Nusa Dua is an exclusive enclave of luxury resorts hugging a white sand beach in the Bukit Peninsula in South Bali. Centred around the manicured Nusa Dua Tourism Complex, the high-end neighbourhood spreads out to more rural and low key surroundings. Nusa Dua is one of the most exclusive areas in Bali and attracts travellers looking to stay in the lap of luxury and families after a picture-perfect beach getaway.
Nusa Dua Overview
For most travellers, Nusa Dua is all about luxurious resort living. Nestled along the eastern coast of the Bukit Peninsula, the Nusa Dua Tourism Complex is a carefully groomed area home to luxury resorts, restaurants and an upscale shopping complex. There is a security check point once you enter the area, providing visitors with a soothing sense of security. The beaches in Nusa Dua are some of the most beautiful you’ll find anywhere in Bali. Lined by resorts but open to the public, the soft white sand and calm clear waters make the beach ideal for families.
Beyond the tourism complex and its manicured lawns, Nusa Dua gets more rural and low key. You might consider staying in these peaceful outskirts as getting the best of both worlds: peace and quiet surrounded by the “real” Bali, but still within easy reach of world class facilities waiting at the resort complex. The Benoa Harbour, located about 15 minutes from the main resort complex, connects the area to the neighbouring islands of Nusa Lembongan and the Gilis.
Though the Nusa Dua area is beautiful and the gated complex definitely offers a great sense of security, Nusa Dua is not the best place for travellers looking for an authentic Balinese experience. In fact, the area might feel too sterile for some. The resort complex is groomed to the nines and does have that “could be anywhere” feel to it – you’ll either love it or hate it.
Planning Your Trip to Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is appealing destination all year round. Our Nusa Dua travel guide aims to give you the essential information, list the most popular things to do in Nusa Dua, provide more information on locations you want to visit, and finish with some inspiration from our travel writers. For more information on events and festivals taking place throughout the year, check out our comprehensive Bali guide.
Nusa Dua Weather
Bali is pleasant all year round! May through September has the best weather (drier, less humid) and is the best time for many activities including diving and surfing. November though March is rainy season – though rainfall is never excessive so you can do most activities except volcano treks.
The temperature ranges from 24 degrees to 31 degrees all year round.
Rainfall ranges from 0cm to 140cm during the wet season.
Things to See & Do in Nusa Dua
Most activities in Nusa Dua revolve around the resorts. Some resorts allow outside guests to visit too and this is true for all resorts if you’re visiting one of their restaurants. The area is also characterised by a gorgeous stretch of beach which offers ideal conditions for families. All in all, Nusa Dua is one of the best destinations for a luxurious beach getaway in Bali.
Nusa Dua’s luxurious resorts are home to some of the most highly rated spas on the island. You can visit the spas without staying in the resorts, though we do recommend making a booking beforehand. These luxury establishments offer everything massages to facials to nail treatments, with extravagant treatment packages and more outlandish beauty treatments (a Bloody Mary spa ritual, anyone?) also on offer. Another great way to pamper yourself is to enjoy spa treatments in the privacy of your villa – our concierge team can arrange this for guests staying in our villas.
If you’re looking to do some shopping while staying in Nusa Dua, the most popular option is to head to Bali Collection. This high end shopping complex offers international brands stores and higher end local boutiques. You can also stop for a bite to eat at one of the numerous restaurants located at the mall. True to the areas high-end pedigree, shopping in Nusa Dua tends to be on the dearer side so if you’re looking for a bargain, it’s best to shop elsewhere.
Tours & Activities
Nusa Dua is a great destination for beach lovers. The soft white sand and clear calm waters make the setting ideal for families. After a long wait, the area now also hosts a couple of beach clubs offering gourmet dining and poolside delights in a luxurious resort setting. For water sports, you can head up to Tanjung Benoa where you can try activities like jet skiing, banana boating and parasailing, though this area tends to be overrun by big tour groups.
Nusa Dua is hardly the cradle of Balinese culture, but the upscale area does have one cultural trump card hidden up its sleeve: the Devdan Show. Hosted at the Nusa Dua Theatre, Devdan Show is a cultural extravaganza combining storytelling, dance, fire, water… The show covers different Indonesian cultures and more modern elements, too, and makes for a very entertaining night out with the family.
Nusa Dua also allows for easy excursions to other parts of the Bukit Peninsula. You could have a seafood dinner at Jimbaran, do some surfing in Bingin or Dreamland and catch a sunset at the iconic Uluwatu Temple, all roughly within a 45-minute drive from Nusa Dua. Thanks to the overwater toll road, areas like Seminyak and Sanur are also easily accessible from Nusa Dua.
Eating & Drinking in Nusa Dua
Like much of life in the area, the dining scene in Nusa Dua is dominated by resorts. You’ll find fine dining restaurants and more casual eateries at all the resorts which outside guests are welcome to visit.
The fabulous resort restaurants cover multiple global cuisines, though most resorts have at least one dining outlet focusing on refined Indonesian cuisine. Next to elaborate à la carte menus, many of the resort restaurants offer fantastic Sunday Brunches and other all you can eat options. Dining at the resorts is not cheap, at least on Bali standards, but the high quality cuisine and beautiful setting more than makes up for the price tag.
Besides the resort restaurants, there are a few highly rates independent restaurants in the Nusa Dua area. Restaurants in Nusa Dua tend to focus on classic flavours, whether that means traditional Indonesian cuisine or a timeless barbecue and seafood, rather than cutting edge cuisine. For more dining options, you can make the 20-minute drive over to neighbouring Jimbaran. This area is mainly known for its toes-in-the-sand seafood restaurants but also offers more refined dining options – ones that don’t require entering a colossal resort complex.
As Nusa Dua is known as a luxurious destination catering to high end clientele, the area has little to no night life to speak of. Each resort has its own restaurants where you can enjoy dinner and drinks with friends and family, with bars offering sophisticated cocktails and sublime views of the coastline. You will be hard to find a pulsating night club in the area – though some venues do occasionally host well-known international music acts to entertain guests staying at the resort.
Nusa Dua Neighbourhoods
Life in Nusa Dua revolves around the Nusa Dua Tourism Complex. This manicured area is where you’ll find all the five star resorts, each one a microcosm in its own right, housing restaurants, pools, kids clubs, spas and more. You’ll either love the ready-made luxury or get bored staying in this somewhat insular bubble – it all depends on what you’re looking for.
Once you get outside the main tourism complex and leave behind the cluster of large resorts, Nusa Dua gets local and low key pretty fast. In no time at all, you can feel far away from it all. Needless to say, a car or motorbike will be essential for getting around. If you look beyond the resorts, you can find amazing clifftop villas with private beach access or remote hilltop villas offering luxurious privacy.
Tanjung Benoa juts out just up north from the Nusa Dua Tourism Complex. This petite peninsula is mainly known for offering variety of water sports along the long stretch of beach. The beach is largely run over for large tour groups, so it’s hardly the most pristine beach you can find in the area.
Nusa Dua & Surrounds
Nusa Dua sits nestled along the eastern shoreline of the Bukit Peninsula in South Bali. The Benoa headland just out from Nusa Dua, offering a variety of water sports mainly geared towards large tour groups. Driving west from Nusa Dua, the area is neighboured by Jimbaran which is known for its toes-in-the-sand seafood restaurants and relaxed brand of seaside luxury. Driving down to the tip of the peninsula, you will reach the secluded region of Ungasan, characterised by luxury clifftop villas and rural village life. Perhaps the most famous area in the Bukit is Uluwatu which attracts surfers and beachgoers to experience picture-perfect beaches and stunning clifftop sunsets.
Travelling up north, Nusa Dua is connected to the relaxed beach town of Sanur through an overwater toll road. This road has also made the popular areas of casual Kuta and sophisticated Seminyak more accessible that ever.
Nusa Dua Villas
There are a handful of Ministry Approved villas in Nusa Dua, as the area is mainly dominated by resorts over private villas. Nusa Dua is one of the most exclusive and upmarket areas in Bali, so prices tend to be higher than in other parts of the island.
Nusa Dua villas range from around USD $400 dollars per night for a four-bedroom villa to over USD $2,000 per night for a five-bedroom clifftop villa. All of our villas come with professionally trained staff. Many villas offer personalised services including: butlers, chefs, nannies, 24-hour security personnel, drivers and other services you won’t find in a hotel.
Most travellers arrive in Bali by landing at Ngurah Rai International Airport, currently the only airport on the island. Centrally located in Tuban in South Bali and easily connected to Nusa Dua, the busy airport serves over 20 million passengers a year. Bali is connected to numerous international destinations through direct flights, including Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Dubai. Airlines offering direct flights to Bali include Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Air Asia and Jetstar among others. There are plans to build a second airport in North Bali but these plans are still in early stages.
You can also arrive in Bali by boat. You can fly into one of the international airports located on the neighbouring islands of Java and Lombok and then cross over to Bali by a ferry or boat. From Java, ferries arrive in Gilimanuk in North Bali which is about four hours away from Nusa Dua. For guests staying in Nusa Dua, the Benoa Harbour will be your closest link to Nusa Lembongan and the Gili Islands – the harbour sits just 15 minutes from the tourism complex.
Nationalities from over 160 countries are eligible for visa free entry into Indonesia. This means your passport will be stamped on arrival at the airport, allowing you to stay in the country for 30 days. For stays longer than 30 days, you will need to obtain a visa which will require further arrangements. Please note your passport must be valid for six months after your date of arrival in Indonesia.
There is no public transport to get you from the airport to your accommodation, so the only option is to use a private driver or a taxi. Ministry of Villas can arrange a chauffeur to greet you upon arrival and escort you to your villa. This service is included for most villas when booking more than four nights. To avoid queuing at the immigration counter, we can also arrange a VIP airport service for guests. This service includes lounge access, allowing you to relax while waiting for your luggage.
Though we do recommend organising your transfers prior to arriving in Bali, it’s also possible to catch a taxi after you’ve landed at the airport. There is an official taxi stand at the international arrivals hall, next to the information desk. The taxi stand offers fixed price and meter fares across Bali. As pricing is frequently updated without prior notice, it’s very challenging to find accurate, up to date pricing before landing in Bali. You’ll also find countless freelance taxi drivers drifting at the arrivals hall, offering their services at varied rates. Whichever option you choose, always make sure you agree on the price before getting into the car.
There are plenty of options for getting around Nusa Dua, so we’ve ranked them according to our recommendations for first-time travellers. Many people staying in Nusa Dua will mainly stay put in their resort and will only need transport sporadically.
Hiring a private car and driver is a great way to get around Nusa Dua and also allows you to explore the larger area. Villas in Nusa Dua tend to be remote clifftop numbers, so a car will be a great help in getting around the area. Popular areas like Jimbaran, Uluwatu and Seminyak are about 30-40 minutes away by car. Ministry of Villas can arrange a private car and chauffeur for you. This little luxury is remarkably affordable and we can also help you arrange an itinerary, instructing your driver in advance.
Blue Bird Taxis are by far the most trustworthy operators on the island and their drivers always use a meter – the starting rate is IDR 7,000 (USD $0.5). You can order a Blue Bird Taxi through their app or by calling +62 (0) 361 701 111 – for these options, a minimum fare of IDR 30,000 (USD $2) will apply. For ease of communication, you can also have your villa, hotel or resort to call a taxi for you. Other taxi companies and independent drivers might claim that that the meter is broken or simply refuse to use it. If you need to take a ride from a taxi with no meter, always agree on the price before getting in. Note that the use of Uber-like ride hailing apps is banned in Nusa Dua.
Scooters are arguably the most popular way of getting around Bali. You won’t see that many scooters inside the Nusa Dua Tourism Complex, but if you’re planning to explore further, two wheels can be a great way to get out and about. Daily rentals usually start at around IDR 50,000 (USD $4). The somewhat chaotic traffic in Bali is not the best place to start learning, so it’s good to have some prior experience before you hop on a bike. You’ll also need a helmet and a valid international driver’s licence – driving without either will result in a fine if you get pulled over by the police.
The Nusa Dua Tourism Complex mainly consist of standalone resorts, while the wider Nusa Dua area is well spread out, so walking around is usually not an option. You can, however, enjoy leisurely walks down the long stretch of beach. If you start feeling peckish, you can stop for some nosh at one of the resorts lining the beach.
The Balinese are among the friendliest and most welcoming people on the planet. This is all the more reason to return the favour and be respectful towards the local culture. Like anywhere else in the world, common sense and basic human decency goes a long way. For more detailed information about local culture, language and safety in Bali, check out our comprehensive Bali guide.
The high end malls and boutiques in Nusa Dua offer fixed pricing with prices as a rule higher than other parts of Bali. If you shop at markets or local stalls, bargaining can become an enjoyable part of the experience… or it can be frustrating! To ensure a smooth exchange first decide what the item is worth to you, then ask the seller for their price – your first offer can be from one-third to two-thirds of that price. They are likely to respond with a counteroffer, which you can either accept or negotiate further. If you don’t like the price and you walk away there is a good chance the vendor will call out to you with a better (usually final) price. Keep in mind, if an agreement is reached, you’re committed – you should buy if your offer is accepted.
In late 2018, Bali’s governor banned single use plastic on the island, meaning shops, boutiques and supermarkets no longer give out plastic bags. When out and about, it’s best to carry a reusable bag with you.
Most restaurants and villas include a service component already so tipping is not expected, but if service is good, an additional cash tip is appreciated.
Indonesia’s country code is +62. Data speeds of 3G and faster is the norm across Bali. Local prepaid SIM cards are sold everywhere; any modern mobile phone will work. As of 2018, all prepaid SIM cards need to be registered which you can usually do with a copy of your passport directly at the shop where you purchase your SIM card. Prepaid SIM cards come loaded with pulsa (credit) or mobile data which you can later easily top up at other outlets. Most if not all minimarts and local phone shops can top off your SIM card when needed. Most villas provide broadband Internet and free Wi-Fi is common in cafes, restaurants, hotels and shopping malls.
Health & Safety
It’s important to note that compared to many places in the world, Bali is fairly safe. There have been some high-profile cases of visitors being injured or killed on Bali, but in many cases these tragedies have been inflamed by media sensationalism.
Many of Bali’s beaches are subject to heavy surf and strong currents – always swim between the yellow flags. Trained lifeguards are on duty at Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Nusa Dua and Sanur. Be careful when swimming over coral and never walk on it. It can be very sharp and coral cuts are easily infected. In addition, you are damaging a fragile environment. Lastly, water pollution is a problem in busy neighbourhoods. Avoid swimming near open streams flowing into the sea as they are often contaminated by run-off from built-up areas.
Violent crime is uncommon in Bali, however bag-snatching from motorbikes and petty theft does occur. Take extra care with your phone if riding pillion on a motorbike as phones regularly get snatched from unsuspecting tourists using a navigation app. Otherwise, take the same precautions you would in any urban area and secure your money before leaving an ATM (and don’t forget your card!), don’t leave valuables on a beach while swimming, and use in-villa safes to store your valuables.
Tap water in Bali is not safe to drink. Bottled water is widely available and cheap, however Ministry of Villas encourages visitors to keep a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic consumption.
Travel insurance is absolutely essential for every traveller. A typical travel insurance policy will have coverage for a traveller’s main concerns, including trip cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and lost luggage. Most policies are built to be comprehensive to protect travellers from a variety of events that may cause financial loss before or during their trip. Some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’ which can include scuba diving, renting a local motorcycle and even trekking.
Worldwide travel insurance is available at World Nomads and you can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you’re already on the road.
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Nusa Dua Stories
Nusa Dua wows with its five-star resorts, amazing food offerings and some of the best beaches on the island. When we’re in need of some epic r & r, we make our way to this luxury enclave and keep our eyes peeled for what’s new and interesting. Check out our latest blog posts written by experienced Ministry of Villas writers.