Only a 45 minute ferry ride from Bali, the island of Nusa Penida will take you to another world. From the comforts of Bali to the unexplored territory of this beautiful island.
Nusa Penida is part of a group of 3 islands. The other two are Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Of which Nusa Penida is the largest.
The islands are located to the south-east of Bali and it is just a short ferry ride to the either of the islands.
The islands of Nusa belong to Bali, but feel a world away from busy and touristic Bali.
Nusa Penida is the least discovered and explored of the three, but in my opinion the most beautiful. With rough coast lines, cliffs and spectacular beaches this place should be on the top of your travel itinerary if you are visiting Indonesia.
As tourism here is relatively new and growing, there are not very many hostels and guest houses, and most of them are located in the northern part of the island.
You can do a day trip here from Bali, but you would miss out on so many things. With a day trip you will be in a car or minivan, and because of that won’t be able to visit all of the beautiful place, due to the bad roads and the time it takes to get from one place to another.
The roads on the island are very bad and that is still an understatement. The government is working on them, but a good road turns into no road in a matter of seconds. Potholes, sand, mud and just a general lack of any road. But this is part of the adventure.
Travel is slow, but amazing . Rent a scooter to discover Nusa Penida in your own time.
I stayed here for four days and wished I could have stayed longer.
I don’t think I have ever seen a more beautiful beach than Kelingking Beach. The view from the top of the cliff down to the beach is amazing. A dinosaur shaped cliff with a perfect whit sandy beach.
You can walk (read: climb) down to the beach, but this is at your own risk and will take a long time.
There are warning signs not to go down to the beach, but they build a staircase anyway. The steps are huge and you have to very fit to climb down them, let alone back up. Enjoy the view from the top!
The road to Broken Beach was just as broken as the name of this beach. But it was worth every bump, slip and slide.
Broken Beach is a sinkhole with a beach inside. You cannot get to this beach, but the view from the top is amazing.
Not far Broken Beach you find Angels Billabong. I had seen many beautiful images of this natural infinity pool before traveling to Nusa Penida. Crystal clear water and clean enough to swim in. Unfortunately it had rained heavily in the night before I went and the pool was anything but clear.
Still a beautiful sight, but not what I was expecting.
Looking at many Instagram images, I thought it would like this……
Near Broken Beach and Angels Billabong is Manta Bay. There are many bays called Manta Bay or Manta Cliff to spot the huge manta rays from. This one did not disappoint. I spotted 5 manta rays within a few minutes of arriving at the cliff.
Crystal Bay is one the easiest accessible beaches on the island. A wide sandy beach with café’s, from where you can also organise a boat trip to take you to Manta Bay.
Tembeling Beach & Cave
Another amazing spot on Nusa Penida. You have to make your way through Tembeling Forest to reach this beach. You can drive all the way down to the steps with a scooter, but the road was very small, so I decided to walk the 2,5 km down to the beach.
After a sweaty hike, the view did not disappoint. Incredible waves, spectacular cliffs and a cave with a view.
Where to Eat
Around the island you will find many local warungs and little snack shops that also sell water.
In the norther part of the island there are some western food restaurants if that is what you are in the mood for.
Visit the Night market in Sampalan or head further east , near the Dragon Fly, where you will find a good choice of western food restaurants. Cocoleaf, Reggae Bar and Wood Oven Pizza are highly recommended.
Where to Stay
Most hostels and guest houses are located in the northern part of the island, in or near Toyapakeh, Ped and Sampalan.
I stayed at the lovely Deva Devi Beach Inn, which is right on the beach from where you can see the sunset.
Come & Go
From Bali a trip to Nusa Penida is easily arranged. Boats leave from Sanur and Padangbai.
You can organise a trip including a pick up from hostel or guest house in Sanur. There are many travel agents on the street that will organise this for you. Negotiate on the price, especially in low season. Starting price was 350.000 IDR, but I paid 200.000 IDR in the end.
The public boat leaves from Padangbai and it about a quarter of the price, but also takes longer.
You can also buy combination tickets which include Lombok and the Gili’s.
Check out Scoot for more information.
From Nusa Penida it is easy to get to the other Nusa’s. The boat to Nusa Lembongan leaves from Toyapakeh, takes about 20 minutes and costs 50.000 IDR. It will arrive at the Yellow Bridge and from here you can continue to Bali, Lombok and the Gili’s.
Good to Know
Scooter rental is about 75.000 IDR per day. It will give you all the freedom you need and you will able to take roads that cars cannot access and therefor you get to see more of the island. Keep in mind that the roads are bad, really bad and some experience in driving a scooter is needed.
Especially the road to Broken Beach is bad. I drove it in the middle of the rainy season, right after it had rained, and the roads were horrible.
There are a few ATM’s on the island, all in the towns of Toyapakeh, Ped and Sampalan.