Nusa Ceningan and Lembongan Travel Guide
There are many land and water sport activities to explore while staying on the sister islands.
This guide is meant to provide some inspiration of what you can do while enjoying your stay with us at Ceningan Resort.
The climate of Nusa Ceningan is similar to neighbouring ‘mainland’ Bali but it is noticeably drier here, particularly in the period of May to September. January and February are the height of the rainy season (still a magical time to visit).
The locals are Hindu and visitors will notice little or no difference from the prevailing culture on the Bali mainland. Balinese is the most common language of communication between local residents, with Bahasa Indonesia a distant second. The Balinese spoken here is a distinct dialect, and sharp-eared linguists would certainly notice this. English is widely understood and spoken, often with an Australian accent!
Bali offers world-class diving and diversified dive sites that will meet the needs of both new and experienced divers.
Ceningan Divers based on Nusa Ceningan focus on diving around the islands of Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Located nearly 25kms from east Bali, this area is part of the Coral Triangle and known for it’s world-class diving with Manta Rays and Mola Mola (during season – July to October). Ask our staff for more details about diving or read this article about diving around the sister islands.
Non-divers should not feel left out, as good snorkeling is available close to the shore at various spots around the island. The waters around Nusa Ceningan are crystal clear, hosting colourful coral and sea creatures, making it an ideal location for snorkeling and for any other water sport activities. Ask our staff for more details about snorkeling trips.
There are three main breaks, all off the top half of the west coast, with another less well known just to the southwest off Nusa Ceningan. Playgrounds, Lacerations and Shipwrecks are all close offshore and reached via an energetic paddle from the beach, or in a more leisurely fashion, by a local boat (perahu) which can be chartered from the nearest beach.
The waves around these islands are amazing, however it’s best to surf at medium to high tide. Be very careful when surfing here, with names like lacerations, shipwreck and razor, it’s not hard to grasp that you are entering treatcherous waters! Read our surf guide for more information.
Sightseeing and land activities
Until recently, the great majority of locals on Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan were involved in seaweed farming. One of the best places to view the farms is on the south-west side of Nusa Ceningan. Here there are cliffs lining the beach so you can see the farms from above.
Alternatively, you will see a lot of seaweed being dried in front of homes at the northern end of Nusa Lembongan.
Seaweed farming is a labour intensive industry and the price the locals receive from the large Asian market is quite variable.
As part of a tour of the mangrove in the north-west corner of Nusa Lembongan, you can sail over the seaweed farms. This is dependent on tide conditions, but if it is low tide in the afternoon you can take a close look at how the seaweed is grown and harvested.
Mangrove forest tour
Large parts of the north and most of the west coast of Nusa Lembongan are covered by mangrove forests. You can go for a short tour through the mangrove and the adjacent seaweed farms in a flat bottomed boat. Perhaps the Lembongan version of a gondolier as the ‘driver’ uses a long pole to push the boat along and steer it through the narrow channels.
Boat trips can be organised at our resort or you can make your own way there and organise on the spot. A 30 to 40 minute trip costs between 50,000 and 100,000 rupiah per boat, 2 to 3 persons, depending upon your negotiation skills.
It is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon and can be followed up with a cool drink at one of the many warungs.
Ceningan Resort is located in the pristine mangroves of Nusa Ceningan, you can hire one of our SUP (stand up paddle board) and cruise down the channel. Ask our staff for more details about mangrove tours.
Motorbikes and bicycles
If you want to explore the islands of Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan it’s best you rent a motorbike or if you are ready to take on the extra workout you can rent a bicycle as well. Ask our staff for more details about bike/motorbike rental.
These are excellent islands for walking and keen visitors should not hesitate to just head off and explore the myriad tracks that criss-cross the islands.
Yellow suspension bridge
The yellow suspension bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan allows visitors to easily access each island. The narrow bridge allows access by foot, bicycle or motor bike: it is unsuitable for cars.
Zipline in Nusa Ceningan
The newly built Ceningan Zipline is located near Ceningan Point. (more details coming soon)
Cliff jumping in Nusa Ceningan
The Blue Lagoon Cliff Jump is about 14m high and you can find it just behind and to the left of Ceningan Point.
The Mahana Point Cliff Jump is about 15m high and situated behind Secret Point Beach.
*Recently several people have been injured (broken legs and spinal injuries) while jumping off the cliff at low tide, we strongly recommend caution or even best to avoid this activity!
You may be able to catch a cock fight, look out for a crowd of local men! This generates a lot of excitement on this tiny island.
Gala Gala Underground House
Gala-gala was built by Made Byasa, a farmer, priest and Mangku Dalang (puppet shadow performer). Due to his profession as a Dalang, he got inspired by one of Mahabharata episode, “Wana Parwa”; the twelve years in exile in the forest. In the story Pandawas decided to build a cave, Gala-gala, to protect his family from Korawas who wanted to find and kill all of Pandawas’s family. The underground house is dug into the rock and covers an area of five hundred square meters. Built using nothing more than a hammer and chisel. He started the project in 1961 and finished in 1976.
A wonderful secluded beach with powdery, white sand, located on the south coast of Nusa Lembongan. From the west coast, head southeast towards Lembongan Village, turn west, and then look for the sign leading south to Dream Beach. Be very careful about entering the water here as the rip currents can be fierce. Only the strongest swimmers should consider this and even then, avoid the eastern end of the beach.
Sandy Bay (Sunset Beach)
A small but spectacular beach with white sand and crashing waves, located to the north of Dream Beach, and easiest to reach via the same route. At low tide a cave is exposed in the low limestone cliff at the eastern side of the bay. Approach carefully and make sure you are not cut off from the beach by a rising tide. All-in-all, this is a great laid back spot.
Located between Playground’s surf break and Mushroom Bay. From this beach you have a good view of Bali and Mount Agung. Swimming is good only at high tide.
Is a wonderful beach with a view of Mount Agung, white sand and mangrove trees, Jungut Batu village is located at the end of the beach.
Is the place where most boats arrive in Nusa Lembongan. It can be a good spot to hang and dip in the ocean, on the north east of mushroom beach is a hard to access secluded beach.
Is found by walking either a few minutes north from Dream Beach or south from Sunset Beach. A rocky outcrop on the south western coast. Spectacular crashing waves and water plumes.
Exploring the temples
Puncak Sari Temple
Located in Lembongan Village (just north of Lembongan Village on the main route back to Jungut Batu). It is the largest and grandest Hindu temple on the island. Enjoy an amazing view of the Indian Ocean, Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan.
Pura Dalem Temple
An elegant, whitewashed temple between the villages of Lembongan and Jungut Batu.
This temple has three parts with one of the worshipping areas perched right on the sand. Not far away on the north-west road in a quieter area is Empu Aji Temple.
Pura Ulun Danu Temple
Pura Ulun Danu of Nusa Ceningan is a temple that is dedicated to Dewi Batari Ulun Danu, goddess of the lakes and rivers. This temple is situated on the western part of Nusa Ceningan. This Ulun Danu temple is also known as ‘the Temple of the Cave’, as it is built on a hill, sitting on top of a holy cave, the Goa Raja or “King’s Cave”. Placed on a concrete platform in this temple sits a small ship flanked by the statues of Dewa Baruna, god of the seas, and Dewi Ayu Mas Segara, goddess of the Southern Seas – in Java commonly known as Lörö Kidul.
Goa Raja Cave Temple
The Goa Raja Cave also houses a small temple and it can be reached via a narrow staircase which is hewn out of the rocks, descending to the entrance of the cave. The Goa Raja cave, considered to be very holy, in general can only be visited by priests. In very rare cases westerners are permitted to enter the holy cave.
Jungut Batu is Lembongan Island second and smallest village. World famous surfbreaks are located in front of Jungut Batu. Breaks such as “Shipwrecks” and “Lacerations” have lured surfers to the area for over 30 years
The main population centre of the island is Lembongan Village in the southern interior and it is here that you will find the homes of many traditional island families.