ONE DAY IS NOT ENOUGH. I honestly wished I had more time! It’s okay though because it only means I’ll have more reasons to come back.
Nusa Penida, as I have mentioned in my previous post, is one of the best highlights during my Bali trip. Bali is undeniably crowded with tourists from all over the world but Nusa Penida is just different. It is amazing how the island was kept away from people’s radars and I somehow like it that way.
Also read: DIY Trips: 6D5N Bali Itinerary + Budget
There are several neighboring islands surrounding Bali and three of the most famous islands are Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Penida. Each of these islands is unique in beauty and surprisingly untouristy compared to the other islands near Bali.
Nusa Penida is the largest among the three. It is located just off the southern coast of Bali and is one of the best islands I’ve seen in my entire life. It is a known destination for scuba diving too. You can find pure beaches, cliffs, and conservation places on the island.
Now, can you imagine having only 7 hours to explore this gem of an island?
🚤 How to get there
From Bali, the easiest and cheapest way to go to Nusa Penida is by riding a traditional public boat at Sanur beach, Denpasar (Bali’s capital). It will take around 90 minutes to reach the island.
There is a faster option, still from Sanur beach. Speedboats can bring you to the island in just 40 to 50 minutes. There are plenty of options going to and fro Nusa Penida, you just have to check their schedules. Prices may vary.
If you wish to bring your own car or motorbike to Nusa Penida, you can catch a ferry at Padang Bai instead of Sanur. For more alternative routes and ferry boat options, check this site.
🚙 Going around
You can either rent a motorbike or a vehicle. It really depends on your budget. Renting a motorbike is way cheaper than renting a vehicle. As for our case, we don’t trust ourselves driving motorbikes on unfamiliar and (as expected) rough roads so we arranged a private vehicle to tour us around the island.
Going around Nusa Penida can be hard for those who wish to do a DIY trip but don’t know how to drive. There is no ‘proper’ public transport on the island and hailing motorbikes when you arrive can cost you a lot.
The island is quite vast just to be explored for a day. The roads can get bad in some areas. Inexperienced drivers can have a hard time. But if you are really adventurous then go ahead, just be extra careful though.
Even before arriving in Bali, I was already captivated by the beauty I’ve seen just by scrolling down Instagram posts, particularly Nusa Penida posts (Thank you, Lost LeBlanc!). At first, Nusa Penida wasn’t part of our itinerary but thank God for free days! I was able to convince my friends to come with me and they were very far from disappointed.
Here are some of the places you have to see in Nusa Penida:
Kelingking Secret Point – This was first on the list. I’ve pinned posts about this place!
Since we had our own vehicle and driver, we didn’t have a hard time locating the place. It is about 30 minutes away from the sea port.
There is a restaurant on top of the mountain and there’s a ‘viewpoint’ where most people take photos of the cliff. The cliff forms the shape of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, hence “Kelingking”. And as what the locals would say, it is bound to be a crowd favorite.
It can get pretty scary for the acrophobic. Be cautious as there are no railings or any safety reminder along the cliff edge.
There is a path leading down to the beach. I wanted to go down but we didn’t have much time so we had to move to our next stop.
Broken Beach – It would take another 45 minutes to go to Broken Beach from Kelingking. It’s not really a ‘beach’ but a stunning natural bridge on the coast of Nusa Penida.
Many would say that the road going to Broken Beach can be a bit confusing. If you’re planning to go on your own, getting lost is inevitable. Ask the locals for directions, if needed.
Once you get there, you’ll be greeted with this view.
One of my friends remembered ‘Batanes’ in the Philippines because of the rock formations, cliffs, and the beautiful colors of the ocean. The view is just amazing!
If you get hungry, there’s a mini-convenient store in the area. You can buy water and snacks there before heading to your next stop.
Angel’s Billabong – After admiring the view, we headed to Billabong following the path to the right of Broken Beach. You’ll be there in less than 3 minutes. Don’t walk down the path barefoot since the path could get rocky and sharp.
For someone who dreams to perfect his or her Instagram feed, Angel’s Billabong should be part of your list. It’s somewhat like a rock pool, similar to the ones we have in Siargao, Philippines (Check out my previous post about it). What’s amazing with Billabong is that it formed somewhat like an infinity pool.
I am one of those who wanted to swim in the nice clear waters but our timing wasn’t right. The tide was getting high and strong waves were crashing onto the cliff side, splashing into the pool. You are only allowed to swim in the pool when the tide is low. Since we knew about those tourists who died because they stood at the edge of the pool near the open sea, we did not insist on swimming.
Crystal Bay Beach – We ended our day trip in Crystal Bay, located on the west of Nusa Penida. You can enjoy the beautiful view while basking in the sun or swimming in the sea. You can also snorkel from the shore.
The bay is famous for Mola-Mola or Sunfish and you can actually swim with them. They can reach up to 3 meters in length and over 2,000 kilos in weight. Mola-Molas are usually found in the deep and cold oceanic waters but occasionally, they come inshore between July and September. Aside from Mola-Mola, Crystal Bay is also known for Manta Rays.
Since Bali is located between two great oceans, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, you will be amazed how rich its marine life is. One of the best snorkeling and diving spots in Bali is Nusa Penida, specifically in Crystal Bay. As for the type of diving, you have to get a guide from the island as the currents are not always predictable.
💡 Handy tips
- Before you even go to Nusa Penida, decide on whether you’re getting a motorbike or a car and arrange the rental ahead because options are limited.
- The boat ride to Nusa Penida can get really bumpy, prepare medicine if you get sea sick.
- For those who will visit the island for a day, you’ll be having a hard time finding a decent bathroom. So whenever you do a stopover where there is a bathroom, don’t waste the chance to use one.
- Bring small cash or change. Most of the attractions require a fee. If you booked a Day-Trip package, you need not prepare for this.
- If you’re doing a DIY tour, download Google Maps and save the destinations so you can still access them offline.
- Getting lost is inevitable. Enjoy the moment, getting lost is part of the experience!
- You can extend your stay on the island but you have to check if there are still available rooms. Hotels or resorts get fully booked most times since there are just a few on the island.
Describe the Experience
SUPERB! I wanted more! It’s not everyday that you get the chance to see nature’s truest beauty, untouched by commerce, and well-preserved by the locals. I was really amazed. I can’t wait to be back and be able to share the same feeling with my friends and loved ones.
Nusa Penida Tours
If you are more interested on getting a planned tour instead of going DIY, then contact Nusa Penida Tour & Travel.
Mobile/WhatsApp +62 878 6004 2598
ID Line: nusapenidatrip