Nusa Dua‘s shiny enclave of 5 star hotels was built for the purpose of providing tourists with a safe and comfortable area for carefree holidays. It’s less about offering an authentic Balinese experience and more about gated communities and security guards, making it a great destination for those who might not be quite ready for the exotic and chaotic Asian lifestyle of greater Bali.
Nusa Dua can be reached via the main highway (By Pass Ngurah Rai) either via Jimbaran or the new scenic toll road that bridges over shallow mangrove lagoons and local fishermen. The Nusa Dua area is made up of the hotel district, Ungasan village and Benoa peninsula.
The main attraction is the local beach. Here you will find Bali’s clearest and calmest water, making Nusa Dua a favourite spot for visitors with children. The public Geger beach, once spacious and almost deserted, is sandwiched between the gigantic Mulia Resort and the old-time favourite St.Regis Hotel. The beach is well known for its traditional seaweed farming which leaves traces of dried seagrass in the sand and iodine in the air.
There are plenty of attractions on the beaches of Nusa Dua. Just north of the Grand Hyatt Hotel is a huge and spectacular blowhole. Towards the end of the peninsula on a long, finger-like sandbar is Tanjung Benoa, a water sports enthusiast’s dream. Companies are set up here and offer tourists equipment or lessons in waterskiing, jet skiing, parasailing, wakeboarding and scuba diving. A short boat trip takes visitors to the pristine island of Serangan, well known for its turtle conservation. The island is set up as a sort of primitive zoo with birds, snakes and flying foxes ready to make your acquaintance.
While most tourists are content taking in Nusa Dua’s beach culture, there are also a handful of museums and galleries in the area worth checking out. Most noteworthy is Museum Pasifika, a contemporary art space featuring work by Indonesian and South Pacific artists, as well as some well-known European names including Paul Gauguin, Theo Meier and Rudolf Bonnet. An unsuspecting place for such an eclectic mix of artists, but then Bali is full of pleasant surprises.