The Nusa islands off the coast of Bali in Indonesia are precisely what you’re on the lookout for if you would like the great thing about Balinese tradition however want it got here with out the crowds. Situated simply 30 minutes by boat from Bali’s Sanur, that is what individuals say Bali was like 30 years in the past.
There are three Nusa islands: Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida. Nusa Lembongan and is the closest to Bali and the most well-liked, adopted by the smallest; Ceningan, after which the most important and least standard; Penida.
Most individuals simply pop over to the Nusa islands for a day or two, and solely go to Penida as a day journey. I hope this information convinces you to reverse that, spending extra time on Penida and exploring this lovely, mystical island, the one one of many three that actually does really feel like a quieter Bali.
This journey will be accomplished in 4 days, although you possibly can simply develop it to cowl every week or a number of weeks.
That is the perfect Nusa Islands itinerary:
Nusa Lembongan is the place to begin to your Nusa islands journey. You possibly can both get there from Bali or Lombok. There is only one quick boat firm working out of Lombok’s Senggigi, Scoot, although there are extra choices from the Gili islands during which case the worth is extra negotiable.
If coming from Bali’s Sanur, You have got the next choices:
- A neighborhood gradual boat: This one leaves Sanur beginning at round 8am (although public boats in Indonesia have a tendency to only go away when full) and prices 60,000-100,000 Rupiah. The journey takes about an hour to 90 minutes and is the least snug and protected choice.
- Perama native boat: Leaves Sanur at 10:30 and prices 150ok Rupiah and likewise takes 90 minutes to an hour although on a barely bigger and extra snug boat.
- Quick boats: A quick boat with 4 day by day departures which incorporates pickup at your lodging, a safer and sooner boat, and a faster journey of about 30 minutes. The price is way increased, nonetheless, at 250k-300ok Rupiah. The primary choices are both Scoot or Rocky Fast Cruise. I went with Rocky, merely displaying up on the port 30 minutes earlier than departure and shopping for a ticket in individual, and was glad with the expertise. On the best way again, I used Scoot and may suggest them as properly.
If you happen to’re low on time, I recommend taking a quick boat and factoring it into the finances with a purpose to maximize your island time.
Day one: Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan
Since each Lembongan and Ceningan are so small, it’s fairly straightforward to drive round every one and energy by means of many of the sights in only a day. For ease, it would take advantage of sense to only keep on Lembongan, lease a motorcycle instantly from the port or your lodging, and trip round to see the next:
Driving to the highest of the island, you’ll ultimately come to the tip of the highway the place you’ll see indicators for mangrove excursions. I used to be provided one for 100ok which incorporates about an hour of cruising by means of the mangroves and a few snorkeling. I’d been by means of some mangroves in Raja Ampat prior so I took a move and droned over it as a substitute, however don’t be lazy like me, see the mangroves!
Subsequent I took a drive over the yellow bridge to Ceningan to keep away from the day vacationers on Lembongan and save the extra spectacular sights there for when the crowds had been thinner.
Upon crossing the bridge and turning proper, you’ll discover attractive, crystal clear water and several other seaside bars alongside the shore. This quirky bar, the Sand, is nice for lunch or a drink – full with paper straws as a substitute of plastic (yay!) and these hammocks over the water.
The Blue Lagoon
A few 10-minute drive, if that, from the Sand, you’ll see indicators for the Blue Lagoon in your left. The water at this lagoon is a shade of child blue I’d by no means seen earlier than, regardless of years of exploring the tropics. It’s arduous to consider till you see it with your personal eyes!
Mahana Level Cliff Soar
Simply throughout the best way from the Blue Lagoon you’ll see indicators for the Mahana Level restaurant and cliff leap. The restaurant has two jumps: a shorter one for 25ok or a better one for 50ok. It’s additionally the entry level for top-of-the-line surf spots on the island and beautiful views of Bali’s Mt. Agung.
Golden hour at Dream Seaside
Subsequent, drive again over the bridge to discover extra of Lembongan, turning left on the finish of the bridge in the direction of Dream Seaside. Dream Seaside is one among Lembongan’s most well-known sights which is why we’ve left it for later within the day when there are fewer individuals round. After seeing the great thing about Cengingan it was tougher to understand dream seaside to be trustworthy, but it surely’s nonetheless price seeing and hanging out if you would like an opportunity to put on the sand.
Sundown at Satan’s Tear and tide swimming pools
The Satan’s tear received its title because of the spray when the waves crash up towards the cliffs. It’s solely dazzling at golden hour if it’s excessive tide, although the tide swimming pools to the fitting of it are excellent for sundown no-matter what the tide.
Simply watch out across the cliff edges right here. The waves are unpredictable and may splash up at any time.
Sleep: I believed the worth, espresso, and hospitality at Kawan’s Inn was improbable. They lease scooters as properly!
Days two by means of three: Nusa Penida
Take an early AM yoga class at Yoga Shack on Lembongan, then pack up and prepare to move to Nusa Penida.
Day two will contain a while simply attending to Nusa Penida, which you are able to do both by taking a public ferry from the yellow bridge, which leaves when full and prices about 50,000 IDR per individual, or by heading to the mangroves to arrange a personal boat for 400,000 IDR. The latter is good as a result of it’s simpler to get dropped off at an space of your selection and also you don’t have to attend round for the boat to refill.
As soon as on Penida, rent a motorcycle for round 70,000 IDR per day.
The roads on Nusa Penida will be difficult in some locations. They’re steep and rocky and when you’ve by no means pushed a motorcycle earlier than you would possibly discover them a bit terrifying. It’s additionally doable to rent a driver and a automobile – simply ask at your guesthouse or on the port. Whereas exploring the island, it’s a good suggestion to put on sneakers as a substitute of flip flops. Nusa Penida is much more rugged and fewer developed (fortunately!) and has much more cliff edges and steep stairways. It’s all a part of the journey!
Choose your favorites of the next wonderful locations over the subsequent couple of days:
Kelingking viewpoint and seaside
Kelingking viewpoint is probably essentially the most photographed place in the entire Nusa Islands however for good purpose – it’s gorgeous! There’s a white sand seaside on the backside of the cliffs that’s excellent for exploration as properly, although it’s going to contain steep scrambling up and down rocks and steps to get there. If you happen to’re up for it, it’s price it, although!
Crystal Bay, Damaged Seaside, Angel’s Billabong
I’ve mixed these three sights on Nusa Penida since they’re shut collectively and all good to go to in both the early AM hours or later within the night after the day trippers from Penida have already headed again to Lembongan or Bali. Angel’s Billabong is a crystal clear pure pool, Damaged Seaside is a cliff lookout over a gap within the rock, and Crystal Bay is standard for its crystal clear blue water, although truthfully, you’ll find a much less crowded model within the following spots on Penida.
It is a steep one with 750 steps however the views are unimaginable and I cherished how secluded many of the expertise was, particularly heading there later within the afternoon for golden hour. There’s a temple on the backside of the cliff, although the ‘waterfall’ is extra of a present of the waves crashing into the cliffs. There’s a sacred vibe there that had me enchanted, and feeling that it was definitely worth the climb.
Snorkeling journeys to see the Manta rays and the statue backyard round Penida are on supply on every of the islands, however all of them come to the identical place – Manta Level on Nusa Penida. You’ll see indicators posted all around the Nusa islands promoting snorkeling journeys to Manta Level, or you possibly can head to the purpose your self and ask a neighborhood to take you out on his boat. For this, negotiate! All of it comes all the way down to how lengthy you wish to be on the boat for. The extra individuals you possibly can cut up with, the higher.
Day 4: Dawn on the treehouse on Penida
On your final evening, I like to recommend heading east to the treehouse for the perfect dawn view on the entire island and fairly a singular expertise.
To be utterly trustworthy, I’ve blended emotions in regards to the worth of the treehouse given how fundamental it was, however I nonetheless assume it’s price it for the unimaginable views and the expertise of staying there in a single day. If you happen to keep, remember to carry meals and water together with you. It’s a phenomenal and rustic expertise! You possibly can book it here ( and get $25 off here).
If you happen to’d quite have extra time on the home on the hill from evening two you possibly can nonetheless drive to Rumah Pohon for dawn, which is able to take about an hour, and go to the next seaside in your means again:
Heading east, this seaside additionally requires a steep climb down however you may get it nearly all to your self. There was sadly numerous trash after I visited, however the water hue is gorgeous and the sand is white.
From there, make a pitstop both exit. Temple earlier than Turning the bike in taking a ship down for Limbaugh and gone after which on phrases to both Bali or Lombok.
Goa Giri Putri Cave Temple
This cave temple is a fairly cool cultural expertise whereas on the island. To go inside, don a sarong and climb up a number of stairs (in fact!), get a blessing with water in your brow, then climb contained in the cave. There are sometimes ceremonies happening inside with locals all carrying white, together with some bats flying round, and chanting.
For extra rationalization of every of those locations, you possibly can learn my full Nusa Penida guide here.
From there you possibly can head again to the port space the place you took the boat in from Lembongan initially. There you possibly can both rent a personal boat or take the general public ferry again to the yellow bridge, which is what I did. Scoot and Rocky will each decide you up from the car parking zone close to the yellow bridge when you organize it with them beforehand to take you again to Bali.
Once more, when you may give this complete itinerary extra time you’ll be glad you probably did. I spent about six days on the Nusa Islands however left feeling like I might have spent a complete lot extra on Nusa Penida. It really did really feel to me like precisely what I believe most individuals are hoping for once they go to Bali – a mystical, jungly expertise with lovely seashores and dreamy temples.