How to Spend 3 Days in the Nusa Islands (Lembongan, Ceningan, & Penida)
The Nusas consist of 3 gorgeous islands off the coast of Bali, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida.
All 3 islands have something special to offer so if you have time, I highly recommend checking out all three!
I based myself in Lembongan for 3 days and was able to visit all 3 islands during my time there.
You can see Ceningan in a half day as it is the smallest of the three. It is accessed by a bright yellow bridge from Lembongan.
Penida is the largest and most rugged of the 3. It is completely devoid of mass tourism and has so many awesome things to see!
*I want to especially thank Jackie from @getlostwithjackie for introducing me to Lembongan and Christina from @jetsetchristina for introducing me to Penida. These girls’ amazing Instagram photos really enticed/inspired me to visit these places that I had never heard of before! ♥
If you’re short on time and want to see all 3 islands in 3 days it’s totally doable.
This was my 3 day itinerary in the Nusa Islands (see below for all the details on each place):
Day 1: Nusa Lembongan (Mushroom Bay, Dream Beach, Devil’s Tear, The Deck)
Day 2: Nusa Penida full day
Day 3: Nusa Lembongan private tour to Manta Point + half day in Nusa Ceningan
What to Do on the Nusa Islands
What to Do and See in Nusa Lembongan
Dream beach– beautiful beach where Dream Beach Huts overlooks. The waves are huge and you can’t really swim in it as it’s dangerous. You can pay a small fee to use their pool and facilities if you want to spend the day there.
Devil’s Tear-a 5-10 minute walk from dream beach (to the right if you’re looking at the water) will bring you to Devil’s Tear. Watch as the waves crash into the crescent shaped rocks leaving a huge cloud of mist behind. It’s a petty cool site! Be careful as the waves come up on the rocks so don’t try to be that person to get the perfect selfie on the edge.
Mushroom Bay-a gorgeous blue/green bay with cute little restaurants and some water activities nearby.
The Deck-a cute little spot overlooking Nusa Lembongan Beach and probably the best place to view the sunset on the island. It’s a bit more expensive than other places and serves a bunch of Western food. I didn’t even care as the view was well worth it. They have sunset sessions with a live DJ in the evenings as well, so it’ a great place to mingle.
Swim with Manta Rays-one of the main attractions of the Nusas is swimming with Manta Rays! You can take a group tour that will take you to Manta Point and a few other snorkelling spots. Or you can do what I did and get a private tour and make up your own schedule with the stops of your choice.
This obviously isn’t the cheapest option, but I liked the idea of a tailored tour! I negotiated a rate of 400k for 3 stops (about $30 USD), including swimming with manta rays, and snorkelling in Crystal Bay and Secret Beach. It was also great because I started early and was back by 11am, which gave me enough time to eat lunch and then head to Ceningan for the rest of the day to explore.
Note: you aren’t guaranteed to see manta rays, but I got lucky and saw a huge one! My captain told me to jump in, and honestly I was scared sh*tless when I saw the huge shadow of the creature on the surface. The only bad part about being alone on a tour. Another boat showed up and I waited until they jumped in to go in (I’m such a chicken). It swam within a foot of me! I scrambled to turn on my GoPro but it had already passed so i don’t have the best pictures to show for it. Manta rays are massive! Yet so angelic and graceful. It was such a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be up close and personal with these amazing creatures! Don’t miss out on this!
Nusa Penida was my favorite of the 3 islands as it was the most rugged and untouched. I only saw a handful of tourists the entire day. To explore, you need to take a tour or rent a scooter and do it on your own (which is what I did).
What to Do and See in Nusa Penida
Atuh Beach–This beach took a steep hike to get down, but was totally worth it. It’s absolutely breathtaking! The plunging cliffs are freakishly tall and provides a beautiful setting. It takes about an hour drive from the port of Penida, then about a 10-15 minute hike down onto super steep steps/rocks.
There are a few little shacks serving drinks and fried rice or noodles. It’s pretty secluded and a great place to relax.
There is no parking fee.
Kelingking T-Rex (aka the money shot)–This is probably the most popular beach in Penida and it’s shaped like a T-Rex! You can walk down the vey steep steps/rocks down to the beach, bit it may take you awhile. You must go very slow as it is very steep! I made it 1/3 way down and didn’t have time to go all the way as it took way longer than I imagined!
Parking is 5k (~$0.30).
Angel’s Billabong (Gambar Untuk)–a natural infinity pool of blue and green hues that plunges into the ocean. You can swim in it, but be careful when the tide is high as the huge waves will come crashing down and could take you out to sea.
It’s about a 5-10 minute walk from Broken Beach (on the right). You’ll see the signs.
Broken beach (Pasih Uug)-the ride down to this place is the worst road conditions I’ve ever experienced on a motorbike. It’s extremely rocky and bumpy with many potholes so just go very slow! The epic view over the top of Broken Beach is spectacular. And the color of the water is stunning! Parking is 5k.
How to Get to Nusa Penida
- By public ferry from Lembongan (near the yellow bridge).
- The ferry goes at 7am. Be there at 6:30am to assure a spot. Costs for tourists is 50k (~$3.76).
- To get back, you may need to hire a private transfer that costs 200k (~$15).
- If you can find more people, you can split the cost. I had to wait about 10-15 minutes and 3 other people joined so it was only 50k each, the same as the public ferry!
- It takes less than 15 minutes for the crossing.
- There are also ferries from Bali(Sanur) that go to Penida.
- The public boat will drop you in the port of Toyapakeh in Penida.
How to get around Nusa Penida
Rent a motorbike for around 50k (~$3.76). The vendors will start at 80k but make sure to negotiate. You can also rent a car, but I enjoyed the adventure on a motorbike.
Note: the roads are VERY bumpy and unfinished with many potholes, especially going to Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong. If you feel confident on a motorbike and have good balance, you should be fine! However, if you’ve never driven a motorbike before (or on the left side), this isn’t a good place to start! And remember, they drive on the LEFT side in Indonesia!
Nusa Ceningan is the smallest of the Nusas, but it thoroughly surprised me with its sheer beauty!
What to Do and See in Nusa Ceningan
Blue Lagoon-a natural cliffside lagoon with super vibrant turquoise waters that will leave you in awe.
Did I mention turquoise is my favorite color?💙😍💙. The blue lagoon is found on the tiny Nusa Ceningan, the middle Nusa island. It might be small, but it has so many gorgeous spots! Don't skip it if you're in Lembongen ✌🏻#bluelagoon #nusaceningan #nusaislands #visitbali #visitindonesia #gopro #goprogirl #wearetravelgirls
Secret Beach– a secluded beach overlooked by Villa Travally Resort. There were only a few people there and it was a great place to relax. You must buy something to stay.
Mahana point for cliff jumping- there is a place to go cliff jumping a few minutes from the Blue Lagoon (although they charge 25k per jump!)
Last Stop Bar and Cafe-cutest little spot on the water with bean bags and a super chill vibe. They also have a great selection of fruit drinks. You can go right in the water from the steps and cool off. I loved this place!
Ceningan cliffs-a restaurant/viewpoint overlooking Penida island. There are swings overlooking the viewpoint. It’s a little bumpy to get there, so if you don’t have time, it wouldn’t kill you to skip it.
Where to Stay in Nusa Lembongan
D’mas Huts-this family run place was absolutely fantastic. It’s composed of only 5 private huts and has a spectacular view over Nusa Ceningan and the gorgeous blue water in between. Oh, and it was only $18 per night!
The owner Nyoman was the best host and catered to just about anything I needed. He always had a smile on his face and really made my stay more enjoyable.
They also have a nice restaurant which serves a big varieties of foods at a super reasonable price. Plus the views over the pool and landscape below are fantastic! The food was super delicious as well!
I got a special deal on hotels.com and paid only $18/night. It was half off, but even at full price it’s super affordable. The value for money is incomparable and I cannot recommend this place enough! And no, it was NOT sponsored in any way!
They also have onsite scooter renewals for 50k/day. D’mas Huts was such a great find!
Have you Been to the Nusa Islands? Which one was Your Favorite?
Click photo to PIN for later♥
MY TOP 5 RECOMMENDED TRAVEL GEAR FOR BALI:
1.Sony Alpha 6000 Mirrorless Camera: I made the switch from my huge DSLR and I wouldn’t go back. It’s light, compact, and takes amazing photos!
2. Sony 10-18mm Wide Angle Zoom Lens: this wide angle lens is the key to landscape shots. I use this lens more than the original and am super happy with it. It’s not cheap, but super worth it if you want to get those special nature shots. Honestly, I would purchase the Sony alpha 6000 camera body only and save up for this lens to go with it.
3. E Bags Packing Cubes: the biggest life changer to keep me packing light! This is my biggest travel gear obsession and I have NO idea how I traveled without them before.
4. LifeProof NUUD Waterproof Case (iPhone 6): this helps protect my phone from water, sand, dirt, and the numerous drops that incur while I travel. I love it!
5. GoPro Hero 5 Black: I am a proud GoPro ambassador and obsessed with GoPro selfie pics if you didn’t notice! The Gopro cameras are the best for action and underwater shots, and of course for taking those selfies when you’re traveling solo. It’s super small, compact, and easy to travel with. Plus it’s so much fun to use! 🙂
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love 🙂