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Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan is a small island off Bali’s coast that can be easily reached by the frequent public fast boats that depart from Sanur daily. In a mere half an hour you are greeted by a little perfect droplet of clear blue sea, white sand beaches, scuba diving, snorkeling and all the desert island diversions you can think of.

A sleepy enclave, with a population of 5000, whose main income is from traditional seaweed farming and fishing. It is now becoming more touristy and busier, but little parts of quite perfection exist all over the island.

 

Stay

Le Pirate Beach Club is a relatively new addition to Nusa Lembongan’s little sister, Nusa Ceningan, and brings a mix of Bermuda and Brighton in the form of their Beach Box Houses. Petit but perfect they are little candy boxes lining the shore of Nusa Ceningan, the small island connected to Lembongan over a rickety wooden bridge.

01stayOverlooking the sweeping turquoise lagoon, Le Pirate is a picture perfect eco hideaway. With only ten rooms it is an intimate place, two bunkrooms make it great for budget travellers or families travelling with children. Only reached by motorcycle over tiny bridge, down the winding path filled with cows and seaweed drying in the sun, the setting could not get any more idyllic and intimate.

Stare out over the lagoon from the saltwater pool, and enjoy watching the shadows pass over after sunset and the slow traffic of the seaweed farmers at sunrise. The bar and restaurant serve wonderful juices, cocktails and food so there is not need to venture out if you are not in an adventurous mood. The food is a mixture of excellent local and international dishes with the Mexican tacos and tostadas being divine.

All in hues of aquamarine and azure, this beach club, restaurant and hotel is captivating. In addition they are also respectful of the fragile ecosystem that exists on Nusa Ceningan, especially the lack of water. All the taps and showers are fitted with push buttons to minimize waste, there is no hot water and air con is by request, but feeling the sea breeze is definitely preferable. Waste and ‘grey’ water is recycled and used in the perfect garden and a small hydroponic farm has been set up to provide salads and herbs.

Le Pirate Beach Club embodies castaway chic with a bit of Caribbean cool thrown in. It is a perfect sustainable spot for a small getaway to this little slice of paradise.

www.lepirate-beachclub.com

 

Savour

02savourSeafood is the specialty of Nusa Lembongan and there are cafes and restaurants all over the island offering all sorts of seafood.

Chiringuito is a very relaxed beachside café in the Mangrove area that serves amazing fish in banana leaf done over burning coconut husks on the barbeque, usually accompanied by a healthy dose of Bob Marley beats. The best touch however is the floating pontoon amongst the mangroves that has stunning views over to Bali and Mount Agung.

Another fantastic place to watch the sunset and is The Sandy Bay Beach Club, a bright and breezy restaurant on the beach with a pool that serves great international food and has a nightly barbeque of jumbo prawns, lobsters, tuna, squid and anything fresh with delicious sides. Indulgences like chocolate brownies and various flavours of freshly made ice cream. A definite must for a bit of laid back dining, or if you need some spa treatments.

www.sandybaylembongan.com

 

Swim

03swimStunning white sand beaches lie scattered around both Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, but not all are safe for swimming so be careful on the more deserted ones. Mushroom Bay is very popular but crowded with boats but there is a white sand deserted beach just along the headland towards the main town or simply pop out the Mushroom Bay Beach Resort back door.

Just past Le Pirate is also another deserted white sand beach that is even quieter and great for passing a few hours. Hiking around the headlands is a wonderful adventure.  Just make sure the currents are fine in the bay you choose and a swim in the deep blue awaits. For kids or if you would like a therapeutic submergence then wallow in the lagoon that lies between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.  This is where the famed seaweed is farmed and the sea here is intensely healing. This seaweed is usually sold to the Japanese beauty industry, so not only does it help rejuvenate the skin and it is amazing for skin complaints.

 

Snorkel & Scuba

04-Mola-MolaNusa Peninda lies right next to Lembongan, it has not really been developed, but has incredible diving and snorkeling. Crystal Bay is a stunning dive spot where you can spot Napoleon Fish, morays, turtles and mola mola seasonally.  There are certain times of the year that Manta Rays come through too and it is a phenomenal experience to scuba dive or snorkel with these beautifully graceful creatures.

Taking a boat to discover the hidden bays and the underwater world awash with a myriad of species.

Nusa Peninda is also a bird sanctuary established by Friends of The National Parks Foundation (FNPF). Established in 2006, all thirty five villages have participated in including conservation into their traditional village regulations. Indonesian birds have been taken and released on the island, most importantly the Bali Starling. This is the most endangered species that saw it’s numbers dwindle to ten in the wild in 2009. Nusa Penida has become a sanctuary and vital breeding ground, helping to replenish the wellbeing of this beautiful bird.

 

Sail

A small tour of the mangroves is possible by boat to gently explore this protected ecosystem. Small boats will give you a tour of this mysterious place full of shadows and noises. Mangroves are vital for the protection of coastal areas and protect against erosion as well as keeping the balance of the environment. In Nusa Lembongan they are protected and take up a large swathe of the north east of the island. It is a very peaceful way to pass an hour. Afterwards you can hire a sup paddle board or mask to explore the area where the mangrove meets the sea.

05sailIndonesia is a wonderful place to explore by boat. If you have a limited time and are only visiting Bali for a short trip then a day cruise over to Nusa Lembongan that takes in snorkeling and sunsets from the boat and a lunch on the island.

Waka Sailing have a catamaran that takes you over and a beach club on the island that adds a luxurious touch to the day trip experience. Guests can create a bespoke experience that suits their interests, such as visiting the seaweeds farms or a glass bottom boat ride. A laid back and comfortable way to gently explore the area for those with limited time.

www.wakahotelsandresorts.com

 

Seaweed

06seaweedSeaweed farmers still practice the art of farming all over the island. Perfect square beds are laid out under the surface and uncovered as the tide rolls back. The island survived on seaweed farming for both the food and cosmetic market. However in recent times with the development of tourism this is gradually being sidelined with development. In Nusa Ceningan you can see the seaweed drying all over the village and still in very traditional manner, before the bridge it has become a bit of a tourist attraction but there are lines of farmers huts there. Hopefully this art of aquaculture will not be completely destroyed, as it has in many areas of Bali, by big hotels polluting the water and driving traditional farmers out.

 
 
© 2014 The Eco Gypsy - Ethical Exploration.
   


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