Sea breeze, sunsets, & white sand beaches...Nusa Lembongan is the ultimate off-the-grid island escape.
SUKANUSA LUXURY HUTS
I originally found this place during a search on Airbnb, which tends to be my favorite way to travel, but after doing a bit more digging, I found the hotel listed on Booking.com at a lower rate. The huts are even more amazing than I imagined - each one has an upstairs bedroom complete with AC and mosquito nets, and a downstairs patio that is so great for hanging out and reading in the evenings after a day of adventure. The central area is complete with a nice pool in the sunshine and a little cafe where complimentary breakfast is served each morning - the food isn't anything to write home about, but if you try the classic Indonesian Nasi Goreng, it's not a bad deal! Otherwise, the location is great, right on the main strip of town with cafes just a walk down the road.
Rent scooters from the shop across the street for getting around the island!
ROOMS starting at $35 / night
LE PIRATE BEACH CLUB
I didn't have a chance to stay here, but I did have the pleasure of visiting some of my friends who stayed in this adorable little teal house at Le Pirate. Part of a series of hotels across Indonesia, this spot consists of about 10 tiny teal beach houses that come with either a queen bed or 2 bunk beds inside. The property is on the beautiful cliffs of Nusa Ceningan, just across the bridge from Nusa Lembongan, and overlooks the perfect crystal clear water. There's an infinity pool on the edge, and it's complete with a poolside tiki bar and restaurant with decent food & wine. Weather you stay here or stop in for a bite to eat, it's a great place to catch a sunset.
ROOMS STARTING AT $55 / night
If you stay on Nusa Lembongan, renting a scooter and driving across the Yellow Bridge to Nusa Ceningan is a must. The tiny island has some amazing places to see, including the magical Blue Lagoon. The powder blue water is unlike anything I've ever seen before. You can climb down to the beach from the main lookout point, or opt for the more adventurous way into the water...if you drive around to the far side of the lagoon, there's a small trail where you can hike to a spot for cliff-jumping and an incredible view.
A hidden beach on the southwestern coast of Nusa Penida, Kelingking is a breath-taking sight to see. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Nusa Lembongan, I highly recommend spending a whole day exploring Nusa Penida. And if you're on a time crunch, at least sneak in a half-day adventure to Kelingking. Rather than signing up for a tour in town, head over to the Yellow Bridge and ask one of the local boats to give you a ride over to Nusa Penida. This should cost roughly $10/person roundtrip. Once you've made it to the island, rent a scooter from one of the locals near the beach and follow Google Maps through the winding roads of the jungle and find the insanely beautiful cliffs of Kelingking. The hour-long hike down to the beach is no easy feat, especially on a hot day, so make sure to bring plenty of water!
Wear closed-toed shoes and be prepared for a hike. Also, you don't need to spend money on a tour guide as long as you have a scooter and google maps!
YELLOW BRIDGE, DIVING & SNORKELING
NUSA LEMBONGAN, NUSA PENIDA
Half of the beauty on the islands lies underwater. There are several dive shops along the main strip in Nusa Lembongan, including a great one right next door to Sukanusa Luxury Huts. Or if you're looking to snorkel, just head down to the Yellow Bridge and find a local boat to take you on a snorkeling tour. This should only cost about $15-20 / person to visit the 4 major spots: Underwater Buddha Statues (left), Crystal Bay, Manta Bay, & Mangrove Forest. The Buddha's are a really fun place to swim around with tropical fish and take photos, and Manta Bay is pretty incredible because it's highly likely that you'll see a few Manta Rays!
For the love of pizza...this hidden gem is pretty incredible. Down a small path off the main strip in Nusa Lembongan, this restaurant overlooks the water and has an amazing pizza menu. I found that good restaurants we're pretty limited on the islands, so I would definitely recommend having dinner here if you're looking for something delicious and affordable.
dinner & drinks around $12 / person
SANDY BAY BEACH CLUB
SUNSET & DINNER
Sandy Bay Beach Club is the perfect place to catch a sunset on Nusa Lembongan while sipping on a glass of rosé. During the day, go for a swim in the infinity pool overlooking the ocean, or take a stroll down their white sand beach. Great for upscale Indonesian cuisine, seafood, pasta and a variety of other western dishes.
dinner & drinks around $18 / person
Mahana Point is the ultimate surf bar on Nusa Ceningan. Jetting out over the "perfect break" this bar overlooks an awesome surf spot where continuous waves roll into the bay. Stop by around sunset for a Bintang or Pina Colada and you'll catch plenty of surfers out in the water. Built into the cliffside, they also have two spots for cliff jumping right off the edge of the restaurant.
DRINKS AROUND $5 / EACH
BALI ECO DELI
BREAKFAST & LUNCH
If you're looking for a healthy and organic meal on the islands, this is your spot. Right on the main strip of Nusa Lembongan, Bali Eco Deli is a cozy cafe that uses fresh ingredients sourced from organic and fair-trade farms. This restaurant is an advocate for sustainability, setting up a small recycling program on Nusa Lembongan, and they'll refill your reusable water bottles with free mineral water. They also have WiFi, which is a plus if you need to catch up on emails during your island vacay.
BREAKFAST & COFFEE AROUND $8 / PERSON