Nusa Cenigan is the smallest of a cluster of three islands (alongside Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida) that lie about a 30 minute boat road off the coast of Bali, Indonesia.
We chose to stay for 3 nights on Nusa Lembongan (as this island has the most hotels, restaurants etc. – although there’s still really not many!) and do a day trip each to both Nusa Cenigan and Nusa Lembongan. This worked really well for us and I felt like although I would have loved maybe one more night simply for pure relaxation and sunbathing – 3 nights amongst the Nusa islands is ideal.
The great thing about Nusa Cenigan is that it’s joined to Nusa Lembongan via an iconic yellow bridge, meaning that you don’t have to worry about arranging a boat ride across the short expanse of water.
The bridge is narrow so only motorbikes and pedestrians are able to cross it. I had also read that the bridge can sway and feel unstable but I found it to be completely still!
99% of the tourists on the Nusa islands rent motorbikes and explore the islands at their own leisure that way. Whilst this is a great way to see the islands, I personally don’t recommend it and didn’t feel comfortable doing so.
Every second tourist you see has big cuts and bandages from motorbike accidents, particularly as the roads are really not great on the islands, so we chose to pay a local to ride us to our chosen starting point on Cenigan (Secret beach) and then walked the rest of the way around the island, arranging a pick-up time back at the bridge at the end of the day.
Although I felt smug being one of the few tourists not covered in cuts and bruises, there were points when we were walking that I regretted not having a bike, as the temperatures are upwards of 30 degrees, and walking in that heat is horrible so do bare that in mind.
Our first stop was Secret beach…
After going up a steep dirt track we were greeted with the most stunning view of the beach below.
We commenced the short flight of uneven dirt steps down to the beach as the view opened up more and more.
The beach itself certainly lived up to it’s name, especially compared to the likes of the busy beaches in Seminyak. There was only one other pair on the whole beach and the ocean view was entirely unobstructed and natural.
It isn’t recommended to swim here as there is no one around to help you should you come into trouble and the waves can be very ferocious, but it’s the most beautiful spot to take some time out to really relax in your own company.
After spending some time soaking up the stunning views at Secret Beach, we commenced our walk along to the Blue Lagoon.
On the way, we saw more of what the island is really like. It’s very underdeveloped, quite barren in places, and full of animals relaxing at the side of the road which results in a unique and rustic island charm.
In all honesty, the walk felt very long and very very VERY hot.
Thankfully, we finally reached the blue lagoon and the ridiculously clear blue water was definitely worth the sweaty walk to reach it.
The photos of the blue lagoon entirely speak for themselves. It’s hard to believe that these pictures have zero filter or editing and the water really is that incredible icy shade of light blue.
Our next stop, not too far along the road again, was Mahana Point, a little outdoor bar which in itself is nothing special, but has a perfect view of the crashing waves of the ocean and the very skilled surfers who handle them so perfectly.
Mahana Point also has a diving ledge which you pay a small fee to jump off of into the ocean. This seemed to be very popular although you will NEVER catch me jumping into the ocean like that!
After our pit-stop at Mahana Point, we made our way to Le Pirate beach club for some late lunch.
Le Pirate is open for food and drink all day/evening and if you eat and drink there, you can use their pool and deck chairs for free which after all of that boiling walking was absolutely necessary!
The menu was great, reasonably priced and the food and drink was super fresh and delicious.
And of course the infinity pool overlooking the ocean is the real star of the place.
I’d definitely recommend setting aside a good few hours at the end of your day to just relax here and look out at that beautiful view with a cocktail (or two) in hand.
If you’re not in a rush or on a time-limit then I can imagine that staying here to watch the sunset and have some dinner would also be a lovely way to finish your day.
Or alternatively, there’s some lovely beach bars between here and the yellow bridge that have swings and hammocks in the ocean (perfect insta material), although unfortunately we had arranged a lift back from the yellow bridge and had no way of contacting our driver to let him know we weren’t ready to come home yet so we had to miss these out, so don’t make our mistake!
Aside from this, our day on Nusa Cenigan was absolutely perfect and is one I will remember forever, both for it’s natural beauty and it’s island charm that is so unique to Bali.