If you thought Nusa Penida is a tiny island compared to Bali, you might be surprised to hear that Nusa Penida houses over 80,000 people, and is comprised of 16 districts.
A close neighbour to Bali, tourists flock here from Bali primarily due to the beautiful seascape and beaches flanked by jaw-dropping rock formations. Whether you are here for a day trip or spending a week in the islands around Nusa Penida, this island close to Bali offers plenty of spots around where you can dive and snorkel in Nusa Penida.
It can be hard to find information about going to Nusa Penida, so this post aims to give you as much information as I can during my trip there.
How to Get to Nusa Penida
Whether you are getting from Ubud or Kuta to Nusa Penida, the best and most straightforward way to get to Nusa Penida is to take a taxi to Sanur port. From the port, you can purchase a boat ticket and take a speed boat to Nusa Penida. The speed boat costs USD13.
The first boat to Nusa Penida starts at 7am and the last boat is at 4pm. The boat runs almost hourly.
Getting Around Nusa Penida
You can rent a car in Nusa Penida for about USD60, though a scooter is the most common mode of transport around.
The roads around Nusa Penida can sometimes be uneven and ROCKY, and I wouldn’t recommend you to ride a scooter if you’re not familiar with riding on such UNPAVED roads.
To save you the hassle of trying to navigate around Nusa Penida and at the same time balancing on a scooter, you can choose to do a tour.
There are a couple of tour operators, but we went ahead with a full day tour with Lindra Nyoman after hearing about his excellent service and extensive experience around the islands. Him charging one of the lowest out of those we surveyed, at USD80 for a full day tour, sealed our deal with him. This price includes return boat tickets to/from Sanur, lunch, snacks and snorkelling gear. A tour guide will be with you throughout the car ride sharing more about the island of Nusa Penida.
You can contact him by email at [email protected] or Whatsapp at 08123927702 prior to your trip to arrange your tour with him. If you do decide to go for the tour with him, tell him Isabel said hi and misses him!
Where to Stay in Nusa Penida
Hotel prices ranges from USD15 to USD100, depending on your level of comfort. Some popular Nusa Penida accommodation include Coco Resort Penida (USD110), Bintang Bungalow (USD54) and Kulkul Bungalow (USD30)
Recommended duration in Nusa Penida: 3 days
Things to Do in Nusa Penida
1. Billabong Beach (Angel’s Billabong) (Location)
The first beach to visit is Angel’s Billabong beach. Angel’s Billabong beach has beautiful clear waters, and you can see right through the waters directly to the colourfully-decorated floor bed, home to numerous corals and marine life. The natural pool is sandwiched between cliffs, and filled with clear waters as the tide rises.
It is almost impossible to say no to a swim at Angel’s Billabong, but only IF the tide is low. When we went, it was high tide, making the pool dangerous to swim in, as you may risk being washed to the sea. If the tide is low, swimming closer to the edge of the pool is as though you are swimming in an infinity pool, because the edge of Angel’s Billabong overlooks the rest of the Bali Sea!
2. Broken Beach (Pasih Uug Beach) (Location)
A short drive away from Billabong Beach is Broken Beach. Getting to Broken Beach may be a little of a challenge if you’re navigating on your own, but once you’re there, behold a sight you will never have seen elsewhere.
Broken Beach looks as if a hole was dug out of a cliff, forming a bridge that allows the sea waves to conquer from underneath.
From the cliffs, you will overlook the beach, which is surrounded entirely by surrounding rock formations. If you’re lucky and the tides are low, you can even spot fishes and other sea creatures swimming in the waters.
As you cross the natural rock bridge, you will fall deeper in love with the beauty of the cliffs, the way the fierce waves hit the shore that surrounds this beach, forming thick foamy waves through the turquoise waters.
3. Crystal Bay (Location)
There are tons of great activities to be done at Crystal Bay, including snorkelling, diving and swimming in the clear, aquamarine waters.
Crystal Bay is teeming with marine creatures – you can find aquatic friends like the Mola Mola (Oceanic Sunfish), Eagle Ray and Frogfish through diving around the site. If that’s not enough, you can relax by sitting on the white and soft sand overlooking the waters.
It can be a challenge getting around the Bay, so you should rent a motorbike or scooter to get around.
4. Manta Point (Location)
Nusa Penida is famously known for having some of the best spots for diving along some of the most beautiful reefs, and Manta Point is one of them.
7 metres deep and absent of current is a protected bay called Manta Point. As the name suggests, this is the diving spot to find manta rays. Manta rays can be often seen swimming on top of some underwater boulder spots, to clean themselves. Marine life here is in abundance, so it’s a favourite for underwater videographers and photographers to do some decent marine life shots.
5. Kelingking Beach (Location)
You would have seen this most popular spot in Nusa Penida on Instagram one way or another. Kelingking Beach, with all its beautiful cliffs and crystal clear waters, provides some of the most astonishing views from Nusa Penida. Once you’ve arrived, you can choose one of two activities – climb to the top of the cliff, or walk down to the beach.
The cliffs are rocky and lack any sort of clear walking paths or handholds, so you should be careful as you make your way to the top. The view from up there is one to remember, and certainly worth exhausting your muscles from the ascend.
The horseshoe-shaped beach, also commonly referred to as Kelingking Secret Point Beach, is reachable by walking down a natural road, equipped with bamboo handholds for a safer descend.
The beach is beautiful and you should go for a dip in the waters, as long as the waves are not too strong. Bring some small change too so that you can purchase some snacks and drinks from the local huts nearby!
Kelingking Beach is 30 minutes away from the Nusa Penida harbour by motorbike.
6. Atuh Beach/ Thousand Islands (Location)
Arguably one of the best beaches on the Nusa Penida region, Atuh Beach attracts many visitors, both locals and tourists, to bask in its amazing, scenic atmosphere.
The best activity to do here is to climb to the top of the hill via the man-made steps. Alternatively, if you’re itching for some adrenaline action, you can try climbing the cliffs, though it is definitely not recommended during the rainy season or for children.
Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy the view of the clear sands sandwiched between two beautiful cliffs from the hills, while sipping drinks with your comrades. The beach offers an endless view of the Indian Ocean.
Be careful though, the waves can get strong and dangerous. Take caution when swimming in the sea, go in groups and never leave kids unsupervised.
It rarely gets crowded here, so you can enjoy your time in peace!
7. Banah Beach (Location)
Also known as Banah Cliff View Point, the beach is a scene not commonly found in other Asian countries. There are lush green trees and plantations, surrounded by beautiful cliffs and blue waters.
The cliffs soar hundreds of metres high (get ready to stretch those necks!). If you ever muster the energy to climb up the cliff, catch a glimpse of the waves crashing against the shore, and maybe even set up a picnic while you’re at the top! Reward yourself by sitting back and admiring the amazing scenery and rock formation from a panoramic point.
8. Temeling Spring (Location)
You’ll be surprised that Nusa Penida also has its own springs, and what the views from these springs can offer.
Imagine swimming in a large, natural pool, right under beautiful, overhanging cliffs. As you look out beyond the horizon of the pool, you will see the leaves from the surrounding trees rustling in the wind.
Located on the west of Nusa Penida, Temeling Spring consists of 3 main natural spring pools, with one pool dedicated specifically for children and women.
The water is clear blue, but be careful as some parts of the spring can be as deep as 5 metres. It is a great spring to visit but be mindful to adhere to the local customs.
To get there, the easiest way is to take a motorbike, continued by walking through the forest on dedicated paths leading up to the spring.
9. Seganing Waterfall (Location)
Who says that Nusa Penida is all about the beaches?
Seganing Waterfall, also known as Sebuluh Waterfall, is located along the outskirts of Nusa Penida, closer to the west side of the island.
It is rarely visited, which means that you can expect to spend more alone time here away from others.
History has it that it used to be a natural spring, providing water for the nearby villages. Now, it more commonly used for recreational activities including fishing.
The rocks are light-brown or brick-red in colour, with constant white water gushing down. Take a dip in the waterfall, but be careful as it can get very slippery. Otherwise, just enjoy the view of the natural rock formations and the sound of crashing water and have a good time out in the sun.
10. Peguyangan Waterfall (Location)
Do not be deceived! Though it’s called Peguyangan Waterfall, it isn’t really a waterfall. In fact, it is a huge cliff with a breathtaking view of the nearby waters.
Upon reaching Peguyangan Waterfall, you will see a man-made flight of stairs leading down to the natural pool below, a beach, or a main temple area, where you can sit on the edge of the cliffs and admire the amazing view. However, since it is considered a religious place, do adhere to local customs.
You can make your way further down to the waters, but it is not recommended, especially for children, as the waters can get pretty violent. The climb back up to the top is another challenge, but looking back, it’ll give you something to smile about!
11. Giri Putri Cave (Location)
Giri Putri cave is a cave with a rich Hindu influence. As you enter the cave, you will feel as if you are in another world. The entrance is small and tight, but once you’re inside, you’ll be amazed at how huge the cave actually is. It is a sight like no other – a truly eye-opening experience, according to many.
There are occasional religious processions ongoing in the cave, and there are temples within the cave, so you should anticipate these. If possible, avoid wearing revealing attire, and once you’re inside, be sure to lower your volume and respect the customs of the people there.
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Have you been to any other hidden spots in Nusa Penida?