Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

Island Hopping From Bali: Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan is a must-see while traveling around Bali. Just off the Southeast coast of Bali, Nusa Lembongan is a small, sleepy island of seaweed farmers with great waves, excellent restaurants, and no cars! This guide covers everything from beaches to restaurants, ferry transportation and accommodations, seaweed farming, helpful tips, surf spots, and more! For your convenience, use the Table of Contents below to navigate to specific categories of information that interest you.

Nusa Lembongan Sunset


Nusa Lembongan Tips

Before we get into the specifics here are a few things to keep in mind before you visit Nusa Lembongan:

  • Be well prepared with money and a map.
  • This is a sleepy little village so prepare to fully unwind. (Book and a hammock style)
  • Rent a scooter or bike to explore the island.
  • Order the seafood!
  • Get up early, go to bed early.
  • Make friends with visitors and locals.
  • Only surf on a medium to high tide.

Nusa Lembongan Ocean Water


Nusa Lembongan Transportation

Getting to Nusa Lembongan

The best way to get to Nusa Lembongan is by Scoot Boat Ferry. It’s not cheap, but it is worth it for the speed. If you’re on a budget, you can pay a local boat to take you out, but it can take up to 3 hours and can be uncomfortable. Scoot will get you to Nusa Lembongan in around 45 minutes. Plus they carry your bags out for you, keeping you and your stuff drier than if you did it yourself. When you reserve your accommodations, ask them to book your ferry because they can sometimes get it cheaper than online or over the phone.

Nusa Lembongan Scoot Boat


Getting Around Nusa Lembongan

The only cars we saw on Nusa Lembongan were for cargo only. The island is pretty small, so you can walk a lot of it, though if you want to see Dream Beach or cruise over the hanging bridge to Nusa Ceningan, you’ll need a push-bike or a scooter. You can rent both kinds for not too much. We tried the regular push-bike and regretted it a bit. There are a lot of hills and it was really hot! We still made it and had a great time, but we needed plenty of ocean swims in between locations.

Nusa Lembongan Seaweed Flats


Nusa Lembongan Accommodations

Playgrounds Resort

There are quite a few places to stay when visiting Nusa Lembongan. See our map for all the accommodation options.

Probably our favorite place to stay in Nusa Lembongan is Playgrounds Resort. It’s built on a hill and many of the rooms above the pool have great views of Nusa Lembongan as well as Bali in the distance. They’ve got a nice communal pool as well as a ping-pong room. The views from Playgrounds are unparalleled. You can watch the various surf breaks during high tide, see the seaweed farmers during low tide, and Mount Agung in the distance.

Nusa Lembongan Accommodations

The location is great. It’s only a short walk to the sand and to the paddle-out area to surf at Playgrounds. The surf spot, Playgrounds, is a fun left with a shorter, mushier right-hander. Just past it is Lacerations, which is a better and more popular wave, though you’ll be paddling further out to get it.

There are definitely cheaper places to stay while traveling to Nusa Lembongan. Some of the rooms at Playgrounds better serve a smaller budget, too. But if you want the best, Playgrounds and the resorts sitting around it are the best on the island.


Nusa Lembongan Map

Use the following map on your visit to Nusa Lembongan to find all of the activities, beaches, surf spots, and other notable areas. Use the links provided if you would like a color or black-and-white copy to print for easy use. Disclaimer: This map was created from personal experience, looking at maps, and using Google Maps as a reference. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies on the map, but please let us know if you see any and we will do our best to correct them.

Full Color Nusa Lembongan Map


Nusa Lembongan Activities

Scuba Diving


Scuba diving Lembongan is a real treat. The waters are less populated and much less disturbed than Bali’s coasts. The reefs are dazzling and the sea life is unique, such as the HUGE Mola-Mola. If you get a chance to see these gentle giants, do it!

  • Don’t forget your PADI card!
  • Do a boat dive with a master diver
  • Remember regulations about altitude and flying
  • Try to time your visit with Mola-Mola season
  • Don’t wear green in the ocean

Quick Reminder: Remember altitude! If you plan on flying anywhere, make sure you have ample time after your dive (at least 12 to 24 hours depending on the number and types of dives). Also, something many people forget, if you want to go into central Bali to see the volcanoes, keep in mind that many of them are at high altitudes (higher than 1,000 feet). It causes the same effect as flying, so be careful!

Nusa Lembongan Scuba Sights



We took the advice of our resort concierge and used the dive boat and guides at Big Fish Diving, located near the Ferry ticket counter.

One of the owners, Tim, was our guide. He was a lot of fun, with some in-depth knowledge of the area and ocean life. Originally from Nigeria and England, he exemplifies the new face of Bali. Another very nice, interesting traveler pairing up with local businessmen to help pull in the tourist dollar. He did a great job, and it was nice to have a well-spoken (English-speaking) guide for our dives. He and his lady are enjoying the good life and his enthusiasm for what he does makes the dive that much better.

Some Bali Ocean Facts:

  • Most Balinese Hindus don’t go scuba diving. It is still widely believed that the deep ocean holds evil spirits
  • Mola-Mola (sunfish) season in Bali is from July to November
  • The color green is taboo in the ocean to the Balinese. Don’t wear it.
  • There are many great dive locations around Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida. See some of these spots on our Nusa Lembongan Map.

Nusa Lembongan Scuba Diving



The sleepy little island of Nusa Lembongan is home to some world-class waves, though it’s a bit harder to get to and is more fickle than most Bali waves. The waves are only really any good when it’s medium to high tide. With the tide lowering, the surf breaks around Nusa Lembongan become shallow and treacherous. Be very careful when surfing here! It’s odd to say, but when it’s crowded, go surf. If not many people are out, most likely they’re tourists getting scraped up on the reef. Here are a few spots to check out.

Nusa Lembongan Surf Shots


Playgrounds is the easiest surf spot to get to. You can paddle out from Coconuts Beach and surf right away. It has a fun, long left, and (depending on the tide) a right-hander that is either mushy or short and barreling.


A better wave is a bit further out past Playgrounds. Lacerations is a bowling right that is accessible by paddling past Playgrounds and through the boat channel. This spot is usually a little more crowded because it’s a better barrel and usually has a little more size.

It’s called lacerations because it’s super shallow and breaks over the reef. In my experience, all the breaks here should be called Lacerations. But the locals don’t seem to be bothered by the danger, and they all rip!


No Man’s is between Lacerations and Shipwrecks. This wave is deceptively perfect. It looks like the best wave ever, but every once in a while you can tell why no one surfs it. No Man’s gets big and heavy and can close out without notice. It breaks on the exposed reef, something you don’t see from a distance.


ShipWrecks is a right that you’ll need to hire a boat to take you out and also to pick you up. Paddling out to Shipwrecks would be exhausting. This is probably the best wave out here, and usually less crowded. But it also needs decent swell to work.


Ceningan Point is a left-hander that you need to hire a boat to get to. On the other side of Nusa Lembongan, and off the southern coast of Nusa Ceningan, this spot gets a lot fewer people surfing it.

Nusa Lembongan Surfing



White sands, uncrowded, cool shells everywhere, and perfect weather. Paradise? Yes. But even paradise has some problems. Most beaches in Bali suffer from a common problem: Littering. Either things float up on shore or locals throw trash directly on the beach. This wasn’t a problem before plastic and other nonbiodegradable items were introduced to the culture. In the past, local Balinese threw away trash anywhere, and with the hot humid climate, the trash would degrade. Today, the local people are still having problems realizing how destructive their new trash is to their environment and tourist economy. However, most beaches on Nusa Lembongan are going to be very desolate with only seaweed farmers and fishermen present.

Nusa Lembongan Beaches



We were pleasantly surprised to find so many good little restaurants over here. Many of the restaurants serve that day’s local catch. The only problem is that sometimes they don’t catch anything, so you’re out of luck if you like seafood sometimes. If there’s big surf and super low tides, it can be difficult for the fishermen to get out.

One of the best meals we had was at Batu Karung. We enjoyed delicious beef curry and rib-eye steak with a bottle of wine. It was relatively expensive, especially since we ordered wine. You’ll notice that alcohol (especially wine and liquor) is very expensive in Bali due to import costs. Stick to Bintang if you want to save money.

Nusa Lembongan Restaurant Experience

There are also a lot of small warungs (small shops or kiosks) that serve beer and food. We enjoyed some good times at Mimpi Warung (Dream Cafe.) We asked the proprietor why they called it that. She said it has always been her dream to own her own little restaurant. She was so enthusiastic and happy, that we couldn’t help but mention them. We didn’t eat there, but we did enjoy some beers and good conversation on the beach with them.

Nusa Lembongan Mimpi Warung


Nusa Lembongan Seaweed Farming

The dramatic tidal swings of Nusa Lembongan make for ideal conditions to farm seaweed. Every day you’ll see the local people harvesting and securing seaweed to the ocean floor. It’s really beautiful. The entire area is completely covered in water within hours.

Most of the seaweed from this little island is sold for use in cosmetics and shipped to Hong Kong for processing and distribution. The people of Nusa Lembongan live simple and peaceful lives thanks to their seaweed. Tourism is slowly becoming more prevalent each day.

Nusa Lembongan Seaweed Farming

We hope you have enjoyed this guide to Nusa Lembongan and we hope your next visit is amazing! Safe Travels!

Treehouse Line

PAST: 2 decades on Maui, 35 years of surfing, 21 countries traveled, and just 1 treehouse built.

PRESENT: Seeking great food, would create art daily if I had endless energy/time, I run 3 businesses, and I put family at #1.  Prepping for the next personal challenge.

FUTURE: I'm most excited catching up and getting ahead with work. We just did 3.5 months of traveling, so no more major travel for a bit.


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