After spending two full weeks in Ubud, Bali we felt like we needed a brief change of scenery, and what better than a weekend island getaway to recharge the batteries?! You know you’ve been traveling for a while and loving it when spending two weeks in Ubud warrants a side trip to “recharge the batteries”.

Enter Nusa Lembongan.

Just a 90 minute trip to the island (an hour by car and 30 minutes by ferry), Nusa Lembongan is the perfect weekend destination for anyone spending an extended time in Bali, especially near Ubud.

Our weekend excursion began with the early ferry leaving from Sanur at 8:30am Friday morning, but we’re on Bali time so that really means you have at least an extra 15 to 20 minutes to sip on a coconut, because nothing leaves exactly on time.

Our former punctual attitudes have officially moved on and we are now going with the island flow….shit, wait are we becoming hippies?! Nope, no dreadlocks yet, but stay tuned we do have 2 more months in Bali and Nick’s hair is starting to get pretty long!

Like most ferry companies going to Nusa Lembongan, we were dropped off at Jungutbatu Beach, which is a popular place for people to stay while visiting as it has a range of hotels from inexpensive to $$$$. However since we’ve become thrifty, savvy travelers, we checked into our $18 a night hotel. We know what you’re thinking… “$18 a night? what kinda shit-hole, crappy hotel were they staying in?”, but you have to remember, this is Indonesia. Our $18 got us a room at The Beach Huts; a simple, but clean, ocean front hotel with an air conditioner, balcony, and awesome view. Gotta love that exchange rate! We were also able to rent our motorbike from our hotel, which made it easy to start exploring this 8 square kilometer island!

Jungutbatu Beach, Nusa Lembongan

View from the room!

After we got settled in, we jumped on our kick-ass motorbike, and by kick-ass we mean the battery died after driving a few feet… but hey, at least it happened when we were close to the hotel! Once we jump started our bike we made our way to Mushroom Bay. One of the more well known destinations on the island, Mushroom Bay is packed with a ton of different activities to do. There are several PADI dive schools where you can go snorkeling or scuba diving, go out for a ride on a banana boat, and much more. But we weren’t there for the activities, we were there for the food since it was 11am and we hadn’t eaten breakfast. We strolled down the beach and came to a cute little restaurant overlooking the bay. It was a great breakfast spot with good food and a great view. What more do you need?!

We stuffed our faces, soaked in some cosmic rays and were ready to continue exploring!

Mushroom Bay, Nusa Lembongan

On the opposite side of the island (but still only a 5-10 minute motorbike ride) from Mushroom Bay is Dream Beach. We had heard that this was a must do while visiting Lembongan, and with a name like “Dream Beach” how could we not check it out?

Dream Beach, Nusa Lembongan

From the second we arrived we were absolutely blown away. It’s a secluded beach set inside of a large cove with absolutely crystal clear waters, white sands, and surrounded by small cliffs. It really does look like something out of a dream (hence the name). Not to mention, at the top of the cliff is an amazing hotel/bar, Dream Beach Hut, with an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean. They will let you use their facilities for IDR 50,000 (less than $4 US), which is well worth it!

Dream Beach Hut, Dream Beach, Nusa Lembongan

Dream Beach, Nusa Lembongan

We arrived in the middle of the day and spent most of the afternoon swimming in the ocean, laying by the pool, and knocking back a few drinks from the top of the bar. In fact, Dream Beach warrants some insightful, deep quotes to sum up our love for this wonderful place. First to quote the Beetles, “You could say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one….at Dream Beach”! or maybe we could even quote a little Oprah, because every blog needs a least one Oprah quote, “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams….at Dream Beach”! Okay I think that’s enough quotes for now!

A quick must-see that is right next to Dream Beach is The Devil’s Tear. Oooh ahhh….we know that sounds scary, but it’s actually an amazing representation of the sheer power of mother nature! From Dream Beach it’s only a five minute walk to see El Diablo’s Tear (throwing a little Spanish at you!) where you can watch the waves crash against the rocks and turn into mist aka The Devil’s Tear.

Devil's Tear, Nusa Lembongan

Talk Travel To Me, Nusa Lembongan

After spending the day dreaming on beaches we headed back to Jungutbatu Beach for dinner. If you’re ever in Nusa Lembongan and need a good spot for a great meal, definitely head to Agus Shipwreck Restaurant. It’s right on the water with great views of the seaweed farmers and really good food with live music!

Nusa Lembongan is also well known for their great scuba diving and snorkeling sites, so Saturday morning we decided to go for a snorkeling trip. There are many different places you can book through and to be honest most of them will take you to the same dive locations. We booked ours at the end of the day Friday and were able to negotiate a lower rate for Saturday morning. It was IDR 150,000 per person (less than $12 US) to go snorkeling for 4 hours at some of the best locations around. Not a bad deal!

It just so happened that when Saturday morning rolled around there was a storm off the coast of the island that made for some pretty rough seas. The boat that we were being taken out in wasn’t exactly the Titanic, but there were a few times we thought we were gonna end up like the Titanic. The first site we stopped at was Manta Point, which was surrounded by cliffs and had huge waves crashing against them. We saw one other boat with people who were insane enough to jump in the water. They were literally feet away from being thrown against the cliffs. Luckily for us, our captain realized that this probably wasn’t the best spot to be snorkeling so we went to the next spot.

We live to see another day!

Nusa Lembongan

In awe of how rough the waves were!

Once we arrived at our second snorkel spot, Crystal Bay, the waters were a little calmer so we grew a pair and jumped in. This might have been the most fun we’ve ever had snorkeling. The waters were calmer than the first location, but by no means were they calm waters. We could see fish getting tossed around under the water as we were being thrown up and down with the waves. It was like a roller coaster ride in the ocean! It was also an amazing snorkeling site on it’s own, but the waves just made it that much more exciting!

Nusa Lembongan

Calmer waters at Crystal Bay

By the time we had reached our third snorkel site the sea had started to calm down and the storm had moved further off shore. To be honest, the third site wasn’t very impressive and was easily our least favorite. The water was pretty dirty with a lot of trash (stop throwing garbage/plastic in the ocean!), and the only bright side were some pretty big fish that our guide wanted us to see. Luckily, our fourth and final snorkeling location, Mangrove Point, more than made up for the previous spot! It was an incredible coral reef with tons of colorful plant life and fish. We even saw a giant eel….It’s electric!

Nusa Lembongan

By the time we were heading back in we were both exhausted and ready for lunch. There’s nothing like a day on a boat, fearing for our lives, to work up and appetite. We stopped at a local warong next to our hotel and grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading back for an afternoon siesta.

After taking a quick nap and spending some time enjoying the view it was time for dinner! For our last meal in Nusa Lembongan we felt like getting a little fancy, and made reservations at a nearby cliffside restaurant, Muntigs, which has a great sunset view. Unfortunately for us, we can’t get to see every sunset on this trip, and by the time we got to dinner it had started to rain and there was no longer a sunset view. Oh well…the food definitely made up for the crappy weather. At this fine dining establishment we ate some delicious lamb shank, carbonara pasta and got really fat by ordering a second chocolate souffle after the first wasn’t enough. Whatever, as the young kids would say, YOLO!

Muntigs Restaurant, Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan is a small island which allowed us to see a lot in a short period of time, and made for the perfect weekend getaway!