Nusa Penida is an island located just off the southeastern coast of Bali. It takes just 30 minutes by fast ferry to get there. If you are tired of lounging on the beaches of Bali and are craving some adventure, this is the place to do it!
Pack a small backpack, catch the ferry, and once you arrive you can cruise around the island on a motorbike. It’s full of beautiful beaches and waterfalls, plenty of hiking opportunities, gorgeous views, and so much more. Many people just visit for the day but we would recommend spending at least 3 days on this spectacular island paradise!
And be sure to check out our comprehensive Nusa Penida 3-Day Itinerary to help you plan your trip.
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- Not-to-be-Missed Highlights of Nusa Penida Island
- If you Have Extra Time
Not-to-be-Missed Highlights of Nusa Penida Island
Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach are two of the most popular things to do on the island of Nusa Penida and they happen to be right next to each other. They are also the most challenging to get to. The road is full of rocks and ruts and it will probably take you a full hour to drive just 11 miles from Crystal Bay. If you’ve never driven a motorbike before, this is not the road to learn on.
It’s just a short walk from the parking lot to Angel’s Billabong. You’ll find yourself on a rocky ledge overlooking a swimming hole overlooking the ocean. The water here is gorgeous and so inviting. But beware, you are only allowed to swim during low tide as the waves can be quite dangerous. Be sure to check the tide report prior to visiting as you don’t want to miss the opportunity to swim here!
If you continue along the trail from Angel’s Billabong you’ll come to Broken Beach. If you were to view Broken Beach from above, it would look like a cliff with a giant round hole in it and a small beach at the bottom. In reality the cliff wall on the ocean side is a natural sea arch that allows the sea water to pass freely below.
This is one of the top places to visit on Nusa Penida so expect crowds. You’ll also need to queue up to take a photo in the most popular spots unless you arrive before or after the guided tours descend. Fees to enter Broken Beach are included in the fees to visit Angel’s Billabong, outlined above.
You’ve probably seen photos of Kelingking Beach on Instagram. It’s a massive cliff that resembles a T-Rex, jutting out into the ocean. A steep, rocky trail runs down the T-Rex’s back, leading down to the secluded beach, far below. Kelingking Beach is probably the most famous place on Nusa Penida.
Most people who visit Kelingking Beach don’t make it past the lookout at the top of the cliff. Here you can get a gorgeous, unobstructed view of the cliffs below. But if you continue down the stairs, that’s where the real adventure begins. You’ll see fewer and fewer people, and the views actually get better.
The trail down to Kelingking Beach follows the ridgeline of the cliff. It is steep and rocky but a railing has been installed on either side of the dirt trail so you’ll have something to hold onto. It also keeps you from feeling like you’re going to tumble off the side at any moment.
The trail takes a sharp right to continue down the cliff and here is where it gets even steeper. The handrails also get more questionable the further down you go. Expect to do some rock scrambling and if you’re afraid of heights, this section probably isn’t for you. The total hike from top to bottom takes about 45 minutes to hike down, and about an hour to get back up. Wear tennis shoes! If you try this hike in flip flops you’ll regret it. And bring plenty of water, especially if you’ll be hiking back up in the heat of the day.
Kelingking Beach is well worth the effort to get to. It is a totally secluded white sand beach that doesn’t get crowded due to the intense effort that it takes to get there. The waves here are quite big with an aggressive beach break so be careful when entering the water.
Be sure you leave yourself enough time to get back to the top before dark!
Tembeling Beach and Forest
Tembeling Beach and Forest is a really beautiful area to visit with two freshwater swimming holes and a secluded beach that doesn’t attract crowds. You can lounge in the refreshing pools that are shaded by trees while enjoying views of the sea. It might just be the best place to visit Nusa Penida!
To reach Tembeling Beach you’ll have to drive about 2 miles down a steep concrete trail just wide enough for a motorbike. The drive is quite beautiful as you’ll be surrounded by lush vegetation, so thick that if you got lost you’d never be found again. Just be careful as there is a steep drop-off on one side so you’ll want to stay away from the edge.
If you would rather not navigate this stretch of road on your own or if you’re touring Nusa Penida by car, you can hire a motorbike taxi to take you down the road to the Tembeling parking lot. There will be several motorbike drivers waiting at the turnoff from the main road. A roundtrip ride should cost 50,000 IDR.
Once you reach the parking lot it’s just about a 10-minute walk down the stairs to the beach.
The hike to the Peguyangan Waterfall is perfect if you’re craving some adventure, but probably not a great option for anyone who is afraid of heights. You’ll begin at the top of a sheer cliff and descend a set of stairs that are at times simply bolted onto the side of the cliff. You can look through the gap between each stair and see the waves crashing far below.
Once you reach the bottom you’ll come to a temple (hence the need for the
But beware, the hike back to the top is exhausting!
Speaking of stairs, Diamond Beach is another must-visit destination on Nusa Penida that involves descending a set of stairs that run down the side of a cliff. These are a bit less treacherous but may still prove to be challenging for anyone who is afraid of heights.
Once you park, you can head down the stairs on the right to Diamond Beach, or the stairs on the left to Atuh Beach. There is also a cliff straight ahead with a temple on top offering nice views of the coastline.
The view of Diamond Beach from the top of the stairs is absolutely incredible! Be sure to stop here and snap some photos. It’s a popular Instagram spot so get there early if you don’t want other people in your photo. At the bottom of the stairs is a woman who is selling cold drinks and coconuts. She also has a swing and two nests that you can use for a fee. They are so picturesque, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity.
Just past her
Atuh Beach isn’t nearly as picturesque as Diamond Beach, but you’ll have access to far more amenities. The beach is lined with warungs serving up tasty Indonesian dishes and ice cold beers. You can rent two lounge chairs with an umbrella between them for 50,000 IDR.
Plus the water here is much calmer than at Diamond Beach so you can actually go for a swim. It’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon basking in the sunshine and a top beach destination on Nusa Penida.
As with so many of the other beaches on Nusa Penida, you’ll have to descend a set of stairs to get to Atuh Beach. These aren’t nearly as steep or scary as some of the others on the island. But they are just as exhausting to climb back up as the others.
One of the most popular activities on Nusa Penida is actually under the water. The island is swarming with big, beautiful manta rays and you can have the opportunity to dive or snorkel with them at Manta Point.
You’ll want to book a boat trip from one of the many dive shops in town. If you’re staying nearby, they’ll likely provide transport and the boats usually leave from Crystal Bay. It’s sure to be one of your most unforgettable experiences on Nusa Penida Island!
If you Have Extra Time
Banah Cliff Point
Banah Cliff Point is a lookout that is located between Kelingking Beach and Tembeling Beach. This spot offers really gorgeous views of the sheer cliffs in both directions. The reason we left it off our list of must-visit highlights is because the road to get there is really rough. We actually ended up parking our bike about 1,500 feet from the point because we found it faster (and easier) to walk.
Plus the views aren’t any better than what you can see at any other cliff lookout on the island.
Saren Cliff Point
Saren Cliff Point is another viewpoint that offers nice views of the dramatic coastline but you’ll need to drive on an awful road to get there. We though that the nice views did not outweigh the hassle in getting there.
Rumah Pohon Tree House
This famous treehouse on Nusa Penida is a photographer’s dream! Perched on the edge of a tall sea cliff overlooking Diamond Beach you’ll be hard-pressed to find more Instagram-worthy accommodation on the island.
You can actually spend a night in the Rumah Pohon Tree House if you book way in advance and don’t mind the bare bones amenities and the fact that people will be climbing up your steps at sunrise to snap the perfect Instagram photo.
These tiny tree houses are built in the trees on a cliff overlooking the dramatic coastline below. Inside is just a small bed and a fan, but no bathroom. You’re paying for the view from your balcony, not the lavish accommodations.
If that doesn’t suit you, or you don’t plan your trip far enough in advance, you can simply pay a small fee and check them out; these tree houses are on most people’s must-see list for Nusa Penida!
Pura Puncak Mundi
The Pura Puncak Mundi temple is located on the highest point on the island. We left it off the list of highlights since the temple is nothing special and there aren’t really views of the island from the top. The drive up to the temple is beautiful, with bright green vegetation as far as the eye can see.
Both men and women need to wear a sarong to enter the Pura Puncak Mundi temple and they don’t have any on loan. Plus foreigners aren’t allowed in the inner sanctuary. The people hanging around the temple will probably seem very confused as to why you are there.
Goa Giri Putri Temple
The Goa Giri Putri Temple is a large cave temple located on the Northern end of the island. It’s a good stop on your way back to the ferry if you have some extra time. The entrance is a narrow opening in a rock face that you’ll have to squeeze through. But once inside it opens up to a large cavern full of thick incense smoke and Hindu worshippers. It’s one of the more unique things and spiritual things to do on Nusa Penida.
As with all Hindu temples in Bali you’ll need to be wearing a sarong to enter the temple. There are a few shops by
Penida Colada Beach Bar
The best place on the island to have a cocktail while watching
Penida Colada also promotes sustainability through discouraging plastics and promoting beach clean-ups. It’s definitely worth a visit during your trip to Nusa Penida!
Do you have a favorite spot on Nusa Penida? Let us know in the comments!
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