Those whom, like us, love the remote and unspoiled islands, should not forget to include Nusa Penida in their travel itinerary in Indonesia. As a few of us imagine, the famous and chaotic island of Bali does not have a beautiful sea, just as there’s no sign of the tropical beaches that many of us expect to find. Nusa Penida, however, is known for its marine life, the opportunity to swim with the manta rays and its white sandy beaches.
Nusa Penida is only a 30-minute boat ride from the coast of Bali and to help you figure out how to get there, how to move around the island and where to sleep we have prepared this guide to Nusa Penida.
The beauty of the island is its cliffs overlooking the sea with high waves of breathtaking blue colour breaking on the rocks below. The island is wild, many say it is reminiscent of Bali 30 years ago. The locals are kind, they welcome you with big smiles. The coconut palms dominate the dense vegetation releasing an aroma in the air that conquers all the senses, even the palate. The taste of coconut is in many local specialities – even the fries are cooked in coconut oil. Delicious!!
If you’re wondering what to see and how long to stay on the island here’s the 4 day itinerary to Nusa Penida that we followed during our trip!
➳ Read more: Complete Guide to Nusa Penida
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4 days itinerary in Nusa Penida
DAY 1: Crystal Bay, Angel’s Billabong & Broken Beach
On your first day visit Nusa Penida’s best known and most effortlessly accessible beach: Crystal Bay. The waters are calm during most of the year making it the perfect place to dive and snorkel, although be wary of strong currents! This is also one of the few places in the world where you can swim with the majestic mola mola, or sunfish, when they come inshore from the deep cold oceanic waters between July and September. These giants of the sea can reach three metres in length and weigh over 2,000 kilograms!
By the beach you will find a few local warungs (traditional food stalls) and the parking costs 5,000 Rupiah.
The secret beach: a set of stone stairs built into the hills to the left of the beach leads to a sweeping cove of deep cerulean blue, Pandan Beach. Walk: 15 minutes
On the same day you can visit Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach. The first is a naturally formed infinity pool – you can swim at low tide only. The ladder, 5 minutes hike from Angel’s Billabong, is an arched tunnel allowing the ocean to flow in making a natural pool and a great photo spot. The road is in very poor condition, therefore we couldn’t reach them. We recommend to hire a driver to visit these rock formations.
DAY 2: Kelingking Beach
Kelingking Beach, also known as the T-Rex, is one of the most spectacular seascape I’ve ever seen. And even more spectacular is the rugged 400m cliffside hike down to its beach! To get down to Kelingking Beach takes around an hour and you must go at your own risk. The last part of the track gets really steep and requires some rock climbing and the bamboo railings are not greatly maintained. Having said that, Kelingking Beach is a spot that cannot be missed on your things to do on Nusa Penida.
Once you reach the sand you will have it all to yourself most of the time. Currents are strong and most of the time it is too dangerous to swim. Before daring this trek make sure it’s low tide. Go early in the morning to avoid the heat, wear a good pair of shoes (forget about instagram!) and bring tons of water! Sometimes you might find locals selling drink and snacks down at the beach.
The coastline on this side of the island is incredibly beautiful and standing on the edge of the cliff you can easily spot manta rays swimming in turquoise waters. Another spectacular viewpoint nearby is Banah Cliff Point.
DAY 3: Manta Point
Manta Point is one of the best places to swim with giant Manta Rays. It is a must in Nusa Penida (you can only reach by boat). These gentle creatures are playful and curious. We had the luck to swim among many of them in the Komodo National Park, therefore we decided to skip it while in Nusa Penida. However, if you are not planning to visit Komodo, swimming with Manta Rays is something that cannot be missed on your things to do on Nusa Penida.
If you are planning to stay a few days in Nusa Penida you can book a tour locally, otherwise you can book online here for the top rated snorkelling tour departing from Bali. Alternatively, you might prefer to go scuba-diving with the Manta’s, which would be the most magical experience ever.
DAY 4: Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave, Atuh & Diamond Beach
On your last day on the island of Nusa Penida visit the Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave, large cave temple is in the village of Suana. A shrine and some priests guard its entrance. The entrance is a narrow opening in a rock face. You’ll need to squeeze and get through to discover the temple inside the cave, partly covered in white marble.
Then continue towards Atuh Beach, one of the most epic beaches in Bali. The drive to Atuh Beach is quite scenic, however loose gravel and potholes are the enemies as you make your way there. It’s a rough drive and a short hike down to the beach but this incredible little bay and its arch are totally worth it!
Beware, the Google Maps location will take you to the left side of the bay. There are access stairs on both the left and the right: on the first, path and stairs are almost hidden and parking is free; while there is a 20,000 IRD fee on the other side.
If you park on the right-hand side you will also have access to Diamond Beach, an untouched, white-sand and silky blue water bay. When we visited in August 2018 visiting the beach wasn’t possible. With the new stairs, carved out of the limestone, you can now get down to the beach in 20 minutes.
Our 4 days in Nusa Penida has been one of the best part of our trip to Indonesia! If you want more info about how to reach the island, where to sleep and how to get around read our Complete Guide to Nusa Penida!
Those whom, like us, love the remote and unspoiled islands, should not forget to include Nusa Penida in their travel itinerary in Indonesia. As a few of us imagine, the famous and…