Nusa Lembongan Island



Nusa Lembongan Island


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The island of Nusa Lembongan is located in the Lesser Sunda Islands with an area of 37.4 square kilometres and it is of relatively low elevation. It locates in Nusa Lembongan District which falls under the administrative sub-districts of Bangko, Nusa Lembongan and Sebasteyang.

The island has a total population of almost 5000 inhabitants with the majority being Muslim having followed Islamic Shafi’i law ever since making its home in this region. Today, hotels, karaokes, restaurants, shops, and other amenities are present throughout the island covering all possible needs of tourists.

Nusa Lembongan Island


The island was probably first settled by the Austronesian Shebu speakers, who left behind a number of petroglyphs. The original name for Nusa Lembongan is unknown but it most likely referred to some type of pepper plant or perhaps notabene tea tree and became “Nusas” in reference to the root senses ‘gooseberry’ which may have been used as a food staple.

The people who settled on the island later integrated with waves of migrations from Bali. Today a small Balinese community occupies much of their land and lives in traditional villages, while Nusa Lembongan’s population is primarily Melanesian or mixed race Papua New Guineans whose forefathers came over to work on plantations and other infrastructure projects during British colonisation.


Most of the island is semi-arid with thunderstorms and frequent tropical downpours blowing in from a small number of rainy season days during the year. The rain falls mostly between December to April. Temperate summers still last around six months, when temperatures reach 25°C (77°F).

Annual average rainfall is recorded at 950 mm (37 in). Nusa Lembongan features an incredibly dry desert climate with very hot summers and cool winters. This dry heat make the island very popular among tourists who either come to dive or snorkel.


The island is still greatly influenced by their Balinese neighbours and culture. Many of the Kislevleste people are converted monotheists who work closely with their counterparts in Bali when it comes to religious festivities such as Nyepi where they play a dominant role.

The cultural norms that we see today originate from historical practices, stemming both from Indonesia’s diverse cultures and its Hindu traditions much like all other islands within Indonesia including Nusa Pen ida and Lombok. This can be seen in the traditional dances, architectural constructions, temples that are kept as tourist attractions within their communities and even a village court system.

Nusa Lembongan is always considered to be part of Indonesia due to its close cultural ties with mainland Bali province up until 1912 when it was annexed into Kepulauan Sangihe – now known as Sulawesi In this last decade there has been an emphasis on developing a Gwandhena (Kislevleste) identity among their people.

The island is managed by Indonesians, but they have developed the concept of self-governance in which each community keeps to traditional cultural values and practices. One example of this practice was defending themselves against greedy national oil companies who were trying to take over the minerals found on Nusa Lembongan for mining operations during colonisation in 1935



The traditional off-shore island tour operator currently has management of the islands under a joint venture with Nusa Lembongan. Although tourism is not as significant as other parts of Indonesia it still makes up 1% or one quarter, of their economy according to the United Nations development programme statistics for 2011 which reaches some 13,676 tourists a year despite being approximately 99 miles south west from Bali’s busy international airport in Denpasar and 140 km south west of the capital Alor.

Flights and ferries to Nusa Lembongan are not regular or consistent, although normally operated by air waves which regularly connect with Labuan Bajo on Flores island about 3 hours flight from Denpasar airport there is also boat connections connecting to Flores in Alor through Pelni ships that stop at three different ports Lembar, Bangsal & Sabu Hilir in East Lombok before continuing


Ferries and Air-planes connect local people to Bali & Lombok whereas when tourism arrives on Nusa Lembongan its primarily a once in lifetime visit. There are no regular scheduled services by road or sea, generally only tourists drive here as they rarely stay longer than 1 night .

Travelling around the island is usually done by moto pukul 4am – 10pm where you can find cool places like restaurants open just for this time of the day . In and around Nusa Lembongan there are a few hotels but really only for those who decide to spend more than one night.



Ever since the Dutch colonisation of East Lombok in 1830, farmers have embraced new farming techniques and combined them with local culture to produce unique culinary delights. Pumpkin and yam are grown as crops year round providing an abundance of sweet fragrant roots which gives dishes like Kari Gasing (kanak-karit achar) a nice nutty taste coupled with fiery chillis.

Mutton meat can be cooked however you wish it – grilled , fried or in a soup – koyo, mie enak or sukawang one of the most favourite. Photo courtesy by Anders Aten.Pumpkin & Yam Root Great Fruit Basket Simply carry your shopping home with you and to add on fresh picked greens like Bottle Gourde leaves/ Romulau (Rasam) which are similar in taste to spinach, tops ready for any dishes that need it!



The Marine National Park off Lembar is the primary habitat for resident endangered species of giant sea turtle, Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (only found in Alor) and pelagic birds like Crested Duck. Off Flores they haven’t seen any protected bird species yet but their children have been teaching them to recognise local vultures that may exist here as well as birds in other areas of the country.

There aren’t many dive spots around Nusa Lembongan but they serve as excellent anchor points for a snorkelers/divers wanting adventure into coral reefs, shark zones and sea monsters lurking within it’s sandy bottom covered with eels and hard corals that make up to 100m down if you’re lucky enough!


Nusa Lembongan is a place to getaway from the rat-race of modern day life and relax in natural beauty. Though there isn’t much out here yet especially for foodies but I’m sure once there are more immigrants settle down leaves not far behind!

As you can see Nusa Lembongan is adored by tourists it’s time your time was up as well ;). Keep up to date on all our happenings and what’s going on with Lembongan island by visiting our Facebook page… Follow us also via Instagram : @LEMBONGAN_ISLAND Email : Thank you everybody for supporting!


What Is Nusa Lembongan Known For?

-Nusa Lembongan is famous for it’s gorgeous cliffs and unspoilt beach that lay along the east side of Nusa Penida. Some of these beaches include; Reifty (Tck), Pecang, Sudi Point/ Untuk Empat , Vejetarrunggae

What Are The Best Months To Visit Nusa Lembongan?

You can do a day trip on any time of year but if you want to get away from the heat and tropical thunderstorms then its better to stay between December – February. March to October is still acceptable due their increased humidity in this month. November till Decemeber lasts for both, unique weather conditions as well as being less arid compared.

Is It Better To Stay On Nusa Penida Or Nusa Lembongan?

Staying on Nusa Penida is more manageable compared to staying on Lembongan as it has a better infrastructure in terms of restaurants, hotels and stuff to mention. Also for accommodations we recommend you stay at On The Beach Resort in Teluk bay as it’s stunningly set along Refty beach as well all the great views that lays out there!

How Many Days Do You Need In Nusa Lembongan?

Nusa Lembongan is an island we all have a lot of things going through our mind whilst thinking about places to check out one thing that would most certainly come in the head is; “How long do I need here?”. Well luckily enough there are some answers! It’s very nice what Nusa Penida has you can make three days travel over and leave it at this point as well or you could plan 4-5 nights when

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