The island of Nusa Lembongan is about a 45 minute boat ride from Bali. We only went there for the day, and spent the whole time on the moped looking at all of the amazing beaches, including Dream Beach, and also took a trip over to Nusa Ceningan, a neighbouring island that is accessible by a slightly terrifying bridge.
We took a boat there from Sanur, and got a magnificent deal because of our amazing haggling skills (or maybe they just wanted to fill up the boat) but we paid 600,000 rupiah total, round trip for both of us, when they were trying to charge us 500,000 rupiah each initially.
Neither of the islands are very big, one day is lots of time to cruise around to all of them, there are some mangroves up in the northern part, and lots of beaches in the south. Nusa Lembongan is by far the more developed of the two islands. Nusa Ceningan was gorgeous, but pretty rustic, and the time driving those roads on a moped is not something I’ll soon forget.
I even took a 20 minute GoPro video of the experience because was pretty sure we were going to end up driving into the ocean, and I wanted there to be evidence to help find our bodies.
There are a lot of seaweed farmers on both islands, so you see large tarps with piles of seaweed drying in the sun on the side of the road. On the far side of Nusa Ceningan there is a little cove with a beautiful hotel called Secret Beach. We stopped in there for a swim in their pool and an iced coffee, and had the whole place to ourselves.
Nusa Lembongan had lots of hotels and dive shops. We didn’t end up diving there the first time we went, but we went back about a month later in search of the Mola Mola. We didn’t see one, but we did a dive at Manta Bay, which was a bit murky and we didn’t see much, and also at a spot called the Mangroves, which was fantastic.
The diving itself wasn’t that great because the current was pushing you so fast that you could barely see anything, but it was so much fun, like a 35 minute underwater rollercoaster ride, that I pestered our dive guide to see if we could do it again.
I’m glad we got to go back and spend a few days there, because I was devastated when it was time to leave after our first visit. If you have time when you’re in Bali, definitely make the trip over to Nusa Lembongan.
There are a ton of hotels and little homestays, we just showed up and found somewhere to stay there, since lots of the smaller, cheaper places don’t have an online presence.