With my trip to Bali coming around, I was pretty sure one thing I definitely wanted to do was to visit the Nusa islands - Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida. I mean, sure, they were Instagram famous and probably attracted a TON of tourists, lots of whom would be there with selfie sticks and tripods, but that still didn't take away from the fact that the islands are spectacular. They're beautiful, and green, and fresh, and raw. And they're islands, which means beaches, which means YAY FOR ME!
(I'm using italics, GOD, I love that place!)
I had 2.5 full days to explore the 3 Nusa Islands, which, while it is not enough, will just about let you get a glimpse of the gorgeous natural beauty that the islands have to offer. In this post, I'm going to be talking about everything I did there. You can pick up what you would like to do, and plan your itinerary accordingly (or don't plan, just go, that's even better).
I based myself in Nusa Lembongan, and I found it to be a good springboard to explore Ceningan and Penida. Lembongan is definitely more commercial than Penida - it's easier to get around, and has all the facilities you might need while you're there. If you're there for only a few days, like I was, I would recommend basing yourself in Lembongan and exploring the 3 islands from there itself. If you're there a while longer, stay for a few nights in Lembongan, and a few nights in Penida.
Nusa Lembongan is about an hour away by speedboat. All boats to the Nusa Islands leave from Sanur every 2- 3 hours, depending on the service provider. Scoot is one of the more established names that you could rely on, but I would suggest going to Sanur beach on the day and booking from one of the operators there itself. Booking online does not allow you to negotiate on the price, and you'll end up paying way more than you need to. Don't settle for anything above IDR 400000 - IDR 450000 for a roundtrip. Tops.
You will need to wade into knee-high water to board the boat, and it also involves tossing your shoes into a common crate beforehand, so dress accordingly. It doesn't matter if you have a backpack or a suitcase, because the guys managing the boat will take care of it for you. And you're going to be seated pretty close to the water, real low, so if you're prone to seasickness, pop that pill!
Once you've reached Lembongan, the same operator will arrange to drop you off at your accommodation. It's all pretty well organised, don't stress too much.
Where to stay
I stayed at Lembongan Hostel. It's 15 mins walking from Dream Beach and Devil's Tear, and about 30 mins from Mushroom Beach.
The hostel was pretty comfortable, with free breakfast and large (SO LARGE), comfortable beds. Scooters and cycles are available for hire at the hostel itself, and so is a scooter drop-off service for a certain charge.
You'll find plenty of accommodation options near Jungut Batu as well, on the northern stretch of the island. Bali is known for its infinity pools and villas, and if there are more than one of you (or if you're in the mood to pamper yourself), book yourself a stay in one of the gorgeous villas you find on Airbnb.
Accommodation in Lembongan is slightly more expensive than that in Bali, so it's probably going to take you by surprise. Just letting you know.
What to do
The snapshot -
Day 1 - Nusa Lembongan - Jungut Batu, Mushroom Beach, Sandy Bay, Dream Beach, Devil's Tear
Day 2 - Nusa Penida - Kelingking Beach, Crystal Bay, Angel's Billabong, Peguyangan Waterfall
Day 3 - Nusa Ceningan - Yellow Bridge, Blue Lagoon, Secret Beach
Read on for deets.