If you’re planning an unforgettable trip somewhere in the world, it doesn’t take a lot of research for Bali to trigger your radar, but what about that unforgettable island an hour away from Bali?
I’m talking about a secluded island where the roads are scarce and the internet is a joke. An island with incredible viewpoints, secret beaches, and endless untouched nature…
An island named after the priests trusted to banish the evil spirits to it, an island that housed all the criminals from the region, an island where all accused of black magic were sent, an island home to a legend that locals dare not speak of to this day…
This Nusa Penida guide lists all of the top things to do on the island AND the best order to do them in!
1. Crystal Bay
Crystal Bay is one of the more famous beaches on the island and you might not find yourself alone.
During the day, this local hangout spot becomes a snorkeller’s paradise where you can grab a beer, coconut or meal from vendors and just relax on your choice of sand, beach chairs or bean bags.
Later, Crystal Bay is the best place to come for sunset, since it is one of the only west-facing beaches on Nusa Penida. It is also one of the closest to the accommodation options on the island so it’s not a far or tough journey (fine to do in the dark).
Two Honourable Mentions:
Pulau Batumejinong – the small island out in the ocean. If you look close enough at it you will notice a small Hindu temple on top of the island, with stairs leading to the top on its south side.
Palm Tree Road
Palm Tree Road – Another thing that Crystal Bay has going for it are the rows of palm trees along the road, a must-stop photo-op spot. You might even spot the family of cute little pigs or cows grazing just off to the side!
2. Kelingking Beach
Probably the most popular attraction on our Nusa Penida guide is the famous Kelingking Beach. Its shades of electric and pacific blue water that surround the iconic T-Rex Bay outcrop are exactly what you would imagine when looking at pictures.
When we first arrived, it took us a while to fully register its beauty…
(Don’t forget that you can actually walk down to the beach, but bear in mind that once you are down, you will also need to climb back up and it’s a tough journey. Budget about ±40 minutes each direction.)
3. Pantai Bulian or Bulian Beach
Are you ready to feel like explorers? Why not try and find Bulian Beach? It’s not exactly a walk in the park to find, but if you are leaving Kelingking and looking for an adventure, this is it. The beach wasn’t marked, recorded or mentioned anywhere and therefore we had the beach entirely to ourselves!
Apparently, some snorkelling trips make use of the bay during the high season, but when we visited, it was empty.
Considerably our best discovery on the island and an awesome adventure you have to try. Just look for the temple in the distance and begin your walk.
➳ Find the exact location in our Nusa Penida Video Guide
4. Broken Beach
Broken Beach is a circular, closed-in cove. Many years of erosion have carved a huge arch allowing the ocean to flow in and out of the cove.
You will definitely remember Broken Beach by the rich contrast of white waves on black rocks at low-tide or electric blue water at high-tide. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Unfortunately, you cannot go down to the water as there is no way to get back up. So cliff jumping is not a (viable) option.
5. Angel’s Billabong
Angel’s Billabong is one of the most magical places we have ever seen and it’s only a two-minute walk from Broken Beach.
This gorgeous rock formation hosts it’s very own natural infinity pool over the ocean.
However, you have to visit during the right time (low tide) since the surrounding sea is very rough and gives off a very powerful spray of mist. You wouldn’t want to be sucked into the ocean by a big wave.
6. Banah Cliff
For sunrise, you’ll want to head to Banah Cliff Sunset Point… Sunset Point?
Yes, that’s right, although it’s not a recommended sunrise spot, we suggest going in the morning to ensure you have the views to yourself, and you may even get to watch the dolphins swimming about down below.
For an ideal sunrise, we have the perfect Banah Cliff spot for you!
It’s very well hidden and quite tricky to find, but it’s well worth the effort. You will have amazing and unobstructed views from the very edge of the cliff.
➳ Our Nusa Penida Video Guide explains how to get there
7. Tembeling Natural Pools
Tembeling Natural Pools quickly became our favourite spot on the island! The Pool’s striking colour and clarity invites you in before you’ve had a chance to catch your breath.
Further down there’s another pool (often used to bath in by the locals), swings facing the ocean and a beach to… well not really swim in, it’s quite rocky, but there is a beach.
There’s also a secret beach to the right of Tembeling beach. You will see a little cave, once you go through it, you will see hundreds of rocks that have very carefully been stacked on top of each other in an effort to balance and keep the zen.
➳ Read Even More, our journey to Tembeling was not at all smooth sailing! (Spoiler alert! We did eventually make it)
8. Peguyangan Waterfall
Peguyangan is mostly famous for its wending blue stairs that hang off of a seaside cliff.
However, it is primarily a temple for local families to worship at. It’s also built to honour Nyai Roro Kidul, the queen of the Southern Sea as she is said to meditate in the waterfalls.
You may hear rumours that there is no waterfall there, but there is. In fact, there are about three. They are waterfalls by definition and we loved them, but that’s not the biggest attraction.
What is the main attraction you ask? Walk up to the highest temple and walk a little further. Down the stairs with flowing water and along the edge of the cliff to our ultimate spot on Nusa Penida…
9. Pura Goa Giri Putri
Pura Goa Giri Putri is a Balinese underground temple. The most interesting part is that your only entrance to the 300m cave is through a tiny hole in the wall.
It’s not great for the claustrophobes at first, but the short entrance opens up to a massive 15m roof and cave that can manage around 5000 people.
If you are fortunate enough, you can witness some religious ceremonies, purification by holy water, or enchanting music. You will definitely love the smell of incense and mystical ambience created by the smoke, lights, and wet paths.
10. Teletubbies Hill
Teletubbies Hill is a gorgeous remote spot on Nusa Penida, where you can sit and watch the sunset, do some journalling or get an eye-opening look at the local life of the people on the island – all while admiring the rolling hills and lush (depending on when you come) greenery.
11. Manta Point
Manta Point, unlike many other places, you may not know when you have arrived at first.
Drive until you see the temple on your left and park.
You can walk up alongside the temple for a bit, but the views aren’t really awe-inspiring.
Rather walk back up the road a little until you see an opening and follow the path to your left. The paths leads you along the ridge and
the view speaks for itself… So does the wind and there are no rails so again, please be safe.
We visited during quite some windy weather which robbed the ocean of its electric blue and afforded it a richer royal blue hue. This, paired with the white crests, made our Manta spotting fruitless.
However, we have seen pictures and wish you better fortune. In spite of this, we must say we adored the sunset from here!
➳ Getting to Manta Point explained: Nusa Penida Video Guide
12. Suwehan Beach
Suwehan Beach is another beautifully secluded gem on our Nusa Penida guide. You have got photoshopped-looking water inviting you in and white-sand to dig your toes into.
Just make sure you monitor the tide when you visit. We didn’t, and this meant we couldn’t make it to the actual beach because of high-tide. It was completely submerged.
Warning: A rockslide removed some of the stairs a few years ago and they have been replaced by ropes.
I’m not going to lie, it’s steep, but keep your wits about you’ll be fine.
Also, let’s just say it’s not the most simple drive, especially if you are heading from Suwehan Beach to Atuh Beach, so please be careful!
13. Atuh Beach
Atuh Beach is more on the touristy side but has arguably some of the brightest waters we saw on the island. We chose a restaurant near the end, ordered some local food for 20k a plate and just took it all in.
You can definitely swim here, so bring your costume! Again, low tide reveals quite a ragged coastline, so be careful when you do swim and check the tides when you make the trip out there.
➳ See More
14. Diamond Beach
The stairway down to Diamond Beach is the most beautiful on the island and really sets the scene well. We made our way down at sunset and had the walk to ourselves as well as the beach!
Diamond beach is a famous Instagram spot and it’s right on top of the stairs where hordes of photographers are eagerly vying for the perfect snap. We suggest coming in the early morning before the mass of tourists arrive on day tours, or evenings once they have all left.
(Interesting Fact: Atuh Beach and Diamond Beach are literally next to each other)
15. Thousand Islands Viewpoint & The Rumah Pohon Treehouse
These two attractions go hand-in-hand.
The Thousand Islands viewpoint consists of two lookout points. The most notable looks out over Diamond Beach and some other island outcrops in each direction. A magnificent sight.
There is also a little hut at the top of the hill where you can take a seat, relax and take in the vistas.
While on your way to the hut, you pass the Rumah Pohon Treehouse, which really just means Treehouse Treehouse. It is a rentable Airbnb accommodation with an epic view.
16. Pandan Beach
Why not visit Crystal Bay’s secret beach – Pandan Beach.
Start off by standing on Crystal Bay’s lovely beach, then turn left and walk as far as you can go. You’ll see some stairs that disappear up the mountain, that’s your path. 15 minutes should take you up and over to Pandan Beach.
Sharing the sand with three other couples, an umbrella and beanbags for 25k each and some ice-cold drinks gave us the perfect end to the trip!
It was so pleasant to just sit, relax and take in the beautiful view after all of the activities we smashed out over the past few days.
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And In Conclusion
We really hope our Nusa Penida guide helped you plan your adventure or inspired you to add Nusa Penida to your bucket list travel destinations.
It really is one of the best places we have ever been and really loved every moment on the island!
A Video Travel Guide For Nusa Penida
In addition to our written guide for Nusa Penida, we put together a comprehensive video guide that explains everything, including the costs for staying on Nusa Penida, what area of the island to stay on, where all the attractions are, what order to do them in, what each attraction costs and our secret locations…
*If you like it, please don’t forget to subscribe!
Some Tips For Nusa Penida
There are a lot of warnings out there about the roads of Nusa Penida, so we though we’d clear everything up in this post where we not only discuss the roads, but the process of renting a scooter too (and whether you should or shouldn’t).
Our recommendation would be to stay for a week if you can. If that’s not feasible, a minimum of three days would allow you to conquer most of the island’s hot spots.
- Is it suitable for children/babies – with a car, certainly
- Where should I stay on the island – the northwest
- How do we get there – speedboat
- When to visit – between May and September
- Is it worth visiting – YES!
- How busy is Nusa Penida – so quiet, except for the three main attractions
- Should I take a day trip – No! You have to stay
- Can I do it without a scooter – Yes, there’s less freedom, but it’s very possible
Where To Next?
Before our Nusa Penida Guide actually came our Ubud, Bali Guide!
Whichever order you do them in, you really should do both – besides, it’s far easier to get to Nusa Penida from Ubud (Sanur Harbour) in any case so you might as well explore it!
If you’re more of the visual type, we also have a complete Ubud Travel Guide right here!
Where To Stay On The Island
There are many accommodation options on Nusa Penida. It all really depends on what you are looking for and what your price range is.
Here are our recommendations:
We are looking for Budget-Friendly ➩ Arie Guesthouse (We Stayed Here)
I’m thinking more Unique ➩ Penida Bambu Green
I need me some Luxury ➩ Kompyang Cottage
➩ When you first sign up to Airbnb and book using our code you can score up to R600 off of your first booking and R225 towards an experience!
How To Get To Nusa Penida
Throughout all of our Southeast Asia travels, we have heavily relied on 12Go Asia.
It’s so nice to be able to have secured all of your transport before stepping out the door – it’s one less thing to worry about!
The best way to get to Nusa Penida is from Sanur Harbour with a speedboat. You can book your speedboat right here: Sanur to Nusa Penida.
Or search any transport destinations and modes below.
Nusa Penida is our absolute favourite and we really hope this guide helped. Please let us know your favourite hot spots on the island! We’d also be super keen to see if anyone manages to find Bulian and Panda beaches… Let us know!
❀ PIN FOR LATER ❀
I so need some guidance, we are 3 adult women traveling to Bali for 2 weeks in October, the second week my 6yr old daughter will be joining us.
I need a short list of places you would recommend for week 1 and week 2 please. I’ve been to Bali before stayed in Legian and Kuta.
My mom and sister have never traveled overseas, so really want to make it memorablte
Hi Leigh-Ann 😀 Thank you for reaching out! I hope your planning is going well. Well, Byron and myself have only been to Ubud and to Nusa Penida so far, so I can only suggest from those areas. I highly recommend Nusa Penida for the 1st week! However, I would say you have to be adventurous and know how to ride a bike well to fully experience everything it has to offer. It’s rugged but one of the most beautiful places to be. Our favourite spots where Tembeling Natural Pools, Peguyangan Waterfall (go all the way down and keep exploring until you find the pools) and Pandan Beach. Then I’d recommend Ubud for the 2nd week; it has lovely lush rice terraces, beautiful waterfalls, yoga retreats etc. and is easier to explore with a 6 year old. It’s great to walk around the actual town, shop, eat and even visit the Monkey Forest. Of course, don’t forget to explore the Tegallalang Rice Terrace! I will pop a link to a blog post we have on Ubud here: Things To Do In Ubud, Bali. I hope this helps! Unfortunately, I’m not too sure what specific activities they would have for children, but any child that loves exploring should love all of the incredible waterfalls and beautiful temples. Luckily, the waterfalls have safe pathways too. Anyway, I hope you have a fabulous time!