Deciding where to stay in Bali can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first visit. With so many areas and options to choose from, finding the perfect accommodation can be a challenge. Many visitors to the Island of the Gods recommend staying in an area known as Nusa Dua, but what’s Nusa Dua like? In this post, we’ll dive into revealing what exactly makes this part of Bali so special.
In Bahasa, the native Balinese language, Nusa Dua literally translates to “Two Islands”, referring to the two raised headlands just off the coast of the peninsula. This beautiful natural area has been transformed into a luxurious enclave of amazing resorts, swimmable beaches, and is one of the safest places to stay on the island. These qualities make Nusa Dua a great choice for families and couples looking for a relaxing vacation in Bali.
Nusa Dua Fast Facts
Type of Holiday
Who’s It For?
- Luxury Hotels
- 5 Star Resorts
- Private Villas
Where is Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is situated on Bali’s east coast, just south of Sanur. Its distance from the airport in Denpasar is 40km away, which is about a 25-minute drive depending on traffic.
Nusa Dua’s location on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula also means that it is relatively close to other popular island destinations. From Nusa Dua, you’ll have easy access to Kuta and Uluwatu (only a 30-minute drive away), as well as Jimbaran (just 15 minutes away by car).
What’s Nusa Dua Like in Bali?
Nusa Dua isn’t overflowing with the cultural experiences and local life you’d find in Ubud.
Nusa Dua is like its own private beach bubble.
If your vacation dreams are filled with sparkling white sand beaches, luxury hotels, and deluxe spas, then Nusa Dua might just be the place for you.
Surrounded by crystal clear shallow waters, this secluded area of top international resorts is Bali’s very own gated community. Sprawling and perfectly manicured grounds grace the coastline, with posh beach bars and swanky restaurants peppered throughout.
This particular location is much more developed than the rest of Bali, making Nusa Dua home to some of the island’s most swimmable beaches. Each of the resorts that dot the peninsula has a staff dedicated to keeping the seashore immaculately clean and free from any ocean debris.
In addition to pristine beaches, Nusa Dua offers plenty of opportunities for a world-class holiday. High-end hotel spa services, all-inclusive options, next-level dining, and calm beaches combine to create a holiday that will leave you feeling relaxed and re-energized.
What Is There To Do in Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is much more slow-paced than other popular tourist locations on the island like Kuta and Seminyak, but there is still plenty to do. Here are the main activities in Nusa Dua:
- Go shopping or grab a bite to eat at the
- . Part of the Nusa Dua resort town, the Bali Collection is an outdoor shopping mall filled with stores and restaurants featuring all kinds of food – traditional Balinese, Japanese, Greek, pizza, seafood, and more.
- Enjoy next-level dining at one of the many seaside restaurants.
- Take a stroll to Water Blow to witness the power of the Indian Ocean. This jagged cliff creates a spectacular water show when hit by the ocean’s massive waves.
- Get active with an afternoon of water activities like jet skiing, banana boats, and diving. Many resorts also have their own schedule of daily activities like yoga, pool volleyball, and SUP classes.
- Lose yourself in the art history of Asia Pacific at Museum Pasifika where you’ll discover how different artists have captured the beauty of Bali.
- Visit the Puja Mandala Worship Complex made to represent the 5 major religions in Indonesia.
- Catch a Devdan Show at the Nusa Dua Theater for a taste of Bali’s cultural heritage.
- Rent a bike and ride along the beautiful boardwalk that runs parallel to the coast.
- Take a day trip to Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, Jimbaran, or even the Penida Islands.
If you choose to stay in Nusa Dua, I’d recommend using GoJek to go on day trips or to reach nearby areas. Renting a scooter in Bali is a fun, and unique experience in itself, but it doesn’t make too much sense to rent one in Nusa Dua.
Pros and Cons of Staying in Nusa Dua
Staying in Nusa Dua has its pros and cons, as do most things. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to stay in Nusa Dua:
Nusa Dua is probably the most pleasant place for swimming if you love taking a dip in the ocean. Many other beaches in Bali are not as well-kept and often the waves are too rough for a leisurely swim. Nusa Dua offers pristine beaches and calm waters – what many envision when planning their beach vacation.
Nusa Dua also offers a high level of safety and has security checkpoints throughout the area as well as each hotel entrance. This makes it a particularly good choice for families with children.
Nusa Dua is generally more expensive than the rest of Bali, so if you want a budget vacation, I’d suggest looking elsewhere.
Due to its development over the years, Nusa Dua is highly westernized, and in my opinion, not a very authentic representation of Bali. Keep in mind that Nusa Dua is an exclusive and secluded area, which means that it’s away from local activity. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on your personal preference and what kind of holiday you’re after.
The Verdict: Should You Stay in Nusa Dua, Bali
Now that you know what Nusa Dua is like, should you stay there?
If you’re looking for a secluded island holiday, away from the bustling streets of Bali, then you should stay in Nusa Dua. However, if you’re looking for a culturally immersive vacation filled with local experiences, then I’d recommend staying in other parts of Bali that are not as touristy.
Want the best of both worlds? You can do that too! If you want a taste of luxury but still want to get to know the real Bali, a few nights in Nusa Dua and a few in Ubud should do the trick.