Top 10 things to do in Nusa Penida | Bali In the south of Bali are the 3 Nusas: Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. The first one is the biggest and the one we liked the most! Until a few years ago this island was little visited by tourists. And today it is becoming more and more known but still not 100% structurally prepared, which makes it charming. It is a place with wild cliffs, virgin beaches and incredible sunsets. It is a complete adventure to explore every part of this island. Reach the beaches through steep paths holding on to handrails made of branches and built by the locals. Admiring the rock formations and the intense blue of the sea... a destination that left us completely amazed. Also, another of the things you can do on this island is snorkelling and scuba diving with manta rays of up to 9 metres!
How toget to Nusa Penida from Ubud?
There are several tours from Bali that take you around the island for the day, but if you have the time, we recommend that you stay here and let yourself be carried away by its charm.
We spent 2 days there and it was too short, if you can stay 3 days to enjoy everything this paradisiacal place has to offer!
You can get there by fastboat, which usually leave from Sanur harbour. Everywhere you go they offer you the fastboat ticket along with the transfer to the port. As we didn't trust the price too much, we did some research on how much it costs to get the two things separately, and it is definitely cheaper to book everything together.
The price is Rp. 250.000, $USD 18, per person (including transfer from the hotel to the harbour and fastboat from Sanur to Nusa Penida).
The transfer takes about 4 hours, leaves very early and arrives at the island at about 10:30, ideal to start touring the island!
How to get around the island?
To tour the island, you can divide it into two: east and west. We spent the first day touring the east and the second day touring the west.
There are two ways to get around the island:
- Rent a motorbike:
The cheapest and freest way to get around. If you don't have experience riding motorbikes we don't recommend it, the streets of Nusa Penida are a mess, only a few of them are asphalted and it's all up and down. It's not uncommon to come across travellers injured by a fall on a motorbike. If you decide to use it as a means of transport, always wear a helmet and be careful. Since there are few roads, the distances from one point to another are long. The price of the motorbike per day is about $USD 5.
- Hire a private driver:
It's a lot more expensive but we considered it the safest option. For two days they wanted to charge us 1.100.000 rupees ($USD 78), a crazy amount of money that we had not planned to spend to go around the island, we were able to negotiate $800.000 rupees ($USD 57), which still seemed a lot, especially if you compare it with renting a motorbike for $USD 5, but it was getting late and we wanted to go around so we ended up accepting. When we saw what the roads were like we were thankful we had invested the money in the driver. The roads on the island are supposed to be asphalted by 2020, which will make the roads safer for motorcycling.
What to see in Nusa Penida in 2 days?
Day 1. East side of the Island
1. Peguyangan Waterfall
It is a waterfall at the end of a long descent down these blue stairs along the cliff face. The walk takes about 15-20 minutes, but if you get vertigo from heights this may not be for you.
It was one of the places that surprised us the most as we didn't know what awaited us at the end of the road. We came across a waterfall cascading down from the walls into a pool formed on the cliffside and falling into the sea! Once there, don't hesitate to cool off in these pools and enjoy the incredible view.
Not only is there the waterfall, but also one of the most sacred temples on Nusa Penida. Before you go down, they make you rent a sarong for a little less than 1 dollar, as you go through the temple to get to the waterfall.
2. Rumah Pho Tree House
This tree house with a dreamlike view can be rented on Airbnb.
Imagine actually sleeping in a tree house, just like when we were kids, and waking up to see the sunrise in this place! If you really want to spend a night here we recommend you to book well in advance.
We didn't spend the night there but we stopped by to visit and admire the view and the cliffs.
3. 1000 Island Viewpoint
At the end of the Rumah Pohon Treehouse road is this spectacular viewpoint!
4. Diamond Beach
It is a beach that can be seen from 1000 island viewpoint, with white sands and turquoise water!
Ideal to relax for a while and continue enjoying the incredible scenery of this island.
5. Atuh Beach
This beach, also combining turquoise water and white sand, is just a short walk from Diamond Beach. Here you can enjoy a cold beer while enjoying the view and recharge your batteries to get back up the stairs.
The fact is that this island is pure cliffs, to reach all the beaches it is necessary to go down endless steps that you then have to climb, but we consider them to be part of its charm.
Day 2. West side of the Island
6. Kelingking Beach & T-Rex
It is the most famous spot on the island, but despite being full of tourists, it is spectacular. It's a cliff shaped like a T-Rex with a breathtaking view of Kelingking Beach.
We recommend that you wear trainers, take a bottle of cold water and go down to the beach. Many people don't do it or stay halfway down, which leaves the beach for you and few other tourists. Enjoy a swim in the sea, the white sand and the surrounding cliffs.
The descent is a 20 minute walk, but the biggest challenge is to climb it. There isn't a single shady spot, and you practically have to climb, it's a fun experience! Try to go early in the morning and not at midday when the sun is very strong.
If you have a drone and want to fly it, we recommend that you check the GPS signal. We flew ours from the beach below and lost the signal, we saw how our drone crashed straight into one of the cliffs without being able to do anything!
7. Angel's Billabong
It is a natural pool of crystal clear water surrounded by cliffs! Low tide is ideal for diving in, otherwise it can be dangerous.
When we went there the tide was very high and the sea very rough so we were not allowed to go near it as it was not safe.
8. Broken Beach
It is located a few metres from Angel Billabong. It is an inaccessible beach but incredible to see, it is one of the best landscapes of the island. It is located in a circle of rock that has an opening to the sea!
Walk along the cliff, surround it and enjoy the fantastic scenery.
9. Crystal Bay
It is the ideal beach to relax and enjoy an incredible sunset.
Do you have one more day?
10. Diving and Snorkelling with mantas
It is an area where there are many manta rays and some giant ones! For them you will have to hire a snorkelling or diving tour.
We couldn't do it because the current was too strong and the tide was too high.
Where to stay in Nusa Penida?
For us it was most convenient to stay near the harbour. As we have already explained, the island is quite big and the roads are not in very good condition, so our recommendation is to stay near the harbour. There are also several restaurants nearby where you can eat in the evening.
- Penida Dream Homestay: It is a new hotel with very good location and attention. The price is $USD 12 for one night in a private room with breakfast included.