If you have never been to the Nusa Islands near Bali, then you’ll have to go on a day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. The small islands are known for their turquoise water and sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, tidal pools and a variety of water sports.
Since Nusa Lembongan is only 22km from Bali (or half an hour by fast boat), it is possible to spend a day on both islands and see all the best attractions and return to Bali at the end of the day.
In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to take a one day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan from Bali.
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Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan day trip from Bali: what you need to know
Before you take a day trip to the Nusa Islands, take a look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Bali. I included a lot of information, including how to get around Bali, how to get a prepaid SIM card and other essential Bali travel tips.
Here are few additional tips for taking a Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan day trip:
- To see everything in this day trip itinerary, you must get on the first fast boat at 9:30 am in Sanur and return to Bali on the last boat at 4:30 pm.
- When you arrive at the Sanur pier, park your scooter in the parking lot. It is safe to leave your scooter there even for a few days.
- The best way to explore the Nusa island is by scooter. You can rent one when you arrive at the pier on Nusa Lembongan.
- Bring enough cash for scooter rental and food for the day. I don’t recall seeing an ATM but I’m sure there is one. But bring enough just in case.
Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan day trip: what to bring
In order to have a successful day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, make sure to bring some day trip essentials with you:
- a small backpack for all your belongings
- a pair of versatile shoes that you can swim with and hop back on the scooter
- quick dry clothing because you will be in and out of the water all day
- bathing suit for swimming the turquoise water
- small towel to dry off or to sit at the beach
- enough cash for scooter rental and food
- plenty of water for hot summer days
- lots of sunscreen to block all the UV rays while you are scootering around
- hat and sunglasses to further block any sunrays
How to get to Nusa Lembongan from Bali
There are many types of boats going to Nusa Lembongan from Sanur in Bali including luxury excursion boats, fast boats, public fast boats and slow public boats.
The best way to get to Nusa Lembongan for a day trip is to take a fast boat.
And most fast boat companies include pick-up and drop-off services. Pick up areas including South Bali, Ubud, Canggu and Uluwatu. And they will also drop you off at any hotel in Nusa Lembongan.
Fast boat from Bali to Nusa Lembongan
There are few fast boat companies and they are all along the beach in Sanur at the end of Jalan Hang Tuah. And the one I took was Scoot Cruise.
Scoot Cruise is a reliable boat company that can take you from Bali to Nusa Lembongan in their comfortable fast boats. You can book your ticket online or buy it in-person.
Below are details of the fast boat schedule and price:
- Sanur to Nusa Lembongan schedule: 9:30am, 11:45am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm
- Nusa Lembongan to Sanur schedule: 8:30am, 10:45am, 1:00pm, 4:30pm
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Price: one way (400K IDR), return (650K IDR)
For this one-day itinerary to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, get return tickets for the first fast boat at 9:30 am (Sanur to Lembongan) and and the last boat at 4:30 pm (Lembongan to Sanur). It will give you sufficient time to explore both islands.
How to get around Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan
The best way to get around both Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan is by a scooter. The roads are relatively narrow, i.e. the entire road is wide enough for one car and one scooter. But the road condition is fairly good. So even if you are a beginner, you shouldn’t have any issues with the scooter.
Scooter rental is about 80K IDR per day and it includes petrol. There are several scooter rentals by the pier at Jungutbatu Beach (i.e. where you were dropped off).
Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan day tour: map and summary
There are so many things to do on Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan but I picked the best of the best for this itinerary. I included all the attractions on the map below.
Here is a quick summary of what you will do on your day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan:
- Mushroom Bay Beach on Nusa Lembongan
- Devil’s Tear
- Dream Beach
- Yellow Bridge connecting the Nusa Islands
- Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan
- Secret Point Beach
- Jungutbatu Beach on Nusa Lembongan
1. Mushroom Bay Beach on Nusa Lembongan
Most fast boats (including Scoot Cruise) will arrive in Jungutbatu Beach. From the pier, rent a scooter and start making your way to Mushroom Bay Beach.
Soon enough you’ll arrive at the white sand and blue water beach. This beach is not as crowded as Jungutbatu Beach and it looks much nicer.
This is a good spot to take a quick morning break from all the travelling. Get a coconut from one of the cafes and restaurants on the beach.
2. Devil’s Tear on Nusa Lembongan
Next on the day trip agenda is one of the best attractions on Nusa Lembongan: the Devil’s Tear, a spot famous for its jagged coastline and natural tidal pools.
Take a walk along the edge and see how the rocky limestone walls are formed. And you’ll see big waves crashing on the shore and feel the small mists of seawater spraying into the air.
There are at least two natural tidal pools along the edge. I was watching people taking photos here and trying to capture a shot with the big waves splashing at the back. Some of them got pretty soak from the big splash, though.
The Devil’s Tear is a big tourist spot. You’ll see bus-loads of tourists being dropped off here. To avoid the crowd, walk further along the coastline since most people are so busy taking photos closest to the drop-off point.
3. Dream Beach on Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan has some of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia and Dream Beach is no exception.
The beach is part of a small cove near Devil’s Tear. Dream Beach feels a bit more secluded and quieter. Only people staying at the hotels and resorts nearby visit this small beach.
There is a set of staircases going down to Dream Beach. And there are restaurants here too.
4. Yellow Bridge connecting the Nusa Islands
The only way to travel from Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Ceningan is to cross the famous Yellow Bridge, also known as “The Bridge of Love“
The famous Yellow Bridge linking the Nusa Islands was damaged and collapsed in October 2016. It has since been rebuilt and it is better than ever. It doesn’t cost anything to cross the bridge.
You can park your scooter and walk on the Yellow Bridge to take photos before continuing on the day trip.
FYI – if you are taking a day trip to Nusa Penida from Nusa Lembongan, the boat ride starts from the north side of the Yellow Bridge on Nusa Lembongan.
5. Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan
The next two highlights of the day tour are both on Nusa Ceningan. First, we’ll go directly to The Blue Lagoon, a rocky cove with the brightest blue water.
When you arrive at the Blue Lagoon, you are at the top edge of the cliff and see a panoramic view of the small cove with milky blue water. I’ve never seen seawater in that shade of blue; it is much brighter and more vibrant than the adjacent ocean water.
Most people will take photos along the cliff, but some people might want to jump into the Blue Lagoon. There are a few spots on the right side (when you are facing the lagoon) for cliff jumping. Whatever you decide to do, please be careful.
6. Secret Point Beach on Nusa Ceningan
You need to see one more beach before returning to Jungutbatu Beach and catching the last fast boat back to Bali. All you have to do is walk north for a few minutes and find Secret Point Beach.
At the top, you can see the entire Secret Point Beach including the shallow clear water, palm trees and beach huts lining the sandy beach. It is a lot more quieter than the Blue Lagoon that’s for sure.
7. Jungutbatu Beach on Nusa Lembongan
And finally, scoot back to Jungutbatu Beach where it all started.
Jungutbatu Beach is the longest beach in Nusa Lembongan. It wraps the western coast and to the north end of the island. Since the water is quite calm, it is an excellent spot for standup paddleboarding, swimming and snorkelling.
And from Jungutbatu Beach, you can even see Mount Agung on the island of Bali.
Depending on when you return to Jungutbatu Beach, it might be possible to get a Bintang (local beer) or late lunch at one of the cafes I included below. Just make sure you get back to the pier by 4:30 so you don’t miss your boat back to Bali!
If you are spending more than one day in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan
I included the best attractions on the Nusa Islands for my 1-day itinerary.
But if you are spending more than one day in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, there is so much more to discover on both Nusa Islands.
Here are a few suggestions if you are staying one or two more nights on the island:
- Snorkel at Mangrove Point – see coral reefs and over 250 species of tropical fish in northern Nusa Lembongan.
- Take a boat tour around Mangrove Forest – see the lush forest at the north end of Nusa Lembongan.
- Swim with manta rays and sea turtles – while snorkelling at several spots around Nusa Ceningan.
- Surf – there are three excellent surf breaks in Jungutbatu Bay.
- Learn how to dive – and visit legendary dive sites including Lembongan Bay, Blue Corner and Mangrove Point.
- Day trip to Nusa Penida – visit the largest Nusa Island and see Crystal Bay Beach, Broken Beach, Angel Billabong and the famous tyrannosaurus rex coastline by Kelingking Beach by either a self-guided tour (scooter or private car) or join a tour.
Where to stay in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan
My Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan day trip itinerary does not require an overnight stay. But if you like the slow pace of the Nusa Islands, then definitely stay a night or two.
Here are some suggestions on where to stay on both islands:
- Le Pirate Beach Club ($) – get a beach box (double bed) at this eco-friendly hotel on Nusa Ceningan. The idyllic little white cottage has a hammock and a sea view.
- Check for the current rate and reviews: Agoda
- Tigerlilly’s Boutique Hotel ($$) – the boutique hotel is located near Jungutbatu beach on Nusa Lembongan. Get a bungalow with a thatched roof made of grass on the second floor. It feels like you are living in a treehouse.
- Check for the current rate and reviews: Agoda
- Blue Lagoon Avia Villa ($$$) – Get a deluxe villa at this new hotel right in front of the Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan.
- Check for the current rate and reviews: Agoda
Where to eat in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan
There are several good warungs, cafes and restaurants around the Nusa Islands. Here are some suggestions:
- Pondok Baruna Warung ($) – The local restaurant serves the best Indonesian food at affordable prices. Try their grilled pork belly with rice and vegetables or chicken curry.
- Warung Oka ($) – The quaint little restaurant facing the water serves excellent seafood dishes. Their grilled red snapper comes with rice and vegetables. And their grilled prawns are pretty good too!
- Blue Corner Bar & Restaurant ($) – After a full day of exploring the Nusa Islands, spend the afternoon sipping drinks during happy hour at The Blue Corner Dive. Sit in one of the bean bags and people-watch while waiting for your ferry.
- Indiana Kenanga Restaurant ($$) – Have brunch or cocktail at this new Instagrammable oceanside restaurant on Jungutbatu Beach.
- The Deck Cafe & Bar ($$) – Sit at one of the tables facing the water and enjoy the best views of Nusa Lembongan. Food and drinks are slightly more expensive, but you have the best view of the island.
Want to join a tour in Nusa Lembongan?
Are you taking a solo day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan?
I love the small island vibe of the Nusa Islands compared to Bali. Bali is great, but when you are in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, you really get to slow down.
I hope you like my one-day itinerary. On a self-guided day trip, you can enjoy all the highlights of Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. But if you are keen, stay for a few extra days to experience true island life.
Personally, I love the Nusa Islands. So much so that I included it in my 10-day Bali solo travel itinerary for first time travellers.
Does this post inspire your upcoming trip to Bali? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading my Nusa Islands itinerary post
You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Bali:
- Things I wish I knew before going to Bali Indonesia
- 10 Day Bali Solo Travel Itinerary
- Where to stay in Bali for solo travellers
- Hotel Review: Lloyd’s Inn Bali in Seminyak
- Best things to do in Seminyak for solo travellers
- 6 Best Spas in Seminyak Bali
- 8 Best Cafes in Seminyak
- Ubud 2 day Itinerary alone
- Best things to do in Canggu for solo travellers
- 10 Best Canggu Day Spas
- 10 Best Cafes in Canggu
- Top 4 Airbnbs in Canggu
- How to spend one day in Nusa Penida
AngelicaFebruary 23, 2019 at 12:04 pm
I didn’t realize Bali had some amazing places to check out nearby! I can’t wait to check them out for a different pace! One question, does Nusa mean something? All three of them started with Nusa!
queenie makFebruary 25, 2019 at 7:07 am
Hi Angelica! I had to look it up lol Nusa means island. which makes sense as there are a few of those islands just off of Bali. I was quite surprise how nice the islands are and not super touristy either 🙂
Carly MatthewFebruary 23, 2019 at 8:11 pm
This location sounds really cool. Was it a good way to escape the crowds? It sounds like there are a lot of awesome recreation opportunities.
queenie makFebruary 25, 2019 at 7:08 am
Hi Carly! most definitely! it is so much quieter than parts of Bali and I was really ready for that at the time. The island vibe was exactly what I needed! 🙂
KaisaFebruary 24, 2019 at 12:50 am
YES I LOVE THIS. I basically did this, but stayed for freakin’ ever on Lembongan because I didn’t want to leave, haha. I love this guide for if you didn’t have enough time to do that!
queenie makFebruary 25, 2019 at 7:09 am
Hi Kaisa! I wish I stayed longer – I really like both islands and can just see myself chilling and hanging out on the swings with a fresh coconut lol
Kaley LopezOctober 27, 2019 at 10:20 am
Thanks for the tips! Only in Bali for 8 days and wanted to squeeze in a day trip. This looks like the perfect itinerary to spend the day exploring the two islands.