18 Things to do on the Nusa Islands- Lembongan, Ceningan, Penida
Just off the coast of Bali lies the Nusa Islands, a place where people with an appetite for adventure will surely not be disappointed. With everything from cliff jumping, snorkeling with giant manta rays, to surfing and more, the Nusa Islands have something for everyone.
I have now been to the Nusa Islands three times in the last two years and have managed to see quite a bit. I have made this guide to ensure you find everything you’re looking for and maybe some things you weren’t! First, I will take you through how to get to the Nusa Islands, how to get around, where to stay, and then, of course, the best things to do on NUSA LEMBONGAN, NUSA CENINGAN, and NUSA PENIDA.
HOW TO GET TO NUSA LEMBONGAN- BALI
One thing that I love about Bali is how “tourist friendly” I guess you could say, it is. Whether that be booking a tour to go trekking, getting a sim card for your phone, or catching a ferry to the Nusa Islands, the tourism companies make it so simple.
Getting to the Nusa Islands is as easy as walking out of your accommodation, because it is usually more expensive there, and finding a tourism booth on any of the main streets. Here you can book any tour or attraction you wish including your ferry to the Nusa Islands. I highly recommend booking a ticket to Nusa Lembongan and from there you can explore the rest of the islands.
I recommend booking with ROCKY FAST CRUISE, I have used them every time and had no problems thus far. The ticket should cost around $35 USD return and the will include pick up and drop off at your hotel in Bali and in Nusa Lembongan. The ferry is leaving four times a day from Sanur, however, I recommend the early boat as it is about half a day trip from pick up to drop off, even though the ferry is only about 30 minutes. Once you arrive in Nusa Lembongan they will drop you off at your local accommodation.
Just a heads up if this is your first time hearing about the Nusa Islands or exploring the Nusa Islands, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are connected by the famous yellow bridge while Nusa Penida is only accessible by a boat transfer.
HOW TO GET TO NUSA PENIDA- BALI
Now that you have spent some time exploring Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, it is time to explore my favorite island of them all, Nusa Penida.
Getting to Nusa Penida quite simple and should cost around $7 USD there and back with hotel transfer. When we arrived on Nusa Lembongan we went out for a walk to find a restaurant and ended up renting motorbikes from the loveliest gentleman on the side of the street, we then ended up booking the transfer through him. Just walk down the street and you will find someone more than happy to arrange a transfer to Nusa Penida for you.
I have added a map below with the location of the Nusa Islands.
HOW TO GET AROUND ON THE NUSA ISLANDS
When it comes to Bali and the surrounding areas, the best option is going to be renting a motorbike. As I mentioned earlier we rented our motorbikes from a man literally just sitting on his motorbike on the side of the road. He offered and we, in fact, were out looking for rentals. We paid around $7 USD per day per motorbike on Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan and around $8 USD per day on Nusa Penida.
For a full guide read my blog post about RENTING A MOTORBIKE IN SE ASIA.
As far as driving goes, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are quite small and the roads are well maintained so getting anywhere is pretty painless. The roads on Nusa Penida however, are not as nice. They are bumpy and full of loose gravel and massive potholes. I think this deters some people and places can be less crowded because of it. Just be careful, someone in our group did get in a bit of an accident and was unable to adventure for the rest of the day.
If you are not a confident driver, I recommend hiring a driver for the day to take you around Nusa Penida, you surely don’t want to miss out on my TOP 6 THINGS TO DO IN NUSA PENIDA.
WHERE TO STAY ON THE NUSA ISLANDS
Depending on the amount of time you have will determine where you stay and for how long. I would recommend three full days for exploring Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan and one day to go SNORKELING WITH MANTA RAYS and then heading to Nusa Penida. Nusa Penida is massive so it does take some time to explore, three or four days should be enough to see all of the highlights.
As far as choosing between Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan, they are pretty similar and have similar housing. It really just depends on what accommodation you choose.
Nusa Penida is really large and all of the points of interest are pretty spread out so it depends on what you want to see.
I have included links below for the places I stayed while on the islands.
THE TAMARIND RESORT – A beautiful, luxurious resort with amazing acai bowls and pools everywhere! It also offered beautiful ocean views out of the infinity pool. Truly an amazing place to stay if it is in your budget.
SUKANUSA LUXURY HUTS – Now don’t let the name scare you, we paid around $35 USD per night for this stunning hut. Check the link for current pricing. Genuinely the friendliest staff and really cozy vibes with nice cold air conditioning. This is definitely the place to stay if you’re on a budget on Nusa Lembongan.
LE PIRATE BEACH CLUB – If you have been on Instagram lately you have probably seen these dreamy huts while scrolling through your feed. They offer movies under the stars and clean rooms and great food! A must if you are staying on Nusa Ceningan.
CEMARA BEACH HOMESTAY– An adorable little homestay on the beach with a fun, heart-shaped pool! This place offers a nice crepe-like pancake for brekkie and nice cold ac on a budget!
For those that don’t know a homestay just means the owners sleep on the property but it isn’t “in” their home if that makes sense. I always thought it was staying at someones house HA!
18 EPIC THINGS TO DO ON THE NUSA ISLANDS- BALI
1. GO CLIFF JUMPING AT MAHANA POINT– NUSA CENINGAN
This epic spot is an adrenaline junkies dream. There is a 10m jump for the ultra brave and a 5m jump for people like myself (not super brave). There is also a restaurant on the point if you’re keen to grab a bite to eat or Bintang.
2. GO SURFING AT MAHANA POINT– NUSA CENINGAN
That’s right, not only does Mahana Point offer some epic cliff jumping it also has some of the best waves on the Nusa Islands. You can rent a surfboard from Mahana Point Restaurant.
3. WATCH FOR SEA TURTLES AT THE BLUE LAGOON– NUSA CENINGAN
Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan is a beautiful lookout point and an Instagram must! With beautiful blue milky waters and lush green shrubbery, it makes for a picture perfect view. Also, watch for sea turtles bobbing their heads out, I have seen them every time I go!
4. RELAX AT SECRET BEACH– NUSA CENINGAN
This epic little beach is hidden right on the beach of VILLA TREVALLY, which can lead some people to believe that it is only for guests. I admit it, I thought this the first time. When you arrive, pull down in the driveway and you can park at the hotel. This beach has a nice clear bit to go for a swim and throw your hammock up between two perfect palm trees.
5. TAKE SOME PHOTOS AT THE YELLOW BRIDGE- NUSA LEMBONGAN
Connecting Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan is the famous yellow bridge. It has recently been rebuilt so the paint is nice and bright yellow. The contrast of the yellow bridge and vibrant blue water make for the most stunning photos. It is a very narrow bridge so just time it so you’re not causing traffic!
6. WATCH A MOVE AT JUNGUT BATU THEATER- NUSA LEMBONGAN
After a full day of exploring head to Jungut Batu Theater on Nusa Lembongan. They play new Hollywood movies and have some pretty decent, well-priced food. I watched Jurrasic World there and it was lovely! Be sure to get there a bit early as it gets super packed.
7. WATCH THE SUNSET AT DEVIL’S TEAR– NUSA LEMBONGAN
Devil’s Tear is the most epic spot on both Ceningan and Lembongan for sunset! It has a plethora of tide pools that reflect the all the beautiful oranges and pinks you get when the sun is setting. If the swell is large, when the spray comes up it will actually appear to glow of the sunset! We ended up getting a pretty calm sea that day and ended up doing some sunset cliff jumping. Read more about that HERE.
8. GO FOR A MORNING SWIM AT DREAM BEACH– NUSA LEMBONGAN
Dream Beach has gotten so busy over the last year I actually can’t believe it! It is still a stunning beach, however, and is the perfect place to go for a morning swim! It has an epic lookout point where you can really get a feel for how blue the waters are here.
9. GO SNORKELING WITH MANTA RAYS– NUSA LEMBONGAN
Going snorkeling with the manta rays was one of my highlights while in the Nusa Islands. These beautiful gentle giants are absolutely stunning as they dance in an underwater ballet. Be sure if you head out for a snorkel, not to touch them! Also, it is very important to get a reef safe sunscreen. We want to keep these beauties happy and healthy! Read more about this amazing experience and what to expect HERE.
10. VISIT ATUH BEACH FOR SUNRISE- NUSA PENIDA
This has got to be one of the most epic beaches I have ever seen. We arrived super early for sunrise and unfortunately, it was a bit of a grey sky but still stunning none the less. When the tide is high the beach is filled with cerulean blue waters. You can even enjoy a mie goreng right on the beach.
11. TAKE IN THE EPIC VIEWS AT BANAH CLIFF– NUSA PENIDA
Banah Cliff has got to be the most underrated viewpoint on the Nusa Islands. In every direction, you look there are amazingly clear blue waters and massive cliff faces. As we explored the coastline we even managed to spot a little turtle bobbing around.
12. FLOAT AT ANGEL’S BILLABONG– NUSA PENIDA
Angel’s Billabong is a stunning tidepool just around the corner from Broken Beach and Manta Point Lookout. This place at low tide can be a very relaxing, however, at high tide, this place can turn into a washing machine! Be sure to read the full post HERE to find the exact location and the best time to visit.
13. SIP ON COCONUTS AT BROKEN BEACH– NUSA PENIDA
Once you have had a dip at Angel’s Billabong be sure to head over to Broken Beach and grab a coconut and a photo of the most beautiful archway on Nusa Penida.
14. WATCH FOR MANTA RAYS AT MANTA POINT LOOKOUT- NUSA PENIDA
On the way from Angel’s Billabong to Broken Beach be sure to walk along the cliff side and keep your eyes out for mantas. This is the same spot we had snorkeling just a few days prior and swam with over five mantas! We then proceeded to see five more mantas from the cliff side. Pretty epic spot if you ask me!
15. GO FOR A SWIM AT KELINGKING SECRET POINT BEACH– NUSA PENIDA
Kelingking Secret Point Beach offers stunning blue waters and some massive shore break. If you’re a confident swimmer I highly recommend going for a dip at this stunning beach! The hike back up with have you dripping in sweat but it is so worth it.
16. ENJOY THE SUNSET AT KELINGKING SECRET POINT BEACH– NUSA PENIDA
After your refreshing swim down at the beach, it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy, as the sky turns beautiful shades of pink and orange. You are sure to get that beautiful shot even if the sunset is a dud, this place is truly incredible. Kelingking Beach is my favorite spot for sunset while on Nusa Penida.
17. VISIT PEGUYANGAN WATERFALL HIKE- NUSA PENIDA
Peguyangan Waterfall Hike is an absolutely beautiful, blue staired hike down the side of a cliff with fresh water pools tucked under the cliff at the end. Don’t get your hopes too high on the waterfall bit, but it is still an absolutely stunning place to visit and well worth the hike.
18. GO SNORKELING AT CRYSTAL BAY– NUSA PENIDA
Crystal Bay has some of the most beautiful, healthy reef structures I have ever seen. If you go snorkeling with the manta rays, chances are they will take you here. Otherwise, you can visit while you are on Nusa Penida and I highly recommend it!
For a full list of the gear I used to capture these images, check out the full blog post HERE.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the Nusa Islands and make planning your trip easier!
If you loved this guide be sure to save it and share it for later!