From Bali, it is possible to go to smaller islands off the main island: you'll be able to get a boat to Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, or Nusa Ceningan. These three islands are located off the east of Bali, and are much quieter than Bali itself.
The Nusa Islands have beautiful landscapes, from forests to beaches, and there are treks and also lots of diving and snorkeling spots to explore. Absolute highlights include snorkeling with manta rays and turtles, as well as cliff-diving into clear sea water.
1.What to See on Nusa Penida
There are plenty of beaches and spots to explore on Nusa Penida, from Kelingking Beach, to Atuh Beach, Angel Billabong, Guyangan Waterfall and Banah Cliff Point. There are lots of tours on Nusa Penida, which might be your best bet in order to ensure you don't miss anything on the islands. These tours will pick you up at your hotel for beach-hopping, a lunch, and then bring you back to the island. That's one of the easiest ways to get around the island and see the various beaches.
At Nusa Penida, you can go snorkeling in Crystal Bay, which is home to some incredible reefs and local marine life. Besides colorful corals and different reef fish, there are also turtles there regularly, which sets this snorkeling side apart from many other spots around Bali and could easily be a highlight of your time in Bali.
Suggested readind: How to Plan a Trip to Bali
2.Things to See on Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan is a beautiful island that is well known as a surfing destination and for its coastlines. Destinations there include Dream Beach, which combines golden sand with cliffs and turquoise water for an idyllic beach destination, and Devil's Tear, a cave pool on the edge of rocky cliffs which gives you some insight into the unique coastline this island has to offer.
For those wanting to snorkel, you have Manta Point, which is named after the giant manta rays that swim along these coastlines. Snorkeling there gives you the opportunity to be able to see them with your own eyes — a-once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Read more on:
- Best Beaches in Bali: How to Choose the Right One for Your Trip
- How to Plan a 1–2-Week First Trip to Bali
3.What to Do on Nusa Ceningan
Nusa Ceningan is the smallest of the three islands, and is located between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. You can get over there by bridge from Nusa Lembongan in order to explore all that Nusa Ceningan has to offer.
Blue Lagoon is one of the top spots on Nusa Ceningan, with some great cliff-jumping spots for those who like the adrenaline rush. Cliffs there range in height between 4 meters (13 feet) and 13 meters (43 feet). Be careful, as the waves can be rough on windy days (making the troughs shallower than the sea would normally be and washing jumpers towards the rocks). It is better to jump on calmer days, just in case, and we recommend going out there with someone else and not letting young children jump.
There is also Mahana Beach, a beautiful beach off the cliffs with blue, tempting waters. Mahana Beach also has a restaurant for a bite to eat, or a drink, before you continue your adventures across the island.
4.How to Get from Bali to Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan
The Nusa Islands are a 30-minute boat ride away from the main island of Bali. Boats to Nusa Penida depart from Sanur Beach, with tickets costing approximately 150,000 Indonesian rupiah (around 9.5 US dollars).
Boats from Sanur also go to Nusa Lembongan, costing around 15 to 30 US dollars for a one-way ticket depending on what time and which firm you book in with. Boats will go daily between 7am and 5pm with multiple sailings per day, depending on which day you travel on.
If you'd like to explore all islands, you can also get from Nusa Penida to Nusa Lembongan, or vice versa, so you don't have to head back to Sanur to go in between the islands.
5.How Long to Stay on the Nusa Islands
You can stay on the islands, but you could also go for just the day. It really depends on your plans, and what you'd like to do while you're out there.
If you're traveling with your family and you want to go snorkeling, you might consider visiting Nusa Penida just for the day. However, if you're a diver looking to get some dives in, it's worth spending a couple of nights on the islands. If you do have the time, we recommend between 2 and 3 days on Nusa Penida, and a day each on the other two islands.
6.When is the Best Time to Visit the Nusa Islands
It's best to avoid the Nusa Islands in December, January, and February, when there is a lot of rain. However, we recommend visiting the Nusa Islands between April to October. You'll be able to get better deals between November and March, but you're likely to experience more rain in Bali during the time.
These recommendations coincide with when is best to visit Bali, as the islands are so close to Bali and the weather pattern is fairly similar. Keep in mind that you do have to get on a boat to get between the Nusa Islands and Bali, and traveling between them in rainy season can make the boat trip less comfortable due to higher waves in the wind and the rain, and you might experience ferry cancellations.
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Visit the Nusa Islands and Bali with Asia Highlights
It is possible to book your ferry online in advance to plan your trip ahead of time, or you can contact us and we can help you book your tickets and plan your trip to the Nusa Islands.
We can expertly put together your itinerary, help find the best hotels for you to stay in during your time on the Nusa Islands, and help you prepare for your visit to take away the pressure of planning your trip. There is so much to see, it can be hard to know where to start planning!
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