Nusa Lembongan is a relaxing get-away from Bali and for all of you who are not into partying too much. If you prefer a party island you should visit one of the Gili islands. If you want to relax, see some beautiful beaches and explore an island walking, on a bicycle or on a scooter, Nusa Lembongan is your perfect destination! 😀
Getting to Nusa Lembongan
he boat operator Scoot drives you for 600.000 IDR (~ 42,00 €) to Nusa Lembongan and then further on to Lombok, including pick-up service in Ubud city centre and hotel service on Nusa Lembongan. You can change the date for going back to Lombok 24 hours earlier by calling Scoot or going to their office at the docks in Nusa Lembongan. If you just want to get to Nusa Lembongan, I have heard that the price is about 150.000 IDR one-way [10,50 €] if you bargain well with the companies at the docks.
Where to stay
I booked a room at Widia Homestay for 250.000 IDR [~17,50 €] per night. It is a lovely small homestay with just 6 double rooms and a nice swimming pool area. In the morning for breakfast, you can choose between scrambled eggs or a sandwich. You can book online your stay at Widia Homestay here.
Later on, I stayed in one of the bungalows of Karang Mas Villa. They are super amazing bungalows of the very friendly and helpful owner Ketut. The bungalows are very clean, the decoration is very natural and in the open shower you can look at the sky full of stars. If you are lucky, you will see a shooting star while you take your shower! Karang Mas Villa is also very nice, located on Nusa Lembongan near Dream Beach which has its name for dreaming, relaxing and enjoying life! You can book your stay at Karang Mas Villa here.
If you do stay at Ketut’s bungalows, please say “Hello!” for me and give him a big hug! 😀 In case you get the chance to getting to know beautiful Nusa Lembongan with Ketut, don’t be surprised that nearly everybody is greeting him. Ketut is from the Karang family and his father was the governor of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida for 12 years. Ketut said more people know him than he knows, but however, I got the feeling that he already knows everybody. ^^
Sunset Villa Lembongan should be a beautiful place to stay as well, as my sister stayed there a couple of years ago and did recommend it to me. You can book your stay at Sunset Villa Lembongan here.
I met two friendly Dutch girls at the pool area of Widia Homestay. Those two girls met in Holland before they started traveling. As both didn’t want to travel alone the whole time, they met on an internet platform searching for a travel partner. They said that it works out great for them as they can share their experiences and sometimes it is even cheaper to travel together as they can share the expenses of a double room. So, in case you want to go travelling but not alone and none of your friends want to join, just have a look online if you find your travel mate to explore the world with!
How to get around Nusa Lembongan
The two Dutch girls and me rented, each of us, a scooter from Widia Homestay for 50.000 IDR [~ 3,50 €] without fuel (or full petrol 70.000 IDR [~4,90 €]). I would recommend to rent one “without” fuel as I could ride the whole day without buying new petrol. In case you do need to buy petrol, you can buy it for around 20.000 IDR [~1,40 €] in 1,5l plastic bottles at different corner shops.
Get to Nusa Lembongan by boat and enjoy the included hotel service with the boat company Scoot. Get all the things sorted out at your hotel and start your day on Nusa Lembongan after renting a scooter to get around the island. Ask already at your reception for a good snorkeling tour. Some hotels work with companies together and can offer you a good price. Like this, you have an idea and still can ride around the island later on, in case you want to get a different price. Don’t forget to bargain! I booked my snorkeling trip at the reception of Widia Homestay.
Short introduction of the island:
On the Northern part of Nusa Lembongan are more tourists and restaurants, the Southern part is more relaxed…
The Suspension Bridge (Yellow Bridge) which usually connects Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan collapsed three weeks before I went to Nusa Lembongan under too much weight. Unfortunately, eight people died during that incident. I couldn’t get to Nusa Ceningan without hiring a boat. Therefore, I didn’t go but it is supposed to be worth a visit as well.
After you rent a scooter, start your day at Panorama Point, just following the street from the harbor riding South. It gives you an idea of the island and a nice view to Bali. Ask a local where the different spots are you want to visit.
Then, follow the street South all the way to Mushroom Beach. Get new energy in form of a nice lunch at the Sadeg Lembongan restaurant up on the cliff on the left-hand side, with a great view over Mushroom Beach. Then take a swim and relax with a refreshing drink on the bar, sitting in sand bags and have a nap in the shadow. I would not sleep directly in the sun on the beaches in Indonesia as it can easily burn your skin!
Afterwards find your way to Sunset Villa Lembongan. Drink a nice cold juice while enjoying a spectacular view of the sunset with the noisy incoming waves from the deck of Sunset Villa Lembongan. You can just go to the restaurant without staying at the villa. Even though the bungalows are very beautiful as well and my sister did recommend me to stay there (see the link for a booking above)!
In case you didn’t get your dinner on the deck of Sunset Villa Lembongan, I recommend to drive back to the North and fill your stomach with delicious food at Lemongrass, Jl. Jungutbatu. I met up with the German group from the rafting on Bali there and it was a perfect spot for ending a beautiful day.
Do a day-tour to Nusa Penida or stay even longer, as it is Paradise on Earth and you will totally fall in love with that island! You can find the post about the day-trip to Nusa Penida here: http://sharejourneys.net/2017/01/19/nusa-penida-indonesia-a-day-trip-in-paradise/
After a perfect day on Nusa Penida, you can share your stories, pictures and laughter in Blue Corner Bar, Jl. Jungutbatu, with a cold drink or two with your friends or other travelers. I have been there with about 15 travelers from Germany, France, Spain, Holland and I brought also Ketut from Couchsurfing. We had interesting stories to share with everybody.
You should use the time to go snorkeling (you should have booked the tour a day earlier). Usually they start the snorkeling tours early in the morning and you come back around 1 pm. Most of the tours offer snorkeling at three different spots:
- Manta Bay: if you are lucky you will see and swim with manta rays here. They are very big and a bit scary but, at the same time, just amazing! They can grow up to 7 m wide. Bring your waterproof camera and you can get amazing pictures here! Don’t touch the mantas but also don’t be afraid of them. Just go with the flow, the mantas will swim below or above you. You will know where to find the mantas as there are more people and sometimes somebody screaming. ^^
I saw those mantas from above already one day before while visiting Nusa Penida from the cliff of Broken Beach – as it is part of Manta Bay. The day before I also saw a turtle swimming in Manta Bay but not while snorkeling there.
- Crystal Bay: beautiful clear water and a lot of colorful fishes. Here I saw two turtles and swam with them around. So, good luck finding them and have fun!
- Mangroves: amazing coral reefs and the roots of the mangroves with so many different colorful fishes! It is a shame that people just throw their garbage into the water and it is floating all over there… you definitely start to think more about all your garbage you produce during one day!
After the snorkeling tour, I recommend to sit on the waterfront with a nice ice-cream from a small shop around. I wish you more luck than I had, though! A young Dutch traveler invited me for ice cream which was nearly melted… at that time we didn’t think too much about it but afterwards I found out that the whole town was without electricity… as I wanted to get some money from the ATM, of course it was not working… I had no money to pay my homestay… luckily, Ketut from Couchsurfing, my savior, saved me as he paid the missing money for my Homestay and also food and drinks for the rest of the day. In the evening we went back to the ATM and it worked again. Thank God! But Ketut wouldn’t accept the money… he said: “Money is not as important as to be happy. And I am happy!” Very true… that is one of the reasons why I spend all my money on travelling. ^^
I have heard that the ATM on Nusa Lembongan doesn’t work so well and there is just one on the whole island. So, bring enough money with you when you come over from Bali or Lombok.
Get lunch at the local known Warung Nita Babi Guling, Jl. Jungutbatu. I ate Nasi Campur, a mixed rice typical from Bali. Here I learned from Ketut and the cook how to weave a Balinese offering and tipat (a box for filling it with rice) out of coconut palms. I felt so blessed to learn more about the very special Balinese culture with Ketut.
Full of energy, drive yourself towards Dream Beach. You will pass a cemetery with umbrellas over the graves. Ketut explained to me that the umbrellas are standing for the souls who are visiting their deceased bodies. In Balinese culture, after the death, for maximum three years the body will be buried in the ground (the parts of the body from the land will go back to the land). Afterwards the cremation will take place (the parts of the body from fire will go back to the fire). In the end, the ashes are spread into the ocean (the parts of the body from water will go back to the water).
When you reach the German owned Dream Beach, you can dream of your future on the swing there. Otherwise you can also enjoy the infinity pool for free if you buy a drink during Happy Hour from 4 pm until the bar closes (one beer is around 30.000 IDR (~2,00 €). While I was there, Russian people had an argument with the owner as they didn’t want to buy anything but still wanted to enjoy the pool…
Ketut told me in that context “I really want to go to Russia because I don’t understand them… They never smile! I would love to understand their culture.” I wish you good luck with that, Ketut! ^^ I am also travelling to understand better different cultures but mainly those onees where I believe, they are able to smile. 😉
After a cold drink and a swim at Dream Beach, head to Devil’s Tear for a beautiful sunset with a small natural infinity pool in the front. Take care while climbing the slippery rocks! A friend of mine fell there and injured herself badly!
In the last light of the day, you can play soccer barefoot in the sand with local Balinese kids. Just go to the soccer field at Devil’s Tear and ask for the teams and join in one of them. The kids will be happy to play with you! As you play barefoot, you will feel much more connected to the nature than playing in shoes. It is so much more fun! I had to play one penalty (11m) but didn’t make the goal… one white German girl… well… the kids were not too surprised but wanted me to do it. ^^ You will have so much fun and you will be completely sweaty! After it gets dark, don’t be surprised that all the kids go home on scooters… that is normal on Nusa Lembongan. Because often, the scooter is the only way for them to get to school.
After sunset, you can go swimming at Secret Beach if you can find it. It isn’t on any map and hard to get there, therefore the name of the beach. Thanks to Ketut, I could enjoy this precious little place on earth with local teenagers having a camp fire and playing the guitar, singing Balinese songs. What a great background music! The water there is so salty that you can easily float on your back and look into the night sky full of stars, listening to the ocean under water and the incoming waves breaking at the beach. The perfect place to relax, to do some yoga and meditation.
At night, I recommend getting dinner at Black Wood Warung, Jl. Jungutbatu. I had a delicious Nasi Goreng.
In case you want to visit more places, I warmly recommend the Mangrove Forest as well! You can go through there by boat or kayak or trekking. I went inside the mangroves by boat when I came back from Nusa Penida. An enchanted place! I would have loved to stay longer and see more of it!
I want to finish this post with the words of Ketut he told me: “I always see you smiling! That is good – because you don’t need to pay for a smile and it is the best for your soul and others!”
Lots of smiles to all of you,
Balinese words which could help you on Nusa Lembongan:
Thank you – Suksema
You are welcome – Suksema mawali
Hello – Om suastiastu
How are you? – Punapi gatra?
I am fine – Becek-becek
I am full – Tiang wareg
I am thirsty – Jean sajan