Nusa LEMBONGAN is a small island off the southeast coast of the main island of Bali. Fast becoming one of Bali’s most popular attractions, this island is a world away from the hassle and hectic pace of South Bali. Neither hawkers nor traffic mar the magnificent scenery; this is a fine place to just put your feet up and relax. Main activities include surfing, diving and snorkeling. The water is some of the clearest you will find anywhere, and a vivid aqua blue in colour.
Nusa Lembongan is approximately 8 square kilometres in area with a permanent population estimated at 5,000. Twelve kilometres of the Badung Strait separates Nusa Lembongan from Bali Island. The island is surrounded by coral reefs with white sand beaches and low limestone cliffs. Nusa Lembongan is separated from Nusa Ceningan by a shallow estuarine channel which is difficult to navigate at low tide. There are no permanent waterways on Nusa Lembongan. There is a suspension bridge linking Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan which takes foot and motorbike traffic only.
There are three main villages on the island. Jungut Batu and Mushroom Bay are the centres of the tourist-based industry and activities on the island whilst much of the permanent local population resides in Lembongan Village.
To the east, the Lombok Strait separates the three islands from Lombok, and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes.
The north-eastern side of the island is flanked by a relatively large area of mangroves totalling some 212 hectares.
Nusa Lembongan is served by regular direct speed-boat services, mostly from the east-coast Bali resort town of Sanur. Crossing time is approximately 30 minutes and services run at regular intervals during daylight hours. Larger cargo boats also run daily from the Bali port town of Padang Bai.
The economy is largely based on tourism and Nusa Lembongan is the only one of the three neighbouring islands to have any significant tourism-based infrastructure. There is also subsistence agriculture and fishing on the island and used to be a seaweed farming micro-industry, until as recently as 2015, when due to tourism and pollution it became unviable.
The island also contains a number of guesthouses and even a small gym.
The main activities on the island, are related to watersports like Surfing, Snorkeling or Scuba Diving. also yoga is very popular and you can even come to pass your instructor degree on the island, there are session every month. Hiking and riding a bike between the islands of Cennigan and Penida is also very popular and the sceneries juts breath taking.
Diving is of excellent quality in the crystal clear waters around the island. This is why most dive shops on Bali offer trips to the area. A number of reputable dive shops are also present on the island. Make sure to dive with a licensed dive shop with experience.
For more experienced divers, the most interesting sites are off neighbouring Nusa Penida. There are some challenging drift dives here, and dive operators will visit certain sites only when the sea conditions are safe. There are plenty of options for easier flat reef and wall dives as well. Marine highlights include large manta rays all year round, spectacular, massive oceanic sunfish (mola-mola) in season (July-October), white-tipped reef sharks, nurse sharks and the odd hammerhead. Whale sharks are far from regular, but the odd migrant is seen. Last but certainly not least, four species of sea turtle can be found here.
Marine conservation is considered extremely important to sustaining future levels of tourism on the island and in February 2009, a local NGO from Nusa Lembongan, facilitated by The Nature Conservancy Coral Triangle Center, opened a community centre on Nusa Lembongan. The waters around Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida have at least 247 species of coral and 562 species of reef fish.
Other conservation initiatives include a release programme of critically endangered Olive Ridley Turtles from Sunset Beach on the south western coast.