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12 Things to Do in Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan – A One Day Itinerary of Bali’s Islands

A woman sitting on the edge of the rocky cliff overlooking a bright blue sea

12 Things to Do in Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan – A One Day Itinerary of Bali’s Islands

Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan are two small islands located off the east coast of Bali in Indonesia. Together with their larger neighbor – Nusa Penida – they make up the three Nusa Islands. Sandwiched between Nusa Penida and Bali, these two tropical paradises offer a tranquil escape from the bustling mainland. With their pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and charming landscapes, these islands are a haven for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat.

A yellow bridge with the words "Best things to do in Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan" superimposed

Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan Itinerary

In just one day, you can explore Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan, covering the best spots, from picturesque beaches to hidden gems, and fancy beach clubs to fun activities. It’s worth noting that this is a jam-packed itinerary for one day, so if you prefer to take things a little slower, it can easily be extended over two days.

12 Things to Do in Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan

1. Mushroom Bay Beach – Best Beach for Swimming

Start your day with a visit to Mushroom Bay Beach, known for its crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand. This is where the ferries arrive on the island, so it’s an ideal place to begin the itinerary. As well as being a visual delight, Mushroom Beach is also an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling.

A sandy beach with many small boats anchored near the shore

Bathe in the refreshing sea, explore the vibrant coral, or simply relax on the shore and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Mushroom Bay sets the perfect tone for a day of sun-soaked adventure.

Interestingly it seems no one really knows how Mushroom Bay Beach got its name. Some people think it may be the interesting mushroom shaped coral reefs which seems likely.

2. Dead Pool – Hidden Gem in Nusa Lembongan

If you want to escape the busier spots, Dead Pool is a nice, hidden treasure in Nusa Lembongan. This natural pool and cave, carved into the rocky cliffs by the relentless ocean waves, offers an incredible experience.

The raw power of the waves crashing against the cliffs, booming loudly, and spraying high into the air is an unforgettable and mesmerizing show. It’s an off-the-beaten-path location that few tourists visit so you’ll likely have it to yourself.

To get there you can follow the location on Google Maps, but you need to walk the last bit out to the cliffs. Be very careful near the edges as there’s no barriers and there are sheer drops down to the rocks and water below.

3. Dog’s Head

The distinctive rock formation known as Dog’s Head is a nice, quick stop and a unique photo opportunity. We’re big fans of an attraction that lives up to its name and Dog’s Head certainly ticks that box with its uncanny canine resemblance.

A rocky point with an uncanny likeness to a dog laying down

There are a few places you can see it from, one of the best being Cloudland Bar. It doesn’t open until 3pm, and it’s an open area, so you can walk through to see it. Or you can choose to come later in the day and enjoy a drink with a view of the Dog’s Head.

4. Devil’s Tears

Prepare to be awe-struck by waves again as you soak up the intense power of nature at Devil’s Tears. This rugged coastal area, similar to Dead Pool but more accessible, is famed for its dramatic swells smashing the cliffs, creating explosive sprays and mist. The combination of the sheer cliffs, churning water, and panoramic views makes Devil’s Tears a must-see sight in Nusa Lembongan.

Devil’s Tears used to be free to visit and there wasn’t much in terms of infrastructure around it. But more recently, they have added ropes to keep you from wandering too close to the edges and it’s now 25k IDR (around $1.50) to enter. The ticket covers unlimited visits, so if you want to return, it won’t cost you any more.

5. Lunch at Sandy Bay Beach Club

Time to recharge your batteries with a tasty lunch at Sandy Bay Beach Club. This relaxing beachfront restaurant serves a wide range of international and local dishes with beautiful sea views.

A woman in an infinity pool at the beach

They also have an infinity pool overlooking the beach, so after lunch you can enjoy a refreshing dip with a cocktail. Sandy Bay Beach Club is on the pricey side for Indonesia but it’s good value for the more luxury setting.

6. Dream Beach

A short journey away from Sandy Bay Beach Club you’ll find Dream Beach, a postcard-perfect destination with its powdery white sand and turquoise waters. Whether you choose to bask in the sun or simply admire the stunning coastal scenery, Dream Beach lives up to its name.

A sandy bay with a quiet beach and white foamy sea

It is possible to swim at Dream Beach, but you should take extra care because the waves and tides can get dangerous here and some areas are rocky.

7. Cross the Yellow Bridge to Nusa Ceningan

Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are connected by the iconic Yellow Bridge. The small suspension bridge is only just wide enough for scooters to pass each other.

A yellow bridge spanning a shallow channel of water with sand in the foreground

Ride a scooter or take a leisurely stroll across the bridge, offering great views of the shallow channel between the islands. At low tide, you can see the many seaweed farms that the locals keep in this area.

8. Watch the Surfers at Mahana Point

For those seeking a bit of excitement, Mahana Point is the place to be. This renowned surf spot not only offers big waves for experienced surfers but also a clifftop bar with panoramic views.

A restaurant perched on the end of the cliffs with two surfers in the water

Whether you’re a surfing enthusiast or just a spectator, watching the surfers ride the waves close to the cliffs is a captivating experience.

This is a great place for experienced surfers to catch some waves, but these islands have some amazing spots for beginners too like Playgrounds, Lacerations, Razors, and Shipwrecks.

9. Blue Lagoon – Best Spot in Nusa Ceningan

The Blue Lagoon, with its vivid turquoise waters and rugged cliffs, is a must-visit spot in Nusa Ceningan. The stunning contrast of colors and the untouched beauty of the lagoon make it a photographer’s paradise.

You can explore the surrounding cliffs for different views of the lagoon. It’s known as an area for cliff jumping, but the water is rough and there was no one else around when we visited, so we just enjoyed the view from the land.

10. Swings and Drinks at The Sand Ceningan

Cool off with a drink at The Sand Ceningan, a beachfront bar adorned with iconic swings overlooking the channel. Sip on your favorite drink, enjoy the gentle sea breeze, and swing over the crystal-clear water. It’s a picture-perfect setting that captures the laid-back life on the island.

A woman on a swing in the shallow sea with boats on the horizon

You can watch the seaweed farmers tending to their plots from here as well as people fishing from their small boats.

11. Kayaking Through Mangroves – Best Activity in Nusa Lembongan

The mangrove forest in the northeast of Nusa Lembongan is one of the region’s highlights. The best way to explore this ecological wonder is by embarking on a kayaking adventure through it.

A woman kayaking through mangroves out to sea

Navigate your way through the twisted roots and lush greenery as you paddle through the calm waters surrounded by the sounds of nature. This eco-friendly activity provides a unique perspective of the island’s biodiversity (keep your eyes out for mud crabs, monitor lizards, and tropical birds) and is an excellent way to connect with the natural environment.

There are dozens of places offering kayaks and other water activities here. We drove to the end of the road where there’s a “Welcome to Mangrove” sign for a company that offers kayaking, boat tours, and stand-up paddle boards.

The kayak cost us 150k IDR (around $10) for an hour which was plenty of time to see the mangroves, head out to the shallow coast, and further up the waterway. If you’re not sure of the route, the people at the kayak rental are happy to help.

12. Sunset Dinner & Drinks at Ohana’s Beach Club

After a long and busy day, head to Ohana’s Beach Club to unwind with a magical sunset. This laid-back, classy venue offers a perfect setting for a romantic dinner or food & drinks with friends. They have a lovely pool overlooking the coast so be sure to take your swimwear.

A woman in a blue pool, framed by leaves with a sign reading "Ohana's" on the white wall behind

The sea is calm and warm here, and although there are a lot of boats, it’s a nice spot for a sunset dip. Watching the sky ablaze with vibrant colors as the sun sets over the horizon, casting a golden glow on the island, is the perfect end to the day.

If you’d like a sunbed here the minimum spend is 200k IDR (around $13) and a daybed is 500k IDR (around $32) which is a lot for Indonesia, but a bargain when compared with this level of luxury in Europe or the US.

Where to Stay in Nusa Lembongan

Accommodation is very affordable on Nusa Lembongan. A popular option is to stay in a hut, bungalow, or even entire villa, which are available for less than $30!

Take a look at Nusa Lembongan accommodation and find something that suits your budget.

How to Get to Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan

You can take the ferry from Sanur in Bali to Nusa Lembongan. A one-way ticket costs 200k IDR (around $13) or for a few dollars more you can book a speedboat to the islands. They pick up from other popular areas like Ubud and Canggu.

A white speedboat style ferry and a woman with a backpack boarding

Another option if you’re also visiting Nusa Penida is the direct small boat between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. It operates throughout the day and leaves when there are enough passengers. The kiosk is located near the Yellow Bridge on the northern Nusa Lembongan side.

Check out our guide to the best things to do in Nusa Penida.

There is no jetty or dock on the islands so it’s better to wear appropriate clothing and footwear as you’ll be getting off the boat on the beach.

How to Get Around Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan

The islands are both pretty small, you could make it around the whole map in around an hour by scooter. If you only brought backpacks, then you can rent a scooter right from the beach and ride to your hotel.

It is possible to rent a car and driver to see Nusa Lembongan, but not Nusa Ceningan as they can’t cross the yellow bridge.

Final Thoughts on Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan

A day spent exploring the enchanting islands of Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan can be a bit rushed, so spreading the activities over two days offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. If you’re looking for a slower pace than the beach clubs and parties of Seminyak and Canggu then a trip to these islands is the perfect remedy.

12 Things to Do in Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan – A One Day Itinerary of Bali’s Islands

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