BALI'S BEST KEPT SECRET FOR TRAVELLING IN THE SHOULDER SEASONS
Travelling to Bali in the shoulder seasons (November to March)?
Nusa Lembongan might be the answer!
Did you know that Nusa Lembongan has it's own micro-climate and weather patterns that are very different to Bali?
A combination of factors means even though Nusa Lembongan is only 15km off the east coast of Bali, it has much longer dry seasons with better weather year-round. That means, less rain and more sunny days!
It sometimes sounds hard to believe, though often it can be pouring with rain in Bali, and perfect sunny skies in Nusa Lembongan. Today as we write this post, the weather is doing just that!
Of course we cannot guarantee perfect days, however if you were to put your money on it, you're likely to have better weather overall on Nusa Lembongan during the shoulder months. WHY THERE ARE LONGER DRY SEASONS, MORE SUN, AND LESS RAIN ON NUSA LEMBONGAN THAN BALI? There are a few simple topographic factors that contribute towards Nusa Lembongan having less rain and more sunny days than Bali (or even the other Nusa Islands for that matter). This local knowledge can go a long way to helping you have a sunnier, and dryer holiday when travelling to this part of the world particularly in the shoulder seasons that are more prone to rain. The mainland island of Bali, which is located to the west of Nusa Lembongan, has a very high mountainous region at the northern part of the island that attracts a lot of precipitation year round, and even more so during the “wet season”. The mountainous regions of Bali, around Bedugul, Ubud & Sideman are well known for their beautiful waterfalls, luscious rainforests, a rice paddies all of which benefit from the high levels of precipitation. By contrast the low lying topography of Nusa Lembongan means the island does not attract as many clouds and or as much rain. This holds true right through the year. Whilst Nusa Lembongan can receive rain at any time during the year (even in the dry season months), when compared with Bali, if it rains, it does not tend to rain for as long, and there is less rain. On Nusa Lembongan there might be a morning shower and perfectly sunny the rest of the day, whilst Bali is constantly in downpour. It is not at all unusual to be sitting on the beach on Nusa Lembongan in beautiful sunny or slightly cloudy conditions, looking back towards Bali being drenched in rain. Generally in the months from November to April the prevailing winds are also blowing from the south west, which means the rain that often is forming over the northern part Bali is being pushed away from the Nusa Islands. It all sounds a bit hocus pocus, though local's who live and work in between Bali and Nusa Lembongan can attest to often experiencing entirely different weather systems in the same day as we travel between the islands. Though don't just take our word for it, if you are still in doubt, simply check out to some of the surf camera's on Nusa Lembongan and Bali and you can often see this difference for yourself in real time!
WHICH OF THE NUSA ISLANDS HAS THE MOST RAIN? Nusa Penida has the most rain of the Nusa Islands. Nusa Penida is the most mountainous of the Nusa Islands, and sits to the north east of Nusa Lembongan, so again the rain is often pushed back across Nusa Penida and away from Nusa Lembongan. WHY THE BEST SUNSETS ARE OFTEN FROM NOVEMBER TO MARCH A lot of clouds sit in the northern part of Bali; around the mountainous regions. As the sun tracks and sets further south relative to the equator during what is generally considered to be the shoulder months (November to March) this means that the sun is often setting in less cloudy areas across Bali from the perspective of Nusa Lembongan. This creates for a more stunning sunset as the sun can be seen setting all the way to the lowest line of sight. The sunsets during this time of year can be outrageously amazing!
SURFING DURING NOVEMBER TO MARCH The surfing during November to March is often fantastic, as is the snorkelling and diving and other water sports. For surfer’s in particular, there is less likely to be the big southern swells, and the surf can be more wind affected - particularly in the afternoons - though there are still typically plenty of great waves to be had, and generally with less crowds! THE BENEFITS OF TRAVELLING AT SHOULDER MONTHS Travelling in the shoulder season often means less traffic, less crowds at popular tourist attractions, tours and venues. Often accommodation prices and airfares are also cheaper, or properties are less busy so your money can go a bit further during these times and you are more likely to get a complimentary upgrade! Generally during the shoulder season, which also adds an element to the experience, and Bali in general can be truly beautiful, tropical and relaxing when it rains. TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELLING THE THE SHOULDER MONTHS The biggest difference when travelling during the shoulder season around Bali is to expect some rain. We’d suggest packing a “dry bag” to keep your items in that you don’t want to get wet when exploring, as well as a poncho. Sometimes the rain might only be passing over for a short time, though it can come across quickly and when it rains, it generally rains heavily, so even a short squall can see you and your gear getting drenched if your not prepared. A couple of well thought wet weather items can completely change your experience with the rain. Generally the weather is still very warm, so the gear is less about warmth and more about wet weather protection - think light spray jackets, poncho’s and dry bags. An extra couple of change of clothes never goes astray just in case you do get caught out.
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See you in paradise! The Ohana's team xx