Lembongan

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Nusa Lembongan is a small island 20km off the southeast coast of Bali that is quickly becoming one of the must-see tourist destinations in Indonesia. It can be thought of as two islands as its sister island Nusa Ceningan is only 100m away and is easily accessible via a small bridge that crosses the narrow channel between them.

Lembongan is around 30 minutes via fast boat from the Bali mainland so is easy to do as a day trip but it also has a great choice of accommodation options should you wish to stay a few nights and experience the amazing sunsets that can be seen from the southwest beaches and cliffs. Accommodation on Nusa Lembongan should be booked before arrival as places are limited, especially during high season which runs from June to September.

Unlike the Gili islands, cars and motorbikes are allowed on Lembongan and Ceningan although the roads are much quieter than neighbouring Bali. Bicycle or Motorbike are the most common form of transport for visiting tourists but there are plenty of pickup taxis around if you don’t fancy driving yourself. Be sure to arrange a price before jumping in as they can be very expensive considering the distance travelled.

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Activities

Surrounded by tropical waters it’s perhaps unsurprising that water-sports dominate the activities list. The island is famous for snorkelling and diving which can be arranged through the many dive shops on the island. Popular sites are Manta Point where you can swim with schools of 3.5m Manta Rays, and Crystal Bay which has amazing coral and also sees frequent visits from the strange looking Oceanic Sunfish.

Nusa Lembongan is also known as a surf destination and offers a few different world class surf spots. Playgrounds is the most beginner friendly waves and lessons are available from 3 different surf schools around Jungut Batu, the main port area where the boat will arrive. For the more advanced surfer there are a number of options depending on the swell and tide.

The northeast of the island is covered in a mangrove forest and home to a huge host of different animal species. Guided boat or kayak tours can be arranged from many different shops and are a great way to see the wildlife.

Crossing the yellow bridge

The islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are connected by a 100m yellow bridge. It was designed as a footbridge but can just about accommodate two passing motorbikes. Crossing the bridge and arriving on Nusa Ceningan you’ll immediately notice that there are fewer tourists and it generally seems to be much quieter. Getting around here is very difficult unless you have your own transportation, either motorbike or bicycle as taxis are hard to come by but be prepared that the roads can be challenging. The general format is very similar to Lembongan, beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs, and amazing hill top views but it manages to have a slightly different feel that makes it unique and definitely worth a visit.

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Nusa Penida

Zoom out slightly on a map of Nusa Lembongan and you’ll notice it’s big brother Nusa Penida. Despite being 20 times the size of its neighbours, only a tiny fraction of the visiting tourists will make it across and explore this amazing island which is known for having some of the best beaches in the world. Low tourism numbers mean that the infrastructure is lacking but also that you’ll most likely have these amazing beaches to yourself. Water taxis to the village of Toyapakeh can be taken from Jungut Batu and take around 20 minutes.