Ceningan Island is a small island located just a stone’s throw away from the increasingly popular island of Lembongan.
So close, in fact, is Ceningan to Lembongan that a suspension bridge has been constructed between the two islands which allows you to get across on foot, by bicycle, and even by motorcycle.
So is the island worth a visit?
It’s pretty much unspoilt and offers fantastic views of some of the most rugged coastline that you will ever see if you go for a holiday to Bali.
As there are hardly any accommodations on the island, it’s best to stay in Lembongan and make a visit to Ceningan Island a day trip. Simply hire a motorcycle (around Rp50,000), or, if you are the environmentally-aware sucker-for-punishment type like me, a mountain bike for not much less (about Rp25,000).
To get to Ceningan Island from the main village on Lembongan, just head down to the south coast, and then follow the coastal road until you arrive at the suspension bridge.
Apart from exploring the rugged coastline, there are a number of things you can do on Ceningan Island:
1) Cliff dive at the Blue Lagoon. Located at the southern end of the island, the Blue Lagoon is an exposed bay where it’s possible to do a cliff dive. I wanted to do it, but bottled it. It just looks too dangerous. And if something does go wrong, well let’s just say your holiday wouldn’t have a happy ending. Even so this is a great place to visit just to enjoy the spectacular scenery.
2) Snorkel the coral reef on the eastern part of the island (called the Ceningan Wall). STRONG CAVEAT: this is no place for inexperienced snorkelers or kids because of the very strong and unpredictable down current which could drag you out to sea, most probably never to be seen again.
3) Witness a spectacular sunset on the western part of the island.
4) Rent a small canoe and explore the seaweed farms.
The Island’s future
Although undeveloped, the island’s potential has been recognized and the National Land Agency of Bali’s Klungkung Regency, in one of those typically wacky Indonesian decisions, has issued a private property certificate for 23.70 Acres (95,914 square meters) of the island’s land to an individual from Bali even though the land was previously certified as state land!
For the people living on the island, the ramifications of this verdict were almost immediate:
Once this State land was certified as the private property of I Wayan Naka, he began to develop the land by planting cassava, peanuts, bananas, coconuts etc on the land, as well as on the land immediately adjacent (located to the immediate south of local seaweed farmers’ huts).
In 2006, I Wayan Naka began fencing off parts of the property with trees such as Gliricidia, Santen, and Cemcem, etc. so that access to the location, which is adjacent to the community’s main access point bridge became blocked, disrupting local community livelihoods activities.
Source: Nusa Ceningan: Not for Sale
The people of Nusa Ceningan are not going down without a fight, however, and are contesting the Land Agency’s decision via the courts.
Things looked up when the District Court of Klungkung, Bali, ruled in the people’s favor but their livelihoods remain in the balance as the verdict has been appealed to Bali’s High Court.
Let’s hope justice is done.
For the people's sake and the sake of the island.