If you’re feeling adventurous and want to see some of the most incredible views of beaches and cliffs, then a quick trip to Nusa Penida is for you. The Indonesian island located off the shores of Bali is not for the faint of heart – it’s still mostly undeveloped (part of its charm!). However, Nusa Penida boasts insanely blue water, remote-feeling beaches, and many, many picture perfect moments. Take a look at the photos below captured by Hery Diaz on our 24 hour jaunt on the island, and if you’re ready to rough it a little, read on for our picks on what to see and do.
We used the speed boat service, Maruti Express, which departs from Sanur Beach in front of Ananda Beach Hotel and is a 30 minute ride. It departs from Sanur daily at 7:30am, 8:30am, 10:00am, and 4:00pm, and it departs from Nusa Penida at 7:30am, 9:00am, 3:00pm, and 4:30pm. For an adult round trip ticket it costs around IDR 550,000 ($39).
When you arrive via speed boat, you can rent a motorbike from the locals for around IDR 60,000 (less than $5) per day. This is the best way to get around the island, but you’ll need to be confident in your driving. The roads are narrow, most often unpaved, and extremely bumpy with lots of stones and holes so please use caution. You also can hire a local to act as your driver for the day for around IDR 600,000 ($42).
Because you will be taking a crowded speed boat to the island and then hopping onto a motorbike, it’s best to pack lightly and use a backpack or duffel. We did have our Away and Raden roller bags with us, and the local family we were staying with were able to deftly arrange them onto the motorbike. However, we then walked to the accommodations as they weren’t too far away from the speedboat arrival point.
Locals will charge you a very small “parking fee” at many of the main attractions around the island. We only saw one ATM during our time on Nusa Penida, and none of the warungs (family-owned restaurants and cafes) take credit cards, so definitely come prepared with cash and have some small change ready.
A friend of ours put us in touch with a local family on Nusa Penida who graciously hosted us in their home. However, if we return to the island, I have my eye Semabu Hills Hotel with its breathtaking views (really, that’s what Nusa Penida gets a gold star for in my opinion) and the charming Bintang Bungalows on Airbnb, conveniently located near Crystal Bay.
Angel’s Billabong: Get ready to experience nature’s equivalent to an infinity pool. During low tide, you can go for a swim in the tranquil tidal pool overlooking the ocean.The coral and rocks surrounding the pool are jagged, so a pair of water shoes is necessary. We were there during high tide, however, so we cautiously made our way out on the rocks to grab a few photos but weren’t able to swim. It is worth noting that large waves can come without notice and pull you out to sea, so proceed carefully.
Broken Beach: A stunning viewpoint adjacent to Angel’s Billabong featuring an archway where water flows through from the ocean into a small bay.
Kelingking Cliff Lookout: The view made famous on Instagram, this is indeed one of the most breathtaking spots I’ve ever seen in my life. It gets its name because it looks like a dinosaur with its head on the left and tail wrapping around to the right. The beach at the bottom boasts pristine shores a teal waters, however the conditions of the climb were too dangerous when we visited as it had just rained so we were unable to descend all the way.
Crystal Bay: Popular for snorkeling and diving because of its crystal clear waters for which it received its name. The two creatures everyone hopes to see while diving here are mola-mola (oceanic sunfish) and manta rays. I definitely plan on returning after becoming PADI certified and diving in this idyllic spot.
Manta Bay: Swimming with giant manta rays. Need we say more? We’ve heard good things about Dive Concepts‘ experience.