If you’re searching for a quieter, remote form of paradise in Bali, you need to jump on a boat and travel 30 minutes southeast to the three Nusa Islands. And if Lembongan is your main choice, this complete guide will tell you everything about the 8 unmissable things to do in Nusa Lembongan, Bali!
Nusa Penida is the biggest, Nusa Ceningan the smallest and Nusa Lembongan the most popular, but each is worth a visit in its own right. Luckily, it’s very easy to travel between all three.
Nusa Lembongan, known for its turquoise waters and soft white sand, sets the perfect island vibe. Even though it’s the most touristic of the three islands, it still has only a fraction of the crowds you find on the mainland and makes for the perfect island getaway.
By the way, if you’re looking for complete, in-depth guides for the other two islands, here they are:
- 11 Things to Do in Nusa Penida, Bali
- 8 Things to Do in Nusa Ceningan, Bali
And here’s a comparative guide on all 3 of them: Complete Guide to the Nusa Islands, Bali that includes all you need to know about how to get there, how to get around the islands, where to eat, where to sleep and more!
Before we get started, here’s a useful Nusa Lembongan map that showcases the location of this island:
Okay, now let’s find out about the most exciting things to do in Nusa Lembongan:
8 Best things to do in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
Nusa Lembongan island is a great spot to relax, unwind, sunbathe and swim. It is usually visited for one or two days, but if you want, there are enough things to do there for an entire week. Here’s my shortlist of what to do in Lembongan island:
1 - Visit the best beaches in Nusa Lembongan
One of the top things to do in Nusa Lembongan is to rent a scooter and beach hop your way around the island. With crystal clear waters and stretches of empty sand, you’ll be living the life of a Bali beach bum before you know it.
Although some of them have too much of a local vibe or are too remote to reach, I’d say that there are enough pristine white sand beaches in Nusa Lembongan to check out during your stay!
MY FAVOURITE BEACHES:
- Dream Beach Nusa Lembongan – probably the best beach on Nusa Lembongan for some relaxation with music, drinks and good food – or at least the most popular beach. You can either rent a lounger or lie on your towel on the sand for free – either way, you’ll surely be getting that incredible Bali tan!
- Mushroom Bay / Mushroom Beach – This relaxing spot on the western part of the island is one of the best places to go for good food on Nusa Lembongan. You’ll also find restaurants overlooking the water, cool beach bars and even SUP paddleboards for rent here. It’s true that it may get crowded at times but it’s part of its charm.
- Jungut Batu Beach / Jangutbatu Beach – this is the longest beach on the island and a good place to see the sunset too. Although it’s beautiful and nice, do keep in mind that Jangbatu Beach is, unfortunately, not a swimming beach.
- Sandy Bay Beach – okay, this is indeed a bay with golden sand, but it’s not really a beach, but a beach club. I’ll be talking more about it down below; for now, you just need to remember that it’s a bit pricey but it’s a great relaxation spot if you’re not on a budget.
FUN FACT: There are numerous swings (a famous Bali attraction, after all), on numerous Nusa Lembongan beaches such as Dream Beach, Sea Breeze and The Sand. Make sure to check them out for a little bit of fun and some stunning photos!
2 - Go to the beach clubs
Checking out a beach club is the second best thing to do in Nusa Lembongan after hitting the beaches. I mean… you’re already on the beach by now, right? A beach club is a perfect spot to drink a coffee or a cocktail or eat a delicious lunch while sitting in the shade and taking a break from the sun.
Given the popularity that Nusa Lembongan has acquired over the years, tons of beach clubs have started popping up on the shores of the island.
MY FAVOURITE BEACH CLUBS:
- Sandy Bay – See? I told you we’d get back to this one soon! As I mentioned above, Sandy Bay Beach Club is a bit on the expensive side, but it’s a great choice for an upscale experience with delicious food, yummy cocktails, an infinity pool and amazing decor. After all, it’s one of the most luxurious places on the island!
- Ohana’s – This gorgeous beach club also has beachfront accommodation and it’s a very good place to go for dinner with cocktails and a view of the gorgeous sunset.
- Ginger and Jamu – You’ll probably see this one recommended in multiple lists of good restaurants in Nusa Lembongan; it’s actually an affordable beach club where I definitely recommend going for lunch or dinner.
3 - Day trip to Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida
Visiting more than just one Nusa island is definitely a must-do while you’re here! In case you get bored on Lembongan, a day trip to either Nusa Ceningan island or Nusa Penida island is an excellent choice.
- Nusa Ceningan – this island is located between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida and it’s tiny but charming. In order to get there, you just need to cross the Yellow Bridge (this yellow suspension bridge is iconic and a MUST visit during your trip) with a scooter, bike or by walking. While you’re there, make sure to check out the Secret Beach (a gorgeous secluded beach), the Blue Lagoon and Mahana Point for some cliff jumping. More info: 8 Things to Do in Nusa Ceningan, Bali
- Nusa Penida – the biggest out of the three islands, this one can be reached on a 15-minute boat trip from Nusa Lembongan. There are MANY things to do there and I’ve covered them all in this article: 11 Things to Do in Nusa Penida, Bali.
4 - Snorkel or dive with manta rays
The most special activity you can do during your visit to the Nusa Islands is to snorkel or dive with manta rays and see the underwater world. These incredible, majestic creatures are found in the waters between Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida, along with sunfish and dolphins!
There are countless companies across all three islands offering both private and group tours. Some excellent spots for great Nusa Lembongan snorkeling are Manta Point, Crystal Point and Mangrove Point, where you can see living corals too! Most of these will require a short snorkel trip with a boat from the island to get to the exact location where it’ll be more likely to encounter some unique, colourful marine life. Prices for these boat services vary at around 20 US$ per person.
Personally, we booked with Bali Bucket List Tours that offer snorkeling in Nusa Lembongan with manta rays. Alternatively, you can also book tours through your accommodation – most of them offer this type of service and recommendations!
5 - See the sunset at Devil’s Tear or other viewpoints
Going to a viewpoint to admire the sea and the sunset is one of the best things to do in Nusa Lembongan at the end of the day! Here are my favourite spots:
Here’s the place where you’ll probably see the best sunset in Nusa Lembongan! This iconic cliffside viewpoint called ‘Devil’s Tears’ demonstrates just how powerful the sea can be. While the waves crash hard against the rocks, the underwater caves spray out mist when filled by the water. You can get there by scooter in around 10 minutes from anywhere on Lembongan and it is best to arrive around 5 PM for the best experience. Be careful, mind the splash zone and keep an eye out for dolphins as we heard that they can often be spotted.
TIP #1: This blowhole can be dangerous, so make sure you don’t get too close to the edge!
TIP #2: By the way, while you’re here, make sure to check out the rock Pools / Tidal Pools (a little bit to the right of Devil’s Tear) for an amazing sunset view.
Panorama Point is located between Jungut Batu Beach and Mushroom Bay and it’s a great spot to see the whole island from above and take some unforgettable pictures!
TIP: This place might be a bit hard to find; I recommend setting ‘Panorama restaurant’ as your destination on Google Maps in order to get there.
6 - Take a mangrove forest boat tour
Taking a mangrove boat tour is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Nusa Lembongan and you’ll find it in all articles on the web!
If you fancy a half-day trip, you can take a local boat tour of the Mangrove forest found on the northeast of the island. You’ll find tours offered on fishing boats (for around 50.000 / 3.50 USD, open to bargaining) or you can rent a canoe or paddle board if you’d rather go exploring the lush, dense mangrove forest solo – you’ll have fun either way!
By the way, you can also snorkel or dive while in the area!
7 - Check out the surf spots
Whether you’re already into surfing or you’re planning to give it a try, Nusa Lembongan has some amazing reef breaks, keeping the waves pretty consistent all year round.
Two good intermediate Nusa Lembongan surf spots are Playgrounds and Tamarind. And if you want to take some surfing lessons, I recommend going to Coconuts Beach!
8 - Do some yoga
Bali is a well-known spot for yoga – and Nusa Lembongan is, of course, no exception. If you’re up for a calming activity that implies some stretching, relaxation and meditation, you’ll feel right at home on this island.
Where to stay in Nusa Lembongan
Now that you know all about the best activities and things to see in Nusa Lembongan, let’s talk about where you’re going to stay during your time on the island.
Below you’ll find my top hand-picked hotels in Nusa Lembongan:
- Ohanas – You may remember that I mentioned this one among my list of cool beach clubs on Nusa Lembongan – well, they have a luxury resort as well! This boutique resort is a pricier option but located on the oceanfront, and with a social beach-club vibe, you have everything you need if you’re looking for a stay that provides it all. They have different types of rooms for all budgets – from one-bedroom suites to private villas. Truly a very nice hotel in Nusa Lembongan!
- The Acala Shri Sedana – A 4-star resort with amazing, beach-vibe rooms, located only 2km away from Mushroom Bay. They also have a great on-site restaurant and a free shuttle service that can take you around the island – perfect for those that don’t feel comfortable driving a scooter!
- Nusa Veranda Sunset Villas – In case you’re looking for villas in Nusa Lembongan, this one’s for you! This 3-star accommodation is perfect for those looking for stunning infinity pools, restaurants, bars and gorgeous rooms.
- Bucket List Bungalows – Cute and cosy bamboo bungalows with a private bathroom, located a few minutes from the beach, this is the best value stay you’ll find on the island – definitely recommended for budget backpackers! Each bungalow has a private garden decked out with cosy swings and hammocks to soak in the sun.
How to get to Nusa Lembongan
As I mentioned before, all three islands are easily accessible if you’re already in Bali – especially Nusa Lembongan!
The most popular departing point to the islands is Sanur Harbour in Bali. Basically, once you arrive at the harbour, then the rest is a breeze. The drive to the harbour takes 60-90min from Ubud or Uluwatu, 60min from Canggu and 40min from Seminyak.
There are plenty of companies that can take you from Bali to Nusa Lembongan. The most reputable companies are: Scoot, Marlin and Rocky. The majority of boats leave from Sanur Harbour (it’s the most convenient) but some (Rocky) leave from Serangan Pier.
TIP: Make sure to check with your accommodation on the island before you book. Often, they will include transportation in the cost of the stay or can help you to arrange the journey over.
Duration: 30 minutes
Ticket Price: 500.000 to 650.000 IDR (36 to 46 US$) for the roundtrip ride (including hotel pick up and drop off).
Schedule: there are normally 4 boats each day per company.
I have also found this very convenient fast boat to Nusa Lembongan that you can book in advance.
How to get around the island
Luckily, Nusa Lembongan is small and easy to zip around by motorbike, scooter or even a bicycle. You can also explore Nusa Lembongan by car if you would prefer, but you won’t be able to reach the 2 other islands with it (you can’t even cross the Yellow Bridge with a car, as it’s too narrow), which is why most tourists don’t choose this means of transportation.
All in all, the best idea would be to get around with a scooter. I would 100% recommend it! It’s a fun and easy way to explore the island and see the hidden and hard-to-reach places. The roads are much quieter than on mainland Bali and with less traffic, it feels much safer too.
The average price of a scooter rental is around 70,000 IDR (5 US$) per day. The easiest option is to rent one from your hotel if they offer this price or something similar. If not, as you arrive at the harbour there will be people waiting at the docks to rent scooters for around this price. If you choose to opt for renting a scooter from the pier, remember two things: you can bargain the price and no matter where you rent your scooter from, make sure to check the scooter’s condition before paying!
Where to eat on Nusa Lembongan
There are numerous good places to eat on Nusa Lembongan, but here are my favourite ones that I discovered during my trip:
- Ginger & Jamu – This is a beachside restaurant that serves smoothie bowls, brunch and some good local options too. A great, vibey place to come for breakfast or lunch.
- Bali Eco Deli – If you love fresh, healthy food, then Bali Eco Deli is definitely the place for you! You’ll find anything from colourful breakfasts, sweets, curries and salads here.
- The Deck – This is a restaurant with a cliffside dining terrace in front of the sea. The restaurant is pricier than other options (I guess because of its great location) but offers free pick-up from your hotel after 5 PM, making it an amazing choice for dinner or drinks during sunset hours.
- Kayu – A really good option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The food here is delicious. Personally, I loved the beef rendang tacos and the seared tuna poke bowl!
- Maria’s Boemboe Warung – if you’re looking for incredible local food cooked by a local lady, I urge you to go to this place. The fresh fish dishes are a must-try!
TIP: It may sound surprising, but it’s always a good idea to call ahead, as many places offer a free transport service to collect and drop you off at your hotel. Perfect if you want to enjoy a couple of drinks or don’t want to drive your scooter home in the dark!
My top Nusa Lembongan tips
Now that you know everything there is to do, see and eat here, let me give you some of my most precious bits of advice before you leave:
Come prepared with enough cash for your stay as the ATMs across the island are not always reliable. Some of the beach clubs and restaurants accept card payment, but it’s better to play it safe!
EXPECT A HIGHER PRICE TAG.
Island life comes with a higher price as everything has to be imported from mainland Bali. You can still find cheap warungs, but expect a general rise in prices, especially if you’re going to the beach clubs. It is what it is!
BRING SOME WET WIPES WITH YOU.
This advice is especially good if you’re riding a scooter on the islands. The roads can be dusty so it’s good to have these on hand so you don’t look like you belong in the cast of Mad Max in all your photos. For the same reason, it’s also good to carry a mask with you so you can cover your mouth and nose.
BRING A SCARF TOO.
Here’s a golden tip from someone that has driven lots of scooters in Bali (read: me!): leave a scarf to cover your scooter’s seat whenever you park. This way, the seat won’t be burning when you return to your scooter!
This was my complete list of unmissable things to do in Nusa Lembongan, together with my ultimate guide to the island! In the article above I have told you everything you need to know about what to do, where to eat, where to stay, how to get to and around the island and more! From simply laying on the beach to drinking cocktails at a beach bar, spending your time in the swimming pool, taking a snorkeling tour at Crystal Bay or admiring the sunset, I promise you that you’ll never get bored on the island!
Regardless of whether you’re going to spend one day or one week on Nusa Lembongan or if you want to visit Nusa Ceningan as well or not, you’ll find lots of tips and information that will help you organise your trip!