Nusa Penida – ultimate travel guide

nusa-penida-ultimate-travel-guideNusa Penida is another island that is located about 20 km southeast from Bali. It is the largest and most remote island out of Nusa Penida area. Other islands that belong to this area are Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. From Bali Nusa Penida is easily accessible via ferry or fast boat and it offers an experience that every adventurous traveler is looking for. We spent there 2 nights and immediately felt in love with its wilderness and nature diversity. It is an undiscovered pearl of Indonesian islands. It is Bali 10 years ago.

How to get to Nusa Penida?

The “easiest” and most affordable way is to take a ferry from Padang Bai, Bali. However, this way of transporting needs tons of patience as ferry goes twice a day and no one really knows when. Apart from a ferry, you can also use fast boats from Padang Bai and also from Sanur. The price is about 150 IDR one way plus the cost of renting a motorbike in Nusa Penida (50k IDR/day) as you can’t take a motorbike with you.

When the ferry to Nusa Penida leaves?

I am sure Padang bai port has some kind of system and schedule for the ferries, however, it seems that is only understandable to locals. On the internet, the only available information is that ferry leaves in the morning and in the afternoon. Well, this information wasn’t sufficient for us, so we asked around. What we have been told is that in October the ferry was leaving in 12:30. So we gave it a try. Arrived in Padang bai an hour in advance to only find out that one ferry left at 9 am and next ferry goes at 4. So we spend the afternoon on the White Sand beach (amazing beach close to the port) coming back at 3 pm. We have been waiting for the ferry to come, around 4:30 pm it appeared on the ocean, but waiting for another hour in front of the port, as all (by all I mean two) the slots in the port were taken by ferries that operate between Bali and Lombok. At 5:30 we successfully embarked and headed towards Nusa Penida. Price for this patience practice is 31k IDR/person and 48k IDR for a motorbike. Strangely enough, tickets for people and tickets for motorbike are sold at two different places. So first head towards a waiting room area with a sign “loket” to buy a ticket for people and then, drive through the cashiers to get your motorbike ticket.

Where to stay in Nusa Penida?

This time, the ”where to stay” tip is amazing, life changing, affordable and so unique that you just need to book Rumah Pohon and be amazed. If your childhood dream was to have a tree house and sleep in it, you will love this place. If you are looking for a perfect view to watch ocean and sunrise, this place is THE place. And if you rather use zip line instead of walking down the hill, then again this is the place to be. On top of that, Gede ( a guy that runs the place) is the nicest guy we met. He offers pick up & transport from the port, he has really good tips on what to do in Nusa Penida and he is really helpful and friendly. The price of accommodation includes breakfast and dinner and use of zipping line every morning to get down where the motorbike is parked. We paid 250k IDR for the tree house or you can also stay for 170k IDR in a camp house. But be aware that both tree house and the camp house has very basic equipment, only a mattress, blanket, pillow, and towels. In tree house, there is also a fan and body shower, that you can use. Shower and toilets are shared, however, they keep them really clean.



Top 6 things to do in Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida can be explored in two days, but if you really want to escape a touristic reality of Bali or looking for some adventure it is better to stay longer. Don’t worry, this island has a lot to offer. Due to limited infrastructure, be prepare to spend a lot of time on a motorbike. Plus, be prepared to spend a lot of time on crazy bumpy and rocky roads, steep downhills and uphills and lot of drifting in a mud. Due to the limited infrastructure, it is good to split the itinerary in half, first, explore the west side of the island in one day and east side of the island the next day.

1. Snorkel wit Mantas Rey

Nusa Penida is famous for its diving and snorkeling spots, therefore, you can easily book a  snorkeling or diving tour around an island. Those tours even leave from Bali or Nusa Lembongan, therefore you can still snorkel with Mantas without stepping on Nusa Penida but it would be a pity not to explore this island. However, it is cheaper to use a local boat. The easiest way is to book a boat from Crystal Bay and snorkel for a bit there and then move to Manta point. In this bay, 100 manta rays can be observed. If you are lucky you can really get into the middle of them, coming to you from right, left or bottom side of the ocean. They are swimming in twos, in threes or alone. Opening their wide mouth to eat plankton that is around. Get lost in wonderland and enjoy mantas presence all around you.

2. Take a selfie at Kelingking beach viewpoint

No one except local people actually can pronounce the name of this spot. We met other travelers that just pronounce this name in many different ways, but somehow it is easy to distinguish what everyone is talking about. Plus name really doesn’t matter. Kelingking Beach is a paradise beach, hidden between cliffs and accessible only from the ocean. So if you are looking for completely exclusive and unique experience this would be it. However, many tourists just come to this viewpoint to enjoy a magnificent view from the top of the cliff and taking pictures with the cliff, ocean and white beach below. Get amazed by the power of nature and get lost into your dreams while enjoying a breathtaking view.


3. Enjoy the sun at Atul Beach

Atul beach is must beach on east side of the island. Again it is not easy to get there, first, you follow the crazy road on a motorbike and then walk a lot of stairs down, but it is worthy. If you will not be there alone, you will share this beach probably with few other people and with locals who run warungs there. All warungs have the same menu: Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Mia Goreng (fried noodle) and Cap Cay (chicken soup), so it is quite easy to choose where to have lunch. It is also possible to book an accommodation around this area if you enjoy remote places. Enjoy your time for yourself at this beach.


4. Wander around Tembeling forest and beach

Time for some jungle experience. After seeing a sign Tembeling natural bath, turn left from the “main road”  (it is not really a main road but regarding the road that is following, this one can be called the main road), there is still 1600 meters of jungle ride on a motorbike. Again do not expect the road to be anything special, on the contrary, be really careful when driving down. This is the type of a road, that is easier to go uphill with 2 people on 125 ccm motorbike than downhill. Your brakes will be sweating and your body will be shaking and you will not have time to look around which is a pity. Because if you would have time, you will see monkeys, lianas, palms and any other jungle related trees. After you park motorbike, you will still walk stairs to get first to the temple in the rock, then men bathing pool, then women bathing pool and finally the beach. Beach is rocky, with huge waves coming so not ideal for swimming, but definitely good for taking pictures as the sun plays with the rocks that surround the beach.


5. Get a bath in Angel’s Billabong

Every cool place in Nusa Penida is difficult to get to and Angel’s Billabong is not a different story. Again, you will be driving, through steep rocky roads, you will be drifting in mud and hoping not to fall off a motorbike. After parking a motorbike, Broken beach, impressive natural scenery appears.


Then after a short walk, you will reach Angel’s Billabong, a natural infinity pool that is created by cliffs and waves. You can take a batch there, but be careful, when the tide is high and waves are big, do not climb in there, it can be very dangerous, as the waves are really strong.


6. Peguyangan waterfall and temples

Although this place is quite easily accessible on a motorbike after you park a motorbike the hard part comes. There are blue metal stairs build on the side of the cliff (don’t ask me how they built it) that lead down towards the ocean. At the ocean level, temple and waterfall are built. Yes, the waterfall is also built 🙂 It is basically a pipe leading a stream of water from an artificial pool.  If you are afraid of heights, this place is not for you, as you literally climb the stairs around the cliff, with an ocean visible below. As you are not a fan of artificial waterfalls, you can probably skip as well. Last part of the stairs is the hardest, as the stairs are old and do not look nor feel safe at all. However, the temple together with a waterfall is unique and the view to the ocean is amazing.

When coming back ask at the hotel what time ferry leaves, in our case it was at 6 am and 3 pm. However, you can guess how this ended up. We got out of Nusa Penida at 3:30 pm and just a few meters from the port we had to wait for an hour on the sea for one slot to free up. Luckily at 5:30 we made it to the Bali.

Hope that you this guide was helpful and that you will enjoy perfect time in beautiful Nusa Penida. Also, subscribe for more travel tips and guides. Happy Travels and do not forget to share this post. Sharing is caring :).

nusa penida ultimate travel guide


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