Do you want an Easy Nusa Penida Travel Guide to follow, then look not further. There are plenty of guides about Nusa Penida with tons of great information, but sometimes they can be a little overwhelming. Although the island of Nusa Penida is relatively small it can be a little tricky to navigate because of the rocky and winding underdeveloped road conditions. This will make it challenging to see all of the tourist attractions in Nusa Penida if you are only there for a short period of time. This easy travel guide to Nusa Penida is intended for anyone planning a 2-4 day trip to Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is an island located to the Southeast of Bali island. It has become wildly popular due it’s photogenic majestic cliffs overlooking beaches with pristine aqua blue waters. The island itself is very hilly with winding and sometimes rocky roads. This makes travel times take longer between two points on interest even if they look close on the map. Most of the island is around 300-1200 feet above sea level.
Getting to Nusa Penida from Bali
The small fishing town of Sanur on Bali’s East coast will have the most options for getting to Nusa Penida. Boat trips will cost anywhere from $14-18 USD each way (200k-250k). A private ride to Sanur will cost around $5-10 USD (75K-150k IDR) depending on where you are coming from.
There are two options to getting a boat ticket. The first option is to head to Sanur and ask to be dropped off near all the boats that go to Nusa Penida. Along the beachside where all of the boat docks are.You will see a long row of different boat trip vendors. You will have to negotiate rates or pay what is posted, which can sometimes be inflated for tourist. I recommend using Maruti Group Fastboats or book in advanced through 12goAsia.
Times-Most boat operators will have a morning boat and afternoon boat that goes to Nusa Penida, and times will start as early as 7am-8am with the next boat going out around 3pm-4pm, but be sure to check with the boat operator of your choice for more specific departure times. The journey will last around 45 mins to an hour depending on water conditions.
One important thing to note is that there are no actual docks to the boats. The boats land as close to the beach as possible and then anchor. The boat men will help you carry your luggage over their heads as you walk in the water waist deep to board the boat. So I recommend wearing swim trunks, or a bathing suit, and putting important electronics in a drybag.
My other recommendation is to pack light and only bring what you need. In my case I was able to leave my larger bags at the hotel I was staying at in Seminyak before I went to Nusa Penida, then later pick them up when I got back to the main land of Bali. If you are staying in Bali before going to Nusa Penida and plan to return to Bali, this would be more ideal than hauling all of your luggage to Nusa Penida. If your hotel will not allow you to do this I recommend Bali Store Luggage, they will store your luggage at a reasonable rate, and they also pick up and deliver.
Getting around Nusa Penida
The North side of Nusa Penida while be the dense part of the island with restaurants, accommodation, grocery stores, and the boat port. As you venture South the island becomes more rural.
Most of the scooter rental vendors will be situated near the Nusa Penida pier where you will be dropped off by boat. I used Abdul Scooter based on the Google reviews, and I have nothing but good experiences with them. They even had the scooter waiting for me at the pier when I arrived, and they where easy to get in touch with through Whatsapp. Scooter will cost around $5-7 USD per day. (75k-100k IDR)
You can easily find cars for hire with a driver for the full day for around $38 USD (550k IDR) The cars can usually seat four and the price is per car not per person. This option is great for anyone that’s not comfortable driving a scooter. Find a private driver on Klook.
Day trips from Bali are available if you are pressed for time, but I recommend staying in Nusa Penida for a couple of days if you can. If you are only able to do a day trip try Klook for all inclusive daytrips with pick up and return to Bali included.
Along the North Coast of Nusa Penida along JL. Raya Toya Pakeh (Mian Road) is where you will find the more dense part of Nusa Penida and many accommodation. But there will also be accomodation to be found all over the island. From secluded in the higher elevation, to along the rock cliff sides of the West, and South. Keep in mind that if you venture more South from the Nusa Penida dock make sure you have a scooter, car, or have the Whatsapp number to a taxi driver to get around, as some parts may be very rural without much in the way of grocery stores or restaurants. For midrange accommodations be sure to search Booking, or if you are looking for backpacker accommodation head over to Hostelworld. Also be sure to check to see if your accommodation offers transportation.
Want a cool glamping experience nestled upon a lush treetop forest? Then check out Autentik Penida Glamping located on the West side of the island not to far from Broken Beach.
Located near the North end of the island around 2.6km away from the boat harbor. Offering both private bungalows and dorm beds. An excellent choice for the budget traveler.
If you are looking for more or a luxury stay with great views of the ocean The Adiwana Warnakai Resort is located in the North part of the island not to far from the boat harbor.
Search for Accommodations on Booking
There is a lot to see on Nusa Penida Island, and trying to see them all even on a 4 day trip might be a little ambitious. I would recommend seeing two to three attractions at most per day.
- Crystal Bay – Family-friendly beach that is easily accessible. One of the most popular beaches in Nusa Penida can be crowded at times.
- Pandan Beach is a 20-30 minute hike through the forest trail located on the southern side of Crystal Bay Beach. On the southside of Panan Beach, there is also a hidden trail to the even more secluded.
- Puyung Beach. Puyung Beach will require an additional 2-30 minute hike over a hilltop to get to.
- Pasih Andus (Smoky Beach) During high tide the waves crash up against a cave and create a burst that resembles smoke, hence the name. This is not a sand beach and not for swimming, it is a rocky cliffside with strong crashing waves.
- Angel’s Billabong – A crystal clear tide pond carved out of the rocky cliffs that cascade over the ocean in Nusa Penida.
- Broken Beach – A short walk from Angel’s Billabong you will find Broken Beach. This rocky cove has a natural archway that allows water to flow in from the ocean. Again, not an actual sand beach that you can swim in but very beautiful.
- Kelingking Beach (T-Rex) – Kelingking Beach is one of the most iconic attractions in Nusa Penida. The cliff formations resemble a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Expect a queue of people waiting to take pictures at this iconic spot. If you are adventurous and don’t mind a challenge you can trek down the very steep rocky path to the secluded beach. Not for the faint at heart and I do not recommend children to go down the trek as it can be a little dangerous. The hike down takes about 45 minutes, and once down there is usually a stand at the bottom selling snacks and drinks. Try to avoid doing the trek in mid-day as the sun will be very harsh as there is not any shade on the trek. The beach is beautiful and you will see some people in the water, but the waves are very large, powerful and have a very strong undertow.
- Pura Paluang – A unique temple with two Car shrines located near Kelingking Beach.
- Tembeling Beach and Forest – Tembeling Beach is very secluded and can be a challenge to get to. If you attempt to go here on a motor scooter expect some very rock pathways not recommended for inexperienced drivers. Then at some point, you will have to get off your scooter and walk the rest of the way through the forest. Along the way to the beach, there are will be some natural pools you can relax in before continuing to the beach.
- Peguyangan Waterfall – A very steep hike down approximately 700 steps will take around 30 minutes. And while the actual waterfall itself is not very impressive, the views you see along the way are impressive. Mata Air Guyangan is a small temple you will see along the hike down. There are also some natural pools as well.
- Manta Point – A scenic vista on to of a large cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. Many times you can even spot Manta Rays swimming.
- Atuh Beach – Is an incredibly beautiful beach inside a small bay. Best to visit at high tide. The hike down the stairs from the parking area takes around 15 minutes but is very steep.
- Diamond Beach Located near Atuh Beach, Diamond Beach is a short 15-minute climb down some steep steps. Once you get to the bottom there is a stall selling drinks and snacks. They also have a swing over the ocean. The waves are quite strong here and parts of the beach are a little rocky.
- Thousand Island Viewpoint – Located slightly south of Diamond Beach you will find Thousand Island Viewpoint. There are two viewpoints here, the first being Thousand points, and the second is of the famous Rumah Pohon Tree House. You can actually rent the Rumah Pohon Treehouse.
- Suwehan Beach – Another spectacular beach in Nusa Penida with crystal clear water among large cliffs. Expect a steep climb down steps to get to the beach.
- Goa Giri Purti Temple – Located on the Northeast side of the island Goa Giri Purti is a temple inside of a cave. From the entrance, you will walk up a winding staircase before you reach the temple. To enter you pay the fee and enter through a small opening in a rock.
My Choices of Attractions to Visit
If I had to choose my must see attractions they would be Crystal Bay Beach, Broken Beach, Angels Billabong, Kelingking Beach, Diamond Beach, Atuh Beach, and Thousand Island Viewpoint
Please be advised that during high tide the waves at Angel’s Billabong have been known to crash onto the tide pool and drag people out to sea. It can be very dangerous and has even taken some people’s lives. So please be careful and enter at your own risk.
Nusa Penida is a can’t miss destination when traveling to Bali in my opinion. By far one of the most beautiful and memorable moments I had while exploring Bali. If you love nature and majestic views you’ll love Nusa Penida. Just keep in mind Nusa Penida is still underdeveloped infrastructure wise and far different from a party central you might find in areas like Seminyak district of Bali. While it may have become a lot more touristy in recent years, it is still well worth the effort to witness it’s beauty. Just bear in mind the roads can be a little sketch at times, and that getting from point A to B will take a little while, so plan accordingly and be safe around any steep ledges. Also be aware of strong ocean waves when near any ocean water.