Nusa Lembongan Island
As a dive centre, we spend a lot of time showing the pretty photos from the waters around Nusa Lembongan, but what about on land? Lets have a look at some facts and information about this great little island, which Twin Island Dive, calls home!
Nusa Lembongan Island is a part of a group of islands, just off the coast of Bali. With just a 30 minute speed boat ride from Bali, you can be resting on the sandy beaches of Nusa Lembongan with a Bintang in hand.
Located 18 km off the south east coast of Bali, and not far from Lombok and the Gili Islands, Lembongan is a fresh gem. Despite being so close, Lembongan is a world away from the hassle and hectic pace of South Bali.
Lembongan is apart of a group of 3 islands, Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida. Ceningan Island is the smallest of the 3 and is connected to Lembongan by the Yellow Bridge. Penida is the biggest of the 3 islands.
Nusa Lembongan is approximately 8km² in size. To give you a better idea just how small Lembongan is, Bali is 5,780 km². This size difference helps make it so different to Bali; more quiet, more relaxing and a lot easier to get around.
Nusa Lembongan has an estimated permanent population of 5,000. 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. Each village is only a short 10 – 15 minute scooter ride away from each other.
The north-eastern side of the island is flanked by a relatively large area of mangroves, covering a space of around 2km²
Even though Lembongan is not the biggest island out of the 3 Nusa islands, it is the most popular for tourists.
Often visitors to Lembongan ask us why Penida, the larger island in the group, is not the main island for tourism? One of the main reason for this, is surfing. Lembongan first became popular due to surfers from Bali looking for that new secret wave.
As Bali’s popularity started to grow, there were more people in the water surfing and the Bali waves were getting busy. This is when people started making the trip over to Lembongan. This was their chance to experience a smaller, more basic and more relaxing island, which also happened to have some great surf spots.
Once the secret was out, tourism started to grow in Lembongan over Penida, as Pendia was lacking the surf spots. With this, development of Lembongan, really started to take off and popularity of diving in the area also started to grow.
Not so long ago transport to the island was only by slow boat and could take over 2 hours to reach, from Bali. Over the last 3 – 4 years, there has been a large increase in fast boats over to Lembongan, with now over 10 different speed boat companies and almost a boat every hour. This now makes the trip over, very easy and a must do trip if you are staying in Bali!
Lembongan locals have very much embraced tourism on their little island. There are also many Indonesians that have come to Lembongan, from Penida, Bali, Java and Jakarta for the tourism market that Lembongan has created.
There is western development on the islands, with non-Indonesians running most of the dive schools, while also owning; restaurants, hotels and villas. In saying this, there is still a large amount of locally owned and operated businesses.
There is an ever growing expat community on Lembongan. This community is manly there for the growing diving market and integrate well with the local community.
Seaweed Farming was one of the biggest industries for the local people of Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida. But a lot of locals have found that snorkeling tours can provide a better life for their families. Almost all the snorkel trip operations are run and owned by the local community. There are also a large amount of home-stays and guesthouses owned by locals.
With the growth of tourism and the way the locals have embraced it, they are very aware of the need to support what they have. Marine conservation is considered extremely important to sustaining future levels of tourism. In February 2009, a local NGO from Nusa Lembongan, facilitated by The Coral Triangle Center, opened a community centre on Lembongan.
To explore Lembongan with us!