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Getting There

From Benoa Harbour, Bali International Marina -- BlueWater Express (tel. 0361/723479 or 081/338418988; www.bwsbali.com; one-way Rp325,000, round-trip Rp550,000; 10% discount when booking online) has speed boats that whisk you across the water in 30 minutes. The boat departs Benoa at 10am for Gili Trawangan making a quick stop at Lembongan. Return journeys leave at 1:30pm from Gili T to Benoa, stopping at Lembongan at 3:30pm. Most people who catch boats from Benoa Harbour to Nusa Lembongan have arranged a day cruise with one of the many luxury cruising companies. You can still buy a travel ticket only without having to take part in all their leisurely activites.

From Sanur Beach -- The fast boats of Scoot (Lembongan Island Cruise, Jl. Hangtuah 27; tel. 0361/285522; fax 0361/286913; www.lembonganislandfastcruises.com or www.scootcruise.com; three trips daily) will take you to either Mushroom Bay or Jungutbatu for US$45 round-trip (US$27 one-way). Local hotel transfers on Bali are included in the fee. Scoot's office is next to Dunkin' Donuts opposite the Sanur Paradise Hotel or on the beach near the departure point beside Grand Bali Beach hotel.

So-called public boats, very basic affairs aimed at the local trade, from Sanur beach, leave daily at 8am and 10am (90 min. one-way; Rp35,000). Coming back, the boats leave at 7:30am from Jungutbatu.

A faster public boat (tel. 0361/743-2344; Rp200,000), costs more but should get you there in about 45 minutes; daily departure from Sanur beach is at 8am in front of Ananda Hotel. Departures from Lembongan are at 10:30am, 1, and 3pm.

The Tanis Lembongan Express (tel. 08/1338737344; one-way US$27, round-trip US$45; price includes hotel pickup) takes 25 to 35 minutes from Sanur beach near Grand Bali Beach hotel; it departs at noon and 4:30pm, returning to Bali at 10:30am and 3pm. They also arrange fishing trips, surf safaris, and a day cruise which includes lunch, hotel transfers, and activities.

From Kuta -- If you're in Kuta, Perama Tours, Jl. Legian 39 (tel. 0361/751551; one-way Rp120,000, round-trip Rp230,000; www.peramatour.com), has a shuttle and boat service. A shuttle bus leaves from Kuta at 10am; the boat leaves from Sanur Beach at 10:30am taking about 40 minutes. Boats return at 8:30am the following day. Catch boats opposite Jalan Huang Tua. The office of Perama Sanur can be found at friendly Warung Pojok in Jalan Hang Tua.

Orientation

The two main beach areas are Jungutbatu to the northeast and Mushroom Bay in the southwest. The former was the original surf destination and it still has backpacker accommodations with lots of chilled bars and nasi goreng or pizza restaurants. Mushroom Bay has a more upmarket feel and caters to vaguely well-heeled families wanting to veer from the beaten track or couples wanting a romantic break. However, times change and the hotels of Mushroom Bay now seem slightly dated in comparison to the more recent additions on the hillside above Jungutbatu or the upscale villas just completed on the sunset side of the island. Mushroom Bay also has the added pollution of day-trippers but, notwithstanding this, it is still a very pleasant spot with a great white sandy beach and various beachside restaurants.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.