Ultimate guide to Nusa Penida Island
Nusa Penida is a relatively small island, which is considered be a part of Bali along with Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Gili islands. Nusa Penida is famous for its dramatic cliffs, stunning beaches, abundance of marine life and Indonesian culture.
Penida is a hidden gem of Bali
This gorgeous island with pristine nature is much less developed and crowded with tourists than any other island near Bali. But hurry up, the popularity of Penida island increases day by day. Our first visit to this island was four years ago, and it was hardly possible to find a hotel or a restaurant there. Now the infrastructure has been developed, and there is a wide choice of hotels, villas with infinity pools and many restaurants and cafes. As Nusa Penida is only a short boat ride from Bali, it is a popular place for a day tour and extremely popular diving spot to swim with manta rays. Here, I share with you my experience of exploring Nusa Penida.
- dramatic cliffs;
- stunning beaches;
- diving with manta rays;
- pristine nature.
How to get there
Nusa Penida is easily accessible from Bali by fast ferry. There are several options:
- take a day tour from Bali. This is the simplest way to see the island if you are short of time, or you simply not too excited about adventures and exploring places by yourself;
- go to Penida from Sanur, Bali by fast ferry and stay there for a couple of days. This is a good option as one day is not enough to explore the whole island of Nusa Penida.
- go to Lembongan island, stay there for few days, and take a boat ride to Penida from Lembongan. The boat trip is only 15 minutes and the return tickets cost around 7 USD.
This way is always our choice, because we love Lembongan for its nature, and every time we are in Bali we want to spend some days in Lembongan, Penida, and Bali itself.
The round trip from Sanur, Bali to Nusa Lembongan is 35 USD per person. For this price you have free pick-up and drop-off from your hotel in Lembongan and in Bali only Kuta, Jimbaran, Sanur, Legian, Seminyak. The journey takes 30 minutes. In Lembongan you have to get to the Yellow bridge. From this point all boats go to Penida. Advance booking is not required. Simply buy the tickets there, boat shedule is every 30 minutes.
Tip! Las boat back to Lembongan from Penida is at 17:00.
Explore Nusa Penida
The best way to explore Penida is by motorbike. Once you are in Penida, you will see many locals offering their own motorbikes. The ordinary price for the whole day is around 6 USD (80,000 Rupee). If you are afraid of motorbikes or simply can't drive it, your option is to rent a car with a local driver. This is a more expensive option, and less adventurous one. The roads in Nusa Penida leave to be better. Many people think it is hardly possible to drive there as the roads can be described as roadless terrain. But everything is not so awful, Penida is developing in a very fast way, and now almost the whole way to Atuh beach is a paved road. And be optimistic, there is a good saying - difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.
Places to visit in Nusa Penida
I recommend you to divide all the sights for two days. One day plan your trip to go to Atuh Beach, Thousand Islands, Tree House, Diamond Beach, Suwehan Beach, the second day visit Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, Angel's Bilabong, Bana Cliff, Sunset Point. The main reason is that it is not enough time to visit all of them in one day. They are simply in opposite directions, and as you already know roads are far away from being good and it is challenging to get to some sights. Here I share with you my favourite places where I have been may times and every time is like the first one.
Atuh Beach - is an iconic beach of Nusa Penida. The beach is famous for its white sand, crystal-clear blue water and of course Nusa Penida's dramatic cliffs. Atuh beach is a nice spot to relax and enjoy your day in a tranquil atmosphere. The beach is situated between tow huge cliffs, there are stairs down to the beach from both sides. Be ready to hike up and down to the beach. Or if you are short of time, just take beautiful pictures of the beach from the top of the cliff. Being honest, I prefer watching all the beauty of Nusa Penida from the top of the cliffs. Nusa Penida is all about dramatic cliffs, powerful waves and stunning views from the top.
Tip! Atuh beach is tidal. When it is low tide, there is no water, just rocks and mud. At high tide the beach is gorgeous with clear water of all shades of blue and white sand.
Diamond beach is the beautiful beach with powdery snow white sand and powerful waves. The beach is not always perfect for swimming because of these magnificent waves but it is worth going there. Before there was no access to the beach but now it can be easily reached by stairs. Be ready to hike down and up to the beach. Gorgeous coconut palm trees make the beach even more picturesque and here there is a popular Instagram spot - the swing which is slung between palms. Despite being the wide beach, you can grab some drinks or snacks in the warung located on the Diamond beach.
Tip! The stairs are pretty narrow, so be careful when going down.
Thousand Islands is an amazing viewpoint, and its location is not far away from Atuh beach, and very close to the Tree house. It is a beautiful spot to admire stunning rock formation and powerful Indian Ocean.
Rumah Pahon Tree House with its picturesque location to Thousand Islands is a perfect spot for a photo. The tree house made of wood is definitely worth visiting as there are so many lookouts over there. And yes, you should hike up and down to get to the Tree House.
Kelingking Beach is an iconic beach of Nusa Penida with the incredible turquoise color of water and the powdery white sand. This magical beach is surrounded by majestic cliffs.The way to the beach itseld is a 400 metres hike down but I suppose the views to Kelingking beach from the top gained more popularity.
Broken Beach is another iconic spot of Nusa Penida. Furious waves crashing against the cliffs will definetely impress you. Broken beach is often combined with Kelingking beach as they are close to each other.
Angel's Bilabong is an infinity natural pool.Two rock formations from both sides form this natural pool. If you stand in a right position, you can notice that these cliffs look like the wings of the angel. So the spots described above are definitely worth visiting. There are many other great spots to visit like, Bana Cliff, Sunset Point, Manta point. Manta point is a popular diving and snorkelling spot, but usually you have to book a tour to go there.
Nusa Penida is a truly magical place with pristine beaches, stunning views and dramatic cliffs. If you are planning a trip to Bali or still thinking of where you can go, Nusa Penida should be in your bucket list.