Nusa Penida: Top Things To Do
Rugged coastline. Stunning beaches. Windy roads.
How to get to Nusa Penida from Bali...
The public boat departs from Sanur (see map below). Tickets are approximately 200,000 rupiah each way, that's around $20 AUD. However, a return trip is 350,000 rupiah.
The return ticket is flexible, allowing you to return from either Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan on your way back, at no extra cost. The journey takes around 30 minutes each way.
Transport: Getting around the island...
Our vehicle of choice, is definitely the humble scooter. There are many places around the island that can only be accessed by bike. The daily hire cost on the islands is around 75,000 rupiahs. While you'll notice many locals don't wear helmets, it's strongly advised as many of the roads are in poor condition or riddled with potholes. We met several travellers along the way who had fallen off scooters, so just take it easy, there's no rush! And, if you're a novice rider you can always hire a local rider for the day to scoot you around, or a taxi will cost you around 500,000 ($50) for 8 hours.
Remember Nusa Penida is larger than other islands in the region, so, it can take over an hour to drive from one side to the other.
TOP PLACES TO SEE ON NUSA PENIDA
1. Diamond Beach and Cliffs
This was by far our favourite place on the island. The cliffs are picturesque and the nail-biting walk down to the beach get's the adrenaline pumping, in particular the sketchy steep steps towards the end of the staircase where there's no railing.
Once you make it down, you'll be rewarded with the opportunity to cool off on a massive swing. It's 100,000 rupiahs ($10) a ride.
See my YouTube video to get a better understanding of what you're in for!
Beach cost: 10,000 rupiah per person ($1)
While you're in the area you can also check out Atah Beach. You'll see it across in the distance as you approach Diamond Beach viewpoint.
2. Night Markets
Eat dinner like a boss for less than $5. From chicken satay, deep fried vegetables, traditional salads and the best Indonesia pancake dessert you'll ever eat, called Martabak Manis (our favourite flavour was banana, chocolate and nuts - it tastes like a Ferrero Rocher.)
It's cheap, there's plenty of options to choose from and you'll be coming back for more!
Cost: 10,000-50,000 a meal
Our Travel Guide of our boat journey to Nusa Penida... this is what we did on Day 1.
3. Tembeling Beach, Natural Pool and Forest
This is actually Nusa Penida's best kept secret. Why? Because so many people get lost trying to find it! How do I know this? Because, we got lost ourselves 😂
The Google map wasn't calibrated correctly and sent us on a wild goose chase to a barren lookout. So, I've done my best to pinpoint the right location in the map above.
4. Kelingking, T-Rex Bay
Can you spot the Tyrannosaurus Rex?
While this famous Instagram spot is worth checking out, be warned, we found it to be one of the busiest locations on the island. And, why wouldn't it be with a view like this?
Unfortunately, the day we visited, there were just way too many tourist, so we didn't bother trekking down the staircase spine of the T-Rex which leads down to the beach.
Check out our drone footage from Day 2 of our YouTube Travel Guide.
5. Broken Beach
While you're exploring the west of the island, don't miss Broken Beach. While you can't access the beach itself, the sheer drop down the cliffs are breathtaking.
6. Angel’s Billabong
When visiting this natural infinity pool you'll have plan your visit in advance and avoid the high tide if you're planning on taking a dip. Strong, powerful, unpredictable waves crash into the Billiabong, which can become dangerous and potentially sweep you out to sea. In saying that, if conditions are unsafe, a rope will block off access into the area.
Tip: wear appropriate footwear as the rocks are sharp.
7. Manta Bay
Swimming with these curious creatures is one of those bucket list experiences you should absolutely 'tick off' while visiting Nusa Penida, particularly now that Indonesia is the world's largest sanctuary for manta rays. There's something magical about swimming just centimetres away from these majestic creatures that can grow up to 7m (23 ft) in width and weight around 3,000 kilograms (6600 lbs).
While you can swim with manta rays all year round, the best time to see them is during Bali's dry season between May and November. Check out our experience in the video below!
Cost: 300,000+ rupiahs
8. Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave
This sacred site is an eye opener and quite spectacular. The cave is big enough to hold 5,000 people. You'll also have to make sure you're not showing too much flesh (I just wore a long sleeve shirt and tied a scarf around my waist to cover my legs) but, you can rent a sarong for 5,000 rupiah at the base of the temple. To reach the entrance of the Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave, you'll have to walk up a steep staircase that goes midway up the mountain. You'll them be blessed with holy water, before crawling into the cave through a tiny crack in the ground. Inside you can see bats flying across the cave, hear prayers being sung, and smell incense burning at several shrines.
How long: 30-60 minutes
We stayed... at The Umah Prahu Bungalow
For $35 dollars a night including breakfast... we stayed in the quaint waterfront property. The location was perfect as it's close to the night markets, but also half way between the East and West part of the island.
If you sign up to Airbnb using my special affiliate link you will get $55 AUD off your home booking and $21 AUD to use towards an experience worth $73 AUD or more.
Things to know before you go...
We spent 2 nights on the island and felt like it wasn't enough! Which is why, we'd recommend at least 3-4 days on Nusa Penida.
Here's a map to help you on your travels...