Nusa Penida : A Complete Guide !

ASIA, Travel

If you’re planning a trip to the world known island of Nusa Penida, there’s certainly a lot of questions bubbling in your head. Is it too touristic ? How to get there ? Where to stay ? Should you rent a motorbike ? A car ? What are the best spots ? This complete guide will tell you everything !

The best words to describe this place would be : breathtaking, athletic and powerful.  The easiest way to get there from Bali is to go to take a boat at Sanur harbour in the early morning. The cheapest you can get is 200k (400k for the round trip). If you’re sea sick, take some medicine because the word « fast boat » says it all. Nusa Penida is 28 times smaller than Bali but we were told that the population can go up to one million at summertime. So yes, it’s very touristic and certainely the most visited one in Indonesia after Bali. But it’s for the best reasons and there are always some ways to avoid the crowd.

Most of the great spots are in the South West part, some are in the East and most of the homestays and nightlife is in the North of the Island, near the Harbour where you’ll arrive. All the hotels know some car drivers and I could not recommend this option more. Even if the island welcomes a lot of tourists each year, this is not really developped and the roads are like… pure madness. You’ll feel like you’re in a 4×4 for a safari in the desert all the time. So even if you’re used to ride a scooter, it’s really unsafe and dangerous. And if you’re not, you shouldn’t even consider it. We only rode scooters with local drivers, to go back to the car parking after a spot, and even them were struggling in the climb. One of them stopped in the middle of it and we felt like we were going to fall off. Almost all the tourists we saw on scooters were struggling and the passenger had to go off the scooter and walk next to it. Every spot parking is accessible by car so it really is the easiest and safiest way. Last important thing but not least : your driver will know where spot to go first to avoid the crowd and do the reverse tour.

Now that you know all your options, let’s get into it ! What are the best spots of Nusa Penida ? Well, basically all the Island. But here are some of our favourites :

Tembeling Natural Pools

This spot is not so known because it’s quite difficult to reach. From the parking, you can either walk 3km on a path in the jungle or go by motorbike, but the roads are SO bad, it’s really unsafe. Once you arrive, you’ll run into several natural pools in the rocks, a beach with very strong waves, and even a cave : feels like a lost paradise in the middle of the jungle !

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Kelingking Beach

By far the most known spot of all Nusa Penida and maybe even of Indonesia ! This beach surrounded by iconic cliffs will leave you speechless. If you look at it carefully, it has the shape of a T-Rex.

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Broken Beach & Angel’s Billabong

The powerful waves, crystal clear water and rock formations will make you fall in love with this place ! It’s also a great spot to lay down and tan. Angel’s Billabong is regularly closed due to weather conditions : it’s not safe when the waves are too strong.

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Crystal Bay (best sunset spot)

This small beach on the West North of Nusa Penida is the place to be for sunsets. The atmosphere is really nice and you can relax after a long day of adventures.

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Diamond Beach & Atuh Beach

Those two beaches are neighbors. The one on the right, Diamond Beach, delivers really powerful waves as well as scenic and dreamy landscapes. On the left, you can access Atuh Beach by a stairway (to heaven) and enjoy a swim in this tropical place. Check out the tide first though because it has to be high for you to get the best of it ! You can also eat lunch there for quite cheap, the grilled fish is 50k and the noodles soup 25k.

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