We stayed on Nusa Ceningan not knowing what we were going to do so we thought that the central island would be ideal.
Nusa Ceningan was not disappointing at all. It is a very nice little island. The only drawback and there are not really beaches. It is ideal to enjoy the evening and see the beautiful sunset. For the day you have to take the boat to go to Nusa Penida or drive to Nusa Lembogan (but which us too crowded, at least for my taste).
BEACH IN NUSA PENIDA
Our two favorites beaches were on Nusa Penida: Atuh Beach and Kelingking Beach. It is not really easy to access but it really worth it!
Atuh beach is at the opposite of the island from to the port of arrival. Scooters can be rented directly at the port for IDR 60,000.
It takes about 1 hour to get to Atuh beach, there are different roads and we chose to go through the coast road which is super nice. After a while the roads gets steeply but it is totally fine with scooters and especially on the last part which was recently asphalted. So it is totally safe to go to Atuh Beach by scooter. With this road we arrived on the west side of the beach. It is also possible to arrive through the east side. On each side, there is a small path or stairs to go down to the beach in maximum 10 min.
There is some little restaurants on the beach which rent sunbed. Perfect to chill all day long! The beach and the water are really nice and you can hope for some big waves.
Kellingking beach is less accessible and more touristy. It takes about 1 hour to get there but the road is
awfull , there is not always asphalt and sometimes even where it is very stepp. The rental scooter brakes are often not great so you really have to be careful.
When you’ll arrive at the spot, there is a few rupees to pay to access the parking and a few meters below is the amazing view.
The view is crowded but worth it and the best is to go down to the beach! It takes around 20 min and a bit more to go up.
Go as soon as possible because more and more people come down to the beach. The path is not easy but there are wooden barriers that helps to not fall. The floor is quite slippery so better not to do it in flip flops but bring some sneakers and have a good water reserve for the way up.
Once on the beach, it’s amazing to be at the bottom of this huge cliff with beautiful turquoise waves crashing on the beach. There is quite strong current but it is possible to swim and enjoy the waves.
SNORKELING IN NUSA CENINGAN/ PENIDA
At our hotel, the owner sold us a tour to go snorkeling in Nusa Penida. The price seemed a little excessive compared to what I saw elsewhere (500 000 IDR / person) but he assured us that it was better, more private and that the guides were really attentive and paid attention to security .Nice scam … We ended up on a small boat with more than 15 people and the guides were not at all nice as described.
On the program were Crystal Bay, Manta Point & Bay and Buddha spot.
In Manta Point and Bay, the sea was very rough and there were lots of boats. All the boats watch the Mantas first and rush on them as soon as they see one, then tell us to jump in the water. It was a kind of Manta’s hunt, not nice to see… at all.
“Buddha point” is nice to see but it is at the bottom of a platform with A LOT of Chinese who can not swim and who go into the water holding to ropes. There was a strong current there so I let you imagine the mess…
Crystal bay was finally the best spot. It is a beautiful coral garden, full of colors, full of fish and the sea was not too rough.
So honestly i would not advise this kind of trip in these conditions: /
SUNSET IN NUSA CENINGAN
The Sea Breeze bar / restaurant is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. From there you have the view of the bay with the infinity pool, relaxing music and good cocktails. Perfect mix to feel well on vacation.
At The Palm hotel, it’s also very nice with big beds and the infinity pool. The cocktails are also very good but it’s a bit more expensive.
HOW TO GO FROM NUSA CENINGAN TO NUSA PENIDA
To go from one island to another, just go to the yellow bridge (Lembogan side) and there is an agency with boats that leave every hour / half hours as soon as they are full to go to Nusa Penida. The journey and 30,000 IDR / person. And the last trip is at 18h.
WHERE TO SLEEP IN NUSA CENINGAN ?
This is a great hotel. It is a bit pricey for Indonesia but the rooms are spacious and pretty and the view is amazing, from the room and from the pool.
You need a scooter to get there. They rent it for 80,000 a day.
This is the neighbor of The Plam, a little further back but still with a nice view and nice pool. The bungalows are clean and pretty, but really small.
And the restaurant is not the best.
WHERE TO EAT IN NUSA CENINGAN ?
Nice terrasse at Le Pirate with, as in Labuan Bajo, nice dishes that change from Indonesian classics. And there is even wine! (No top quality but nice anyway :))
The Dungki Bendega
Small restaurant lost at the top of a hill in the middle of the forest. The road to go is not lit but it is accessible by scooter.
Beautiful decoration and delicious dishes that are local but original!