Nusa Lembongan is a beautiful tropical island nestled off the coast of Bali. Though significantly less crowded than Bali, the island’s fantastic white-sand beaches, clear blue waters and amazing surf spots are attracting more and more travellers to Nusa Lembongan from neighbouring Bali – but how to get to Nusa Lembongan?
Most people depart to Nusa Lembongan from the resort town of Sanur in southern Bali. Other options include the ports in Benoa and Padangbai. Since Sanur is by far the most popular option, this article will focus on travelling to Nusa Lembongan from Sanur.
There is no airport in Nusa Lembongan meaning you’ll need to catch a boat from Bali to Nusa Lembongan. Budget travellers and backpackers might prefer the rustic local boats which deliver you to Nusa Lembongan from Sanur in around 90 minutes.
Most travellers, however, prefer the fast boats which will take you from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan in just 30 minutes.
Choosing a Fast Boat Company to Get to Nusa Lembongan
There are several fast boat companies and private operators offering transfers to and from Sanur Beach to Nusa Lembongan. The departure times vary depending on the company, but there are multiple options available throughout the day, from early morning until around 5 pm.
When planning your trip, it’s good to remember that getting to and from the boat will require you to get your feet wet, so wearing shorts and slip-on shoes is a good idea.
Currently, by far the most trusted fast boat company is Rocky Fast Cruises, which offers four daily departures to and from Nusa Lembongan:
Sanur – Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan – Sanur
Rocky Fast Cruise’s return trips are priced at IDR 500,000 (USD $37) for adults and IDR 300,000 (USD $22) for children over three years old.
When choosing a boat company to take you to Nusa Lembongan, please keep in mind that safety standards in Indonesia are not on par with those in Australia and Europe. Before choosing a vessel, do a little research into the operator’s track record and be prepared to pay a little extra for added safety.
Hotel Pick-up and Drop-off
Most fast boat companies offer a free pick-up and drop-off service in Bali. This means that a company van will pick you up at your villa or hotel in Bali and drop you off at the harbour in Sanur. Once you return to Bali, they will drop you off at your accommodation.
Remember to check if the pick-up service is included in the ticket when making your booking. For most companies, hotel pick-ups are complimentary only within certain areas and you might need to pay for the service if you’re staying a bit further, i.e. in Ubud or Canggu.
Getting to Your Villa in Nusa Lembongan
Depending on which part of Nusa Lembongan you’re staying in, the trip to your Lembongan villa or hotel will take between 2-20 minutes. Again, it’s a small island so the transfer times are more than reasonable.
Most of the well-known fast boat companies offer a complimentary drop-off service from the harbour to your villa or hotel in Nusa Lembongan. Your chosen accommodation will also be able to assist with harbour transfers. If you’re feeling confident, you could also rent a motorbike directly at the harbour.
Getting Around Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan is a small island and you can easily make your way around on foot or bicycle. There are no cars on the island (save for the pick-up trucks shuttling travellers from the port to their accommodation) and there are small roads connecting you to most cafes, restaurants and hotels, so getting around is a breeze.
If you want to explore a bit further and don’t want to walk long distances in the tropical heat, renting a motorbike or a buggy is a good idea as there is no public transport or official taxis available on the island.
Renting a Motorbike
Renting a scooter in Nusa Lembongan is simple and there are plenty of bike rental shops right by the harbour. Many villas can also arrange scooter rentals for you. Typically the prices start at around IDR 50,000 (USD $3.7) per day.
Though it’s unlikely that anyone will check for your driver’s license, it’s important to have it as your travel insurance will likely cover none your medical expenses should you get in an accident while driving without a valid licence.
Renting an Electric Buggy
Another way to make your way around Nusa Lembongan is to hire a self-drive electric buggy. This is an easy and safe way to scoot across the island and it’s also an eco-friendlier alternative to motorbikes.
There are private companies offering buggy rentals in Nusa Lembongan and some villas can also organise buggy rentals for you. The daily rate is usually around IDR 800,000 (USD $59) and often there are lower rates available for a few hours’ rental.