Looking for the ultimate laid-back island getaway? Bali’s Nusa islands, just a 25-minute speedboat ride from the mainland, have the same rugged natural beauty but without the traffic, hordes of tourists, and commercialisation. If Bali’s a bit built-up for your taste, the Nusas will definitely be more your style. Think white sand, sparkling blue water, and incredible snorkeling!
This post will tell you all the best things to do in Nusa Lembongan (my favorite of the three islands), plus all my best tips & everything else you need to know about visiting.
If you’re short on time in Bali, you can definitely do a Nusa Lembongan day trip and hit all the highlights. Otherwise you can easily spend a few days exploring all three islands. But regardless of how long you stay – there’s plenty to do and see, and this pretty little island is sure to take your breath away.
Here’s my full Nusa Lembongan travel guide with all the deets!
(PS: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you)
How to Get There
Getting to the Nusas is super easy. Lembongan is about a 25-minute speedboat ride away from Serangan Harbour in Sanur (southeast Bali). Many boat operators will even pick you up at your hotel in Bali & drop you off at your Lembongan hotel after your transfer.
Make sure to go with a reputable company, because boat safety standards in Indonesia can be… sub-par, lol. Gili Getaway and BlueWater Express are by far the best and safest operators. The Arthamas boat transfer is also top-rated and a cheaper option!
If you’re doing a Nusa Lembongan day trip, I’d recommend staying in Sanur for a night (check out my favorite hotel here!) and taking the first boat out in the morning to maximise your time. You could also just go with a stress-free organised tour of Lembongan, or take a 2-day tour including Nusa Penida.
What to Pack for Nusa Lembongan
Lembongan doesn’t have a dock, so when your boat arrives you’ll have to wade through knee-to-mid-thigh-high water (depending on the weather) to get to the beach. Long pants or a long dress will get soaked. So wear something short – plus water shoes or slip-on sandals – for the boat ride over.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, bring a hat and (reef-safe!) sunscreen. The sun is insanely strong in Indonesia and there’s not much cover on Lembongan. The roads had no shade whatsoever and I got seriously sunburnt in just two hours of walking and biking around the island.
Other than that, bring a few swimsuits to hit the beach clubs, plus some good walking shoes to explore!
Best Things to Do in Nusa Lembongan
OK, now it’s time for the good stuff. Whether you’re taking a day trip to Nusa Lembongan, or want to post up for a few days and explore every inch of the island, you’ll have plenty to do and see. Here’s allllll the top things to do in Nusa Lembongan!
The Devil’s Tear
The Devil’s Tear is one of the most popular places to see in Nusa Lembongan. It’s a massive draw for tourists because of the dramatic waves that crash up against the cliff face. The waves are HUGE and you’re likely to get sprayed. It’s spectacular and a little terrifying.
It’s also a pretty dangerous spot so please be careful. Don’t walk down towards the water, don’t stand at the cliff edge for photos, and don’t turn your back to the sea. Multiple people have been swept away by waves here because they went too close to the water 🙁
Lembongan Tide Pools
Just around the corner from the Devil’s Tear there’s a section of flat rock with loads of tide pools. Depending on the tide, you can walk around and enjoy the marine life, plus enjoy a spectacular sunset view!
Go Snorkeling (or Diving)
Nusa Lembongan snorkeling is spectacular – the water is crystal clear and there’s an absolutely insane variety of marine life. The best spots to snorkel or dive are Manta Point, where you can swim with GIANT Manta rays, and Crystal Bay, where you’ll find heaps of fish and maybe a turtle (!).
Crystal Bay is by Nusa Penida, but it’s super cheap and easy to get over there. Local boats will take you out for $10 or so.
If you’re short on time or just looking for convenience, try out this top-rated snorkeling tour to hit all of the best snorkeling spots in Nusa Lembongan in an afternoon!
Sandy Bay is a strip of the beach mostly occupied by luxury resort Sandy Bay Beach Club. This isn’t an ideal swimming spot due to the waves, but the view is spectacular. Stop by and grab a drink or a bite to eat, and post up for an hour or two enjoying the view!
Mushroom Bay Nusa Lembongan
This is a must-visit if you’re looking for relaxation. Mushroom Bay is a lovely secluded little beach area with bright blue water and white sand. It’s the best swimming spot on the island because the water is calmest here, compared to the choppy water + strong currents at some of the other beaches.
It’s also of the most popular areas for accommodation and restaurants, so there’s a lot to do nearby. There’s tons of places to chill and grab a bite to eat.
Dream Beach Nusa Lembongan
This is a beauuutiful little cove with crystal clear water and pristine white sand. It’s one of the most popular places to see in Lembongan.
I definitely wouldn’t suggest swimming here unfortunately – the waves can be rough and the currents quite strong. Use Dream Beach for tanning, or just enjoy the view! There are some nice beachside restaurants nearby where you can stop in for a snack or get a drink overlooking the water.
Drive up to the highest point in Nusa Lembongan to get a spectacular view of the beach and town below. Panorama Point is located partway between Jungut Batu (where the boats arrive at Lembongan) and Mushroom Bay/Dream Beach, so don’t forget to stop and snap a photo on your way over.
A quiet, secluded strip of beach with white sand that’s hidden away in a little cove near Mushroom Bay! Ask a local for directions and they’ll be able to help you out, since it’s difficult to find and the location isn’t listed on Maps.
Don’t miss a quiet boat ride through the Mangrove Forest, which is a sprawling network of waterways lined with beautiful mangrove trees. This is probably the only point on the island where you’ll find proper shade and pure unspoiled nature lol so it’s a good way to kill an hour or so. It’s extremely peaceful here and the trees are beautiful.
After you get to Lembongan, it’s just a quick ride up to the mangroves. Once you get to the forest, you’ll see locals who will offer to take you out on their boats. Expect to pay about $7 USD for a tour.
The Deck Lembongan
Absolutely the most laid-back beachfront dining you can find. They have a ton of seating overlooking the water, so you can enjoy watching boats filter in and out throughout the afternoon, and get prime sunset views in the evening.
The restaurant-bar is adorable and super Instagrammable (clean white wood + cheery blue-white-striped decor). And the food and drinks are on point, if a little bit pricy for Bali. I posted up here for a full afternoon sipping Aperol spritz & rosé and chowing down on calamari & chips, and it was LOVELY.
There are heaps of yoga studios offering classes on Nusa Lembongan. The best-rated are Serenity Yoga at the northern tip of the island, Yoga Dunia near Mushroom Bay, and Yoga Shack in Jungut Batu (the beach strip where boats arrive to Lembongan).
Walk Over to Nusa Ceningan
You can walk from Nusa Lembongan over to sister island Ceningan via the famous Yellow Bridge at the south of the island. Ceningan is less built-up, but has some gorgeous beaches and famous beach bars. It’s 100% worth a visit!
I recommend stopping by the lovely The Sand Ceningan or the famous Le Pirate Ceningan. As far as beaches, don’t miss the gorgeous Blue Lagoon and Secret Beach.
Where to Stay
Hai Tide | THE CUTEST bungalows set right on the beach at Mushroom Bay. Incredible view, on-site pool, fantastic location, and an amazing restaurant – what more could you ask for?? It is PERFECTION.
Tamarind Resort | Spacious, modern rooms in a traditional-style 5-star resort with an infinity pool, fabulous on-site restaurant, spa, and fully-equipped gym.
Tigerlillys | Gorgeous bohemian style decor with bamboo huts, hanging chairs, and beautiful tilework! AND it’s super affordable, at just $70 USD for a standard room. There’s an amazing restaurant on-site, too!
Indiana Kenanga | Stunning, spacious villas with bamboo decor, plus an equally stunning restaurant on-site, spa services, and a pool. Probably one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen.
Villa Tranquilla | Obnoxiously big and luxurious 4-bedroom villa perfect for groups. Featuring a huge infinity pool overlooking the cliffside, it’s seriously the perfect getaway.
Nusa Lembongan Transport + Getting Around
There aren’t many regular cars on Nusa Lembongan, so you can’t hire a driver the way you could in mainland Bali. Your boat operator can usually arrange drop-off/pickup at your hotel, but make sure to double-check.
To actually explore the island, it’s easiest to get around on a scooter. You can rent one once you arrive on the island (boats arrive in the main tourist strip, Jungut Batu, and you can organise from there).
If you’re not comfortable driving a scooter, you can hitch a ride in a share car similar to Thailand’s tuk-tuks for quite cheap. Your boat operator will lead you to the pickup point (just down the street from the harbour) once your boat arrives. Expect to pay a couple dollars for a ride.
You can also just pay a local to drive you around on their scooter, which is what I did. I spent between $1-3 USD per ride.
Hope this post gave you guys some great ideas on what to do in Nusa Lembongan! Don’t forget to PIN this post if you liked, or drop a comment below 🙂
Cyprus Elpida says
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