Nusa Penida Island
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Located only 35 minutes away from Bali, Nusa Penida could very well be the best place to find unspoilt adventure near Bali. Nusa Penida is located just southeast of the smaller but much busier Nusa Lembongan. The island does not offer a lot of accommodation or restaurants yet and can be described as a hidden gem just waiting to be explored. With huge cliffs and amazing viewpoints, Nusa Penida is an adventurers dream. Especially if you are looking for an active holiday the island will suit your needs as you can go for a hike, snorkel with manta rays, explore a cave, dive, visit a waterfall or explore the beaches. Some of the best beaches to visit are Kelingking Beach (with a great lookout point), Crystal Bay Beach, Pasih Uug Beach, Atuh Beach, Broken beach and Angel’s Billabong.
Nusa Penida is quite a large island and driving from one side to the other can take around an hour. As tourism is becoming more frequent on the island the roads are improving, however you should not be expecting smoothly paved roads here. Due to its size, we suggest spending at least one night on Penida to truly enjoy the island without having to rush or spend most of your day driving around. There will be some spots where locals ask you to pay a fee for entering or parking, these fees are usually not more than $0.50 USD. Please note that the ATM’s on Nusa Penida only accept credit cards, so be sure to take enough cash if you don’t have a credit card. If you'd like to visit Nusa Penida is it recommended to book your hotel in advance as all the good accommodation will be booked ahead. The best way to get from Bali to Penida is by booking a fast boat through our search box. If you're looking for a guided tour on Nusa Penida you can read more about this here: Nusa Penida Guided Tour
BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN NUSA PENIDA
Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave – Hidden away in the mountain on Nusa Penida you will find the Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave which is used as a temple by the locals. Walk up the staircase and crawl through a tiny crack in the ground and you will end up in a 300-meter-long cave filled with the scent of incense and if you are there at the right time, you can witness local people praying. Keep in mind, you will need a sarong to enter the temple or borrow one before climbing the staircase for around $0.50 USD.
Atuh Beach – A stunning white sandy beach located between huge cliffs with a beautiful arched rock formation straight from the beach. Perfect location to go snorkeling for a day or to just enjoy the beautiful surroundings. To get there you will drive through some local villages, roads with potholes and you will need to walk up a dirt road (or drive if you’re comfortable enough to do so).
Angel’s Billabong – This crystal clear tide pool is located just off the East coast of Nusa Penida and definitely worth a visit once you’ve checked the tides. If you arrive when the tide is low, you will find once of the most stunning crystal clear tidal pools that ends up flowing to the ocean. Look at the stunning textures beneath the water from the coast or go for a little dip to explore up close.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN PENIDA
Manta Bay – As the name suggests, you will likely be able to find giant Manta Rays within this area located on the West side of the island. However, you will probably need to take a tour to do so. Go snorkeling or take a scuba diving trip and more often than not the tour guides are able to provide you with one of the most amazing playful encounters with these friendly giants.
Seganing Falls – If you don’t like heights or are hoping for a stunning large waterfall, don’t do this trek. If you are a fond lover of treks, nature and adventure, definitely do. With the path being pretty steep, sometimes very narrow with a tiny wooden fence protecting you from falling down the cliffs. Once at the bottom you will find a cascade of trickles running down the cliffs. The trek offers you great views throughout and will be a great way to challenge yourself.
Snorkeling Toyapakeh – With an abundance of coral and fish, this is a great spot to go snorkeling. It has quite a strong current which allows you to drift along the area and just flow with the current to see Nusa Penida’s beautiful marine life.
Hunt for lookouts – There are several lookouts/viewpoints throughout the island that you should definitely visit. Kelingking lookout is worth a visit due to the stunning views, T-Rex shaped cliffs and it is also a great spot to view a sunset on the island. One more beautiful viewpoint is Broken Beach due to a stunning arch that allows the water to flow in and out of a cove. Another great viewpoint, Pulau Seribu, can be reached by climbing down a steep stairway for around 10 minutes. The views are absolutely incredible with a beach situated at the bottom of the cliffs.
Peguyangan Waterfall – You might have seen the steep blue staircase on a picture of Nusa Penida, this is what you have to climb down from (and later up) to visit the Peguyangan Waterfall. Luckily this staircase gives you some of the most stunning coastal views and it only takes around 20 minutes to get down. Once down you will find a beautiful sacred site which is used by locals for their cleansing rituals with shrines and trinkets spread throughout. There are 4 spouts of which 3 are used by the locals to cleanse themselves. Continue along and you will find some of the purest looking water in the pools that flow out into the ocean.
Kelingking Secret Point Beach – One of the most iconic places on Nusa Penida to take a picture (e.g. for your Instagram account) due to the Tyrannosaurus-Rex shaped cliffs. From the viewpoint you can see the T-Rex shape and watch the stunning blue waters crash into the cliffs. You can take a trek down "T-Rex's spine" if you’re up for an adventure. Book your guided Nusa Penida Tour here.
BEST PLACES TO EAT & DRINK IN PENIDA
Warung tu Pande – Delicious local food served by very friendly locals who speak English well. Try out the grilled chicken, Nasi Goreng or a curry while you’re here and you will not be disappointed.
Ogix Warung – Overlooking the stunning coastline of Nusa Penida, this restaurant offers delicious seafood within a beautiful environment. The views are not only of the coastline but also of Bali and Lombok as you can even see the volcano. They serve fresh sea-food with a smile.
Penida Espresso – This restaurant serves up some of the most delicious smoothie bowls for quite a low price. Enjoy your coffee or lunch while being served by friendly staff and able to enjoy the Wi-Fi. It is located close to a busy road so if you’re in the need for the best coffee on the island we would definitely suggest going here.
Penida Colada – As the name states, this is a lovely place to enjoy a nice (rather cheap) cocktail on the beach. With a great atmosphere due to the music (mostly reaggae), cocktails and friendly staff this is definitely a place to visit within Nusa Penida if you’re looking for a nice evening out.
Since Nusa Penida is not that popular amongst tourists (yet) you will not find any nightlife on the island. You will be able to find a nice place to listen to music or enjoy a cocktail though.
Most hotels and restaurants are situated around Toyapakeh in the Northern part of the island, which means this is where you will find the most places to hang out.
We suggest drinking a nice cocktail on the beach or relaxing in one of the quiet bars before tourism takes over on Nusa Penida and it will be a whole lot busier.
After visiting Nusa Penida you can opt to explore even more of Bali and its surroundings by hopping over to a much busier Nusa Lembongan, the smaller Gili Islands just off the coast of Lombok, or even hop on over to Lombok to explore the stunning scenery or explore the islands located off of the South West coast of Lombok like Gili Gede and Gili Asahan.
To go from Nusa Penida to Lembongan you can simply book a local boat between the two islands from the port on Nusa Penida to the Yellow Bridge on Nusa Lembongan.
To go from Nusa Penida to the Gili Islands or Lombok you can book a boat directly through our website. If you're still on Bali looking to go to Nusa Penida and the Gili Islands/Lombok, we recommend booking an island hopper ticket which allows you to hop off on Penida and back on at a later date.