Lembongan Island with kids
– the perfect family get away
Lembongan Island is a small island by the southeast coast of Bali. The island is so peaceful and quiet. Don’t expect nightclub and bars but expect inner peace and simplicity and magnificent scenery. Lembongan Island is perfect destination to a family get away with kids, no disturbance, inner peace and lots of time to play at the beach.
We visited Bali and Lembongan years ago before we had kids. Back then we did the local ferry to Lembongan Island. The ferry takes forever to get there and the journey is not pleasant and is best described by the feeling of being a refugee stowed together in a boat. We did the fast boat this time. It went smooth and felt much safer than the last time. The trip was 30 minutes and the boat took us to the central pier of Lembongan Island. From there you can take a water taxi to your hotel or you can hire a local with a pick up truck and sit in the back. We did the latter.
There is almost no traffic in Nusa Lembongan. Every car owner has a special permit which is mostly granted the bigger hotels which limits the number of cars. There a scooters and bikes for rent. The island is simple. Don’t expect to be able to buy anything for kids. Bring all you need. You might be lucky to be able to buy some baby food or a diaper at the bigger hotels but the local kiosks are all very simple most selling only water, ice-creams, tobacco etc. The journey to the hotel was bumpy but scenic.
From experience we had chosen a simple hotel at the beach. The beach at Lembongan Island is picture perfect with a wonderful local touch. Every morning the local fishing boats arrive with the catch of the day and anchor the painted boats at the shore. We stayed at Hide Tide Beach Resort. The bungalow hotel is a 3 star hotel at Mushroom Beach which is a quiet beautiful bay with a few smaller hotels and a few restaurants. The hut had aircon which is not a must because of the breeze from the ocean but travelling with a baby it is nice to be able to cool down the room a bit. The hotel has a small pool. We used the pool a lot because there is sand everywhere and it was nice to give the baby a dip in the pool being free of the sand for a while.
If you decide to go to Lembongan Island with children be aware that some beaches are windy with currents and big waves – not child friendly at all. The best and most calm beach is at Mushroom bay or in the north of the island. The north is by far the touristiest but also has the most hotels. The south of the island is beautiful with limestone cliffs but the water at dream beach in the south is wild with lots of current.
There is not a lot to do on Lembongan Island. You can either go and see the small local village, grab a local fishing boat and snorkle or rent a scooter to explore the island and the neighbor island Nusa Ceningan. We did all 3.
A snorklingtrip is a great way to explore the island by sea. The snorkeling is not worldclass but fine and the water can be cold because of the currents. A snorkelingtrip is not ideal with a baby but we did it anyway and took turns in the water. Our boy was completely relaxed by the sound of the boats engine and slept most of the trip.
The local village is a must do. Here you get the chance to explore the original island and the culture at first hand. There is not a whole lot to see besides small shops and simple restaurants. We found some kids playing badminton in their front yard and had a great chat with them.
I went by myself to Nusa Ceningan. I rented a scoter and came to a questionable bridge. I felt very adventurous passing the jumpy bridge and I am not sure I would have done so had I brought our baby. But crossing the bridge and driving up a hill, I was met by a beautifull view of the sea and the lime stones.
Nusa Ceningan is even more isolated than Lembongan. In 2014 there was not a single hotel on the island. You might be lucky to find a home stay or a tiny hostel. The island was in 2014 totally local. The only tourist attraction is a cliff from where you can jump 30 meters down into the wild water and afterwards climp up an unstable ladder. I passed.
Every night in Lembongan Island we had dinner at a small restaurant on the beach at Mushroom Bay. The food was good, the drinks even better and the atmosphere was relaxed and cozy and bringing a 10 months baby not an issue.
Being west on the island we did not get to enjoy the full sunset but the view was still breathtaking.
All in all Lembongan Island was one of the highlights of our Bali-trip and we will recommend it to everyone travelling to Bali with or without kids.
After some lovely days in Lembongan Island we went back to Bali to hike up Mount BaturShare on Facebook