The Nusa Islands are one of Bali’s best kept secrets. A short 25 minute boat ride off the mainland of Bali will lead you to a paradise that has yet to be overrun by tourists. The Nusa Islands are composed of three islands, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida. The islands are known for their stunning coastal cliffs and crystal clear water. Whether you’re up for an adventure or are looking for something more laid back, the Nusa Islands have something for everyone. This Nusa Islands guide will go over everything you need to know about traveling the Nusa Islands.
How to get to the Nusa Islands
If you’re planning on visiting all three of the Nusa Islands, we would recommend starting at Lembongan first. You can access Nusa Ceningan via a yellow bridge that connects the two small islands. From the yellow bridge you take a short 10 minute boat trip that’ll take you to Nusa Penida.
Getting to Nusa Lembongan
Fast boats run daily from Sanur Harbour directly to Mushroom Beach on Nusa Lembongan. There are a number of different companies and touts selling both one-way tickets and return tickets. Prices can vary but as a general starting point, a one-way ticket to Nusa Lembongan is around 150K IDR and an open return ticket is roughly 300K IDR. Additionally, you can book from a tour desk in Kuta, Seminyak, or Canggu. This will be more expensive as they include a pickup and drop off service to your accomodation.
Getting to Nusa Penida
Fast boats to Nusa Penida also run daily from Sanur. If you’re starting out on Nusa Lembongan, you can get a speed boat from the yellow bridge that will take you over to Nusa Penida. Tickets cost 75K IDR per person for a group of two or 50K IDR for a group of four plus.
They advertise boats to Nusa Penida from Mushroom Beach on Nusa Lembongan, however these tickets are way more expensive. They don’t mention that the boat will actually leave from yellow bridge so you are paying extra to get a transfer there. We made the mistake of heading to Mushroom Beach the morning we were ready to leave Nusa Lembongan and ended up paying a lot more than we should’ve. If you can, try make your own way to the yellow bridge and get a boat from there.
Getting around the Nusa Islands
Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan
Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan are very small islands, so everything is only a short drive away. The best option would be to rent a scooter which will cost you 70K IDR for the day. This way you’ll have the freedom to explore everything that the islands have to offer at your own pace. The roads are mostly paved so getting around yourself is fairly easy. It only took us a single day to explore everything on both Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan as most places were only a short 5-10 minute drive away from each other.
There will be plenty of shops around the pier at Mushroom Beach where you can rent a scooter. Our recommendation would be to walk a little further down to one of the local restaurants to get a better price. Additionally, there are local taxis that you can barter with to take you around the island.
Getting around Nusa Penida can be a bit challenging at times due it being less developed. The roads on Nusa Penida are very rocky and bumpy, often having a lot of loose gravel so just be cautious when driving and take your time. Nusa Penida is a lot bigger then the other Nusa Islands. Getting around to the different locations can take anywhere between 1-2 hours.
A common way to explore Nusa Penida is to do a private tour where they take you around the main locations via a car. This option is definitely less stressful and more comfortable as you are driven around in an air-conditioned car. However, we decided to rent a scooter for 70K IDR per day as we prefer the freedom of driving ourselves around to explore.
Where to stay on Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan
We stayed in the main area of Nusa Lembongan near the diving centre. A double room cost us 100K IDR per night. It was nothing fancy but it had a private bathroom and aircon so we weren’t complaining. We arrived early in the morning and stayed for 1 night. This allowed us to visit all the main tourist attractions on Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan within just 1 day. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are relatively small so you won’t need long to explore these islands.
Where to stay on Nusa Penida
On Nusa Penida we stayed at the Jasmine Inn which is located just beside the pier in Toyapakeh. A double room cost us 150K IDR per night. Our friends had previously stayed at this place and said that it was good enough for its cheap price. They also rent scooters for 70K IDR, however we don’t recommend renting from them as we had 2 scooters break down. It may be better to rent from one of the shops located around the area. There were a few local places to eat in this area which were fairly cheap so it was perfect for us. We stayed here for 3 nights and were able to complete all the attractions we had on our list. Nusa Penida is a fairly big island so you’ll need more time to explore here.
The main strip is on the northern coastline of the island. It’s just a little further up from where we stayed. Around here there are more options for food and places to go for a drink. For the best deals on Nusa Penida accommodation, be sure to check here.
Things to do on the Nusa Islands
Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan
Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan may be small islands but there is no shortage of things to do. From admiring the popular yellow bridge to cliff jumping at Blue Lagoon, your short stay here will be filled with many unique and exciting attractions. If cliff jumping isn’t for you, you can relax at one of the many beaches and enjoy a drink under the sun or in the comfort of a beachside bar. A popular attraction is watching the waves crash into the cove at Devil’s Tears which then explode back into the ocean.
Nusa Penida is every adventurers dream. You could spend days here exploring the different views and attractions of the island. You’ll definitely want to take your time and enjoy some iconic spots like Kelingking Beach or the Nusa Penida Treehouse. There are countless crystal clear beaches to enjoy, amazing coastal cliffs views, and you can even swim with the giant manta rays.