Updated: May 30
After spending our first month in Indonesia in Canggu we decided to move on and seek a little more adventure. Our options were rather limited due to the rainy season so that ruled out most of North Bali. Instead, we decided to run away from the rain and explore some of the beautiful Nusa islands nearby. We did this in around 10-12 days total, but the bulk of our time was spent in Nusa Penida.
With so much to see in these amazing places, we wanted to share our guide to these beautiful islands so you don't miss a thing!
Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan
There is a reason I am combining these two islands into one section. They are joined by a bridge, which gives it a feeling that it's one slightly larger island. Anyone looking to party the night away may want to look elsewhere until the pandemic eases up, as they were both incredibly quiet. It wasn't always the easiest thing to find somewhere to eat, but we never worried about where our next meal may come from. We just had to drive around for a little while before stumbling upon somewhere. With limited options, we found a few great spots and just continued revisiting them.
Bars and restaurants might close, but natural wonders are always alive and kicking! Here are still a few places you won't want to miss out on.
THE DEVILS TEARS
A great place to sit and enjoy a coconut from a nearby seller, but be careful getting too close to the edge! The ocean can be incredibly powerful here and waves can reach well up and over the cliffs. During our visit they were tame, but you could still see the power of the ocean in full effect. Many years of erosion have caused coves to form in the jagged rockface. When the powerful water enters these crevices it causes pressurised water to spurt out in a cloud of mist. It's an incredible sight!
You can visit this point any time of day, but it makes for an especially great sunset.
You can hire a kayak here and spend a few hours floating and rowing through the amazing mangrove forest. Try to remember your directions as best you can as the cuttings snake through the forest all over the place, but you shouldn't find it too difficult to navigate through. There are some great sights, and you'll feel completely alone with nature the whole time. There are a few monitor lizards, which we only found about after we'd finished up! We were told they don't grow too big here though.
YELLOW BRIDGE POINT
This is the connecting bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. It's an interesting one to ride across, and if there are few people about you may get a great snap on the bridge. It's bright yellow so it's impossible to miss it!
If you're looking for a little adventure then this part of Nusa Ceningan is for you, as there is a cliff jumping spot here. There are 2 jumping platforms, with the first being as soon as you walk out on the cliffside. That's about 13m high, and the next one drops a few meters so it probably sits around 8m. It's scary and difficult to get out afterwards, so only the most bravest should attempt it! The amazing views here will satisfy anyone not too keen on jumping in.
This was our favourite island of the three, and possibly our favourite place in Bali so far. While approaching the island by boat it immediately reminded us of something straight out of Jurassic Park. It's a big island with lots to see, but be prepared for some serious trekking! Here are our favourite places...
This incredible place is one of the most popular destinations in the world for people to visit for pictures, but it's so much more than a place for a quick snap. You may find the usual spot people want pictures from is taken up by tour groups, so instead take a short walk down the steps and the crowd disappears pretty quickly. The view is just as good and you'll get all the time you want to get the best picture possible! From here you can keep going down the long route to the beach below. A very small percentage of people take this journey. It's tough, and at times you have to essentially rock climb to get down, but the beach is incredible, to say the least.
Be careful if you want to go in for a dip, the currents are very strong.
Like a lot of places in Nusa Penida, there are a lot of steps to take to get down to this beach. Try and go early in the day as the cliffs block out a lot of the sun in the afternoon, but it's a great place to get pictures up high or down below. At least the steps down to this beach are steps!
RUMAH POHON TREEHOUSE
This beautifully located place allows you to get some incredible pictures with one of the greatest backgrounds you're likely to come across. These old treehouses are a little rickety now, but there was a time you could rent and stay in one. Now they're only used for scenic snaps.
TEMBELING BEACH, FORREST, SPRINGS
Be very careful getting down, it's a bike ride for the confident and experienced only. The route down is similar to a rollercoaster track. It's narrow and has some pretty bad drops if you slipped. Some drivers sit at the top and bottom and will drive your scooter up or down for you for a small fee. Once you're down it's a great place to sit on the beach or visit the natural pools that have formed here.
There are around 700 steps to get here, and most are very steep while looking directly down the cliff at the water crashing on the rocks below. The scenes when you get to the natural pool at the end however are incredible. You can sit in the lagoon, swim a little and watch as the waves crash right before your eyes. Be careful and watch a few waves before getting in, as they can come up, over and into the pool itself!
Like many places in Nusa Penida, this makes for some great pictures. The natural bridge that has formed from the ocean likely over millions of years creates a nice backdrop. The beach below looks amazing from high up too.
Great for scuba diving and snorkelling. The water is unbelievably clear, hence the name, and you're likely to see a few turtles swimming around. We saw them while snorkelling and scuba diving, so either should give you a great chance to see them swimming around.
Another spot we scuba dived, however, you can snorkel here too. We managed to dive with around 5 manta rays which is something we were both very eager to tick off our bucket list. You may see Sun Fish here, although that depends on the time of year. It's a great place for Scuba Diving and we recommend Tamarind in Nusa Lembongan.
WHAT ELSE IS THERE?
Unfortunately, we were unable to visit Goa Giri Putri Temple or Gammat Bay this time around. The temple is inside a cave, which you have to crawl around to get to. We've been told it's an incredible sight, and one we will aim to see next time we visit. Gammat Bay is supposed to be another incredible spot for snorkelling too.
There you have it! That covers our time across these incredible islands. Anytime we visit Indonesia we will make sure we come back and explore even more that these amazing islands have to offer. We can't wait to see them when Indonesia is bustling with backpackers once again.