A tropical island just a short boat ride from Bali without all the organic cafes, beach clubs, or trendy restaurants, but in this travel guide we will show you the best things to do in Nusa Penida and why you need to visit before it all changes.
Nusa Penida is still a relatively undeveloped island southeast of Bali and is the biggest brother of the three islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. If you are wanting to visit and explore all the things to do in Nusa Penida it will take 3-4 days. If your time is limited you can still take a day trip from Bali to see the main attractions.
When planning our trip to Bali we knew we wanted to include Nusa Penida on the Itinerary, it’s definitely an island for those into adventures and exploring. With its rough still untouched nature, hidden beaches, friendly locals, and endless coconut trees, it’s easy to see why Nusa Penida is now a go-to destination.
Mass tourism hasn’t hit Nusa Penida yet but we can only imagine in the next few years this will change. In this Nusa Penida travel guide, we will show you the best ways to enjoy this paradise before it’s too late.
How To Get To Nusa Penida
How to get to Nusa Penida from Bali
You can go directly to the port in Sanur and book tickets there, they have lots of different companies that you can choose from. Prices are pretty much the same whatever one you choose, and the boats are leaving frequently. Booking online before you go is a good idea so you know what time the boat departs and usually included in the ticket will be hotel pickup. A return ticket costs around 550.000 IDR and can be booked online at Maritu Express.
Nusa Penida Transport
The island is big and takes over one hour to go from one end of the island to the other. The roads have improved but the ones leading to the major attractions are horrendous. If your a novice on the scooter this will get interesting for you, the roads are tricky so if you are not confident going in a car you will enjoy it more.
A scooter costs around 70,000 IDR per day and you can rent this when you get off the boat or from the hotel.
What To Do In Nusa Penida
We spent a total of 4 nights and still didn’t have enough time to cover everything. On the first day exploring we covered the attractions on the south of the island and the other days around the north of the island.
Goa Giri Putri Temple
We almost drove right past this place, and it was lucky we stopped because the Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave was unbelievable. It’s positioned on top of a mountain, accessed by steep steps leading up to the entrance. Before entering you will need to wear a sarong that can be rented for around 50 cents from the shop across the road.
Once we reached the top and entered, we were blessed with water splashed onto our forehead. We entered the entry to the cave by entering through a small crack in the mountain which led us into the cave.
Wow once we got inside I wasn’t expecting what I was about to see. The cave opened up and is over 300m long. It’s an eerie feeling walking through and we took in all the sights of the underground temple before squeezing through the tiny hole to get out.
Diamond Beach Nusa Penida
Reaching Diamond beach is quite challenging but well worth it once you arrive. There is a stairway that runs along the cliff wall that you can walk down to the beach. It can be pretty challenging to reach the bottom but not too hard, you will get a really good workout in.
The stairs are steep but I thought they were easier than the ones at Kelingking beach. Once you reach the bottom and step onto the untouched sand it’s incredible how beautiful this place is.
Atuh Beach is located on the south of the island and is divided by a cliff that separates Diamond beach from Atuh beach. It’s often overlooked as people tend to make their way down to Diamond beach, but Atuh beach has stunning white sand and incredible cliffs surrounding it.
Teletubbies Hill Viewpoint
This has to be the most perfect spot to watch the sunset, when we arrived it was just us and a few locals enjoying the spot. Teletubbies Hill gets it’s named from the hills that resemble the Teletubbies homes.
With the hills on one side of the road and the coastline on the other, it’s just so incredible how diverse the landscape is. We recommend going just before sunset and you won’t be disappointed. I had fun flying the drone here while Sai was working on getting some epic sunset shots.
The most photographed place on the island and the one that everyone visits. From the top of the cliff, you will be overlooking the Indian ocean and the sights when you first see the T-rex will take your breath away.
You can hike down the stairs all the way to the beach. We decided to go halfway and walk along the T-rex until the stairs started to go down to the beach. Looking down at the crystal clear water and watching the waves coming crashing in is truly a moment you will never forget.
The hike down onto T-rex didn’t disappoint and you can easily see why this is one of the top things to do on Nusa Penida. Once we reached the top they have lots of restaurants where we stopped for a much-deserved fresh coconut.
Tembeling Beach Natural Pool and Forest
If your looking to get off the beaten track and away from all the main tourist attractions on the island you will enjoy visiting Tembling Beach, natural pools and forest. It will take a crazy motorbike ride to get there but it’s well worth it once you arrive.
We actually took the long way and hiked through the forest which took about 45 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you really enjoy hiking. On our way, a villager on his bike intercepted us and said he would take us there, but he ended up taking us the long way. If you see this sign in the photo below don’t go that way, head to the left down the road which will bring you to the entrance and you can walk down the stairs to the beach.
On the way down the stairs to the beach, you can drop into the forest on the right side. You can get some really nice photos in the canyon, we where exhausted from the hike through the forest so didn’t really stop to take in the beauty as we should have.
TEMBELING NATURAL POOLS
Once you have checked out Tembling forest you can make your way down to the Temebling Natural Pools. There are two pools in total, the first one you will pass is the biggest one but we preferred the second one that overlooks the beach and has running water from a bamboo pipe. This is the perfect place to hang out as it’s like a jacuzzi.
You can cliff jump from the first pool there was a couple doing it when we walked passed. The water is crystal clear and you can see everything in the water.
At the bottom of the hill, you will reach Tembeling Beach. We didn’t actually spend much time there as we enjoyed swimming in the natural pools more. It’s not the most spectacular beach compared to others on the island and is a little dangerous as the waves can get quite big.
TEMBELING SECRET BEACH
Before you reach the bottom pool you will find a cave with hundreds of rock formations that have been stacked on top of each other. You can walk through the cave and observe these carefully stacked rocks which then comes out to a secret beach. Surrounded by huge cliffs you can sit on the massive rocks and take it the beauty all around you. It’s so relaxing to be surrounded by these rock formations and listening to the waves come crashing onto the shore.
Broken Beach & Angel’s Billabong
The road leading to Broken beach & Angel’s Billabong is not pretty and gets pretty rough. You can expect dirt roads with a lot of stones and potholes. Once we arrived we took a little walk down to Angel’s Billabong which is a natural infinity pool. You can only enter when it’s low tide.
Unfortunately, when we went there was no water In Angel’s Billabong at all. But if you come at the right time you will be able to see the crystal clear rock pools. It’s a stunning formation that allows you to see the patterns of the rocks beneath the surface. If you arrive at the right time you will be able to have a little dip and get amazing photos.
Broken Beach is an amazing archway that allows water to flow in and out of the cove from the ocean. You cannot swim here as there is no way to get down to the beach but the sight alone is incredible.
Manta Bay Viewpoint
After Angel’s Billabong be sure to walk through the little shop and make your way to the opposite side of Angel’s Billabong. The walk only takes a few minutes and you will get to look of the cliff into the ocean. This is where the tour boats go to do the snorkeling tours to swim with the Mant Rays so if you are lucky enough you will get to see them swim around and surface.
Where to stay on Nusa Penida
We will recommend three places to stay on Nusa Penida. All of these places are in good locations but slightly different. We stayed close to the port, we had planned to move after one night but ended up staying there the entire time because it was convenient.
La Nusa Homestay – Value: The La Nusa Bungalow is centrally located and you can walk to it from the ferry as we did. The bungalows are a good size and very clean inside, making it great value for money at around $20 per night. Being on the main road it can be a little noisy with cars and bikes passing but the convenience of this location is its bonus.
Semabu Hills Resort – Luxury: If you’re looking for somewhere really nice to stay on Nusa Penida I recommend Semabu Hills. It has an amazing infinity pool that looks out to the ocean and is in a great spot for adventuring around the island. It’s perfect for families and couples wanting the finer experience, and this has it all with luxury rooms and breakfast to die for.
Where To Eat In Nusa Penida
NUSA PENIDA ESPRESSO – Penida espresso has really good coffee and the best smoothie bowls in Nusa Penida. There is nothing like getting on your bike and heading down there in the morning for these specialties. If you like smoothie bowls make sure to try this place out, you won’t be disappointed.
WARUNG COCONUT – This was our go-to restaurant on the island, we ate here most nights. It’s located right on the main street and has delicious food that is really cheap. The food is all pre-cooked and you can choose everything you want to eat that’s on display.
I hope you enjoyed our Nusa Penida Travel Guide if you have been before share your experiences and recommendations below.