I’ve been visiting Nusa Lembongan since 2011 and love the little island so much I’m excited to share my Top 10 Things To Do. Over the years, Nusa Lembongan has grown from a quaint, laid back tropical island to one that now bustles with tourism, endless activity options and fabulous dining choices. The locals are special, you feel safe on the streets, and after just one trip, you may start planning the next. I prefer the old Lembongan slower lifestyle, but this new age hustle doesn’t stop me from returning year after year.
1. Rent a Private Villa
Accommodation choices are abundant on Nusa Lembongan but why settle for a hotel room when you can book a private Villa?
If you’re a couple, we’d highly recommend the spacious one bedroom, Villa Atas, perched high on the Bukit headland with breathtaking views of the surf breaks and Mt Agung. The villa has it’s own private plunge pool, sundeck, mini kitchen, large bedroom, bathroom, free wifi and the house managers are very accommodating. Our three-night stay was BLISS!
Click here for Air BnB Details
Mushroom Bay is another location with affordable accommodation, diverse room options, restaurants, bars and is a easy option if you are travelling with children or large groups.
The Lembongan Traveller has further options
2. Hire a Scooter and Go Exploring
Get your motor running and head out on the island roads. For $5 a day you can hire a scooter and go exploring. Nusa Lembongan is small, which makes it easy to buzz around in one day. Your accommodation can sort rentals but be careful as they usually charge more. We hire our scooters from small businesses or straight off the locals who are keen to make some extra dollars.
Remember to wear a helmet! With the influx of Chinese tourists on the island, small trucks have been introduced to transport the day trippers around from tour to tour and the roads are busy. The last thing you need on your visit is to have an accident.
3. Take a Surf Lesson with Monkey Surf School
French owner, Chris proudly calls the island ‘home’ and has been operating Monkey Surf School (the original surf school on Lembongan) for over ten years. When the swell is up, and tides are right, he and his skilled team of very patient instructors are available to take you for surf lessons. They cater to beginners, intermediate and advance levels which also means that if you are a gun surfer, you can pay a small fee to be transported out to the reef breaks and do you’re own thing. Surf boards are also available to hire along with freediving, spearfishing and snorkeling activities.
Chris and his team at Monkey Surf School provide a safe, fun and memorable experience!
Monkey Surf School Website
4. Eat, Eat, Eat
Nusa Lembongan is full of tasty food options so be daring, step outside your comfort zone and indulge in local cuisine at as many of the tiny ‘Warungs’ as possible. When in Rome right!?
3. Kenya Coffee
If you appreciate good, well-made coffee to kick start your day just like we do, then make a trip to Kenya Coffee. This locally owned café that overlooks Jungut Batu Beach has killer views, tasty breakfast options and friendly, knowledgeable staff. The perfect spot to chill in the morning and plan your adventures ahead. We indulged in fresh juices, bacon, eggs, fruit and a flat white daily.
Kenya Coffee on TripAdvisor
2. Nyoman’s Warung
Hands down, our top pick for Indonesian food on Nusa Lembongan. Situated on the North side with views across to Mt Agung, the atmosphere and Bintangs are chilled and the traditional cuisine very tasty! Ride your scooter over, park up outside and enjoy dinner as the sun sets. We indulged in the fish wrapped in banana leaf, spring rolls, chicken sate and were so impressed with the secret spices and sauces; we begged owner Nyoman for his recipe. Unfortunately, he didn’t give in.
Nyoman’s Warung on Trip Advisor
3. Mama Mia Japanese Restaurant
If lunching with a view is your type of thing, make sure you stop in at Mama Mia Grill and Bar. This fun little restaurant has the coolest vibes with tasty food to match! The menu is a mix up of local fresh seafood, mouth-watering sushi, all the go-to Indonesian dishes and a few extra surprises. Book in, crack a Bintang or work through the cocktail list and enjoy the laid back charm, cranking beats and scenic views across seaweed farms toward Nusa Cennigan. You’ll love it!
Our food picks: Seaweed salad, chilli crab, anything from the sushi menu.
Mama Mia on Trip Advisor
5. Take a Mangrove Boat Tour
If you need a break from the beach and sun and you’ve never experienced a mangrove ecosystem, this guided boat tour is a great ‘filler’ activity. For approximately $5 AUD you get to kick back and enjoy the ride as the older local lads paddle the ‘gondola’ style boat through the mangrove-filled estuaries – just don’t expect commentary from them as there is none. This 20-minute boat ride is cheap, peaceful and fascinating if you are into the environment.
6. Drive across the Yellow Bridge and Visit Nusa Cenningan
The iconic Yellow Bridge connecting Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Cenningan is as famous to Bali as the Yellow Brick Road is to Dorothy and her gang. When it collapsed in October 2016, tragically killing eight people, a crowdfunding page was set up for the island communities, victims and families.
The bridge has been rebuilt stronger and back in business allowing tourism to thrive, locals to travel and selfie-loving Instagrammers that perfect shot! Get across it and spend a day exploring on Nusa Cenningan.
7. Book yourself into a Spa
Other than the sunshine and beach vibes, why else do you go on a tropical holiday? For affordable spa treatments right?! Thankfully spa choices are endless on Nusa Lembongan, and prices range from cheap and cheerful to Australian style fees. You don’t have to spend much in Bali to have a memorable spa treatment though! We indulged in the Balinese Massage (1hr for $15 AUD) and Oatmilk Scrub (1 1/2hr for $25 AUD) and walked out feeling like we were floating on clouds.
Our picks are the Organic Lembongan Spa and Lembongan Seaweed Spa, located a street back from Jungut Batu Beach (the main beach on the island).
8. Rent a Private Boat and Swim with the Manta Rays
Here is a big tip, forget the ‘commercial group booking’ and lock in a private boat tour and go searching for Manta Rays off the Nusa Penida coast. Lembongan local, ’Captain Planet’, one of the instructors at Monkey Surf School offers personalised Manta ray tours to cater to your needs. His local knowledge of all three islands, the ocean and marine life is epic, and he is one cool dude. We paid approx $80 (for two of us) for a 3-4hr adventure (included snorkelling at a different reef site) and had the privilege of spotting lots of Manta Rays and even swam solo alongside one for 10 minutes. How’s that for a personalised “tour”!
Contact Captain Planet via Monkey Surf School website www.monkeyactivites.com
Click HERE to read our blog ‘Nusa Penida – Paradise for Adventures Seekers’
9. Sunset drinks at The Deck
Perched up on the Lembongan hillside, The Deck is more than just a groovy restaurant/bar. It’s the place you can visit to chill out while soaking up the island atmosphere, write in your journal, shoot off emails if you’re on a ‘working holiday’ and sip on a cocktail while enjoying the sunset. The coffee is quality, the food and beverage list is impressive, and it’s ever so stylish. Make sure you stalk their website and social pages before your trip and visit during the famous ‘Sunday Sunset Sessions’ for a sexy afternoon and night of pumping beats.
The Deck – www.thedecklembongan.com
Kick back, grab your book, catch up on sleep or your favourite Netflix series and RELAX! That’s what holidays as are all about right? The charming appeal of Nusa Lembongan is that it embodies that laid back feeling so go with the flow, enjoy some downtime without feeling guilty and leave your watch at home and connect to ‘island time’.
Let me know what you think of your trip to Nusa Lembongan and please share any of your hot ‘tips’ with me. I’m always keen to see and experience more when I travel there.
Here is a quick clip of our private Manta Ray tour with Captain Planet