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Should You Retire in Nusa Lembongan?

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A world traveler who has been island-hopping in Asia while working from a laptop. Experienced living in the most remote locations.

Nusa Lembongan: Jungut Batu

Nusa Lembongan: Jungut Batu

Are You Thinking About Retiring in Nusa Lembongan?

There are several reasons to retire in this paradise, whether it's the culture, the people, the sunset, or the beaches. However, making a final decision should not be hurried; it's essential to first consider your particular wants and preferences. In my case, Nusa Lembongan found me, and not the other way around.

I never knew this small island even existed. I went for a short scuba diving trip and ended up staying permanently. If you're wondering where Nusa Lembongan Island is, look no further. This peaceful island is situated in Southeast Bali, Indonesia.

It is very popular with visitors for a variety of apparent reasons. It offers lovely sandy beaches, historical attractions, religious sites, mangrove wetlands, and emerald-green mountains. This is the place to go if you want to get away from your stressful life.

In this article, I will share the most important things to consider before permanently moving to Nusa Lembongan. I know you will fall in love, just like I did.

How to Get to Nusa Lembongan

Head to Sanur Harbor, hop on a boat, and before saying "happy days," you'll arrive in paradise!

When I first arrived in Bali, Indonesia, I went straight to Sanur (a little beach town), 40 minutes from the airport by Grab Taxi. I was pretty scared and had no idea what I was doing. Someone on the airplane mentioned they were going to Sanur to take a boat to Lembongan, so I checked it out immediately.

The trip was smooth sailing, and after 35 minutes by speedboat, I arrived in paradise. Although the boat ride can be choppy on some days, the captains are extremely experienced, and you will be in good hands.

Getting Around Nusa Lembongan

On Nusa Lembongan, we rarely use cars. Instead, truck-like cars pick up tourists from the harbor and transport them to their accommodation. Some locals also offer tours around the island in these trucks.

So how do we get around? By scooter or "motor," as the locals call it. Boy, was I scared driving my own scooter for the first time. I even crashed into a tree! But, after some help from local friends, I was unstoppable. Soon driving from one island to the next was a daily activity.

The island is tiny enough to walk around it, but if you want to view Dream Beach or cruise over the hanging bridge to Nusa Ceningan, you'll need a scooter.

There are many places to rent your own scooter, but since you plan to stay long term, why not buy a secondhand scooter from one of the locals? It's cheap, and you won't regret it.



Where to Stay on Nusa Lembongan

Many types of accommodation are available in Nusa Lembongan, from hostels to breathtaking guesthouses to luxurious villas. But, of course, it all depends on your budget. That being said, prices range from $200 upwards.

When I first arrived on the island, I stayed in Mushroom Bay, but as the months went by, I lived all over the island until I found my home in Jungut Batu.

Up next, I will tell you more about the two most popular areas to live as a foreigner:

Jungut Batu

The sea's hue is spectacular, with its crystal pure blue water. Not to add that the waves are mild and the scenery is ideal for water activities, such as swimming and surfing.

The presence of locals, who often flock to the beach for holiday or business, is the second thing you might notice. Their traditional boats, as well as specific travel agency speedboats, are often seen on the beach.

The environment is another factor that contributes to Jungut Batu Beach's popularity. It's both warm and serene. As a result, this subtlety is appropriate for relaxation and stress relief.

There is a lot of activity on this side of the island, and most foreigners, with their local friends, gather here every day either for surfing or a Bintang (local beer).

The highlight for me? Relaxing on the beach with friends while enjoying the perfect bright orange sunset.

Mushroom Bay

Mushroom Bay provides another ideal setting for relaxation. When you arrive at the beach, you will see a clean white sandy landscape with a delicate texture.

Aside from the magnificent coastline, the beach also has crystal blue saltwater. In addition, the waves are tiny, and the terrain is flat.

Many foreign business owners live in Mushroom bay because it's seemingly quieter than Jungut Batu—not that Jungut Batu is busy!

Of course, there are many more places to stay on the island, but these two are the main attractions.

If you are really dedicated to island life, why not rent a local house for a year? Then, you can decorate the home according to your own style.

Indiana Kenanga Luxury Boutique Villas & SPA, Nusa Lembongan

Indiana Kenanga Luxury Boutique Villas & SPA, Nusa Lembongan

What to Do on Nusa Lembongan

One thing is sure; you will never get bored on this little island! I was locked down on Lembongan for seven months during the coronavirus pandemic, and it was the best time of my life!

I woke up, took a walk with my foster pup, went surfing or spearfishing, sunbathed on the beach, and watched the sunset. And repeat.

Other than that, here is a list of my favorite things to do on the island:

  • Scuba diving or freediving with manta rays
  • Snorkeling
  • Surfing
  • Exploring the island on a scooter
  • Mangrove forest tours
  • Learning how to cook traditional food
  • Learning about the tradition of seaweed farming
  • Making friends and sharing a cold beer while watching the sunset

Need More Convincing?

How to Retire in Nusa Lembongan

I just absolutely love this island. Nothing has felt more "home" than here, barefoot on the beach—and streets! But, there are two things to consider before opting to retire in Lembongan:

1. The Visa

To apply for a retirement visa, you must:

  • be 55 years old or older.
  • have health and life insurance.

This visa is valid for one year and may be renewed for up to five years, after which you can apply for a permanent stay permit with matching criteria.

Additional advantages of getting a retirement visa include:

  • opening a local bank account,
  • acquiring a local driving license, and
  • enjoying special discounts at shops and restaurants.

However, you will not be able to enroll in the government healthcare system until you have obtained Indonesian citizenship.

In terms of money, you must demonstrate that you have a pension fund worth at least US$1,520 per month or a lump amount of at least US$18,270 to meet living costs alone.

In terms of your place of residence, you must rent a property that costs more than US$380 per month for at least one year; however, this condition may be waived if you are married to a local and live in a house registered with your spouse's name.

While the procedure is quite simple, it is strongly advised that you apply via a qualified agent who will also serve as your sponsor. Citizens of the following countries are not eligible to apply for a retirement visa:

  • Afghanistan
  • Guinea
  • Israel
  • North Korea
  • Cameroon
  • Liberia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Somalia

2. Location & Accommodation

If you've been on the island for a time, you may have already decided where you want to retire. However, spending a brief vacation is certainly not the same as retiring, so you should spend some time becoming acquainted with the area.

When looking for a place to stay, be sure to seek a home that satisfies the previously mentioned conditions for a retirement visa.

Browsing through the vast array of homes, flats, and villas on your own will take a significant amount of time; why not ask a local or trusted agent to help you?

Foreigners are not permitted to own property in their own names at the time of writing; thus, your options are restricted to short or long-term rentals.

Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan

The Verdict

Lembongan offers everything from surf breaks to shimmering white beaches and crystal-clear, always-warm water. Every 100 yards, there's a temple, seaweed farming that surrounds the whole island, and plenty of hidden gems.

Sun-kissed hair and sandy toes, palms whispering, and waves swaying—this is a once-in-a-lifetime retirement option.

Retiring in Nusa Lembongan will undoubtedly be rewarding, regardless of your expectations.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ilse