Everyone raves about Bali, and rightfully so. But just off its southeastern coast is a gem waiting to be explored – Nusa Penida. A fusion of cliff-edged drama and oceanic blues, this island is Bali’s rugged and pristine cousin.
When I visited Nusa Penida for the first time, I fell in love with the island. A place untouched by time, with its natural charm and pristine beaches.
In this guide, you’ll find all you need to know about Nusa Penida, along with some of my personal tips and tricks.
How to get from Bali to Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida by fast boat
If you’re looking to get to Nusa Penida from Bali for a DIY trip, then fast boats from Sanur are your best bet.
It’s quick, usually taking about 45 minutes, so you won’t have to wait too long before you’re stepping onto Nusa Penida’s shores.
I recommend booking ahead of time online, especially during the busier tourist seasons (June to September).
I booked my tickets online, and received confirmation instantly. We went to Sanur port 45 minutes before departure, and it was easy to exchange the tickets.
Tips: To visit Nusa Penida as a day trip from Bali, opt for the earliest boat, and book the latest one for your return on the same day.
Nusa Penida by tour
Thinking of exploring Nusa Penida but short on time? A day tour from Bali might just be the solution you’re looking for.
Most day tours kick off from the Sanur Beach area in Bali, but they have pickup across Bali, so you don’t have to worry.
You can pick either East Coast or West Coast tours, so research ahead on what you want to see. If you plan to do some snorkeling, go for it!
Note: If you pick the East Coast tour, you’ll see major attractions like Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, and Angel’s Billabong. Each spot has its unique charm, and there’s often a bit of time for those eager to dip their toes in the crystalline waters.
How to get around Nusa Penida
Once your feet hit the sands of Nusa Penida:
- Rent a scooter: It’s the go-to way to explore. Remember, roads here can be a bit wild in parts, so if you’re a newbie, maybe skip this.
- Hire Local Drivers: Think of them as your unofficial tour guides. They know the best spots and stories!
Where to stay in Nusa Penida?
On my trip, I stayed at Atalaya Villas, enjoying breathtaking views and a private outdoor swimming pool. I loved how peaceful and calm the atmosphere was!
Best things to do in Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida might be smaller than mainland Bali, but it packs a punch.
1. Kelingking Beach:
This iconic spot is Instagram’s darling and for good reason. The cliff forms the shape of a T-Rex and below, a secluded white sand beach awaits.
The journey down to the beach is a little steep, but trust me, the panoramic view you get from the top is well worth every step!
It’s one of those places where we just can’t resist snapping endless photos.
Tips: Wear sturdy shoes if you’re planning to go down.
2. Angel’s Billabong:
One of Nusa Penida’s natural marvels, Angel’s Billabong, never ceases to amaze.
It’s a natural infinity pool with clear, serene water, where you can witness the most mesmerizing sunsets.
We love soaking in its beauty and tranquility. If you’re looking to escape reality, this place might just do the trick!
Tips: Visit during low tide to enjoy its mesmerizing beauty but remember, safety first! The waves can be unpredictable.
The picturesque setting will surely win your heart.
3. Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach is aptly named for its shimmering white sands and jewel-toned waters. Accessible via a set of stairs carved into the cliff, the descent is an adventure in itself.
Once you’re down, it’s like you’ve stepped into paradise. We love the tranquility here and often find ourselves lost in its beauty.
4. Atuh Beach:
Nestled between green-clad cliffs, Atuh Beach is a real treat for the eyes.
The golden sands, crystal clear waters, and picturesque surroundings make it one of those spots where I could lounge for days. The gentle waves and warm sun make for a perfect beach day.
Don’t miss the sunrise here; it paints the sky with hues you’ll remember for a lifetime.
5. Broken Beach
This unique spot is named for its arch-like rock formation that allows the ocean to flow into a pool.
Every time we visit, it feels like we’re discovering a secret world hidden within Nusa Penida.
The azure waters, dramatic cliffs, and the soothing sounds of waves crashing make Broken Beach a must-visit.
6. Crystal Bay:
Crystal Bay is every beach lover’s dream. Its sparkling waters are perfect for snorkeling and diving, revealing a colorful world of marine life beneath.
We’ve often lounged under the palm trees, sipping on fresh coconut water, and letting the world drift away.
Sunset here? Absolutely magical.
Crystal Bay is your go-to spot for snorkeling! The rich marine life will leave you spellbound.
7. Guyangan Waterfall
For those seeking a blend of adventure and serenity, Guyangan Waterfall is your go-to spot.
The trek down is a tad challenging, but the reward? A majestic waterfall where you can cool off! It’s always been our refreshing retreat, especially after a day of exploring.
Tip: The climb can be challenging, so make sure you’re adequately hydrated and wear anti-slip shoes.
8. Tembeling Forest and Beach:
Nestled amidst dense greenery, the Tembeling natural pool and beach are serene and inviting.
And if you’re a nature lover, the journey through the forest will be just as rewarding as the destination.
Once you emerge onto the beach, it’s pure bliss. We especially love the natural pools where you can take a relaxing dip!
Tip: Carry insect repellent for the forest trails.
9. Teletubbies Hill
Yes, you read that right! Teletubbies Hill is reminiscent of the children’s show, with its rolling green hills and scenic beauty.
Every time we visit, it feels like stepping into a fairy-tale world. The lush greenery and serene ambiance make it an ideal spot for nature lovers.
Tip: Early mornings or late afternoons are the best times to visit to avoid the midday heat.
10. Goa Giri Putri Temple
This temple, hidden within a vast cave, is Nusa Penida’s spiritual gem. The serene ambiance combined with the echoing chants creates an atmosphere of profound peace.
Whether you’re seeking spiritual awakening or just curious about Balinese culture, this temple is a must-visit.
Tip: Carry a flashlight; some sections of the cave are dimly lit.
How much to budget for Nusa Penida
On Nusa Penida, you can experience luxury or live it up backpacker-style. Here’s a quick look at what you might spend:
From 250,000 IDR (Budget) to 5,000,000 IDR (Luxury) per night
- Homestays/Budget Stays: Starting from 250,000 IDR per night
- Mid-tier Resorts: From 1,500,000 IDR per night
- Luxury Resorts: Up to 5,000,000 IDR per night
- Local Warungs: Around 50,000 IDR per meal
- Restaurants: 70,000-200,000 IDR per meal
Tours, entrance fees, and activities may set you back by about 300,000 – 700,000 IDR per day.
- Snorkeling: From 300,000 IDR for a guided trip
- Island Tours: Around 800,000 IDR
- Moped Rentals: About 80,000 IDR per day
- Speed boat from Bali: Roughly 175,000 IDR one-way.
- Miscellaneous: Keep around 300,000 IDR for those random spends – think souvenirs, a massage, or that tempting street food.
Nusa Penida’s Weather
Dry Season (May to September):
- Temperature: A warm 26°C to 31°C.
- Vibe: The sun, the sea, and you. Blissful days and starry nights.
Rainy Season (October to April):
- Temperature: A mild 24°C to 29°C.
- Vibe: Tropical showers and the island in full bloom. Also, fewer tourists, so you get more of Penida to yourself.
When’s the best time to visit Nusa Penida?
If you’re chasing the sun and blue skies, May to September is your window.
But for those who don’t mind a drizzle and love the island vibe in the rain, October to April is quite the charm.
How long to stay there
Honestly, the longer you can stay in Nusa Penida, the better!
But if you’re pressed for time, a 3-day trip would allow you to really get a feel of the island and its attractions.
However, if you’re just popping over from Bali for a day trip, fret not; I’ve got a 1-day itinerary coming up!
1-Day Nusa Penida Itinerary
- 7 AM: Grab an early boat from Bali.
- 8 AM: Reach Penida and start with a local breakfast.
- 9 AM: Head straight to Kelingking Beach.
- 11 AM: Visit Angel’s Billabong & Broken Beach.
- 1 PM: Lunch at a local warung.
- 2 PM: Relax at Crystal Bay.
- 4 PM: Quick stop at Atuh Beach.
- 5 PM: Head back to the harbor.
- 6 PM: Boat back to Bali.
What to Pack for Nusa Penida
Here is your essential beach packing list for Nusa Penida.
- Sunscreen (The tropical sun doesn’t play!)
- Hat & Sunglasses
- Reusable water bottle
- Quick-dry towel
- Waterproof bag (For those beachy and snorkeling days)
- Good walking shoes (For those treks)
- Camera (You’ll regret it if you don’t!)
What to Wear
- Comfortable Footwear: Think hiking boots or sturdy sandals for treks and beach shoes for the sandy shores.
- Light and Airy Clothes: Think airy tees, cotton dresses, and shorts. The less formal, the better.
- Swimwear: For those spontaneous dips in the ocean.
- Sunglasses & Hat: Protect yourself from the sun’s glare.
- Rain Jacket or Poncho: If you visit the island during the wet season.
- A Lightweight Backpack: For all your essentials and those unexpected finds.
- Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated in style and eco-friendly.
Safety Tips for Travelers
- The roads can be tricky. If you’re not comfortable, hire a driver or join a tour.
- Always check the sea conditions before snorkeling or diving.
- Drink bottled water.
- Don’t forget travel insurance!
- Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan: Just a short boat ride away, these sister islands have their own charm, and they’re worth exploring.
- Bali: Obvious, I know. But if you’re in Penida, chances are you’re either coming from or going to Bali. Make the most of it!
Why is Nusa Penida famous?
Ever wanted to step into a postcard? Nusa Penida’s the spot. Epic views, chill vibes, and less of the usual tourist hustle. It’s nature’s version of paradise!
How far is Nusa Penida from Bali?
Super close! A quick boat ride, like 45 minutes to an hour, and you’re in a whole different world.
Is it better to do a day trip or stay overnight?
While a day trip gives you a glimpse of the island’s magic, staying overnight (or even for a few days) lets you experience its charm unhurriedly. From catching stunning sunrises to night stargazing, an extended stay is worthwhile.
How is the nightlife in Nusa Penida?
Nusa Penida has a quiet, laid-back vibe, so don’t expect bustling nightclubs. Instead, enjoy tranquil evenings by the beach, or maybe a cozy dinner under the stars.
Is Nusa Penida child-friendly?
Yes, with its beaches and calm areas, kids can have a wonderful time. However, due to its rugged terrains in parts, always keep an eye on them and choose accommodations and activities that cater to families.
Is there Wi-Fi on Penida island?
While most accommodations offer Wi-Fi, the connection might be slower than you’re used to. It’s a chance to truly disconnect and immerse in nature!
Can I rent a bike on Nusa Penida?
Sure thing! Scooters are popular for solo or duo travelers, but you should know how to ride on uneven roads.
Are there any cultural sites on Nusa Penida to explore?
Can you go snorkelling in Nusa Penida?
Absolutely! Dive into spots like Manta Bay to snorkel with manta rays or explore the vibrant underwater world at Crystal Bay.
There you go. Your guide to making the most of Nusa Penida. Dive in, enjoy, and remember to respect the local culture and environment. Safe travels!
Nusa Penida is a blend of untamed beauty, thrilling adventures, and an untouched slice of serenity. Whether you’re a nature lover or a thrill-seeker, there’s something here that you’ll love.