15 Best Things To Do in Nusa Penida, Indonesia

categories: asia travel

Planning your next trip to Bali and considering hopping over to Nusa Penida Island? I’m going to make your decision easy by giving you the ins and outs and sharing all the best things to do in Nusa Penida.

Things To Do in Nusa Penida

Why should you listen to me? I’m giving you the inside scoop. I currently live in Bali and have made many trips to Nusa Penida, each time exploring more of this epic island paradise. I’m such a huge fan of this small island off the coast of Bali that I encourage all travelers to include Nusa Penida in their 7 or 10-day Bali itinerary.

Table of contents: (Hide)

About Nusa Penida

Before we get to the best things to do in Nusa Penida, let’s first cover some background information about this Indonesian island. Nusa Penida is third in the string and the largest of the Nusa islands located southeast of Bali. The other two are Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan both of which are beautiful but much smaller and not as attraction rich compared to Penida.

Nusa Penida has a fascinating history that includes, religious culture, conquests, criminals, and even black magic. Its past more than likely has contributed to the island’s many legends and lack of tourism development for many years.

Fun fact: Did you know Nusa actually means ‘island’ in Balinese?

How to Get to Nusa Penida From Bali

How to Get to Nusa Penida From Bali

There are several ways to reach Nusa Penida from Bali. You can take a ferry, fast boat, or private boat. The boat ride will take anywhere from 25 minutes to 1 hour depending on which transportation service you use and the port you choose to depart from.

We always choose the fast boat options leaving from either Sanur Beach Port (about a 45-60 minute ride) or Kusamba Port (about a 20-30 minute ride) to the island. The round trip cost is generally about 400k IDR which is roughly 25-30 USD.

Note: If you will be coming from the Seminyak, Sanur, or Canggu areas then you will want to use the Sanur Beach port. If you’re staying in Amed or Sideman then it’s better to leave from the closer Kusamba Port.

How to Get to around Nusa Penida

How to Get Around Nusa Penida

There are several ways to get around Nusa Penida. The most popular is to rent scooters and drive around the island. Motorbikes can be rented for a day rate of approximately 70k IDR, or roughly 8-10 USD depending on your bargaining skills.

Be advised though that the roads are in pretty rough shape and parts of the island can get quite congested. So having motorbike driving experience is highly recommended.

Another option is to book a tour with an agency and have them drive you around the island in their 4×4 jeep for the entire day. This will cost you about 500k to 600k IDR, or about 33-45 USD.

Lastly, you can hire a private car and driver to take you around. The cost is generally about 300k to 500k or about 20-33 USD for a day. Perhaps not as convenient as a scooter but the air conditioning sure feels nice in the middle of the day!

I suggest working through your hotel accommodations or Airbnb host to get the best deal while also adding some built-in accountability.

15 Best Things To Do in Nusa Penida

Now that we have the background and transportation logistics out of the way, let’s move to the fun stuff and talk about the 15 best things to do in Nusa Penida.

Marvel at Kelingking Overlook & Beach

1. Marvel at Kelingking Overlook & Beach

Kelingking, also referred to as “Nusa Penida T-Rex” because of its unique shape, is the most popular spot in Nusa Penida. Some could argue in all of Bali! Its spectacular images have long been highlighted by the Bali Tourism Department, travel bloggers, Instagram influencers, and even travel magazines, as promotional pieces for Bali travel.

The views looking down from the overlook are usually enough for most visitors since they offer a bird’s eye view of the unique rock formations, turquoise blue water, and white sandy beach. If you’re lucky you might even be able to spot manta rays gliding around in the bay.

If you’re sure on your feet and up for an adventure, then after snapping a few photos from the top head down to the real prize down at the beach. The trail leading down is much improved, but it is steep and definitely won’t be passing any US safety standards anytime soon.

However, don’t let those precautions hold you back, because Kelingking Beach is surely one of those memorable experiences that you’ll talk about for years to come.

Experience Broken Beach

2. Experience Broken Beach

Another popular destination in Nusa Penida is Broken Beach or Pasih Uug Beach as it is called in the Balinese language. This means “damaged beach.” The damage referred to is the result of steadily pounding seawater against the limestone wall.

Over thousands of years, this has created a nearly 100-meter hole allowing water to enter and fill up the large circular basin. It’s a sight to behold.

You can walk completely around the bay finding amazing Instagram-worthy photo ops with the sea arches, rocky shorelines, and cave-like formations.

Traveling Soon? These useful links will help you prepare for your trip.
Swim at Angel's Billabong

3. Swim at Angel’s Billabong

Just around the corner from Broken Beach is Angel’s Billabong, a pool that is naturally fed during high tide. As the tide water recedes a small clear pool is created on the rocks where visitors can take a dip and relax.

The area surrounding the pool is also very picturesque with tall limestone rock walls, coral formations, and an incredible view of the bright blue Indian Ocean waters below. If the conditions are right, you’ll sit in awe of Mother Nature’s most incredible infinity-edged pools.

You can also walk along a path beyond the billabong toward the water and take in some beautiful scenery as the waves crash up against the rocks. It’s not uncommon to see pods of dolphins and other marine life hanging out in the area.

Be Amazed at Diamond Beach & Lookout

4. Be Amazed at Diamond Beach & Lookout

On the furthest, eastern edge of Nusa Penida island, you’ll find what could be the most beautiful beach in the world-Diamond Beach. The beach’s name is derived from its diamond-shaped stone formation extending out from the shoreline.

Diamond Beach is best viewed from above at the overlook, which also offers a panorama of its beautiful surroundings. As of 2018, it is now possible to access the beach by a trail that has been carved out of the cliffside.

The trail is well-maintained with some safety rails but it’s not for the faint of heart. It is basically a vertical drop that should only be attempted by those in good physical shape, wearing hiking shoes or sandals, and of course, having no fear of heights.

Diamond Beach

However, if you make it to the beach you’ll find an uncrowded paradise of crystal-clear water, white sand, and a diamond-shaped rock formation.

Chill at Atuh Beach

5. Chill at Atuh Beach

While you’re at Diamond Beach, you can get a two-for-one experience by heading over the ridge to Atuh Beach. This is another beautiful hidden gem in Nusa Penida.

The trail down is only 10 minutes and not nearly as steep as the one descending to Diamond Beach, which makes it a better option for kids or less-mobile visitors. The currents at Atuh are also not as strong making it a perfect spot for a swim.

In addition to swimming, it’s a great spot for cliff jumping, snorkeling, and lounging for a few hours. You can even grab some lunch and a drink since there are plenty of services available at the beach.

Snorkel at Crystal Bay

6. Snorkel at Crystal Bay

If you’re looking to do some snorkeling and don’t have the time or the budget to do a Nusa Penida snorkeling tour, then you need to at least check out Crystal Bay. It’s located on the west side of Nusa Penida and can easily be reached by foot or scooter.

Crystal Bay is well-known for its beautiful reef systems and abundance of sea life, making it a great spot to get up close with some turtles, shoals of fish, manta rays, and other marine life.

Additionally, the beach has white sand and calm waters, which makes it a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming. Crystal Bay is also just around the corner from Manta Bay, which is a great spot to see giant manta rays!

Snorkel or Dive at Manta Bay

7. Snorkel or Dive at Manta Bay

Speaking of Manta Bay, it’s next on the list of the best things to do in Nusa Penida. Think manta rays the size of small cars, and you’ll get an idea of what’s in store for you at this amazing spot.

The bay is located just off the western shore of Nusa Penida and can only be reached by boat. So you will need to book a Manta Ray snorkeling tour for this adventure. But if you’ve never seen these majestic creatures up close, it is worth the time and effort!

There are very reasonable snorkeling and diving tours available that will take you here and allow you some of the most incredible wildlife viewing opportunities that Bali has to offer.

Dine at Amok Sunset Bar & Restaurant

8. Dine at Amok Sunset Bar & Restaurant

With the abundance of activities to do in Nusa Penida, you are going to work up an appetite. After swimming, snorkeling, and sightseeing, what better way to cap off the day than with an amazing sunset view at Amok Sunset Bar & Restaurant?

Located on the south side of Nusa Penida, this restaurant is perched atop a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. It offers breathtaking views that can be enjoyed while sipping your favorite cocktail or dining on some of the freshest seafood on the island.

It’s a great spot to watch the sunset and really take in all that Nusa Penida has to offer. After dinner, you can sit back and relax while admiring the stars or light up your evening with an amazing fire show put on by local performers.

Stay in Rumah Pohon (Nusa Penida Treehouse)

9. Stay in Rumah Pohon (Nusa Penida Treehouse)

Ever dreamed of staying in a treehouse? Rumah Pohon or The Nusa Penida Treehouse just may be the most unique place to stay in Nusa Penida. The treehouse is perched on the side of a hill overlooking gorgeous hills and lush forests.

This traditional-style wooden house was built by locals using sustainable materials, giving you a sense of being close to nature while still having all the essential amenities for a comfortable stay. The best part about staying here is that you’ll get an amazing view of the sunrise over the Indian Ocean.

If you’re not keen on the idea of sleeping in a treehouse, you can also just go for a quick visit and a photo. To get the best photos, the ideal time to show up is either early in the morning or just before the sun goes down.

While not long, it is a bit of a steep walk to get down to the treehouse, so make sure to bring plenty of water along with you.

Explore Tembeling Beach & Forest

10. Explore Tembeling Beach & Forest

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure with minimal crowds, then look no further than Tembeling Beach and Forest. This secluded spot will have you descending on a single-track trail through lush jungle vegetation eventually landing at the base of steep limestone cliffs and large rock formations.

Once you arrive you’ll find a natural and developed pool, crystal-clear ocean waters, and even a cave that leads to a secret beach. Don’t forget to check this out!

Access is a bit tricky since you either have to drive a scooter down steep loose terrain, trek, (about 30 minutes), or pay for someone at the top to drive you down on a motorbike. We always opt for the latter for safety reasons, but also because it enhances the Tembeling experience.

Capture Thousand Islands Viewpoint

11. Capture Thousand Islands Viewpoint

Thousand Islands, or as it translates Raja Lima, is a gorgeous viewpoint located on the east side of the island near Atuh and Diamond Beach. The location can be reached by road and offers a breathtaking panoramic of the Indian Ocean.

I only counted seven islands, but this takes nothing away from the beauty of this spot. In addition to its stunning ocean views, the Thousand Islands Viewpoint is the perfect place to watch the sunrise.

Visit Goa Giri Putri Hindu Temple

12. Visit Goa Giri Putri Hindu Temple

I love all of the natural beauty that makes up Nusa Penida, but it’s also fun to mix in some culture. This is exactly what you get when you visit Goa Giri Putri Hindu Temple.

Goa Giri Putri is located inside the largest cave on Nusa Penida and is one of the oldest and holiest temples in the region. The waters flowing through the cave are believed to have natural healing powers which draw many seeking its special gifts.

Visiting this unique temple is not as easy as driving to some of the other attractions in Nusa Penida. The entrance to the cave is small and you will have to almost crawl to get inside. But once in, the cave opens up into a big cavern which allows room for several different ceremonies to be performed.

Goa Giri Putri is a must-see for those culture seekers looking to get a glimpse of Balinese devotion.

Visit Goa Giri Putri Hindu Temple

13. Eat at Penida Colada

If you visit Nusa Penida you have to eat at Penida Colada at least once! This laid-back beach restaurant is one of the most popular spots on the island and offers a great selection of seafood, such as grilled fish, lobster, squid, crab, and many more.

The atmosphere is trendy and cool, and you can enjoy your delicious meal while admiring views of the ocean. Penida Colada also has an incredibly relaxed vibe with comfortable hammocks and beanbags for lounging and taking in the ocean breeze.

So, if you’re looking for a great spot to have dinner or drinks with friends, then Penida Colada is definitely worthy to be on your list.

Take in Teletubbies Hill

14. Take in Teletubbies Hill

We almost decided not to visit this place because of its name but since it was included in one of the tours we took, we decided to give it a try. Admittedly it’s not at the top of the list of things to do in Nusa Penida, but it is definitely worth checking out if you are in the area.

This unique spot has been nicknamed Teletubbies Hill due to its eerily similar rolling hills and grassy fields to the once popular children’s cartoon. But don’t let that sway your opinion! Teletubbies Hill offers stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Especially if you go during or just after the rainy season when the grass is bright green and the flowers are in full bloom.

What is really great about Teletubbies Hill is that it is one of the best spots to watch the sunrise in Nusa Penida. So if you’re a morning person, you might want to add Teletubbies Hill to your list of things to do.

Snorkel at Gamat Bay

15. Snorkel at Gamat Bay

Snorkeling at Manta Bay is a must-do activity but if you’re after crystal-clear waters and an abundance of diverse marine wildlife, then Gamat Bay is the place to go. Located on the northern tip of Nusa Penida, this sheltered bay offers some of the best snorkeling in all of Bali.

The waters here are incredibly clear with visibility reaching up to 20 meters. Expect to see an amazing variety of tropical fish, coral, manta rays, turtles, and sometimes even dolphins!

How Many Days Do You Need on Nusa Penida?

How Many Days Do You Need on Nusa Penida?

It is possible to do a one-day out-and-back tour from Bali. This allows you to see many of the main highlights, which is fine if you are limited on time. However, a day trip is far from ideal.

The roads on Nusa Penida are rugged and very narrow making getting around the island slow going. Plus, many tour companies offer this 1-day Nusa Penida experience, which means you’ll be moving along with the tourist crowds.

It’s best to spend 2-3 days to fully experience the island. This will give you more time to explore, enjoy the scenery, and soak it all in at each place.

Also because you’ll have more time flexibility you won’t have to push through the attractions during peak hours with the large tour groups. Plus, it allows you to watch incredible sunsets and sunrises without feeling rushed.

Pro Tip: Start your tours early, think 7 am. Many tour operators will try to push you to 9 or 10 am but that is when everyone else starts and the crowds can get crazy. Also, another sweet spot to visit the attractions is after 4 pm when all of the tour groups head back to Bali.

Nusa Penida

Things To Know Before You Go to Nusa Penida

  1. Plan on bringing some extra cash with you. Credit cards are accepted at most well-established restaurants and hotels, but beyond that, everything else is cash payment. There are a few ATMs on the island, but they sometimes run out of cash (learned from experience).
  2. Bring all of your essentials with you including any medications that you need. Nusa Penida is still underdeveloped and lacks access to reliable medical care, so it is best to be prepared.
  3. Don’t drink tap water in Bali or any of its surrounding areas. This is a very common way that travelers end up with the dreaded Bali Belly. Stick to bottled water and only buy it from reputable sources.
  4. Nusa Penida is known for its strong currents and unpredictable waves so be sure to practice caution when swimming or snorkeling in the ocean. There are plenty of areas that are safer than others, but it’s best to ask a local before you take a dip.
  5. Finally, make sure to respect the local culture and customs. Nusa Penida has a unique way of life, and it’s important to take time to appreciate and respect it. Recognize that we are guests on the island.

Last Words: Best Things To Do on Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is an island paradise that is unfortunately left off of many travelers’ Bali itineraries. From its stunning beaches and vibrant marine activity to its unique cultural attractions and amazing restaurants, Nusa Penida offers a variety of activities that can be enjoyed by many different types of travelers. Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, this incredible destination delivers!

Before leaving for Nusa Penida Island, make sure to have everything you need with you including any medications since medical care is limited in the area.

Lastly, take time to appreciate the local culture while respecting their customs so we can continue being welcomed guests on this beautiful island.

 15 Best Things To Do in Nusa Penida, Indonesia #indonesia #nusa-penida #bali #island #travel #vacation #trip #holiday

Share this:
Griff Christensen

by Griff Christensen

Griff is a former marketing manager that ditched his high-stress lifestyle for the world. In 2019 he sold everything and set out on a full-time travel adventure around the globe with his crew The Runaway Family.

Leave a Reply

Tags: , ,