Bali is a living postcard, the famed Island of the Gods, a fantasy island where you can create your own paradise. And it only gets better!
There are 3 islands that are only a quick 30 minutes boat ride away. The Nusa Islands. Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida. Located 12 kilometers off the south-east coast, but still considered part of Bali.
So how to get to Nusa Islands from Bali? Can you surf in Nusa Island? You can only reach them by boat, and a fast boat is your best option. Here is everything you need to know about the islands, how to get there, and your surfing options.
Penida means “priests” in Balinese. Known to local Balinese as the black magic island. Nusa Penida was once believed to be inhabited by dark spirits banished to the island by the priests of Bali. Long before it became a tourist attraction for its natural beauty. Penida is scenic and has become a hot spot for photographers and avid instagrammers.
Nusa Penida is most famous for its natural beauty, it’s a sightseers heaven. You can swim with Manta Rays, hike Kelingking 'T-Rex', and spend the night in a treehouse in Rumah Pohon. Penida is also known for some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving around Bali.
Nusa Ceningan is the smallest island of the 3, located between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. It’s connected to Lembongan by a yellow suspension bridge, which is just big enough for 2 scooters to squeeze through. Even if you only have a few hours, it’s well worth a half-day trip. The cliffs are rugged, surf is good, and the water is impressively clear.
Ceningan is a sleepy little island and it really feels as if time stands still. There are only a few things to other than put your feet up at a beach restaurant and enjoy a bintang and relax. But if you make a trip be sure to check out the Blue Lagoon, trust us it’s worth it.
Nusa Lembongan is surrounded by coral reefs producing amazing surf, white sand beaches, and low limestone cliffs. Lembongan has the biggest population yet it remains quiet and offers great accommodation and amazing food at an affordable price. We think staying on Lembongan and day tripping to Penida and Ceningan is the best bet. Rent a scooter and explore Lembongan and Ceningan and Lembongan.
You can reach Ceningan by the suspension bridge over the shallow estuarine. There are many charter companies where you can book a day trip over to Penida.Nusa Lembongan is a relatively small island but offers a variety of everything.
There are amazing mangroves, palm forests, mountain views, and beautiful water perfect for diving and surfing. The surf is by far the best on Lembongan compared to any of the other Nusa’s. Check below and we break down all the waves.
How Can I Get A Boat to The Nusa’s?
The 2 most popular methods to catch a boat to get to the nusa islands are:
- By Speedboat from Sanur Beach
- By Public Ferry from Padang Bai
By Speedboat from Sanur Beach
The easiest and most popular option to get to nusa islands is to hop on a speedboat from Sanur Beach. No need for a reservation. There are too many companies to list. once you get to Sanur beach walk up and down and find a speedboat going to your desired island and book your ticket on the spot.
The best price is 300k return but you can expect to pay around 400k return which is still a great price.Speedboat Timing to Nusa Penida from SanurMost companies have a speed boats going out from Sanur every hour or 2 between 8 AM and 4 PM. But with all the companies you can find a departure every 30 min.
They also have boats coming back in the morning and afternoon at around the same time. If you are doing a day trip, I recommend going to the island as early as you can, so try to catch the 8 or 8:30 AM boat!
By Public Ferry from Padang Bai
The public ferry that leaves from Padang Bai, used mostly by locals and can transfer scooters.. The ticket is only Rp 30,000 / person. The ferry does not have a set schedule. It just leaves whenever there are passengers waiting, usually from 11am–1pm. The ferry can also take a few hours and only goes to Nusa Penida. This method is only used when a traveler is on a tight budget or has time to kill.
What to Bring for nusa's adventures
All the things you need to combat that strong sun in Bali – A hat, Sunscreen (at least SPF50!), and Sunglasses. If you are biking, wear a thin layer with sleeves that can be removed.
- A thin cotton scarf/sarong wrap–I love them because they are versatile! You can wear it around your neck and shoulders to protect yourself from the sun, but can also double up as something to sit on while you are at the beach.
- Sufficient Cash–there are hardly any ATM or places that take credit card here, so you need enough to last the entire time you’re on the island.
- Bathing Suit–once you see how clear the water is in this part of the world, you’d want to jump in.
- Surfboard- the water is warm, the waves are pumping, and the crowds are minimal.
- Suitable Footwear–You need good walking shoes for the treks, but you’d probably want to wear flip-flops while at the beach. So bring both if you can!
How to get around nusa's island
You can rent motorbikes anywhere in Nusa's island and it’s hassle free. It will cost around Rp 75,000 a day. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, petrol is sometimes hard to find around the islands. If you rent a motorbike, make sure you are a confident rider since most of the roads are worn down and bumpy, especially on Nusa Penida where it can take an hour or 2 to get from one attraction to another.
The Nusa’s are one of Bali’s best-kept secrets when it comes to surf there. They don’t offer the biggest waves, but they offer flawless waves. Nusa Lembongan has 3 world class breaks and Ceningan has one big long left hander. Unfortunately, Nusa Penida doesn’t have much surf. If you’re heading there, take it easy and give your body a few days to recover and enjoy one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Surfing in Nusa Lembongan
Lembongan’s water is crystal clear, the reef is sharp, and the waves are pumping. The 3 main breaks are Playgrounds, Lacerations, and Shipwrecks. However, you need lots of swell for the waves to turn on. When the waves are 6-10ft on the mainland of Bali, the waves will just show their faces and will only get bigger and better on the biggest swells.
Playground’s is aptly named because it is a literal surf playground. It’s a perfect “A” frame offering up beautiful left and rights. Depending on the tide, the surf can be mellow lines or steep lines perfect for top to bottom turns and the occasional barrel.
Lacerations has the sharpest reef of all of Bali. The reef is known for tearing people apart. During high tide, they offer snorkeling charters over the beautiful coral, but as the tide drops the beast is unleashed. Lacerations is an absolutely perfect right-hand barrel. The wave jacks up as it hits the shallow reef and unloads down the line. Paddle hard, pull in, hang on, and wait for the barrel of your life.
Shipwrecks is the swell magnet of Nusa Lembongan. Iconic break marked by a rusting ships bow on long exposed reef platform. Non-existent at low tide, it starts breaking on the push to mid tide. Lucky for everyone, it’s another perfect “A” frame offering up great lefts and rights. But the right is by far better. When the stars align you can backdoor the peak and get a nice tube before coming out to a long line perfect for big turns. It’s very similar to Lower trestles, with the great surf and the bad crowds.
Surfing in Nusa Ceningan
Ceningan’s only wave is located off the SW tip of the barely populated Ceningan island. It is a solid lefthander that lines up rolling walls with a nice steep pocket and predictable sections. Has good protection from the wind but can get messy with currents and a deep-water channel. Good small swell, low tide option when Lembongan isn’t working; it gets powerful and sketchy when the swell jumps.