For a gentler paced island experience distinct to the hustle that is the main island of Bali simply head 25 minutes across the Budung straight and you will find Nusa Cheningan. This small island has a population of only about 1000 and is discretely tucked between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Pedinda. There is a decent surf break off Nusa Cheningan which are much quieter than those at Nusa Lembongan. You will find roads and paths that lead to scenic lookouts with westward views back over Nusa Lembongan, thriving palm tree fields and secluded beaches. The island’s economy is based on seaweed mircro farms and the friendly locals embrace a deep Hundu cultural heritage.
Full travel diary below!
Nusa Cheningan is accessible via the larger neighbouring island of Nusa Lembongan which is just a 12km off the coast of Sanur beach. Senur is about a one hour drive from Seminyak (depending on traffic). Catch the fast boat or the public boat from Sanur to arrive to this paradise away from the hassle of South Bali.
Departs daily from Sanur Bech to Lembongan, the price price is IDR 200,000 one way (around $20) this includes hotel pick up, although only as far as Seminyak, if you are staying futher out, I suggest parking or getting a taxi to ‘Bingtang’ supermarket (a common pick up spot for them to pick you up from)
Don’t be surprised if there is a long wait from the time that the boat is scheduled, I would suggest bringing a book.
+62 361 911-2299 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Slow Boat (public boat)
Departs daily from Sanur beach at 10:30am. The price is IDR 100,000 (around $10) and the journey takes approximately 90 min. The ticket counter is at the end of Hang Tuah street (they will direct you to where the boat leaves). There is no same day return as the boat only leaves in the morning from both directions. It departs from Nusa Lembongan at 8:00am.
Once you arrive to Nusa Lembongan, hire a scooter or bicycle, go through Lembongan Village, heading west, stick to the main road until you hit the estuarine channel. Here you will find a yellow suspension bridge, take this bridge across the water for an Indiana Jones experience. This rickety bridge is safer than it sounds, disregard the rickety sounds and wooden planks and it will get you across to Nusa Cheningan without a worry.
There is one unreliable BNI ATM near Warung 99 on Nusa Lembongan that does not accept Visa or PLUS cards. However, I would suggest to bring enough cash (for food, transport, board hire & room) to avoid hassles.
Pack snacks for the trip there (the port only offers packaged ‘junk’ food)
Things to do:
The beauty of being on such a tiny quiet island is not to worry about doing too much, take this time to chill!
2. Get in the water!
Surf: Southwest off Nusa Ceningan in a surf break, you can also take a local boat (perahu) which you can charter from the nearest beach to one of the close by off shore breaks (Playgrounds, Lacerations and Shipwrecks) although these can get a little crowded in the high season. Playgrounds is better suited to beginners, all three spots break over coral.
Nusa Cheningan is a nice place to walk, with coastal paths linking all the different establishments around the island. Most walks will take less than an hour, this way you can discover the island, you will find places to eat, white sand beaches, mangroves and sea weed farms.
Devil’s Tear, take the suspension bridge back over to Lembongan for an incredible sunset at Devil’s Tear.
Situated a few min north from Dream Beach or south from Sunset Beach, you will find a rocky outcrop on the south western coast. Watch the spectacular crashing waves and water plumes from the rocks as the sunsets. (I suggest leaving before it get’s completely dark in order to get home, as the path is quite sketchy)
Le Pirate Beach Club.
This private beach club set on a low cliff with bar, restaurant and infinity pool looking over turquoise waters with direct beach access. Made up of 10 simple ‘Beach Boxes’, which are either a double beach box (1-2 person) or a bunkroom (up to 4 people). The establishment also offers sun lounges, tennis table (enough said?), board games and wifi. Le Pirate Beach Club is proudly recognised as a sustainable hotel Indonesia with a 5 star rating. All of the rooms are priced at approx. $50 a night depending on season with a 2 night minimum stay which is the just the right amount of time I would suggest to stay on this island!