Nusa Lembongan: Mushroom bay 

Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan channel

Sea weed farmer

Nusa Lembongan - Nusa means island in the Balinese language - is situated 20km south east of Bali.
The islands Lembongan and Penida can be reached from Sanur and Padangbay. It is approximately 20 minutes by fast boat; either from Padangbai or Sanur to Nusa Lembongan.

Nusa Lembongan is the most popular of the 3 islands across the Badung Strait and is connected to the smaller Nusa Ceningan by a small bridge.
This small island has several thousand locals who live from seaweed farming, fishing and tourism. The island is only 4 kilometres long and 3 kilometres wide. A walk around the island will take up to 5 hours and is quite a challenge.

Beach bar

There are possibilities to rent a bicycle or motorbike and take a tour around Nusa Lembongan and then cross the bridge to Nusa Ceningan.
There are great views of both Ceningan channel, Lembongan and Bali from the top of Nusa Ceningan.
The village life is very traditional and the atmosphere around the island is enchanting.

Unlike mainland Bali you will find just a few cars and motorbikes around which doubles the relaxed atmosphere. Although the last 4 years the island has become very popular and many new accommodations popped up, especially at Jungutbatu beach.

Ceningan bridge

Nusa Lembongan offers some very nice beaches for swimming and sunbathing in the South west - mushroom bay and dream beach - and some good surfing just in front of the main village.

The dive sites are all located at the Northern corner of the island. There are lots of small places to stay at the Jungutbatu beach which is favorite with surfers and divers alike.
The more luxurious places to stay are further south towards Mushroom Bay, where many of the day-trip cruise boats stop.
When you want to visit Nusa Lembongan during the high season you need to book in advance - 2016 - and we can help organise your trip.

Dive conditions Nusa Lembongan

Oceanic Sunfish - Chris Fallows - Mola mola

The south of Bali is known for its current swept dive sites around the islands.
This area is famous for the Mola-mola, or Oceanic Sunfish, especially from July until October you will have a 90% chance to see them at the dive-sites Crystal Bay and Blue Corner. Other animals like Tunas, Marble Rays, Sharks and Manta Rays can be found over here.
Most dive sites have often very strong and unpredictable currents and undertows which make this more suitable for more experienced divers.
Due to up welling water from the deep the temperature can be uncomfortably cold, 23°C or less, but it also provides good visibility!
Here is a detailed map of the water depths around the islands.

Most dives sites are to the North around Lembongan and Nusa Penida and in the channel between Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida.

Shark numbers are decreasing at a shocking rate.... What all people, especially divers, should know about the shark population.

Dive sites Nusa Lembongan

Use the map to jump to the dive site :
Lembongan-Cenigan dive sites

Blue Corner - [1]

This site, also known as "Lighthouse" consists of a slope with plateaus on various depths, starting with the first on 20 metres.
The slope goes down to 50 metres. Depending on the tide the current varies from light to very strong this can be quite dangerous.
When you are diving you must reach the first plateau at 20 metres this might take some effort, but it is worth it!
If there is current there are lots of Rays, schools of Snapper and Jacks.
In season the Mola-mola might be seen here. White-tip reef sharks are seen here often.
We love this site, but with strong currents this site is for experienced divers only!

Jangka / Mangrove point - [2]

The Mangrove forest offers a healthy sloping Coral reef with small bommies and Table corals. A lot of juveniele fish and other marine life around in the shallow part of the dive.
During the dive you most probably will encounter a large variety of fish like Triggerfish, Angelfish and Banner fish. In deeper water Sharks and Eagle rays are occasionally seen here. When the currents are strong this beautiful drift dive is for the more experienced divers.

Ceningan Channel - [3]

The standard reef profile here has a reef terrace around 12 metres, then a wall or steep slope up to 30 metres, then a fairly gentle slope to the sea bed at 100 metres! Enjoy the beautiful colours of the soft Corals and schools of fish.
This is a nice drift dive suitable for all levels of divers.

Ceningan wall - [4]

Blue spotted Ray-Taeniura lymna

This site is for experienced divers since it has unpredictable currents and slopes to unlimited depths.
Visibility is good and the wall has orange soft Coral and Sponges. The water temperature can be as cold as 23°C. These waters are rich and nutritious also because of water flowing out of the mangroves.
There are schools of Oriental sweetlips, Triggerfish, Surgeonfish and Rays to be seen.
Leopard sharks and Mola-mola's have been spotted on this site.

When the time is right, in our case October, the Mola-mola comes up rising from the deep, see our video of a Mola mola encounter.

Toyapakeh - [5]

Coral reef

One of the best drift dives in this area because of the beautiful Coral and good visibility up to 30 metres.
This site is on the Nusa Penida side of the bay, and has a depth between 3 and 37 metres or deeper.
At a depth of 24 metres you can drift over fields of Corals, totally beautiful. An abundance of small tropical fish and on a good day you might see Mola-mola's, Manta's and even Hammerhead sharks - we have not seen them....yet!.

Gamat bay - [6]

This site starts beautiful with a colourful carpet of Corals where you can find Nudibranch and big Groupers.

Leaving the gentle waters of the bay the current takes you drifting along the wall of the channel. Conditions are the same as the site Crystal Bay so be prepared for down currents. Keep one eye to the channel for Sharks and Mola-mola's.

Crystal bay - [7]

We describe the site here, but the bay is actually situated in Nusa Penida. This small lagoon has a nice white sandy beach and the visibility underwater is amazing. Water temperature is cool.

Cristal bay

This site starts in the bay which is nicely sheltered from the current, but the minute you leave the sheltered bay to enter the steep slope, the current picks up and might change into a down current!
Since this channel is deep, depths greater than 50 metres, know how to react in case of a down current.

The hard coral reef starts at 5m, has a white sand base, and is covered with Anemones and soft Corals. Marine life includes Angelfish, Sweetlips, Frogfish, Banded sea snakes and many Moorish idols.

We went out the lagoon into the channel passing the small island and entered the lagoon on the other side again. After too many accidents in the channel many dive-operators are not going around the island anymore, but go just around the corner to have a look into the blue for Mola mola's.

Dive-site Crystal Bay, especially when you go into the channel, is for the experienced diver. The wall has beautiful Corals and here we saw our first couple of Mola-mola's.