Whilst the small Indonesian island of Nusa Lembongan is still slowly developing, it is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. It offers some amazing snorkelling and almost-empty beaches, and generally just runs at a nice, slow pace. Sure, there isn’t much on the island, but that’s what makes it so special!
How To Get To There
With most boat operators offering hotel pick up and drop off services from Bali, getting to the island of Nusa Lembongan is relatively easy... What’s even easier is if you book an all day island tour with meals and snorkelling included. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting from place to place whilst on the island. We wanted to spend more than just a day there though, so we booked with Superscoot Ferry for 280,000 RP each one way. We've had good experiences with Scoot in the past and this trip was no different! They even took us all the way to Canggu when we went back to Bali after our stay on Lembongan! The journey from Bali only takes 25-35 minutes and, although it can get quite choppy, it wasn’t too bad for us!
Where To Stay
On Nusa Lembongan, there are a fair few options when it comes to places to stay… Our ferry arrived at Jungut Batu Beach, the most built up area on the island. Here, there were lots of convenience stores and restaurants, but it wasn’t that “quiet island life” that we were promised. The same could be said for Mushroom Bay on the west side of the island, which seemed even busier than Jungut Batu because of the small streets, slither of beach and severe lack of space… A world away from what we found around Dream Beach!
We were staying about a ten minute walk from Dream Beach at Pandawa Homestay, and it the perfect place for some peace and quiet! The room was really nice and we loved the outside bathroom! It didn’t quite compare to the bungalows that were actually on the beach, but let’s just say Pandawa suited our budget a lot better! Still, this whole area struck us as half-done and double the price it probably should be… Sadly, it just wasn’t paradise in our opinion, but it was pretty close.
Where To Eat
There might not have been many restaurants in the next door to our accommodation, but the island definitely wasn’t lacking in great places to eat! The island’s beach bars were some of the best places to head to and, at Dream Beach, D’Byas Beach Club was our favourite because of the friendly service that we received every time that we visited. Other places that we liked, although not actually on the beach, were Cookies Coffee Shop and Papa Tarros Thai Restaurant. For breakfast, nothing beat the smoothie bowls at Tropical Juice Bar - a little further away but well worth the walk!
From our accommodation, we could walk almost anywhere we wanted… There really wasn’t much need for us to hire a scooter as we were quite comfortable with the 10-20 minutes walks. That said, we didn’t always feel safe walking along the roads with the lack of street lights and amount of the passenger trucks taking the day trippers around. Hiring a scooter certainly isn’t safe either with how bumpy the roads are and all of the loose rocks, but if you’re more confident on one than we are, they are definitely a popular option. Hiring a scooter might also allow you to stay a bit further away in a place like Mushroom Bay or Jungut Batu Beach that is a bit more convenient in terms of eating out. Push bikes are another option, but we didn’t come across anywhere that were hiring them around Dream Beach.
What To Do
Of course, we spent most of our time at Dream Beach and, apart from all of the rubbish that washes up there, we really loved it with it's stretch of white sand and bright blue water! It really was a retreat from the busy tourist hotspots in Bali. From what we saw, even the day trippers stick to the photo spots on the cliffs rather than the beach. Ironically, Sandy Bay Beach was really quite rocky, so not the safest place for swimming, but the beach bar had their very own infinity pool and deck chairs.
We’ve already mentioned the island’s snorkelling - this can be booked quite easily at Mushroom Bay or Jungut Batu, but not so much at/around Dream Beach. The same goes for scuba diving and other water sports like banana boating and even surfing or SUP lessons. Surf breaks can also be found all around the island, but require a short swim out from shore.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do any of the aforementioned activities because we were spent our time either relaxing or exploring… One adventure that has to be done on the island is a visit to Devil’s Tear - a ferocious blow hole in the cliffs between Dream Beach and Sandy Bay Beach! For Lembongan’s main tourist attraction, it actually lives up to the hype, especially when the waves are at their most powerful! It’s frequented by all of the day trippers in the day time, but is a great place to watch the sunset!