There are many places to explore when in Nusa Penida. The West is more popular as there are more places to explore, however the East is just as beautiful but with fewer visitors.
Nusa Penida Island is quite large compared to Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. Just traveling from the East to the West takes about two hours. Therefore you may want to consider spending 2-3 nights on the island if you would like to see all of the points of interest without having to rush.
West of Nusa Penida
Ah the famous ‘T-Rex’!
Kelingking Beach is a hidden beach in the village of Bunga Mekar, on the southwestern coast of Nusa Penida island. You can enjoy one of the most breath-taking views over the hills and small strip of white sand from atop a hill of the same name. The sight features a limestone headland covered in green, against the deep blue waters of the open Indian Ocean.
Kelingking has been on my to-do list for ages and to finally be able to see it with my own eyes was pure magical! It is as beautiful as everyone says it is! The water was so clear and a turquoise colour I’ve never seen anywhere else!
Even though there were many people when I arrived, I felt a sense of serenity and awe at seeing this magical part of the island.
Now, besides the famous ‘T-Rex’, Kelingking is also known for its steep cliff and the difficult hike down to its secluded beach.
Mind you, that hike is not for the faint-hearted! The ‘stairs’ are so broken up with barely any railings for support! Half-way down, it doesn’t even feel like a hike anymore. It felt like rock climbing, except I didn’t have any protective gears and I was wearing slippers!
A little precaution, wear hiking shoes or sports shoes if you’re going for this hike! I did not expect it to be the worse hike in my life and was not prepared for it! I left Kelingking Beach with cuts and bruises all over my legs and a nasty sunburn from head to toe, and I mean literally! My scalp was sunburnt as well!
Did I mention it took us three hours to get down and go back up? Yeah talk about torture! Especially since a quarter of the way back up, I finished my bottle of water! Under that mid-afternoon sun, that was a big no no! I was lucky because one guy gave me his bottle of beer. I’m not really a beer drinker but that beer was the best thing ever!
But hey, it was a jolly good experience even though I was almost in tears! I will definitely think twice the next time I say YOLO and decide to take that hike!
Broken Beach also known as Pasih Uug Beach, is a scenic coastal formation on the southwestern edge of Nusa Penida. The spot is marked by a hilly arch-like rock formation, which is the distinguishable landmark of the area. Set over the crashing waves of the open Indian Ocean, Broken Beach is a great spot for travel photographers and panoramic view seekers.
If you’re lucky, you may spot silhouettes of giant mantas near the surface of the deep blue water.
I like to say that in order to get to Broken Beach, you’ll have to go through the broken road. Seriously.
The broken road is the worse area to drive in Nusa Penida, and I would recommend using a bike to get to your destination.
I got there before 9am and it was completely deserted. I could enjoy the beauty of Broken Beach, take as many pictures I want, and not have to worry about a crowd.
About an 8-minute walk from Broken Beach, Angel Billabong is another popular place to visit while in Nusa Penida.
Take extra caution at all times when descending into Angel’s Billabong. Avoid going down if it’s a high tide and don’t attempt to swim there during these times. There’s usually a security guard there to make sure that tourists do not go near the water during high tide.
Sadly, I was underwhelmed by Angel Billabong the second time I visited. Due to low tide, the water was really murky. The previous time I visited, it was high tide, which meant no swimming. But the water was so clear and blue. I guess you can’t have the best of both worlds.
Tembeling Forest & Beach
Now this is one place in Nusa Penida where you can swim and not worry about high tide.
If you’re arriving by car, you will need to rent a bike at the entrance as the road to Tembeling Natural Pool is only big enough for a bike.
With Nusa Penida’s hot weather, you’ll definitely want to cool down here!
There are about 100 stairs down to the natural pool, but don’t worry, unlike Kelingking, these are legit stairs.
I was lucky to have the whole pool to myself and was able to just relax in the refreshingly cool water.
East of Nusa Penida
Diamond Beach & Atuh Beach
Diamond Beach Nusa Penida is located on the far most eastern point of Nusa Penida island. It is the next beach over from another Nusa Penida gem known as Atuh Beach.
Located at the bottom of a sheer cliff, Diamond Beach was previously inaccessible to the public and could only be enjoyed from above. But that’s all changed. Locals have built stairs that goes all the way down to the beach. However, like Kelingking, some parts of the stairs doesn’t seem to be completed. There is a rope that you can cling onto when climbing down. The hardest part is actually once you make it down to the ground, where you’ll need to navigate your way through the huge rocks. It was a tough hike down towards the end, but compared to Kelingking, this was a walk in the park.
However, the raw beauty of it all will make the hike worth it!
After that, you can have a more relaxed time at Atuh Beach, where you’ll find sunbeds, bean bags and a series of warungs serving food and drink.
Nusa Penida Treehouse Rumah Pohon
Perched on the cliff at Thousand Island viewpoint near Atuh Beach, this treehouse is actually an Airbnb!
Like many of the famous locations in Nusa Penida, a short hike of 15 minutes is required to reach Rumah Pohon. However, under the hot, unforgiving sun, it feels like ages to reach the treehouse!
Tourists who aren’t staying at the treehouse are also allowed to explore and take some pretty epic pictures!
How to go to Nusa Penida
There is only one way to get to Nusa Penida from Bali, and that is by ferry from Sanur terminal. There are so many ferry companies that you’ll be spoilt for choices!
Here is the list of ferry operators that goes to Nusa Penida…
There are all kinds of deals for those traveling in pairs or groups. It is slightly more expensive if you’re a solo traveler like me.
I would definitely recommend booking your ferry tickets in advance as there are times when it gets fully booked really fast.
Transportation in Nusa Penida
Tourists in Nusa Penida can either rent a car or motorbike to explore the island. The cars usually come with a driver, but with a bike, you have the option of self drive or getting a driver. Just keep in mind that the roads in Nusa Penida are uneven and narrow, and signage can be a problem.
Essentials for the island life
Now, SPF is a 1000% MUST! I did not reapply my sunscreen for half a day and got as red as a lobster! No joke! My driver called me lobster since that day. Don’t forget your hat and sunglasses for extra protection!
Make sure you have the right footwear if you’re going to places like Kelingking. I wore my slippers for that climb and it wasn’t pretty!
Swimsuits cos duhhhh, you wanna have a good time tanning! And honestly, it’s so hot in Nusa Penida, that sometimes I explored the island in just my bikini top and shorts.
Most of the tourist attractions require entrance fee of 50,000 rupiah (SGD 0.50). It’ll be great if you have some small change when you explore the island.
Where to stay in Nusa Penida
As I was exploring the island, I saw so many new hotels being constructed. Nusa Penida is getting more and more popular with tourists, there are so many options to choose from; Airbnb, hotels and guesthouses. There are so many choices that will certainly fit your budget!