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Just a short boat ride away from the shores of Bali, lies the paradise neighbouring islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. While they are much smaller than Bali, Penida and Lembogan are certainly worth a day trip or even a short stay. The scenery for both of these islands is filled with whites and beaches, lush jungle greenery and majestic cliffs. The crystal blue waters are famed spots for snorkelling and diving along the coral reefs. Depending on your sense of adventure, you can choose daytrips for trekking to the famous “Insta-spots” and lookout points, discover the uncrowded and secluded beaches, or head out to the many spots for snorkelling or diving – don’t miss the Manta Rays!
Most ferries to Nusa Penida and Lembongan depart from Sanur Harbour in the morning, with just a 40-minute trip across the channel, and then return trips depart to return before sunset.READ MORE/LESS
Nusa Penida is the largest of the Nusa islands, and has the most wondrous natural sites to explore. Day trips can be organized for the east or west of the island, depending on what you would like to see. The island’s landscape is diverse and the natural beauty is endless, and every viewpoint looks like a postcard. Bring your camera or you Go-Pro!
For the East, there is the Goa Giri Putri temple, one of the most interesting temples in all of Bal, located in a cave, completely hidden from the outside world (please use caution as the entrance is very narrow and dark). On the eastern coast there is also beautiful Atuh Beach, hidden among the cliffs on the southeast shores of Penida. Enjoy lunch and a swim, and relax on the white sands. Have your camera ready for the last two stops, that showcase how drastically diverse the topography of Penida is. The first stop is Raja Lima, also known as Thousand Islands viewpoint, for the spectacular panorama of the countless rock formations coming out of the ocean. And finally, there is the comically-named Teletubbies Hill, where the rolling hillsides of lush greenery create resemble the scenery of the children’s television show.
Tours of the Western side of the island are no less full of wonder and jaw-dropping views. Start the morning at Angel’s Billabong, this is one of the most unique locations on the island. If the tide is low, you can snorkel and swim in the unbelievably clear waters of the tide pool, but if there is high tide, then simply take a minute to relax on the cliff’s edge and watch the waves soak up the scenery. Then, head over to Broken Beach, a bay on the western coast of Penida that is enclosed with a natural rock archway. A tour on this side of the island wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the famous Kelingking “T-Rex”, the island’s most photographed location and lunch on the beach nearby. Spend the rest of the afternoon at Crystal Bay Beach, one of the most popular and beautiful beaches on the island. Along the way, take a minute to stop and lookout from Manta View point, as there are often giant Manta Rays playing in the waters.
Lembongan, while smaller than Nusa Penida, is one of the most popular day trip excursions from Bali. The island’s stunning landscape is easy to explore for a day, and hiring a driver for the day is recommended and affordable. Driving tours around the island include spots at various lookout points, across the yellow bridge or “Bridge of Love” to Nusa Ceningan, through the small towns. One of the more famous spots is famous Devil’s Tears, where crashing waves on the rocks sound like the walls are crying from below. Enjoy the afternoon with a daiquiri or colada from one of the bars along Dream Beach, before heading back across the channel to Bali’s mainland.
Snorkelling or diving excursions are a ‘must-do’ activity for Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. The waters are clear and warm, and the colourful coral reefs are shallow and untouched. In Lembongan, day trips for snorkeling often include stops at Wall Toya Pakeh, which is the colourful coral wall of Nusa Penida. There is also the Giant Trevally feeding spot, and the Mangrove Spot off the coast of Lembongan. Each spot has its own distinct scenery, with plenty of fish and coral to delight snorkelers of all ages.
For Nusa Penida snorkelling and diving trips, the most popular locations are along the western and northern shores. Manta Bay is always popular, but go early before the waters become more crowded. Both snorkelers and divers are welcome. The giant Mantas can be up to 5m wide, and they don’t shy away from visitors either. They are playful and fast, and to swim with them is an experience you won’t ever forget. Gamat Bay is one of Nusa Penida’s most beautiful spots for snorkelling and diving, and also one of the lesser known locales. The coral wall is home to schools of colourful fish and plants, and it’s not uncommon for a sea turtle or two to pass by. Another spot is Crystal Bay, which is easily accessible and popular for families, since the waters are calm it’s easy to reach within minutes of Crystal Bay beach.
It’s easy to see why Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida are known as two of Bali’s best locations for day trips and excursions. They are an easy escape, and the tours are filled with amazing scenery from the land and in the sea. The guided day trips with proper guides are recommended. For snorkelling and diving, the swells and tides can make the waters unsafe during certain times of the year. When trekking around Nusa Penida or Lembongan, please also be careful and stay on guided pathways. The terrain and trails are not as groomed or secure as you may find in Bali, and the cliffs are very high and steep. The natural beauty of these islands is what attracts thousands of visitors every year, but it should be enjoyed with respect and caution.
Excellent professional staff, good quality snorkelling equipment, comfortable safe boat, snorkelling guide was very helpful and attentive. All three snorkelling locations were beautiful and very comfortable to access from boat. Manta rays were amazing. the only down side was the plastic and other rubbish encountered while snorkelling at Manta Point; greatly distracted from the experience.
Lynn5150 Greater Adelaide - Australia
The trip was really good, not much wait and the snorkeling was really good. We are quite experienced snorkelers and we really enjoyed the Manta point (lots of Mantas, but not the best visibility) and Toyapakeh Bay, with a lot of diversity in the coral. Really recommend this trip if you are in the area.
Lindri - Norway
After searching on Tripadvisor for a good snorkeling company I found this. And the reviews are correct. We got to see plenty of fish and even a sea turtle. Manta Point was also a surreal experience - swimming right above these giants is something you cannot miss and we were lucky that the sea was calm. In a nutshell - if you want a relaxed and good snorkeling day trip, this is the right address.
Elisabeth V The Hague - The Netherlands