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Nusa Lembongan

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Dream Beach on Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan is a small island off the southeast coast of the main island of Bali. Fast becoming one of Bali's most popular attractions, this island paradise is a world away from the hassle and hectic pace of South Bali. Neither hawkers nor traffic mar the magnificent scenery; this is a fine place to just put your feet up and relax. Main activities include surfing, diving and snorkeling. The water is some of the clearest you will find anywhere, and a vivid aqua blue in colour.

Understand

Nusa Lembongan is approximately eight square kilometres in size, and is one of three neighbouring islands, the others being much larger Nusa Penida and tiny Nusa Ceningan (also covered by this article). The three islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait. Some visitors may find Nusa Lembongan a little slow after the pace of South Bali.

Many areas around the island are good for diving and snorkeling, with abundant marine life and healthly coral. Surfing can get a bit crowded, but the waves are good. There are several white sand beaches away from the main centres which are virtually never crowded. There is a flourishing and well established seaweed farming industry here, and many visitors find it interesting to learn about this.

Southeast Nusa Lembongan with the hills of Nusa Penida in the background

Orientation

Two main beach areas have traditionally attracted visitors. Jungut Batu in the northwest is the bigger of the two, and has myriad hotels and cheap eateries. This is the area which traditionally attracted backpackers and surfers to the island. The white sand beach here is pleasant enough but nothing to get too excited about, and it is a little narrow in places. In more recent times, the hillside to the south of Jungut Batu known as the Bukit (the hill) has been developed and has attracted higher level hotels. The views from the Bukit are perhaps second to none on Nusa Lembongan. Sunsets are best viewed along the main Jungut Batu beachfront.

Mushroom Bay to the southwest of Jungut Batu is a quaint, attractive and sheltered bay. It is an especially nice spot after 3PM when the day trippers have returned to Bali, and it has a great white sandy beach, along with some cozy little water-side restaurants.

Further south, the lesser known beaches either side of the Devil's Tear outcrop, known as Dream Beach and Sunset Beach, are increasingly drawing more visitors. The coastal landscape in this part of the island is mostly low-lying limestone cliffs, and there are some dramatic cave formations.

The north end of the island is fringed by a mangrove forest, and the eastern side of the island is separated from neighbouring Nusa Ceningan by a shallow estuarine channel.

The main population centre of the island is Lembongan Village in the southern interior, and it is here that you will find the homes of most traditional island families.

Climate

The climate of Nusa Lembongan is similar to neighbouring 'mainland' Bali, but it is noticeably drier here, particularly in the period of May to September. If there is a time to avoid, it would be the height of the rainy season in January and February.

Culture

The local Lembonganese are Hindu and visitors will notice little or no difference from the prevailing culture on the Bali mainland.

Talk

Balinese is the most common language of communication between local residents, with Bahasa Indonesia a close second. English is widely understood and spoken.

Get in

Map of Nusa Lembongan

The only realistic way (although you can charter a helicopter [1]) to reach Nusa Lembongan from Bali is by boat. There are several options according to budget and speed. Most of the scheduled services leave from Sanur Beach at the end of Jalan Hangtuah, and involve getting your feet wet. The exact departure and arrival point on this beach depends on the tide. Other services run from Benoa Harbour, and there are local public boat services to and from Padang Bai and Kusamba in East Bali, but these are not recommended for reasons of safety and comfort.

From Sanur Beach

  • Lembongan Island Fast Boat, +62 361 7432344. Departs Sanur daily at 12:30PM, 2:30PM and 4PM. Departs Nusa Lembongan at 10:30AM, 1PM and 3PM. Crossing takes about 30 minutes and special charters can be arranged. Rp 200,000 per person one way, add another Rp 25,000 for a pick-up from Kuta, Legian, Seminyak or Sanur (with a minimum of 2 persons).
  • Perama, [2]. A local transfers-only operator for the budget traveler. Boat departures daily at 10:30AM. The ride across is approximately 90 minutes and there is no same day return option. The Sanur office of Perama can be found at Warung Pojok in Jalan Hangtuah. Daily Perama buses depart from here to Ubud, Kuta, the airport, Padang Bai (for Lombok) and Amed. Rp 100,000 per person one way.
  • Public Boat (slow), +62 361 7432344. Departs daily from Sanur beach at 8AM and 10:30AM in front of the Ananda Hotel or near the Grand Inna Bali Beach Hotel (depending on tide). These boats can be a bit sketchy at times, and are usually very crowded. No same day return facility. The ride across is approximately 90 minutes. Offers complimentary pick up from hotels in Kuta, Seminyak, Legian and Sanur. Other areas subject to charge. Rp 80,000-130,000 per person one way.
  • Scoot Cruise, +62 361 285522, [3]. Operates fast boats from Sanur Beach which take you to Jungut Batu. Hotel transfers are included. The tickets can be bought from the Scoot office next to Dunkin' Donuts in Jalan Hangtuah opposite the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel, or on the beach near the departure point. Crossing takes 30-40 minutes. Departs Sanur 9:30AM, 1:30PM and 4PM. Departs Nusa Lembongan 8:30AM, 11:30AM and 3PM. One way fare US$27 and return US$45, including hotel pick up.
  • Tamarind Jaya Express, +62 361 8572572, [4]. Speed boat service to and from Mushroom Bay taking 30-45 minutes from Sanur Beach near Grand Bali Beach Hotel. Scheduled departure from Sanur Beach at 11:30 AM and 3:30PM and departure from Mushroom Bay at 10AM and 2PM. Also offers day cruises. One way fare US$27 and return US$45, including hotel pick up.
  • The Tanis Lembongan Express, +62 361 7432344, [5]. Speed boat service to and from Mushroom Bay taking 25-35 minutes from Sanur Beach near Grand Bali Beach Hotel. Departure from Sanur Beach at noon and 4PM and departure from Mushroom Bay on Nusa Lembongan at 10:30AM and 3PM. Also offers surf safaris, day cruises and special charters to and from Padang Bai for Rp 900,000 one way. One way fare US$27 and return US$45, including hotel pick up.

From Benoa Harbour

  • BlueWater Safaris, +62 361 723479, [6]. BlueWater Safaris has a high speed boat service from Bali International Marina at Benoa Harbour direct to Nusa Lembongan. This service continues on to the Gili islands in Lombok, allowing visitors to island hop all the way from Bali to Lombok. The boats are high-powered, large capacity speed boats which cover the distance in less than 30 minutes in normal sea conditions. Departure time is 10AM from Bali to Lembongan, 11AM from Lembongan to Gili, 1:30PM from Gili to Lembongan, then 3:30PM from Lembongan to Bali. One-way fare Rp 325,000 and return fare Rp 550,000. Hotel transfer for most areas in South Bali is included.
  • Bounty Cruises, +62 361 443765, [7]. A high speed catamaran service which departs daily from Benoa Harbour at 9AM and from Nusa Lembongan at 3:15PM. If you have limited time, an option is to take a one day cruise to the Nusa Lembongan Bounty pontoon. On a twin-hull boat under sail you will reach the island within 90 minutes. Drinks and snacks are available on board. The trip includes water activities centred on the pontoon: banana boat, water slide, kayaking, snorkeling and glass bottom boat ride. You can take part in a Nusa Lembongan Village tour and visit a seaweed plantation and the Underground House. Transfer only prices: US$35 one-way and US$70 return. One day cruise is US$95, buffet lunch included.
  • Island Explorer Cruises, +62 361 728088, [8]. Offers transfer only by fast boat or by fast catamaran and a day cruise by a leisurely sailing yacht or by fast catamaran ("fun ship"). The fast boat (transfer only) departs from Benoa Harbour at 10:30 AM en returns from Nusa Lembongan at 12:30PM. The yacht (day cruise) departs from Benoa Harbour at 9AM and will be back at about 5PM. Transfer only by fast boat US$23 one-way and US$40 return (hotel pick up included) or by fast catamaran US$20 one-way and US$35 return (hotel pick up excluded). Price for the day cruise is US$69 by yacht or US$79 by fast catamaran, including hotel pick up, buffet lunch & water sport activities.

From Nusa Penida

Neighbouring Nusa Penida is seldom visited, and almost always from Nusa Lembongan. It is though relatively straightforward to get between the islands.

  • Public boats depart daily from Toyapakeh and sometimes Buyuk Harbour, both in northern Nusa Penida. Departure times are a bit of moveable feast. Ask around at the time, but about 6AM is a fairly reliable slot. They run to either Jungut Batu or the the estuary bank near the suspension bridge on Nusa Lembongan, depending on tide. These can be very over-crowded and a little worrying at times. As a visitor, expect to pay about Rp 50,000 each way.
  • Charter boats are available, departing from and arriving at the same areas as public boats. Rates vary greatly but expect to pay Rp 300,000-500,000.

Get around

The cliffs of southwest Nusa Lembongan make for excellent walking

By foot

Nusa Lembongan is a nice place to walk, with coastal paths linking nearly all the guest houses, hotels and restaurants. Most walks will take less than two hours. The less developed southwestern area of the island has some spectacular coast paths which provide easy walking, great views back to Bali, and spectacular sunsets. You can cross by foot to the small neighbouring island of Nusa Ceningan via a scenic suspension bridge.

By bike

Bicycles can be rented at most hotels and guest-houses, and the mainly flat roads are quite well surfaced. This is great way to see the island at your own pace. Expect to pay about Rp 20,000-30,000 per day.

By motorbike

Motorbikes are also widely available for rent, but may be unnecessary given the short distances involved — the island is only about four km end-to-end. Expect to pay Rp 60,000-100,000 per day, depending on how busy it is.

By truck

There are virtually no cars on Nusa Lembongan, and any business or local resident wishing to bring one to the island needs special permission from the village elders. This will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Local four-wheeled transport is available though in the form of basic pick-up trucks which most hotels and restaurants use. These are useful for transport to and from the boat transfer point when you are likely to have heavy bags, but otherwise not really necessary.

See

Crashing waves at Devil's Tear

The attractions here are mostly natural. The beaches and other coastal landscapes are obviously a key draw, as are the sunsets. There are a limited number of man-made attractions, most notably temples and the rickety suspension bridge.

Beaches

  • Dream Beach. A wonderful secluded beach with powdery, white sand, located on the south coast. From the main accommodation areas on the west coast, head southeast towards Lembongan Village where you should turn west, and then look for the signposted small track leading south to Dream Beach. There is a cafe attached to the single resort here, and this makes Dream Beach a great place to spend the whole day doign nothing. Be very careful though about entering the water here as the rips can be fierce. Only the strongest swimmers should consider this and even then, avoid the eastern end of the beach.
  • Sunset Beach, (adjacent to Devil's Tear). A small but spectacular beach with white sand and crashing waves, located just to the north of Dream Beach, and easiest reached via the same route. There is a small beachfront cafe here which should encourage visitors to spend the day. At low tide a dramatic cave is exposed in the low limestone cliff at the eastern side of the bay. Approach carefully and make sure you are not cut off from the beach by a rising tide. All-in-all, this is a delightful spot which is as laid back as anywhere in the whole of Bali.
  • Tamarind Beach, (between Playgrounds surf break and Mushroom Bay). Good views back to Bali, and of Mount Agung especially.

Other

Nusa Lembongan is famous for spectacular sunsets
  • Devil's Tear. A rocky outcrop on the south western coast. Spectacular crashing waves and water plumes. Easily found by walking either a few minutes north from Dream Beach or south from Sunset Beach.
  • Mangrove Forest, (continue north on the only west coast road from Jungut Batu until you reach the mangroves). Northern Nusa Lembongan has an extensive forest of mature mangroves which can be explored in a jukung outrigger boat.
  • Puncak Sari Temple, Lembongan Village (just north of Lembongan Village on the main route back to Jungut Batu). The largest and grandest Hindu temple on the island. Good views over the straits back to Bali from this area.
  • Seaweed Farms, (make your way to the shoreline anywhere in the southeast quarter of the island and just observe). Seaweed farming takes place in many parts of the island, but the most accessible farms are on the southern side of Lembongan Village. Most of the seaweed grown here is destined for the Asian cosmetics industry.
Touches of Robinson Crusoe at Dream Beach
  • Sunsets. One thing not to miss on Nusa Lembongan. The Sunset over Bali is awe-inspiring, and can be viewed from any west facing part of the island, but the beach at Jungut Batu is especially popular. A more rural alternative is to go over the bridge to Nusa Ceningan and view the sunset from one of the west-facing high ridges. Being just a few degrees south of the equator, sunset times do not vary much throughout the year here. Look to be in place between 5:30PM and 6PM.
  • Suspension Bridge, (go through Lembongan Village heading west, sticking on the main road until you hit the estuarine channel). This quirky yellow suspension bridge should not be missed by any visitor. You can walk or bike across the bridge to neighbouring Nusa Ceningan. The noise it makes can be quite scary, and contributes to what is an all-round Indiana Jones-type experience. The bridge is safe though, and there are many thousands of incident-free crossings every year. Free.

Nusa Ceningan

Nusa Ceningan is the tiny island between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, which is easily reached via the suspension bridge on foot or by bicycle/motorbike. There is a notable surf break off Nusa Ceningan which attracts some surfers away from the more crowded breaks on Nusa Lembongan. Otherwise the island offers some scenic roads and paths, and the westward views back over Nusa Lembongan to Bali are impressive. Viewing the sunset over Bali from the central Ceningan ridge is very much worth the effort. The estuarine channel between Lembongan and Ceningan is home to many seaweed farms.

Very few visitors choose to stay on Nusa Ceningan, but a small bungalow complex opened in 2009, and more accommodation options are in the pipeline.

Do

Activities are very much water-based, with surfing and scuba diving being especially notable.

Surfing

Nusa Lembongan was first opened up as a tourist destination by surfers, and it has long been an established part of the Bali surf circuit [9]. Surfing here is not for beginners and can present dangers even for the most experienced.

There are three main breaks, all off the top half of the west coast, with another less well known just to the southwest off Nusa Ceningan. Playgrounds, Lacerations and Shipwrecks are all close offshore and reached via an energetic paddle from the beach, or in a more leisurely fashion, by a local boat which can be chartered from the nearest beach.

Although surfable all year round, waves are best when winds are in the southeast quarter, normally from April to September/October.

There is a thriving surf scene in Jungut Batu. When compared to its tiny population, Nusa Lembongan has produced a remarkable number of international competition-quality surfers. Any keen surfer will certainly not be short of company here.

Scuba Diving

Oceanic sunfish in the waters off Nusa Lembongan

Diving is of excellent quality in the crystal clear waters around the island. A number of reputable dive shops are present, and this is a notable teaching destination. Many hundreds of visitors have learned to dive here.

For more experienced divers, the most interesting sites are off neighbouring Nusa Penida. There are some challenging drift dives here, large manta rays can be seen all year round, and spectacular, massive oceanic sunfish (mola-mola) in season (July to October). Whale sharks are far from regular, but the odd migrant is seen. All operators offer scheduled trips to the prime Nusa Penida dive sites.

Prices vary little from shop to shop. Course fees run from about US$60 for a half day Discover Scuba introduction, to US$395 for PADI Open Water certification. A fun dive will cost approximately US$45, with discounts offered for multiple dives. Dive shops have variable opening hours according to seasonal demand. Night dives are widely offered and offer a fantastic underwater experience.

  • Bali Diving Academy Lembongan, Jungut Batu (at Bungalo No7), +62 361 270252 (), [10]. A PADI 5 Star Dive Resort head-quartered in Sanur but with a permanent presence on Nusa Lembongan.
  • Big Fish Diving, Jungut Batu, +62 813 53136861 (), [12]. Offers daily diving, PADI courses and manta/mola specials.
  • World Diving, Jungut Batu (at Pondok Baruna), +62 812 3900686 (), [13]. The island's first full PADI 5 Star Dive Centre. All courses are offered from Discover Scuba through to Assistant Instructor. This is the only dive shop in Nusa Lembongan with a purpose built training pool.

Snorkeling

Healthy reef-life in clear waters off Nusa Lembongan

Non-divers should not feel left out, as good snorkeling is available close inshore at various spots around the island. Perhaps the two best areas are Mushroom Bay on the west coast, and the mangroves on the northern tip. Equipment can be hired from your hotel or on the beach, and depending on the quality of the gear, you should expect to pay Rp 20,000-50,000 for renting a mask, snorkel and set of fins. If you fancy getting further offshore, dive shops may sell you a snorkeling space on a scheduled dive boat, subject to availability.

Other water sports

Families with children will not be short of options. The full gamut of typical resort-type, mechanised water sports are available, including jet-skis, para-sailing, wake-boarding and banana boats. Those who care a little about the environment may be keener to patronise the sea kayaking option. Your hotel will be able to assist with booking any of these activities. Alternatively, just head down to the beach at either Mushroom Bay or Jungut Batu, and figure it out for yourself. Costs range from about Rp 150,000 for a single banana boat ride, to Rp 300,000 for a whizz around on a jet-ski.

Walking

This is an excellent island for walking and keen visitors should not hesitate to just head off and explore the myriad tracks that criss-cross the island.

Walking itinerary

The low cliffs in the south offer some splendid coastal walking routes. Perhaps the best of them starts at Dream Beach, from where you should take the obvious footpath north over the Devil's Tear outcrop, pausing to see some of the most dramatic wave formations anywhere around the island. The crashing plumes are sometimes huge here, so be prepared to get wet! Continue northwards to Sunset Beach and explore the cove. If you time your arrival for low tide, the cave at the eastern end of the beach may be accessible.

From the far side of Sunset Warung, follow the footpath leading northwest up the hill always keeping the private villas to your left, until you again hit the cliff line. From here you will see right across the Badung Strait to Bali. Follow the cliff path northwards and then around to the east, all the time pausing to appreciate the dramatic coastal formations. Birdwatchers should lookout for flashes of turquoise and white, as spectacular sacred kingfishers are common in this area, and offshore it is worth keeping an eye out for huge frigatebirds. Keep following this path eastwards, and you will drop down into Mushroom Bay where the suggested walk ends and refreshments are available.

Spa facilities

  • Alam Nusa Spa, Mushroom Bay, +62 813 38377482. 10AM-9PM. Offers Balinese massage and many kinds of treatments. From about Rp 100,000.
  • Lulur Spa, Jungut Batu (at Batu Karang Resort), +62 366 24880. 10AM-8PM. Complete spa with rooms for facials, massages, pedicure, manicure and hair treatments. Local products are used as well as some imported from Australia. Each room is set with ambient music and air-conditioned. Changing rooms with clean treated hot water, and a relaxation room are provided. From about Rp 200,000.

Buy

There are no ATMs here and visitors should bring enough cash with them. Money changing facilities are available at hotels, but the rate given is always unfavourable, so don't bring just cash, but rupiah. If you do run out of cash, a same day return ATM run to Sanur is possible. Alternatively, some hotels will do a cash advance on your credit card for a fee of 8%-10%.

Small shops are widespread, and they are geared towards basic visitor requirements, stocking sun-block, cheap knock-off boardshorts and hats, as well as the usual range of snacks, beer, soft drinks and cigarettes. Do not though expect anything too sophisticated. There is little in the way of souvenir type shopping on the island, and there is nothing of this nature which would not be better purchased on the Bali mainland.

Eat

Virtually any place you stay on Nusa Lembongan will have a cafe or restaurant attached to it. These can be of hugely variable quality. There are a few good local warungs to choose from, but by-and-large there are just not many decent independent restaurants on Nusa Lembongan, and many visitors just stick to eating at their hotel. Fish is naturally a great option as it is all caught locally. Red snapper (kakap merah) is especially good here, as are the large shrimps (udang).

Traditional jukung outrigger in the mangroves
  • Ketut Warung, Jungut Batu (behind Mainski Lembongan Resort). About 11AM-9PM. One of the best local warungs on the island, great atmosphere, huge plates, good Indonesian and Thai food at really cheap prices. The owners, the Ketut Malom family, are friendly hosts. Highly recommended to those travelling on a budget. Rp 20,000-30,000 per head.
  • Mangrove Restaurant. About noon-9PM. A splendid restaurant designed with a real Robinson Crusoe ethic, located at the eastern end of the only spit of land that runs through the northern mangrove forest. From Jungut Batu, take the beach road north and turn into the mangroves (possible by motorcycle or of course on foot). Just keep going for about 1.5 km and you will find the restaurant. Alternatively, arrive by boat - any boat captain will know the way. Good quality food with local Indonesian and some well-prepared European options. Rp 50,000-80,000 per head.
  • Warung Sunset, Sunset Beach, +62 812 3621633 (). 8AM-9PM. A local beach-side restaurant with very nice views. Serves beers, cocktails, fresh juices and local food, including grilled jacket fish. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes offers a special beach BBQ. They can help with free transport: motor bike pick up and drop off or a free truck ride for more than 5 persons. Rp 20,000-30,000 per head.

Drink

As with restaurants, there are few independent drinking establishments. Most cafes and restaurants attached to hotels also double as bars.

  • Cafe Bali, Mushroom Bay (eastern end of the bay). Usually 9AM-9PM. A great place to have a beer and watch the clear sea and stunning view back to Bali. This is also one of the better restaurants on the island.
  • Scooby Doo Beach Bar, Jungut Batu (on the waterfront). Variable hours, but often busy 6PM-10PM. Beach-side bar which is especially popular with the Australian surfing crowd. Expect very cold beers, lots of chat about waves and sport on the television.

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under Rp 250,000
Mid-range Rp 250,000-1,000,000
Splurge Over Rp 1,000,000

There is a broad range of accommodation, with options to suit almost any budget. Most budget accommodations can be found at Jungut Batu, while more up market accommodation is further south, around Mushroom Bay. Traditionally, budget guest houses aimed at young surfers and back-packers dominated, but that changed in recent years as more and more well-heeled visitors discovered the island. Some of the older budget options are very tired indeed, and visitors should bear that in mind when assessing where to stay.

Check-in and check-out times are something of a movable feast at most hotels. It is safe to assume a time of about 1PM for checkin and about 11AM for checkout, unless specifically stated otherwise.

There are no formal campsites on the island but travellers do sometimes pitch tents. A small donation to the local community is recommended.

Budget

  • Bungalo No7, Jungut Batu, +62 813 37050030 (), [14]. Clean fan-cooled rooms around a garden right on the beach. Rp 70,000 to 150,000.
  • Jenny's Bed & Breakfast, Nusa Ceningan, +62 812 36277650 (). Bungalows at the remote southwestern tip of Nusa Ceningan which opened in mid 2009. Clean rooms and breakfast is served right at the beach. Motorbike rental available. Friendly American manager and local guidance. They can arrange pick up from Jungut Batu on Nusa Lembongan. This is the only formal accommodation on Nusa Ceningan. Rp 200,000.
  • Ketut Losmen Bungalow, Jungut Batu, +62 813 37846555 (), [15]. A family-run complex of 12 bungalows with a small swimming pool overlooking the beach. All bungalows have fan, double bed, writing desk and ensuite bathroom with hot shower. The better bungalows are a little bit further from the beach. Basic rooms with fan Rp 125,000 and more up-market bungalows with air-conditioning Rp 350,000.
  • Linda Bungalows, Jungut Batu, +62 812 3600867 (), [16]. Two-level bungalows. Rooms are clean with nice views of Shipwrecks surf break. Cold saltwater showers, deck chairs and balcony seating, fresh linen and towels. Restaurant is notably good for a budget establishment with decent pure beef burgers, daily specials, big cheap pancakes and American breakfast. From Rp 85,000.
  • Lembongan Beach Retreat Bungalows, Jungut Batu, +62 878 61313468 (), [17]. Six bungalows situated on the Jungut Batu beachfront in front of Shipwrecks surf break. Close to the waterfront cafes & bars. Clean rooms, all with ceiling fan and refrigerator, nice bathrooms with vanity and mirror, western toilets and shower. Gardens with coral-edged paths. Balinese cooking classes and yoga classes can be arranged on request. Australian owned and operated. Rp 200,000-300,000.
  • Pondok Baruna Guesthouse, Jungut Batu, +62 812 3900686 (), [18]. All guesthouse rooms are doubles or twins furnished with classic bamboo furniture and traditional Balinese carvings. The bathrooms are all en-suite and western style. In 2009 six new garden bungalows were completed adjacent to the pool. Baruna's restaurant serves a selection of home-cooked, traditional Balinese and Javanese dishes, with daily specials. There is a purpose-built dive swimming pool in the new garden complex and this is available to all guests. Rp 130,000 for a double room, Rp 95,000 for a twin room. New air-conditioned garden bungalows with hot showers Rp 400,000. All prices include a set breakfast.
  • Secret Garden Bungalows, Jungut Batu (behind Baruna & Scooby Doo, beside the black temple about halfway between Shipwrecks & Playgrounds surf breaks), +62 813 53136861 (), [19]. Budget accommodation in a tropical garden, only 50m from the beach. The nine fan-cooled double/twin rooms are clean and spacious with semi-outdoor bathrooms. Facilities include book exchange and tourist info, outdoor shower for surfers and a sofa area for relaxation. Can arrange diving & snorkeling. About Rp 80,000.
The aqua coloured waters of Mushroom Bay

Mid-range

  • Coconuts Beach Resort, Jungut Batu, +62 361 728088 (), [20]. A well-established traditional ocean front resort with air-conditioned or fan-cooled cottages, en-suite bathrooms, hot water, two pools, restaurant, bar, internet and satelite TV. All cottages have views of the surf breaks and Mount Agung on Bali. Fan-cooled cottages US$78 and air-conditioned US$98.
  • Dream Beach Huts, Dream Beach, +62 361 7432344 or +62 813 38737344 (), [21]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. A secluded bungalow complex right on the beach front at Dream Beach. The atmosphere and style here is very Robinson Crusoe. The thatched roof huts have balconies with views of the ocean and spectacular sunsets. Facilities include lounge chairs and hammocks on the beach, laundry service, pool table, cafe, bar & restaurant, mini library, mosquito nets, open air private bathrooms, king size beds, Balinese massage and extra pillows on request. Individual huts US$75 and family huts US$125, continental breakfast included.
  • Lumbung Bali Huts, Mushroom Bay, +62 813 37536464. Traditional grass-roofed huts right on the Mushroom Bay beach-front. Room rate includes breakfast, snorkeling (for stays of more than 3 nights) and sea kayak activities. US$60.
  • Mainski Lembongan Resort, Jungut Batu Beach, +62 361 9237322 or +62 8155 828 9123 (, fax: +6236624481), [22]. checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 10AM. Renovated & upgraded in 2009, this long- established complex features a wide range of rooms, infinity edge swimming pool right on the beach, poolside sun lounges, trendy beachfront bar & restaurant, games area with pool table & table tennis and WiFi internet. The restaurant features an Australian Chef and offers a quality International a-la-carte menu, pizzas,etc and Aussie-style BBQ with steaks, seafood, etc every night. Standard fan-cooled room US$28, deluxe fan-cooled room US$35, deluxe air-conditioned room US$45, luxury suite with fan US$75, 3 bedroom villa US$140. All including continental breakfast.
  • Mushroom Bay Bungalows, Mushroom Bay, +62 811 3808011 (), [23]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Cottages overlooking Mushroom Bay with open air cold showers and mosquito nets. Air-conditioned and fan-cooled rooms available. Other facilities include a swimming pool with sunloungers, massage room, BBQ dinners on the beach and a free daily breakfast. From US$55.
  • Nanuks Bungalows, Tamarind Beach (between Playgrounds surf break and Mushroom Bay), +62 878 61323761 or +62 828 97006977 (), [24]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Bungalows are two storey wooden houses built in a Balinese style. Double and twin rooms with attached bathroom, bathroom amenities, mosquito net, ceiling fan and balcony. Facilities include swimming pool and bar & restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Laundry and massage on request and can arrange motorbike rental. US$65.
  • Playgrounds Resort, Jungut Batu, +62 366 24524 (), [25]. A wide range of accommodation from fan-cooled rooms to private self-contained luxury villas with air-conditioning. Nice views over the bay. Double rooms with air-conditioning AU$85 and fan-cooled AU$75. Family rooms AU$100 and villas AU$100-170.
  • Rickey Villas, Selegimpak Beach, northeast of Mushroom Bay and close to Playgrounds and Shipwrecks surf breaks, +62 878 61323761 (), [26]. checkin: 1PM; checkout: noon. Small beach-side hotel that offers one bedroom cottages, and a useful two bedroom family option. All bathrooms have hot water. Have their own bar and restaurant and umbrellas for customer use on the beach. Nice views across the strait to Mount Agung. All rooms with ceiling fans but no airconditioning. US$60-120.
  • Tamarind Beach Bungalows, Tamarind Beach (between Playgrounds surf break and Mushroom Bay), +62 361 8572572 (), [27]. Balinese style bungalows with double bed, ceiling fan, mosquito nets, towels, private bath room, toilet, cold water shower and bath tub. Facilities: children's and adult swimming pool, mini library and BBQ on request. Bar & restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Standard rooms with fan US$40 and large rooms with fan US$50 per night. Continental breakfast included in the rate.
  • The Tanis Villas, Mushroom Bay, +62 361 7432344 (), [28]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Cottages overlooking Mushroom Bay with open air cold showers and mosquito nets. Air-conditioned and fan- cooled rooms available. Other facilities include a swimming pool with sun loungers, massage room, table tennis, TV room with international channels and internet access. BBQ dinners on the beach and a free daily breakfast. Because the owner is a doctor, the resort offers a 24 hour free medical consulting service. From US$50.
  • Villa Atas Nusa Lembongan, Tamarind Beach, (), [29]. A fully self-contained single villa which has on the upper level two kingsize bedrooms with bathrooms and an open living area. Sleeps four plus a day-bed in the living area. On the ground level there is an air-conditioned king bedroom, indoor/outdoor living with an open lounge that borders the plunge pool and an outdoor dining area that steps down to the garden. Sleeps two plus two daybeds. Solar hot water system and CD player on both levels. Overlooks all three main surfbreaks. From US$96.
  • Ware Ware Surf Bungalows, Mushroom Bay, +62 361 8070181, [30]. Eight standard rooms and one family room. All have a bathroom with cold shower, and a private terrace/balcony. Nicely furnished with antique wooden beds complete with mosquito nets. Fan-cooled bungalow US$50, air-conditioned bungalow US$55 and family bungalow US$65, continental or Indonesian breakfast included.


Looking across the Badung Strait to Mount Agung

Splurge

  • Batu Karang Lembongan Resort and Day Spa, Jungut Batu (the Bukit), +62 366 24880, [31]. The grandest hotel on the island by some distance. Facilities include Muntigs Restaurant & Bar, a day spa, three swimming pools (a 25m lap pool, a 9x9m pool with swim up pool bar and a 9x9m infinity edge pool), steam room, gymnasium, day lounge, wedding pavilion and conference facility. The resort has some of the best views on the island. All rooms have air-conditioning, internet, safety box, 220 thread cotton sheets, king size double beds and mini bar. The outdoor bathrooms have spectacular views over the surf breaks and across to Mount Agung in Bali. Has its own water and sewage treatment plants so the water you use is clean. From US$210, breakfast included.
  • Indiana Kenanga Villas, Jungut Batu, +62 366 24471 (), [32]. A French owned and run suite/villa resort which opened in July 2009. Offers 6 one bedroom suites and 2 two bedroom villas. US$120-170 for a suite and US$320-370 for a two bedroom villa.
  • Nusa Lembongan Resort, Mushroom Bay, +62 361 725864 (), [33]. This twelve cottage hotel has been around for a while, and it has definitely seen better days. The location is superb though right on the western headland of Mushroom Bay. Seven of the cottages have clear, dramatic ocean views, as does the bar and restaurant. Garden view villa from US$235 and ocean view villa from US$300, American breakfast included.
  • Villa Shambala, (just west of Mushroom Bay, on the coastal path), (), [34]. Two bedroom oceanfront private villa with a small cliff edge swimming pool. One of the few private villas available for rental on Nusa Lembongan. US$120.
  • Waka Nusa Resort, Mushroom Bay, +62 361 484085 (), [35]. A small resort from the boutique hotel group Waka, located right on the beach at Mushroom Bay. The resort consists of ten grass-roofed bungalows, restaurant and a pool. Gives something of a Robinson Crusoe-type experience with no air-conditioning, TV sets or telephones in the rooms. Well-designed, breezy individual cottages. From US$127, breakfast included.

Stay safe

This is a safe island and reports of crime, major or minor, are rare. Most common is the theft of items left in unlocked rooms, so as you would anywhere in the world, just be sensible.

Drugs are not especially widespread here, but you may be offered marijuana or mushrooms. Be aware that the former is highly illegal in Indonesia and penalties are harsh. The Indonesian legal position on mushrooms is unclear and to be totally safe, visitors should steer clear.

The biggest dangers to visitors are related to the sea. Swimming is not be taken lightly in any waters around Bali, and Nusa Lembongan is no exception. The safest areas to swim are Mushroom Bay and around the mangroves in the north. Swimming at Dream Beach and Sunset Beach in particular should be avoided by all but the very strongest of swimmers, and even then with great caution. Surfing at all four breaks is dangerous for beginners, and should not even be attempted.

Stay healthy

There is a small medical clinic in Jungut Batu with a single attendant doctor. This is a perfectly good facility for treating minor ailments, but visitors with anything approaching a serious problem should get back to Bali as quickly as possible. Opening hours are erratic and unpredictable. Ask at your hotel.

Like all of Bali, Nusa Lembongan is officially a malaria-free zone. Dengue Fever is a potential problem though, but much less likely to be contracted than on the main island of Bali.

Contact

Telephone

It is possible to make phone calls from Nusa Lembongan. Although a little pricey, a public telephone office (wartel) can be found at Scoot ferry office or Bungalow No 7.

  • International phone operators: 101.
  • International Direct Dialing prefix: 001, 007, or 008.
  • The area code for Nusa Lembongan is officially 0366, although 0361 is also widely used.
  • Landlines are not that common, and even many well-established businesses operate with mobile telephones only. All of the major Indonesian mobile networks have full coverage of the island.
  • For directory inquiries, dial 108 from a landline or 0361-108 from a mobile phone.

Internet

There are a couple of basic, well signed public internet cafes at the southern end of the main coast road in Jungut Batu. Many of the better places to stay have wireless internet capability for guests, and some offer public internet cafe facilities for non-guests. Look for the signs and expect to pay about Rp 30,000 per hour. Service is sometimes very slow.

Get out

  • The vast majority of visitors leave the way they came in, i.e. back to Sanur and then on to elsewhere in Bali.
  • There is an option to continue eastwards to Lombok. BlueWater Safaris [36] offers a daily Nusa Lembongan to Gili Islands and Lombok service, departing Jungut Batu at 11AM for Rp 590,000 one way. The trip takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • For the adventurous, a side trip to Nusa Penida island will get you well off the beaten path.



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