Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are two small islands off the coast of Bali. Together with the main island Nusa Penida, this archipelago makes up the Penida District of Indonesia.
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Travelling to Nusa Lembongan requires a ferry transfer from Sanur in Bali which is roughly 20 kilometres across the channel. This trip can take anything from 50 minutes to 2 hours depending on the speed of the boat you’re on. We opted for the former option as 2 hours of sea sickness crammed in an under-powered bathtub wasn’t quite the experience we were looking for.
Once on the island the best way to get around is by scooter. A scooter can be hired from almost anyone and you’ll soon see that it is the preferred way of getting around. Be careful though, if you’re not accustomed to them, riding one on a busy main road can take some getting used to.
Nusa Lembongan has some really amazing places to see. The Panorama View offers the best perspective of the northern side of the island. The view extends from Playgrounds on the left, across the coast towards Shipwrecks and the mangrove forest on the north-eastern corner of the island. On a clear day one can also see Mount Agung standing tall over on Bali.
We weren’t huge fans of the beaches on the south western shores of Nusa Lembongan. Places like Mushroom Bay seemed a bit too congested for our taste. Dream Beach is alright for a visit, but we far preferred the quieter beaches near Shipwrecks.
Getting from Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Ceningan on the scooter requires a fair bit of skill and nerve. A narrow walk-bridge over the channel joins the two islands and allows travellers to scoot from one end to the other. Just don’t look down. Fix your eyes on the far bank and pray you have the wherewithal to scoot in a straight line.
The Nusa Ceningan side is quite a bit steeper than Nusa Lembongan so expect a few hill-climbs. As with most things that go up, they normally end with a good view and Nusa Ceningan is no exception. Over on the eastern side of the island is Ceningan Cliffs. This little restaurant is neatly poised atop some of the most spectacular views over Nusa Penida.
Another favourite of ours was Secret Point over on the south western corner of Nusa Ceningan. As the name suggests, this section of the island is a fair bit quieter than most of the other beaches. There are a number of restaurants with epic views over the ocean which makes this a great place to take a break from all that scooting.
Hiring a scooter
As I mentioned before, getting a scooter on Nusa Lembongan is really easy. You can ask anybody on the island and they’ll either be hiring them out themselves or will know somebody who does. We paid roughly IDR 65 000 per day for ours. However, whoever you end up getting your scooter from, just be sure to double check that everything is working correctly. Lights, tyres, hooter and especially brakes. Helmets don’t come standard, so if you want one you’ll have to ask. And always wear shoes!
Ultimately, the great thing about having a scooter is the ability to go wherever you want, whenever you want and explore all the nooks and crannies along the way. But whichever way you do go on Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, you’re bound to find adventure.
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