Nusa Lembongan – Indonesia
Nusa Lembongan is a must see while traveling around Bali. Just off the Southeast coast of Bali, Nusa Lembongan is a small, sleepy island of seaweed farmers with great waves, excellent restaurants and no cars! Below we’ve written about the beaches, restaurants, ferry transportation, and seaweed farming. We’ve also got some helpful tips and a great video.
Nusa Lembongan Tips
Be well prepared for Nusa Lembongan with money and a map. Also, bring a book and expect to really unwind in the sleepy villages of Nusa Lembongan.
- Rent a scooter or bike to explore
- Order the seafood!
- Get up early, go to bed early
- Make friends with visitors & locals
- Only surf on a medium to high tide
Nusa Lembongan Beaches
White sands, uncrowded, cool shells everywhere, and perfect weather. Paradise? Yes. But even paradise has some problems. Most beaches in Bali suffer from a common problem: Littering. Either things float up on shore or locals throw trash directly on the beach. This wasn’t a problem before plastic and other unbiodegradeable items were introduced to the culture. In the past, local Balinese threw away trash anywhere, and with the hot humid climate, the trash would degrade. Today, the local people are still having problems realizing how destructive their new trash is to their environment and tourist economy.
But, there are some spots that are cleaner than others. Most beaches on Nusa Lembongan are going to be very desolate with only seaweed farmers and fishermen present.
Nusa Lembongan Transportation
Getting To Nusa Lembongan
The best way to get to Nusa Lembongan is by Scoot Boat Ferry. It’s not cheap, but worth it for the speed. If you’re on a budget, you can pay a local boat to take you out, but it can take up to 3 hours and can be uncomfortable. Scoot will get you to Nusa Lembongan in around 45 minutes. Plus they carry your bags out for you, keeping you and your stuff drier than if you did it yourself. When you reserve your accommodations, ask them to book your ferry because they can sometimes get it cheaper than online or over the phone.
Getting Around Nusa Lembongan
The only cars we saw on Nusa Lembongan were for cargo only. The island is pretty small, so you can walk a lot of it, though if you want to see Dream Beach or cruise over the hanging bridge to Nusa Ceningan, you’ll need a push-bike or a scooter. You can rent both kinds for not too much. We tried the regular push-bike and regretted it a bit. There are a lot of hills and it was really hot! We still made it and had a great time, but we needed plenty of ocean swims in between locations.
The dramatic tidal swings of Nusa Lembongan make for ideal conditions to farm seaweed. Everyday you’ll see the local people harvesting and securing seaweed to the ocean floor. It’s really beautiful. The entire area is completely covered in water within hours.
Most of the seaweed from this little island is sold for use in cosmetics and shipped to Hong Kong for processing and distribution. The people of Nusa Lembongan live simple and peaceful lives thanks to their seaweed. Tourism is slowly becoming more prevalent each day.
Nusa Lembongan Restaurants
We were pleasantly surprised to find so many good little restaurants over here. Many of the restaurants serve that day’s local catch. The only problem is that sometimes they don’t catch anything, so you’re out of luck if you like seafood sometimes. If there’s big surf and super low tides, it can be difficult for the fishermen to get out.
One of the best meals we had was at Batu Karung. We enjoyed delicious beef curry and rib eye steak with a bottle of wine. It was relatively expensive, especially since we ordered wine. You’ll notice that alcohol (especially wine and liquor) is very expensive in Bali due to import costs. Stick to Bintang if you want to save money.
There’s also a lot of small warungs that serve beer and food. We enjoyed some good times at Mimpi Warung (Dream Cafe.) We asked the proprietor why they called it that. She said it has always been her dream to own her own little restaurant. She was so enthusiastic and happy, we couldn’t help but mention them. We didn’t eat there, but we did enjoy some beers and good conversation on the beach with them.
If you’d like to review Nusa Lembongan, please comment below.
We’d like to thank Natalie Brown for her beautiful Nusa Lembongan photographs.