The Nusa Islands are a huge hit thanks to their beautiful beaches and iconic spots. So here’s everything you’ll need in our Nusa Islands Bali guide.
What Are The Nusa Islands?
The Nusa Islands are a trio of popular islands just off the South Coast of Bali, Indonesia.
Made up of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan (the latter two connected by bridge) they’re all full of adventure.
Tourism has grown massively on these remote islands over the past few years. Mainly thanks to the beautiful scenery on offer, it’s underwater nature, and of course the presence of social media.
However, they are most noticeable for being home to some of the most Instagrammable places in Bali!
Most people chose only to journey over to Nusa Penida as it’s the most widely known.
However, after exploring all three islands on a couple of occasions we can honestly say they’re all worth the time spent to explore. Definitely one for your Philippines Itinerary.
How To Get To The Nusa Islands From Bali
From Bali you can book a Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan Fast Boat Transfer that departs from Sanur harbour daily.
There are many competing tour operators at the harbour that charge roughly 150,000 IDR one way, or 250,000 IDR for a return ticket.
The fast boats take around 30 minutes to reach either island from Bali. Also the boats may look small but they’re a smooth enough ride, depending on the weather.
To cross over to Nusa Ceningan (attached to Nusa Lembongan) there’s only one option and that’s to drive across the big Yellow Bridge!
We recommend starting with Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan and exploring the islands for a couple of days, before heading over to Nusa Penida which has a lot more to offer.
Travelling Between Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Penida
To get from Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Penida, the only option is to catch a fast boat from the famous Yellow Bridge!
We made the mistake of heading to Mushroom Beach (the usual ferry drop off point) the morning we aimed to leave Lembongan and had to pay for a taxi transfer down to the Yellow Bridge. Learn from our mistakes!
It takes around 10 minutes by speed boat and costs as follows:
75,000 IDR per person for 2 people
50,000 IDR per person for 4+ people
Everywhere on the Nusa Islands is reachable within a one hour drive. So renting a scooter for the duration of your stay and exploring on two wheels is definitely the easiest option.
That being said, travelling around the Nusa Islands can be a challenge as some parts are a little bumpy and the grounds aren’t as up to scratch as the tarmac of Bali so please be careful!
You can grab a scooter for around 70,000 IDR per day and explore yourself.
By Hiring A Driver:
Or if you’re not comfortable renting a scooter you can barter with the local taxi drivers to take you around the islands for a day rate – should be no more than 600,000 IDR per day.
We covered most of the things to do on Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan in just a single day, and covered nearly all of the things to do in Nusa Penida over 3 days!
On the first day of our Nusa Penida tour we took a Best of Nusa Penida Full-Day Tour, which covered all the iconic spots with ease.
So if you’d rather visit with a car and a driver we can highly recommend this option.
What To Pack:
Devil’s Tears was the first stop on our Nusa Lembongan tour.
We arrived early in the morning and it definitely set us up for a full day of exploring Lembongan.
With some of the craziest waves we’d ever seen, and a pretty cool spot for photographers, it’s definitely one of the top things to do in Nusa Lembongan.
With only a day to hit up all of the top spots in Nusa Lembongan we didn’t have time to go on a beach crawl.
Although with Dream Beach being the most popular stretch of sand on the island, we swung by to check out the highly rated Nusa Lembongan beach to see what all the fuss was about. And it didn’t disappoint!
Since the famous Yellow Bridge connecting Lembongan and Ceningan collapsed in October 2016 it has been rebuilt and renamed ‘The Bridge Of Love’.
With many tourists coming to pay their respects and take photos of the brightly coloured landmark, we had to cross over it to get to Nusa Ceningan, so stopped to check it out.
There’s a tiny sign and no real car park leading to the Blue Lagoon lookout.
Although after walking through a small dirt track and passing a few palm trees, we arrived at the bluest water we’d ever seen!
If you’re on the hunt for cliff jumping in Bali, then the Blue Lagoon Nusa Ceningan is your spot. Be sure to add it to your things to do in Nusa Ceningan list.
Mahana Point Cliff Jump
The ultimate spot for adrenaline junkies on Nusa Ceningan Island. Mahana Point Cliff Jump is a bar come restaurant with a difference.
The difference being a 10m diving board attached to the side of the bar.
So if you’re looking for a place to fling yourself off into the Bali Sea then you’ll love this spot. Don’t leave without completing this things to do in Nusa Ceningan MUST!
The very first spot you should have pinned on your map when looking at your things to do in Nusa Penida itinerary.
This T-Rex shaped cliff side at Kelingking Beach has rocketed tourism into the sky with it’s natural iconic beauty. Kelingking Beach itself is a secluded, white sandy haven surrounded by turquoise waters.
To get down to Kelingking Beach takes around an hour and you must go at your own risk. The bamboo railings are not greatly maintained and you shouldn’t put 100% of your weight on them.
Having said that, Kelingking Beach is a spot that cannot be missed on your things to do in Nusa Penida tour.
Angel’s Billabong is a very beautiful, naturally formed infinity pool.
Nusa Penida is becoming more and more popular amongst tourists for it’s spectacular rock formations, although Angel’s Billabong is in a league of its own.
We really enjoyed this spot on our Nusa Penida tour purely because it’s the perfect place to hang out with friends and watch the ocean crashing over the side whilst cooling off from those sweaty walks.
Broken Beach is another one of the top picturesque destinations on Nusa Penida Island.
The arched tunnel allows the ocean to flow in making a natural pool and a great photo spot. This along with Angel’s Billabong are two of the most popular spots for Nusa Penida tours as they are two of closest attractions to the ferry port.
From Kelingking Beach, Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach were around a 45 minute journey by car or bike.
Palm tree heaven!
We were in our element at Crystal Bay with it’s aligned palm trees and private little beach.
You have to venture through a whole jungle of trees before you get to it and it’s impossible to not stop and take a photo.
Of all the things to do in Nusa Penida, Crystal Bay Beach is the perfect spot to finish in!
Save some time at the end of your Nusa Penida itinerary for soaking up the sun or catching a sunset to remember.
If you’re looking for one of the best viewpoints on the island then Banah Cliff Point should definitely be on your things to do in Nusa Penida list.
We headed over early in the morning to catch a glimpse of the crazy cliff top lookouts and shimmering blue waters down below.
We were recommended by a local to check out the Tembeling Natural Pool and what a gem it was!
One of the lesser known things to do in Nusa Penida it’s used as a watering hole by the people that live nearby. We googled some photos and jumped at the chance of diving into the tropical blue waters.
A random natural pool that appears in the middle of the Tembeling Beach and Forest trail.
Peguyangan Waterfall is an iconic spot for tourists and locals, most widely known for the Nusa Penida blue stairs.
We’d heard the waterfall was a little underwhelming, if not non existent, but the cliff edge views made up for it. So we headed to the Southern point of the island to find out for ourselves.
Rated one of the best beaches on Nusa Penida, the trip our East to Atuh Beach should definitely be one of the top things to do on your Nusa Islands trip.
A fair drive from the west side of the island, where the majority of the tourist spots are located, although well worth the journey on a sunny day.
Even amongst the down pour on one of our trips, we could still see how clear the water was at Atuh Beach.
Rumah Pohon, or the Nusa Penida Treehouse, is one of the most noticeable accommodations on the island.
So we had to swing by and visit the magical place we’d seen online. It’s fair to say Rumah Pohon Treehouse is definitely one of the most random yet beautiful spots we’ve come across on our travels.
Thousand Island Viewpoint
You can kill two birds with one stone by visiting Rumah Pohon and Thousand Island Viewpoint on your Nusa Penida tour.
The viewpoints is definitely one of the most spectacular spots on the island to take in the ocean breeze and spend a moment appreciating exactly where you are.
We spent a good hour just relaxing on the cliff overlooking the islands and chilling out at Thousand Island Nusa Penida.
The final stop of our Nusa Penida itinerary and it was like revisiting the Philippines.
The water from above at the lookout point at Suwehan Beach was blue beyond belief, and we couldn’t wait to get down the 342 steps to cool off.
If you plan on visiting on your Nusa Penida tour though, make sure to check the tides first.
Returning From The Nusa Islands To Bali
The best option to get back to Bali is to arrange your tickets ahead of time and book them in advance.
However, if you don’t have a return ticket and are unsure how to get back, head to Toya Pakeh Harbour on Nusa Penida.
There are many ferry operators to choose from although we’ve only ever travelled with Dwi Manunggal and have had no problems.
Their ferries run back to Sanur every day from Nusa Penida departing at – 7am, 9am, 2.30pm and 5pm.
Where To Stay In Nusa Lembongan
Luxury – The Acala Lembongan
Set in Nusa Lembongan, The Acala Shri Sedana is 1.2 miles from Mushroom Bay.
Among the various facilities are an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, as well as a terrace.
Guests can enjoy a selection of Asian dishes in the in-house restaurant.
The property offers free scheduled shuttle service to Yellow Bridge, Mushroom Bay, and Jungut Batu.
All guest rooms at the hotel come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with free toiletries. Some rooms have a balcony, however all feature air conditioning and a desk.
Mid-Budget – Bali Nusa Villa
Bali Nusa Cottage is located in Lembongan, 100 yards from Mushroom Bay and 0.6 miles from The Sandy Beach Club.
Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Every room comes with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. Some units feature views of the pool or garden.
Every room comes with a private bathroom equipped with a bath or shower.
There is also luggage storage space at the property.
Budget – Pandan Wangi
Located in Lembongan, 350 yards from Blue Corner, Pandan Wangi features air-conditioned rooms and free private parking.
Some rooms have a seating area where you can relax. Some rooms come with a terrace or balcony. However, every room comes with a private bathroom.
Pandan Wangi features free WiFi and there is a free shuttle service at the property.
The staff can also arrange scooter rental and snorkelling tours with additional charges. Bike hire is available at this homestay and the area is popular for snorkelling.
For more places to stay in Nusa Lembongan, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.
Where To Stay In Nusa Penida
Luxury – Crystal Bay Villa & Residence
Boasting a restaurant, free bikes, and a garden, Crystal Bay Villa & Residence features accommodation in Nusa Penida with free WiFi and pool views.
With garden views also available, this accommodation provides a balcony and a swimming pool.
The air-conditioned villa consists of 1 separate bedroom, 1 bathroom with a hairdryer, free toiletries, a seating area and a flat-screen TV.
Guests at the villa can enjoy an à la carte or an American breakfast.
Languages spoken at the 24-hour front desk include English and Indonesian. Bicycle rental service is also available at the accommodation.
Mid-Budget – Singable Bungalows
Situated in Nusa Penida, Singabu Bungalows offers air-conditioned accommodation and landscaped tropical gardens.
It has an outdoor pool with a shallow end and free WiFi in all areas.
At the property, each room comes with a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV. The rooms have a terrace with views of the pool or the garden. Private bathrooms all come with a shower.
Coco Leaf restaurant serves a variety of international dishes, and room service is also available.
Budget – Deva Devi Beach Inn
Set in Nusa Penida just 0.7 miles from Sampalan Harbour, Deva Devi Beach Inn offers express check-in and check-out, non-smoking rooms, a restaurant, free WiFi and a garden.
The property features a bar and a terrace. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.
All guest rooms at the guest house come with a seating area.
At Deva Devi Beach Inn all rooms also come with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.
For more places to stay in Nusa Penida, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.