Introducing Nusa Lembongan
The most developed island for tourism is the delightfully laid-back Nusa Lembongan, which is free of cars, motorcycle noise and hassles. It has a local population of about 7000 people, mostly living in two small villages, Jungutbatu and Lembongan. Tourism money means that the power now stays on around the clock.
Best places to stay in Nusa Lembongan
Mushroom Bay Beach
This beautiful bay, unofficially named after the mushroom corals offshore, has a crescent of bright white beach. By day, the tranquillity can be disturbed by banana-boat rides or parasailing. At other hours, this is a beach of dreams.
Pondok Baruna Warung
The dining part of the Baruna empire boasts some of the best food on the island. Look for excellent Balinese dishes as well as a range of fine curries. Many order not one but two chocolate brownies.
99 Meals House
An absolute bargain. Fried rice, omelettes, Chinese stir-fries and more prepared by a family at this tiny shop open on two sides. What passes for Lembongan's main drag is right outside. This is a good place for cheap water and snacks.
Island Explorer Cruise
Affiliated with Coconuts Beach Resort; uses a large boat that doubles as the base for day-trip aquatic fun. Also has a sailing ship.
Jungutbatu beach, a lovely arc of white sand with clear blue water, has superb views across to Gunung Agung in Bali. The village itself is pleasant, with quiet lanes, no cars and a couple of temples.
Bar & Cafe Bali
Follow the chicken tracks in the sand to tables under trees above the high-tide mark. Enjoy pizza, pasta, seafood and the Indo usuals. The bar is lively and you can arrange for transport from Jungutbatu.
Rent surfboards (90,000Rp per two hours) and stand-up paddle boards (120,000Rp per two hours) from this shop on the beach. Surfing lessons are 500,000Rp for 2½ hours.
Bali Diving Academy
The long-running Bali Diving Academy is a recommended dive operation, which has long experience in the waters around Lembongan and Penida. It has a full range of courses.