Back to the island of rice, flowers and incense. A place filled with a truly magical atmosphere and the sweetest locals. My loving boyfriend took me to Bali in April to celebrate 6 years of adventures together (we love to travel!).
Yes it’s one of my favorite places in the world, BALI. This little “island of the gods” is among thousands of islands that make up Indonesia and it’s one of the most popular destinations in the world right now. I can almost guarantee, if you visit, you will fall in love with it! Why? The answer is simple; because of the truly natural beauty that fills your vision everywhere you look. And I don’t mean just the nature, architecture and food. I mean every step will open your eyes to how simple beauty is. The way the local Balinese treat each morning with a handmade offering to symbolize that humans should learn be unattached to possessions.
Instead of sticking to mainland Bali, he decided to book us a short boat ride to the close by islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are full of rocky bays, world class surfing, diving/snorkeling journeys, white sand beaches and mangrove kayaking adventures. It’s the kind of place you go to to get away from the hustle and bustle of South Bali. Where the sound of waves and the clink of ice in your glass is all there is to disturb your afternoon nap. It’s the place you will learn to ride a motorbike, because your wanderlust spirit will outshine your fears.
We headed for these islands after 24 hours of traveling from CA and a night of recharging in the beachside town of Sanur. For the journey over to the islands we booked a Marlin Fast Cruise. It’s fairly easy to book your journey over to the islands from Bali, you can ask your hotel or homestay to arrange the trip for you, or book it yourself online. We went with Marlin Fast Cruise because they had a round trip offer that was a pretty great deal. For around $35 each they pick you up from your hotel or house on Bali, brought us to the ferry, dropped us at our place on Nusa Lembongon and when we left brought brought us to our homestay in Ubud.
The highlight of any trip to SE Asia awaits you if you rent a motorbike (average rate is $5 a day.) It’s the difference between getting off the beaten track, exploring on your own terms, and seeing the same sights alongside loud annoying tourists (that might sound harsh, but it’s true!). I can’t stress enough what a difference it makes. Promise me right now you will at least consider renting a motor bike when you go? Places like Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan are perfect locations to take your first motorbike outing because there aren’t many cars or bikes on the road. So in turn it feels much more mellow. I wouldn’t recommend renting a bike for the first time if you stay in the city like Seminyak or Kuta, but anywhere else absolutely yes! I have never been pulled over by police in the 5 times I have been to Bali, but it does happen so be aware. Keep a small amount of cash in a different part of your backpack or purse just in case and you’ll be fine, it’s all part of the adventure right?
One of the coolest things about staying on either Lembongan or Ceningan is you can hop between the two islands via the Yellow Bridge which you can cross only by motorbike or by foot. These islands are like two in one because of their close proximity and the endless adventures the bridge offer. Because of this I don’t really think it matters what island you stay on, it’s so easy to hop between the two. Lembongan is bigger with more restaurants, beaches and people, while Ceningan has much less of everything including people.
A few places you have to explore while on Lembongan:
Jungut Batu: in the northwest is the biggest town on the island. It boasts a long white sand beach with ideal surfing off the beach. I watched locals hang out just offshore with boats until surfers flagged them down to drive them out to the break off shore. This beach isn’t ideal for swimming but it’s still lovely to visit, even if just to get a bite to eat and take a dip.
Mangroves: If you continue through Jungut Batu the road will curve right alongside the beach you will start passing though mangroves alongside numerous stalls selling snorkel excursions, stand up paddle boards, and kayaks. For around $5 each we rented a kayak and snorkel to explore the mangroves ourselves (or you can have a speed boat take you on a tour.)
Mushroom Bay: Most of the fast boats bring you in at this bay. It’s nicest in the morning and evening before and after the day trippers arrive from Bali. It’s a small pretty little cove with a few restaurants tucked on the outskirts.
A few places you have to explore while on Nusa Ceningan:
Blue Lagoon Cliff Jump: A picturesque turquoise blue bay with rugged rocks. There are a few different vantage points around the bay as well as a jumping spot (when the tide is high enough.) Not a cliff jumper? Me either! Bring a little picnic and eat at the stone table and benches right next to the jump.
Le Pirate Beach Club: An adorable hotel perched on the waterfront overlooking the seaweed farms. Grab a cocktail or their fresh fish and chips while taking a dip in the pool and enjoying the view.
If your booking a trip to Bali I would suggest taking a boat over to these gorgeous islands! Do you have a favorite tropical island spot? I’m always down to find a new paradise to visit.
With love and grace,