Nusa Lembongan, an alternative holiday destination on Bali

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Blue Lagoon is a favorite destination for travelers who vacation in Nusa Lembongan, presents a beautiful expanse of the sea. (photo: IO/Prive.Doc)

IO, Jakarta – The world’s broadest archipelagic nation, Indonesia has numerous holiday destinations with lovely beach and sea views. The island of Bali is located between Java and Lombok Islands, all synonymous with exotic beach and sea views. For most people, Bali is their favourite, oft-visited destination. However, much beauty is found not only on Bali Island proper: some small islands southeast of Bali, such as Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, and Nusa Ceningan are hidden beauties. Have you ever heard of them?

Lembongan Island, or “Nusa Lembongan” in Balinese, is a tiny island (± 4.6 km long and ± 1.5 km wide) located close to Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. It is located in the Badung Straits, about 11 km southeast of Bali itself.

Administratively, the island is part of the Regency of Klungkung. The main occupation of the residents is seaweed farming, followed closely by those who work in the tourism sector. For tourists, the view of farmers harvesting seaweed is a unique experience that you don’t see every day, and not in many other places. According to some people who have visited Nusa Lembongan, your holiday to Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida is not complete if you haven’t seen seaweed farming up close.

If you enjoy the excitement and glitter of Balinese entertainment, the Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida island group will not deliver much – they can only provide you with unusual landscapes that you cannot find anywhere else. Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida are suitable for people who seek solitude, serenity, and great views.

Lembongan Village has many attractive places for tourists to visit, such as a charming white-sands beach, unique caves, both natural and artificial, challenging sea cliffs, and even marshes. Attractive beaches in Lembongan Village include Tanjung Sanghyang Beach, Dream Beach, Selagimpak, Selambung, Sunset Beach, Pemalikan, and Lebaoh. The latter is most well-known as a seaweed cultivation center.

To reach Nusa Lembongan, you embark from Sanur, where there are a number of speedboats for you to rent for a quick sea trip to Nusa Lembongan. The boat trip will take you 30-45 minutes. An interesting point in Nusa Lembongan is that there are no cars on the island, so if you want to go around you need to rent a small motorcycle from the locals. This means that its beaches are quieter and less crowded than those of Bali Island.

For the most enjoyment of Nusa Lembongan, we suggest that you visit between May and September. This is because Indonesia is in the dry season during these months, which means friendlier weather for you as the sun will come out more.

The number one must-see view in Nusa Lembongan is the ‘Devil’s Tears’ – a spectacular view from a high cliff. You can watch a lovely sunset here, or just sit enjoying the sea breeze and watching the great waves crashing into the sides of the cliff.

Most people visit Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida for their unmatched undersea beauty. Diving and snorkelling are very popular on these three islands, especially at Manta Point and Crystal Bay.

At Manta Point, divers will have the opportunity to share a swim with giant manta rays, while in Crystal Bay, if you are lucky you will be able to meet the mola-mola fish. It must be noted that the undertow here is quite strong, and you need a diving certificate before you are allowed to dive.

If you’d rather relax instead of tiring dives, you might want to explore the mangrove forest in the Northern part of Nusa Lembongan by boat or kayak. Or visit the yellow bridge, which connects Nusa Ceningan with Nusa Lembongan. It is an excellent photo spot: the contrast between the yellow of the bridge, the blue of the sea, and the tree greenery make it an excellent background for your selfies.

The natural beauties of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida make them a must-visit destination when visiting Bali Island. These tiny islands southeast of Bali are the best choice for you to recover your serenity, not too far away from the bustle of the big tourist city of Kuta.

(Muhammad Akbar)