Whoever told you to “follow the sun” probably had Nusa Lembongan in mind as a final destination. Nusa Lembongan is the place to retreat for the classic Indonesian combination of adventure and tranquillity. The island has surf to rival nearby Bali, jungle roads perfect for scooter beginners, and, of course, beaches that can easily hold you captive for a whole day if you aren’t careful. But what if you do only have one day in Nusa Lembongan?
The paradise is one of Indonesia’s three Nusa Islands, with its neighboring Nusa Ceningan accessible by the Yellow Bridge and Nusa Penida by boat. Because the archipelago is just off the coast of Bali, Nusa Lembongan is accessible enough to squeeze into a one day itinerary.
And, to help you experience the best the island has to offer, here is our carefully curated Nusa Lembongan single day itinerary.
Nusa Lembongan One Day Itinerary: Morning
Whether you are arriving or waking to your first morning in Nusa Lembongan, the first thing you need to arrange is transport. We’d recommend hiring a scooter to maximize your time and independence on the island if you feel comfortable doing so. Although, you can arrange to hire a driver for the day if a scooter seems to be too intimidating.
If you enjoy a relaxing start to the day, head to one of Nusa Lembongan’s yoga retreats for an early morning class. Serenity Yoga is a highly rated retreat and offers daily drop-in sessions for only 130,000rp (equivalent to $9.14).
For those that can’t wait to get to the ocean, head to Jungut Batu beach instead. Here, you can still welcome a morning in Nusa Lembongan the chilled way with a refreshing morning surf. Thabu Surf Lessons operate straight from Jungat Batu beach – making them a convenient and deserving choice, considering their glowing TripAdvisor ranking. Experienced surfers wanting an independent surf can opt to hire a board for 100,000rp ($7.03). However, surfers of any level wanting a lesson can also book a private, two-hour session for 700,000rp ($49.24).
Nusa Lembongan One Day Itinerary: Midday
Since Thabu Surf Lessons opens at 7 am, your morning surf can be as early as you’d like it. However, after two hours in the water, a full Balinese breakfast is likely on the cards by 10 am. The Deck, a café-bar overlooking Jungut Batu beach, is the perfect spot to head. Tuck into a nasi goreng, acai bowl, or even just a chai spiced tea. Just don’t fill up too much because you’ll have more chances to indulge at midday…
After your quick refreshment stop and surf, it’s time to jump back on your scooter to head to the East coast.
Nusa Lembongan’s East is where you will find the island’s Mangrove Forest – a top-rated attraction amongst visitors. The term mangrove refers to any tree or plant that grows in areas of swamps, and in Nusa Lembongan, you can spot a variety of fauna. To explore the Mangrove Forest, you will need to hire a canoe or paddleboard. Alternatively, you can purchase a boat tour with a local guide, which is the better option if you want an informative experience.
Once you’ve finished exploring the Mangrove Forest, you don’t have to head far for some much-needed food and drink. Nano Nano Restaurant sits on the shallow beachfront along the main road towards the Mangrove Forest. Guests can continue to admire the aesthetic scattering of mangrove plants while enjoying traditional Balinese curries, grilled fish, or perhaps a comfort pasta or sandwich.
There is no need to rush off when you’ve finished eating. After the popular Jungat Batu beach, it is easy to appreciate the quietness of the beach outside Nano Nano. Visitors can enjoy a large, rustic swing for photo opportunities and admire the traditional fishing boats moored along the sands.
Nusa Lembongan One Day Itinerary: Afternoon
After a couple of hours in Indonesia’s midday heat, you will be desperate to head back into the water to cool off.
We’d recommend treating yourself to a snorkeling or dive tour if you are PADI certified. Nusa Lembongan is famous for its underwater opportunities, thanks to its abundance of tropical marine life. Underwater you can spot turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, and dolphins – not to mention beautiful fish species like clownfish, lionfish, and pufferfish.
You can purchase a snorkeling or diving tour online in advance or visit a tour operator center on the day. For confident swimmers, it is also easy to rent snorkeling gear to explore the shallows independently – just make sure to do so in a group and at a busy beach. If renting equipment and exploring independently sounds the best option, keep in mind that the Nano Nano Restaurant conveniently rents gear out by the hour.
Nusa Lembongan One Day Itinerary: Evening
With your feet back on land, it’s time to swap snorkels for your scooter. And, to finish a day in Nusa Lembongan, it’s only fair to try to catch the sunset at some of the island’s most beautiful spots. Driving from the East to the West Coast will take you approximately 20-minutes by scooter, so prepare yourself for a short but scenic ride.
Your first sunset stop is Panorama Point, which is around a 10-minute drive away. The viewpoint is popular and with excellent reason. From Panorama Point, you overlook Jungat Batu beach and coastal waters, with Mount Agung framing the pretty island scene from Bali across the ocean. The viewpoint is right on the roadside, making it a quick and accessible spot to visit.
Remember not to spend all of the sunset here, as the aptly-named Sunset Point is only a 10-minute ride away by scooter. Sunset Point requires a bit more navigation than Panorama Point, and you will need to park on the road leading to The Point Resort before walking a few minutes on foot. The viewpoint itself is on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, and visitors can enjoy unobstructed views of the sun seemingly set into the sea.
Once the sun has set, Nusa Lembongan mostly tucks itself in for the night. However, while you won’t find Kuta-style nightlife, there are a few spots where you can indulge in a cocktail and a laidback atmosphere. Head back to your accommodation and investigate the bars within walking distance from your base. We particularly recommend Sandy Bay Beach Club, Hai Bar and Grill, and the Blue Corner Bar and Restaurant.