Nusa Ceningan – a hidden gem

Spoiler alert –  this place is amazing.

On a very last minute recommendation by a friend, for our next stop after Gili we headed off on a boat to Nusa Ceningan, a relatively unknown island off the south coast of Bali. Attached to its better known neighbour, Nusa Lembongan, by a tiny rope bridge, Nusa Ceningan offers a new place to explore for people who want to stray off the beaten track a little. It is so unknown that in my copy of Lonely Planet, Nusa Ceningan had just a few sentences. With untouched beaches, some incredible diving and the friendliest people we encountered in Bali, Nusa Ceningan was the one place we visited that I will have to go back to.  I can’t recommend a visit here on your trip to Bali enough. And if you do go, you must stay at my favourite place on earth –  Le Pirate Beach House.

This gorgeous waterside hotel with brightly coloured beach huts, each with their own hammock and porch seats were the perfect getaway for us. Our whitewashed room and outdoor bathroom were small but we spent no time in these rooms, spending all our time outside, either in the sun or lazing in the shade when the afternoon heat got too much.

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Steps led down to the pool, where there was a beach bar serving fantastic cocktails and food, playing great music all day long.

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The pool with its incredible view over the bay. When the tide was in it was a view of shimmering water that stretched across the bay and when it was out, the landscape was transformed into sea weed farms where locals tended their patches.

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When night time falls, it is warm enough to stay in the pool and enjoy the view, with the most incredible sunsets I have ever seen. It was just paradise to us, the most relaxing place where we did nothing but unwind.

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What made this place stand out so much for us was the friendliness of the staff, after just a few days there we felt at home with them and were so sad to leave. The chilled  yet sociable atmosphere, where everyone wanted to chat and get to know others meant we made lots of friends here. The food is incredible and cocktails were delicious (like seriously, I lost count of how many I ordered- especially the watermelon daiquiris). We loved this place so much we ended up staying an extra night, which I would have extended even further had we not had other places booked!

Practical points –  Nusa Ceningan has no cash machines so either bring a card or bring cash with you! Easiest way to get the island is to get the boat from Sanur and then arrange a pick up with the hotel to take you across the bridge to the hotel! One warning – next door to the hotel has a large number of cockerels so if you an early riser and enjoy some sunrise yoga by the pool, then great –  your own personal alarm clock! If you are like me and are NOT a morning person, bring ear plugs 🙂

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