3 Stunning Islands Beyond Bali in less than 7 hours

I dedicated a day of my Bali trip to explore three islands outside Denpasar. I told myself that I need to see these highly-instagrammed crystal clear waters and limestone cliffs when I get to this dreamy place. While I only spent a few days because of work, I needed to maximize my experience, see an overview, then prolly come back if I want more.

I booked this full-day island tour via KKDAY, which has been reliable to me. They gave me a sponsored pass for this one since I’ve written about my Taiwan trip.  I didn’t have a very long stay at Bali so I wanted to maximize my travel so decided to just do it in a day. Through this approx USD 90 KKday item, the tour is via High Speed Ocean Rafting Cruise courtesy of their supplier, Bali Hai, which has cruises of different kinds (big ferry ones as seen below) but also rafts designed with the highest safety standards and equipped with 750hp. NusaPenida.com says that “If you want to go to Nusa Penida Island from Bali, the easiest and cheapest way, if you go from the capital, Denpasar is by getting to the Sanur beach and using some traditional public boat called ‘jukung’. Jukung  take around 90 minutes to reach Nusa Penida.” We only spent around less than 30 minutes but it was really fast! I have motion sickness but I think that doesnt happen on islands as for me. Plus, there are seatbelts! hehe

Processed with VSCO with c9 presetIn terms of cost, according to NUSA P website, you will spend around 43 USD to get to NUSA P and back which is already half of the cost of this tour, which already included 3 islands, transpo back and forth to your hotel, food and snorkelling. I think it’s worth it.

We were fetched at around 9AM by an air-conditioned van in our hotel in Kuta to the port. Pick-up and drop-off areas includeLegian / Kuta / Tuban / Sanur / North Sanur/ South Nusa Dua / Uluwatu / Jimbaran / Ubud/ Tanah Lot, and selected Hotels in Ubud.

In the port, they will provide you with snorkelling equipments and towels. The vessel can only accomodate a few around (8-10) with some sense of privacy that I like.

In terms of expectations, you can see that my gadgets above show a Drone which I just purchased few hours before I departed Manila. I was kinda expecting that instagrammable cliff view.

Image: Bali Hai

CUTTING THROUGH SEA FOR NUSA PENIDA & LEMBONGAN FOR LESS THAN 30 MINUTES: IS IT WORTH IT?

But it didn’t happen. While there was snorkelling as you can see below, It was not a literal “island hopping”. We didn’t get off the boat to  experience or stay for minutes. We were just on the boat taking photos. It was just cruising past these beutiful towering limestone cliffs and inviting islands.

Nusa P and that trail for the instagrammable top view

Nonetheless, I got messages from friends that it was better that way if you’re not spending nights and days in this island (recommended: 2-4 as per my friends) because there’s just so much to do. As for them,  the a 1-day hike was very painful for the legs, hard on the skin and that requires so much training and time as well.

But it was indeed a beautiful sight. Prolly not as pretty as the one here in our country but it invited me for another one try in the next trip for the experience. They say there’s so much to do and see like beaches, falls, and unique viewpoints, like the Kelingking T-Rex. I will plan it very soon!

SNORKELLING AT CRYSTAL BAY AND LEMBONGAN

In the tour, there are 2 snorkelling spots and my favorite was the Crystal Bay at Nusa P. Truly crystal clear and beautiful! It was prolly the only time we got off from the boat before lunch and it was such a nice site. Tour guides are also there to support you if you have fear of the water.

THE BEST PART: PRIVATE & COMFORTABLE HIGH-SPEED CRUISING

I think that having a high-speed cruise almost like to yourself with very good English-speaking tour guide was worth the money and time. There’s high-quality speakers, neat comfort room, free towels and drinks. Maybe there’s more looking than experiencing but I had a time for myself and the nature versus the kinda busy life and parties at the main island Bali.

And we should talk about the healthy unli buffet that they cooked for us: fresh and deli! I even tried Indonesia fruits that I have never tasted in my life despite living in Southeast Asia LOL

We also got to have a private time at Bali Hai’s private resort where you can swim, parasail (USD 25) and take a banana boat (free). As for me, I just roamed and communicated with Mother nature. 😉

 NUSA CENINGAN: SIMPLICITY AND SERENITY AT ITS BEST

The last destination was prolly my favorite. Ceningan island is the smallest of the 3 sister islands, with a yellow bridge that connects to a bigger one Lembongan. There are only 2000 people inhabiting this place and can be accessible via motorcycles too if you’re in the this island outside Bali. There are no abundance of fresh water, not much of a night life but I saw tourists living and visiting this place with small hotels offering nature tours as well. Our tour guide took us to for a 30-min walk to see the village happenings. I think I would like to stay here for a day then 2-4 on Nusa P the next time I visit Bali.

Hindu temples left and right in this island

Overall, i thought that this tour was worth the time and money given that I only allocated one-day for these islands. I recommend these to travellers who dont have much time outside Bali, those who want a private Balinese nature experience and want to see a glimpse of these 3 islands.I have been to Coron and El Nido but there is something about the serenity and simplicity of these islands that got my attention and definitely will be back.

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