For the traveller and expat alike, travelling to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida feels like a real island getaway. Away from the crowds of Bali, and daily life chores, you can relax and enjoy the wind in your hair from the moment you step onto the speedboat, until you are safely back on dry land.
Navigating the waters of what kind of accommodation to stay in, which area to stay, which island is better and what attractions are a must-see can be overwhelming when you don’t have an insider view. Well, I am here to help.
Below I have broken down the best areas, accommodations and must-do activities.
Take a look, and let your island adventure begin.
Nusa Ceningan – The Island to Relax and Unwind.
Across the ocean from Bali, Nusa Ceningan sits cosily between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Well-known for its famous yellow bridge that crosses over from Nusa Lembongan, it is the smallest island of the three. Attracting travellers from around the world to surf, hike and relax, it is best explored by motorbike.
The Blue Lagoon is the most stunning attraction on the island, its rich blue colour standing out among the tropical greens. Filled with restaurants, white sand beaches and quaint comfortable accommodations, this is the place to go of all the Nusa Lembongan areas for a relaxing, tranquil experience.
A Hostel Just Steps from Attractions in Nusa Ceningan – Candy Hostel
A super cosy and friendly hostel, Candy Hostel is perfectly located on the island of Nusa Ceningan away from the crowds but just walking distance from some of the most popular attractions such as – Blue Lagoon and Secret Point Beach. With comfortable beds and homey amenities, it will quickly become your favourite budget island getaway.
Stunning Ocean View Hideaway in Nusa Ceningan – Villa Chama
Overlooking the ocean, this bright and comfortable island hideaway is the perfect place to retreat with your loved ones. Surrounded by luscious tropical greenery and featuring an expansive terrace looking out to the horizon, this is the ultimate sunset spot. Relax in the privacy of your own getaway with stunning scenic views all around.
PADI Dive Resort for the Beginner Diver in Nusa Ceningan – Ceningan Resort
Just 500m from the famous yellow bridge, Ceningan Resort is a PADI Dive Resort surrounded by luscious mangroves and towering coconut trees. Hidden away from the tourist eye, it is an idyllic location to spend a relaxing getaway, or an educational dive trip. The on-site instructors are attentive and professional to ensure you have the best diving experience.
Things to Do in Nusa Ceningan –
- Snap a picture crossing over the iconic yellow bridge – AKA ‘The Bridge of Love’
- Venture to the Blue Lagoon to see some of the most brilliant blue waters
- Cliff jump into the Blue Lagoon from one of the designated jumping spots (be aware of swells and rocks)
- Explore the island by motorbike to find hidden cafes and beautiful viewpoints
- Visit the Secret Beach hidden through a maze of greenery
- Zip across the island on The Abyss Zipline located in Ceningan Island Resort
- Spend a lazy day at one of the pool bars or beach bars, sipping on coconuts and cocktails
Jungutbatu – A Great Place for Every Traveler.
One of the most popular tourist areas in Nusa Lembongan, Jungutbatu is famous for having the longest stretch of white sand beach on the island. With a direct view to Bali’s Mount Agung, and an ocean filled with quaint fisherman’s boats, this is a great area to relax yet still remain closeby to amenities and attractions.
Try your hand at diving, laze long days away on the sand, and explore the cute cafes and restaurants – everything is just a few minutes walk from your accommodation. Ideal for families, groups of friends or solo travellers, everyone can enjoy a real island getaway in this beachside town.
Real Island Living in Jungutbatu – Tigerlillys
Tigerlillys is the ideal representation of how I imagine tropical island living. Quaint private bungalows, succulent gardens and boho-chic decor make an idyllic relaxing atmosphere for your island retreat. Featuring resort amenities and kind hospitality, you will be returning here year after year. Just a short walk from Jungutbatu Beach, it is one of the best places to stay in Nusa Lembongan!
Ultimate Island Luxury in Jungutbatu – Lotus Villa
If you are searching for luxury on Nusa Lembongan, this is it! Lotus Villa is a sprawling, open, modern accommodation in the heart of the island. A picturesque place for an extravagant friends getaway, or vacation with family, the 3 bedroom villa exudes luxury and comfort. Featuring a private swimming pool, spacious breezy living areas and unbeatable service, you have everything you need at your fingertips.
Hotel-Style Hostel Close to the Beach in Jungutbatu – Chillhouse Lembongan
Offering comfortable simplicity, Chillhouse Lembongan is a cosy hostel located just a short walk from the beach. Filled with private bedrooms, the hostel offers hotel services at a fraction of the price. With plush furnishings, an en-suite bathroom and shared swimming pool, you can enjoy lazy days around the complex and cuddling up after a long day in the sun.
Things to Do in Jungutbatu –
- Take diving lessons from one of the professional, friendly diving instructors
- Spend a lazy day on the sand looking out to the ocean and far-off Mount Agung
- Sample some local cuisine at Ketut Warung
- Watch a magical sunset from one of the beachfront bars with a refreshing cocktail in hand
- Learn to surf the waves with one of the friendly instructors
- Stretch it out in a yoga session at The Yoga Shack Lembongan
- Snorkel right off the sand into the ocean to witness the unbelievable sea life
- Wander the streets to find cosy cafes with cooling air-con
- Dance the night away at one of the late night bars
- Explore the market for fresh groceries and tropical fruits
Mushroom Bay – Picture-Perfect Beach Retreat.
On the West coast of Nusa Lembongan island, Mushroom Bay is a thriving hub of activity for tourists and travellers. With a picturesque white sand beach, stunning clear blue waters and beachfront bars, the beach is the prime draw to the area.
Just a short drive from the famous Devil’s Tears cove and Sunset Point, it is a central area to base your island adventure. Spend time exploring the streets by foot, or rent a motorbike to travel further into the tropical scenery. Whether you plan to relax and unwind, or explore the whole island, Mushroom Bay is one of the Nusa Lembongan neighbourhoods that won’t disappoint.
Private Villa within a Tropical Resort in Mushroom Bay – White Horse Retreat
A shared resort of private villas, White Horse Retreat features bright and modern 1-bedroom villas around a shared swimming pool. The brilliant white exteriors beautifully reflect the sun to maintain its idyllic tropical atmosphere. The first-floor is open and breezy with comfortable furnishings where you can relax beside the pool.
An Indonesian-Style Bungalow Hostel in Mushroom Bay – Uma Hostel
Uma Hostel is made up of multiple Indonesian-style wooden bungalows which accommodate shared dorm-rooms. A cheap and comfortable island home, it is a great place to base your Mushroom Bay getaway. Just a short drive from the beach, and boasting tropical gardens, you can relax and explore the island with ease.
Private Bungalow within a Tropical Hotel in Mushroom Bay – Mamamia Island
Mamamia Island is an expansive tropical hotel filled with quaint private bungalows and a shared swimming pool. It is the perfect accommodation for a travelling couple looking to spend a romantic, intimate retreat together but still enjoy hotel amenities. You can relax after a day of exploring the island in the cooling air-conditioning on the plush sumptuous bed.
Things to Do in Mushroom Bay –
- Visit Devil’s Tears for an unbelieve sight of thrashing waters against the cove, and perhaps a magical rainbow
- Explore the rocky tide pools around the Devil’s Tears cove
- Relax in the sun on the sand at one of the beachfront bars offering cool drinks and fresh coconuts
- Catch a magnificent sunset at Sunset Point
- Snorkel in from the sand to see the colourful sea life below the water
- Spend a decadent day at Sandy Bay Beach Club with delicious snacks and cocktails
- Hire a motorbike to venture across the scenery finding hidden viewpoints of Bali and Mount Agung
- Rent a paddle board to glide across the ocean on a calm current day
Toyapakeh – The Heart of Nusa Penida.
Nusa Penida is the largest of the islands, and Toyapakeh is the area right off the harbour. Landing straight into the heart of the island, you step off the boat to be surrounded by cafes, shops and accommodations. Just a short drive from the famous tourist hotspots, this is one of the best Nusa Penida neighbourhoods to base your adventure. From each corner of the town you can walk to restaurants, amenities and the beach! Catch amazing sunsets as you dine beachfront overlooking the profile of Bali and Mount Agung.
Ultra-Modern and Luxurious Ocean View Villa in Toyapakeh – The Arancia Luxury Villa
Perched on the hillside looking out to expansive ocean views, The Arancia Villa is a lavish modern home for a tranquil escape. The huge infinity swimming pool is one of my favourite spots in the whole villa. Sunny, refreshing and overlooking incredible views, you can sit on the edge and enjoy a tropical breeze. Spend your days exploring the beautiful attractions of the island, with your own paradise home to return to.
Friendly, Family Run Hostel in Toyapakeh – Nuansa Penida Hostel
Nuansa Penida Hostel is a family run, friendly accommodation just 10 minutes from Toyapakeh Harbour. Encircling the shared swimming pool, the dormitory style bedrooms are situated within quaint cosy bungalows. Ideal for a solo traveller looking to make some friends, you can meet the other guests around the tropical gardens and open living areas.
Ocean View Full Service Hotel in Toyapakeh – Samuh Ocean Sunset Hotel
Hotels are the perfect option if you are stuck on where to stay in Nusa Penida. Offering friendly service and on-site amenities, Samuh Ocean Sunset Hotel has everything you need on hand. Featuring comfortable bright bedrooms, an expansive sunny terrace overlooking the ocean and an on-site restaurant – what more could you need?
Things to Do in Toyapakeh –
- Dine and drink the night away at one of the beachfront bars and restaurants
- Take a diving lesson from one of the professional, friendly instructors
- Explore the island by motorbike to find hidden viewpoints and stunning scenery
- Spend a lazy day on the sand soaking in the sun and sipping fresh cool coconuts
- Try a freediving lesson with Freedive Nusa
- Arrange a tour with one of the local tour guides to explore the whole island and visit the must-see sights
- Hang out on the Crystal Bay Beach
- Trek the ‘Cap de T-Rex’ cliffside to reach the stunning white sand beach
- Snorkel round Manta Bay to try and find some majestic mantas
Tanglad – An Area Full of Hidden Gems.
Tanglad is one of the more remote Nusa Penida areas, away from the crowds, right on the cliffside. Hosting some of the most idyllic and best places to stay in Nusa Penida, it is certainly not to be missed. Overlooking endless ocean views and boasting some of the most private and rustic beaches, you can trek your way down the cliffside for a magical beach experience. With natural springs, hidden coves and strong currents, it isn’t for the faint hearted. Steep treks down will expose outstanding natural hidden gems. For the adventurers among us, this is the place for you.
Ideal Romantic Escape for a Couple in Tanglad – New Hope Villa
A collection of cute private bungalows, New Hope Villa is a peaceful escape with cosy bedrooms and tropical gardens. Enjoy spending quality time with your loved ones, cooling down in the air-conditioning after a busy day in the sun, and tucking up for a restful night’s sleep. Featuring an on-site restaurant and room service, you won’t need to go far for a decent meal.
Boho-Chic Bungalow on the Cliffside in Tanglad – Tropical Glamping
This is my idea of heaven! Located on the cliffside overlooking expansive ocean views, this tropical glamping set up is a bright bungalow filled with cosy furnishings and brilliant white decor. Wake up in the morning to endless ocean views from the bed, and relax with your loved one in an island paradise.
Unlike Any Other Accommodation in Tanglad – Rumah Pohon
A rustic hideaway on the edge of the cliff, Rumah Pohon is an incredible treehouse built of local wood and materials sitting high on stilts above the cliff. Looking out to panoramic ocean views, encompassed by luscious greenery, and unlike any other accommodation on the island, it is a basic yet magnificent getaway. Fitted with simple furnishings, if you are looking for an authentic island experience, look no further.
Things to Do in Tanglad –
- Venture to the cliffside to watch a magical sunset with your loved one
- Trek down to Sunfish Beach where you can snorkel with Mantas right off the sand
- Take the steep walk down to Suwehan Beach away from the crowds
- Explore Atuh Beach for another isolated beach experience
- Sample delicious local cuisine in one of the authentic warungs
- Hire a motorbike to explore the landscape and find hidden nooks
- Spend a lazy day relaxing on the coastline enjoying a cool drink and amazing views
- Visit Teletubbies Hill – a green landscape named after the famous children’s show
- Swim in the natural pools at Mata Air Guyangan
And there you have it, a comprehensive breakdown of where to stay in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida depending on your preference and style.
I love to relax when I go to the islands, long days at the beach around Mushroom Bay is my vibe. But swimming with mantas and hiking to hidden beaches is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Spend a long trip island hopping around each of the areas, or find your one dream spot and bask in the tropical atmosphere there. For a memorable retreat, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida are an unbeatable location.
Featured image: Tropical Glamping