hill Nusa Penida is best known for its lush green rolling hills and incredible viewpoints that overlook the entire Nusa Penida Island.

I reached the top of the mountain range on my scooter and followed the only tar sealed road along the ridgeline. I began to see rolling fields of green and rounded peaks that gives Teletubbies Hill its name. We pulled over on the side of the road, parked the scooter and went off to explore half a dozen different viewpoints at Teletubbies Hill Nusa Penida.

On a clear day, you can see the neighbouring island of Lombok and the almighty Mount Rinjani, the second largest volcano in Indonesia. In the valleys between the Teletubbies Hills are terraced fields of food crops and random clusters of coconut palm trees. I decided to fly my Mavic Pro Drone to capture Teletubbies Hill Nusa Penida from above.

The best way to explore Teletubbies Hill Nusa Penida is on foot. Take a short hike to get a different perspective of this incredible landscape from nearby peaks.

CLICK HERE to see the full blog post of Teletubbies Hill Nusa Penida.

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13. SHOOT PHOTOS ON THE PALM TREE ROAD NUSA PENIDA

Nusa Penida Island has a number of palm tree lined roads but there is one road, in particular, that is quite Instafamous and makes for the ultimate photo. The Palm Tree Road on Nusa Penida is one of the most photogenic locations on the island and a definite addition to the list of things to do in Nusa Penida.

MORE NUSA ISLANDS GUIDES

You may want to read my other travel guides to help you plan your trip to the Nusa Islands. Click on the links below to see more!

Top 14 Things To Do In Nusa Penida

Top 5 Things To Do In Nusa Lembongan

Top 3 Things To Do In Nusa Ceningan

Curious to know what Camera Gear & Travel Essentials I carry while backpacking around the world? I have put together THIS LIST of items to consider packing on your next adventure!

NUSA ISLANDS MAP

Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions about the Nusa Islands please drop me a comment below

Happy Adventuring! 🙂

2 Comments

  1. Sofia
    August 2, 2018 / 2:42 pm

    hello i love your articles but i have a question: I stay during 3 -4 nights in nusa’s island and i would like to know to your mind is it better to sleep on Nusa Lembongan and day trip to nusa penida or sleep to nusa penida and day trip to nusa lembongan?

    I am searching for beautiful beaches where i can swim but i think that in nusa penida there are beautiful spots but not where you can swim ( that is what i saw on your super articles)

    Can you tell me what is better in your opinion please?
    Thank you !

    Sofia

    • Jonny Melon
      August 3, 2018 / 12:22 pm

      Hi, I recommend you stay 2 nights on Lembongan and 2 nights on Penida. Both are beautiful and the beaches are great.

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