Away From The Mainland – Visiting Bali's 3 Sister Islands
Bali may be the Island of the Gods, but its three sisters, located just an hour's boat ride away from the Southeast Coast is where the real magic happens. Pristine and unspoiled, Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan is the place to be if you're looking for sparkling white sandy beaches, dazzling azure waters and tranquility. This is definitely the place to be if you want to escape all the hustle and bustle of mainland Bali.
The biggest of the three, Nusa Penida's astonishing geographical highlights are impressive; expect towering coastal cliffs with amazing views of the bays below, rugged hilltops, hidden waterfalls, limestone caves and stunning beaches. It is recommended to spend a couple of days here as the island is large with plenty of sites to visit.
This awe-inspiring beach may be isolated and a little difficult to reach but the journey is definitely part of its appeal. You'll find stunning rock formations, picture perfect turquoise water and a sliver of the most perfect white sand you'll ever see. Flanked by green hills, the beach is generally deserted, which makes it even more perfect for an ideal day relaxing in the sun.
Pasih Uug (Broken Bay)
Previously a cave that lost its roof over time, Broken Beach is located at the bottom of a cliff which cannot be accessed by land. However, you'll enjoy panoramic views from the top of the cliff. A unique thing is hole on the rock that resembled a gateway to a giant pool fenced by coral cliffs. Sometimes you can see some rays or turtles swimming in blue water as clear as glass.
Angel's Billabong is a natural infinity pool, one of the most popular spots in Nusa Penida, thanks to Instagram. It's 200 metres away from Broken Beach and the water, which meets the sea is unbelievably clear and refreshing, great for a swim!
Nusa Penida has a lot of dive sites with incredible underwater views. Some recommendations are Toyapakeh (lush coral reefs with many large fish such as giant trevallies), Ceningan Wall (vertical coral wall with 180 meters depth), Crystal Bay, Manta point (a giant manta) and Temple point (temples and statues of Buddha in the bottom of the ocean inhabited by hundreds of fish).
Dalem Penataran Ped Temple
Quiet and peaceful like other temples' atmosphere in Bali, Penataran Ped is special because it is surrounded with beautiful scenery, forests and palm trees. This temple is very popular and is a spiritual tourism destination in Nusa Penida.
Nusa Ceningan is the smallest island of the three. It is a spiritual destination for the Balinese as it is believed that Ceningan is sacred ground. Today, Ceningan is a popular tourists' destination with unique attractions like swallow's nests and fantastic waves which are good for surfing.
Mahana Point Cliff Jumping
Here's your chance to literally jump off a cliff! Mahana Point is a small bar located at the top of a cliff, that gives visitors the opportunity to live their biggest fears or biggest dream. If you're feeling weak in the knees, have a drink or two at the bar to gather your courage before you hurl yourself into the churning waves below.
The sparkling clear blue water clearly illustrates the beauty of this tropical island. Most people come here just to enjoy the stunning scenery, but they also come to feel the thrill of jumping off the cliff (which is now prohibited for reasons of safety).
Seaweed farming is the main livelihood for the residents of this island.Tourists come to enjoy the a scenery of farmers harvesting their seaweed and learn about seaweed farming. It is a truly unique sight, one that would be hard to find elsewhere.
In Nusa Ceningan, one of the most iconic spots is the yellow bridge that connects the island to Nusa Lembongan. With the bright yellow a strong contrast with the blue sea and the green trees, this beautiful wooden bridge will certainly steal the show, and is a great place for that perfect holiday photo.
The most popular of the three, Nusa Lembongan can be enjoyed with just a day trip. There are plenty of places to visit as well as fun activities including snorkeling and diving but you can opt for a quick island tour if your time is limited.
This is a must visit while you're in Nusa Lembongan. The Devil's Tears presents a spectacular view from the top of the cliff. Here you can watch a beautiful sunset, or simply sit and enjoy the sea breeze while watching the big waves crash on the cliff's slide Watch your step and do not stand too close to the cliff side as it is dangerous.
Underground House of Gala Gala
Ready for adventure? Check out this unique underground house built by a local resident, using only a crowbar! His efforts began in 1961 and is completed in 1976. Entry is Rp 10,000 per person for locals and Rp 20,000 for foreigners.
This popular beach is one of the two main beaches that attract tourists and visitors. Located in a nice, quiet bay, it is also the site for those arriving and departing for day trips. There are some beachside restaurants, and a beautiful sparkling stretch of white sand. Swimming is ideal during high tide.