Bali Travel Guide: Three Days in Nusa Lembongan
The very last part of our travels in Bali consisted of slow moving days, beautiful crystal blue beaches and some of the nicest people we've ever met. This was our experience in Nusa Lembongan. Nusa Lembongan is one of three islands off the Bali coast. Nusa Penida is the biggest of the three; it has the most beautiful scenery but less restaurants and hotels to chose from. Nusa Lembongan is the second largest, with a bit more selection in terms of fun. Nusa Ceningan is connected to Nusa Lembongan by a yellow bridge and is the smallest of the three.
BREAKFAST AT BATU KARANG
You can only reach Nusa Lembongan by boat. This boat is more like a ferry without cars. You will get your boarding pass upon arrival and the workers will carry your luggage into the ocean over their heads. Its quite an impressive sight! Be aware that you will need to take your shoes off and walk into the ocean to load the ferry.
The island is extremely hilly so many of the restaurants and hotels are perched on the sides of the cliffs. This gives you beautiful views of the ocean and sunsets!
The main transportation consists of large vans with no walls. Be sure to hold on tight!
Nusa Lembongan (and all the Nusa islands) is loved by many because of its' natural beauty. Be prepared for everything to be outside; restaurants, bars, things to do, etc. Pack your sunscreen!
There are not many ATM's on the island. Some of the ATM's we found didn't work either, so be prepared to get cash out before embarking to the island.
We changed our hotel in Nusa Lembongan at least three times. Over COVID, many of the hotels had shut down and were questionable on when they would re-open. We ended up staying at Batu Karang; which was perched on the side of the cliff overlooking the ocean. Batu Karang was a tad bit older than the other hotels we stayed at; however, they did a good job at keeping everything up-to-date and very clean.
Our room was a private villa with a pool that had the most spectacular view of the ocean. We had one giant room where our bed was, a tiny desk with a refrigerator, and one end table. Our bathroom was simple and the shower was outside. The pool and deck was a perfect space for a couple; but I wouldn't try to fit more people into this space. They had snacks that were free. Two suggestions I would have for them: have a coffee maker on the desk and more outlets near the bed! We also heard animals inside our room for two nights and that was a bit frightening. We made sure to cover our bed with the mosquito net each night!
BATU KARANG: OUTDOOR BATHTUB
PRIVATE POOL AT BATU KARANG
The hotel had three pools; a main pool, a smaller pool with a bar, and a lap lane pool. We hangout at the pool bar one afternoon; it was nice but no sun touched the pool so don't approach it with the thought of laying out.
BATU KARANG POOL BAR
The fitness center was the worst fitness center in all of Bali. I actually went to a different hotel to workout twice because the dumbbells were ancient and the machines didn't work. One morning, I decided to use the hotel's elliptical and noticed it didn't turn on. Instead of giving up, I just decided to use it still and time my workout from my watch. It was insane how old these pieces were. The dumbbells were manual; meaning, you had to remove the plates and screws to change the weight. It took too much time and the pieces were super rusty.
There was no yoga offered at Batu Karang. They had a spa in which Mike and I got spontaneous massages our last night. We both enjoyed them and thought the spa space was lovely.
Batu Karang also had a restaurant. It was a bit confusing as we ate at The Deck the first night and noticed the next morning that our hotel had the same exact menu. They must've been the same owners but two different restaurants.
To be honest, I wouldn't stay here again. I was much more impressed with the Tamarind about a mile away; their fitness center and pool was beautiful and they had the same views as Batu Karang.
Things to do
Snorkeling with manta rays
My all time favorite activity in Bali was snorkeling. I had never jumped into such blue water in my life! We booked with Lembongan Snorkeling Trips and I have nothing but great feedback to give. We were picked up by our guide, Young Coconut (I have no idea what his real name is), and headed out to what I would call "base camp". At base camp, we met with other snorkelers and had access to water, bathrooms, lockers, showers, and very comfortable outdoor lounge furniture. We waited here until we learned the ground rules of snorkeling. In total, this process took about an hour. We ventured through a mangrove forest and got in our boat. The boat ride was lovely; we went all around each Nusa island. By the time we parked to snorkel in search for manta rays, it was getting hot outside. The water felt great and we had so much fun jumping in! It's good to note that you will be treading water, so if you're an unexperienced swimmer, I suggest wearing a life jacket. I ended up putting one on at the end of the trip because of fatigue.
We finally happened upon two manta rays in the third location and what an experience it was! I jumped in and basically landed on a manta ray. They were awesome; the sights were incredible and it was thrilling. Everyone freaked out when a manta ray would swim back towards our boat and it was a rush to get all the GoPro videos!
SNORKELING WITH MANTA RAYS
We also snorkeled through a more shallow part to see coral reefs. The fish were so cool and kids were able to snorkel here as it was't as deep.
Lastly, we were offered and fed lunch at base camp. We headed out to kayak the mangrove for about 30 minutes before leaving. The kayaking experience was fine; but it was a good way to unwind before heading home.
MIKE AND YOUNG COCONUT
Overall, this experience was a 10 out of 10. I will truly never forget this day and I highly recommend booking an experience with Lembongan Snorkeling Trips.
Fit Tip: Water sports are extremely fatiguing! Make sure to pack lots of water and don't be ashamed to put on a life jacket. I was shocked at how tired I was when I finally sat down. The suns rays and water take a toll on your body!
This is simply a "must see" in Nusa Lembongan. The famous yellow bridge connects Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Ceningan. Originally, I wanted to bike around the island and across the bridge but we ran out of time. Logistics of moving about this island by foot can get complicated.
Dream Beach + Devil's Tear
While touring Dream Beach and Devil's Tear, we were able to stretch our legs! Have your driver drop you off at the top of Dream Beach. We thoroughly loved spending time on this beach and taking in its' beauty. From here, you can walk up to Devil's Tear. This is a rocky area that swallows up the Indian Ocean's powerful waves. If the waves are big enough, they hit the back of the cave and spew out water portraying "the devil crying". While watching this, we saw large turtles swimming in the water!
Ohana's Beach Club
We had a fabulous time at Ohana's! To get a good spot, you must make a reservation for your seating arrangements ahead of time. We decided to eat here for dinner last minute, so we ended up sitting a bit further away from the ocean. But the vibes were there! Ohana's made it super easy to travel to as well. Through WhatsApp, Ohana's will coordinate times and rides. They pick you up and drop you off, free of charge! The food was very tasty and the drinks were flowing. Watching the sunset here was a real treat as we experienced the beautiful Bali amarillo skies.
Fit Tip: When spending time at beach club's, it's easy to drink too much. My best advice is to order only one "fun drink" off the menu, then switch to something lighter. Mixed drinks are high in sugar and typically have more than one alcohol which will leave you feeling lousy in the A.M.
OHANA'S: CHICKEN SALAD
I was very excited to try The Deck on our first night. It was located right below our hotel and sat right on the water. The views were a 10 out of 10 and I cannot imagine it ever dropping to a 9. My food was amazing. I ordered a salad with smoked salmon and the portion size was very filling! We also ordered calamari to share, but it was prepared very differently. It looked like nachos!
Hai Bar + Grill
Hai Bar + Grill was a restaurant connected to a different hotel/villa. This bar was cool as the entire restaurant was open-air and under a tiki style canopy. We had great seats overlooking the ocean. My food was delicious too! We both ordered margaritas and they were served in wine glasses and weren't the best, but we laughed about it and drank them anyway.
Corner Bar (lol!)
Yes, Corner Bar is indeed a restaurant. No, we did not eat here. I had to mention this dive bar because we had passed it on the street about ten times and we finally stopped in for a Bintang beer on our last night. If you're staying in Nusa Lembongan and you want a very local vibe, Corner Bar is the place. I knew this was my kind of style when I saw the pirate flag hanging on the wall with Celine Dion playing in the background.
Ginger and Jamu
Ginger and Jamu is the main "health cafe" on Nusa Lembongan. It is located on the beach right next to Ohana's. We ate breakfast here and enjoyed the simple menu. The menu online is a bit larger than what they're currently serving. I assume due to COVID, they changed their offerings. I should also mention we felt a major language barrier here. None of the servers spoke English, so I had a hard time asking for what I wanted to eat. If you're patient, this is not a problem and they try to be so accommodating to every guest.
Fit Tip: If you're unable to "special order" a menu item; don't fret! I always ask for a small plate so I can remove items from the dish that don't serve my dietary goals or needs. For example, instead of asking for "no halamoui cheese", I'll remove the cheese and put it on a separate plate away from my meal.
This breakfast was the best in Nusa Lembongan! I got a huge breakfast plate that had all of my favorite items on it: eggs, bacon, toast, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach... you name it! This restaurant is also an open-air quaint cafe that is dog-friendly and catered to those wanting to work on their laptop in the sun. I love these kind of places!
See you next time, Nusa Lembongan!
And that completes our honeymoon in Bali! We enjoyed every single second of it. The people, the adventures, the food, the nature... Bali is a magical place. I hope to someday return and visit more of what the islands have to offer.
I hope these guides inspire you to remain consistent in your training and nutritional goals during your travels. If you're interested in making your next vacation one that allows you to move & fuel in ways that support your healthy lifestyle, reach out! I would love to help you plan your program around seeing this huge, wonderful world.