Nusa Penida is a very popular place for a short trip where to go from Bali. And it is that popular for a reason. There are breathtaking beaches, cliff views and rich underwater life around the island. If you get lucky you might swim here with a giant manta and if get super lucky even with one of the largest and heaviest fish Mola Mola. The views from the cliffs that surround big part of the island will enchant you. Especially at Diamond Beach and Kelingking Beach.
How to get to Nusa Penida?
From Bali is the best option to take a fast boat. The journey takes approx. 45 minutes and a one-way ticket costs 150,000 IDR ($11). You can buy tickets online at 12Go Asia. On site are tickets considerably more expensive and in the highest season there might not be enough free seats. You can also visit nearby islands Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
We set out from Sanur Beach near Denpasar and went to Nusa Penida Banjar Nyuh Harbor. If you go to Sanur port on a scooter, you’ll be asked for a small parking fee. You can leave the scooter here as long as you need. We parked here for 3 days with helmets hung on the handlebars and everything was OK. Don’t forget to write down your plate number or take a picture or mark the scooter somehow. It may happen that the port staff will move your scooter and you’ll have hard time to find it when you get back.
Upon arrival on Nusa Penida you’ll be asked for an administrative fee to enter the island 25,000 IDR ($2) per person. You can rent a scooter right in the harbor, but the it’s quite overpriced in here. If you go a little further from the port, you can negotiate a better price.
How many days do I need for Nusa Penida?
What to see on Nusa Penida?
There are really incredibly beautiful beaches and cliffs on Nusa Penida. The most popular are Diamond Beach, Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach (Pasih Uug), Angel’s Billabong, Atuh Beach and Crystal Bay. All are marked in the map below the article.
Broken Beach is one of the places that you definitely shouldn’t miss on Nusa Penida. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to swim here. But you’ll be amazed of the view from the cliff. You just need to sit and watch an incredible natural artwork. The best time to visit is early in the morning, when it isn’t full of tourists. Right next to Broken Beach is Angel’s Billabong. In the opposite direction within short walk there is a cliff above Manta Bay. From the cliff you can watch the mantas swimming in the bay. Unfortunately, we didn’t have luck to see the mantas, but at least we have a reason to return to Penida.
Kelingking Beach (T-Rex)
Kelingking Beach with a rock cliff in shape of a dinosaur is also called T-Rex. It is an iconic place of Nusa Penida. The view from the 200 m high cliff above the T-Rex is just stunning. Below the cliff there is an amazing sandy beach, one of the most beautiful beach we’ve ever been to. The waves are epic here! You’ll jump over and through the waves as a little child. But keep some energy for the way back up. Even the way down is quite demanding and will take you over half an hour. Climb carefully, hold on with both hands, and don’t rush. Fenced stairs will eventually turn into a fenced steep rocky path. Ideally have some firm boots. Between the cliff and parking there are several restaurants and shops where you can have a meal or drink.
Another iconic place of Nusa Penida island is definitely Diamond Beach. Unmistakable diamond-shaped reefs can’t be missed in your travel photo album. The access path is also a bit more challenging, but it shouldn’t be a problem to handle it. Unlike Kelingking Beach, most of the path is made of steps. The sandy beach is relatively small and during our visit it was getting even smaller by a rising tide.
If you climb the stairs up from Diamond Beach and down again it will lead you to another beautiful Atuh Beach. It is characterized by an amazing rock gate rising from the sea.
Cave temple Goa Giri Putri
If you want to cool down after all the beaches and sunny cliffs, visiting an unconventional cave temple is a great idea. Before entering the cave there is a small parking lot and you have to rent a sarong. Then you climb a few tens of meters up the stairs. At the entrance they’ll greet you with holy water. Entrance to the cave is paid as a contribution. We paid 30,000 IDR ($2) each. When we wanted to enter the cave, we didn’t know which way. We asked and the man pointed to a small crack in the rock. At first we thought he was kidding, but he was really pointing at the entrance. We stretched through the narrow corridor and stood stunned when a huge cave appeared, several hundred meters long and perhaps over 20 meters high. There is a house of prayer in the cave and several local monks did their ritual. The place really impressed us and we continued slowly on to the cave complex. It led to the other side of the mountain, where there is an exit and a way back to the parking lot. The cave was definitely worth a visit and if you are passing by, stop here.
The island offers plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and diving. Unfortunately, you won’t see much on the beaches and you need to book a trip or arrange a private boat. The price for group diving is only a few dollars and the price includes guide and all equipment. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to swim with giant mantas. On the island there are several places where you can observe these beautiful sea animals directly from the cliff. The best chance to spot some is above Manta Bay and on Manta Point.
Where to stay on Nusa Penida?
The cheapest accommodation is in the middle of the island. However, you probably do not plan to be on Nusa Penida for a month and rather want to enjoy what the island has to offer in a few days. Accommodation is really varied and if you want to try something truly unique for a reasonable price, try accommodation directly above the most beautiful Diamond Beach. Be sure to book Rumah Pohon Tree House in advance so you are not disappointed when it’s already full.
How to get around Nusa Penida?
There are basically two options. Either you pay for a taxi driver. There are a lot of them on the island, but it’ll be quite expensive for the whole stay. A cheaper option is to rent a scooter. The price on Nusa Penida is a little higher than in Bali and will start at 200,000 IDR (about $15) per day. Try to bargain and you’ll certainly get some discount. We had our scooter for 150,000 IDR per day. Always check the technical condition, especially the brakes and lights! Most of the main roads have been repaired on the island, but all side roads are in really bad condition. Drive carefully and always wear a helmet.
TIP: For more information about scooter rent, see our Complete guide to rent a scooter.