“Frankly, I’m not that impressed,” I say, waddling over the prickly rocks that surround Devil’s Tear. “Of course you’re not! You just came back from Nusa Penida. You’re spolied,” retorts my friend.
She does have a point there. Nusa Penida was something else, and Nusa Lembongan can’t beat as far as dramatic cliffs go. But Devil’s Tear is slowly growing on me.
There’s a rugged rocky coastline with a tear-shaped pool of water. And because it’s a stormy day, the waves shoot way up in the air. Once I realize how close I am to the roaring force of the ocean and get washed over by a wave the second I look away, I decide it was worth the ride.
Why is it called Devil’s Tear anyway?
Devil’s Tear is actually shaped like a teardrop, which I think played a role in the naming process. But most people say Devil’s Tear (or Tears) got that name because the violent waves crashing against the cliffs produce this ever-present mist. You can sense the drops on your skin, and with a dash of imagination, they do feel a little like teardrops.
How to get to Devil’s Tear from Bali
As you probably know, Devil’s Tear is located on Nusa Lembongan, a smaller island southeast of Bali. Nusa Lembongan and Bali are close and well-connected. That means you have options for visiting the Devil’s Tear.
Book a guided day trip to Nusa Lembongan
A guided tour may not sound as adventurous as discovering the island on your own, but it does allow you to sit back and relax. Nusa Lembongan is very close to Bali, so you can fit your trip to Devil’s Tear and other spots within a day. Here are some ready-to-go day trips you can book, with pickup from your hotel in Bali:
Nusa Lembongan Snorkeling & Mangrove Day Tour – from $53.05
Nusa Ceningan Full Day Trip – from $52.55
Hop on a boat and do a day trip on your own
Now, traveling at your own pace and with your own gang is a whole different kind of trip. If the planning and logistics of it don’t intimidate you, you can easily catch a boat to Nusa Lembongan, rent a scooter when you arrive, and just cruise around.
One way to go about it is to just play by ear and catch the next boat once you get to the port in Sanur. A fast boat from Bali to Nusa Lembongan will cost you roughly 175K IDR ($12). Make sure you ask the crew when the last boat to Bali departs and from where (ours was from Mushroom Bay). You can also book your tickets in advance so that you know you’ll have seats waiting for you:
Fast Boat between Bali (Sanur) and Nusa Lembongan by Sri Rejeki – $26 round trip
Fast Boat Transfers from Bali to Nusa Lembongan by Tanayas – from $18 round trip
Once you arrive in Nusa Lembongan, there are usually scooter rentals right around the drop-off point. We rented one by the Yellow Bridge (the one connecting Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan), and paid 70K IDR (about $5) per day for a decent quality Scoopy.
Nusa Lembongan is a relatively small island and easy to get around. But keep in mind that the road quality is dismal, and there are more potholes than you’ve seen anywhere in Bali.
What to do at Devil’s Tear
Once you get to the spot, these are your options.
Get a sudden wave shower
We came to Devil’s Tear on a windy day in January, so we got to experience the full might of this place. The moment I got too close to the water, a massive wave rolled over me and I got soaked to the bone. Watching these mighty waves and getting showered by them ended up being the most fun thing to do there. Just make sure you wear light clothes that dry quickly.
Watch the sunset
Devil’s Tear is on the west coast of Nusa Lembongan, facing the sun as it dives into the ocean. Try getting here in the evening on a sunny day, and watch the clear water pools in the sunset glow.
Jump from a cliff
Devil’s Tear is a great medium-level cliff jumping spot, with cliffs 4-5 m (13-16 ft) tall. It works for cliff jumping in calmer weather — the massive waves we experienced were definitely not jumper-friendly. Be sure to wear reef shoes, or else you’ll cut the hell out of your feet trying to climb up those rugged rocks.
Buy a hat, I guess?
For reasons unknown to me, the souvenir stalls next to Devil’s Tear are bursting with hats of all shapes and sizes. I’ve seen cowboy hats, women’s straw hats, and even something that looked like a Jane Austen-esque bonnet. So if you’ve been meaning to buy a straw hat to hide from the sun, this is your chance.