When you ask about Bali; Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Ubud, and Tanah Lot are among the ordinary places people will recommend you to visit. Little that you know, Bali actually hides a gem you could explore to uncover the true beauty of it. The gem that I’m talking about is Nusa Penida.
This island located southeast of Bali that includes the neighboring small islands; Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Nusa Penida covers a wide area for snorkeling and diving locations together with several spots that can be considered as Insta-worthy.
How to get to Nusa Penida
The only option available to get to Nusa Penida is to hop on a speedboat from Sanur Beach. From here you have several options available;
- Book your ticket online via this link. Please be mindful that booking must be done one day before departure.
- Grab your ticket manually at their counter. I highly recommend you to come as early as you can to secure your ticket to Nusa Penida.
- Book a travel agent to take care all your trip to Nusa Penida (more about this later).
One-way trip cost you around IDR 300,000 and the journey will take approximately 30 minutes. Upon your arrival at Nusa Penida, you will be greeted by locals who will offer you to rent their car or motorbike or even to offer you the best price for their tour packages.
Booking Nusa Penida tour or do it on your own?
Start from here, it is all up to your taste on which way you want to continue your adventure at Nusa Penida.
- You can rent a motorbike or car to explore Nusa Penida. But please be careful when you drive as the road could be treacherous. Most of the road is not properly built and maintain. A signboard is scarce and you will heavily rely on your Google Maps and internet connection.
- Book a travel agent that can offer a wide range of activities available.
Based on my experience visiting Nusa Penida, I highly recommended you to book a tour as I find this alternative is the best option available in order for you to experience the full blast of what Nusa Penida can offer. Oh! Let me be honest and tell you that one-day tour in Nusa Penida is definitely not enough to cover all the famous spots. What considered being sufficient is to book two days tours that include sightseeing and snorkeling around Nusa Penida.
Booking a Nusa Penida tour is easy since you can spot them offering their services on the internet and some even open a tour booth around Bali. All you have to do is to do some research to find the best tour that fit your taste, budget, and timing. As for me, I book my two days tours from Go Explore Nusa Penida website. This tour gives the price depending on how big your group is (as I’m traveling in two, the price per person is IDR 1,250,000) and their two days tours cover pretty much everything together with food, transportation, and accommodation.
The Activities: Day 1
i) Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach
Right after when we reach Nusa Penida, the tour agent welcomes us. He will be the one to guide us around in an air—conditioning mini MPV. Our first destination to go is Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach. As this place is located next to each other, you will kill two birds with one stone.
Angel’s Billabong is a beautiful natural rock pool. To get the best shot here really depend on the weather, the tides and your luck. I am definitely not lucky on that day since it is raining season in Nusa Penida, hence the pool definitely not clear and looks muddy.
A few steps ahead from Angel’s Billabong, you will arrive at Broken Beach; an arched tunnel in the cliffs. You can’t climb down to the Broken Beach since there are no accessible routes to go there unless you are taking a boat and make your way in through the arched tunnel.
ii) Paluang Cliff
Our next destination is at Paluang Cliff. This cliff is actually located at the backside of Kelingking Beach. There is no barrier whatsoever near the cliff. Whenever you wish to take a picture, please watch your steps. The view here is spectacular as you are particularly standing at the edge of the cliff and you can watch the blue ocean as far as your eyes can see.
iii) Kelingking Beach
I can bet you this is the most famous spot to go based on its popularity on social media. Even if you Google an image of Nusa Penida, the picture of Kelingking Beach will keep popping up on your search results. It is easy to see the reason behind it. It’s so stunning, right?
Did you notice the white beach surrounded by azure seas at the bottom of it?
In Kelingking Beach, it is possible to descend there. However, the path is not safe. Some path is too steep, narrow and broken. If you still decide to go all the way down, please be extra cautious and patient at the same time as there are many others who will try to go up or down using the same path.
iv) Crystal Bay Beach
Crystal Bay Beach is a beautiful beach surrounded by clear water. This location is getting a lot of attention because it is one of the best sites to snorkel or dive around Nusa Penida. Having a wide 200—meters stretches of sand in the secluded area, this is a commonplace to relax and to have a piece of your mind.
We end our first-day tour by relaxing and swimming at Crystal Bay Beach before we finally get our rest and to continue our adventure tomorrow morning.
The Activities: Day 2
i) Rumah Pohon
After having a full rest with a delightful breakfast, we are ready to start our day in Nusa Penida. Our guide picks us up to bring us to Rumah Pohon.
Rumah Pohon has a total number of three treehouses inside its area. In order to get here, you need to walk a long way down to the Rumah Pohon. The view is absolutely breathtaking and seeing this place will make you want to live here forever. However, I definitely have a mixed feeling regarding this Rumah Pohon or also called Tree House.
The way the owner operates his business spoils the experience when people come and visit Tree House. This Tree House operates with two different ways at the same time;
- Tree House is open to being visited with a fee of IDR 10,000 per person.
- You can book and stay at one of the treehouses for IDR 500,000 per night.
Here is where the contradiction begins. When you come and pay the fee to visit Tree House, all you want is to snap a picture while exploring their beautiful treehouses. However, you will definitely be shocked to see there is actually someone live inside the houses. On the other hand, if you booked to stay at the Tree House, you will definitely have zero privacy. People who come to visit Tree House will climb up your house and annoyed the hell out of you.
ii) Pulau Seribu / Raja Lima
After a few stairs up from the Tree House, you will arrive at Raja Lima. The viewpoint you see here is what they call as Pulau Seribu or Thousand Island Viewpoint.
iii) Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach is among one of the most amazing beaches I have ever been to. It is located on the most eastern point of Nusa Penida. The beach is not accessible before until recently it is open to the public when they carved a limestone making a stair heading down to the Diamond Beach.
The route going down to the Diamond Beach is better than the path you find in Kelingking Beach since it is safer and secure.
iv) Snorkeling (3 locations)
Our next destination is to go back to the first place where we drop off at Nusa Penida. But wait, we are not heading back to Sanur Beach yet. The plan to get here is to take a private boat so we could continue our next activity; snorkeling. Nusa Penida has five best spots for snorkeling which is; Crystal Bay Beach, Gamat Bay Beach, Wall Point, Buddha Temple, and Manta Point. Our tour allows us to choose a maximum of three spots for our snorkeling activity.
We could not choose Manta Point since the minimum number to do this is five people. Since there is only two of us, Manta Point is out of the option. Our next option to go to Buddha Temple but our guide told us this spot is currently under maintenance during our visit. Hence, we are left to pick these three locations which are; Crystal Bay Beach, Gamat Bay Beach and Wall Point.
Snorkeling will be the last activities we did for our tour to Nusa Penida which marks the end for our unordinary trip to Bali. Our tour agent bid us farewell as we take the last boat from the harbor to Sanur Beach before we heading back to Bali.