DIVING THE ISLANDS
There are great diving possibilities around the islands, from shallow and sheltered reefs, mainly
on the northern side of Lembongan and Penida, to very demanding drift dives in the channel
between Penida and the other two islands. Vigilant locals have protected their waters from dy-
namite bombing by renegade fishing boats, so the reefs are mostly still intact. And a side benefit
of seaweed farming is that locals no longer rely so much on fishing.
The best local dive operation, based at Nusa Lembongan, is World Diving (Map p149 ;
(1 8km )
2390 0686; www.world-diving.com) , which runs trips to 20 different dive sites. There is also now a
dive shop on Penida; see p153.
If you arrange a dive trip from Candidasa or South Bali, stick with the most reputable opera-
tors, as conditions here can be tricky and local knowledge is essential. A particular attraction is
the large marine animals, including turtles, sharks and manta rays. The large (3m fin to fin) and
unusual mola mola (sunfish) is sometimes seen around the islands between mid-July and October,
while manta rays are often seen south of Nusa Penida.
The best dive sites include Blue Corner (Map p149) and Jackfish Point (Map p149 ) off Nusa
Lembongan and Ceningan Point (Map p149) at the tip of that island. The channel between
Ceningan and Penida is renowned for drift diving but it is essential that you have a good operator
who can judge fast-changing currents and other conditions. Upswells can bring cold water from
the open ocean to sites such as Ceningan Wall (Map p154). This is one of the world's deepest
natural channels and attracts all manner and sizes of fish.
Sites close to Nusa Penida include Big Rock , Crystal Bay , SD , Pura Ped and Manta Point
(Map p154). Of these, Crystal Bay, SD and Pura Ped are suitable for novice divers and are good
for snorkelling. For more on diving on Bali, see p74.
See Nusa Lembongan Map (p149)
Crystal Bay Beach
backdrop. Step up from the beach and you're
at the road where bemo can take you to Ped
or Sampalan (4000Rp).
Offshore, the big grey thing that looks like a
tuna-processing plant is the Quicksilver pontoon
You could spend much longer, lingering at
the temples and the small villages, and walk-
ing to less accessible areas, but there's no ac-
commodation outside the two main towns.
The following description goes clockwise from
The coastal road from Sampalan curves and
dips past bays with rows of fishing boats and
offshore seaweed gardens. After about 6km,
just before the village of Karangsari, steps go
up on the right side of the road to the narrow
entrance of Goa Karangsari caves. There are usu-
ally people who can provide a lantern and guide
you through the cave for a small negotiable fee
of around 20,000Rp each. The limestone cave
is over 15m tall in some sections. It extends
more than 200m through the hill and emerges
on the other side to overlook a verdant valley.
Continue south past a naval station and sev-
eral charming temples to Suana. Here the main
road swings inland and climbs up into the hills,
while a very rough side track goes southeast,
past more interesting temples to Semaya , a fish-
ing village with a sheltered beach and one of
Bali's best dive sites offshore, Batu Aba .
arrangements through World Diving (
For meals you'll need to try one of the small
warung in town - no more than 10 minutes
by foot from any of the inns.
Made's Homestay (
0686; www.world-diving.com) on Nusa Lembongan.
If you plan to go snorkelling , bring your own
gear or rent it from MM Diving (
0361-7425161; www.quicksilver-bali.com) . Day-trips
(adult/child US$40/20) from Benoa Harbour
include a buffet lunch, snorkelling, banana
board rides and an excursion ashore to an ex-
tremely unattractive 'tourist village' of limpid
souvenir sellers and slightly roasted trees.
The one place to stay in town is also a
good choice to stay. MM Diving Resort & Muti-
ara Bungalows (
081-3370 22676; www.mmdiving.cz) in Toyapakeh.
Between Toyapakeh and Sampalan there
is excellent cycling on the beautiful, flat coast
road. The hitch is you need to bring a good
bike with you to Penida. If you really want to
explore, bring a mountain bike and camp-
ing equipment from the mainland (but re-
member, Nusa Penida is hilly). Alternatively,
plan to do some serious hiking , but come well
0852-3764 3649; r 70,000-
80,000Rp) A friendly place with four small, clean
rooms and a pleasant garden. Breakfast is in-
cluded. A small side road between the market
and the harbour leads here.
Bungalow Pemda (
0813-3852 9435, 23580; r
25,000-120,000Rp) Opposite the police station, 200
metres east of the market, is this government
rest-house. There are 14 very basic rooms
here; the best have toilets and no mosquito
nets but great sea views.
Nusa Garden Bungalows (
081-3370 77590, 081-3370 22676;
www.mmdiving.cz; r 90,000-150,000Rp;
) has eight
good rooms back off the beach and behind
the Quicksilver 'village'. The bungalow-style
rooms are comfortable and some have air-
con. There's a good café and a common area
with a library.
Run by enthusiastic Czechs, the dive op-
eration specialises in Nusa Penida. Two-dive
trips are US$40 to US$50. You can rent snor-
kelling equipment for US$4 a day.
0813-3855 7595; r
60,000-70,000Rp) Crushed coral pathways running
between animal statuary link the 10 rooms
here. Rates include a small breakfast. Turn on
Jl Nusa Indah just east of the centre.
Sampalan, the main town on Penida, is quiet
and pleasant, with a market, schools and
shops strung out along the curving coast road.
The market area , where the bemo congregate,
is in the middle of town. It's a good place to
absorb village life.
If you come by boat from Lembongan, you'll
probably be dropped at the beach at Toyapa-