A day amongst the wild and beautiful sights of our neighbouring islands:
Nusa Penida, Lembongan and Ceningan
Own Image – The archipelagos around Nusa Penida
Edited by Own Villa
Without experiencing the waters surrounding Indonesia, you have hardly seen the country at all. Land mass made up almost entirely of archipelagos, it has the longest coastline on the planet containing 20% of the world’s coral reefs. For this reason, we have recently partnered with Nyoman and his brother, two experienced local seamen from Nusa Lembongan, to offer guests an authentic day out exploring the waters surrounding Bali. And as all our recommendations only come trialed and tested, we wanted to share the details of our underwater island escape.
Own Images – Nusa Lembongan arrival beach
Own Images – Bali dog relaxing as visitors arrive on to the island
Tucked away off the South-East coast of Bali, sits a trio of small islands: Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida.
These islands, sandwiched between Bali and Lombok, are located in an idyllic area of warm Indian ocean which has become a popular destination for those interested in snorkeling, diving, and experiencing the quintessential island life.
Own image – Boat driver and his temple, on fast boat from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan
Own image – Nyoman and his brother on the boat
A fast boat from the nearby port of Sanur meant we arrived in Lembongan around 10am, quickly being swept away from the other visitors descending onto the island by Nyoman’s wife, who took us for a refreshing drink in their beachside café. Soon we were in our swimsuits and on the boat heading out into open water with the two brothers, who make their living as experienced guides, showing visitors around the islands they grew up exploring.
@brandonverdura photos of Manta Rays near Nusa Penida
Our first stop was Manta Point, a popular feeding ground for the majestic Manta Rays. Whilst Nyoman steadied the boat, his brother entered the water and perfectly guided us towards the huge Rays as they swam beneath. Gliding through the deep turquoise water as if in elegant flight, Manta Rays are an exceptionally gentle species and can reach up to 5,5 metres in width. Having been listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the feeling of swimming alongside one is incredibly special.
Jumping back on the boat we sped off to continue exploring the diverse coastline, with Nyoman indicating points of interest along the way. One of which was the Angel’s Billabong: a natural tide pool that cascades out into crashing waves, leaving translucent turquoise water forming in the shallow basin above. Growing in popularity due to Instagram, seeing it from the wild waters as crowds flocked along the cliffs, gave an entirely new perspective of this well-loved natural wonder, and we felt lucky to be alone in the water. Around lunch time we arrived into Crystal Bay, an accessible area of shallow reefs harbouring diverse marine wildlife. We explored the bay, and what lay beneath the water, in complete peace and quiet for almost an hour, our boat comfortably bobbing away nearby.
Our own photos – Angel’s Billabong from the boat
Our own photos – Nusa Penida’s wild and beautiful coastline
Our afternoon was spent wonderfully: swimming along the reefs next to an underwater drop-off point known as “the wall”; feeding large Trevally fish near an abandoned diving platform; and spotting birdlife scooting through the mangroves. Sailing the waters with two knowledgeable seamen made us feel very fortunate – it is hard to believe that there is a wave they could not overcome, or a quiet cove they had not discovered. An experienced diver, Nyoman’s brother often accompanied us into the water to point out interesting fishes and find the quietest areas of coral to enjoy in peace. Like any accessible island in the Indian Ocean, some beaches, coves, and snorkeling points can feel fairly busy, therefore to travel with locals is definitely a wise choice to make.
@brandonverdura photo of Trevally fish and abandoned boat near Nusa Penida
With a vast array of colourful marine wildlife and reefs to see along Indonesia’s coast, we absolutely recommend making the day trip from Own Villa to enjoy the wild and beautiful sights of some of our neighbouring islands. We share this planet with so many astonishing creatures, it is a waste not to respectfully explore both land and ocean to see them with our own eyes.
@marina_sartorio photo of reef around Nusa Penida
If you’re staying at Own Villa and interested in taking a similar trip to nearby Nusa Lembongan with Nyoman and his brother, please take a look on our guest directory for more information and ask a member of our staff to organize.
@brandonverdura photo of Manta Ray near Nusa Penida