Nusa Lembongan is a beautiful little island off the south west coast of Bali and offers classic Indonesian heritage in terms of physical geography and cultural purity. It is certainly fair to say that the south of Bali is not as it was 20 years ago and one must travel further northeast to experience true Bali although little is ever said about Nusa Lembongan. Nusa Lembongan is still lovely and offers a lot to travelers of all preferences.Nusa Lembongan is only just over 3km across the longest stretch and there are almost no motorized vehicles used on the island.Mushroom bay (unofficially named due to the presence of mushroom coral in the area) is a delightful little white sand bay in the west of Nusa Lembongan, it is divine in the mornings and evenings where as during the afternoons the presence of extensive water sport facilities can be enjoyed, although sometime disturbing the unreal tranquility of the area. It is here that the more up market accommodation lies and up market it is, with traditional and modern beach and hillside accommodation offering a far more tranquil experience of Bali without the impact of the recent explosion in the tourist industry. It is also here that most tour boats stop.Further north along the coast is Jungutbatu, a pleasant village of quaint lanes and friendly fellows without a car in sight. It is here that most backpackers, surfers and divers reside in the budget accommodation which is now making an advance in standard with most developing facilities such as pools and bars. The beach here is a picture perfect arch of white sand meeting clear blue sea, from here there is an amazing view of north Bali especially of mount Agung. It is also from here that the dive sites and surf locations are accessible. It is possible to paddle to the 3 main surfing reefs although a boat can be chartered very cheaply. The surf spots are aptly named ‘Shipwrecks’, ‘Lacerations’ and ‘Playgrounds’ although on a big swell the latter is by no means a playground. These breaks are really for experienced surfers only who should note that these are classic Indonesian flat bottom stand up barrels and are very powerful breaking onto very shallow sharp reefs, however if your up to it many agree Lacerations is the best wave in the world.Altogether Nusa Lembongan offers a quiet scene which still contains the real charm that many people come to Bali looking for and miss in the confusion of Kuta and south Bali. There is both top end and budget accommodation in Lembongan separated into two areas each with lovely beaches, pleasant welcoming villages and tropical forest hills. Surfers and divers will be occupied with world class spots although others will be captivated by this islands charm.A few points to remember
Nusa Lembongan (at time of publish) no ATMs and limited bank facilities with poor exchange rate, exchange money before leaving the mainland and make use of the secure facilities at the hotels.
Nusa Lembongan has only had 24hr electricity since 2005 and the people are still giving offerings of thanks for this.
Boat rides and cycling are the best forms of transport, the island is small and beautiful there is no need to exceed the slow pace of life of the locals.
Nusa Lembongan due to its incompatible soil type cannot cultivate rice, instead the main crop is seaweed which is farmed in beautifully colors and interesting patches, many hillside resorts overlook these incredible sights.