THE ULTIMATE NUSA PENIDA ADVENTURE GUIDE

With Claudia & Kaan

Nusa Penida is the biggest and least developed of the trio. Unlike Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, this island is meant for the more adventurous soul who wants to experience the island and see the stunning viewpoints. The beaches on Nusa Penida are more beautiful to just look at, as opposed to relaxing on beaches as you would on the other 2 islands. The waves around Nusa Penida tend to be too strong to actually swim in, but they are great to splash around and cool off. Nusa Penida has raw, authentic villages and really kind local people.

There are so many things to do on Nusa Penida that we recommend staying at least 2 nights to be able to enjoy the island in its entirety.  Another way to see Nusa Penida is to do a day trip from Bali or stay in Nusa Lembongan and do a day trip there. But we definitely recommend staying on the island!

HOW TO GET TO NUSA PENIDA

There are two ways to get here: by public ferry or by speed boat. The public ferry has an erratic schedule and sometimes does not run due to engine failure or weather conditions. We don’t recommend relying on this as your mode of transport especially if you are on a tight schedule.

There are multiple speed boat companies that will take you to the Nusa Islands. If you are looking into going straight to Nusa Penida, Angel’s Billabong is a reliable company to go with. If you are looking to go to Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan, we recommend taking Blue Water Express, as they offer door to door pickup and incredible service. We have taken other boat companies to the islands and they were nowhere near as comfortable or easy to coordinate as Blue Water Express was.

You can easily get between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida by a 15 minute boat ride that can easily be arranged at the harbour. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are connected by a bridge and can easily be crossed.

BEST THINGS TO DO

Kelingking Beach

Climbing down to Kelingking Beach
View over Kelingking Beach, also known as T-Rex Beach

One of the highlights to see is Kelingking Beach, which is the famous T-Rex shaped beach. You can see it from the top, or hike 40 minutes down to the bottom. At the bottom you will find chickens running around on the pristine white sand and an incredible blue ocean. You cannot swim there because of how strong the waves and currents are. The hike is extreme as the steps down are not secure and are just held together by sticks and ropes- make sure to wear proper shoes. There is no shade the whole way up and down so make sure you have enough water and coverage from the sun.

Broken Beach and Angels Billabong

Arch over Broken Beach
Broken Beach from the front side

Close to Kelingkaling Beach is Broken Beach and Angels Billabong. These two are actually right beside each other. Broken Beach is a cove that has an incredible archway connecting it. If you look down, you will find massive waves crashing into the beach.

Angels Billabong is a tidepool that also doubles as a natural infinity pool. During hightide, the waves are really strong and fill the tidepool so be sure to come during lowtide as that is when it is safe to go in and swim – just don’t forget your water shoes!

Aerial view of the stunning Angels Billabong

Diamond Beach and Atuh Beach

Going down the steps to Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach

On the East side of the Nusa Penida lies one of our favourite beaches ever: Diamond Beach. This is a newly opened beach where prior to September 2018, there was only a viewing platform and no actual stairs leading down to the beach. When we went to the newly opened beach in October 2018, it was still relatively less visited and not really developed. We have heard that they have added a Bali swing and other attractions to this beach. The stairs to Diamond Beach are in good shape, and only the last 5 minutes are a bit of a challenge. There is one shop down there that sells water, snacks and lunch. The best time to go is low tide, and as early as possible. The waves here are very strong as well, so it’s best to just use them to splash around in and not actually go swimming.

To the right of Diamond Beach, on the other side of the cliff, is Atuh Beach, which is a more developed place with tons of food places and beach chairs for rent. You do have to climb out of Diamond Beach to get to Atuh Beach so if you only can do one, we definitely recommend Diamond Beach.

The road to both beaches is newly paved and very comfortable to motorbike- it only becomes rocky the last 500 metres. Parking cost around $1.

Tembeling Beach and Natural Pools

This is one of the lesser known places to see in Nusa Penida, so when our homestay told us about it we jumped on our bikes for the chance to go. The road down here is a very intense drive and we went really, really slow- if you’re not experienced with driving a scooter it would be best to hire a car and driver to get you down there.

Once you have reached the parking area, it is a short 10 minute trek down along a concrete staircase. At the bottom you will come to the first pool, which has vibrant aqua water and little fishes swimming about. It is so refreshing to just jump in and cool off in! There is a lady there with a stall set up should you need any water or snacks.

If you follow the path to towards the beach, you will find a smaller rock pool that is almost in the shape of a jacuzzi. This pool overlooks Tembeling beach, which on most days you will find deserted, which is an epic sunset spot if you are fine with hiking back up in the dark.

Tembeling Beach
Natural Pool at Tembeling Beach

Teletubby Hills

These hills will definitely remind you of the rounded hills from the Teletubbies tv show. They are smaller than the ones you see in Bohol but are definitely less busier. This area is not build up for tourists so the roads are bumpy, but we found this to be one of the most perfect sunsets spots on the island- it was definitely worth driving back in the dark!

Teletubby Hills at sunset

Crystal Bay Beach

Crystal Bay Beach
Road to Crystal Bay Beach

This is hands down the best beach to swim and relax in on Nusa Penida. The tide is not as strong here so the waves are generally safe enough to swim in. There are also countless beach vendors set up and sunchairs laid out. We had an amazing peanut sate and coconut curry for lunch from one of the food stalls. The reef around here is also decent for snorkeling, and you can rent the equipment from the locals. The drive to the beach is well paved, and while there are some steep hills and sharp corners, it is a pretty easy drive.

Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave

This temple inside a cave is the most important religious site in all of Bali. It is almost like a pilgrimage point and is really an interesting site to see. From the car park, take the steps up the mountain until you reach a small temple set up. You will be blessed with water by a man who you will then pay a donation entrance fee to. The temple itself is inside a cave, which you enter through a crack in a rock. When we went inside, we couldn’t believe how huge the cave actually was! On certain days there are mass praying ceremonies here which can be a super cultural experience.

This temple is about 30-40 minutes from the main harbour along a well paved road and can easily be combined on your way to Diamond and Atuh beaches.

Rumah Pohon Treehouse Viewpoint

One of the most instagrammable spots on Nusa Penida, these Airbnb treehouses overlook the Thousand Island Bay. This viewpoint is located on the far east side of the island and is about an hour drive from the main harbour. It takes about 10 minutes to hike down from the main carpark with an entry fee of $1. There are many stunning viewpoints along the path, with the most famous being the treehouse Airbnbs, You can actually rent them for the night through the Airbnb website but just be sure to do it well in advance as they do sell out fast!

GETTING AROUND NUSA PENIDA

There are two ways to get around Nusa Penida: self drive on a motorbike or hiring a driver and car to take you around. If you are renting a motorbike, you can easily do so on the main pier in town. You can also rent motorbikes from most accommodations. While some of the roads are notoriously bad (think super rocky and super bumpy), they have started to pave the roads in an attempt to bring more tourists in.  They are difficult to manouver, but if you are comfortable driving on a motorbike and are careful, it is manageable. Claudia was able to drive herself around and just went slow over the bumpy roads.  It is possible to hire a car and driver to take you around, which costs around 1.3 million for 2 full days.

This is hands down the best beach to swim and relax in on Nusa Penida. The tide is not as strong here so the waves are generally safe enough to swim in. There are also countless beach vendors set up and sunchairs laid out. We had an amazing peanut sate and coconut curry for lunch from one of the food stalls. The reef around here is also decent for snorkeling, and you can rent the equipment from the locals. The drive to the beach is well paved, and while there are some steep hills and sharp corners, it is a pretty easy drive.

Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave

This temple inside a cave is the most important religious site in all of Bali. It is almost like a pilgrimage point and is really an interesting site to see. From the car park, take the steps up the mountain until you reach a small temple set up. You will be blessed with water by a man who you will then pay a donation entrance fee to. The temple itself is inside a cave, which you enter through a crack in a rock. When we went inside, we couldn’t believe how huge the cave actually was! On certain days there are mass praying ceremonies here which can be a super cultural experience.

This temple is about 30-40 minutes from the main harbour along a well paved road and can easily be combined on your way to Diamond and Atuh beaches.

Rumah Pohon Treehouse Viewpoint

One of the most instagrammable spots on Nusa Penida, these Airbnb treehouses overlook the Thousand Island Bay. This viewpoint is located on the far east side of the island and is about an hour drive from the main harbour. It takes about 10 minutes to hike down from the main carpark with an entry fee of $1. There are many stunning viewpoints along the path, with the most famous being the treehouse Airbnbs, You can actually rent them for the night through the Airbnb website but just be sure to do it well in advance as they do sell out fast!

GETTING AROUND NUSA PENIDA

There are two ways to get around Nusa Penida: self drive on a motorbike or hiring a driver and car to take you around. If you are renting a motorbike, you can easily do so on the main pier in town. You can also rent motorbikes from most accommodations. While some of the roads are notoriously bad (think super rocky and super bumpy), they have started to pave the roads in an attempt to bring more tourists in.  They are difficult to manouver, but if you are comfortable driving on a motorbike and are careful, it is manageable. Claudia was able to drive herself around and just went slow over the bumpy roads.  It is possible to hire a car and driver to take you around, which costs around 1.3 million for 2 full days.

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