Nusa Penida is the largest of the three Nusa Islands just outside Bali. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are the other two islands that make up the trio, each with extraordinarily breathtaking landscapes.
Angelica, our expert who has lived in Bali for months, tells us what to do in Nusa Penida!
To the south-east of the island of Bali, after the Badung Strait, rises Nusa Penida.
Island of 203 km², it is populated by about 7000 people. This figure shows us clearly what the situation is: its wild landscapes and the little human presence make this island a real paradise in which to take refuge when Bali is chaotic and overcrowded.
- 1 - Snorkeling and Diving: the best places to dive with giant manta rays
- 2 - Sunsets and landscapes from the best photographic points
- 3 - The best beaches not to be missed in Nusa Penida
- 4 - Magic temples
- 5 - Natural beauties: what you cannot miss
There are tons of things to do in Nusa Penida, but let's start with some logistics first.
Reach Nusa Penida from Bali it is very easy.
Every day since port of Sanur or from Padangbai you can find fast boats ready to accompany you to the neighbors Nusa Lembongan, Nusa ceningan e Nusa penida in less than an hour. You will be able to disconnect from the chaos and spend a few days in total tranquility, in absolute peace.
Tickets for fast boat transport can also be purchased online:
⇒ Fast Boat TRANSFER ticket
Expanses of greenery, rocks overlooking the ocean, nature, colors, silence. This is Nusa Penida. Unspoiled island. Ideal scenario for adventurers.
There are no places not to be missed in this oasis of peace. Here are experiences to live.
Please note:: It is not easy to visit Nusa Penida alone. The roads are rough and the almost total absence of public transport makes the undertaking difficult.
If you don't feel like fluttering, THIS TOUR takes you all day in the best places on the island.
1- Snorkeling and diving, discover the seabed swimming with manta rays
By Tropical studio /
One of the strongest emotions of my life. Wearing a mask and snorkel to swim among these giants of the sea was touching and moving.
Lo snorkeling in Nusa Penida is one of the main attractions. There are several strategic points where you can let yourself be carried away by the movement of the water and admire the seabed, corals, hidden beauties.
1 – Manta Point
This place it could not be called in any other way.
Here you will be able to closely observe the Manta rays, giants of the sea that seem not to be afraid of humans. They will allow you to swim with them: they circle around you, emerge from all sides and let themselves be admired totally.
Manta point is one of the points chosen for diving and is one of the stops of the snorkeling and diving tour also organized in the villages of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
- Nusa Penida: Manta Ray Swim from Bali from € 73 (Manta Bay)
- Excursion to Nusa Penida + BATH WITH GIANT COATS from € 83 (it costs a little more because this tour takes just to Manta Point and also in Crystal Bay where you can see the sunfish!)
Bali: snorkeling tour a Nusa Penida e Manta Point da € 82 (highly recommended tour with two snorkeling sessions: one at Manta Point and one at Crystal Bay)
- 3 DIVES (with tanks): Manta Point, Crystal Bay and mangroves (from € 179. You must have a diving license)
Organized tours often stop in nearby Manta Bay - ask to be taken to Manta Point, because the chances of seeing winged wonders will greatly increase. And believe me, it's a gift you won't regret.
2 – Crystal Bay
Di Stephane Bidouze /
Crystal Bay he needs no introduction: his name speaks for itself.
Crystal clear water and coral bottoms that illuminate the view. It is probably the most popular beach in Nusa Penida and most of snorkeling tour starts from here.
The main reasons for such fame are two: the ease of access and the presence of Mola Mola (sunfish).
The first reason may seem trivial, but it is not to be underestimated. In Nusa Penida it is not at all easy to reach beaches and natural corners. The roads are broken, strewn with rock and dangerous due to the lack of barriers.
Second, Crystal bay is one of the very few places where you will get a chance to see a Moonfish, the largest bony fish in the world.
You can also buy THIS TOUR which in addition to a tour of the island takes you to do snorkeling right at Crystal Bay!
It will be more likely to be seen between the months from July to September, but there are no periods in which it is not advisable to visit this bay. Abandon yourself and discover its waters: you could be the lucky one.
3 – Gamat Bay
Gamat Bay it is by far one of the best places to dive, despite the fact that the water is much colder than in Manta Point e Crystal Bay.
The depth varies from a few meters near the shore, to free diving points ranging from 5 to 20 meters.
Below the surface of the clear and crystalline water, you will be able to see incredible coral structures, rock formations with many shapes and, if you are lucky, you can spot some wonderful turtles. The sea can hold fantastic surprises.
4 – Toyapakeh
Also Toyapakeh it is a fantastic snorkeling spot, but the strong current that characterizes it makes it the visit difficult and not too pleasant.
There are fish and corals in abundance, but it is too difficult to swim and admire the seabed in these conditions. Always evaluate the sea conditions before diving.
Don't put yourself in dangerous situationsThere are many places to visit and it will not be difficult to find alternatives when conditions are not favorable.
2 - Sunsets and landscapes from the best viewpoints
Di Guitar photographer /
Nusa penida it is a mostly rocky island, with cliffs plunging sheer into the sea. It will be easy to find places from which to admire entrancing sunsets, but the difficulty will be to reach them.
The conditions of the road surface make many routes treacherous and there are few asphalted roads. It is necessary to move with caution.
But at the end of every rough road, all you can do is open your arms and let yourself be conquered by the context: the wind will make you fly.
1 – Kelingking beach
Steep cliff and treacherous path, but what makes this place famous is the profile of a dinosaur emerging from the depths of the sea.
From above you can admire the light of the white sand and the T-Rex that seems to come out of the water. Among the rocks grows a dense vegetation that gives color to the whole context.
Bring a pinch of adventure to your presence on the island, and head to the stunning beaches at the foot of the cliffs. In recent years, a bamboo walkway has been built which, combined with the rocky steps, will allow you to get your feet wet in the ocean.
It will not be an easy walk, but in about 45 minutes you will arrive at the base of the cliff.
It has now become an icon of the island, especially thanks to Instagram, Kelingking Beach remains one of the most interesting destinations on the island. The dinosaur can swallow you too, I'm sure.
2 – Angel Billabong e Broken Sea
Among the most beautiful viewpoints of Nusa Penida there are certainly them. In the northwestern part of the island, north of Temeling, you will find Angel Billabong e Broken Sea, side by side.
Unique beauty, to hold your breath. You will almost feel like you are taking off.
Broken Beach it is very dangerous due to the power with which the waves break on the cliff. The arch of rock that rises from the water and that wraps around the bay allowing the water to flow in and out of the ocean is the result of centuries of erosion of the storm surges.
The power with which the waves crash on the walls made the water eat the rock to create a crack. Over the years this opening has transformed into the door that allows us to see through the rock and lose our gaze into the infinity of the ocean.
It is not possible to reach the water, especially considering the danger of approaching the sea. But, a few tens of meters you can get to Angel Billabong.
From this promontory you will be able to see how the sea breaks creating a natural swimming pool. Don't think of a quiet corner to immerse yourself in. Here the waves have an unprecedented power and break violently without giving you time to defend yourself.
In the hours of low tide the situation is more peaceful, but it is still preferable not to immerse yourself in the natural pools and stay away from the edges of the cliffs.
Surely, checking the tides and visiting the place in the low hours will allow you to have a different and less risky vision of the place. Respect the ocean at all times and always be cautious.
3 – Thousand Island o Thousand Island Viewpoint
Di Molishka /
From here you can admire the vastness of the ocean. The eye gets lost over the cliff and throws you into the water, where thousands of islands have a home.
That is why this viewpoint has the name of A thousand islands: because it offers you the opportunity to observe the ocean and discover the wonders that inhabit it.
At the bottom of the cliff, a tiny white beach is isolated from everything. Most of these corners of paradise remain deserted due to the steepness of the paths and the impossibility of reaching the beaches without risk.
There are two different viewpoints a Thousand Island Viewpoint.
The first, reachable along a very steep staircase for about ten meters.
The second, more famous, is the place where the tree house stands, Tree House Tree House, immortalized by most of the tourists who arrived on the island.
4 - Banah Cliff
There are two panoramic points a Banah cliff: one near the car park, the other reachable with a short walk. It is from here that you can admire the arch that stands out in the crystal clear water, the curve of rock and vegetation that makes this place magical.
On the right, on the west side, you will have the panoramic view from which to contemplate the best sunsets. On clear days, if you're lucky, you'll also be able to see part of the Kelingking Beach T-Rex.
On the left, facing east, you will be able to observe the majestic cliff of Banah and the imposing arch erected in the middle of the ocean.
Never let your guard down and be very careful: there are no safety barriers in these places and one step too many can really cost you your life. So eyes wide open: out of prudence and to enjoy the show.
5 – Saren Cliff
Continuing from Temeling Beach, you will reach Saren Cliff Viewpoint. Today it is not one of the most famous viewpoints, but some signs let us think that in the past it was a tourist destination: the paved road and, above all, the swing clinging to one of the gigantic trees that overlook the place.
It is magical to swing in the blue of the sky, with the cliff beyond your feet. The wonder remains, however, to sit on the edge of the cliff in the middle of nowhere and admire the grandeur of Nusa Penida.
Accessibility is limited, but Saren Cliff is the perfect place for trekking lovers.
Comfortable shoes, backpack and the desire to overcome the difficulty of the rocky paths. The show you will find will repay you for the effort, you will not regret it.
This place is mostly frequented by the locals due to the presence of a temple near the viewpoint.
It will be the quiet place to choose, where you can find peace and lose your gaze beyond the borders of the world.
6 – Teletubbies Hill Viewpoint
It must be admitted: the name that brings the minds of all of us to the giant and colorful puppets loved by children all over the world, does not do this place justice.
Nusa Penida is known for its coasts and cliffs that rise majestically from the sea. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that, within its territory, there are gentle hills and magnificent rice fields. Among these there is Teletubbies Hill.
Located in the southern mountain range of the island, it is approximately 45 minutes from the port of Toya Pakeh.
Sweet, bright green promontories spread across the territory. They almost look like the roofs of the trulli of Alberobello covered with a bright green moss. A feast for the eyes: soft, soft, in total contrast with the angularity of the rocks and the din of the waves breaking violently on the coasts.
Much more fascinating during the rainy season: rainfall allows the vegetation to take on bright colors, which invade your eyes and paint your soul.
3 - The beaches not to be missed
Di trubavin /
The difficulty of reaching the beaches makes the viewpoints and cliffs much more famous than the bays of Nusa Penida, but there are enchanting places where you can hide your feet in the sand. Pristine island, almost deserted.
It offers you the possibility to be in direct contact with its nature. Here you can have the grains of sand between your fingers, the sun on your forehead kissing your skin, while you, in solitude, let yourself be lulled by the sound of the sea.
1 – Crystal Bay Beach
If you don't want to put your head underwater in search of marine beauties, you can relax on the beach. In some places the bay seems to take on dark shades, giving the idea that the sand is black.
Being facing West, Crystal Bay it is the best beach to admire the sunset. During the afternoon hours, the scarce presence of currents allows you to swim in relaxing conditions, fully enjoying the wonder of being in this isolated place.
In the hours when the sea subsides its fury, along the left side of the beach, you can swim to the rock that rises in the middle of the bay covered by dense vegetation, with a small temple inside.
Crystal Bay, one of the most famous and popular beaches in Nusa Penida, is definitely a destination not to be missed.
2 - Atuh Beach
In the southern tip of the island here is one of the most beautiful beaches of Nusa Penida: Atuh beach.
The path that will take you to the cliff from which to reach the bay will pass through entire fields used for the breeding of algae.
Bad smell will be the protagonist of this trip, but the convenience of having a paved road will make you forget this unpleasant detail. Arriving at the highest edge of the cliff, the show will open up in front of you.
200 steps overlooking the sea will lead you to the marvelous Atuh beach, one of the very few that you will find equipped.
Lie under the umbrella, with a fresh coconut to sip and you won't need anything else to be happy.
3 – Diamond Bay
By Brendan Somerville /
Wonderful beach nestled at the foot of the huge cliff. Getting to this corner of paradise will be much easier than you can imagine.
The path to reach Diamond Bay it is made up of steps extrapolated from the rock, delimited by wooden poles joined by ropes as a handrail. Going down this staircase you realize the majesty of the work done: it almost seems to see the chisel marks of those who made this work.
The beach is a corner of peace, like all the bays of Nusa Penida, far from the confusion, protected by the imposing presence of the rock walls. On the shore, just hidden by the sea water, a mighty diamond-shaped boulder emerges, which gives its poetic name to this precious uncontaminated beach.
4 – Pandan Beach
Located on the west side of the island, Pandan Beach it remains hidden among trees and bushes. Heading south along Crystal Bay beach, you will come to a hidden path in the trees that will take you exactly to this secluded and lonely place.
A few steps from the too famous and crowded Crystal Bay you can enjoy a sort of private beach, from which to admire through the thick vegetation, the boats full of tourists armed with masks and snorkels, ready to enjoy the depths of the island.
Here, a strip of sea squeezed between two walls of rock and vegetation, ends with white sand and peace of mind.
4 - The magic of the Temples
Di Dudarev Mikhail /
Nusa Penida, like neighboring Bali, is a Hindu stronghold. If you expect to find temples scattered around the territory hidden in every corner, you will be disappointed.
But don't be discouraged: those few places of worship present will be able to conquer you and will totally drag you into the magic of Hindu rites. Let yourself be guided in spirituality and let the scent of incense flood your lungs.
1 – Goa Giri Putri Temple
A few steps from the sea, perched in the middle of a mountain on the north-east part of the island, a steep spiral staircase unfolds.
It is none other than the main entrance to the cave in which the Goa Giri Putri Temple. The peculiarity that makes this temple unique is that it was created inside a cave.
For entry, as in any Hindu temple, it is necessary to have a sarong, typical clothing for participation in religious rites. The entrance to the cave is not the simplest: you will have to go between two rocks pushing yourself to the ground, almost crawling, for a few meters. Only in this way will you arrive inside the underground cave. The atmosphere is magical.
Here, in addition to the spirituality, perceived in every sacred place of Hindu Indonesia, every detail is fascinating. The floors covered with mosaics with floral motifs, the bright white tiles in the areas where the ceremonies are celebrated, the small altars scattered around the perimeter of the cave, the rock that completely envelops you.
The cave is much larger than you might imagine and does not feel claustrophobic, although the high humidity inside causes some breathing difficulties. The countless wooden benches show that up to hundreds of people gather in this place to attend ceremonies and moments of meditation.
At the end of the cave you will find an opening: look out and immerse yourself in the surrounding jungle, in the company of some curious monkeys.
The Pura Goa Giri Putri is undoubtedly one of those places not to be missed.
2 – Mundi Peak
In the center of the island, at the highest point of Nusa Penida, stands a complex of temples without equal: the Mundi Peak.
The uniqueness of the temple is certainly in its position: 521 meters above sea level. From here you will be able to admire the island from above in its entirety and, all around, you will have wonderful buildings and lush and bright vegetation.
The road to get there is made up of hairpin bends and slopes, but entirely asphalted and easily passable. When visiting Puncak Mundi, remember to bring some warm clothing - the air is fresh. It is the ideal place to oxygenate your mind, but don't arrive unprepared, otherwise you will literally freeze your thoughts.
In Puncak Mundi you can visit a temple complex consisting of three different buildings: the Pura Beji, Pura Krangkeng and Puncak Mundi Temple. An agglomeration of temples that will make you breathe deeply the pure air of spirituality, perceptible throughout Hindu Indonesia.
In addition to the sacred places, you will have the opportunity to do some shopping in the stalls of Ida Batara Lingsir: a tangible memory to add to the many memories linked to this mystical experience.
3 - Nyepi Laut: the day of silence on the Nusa islands
Every year on the fourth full moon of the Balinese calendar, on the islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, the Silent Sea, that is the day of silence for the ocean.
On this date, which dates back to the XNUMXth century, the population of the three islands honors the sea god Dewa Baruna and pays homage to him.
Il Nyepi Laut ritual, in addition to the usual traditional Hindu ceremonies (and not only), it provides for the silent contemplation of the waters surrounding the islands.
To balance the relationship between man and nature and purify the sea, rituals and moments of meditation take place throughout the day of silence for the ocean.
During the 24 hours it is forbidden to go near the water, in any way: it is not allowed to dive, swim, snorkel, fish, much less walk on the beach. All maritime activities are suspended throughout the day and there is no possibility of connection with the other islands, including Bali.
However, you will have the opportunity to experience a different, magical moment of meditation. Everyone can participate in the celebrations: the ceremonies are also open to tourists, and it will be a different way to experience the island. Let's let the ocean rest and, for one day, immerse ourselves completely and completely in the culture of this part of the world.
5 - The beauty of Nature
At JomNicha /
Nusa Penida is a wild land.
The grandeur of the cliffs and the expanses of vegetation hide within them mystical places where it becomes impossible not to remain open-mouthed, with wide-open eyes, totally enraptured by what opens up in front of us.
The beauty of nature leaves us ecstatic and we can not help but be seduced.
1 - Peguyangan Waterfall
A strange place, starting with its name. Yes, why Peguyangan Waterfall it's actually not a waterfall! So do not expect a large mass of water to precipitate. But believe me, this place will conquer you.
Along the west side of the island in a southerly direction you will arrive here. The locals call it Peguyangan Springs. The experience starts from an arch and continues along 700 steps. It will be like walking in the clouds. The entire staircase is blue. Blue like the sky above us.
Blue like the sea below us. This color will invade your eyes, enter every cell of your body and make you love the place immensely.
It will not be easy to walk the steps, especially with a sarong on. Yes, because Peguyangan Waterfall is, first of all, a sacred place and you will not be able to visit it without renting a sarong.
Here the faithful come to purify themselves. At the entrance to the sanctuary there are three statues from whose mouths water comes out. Passing under these 3 jets of water, the faithful perform a purifying shower, designed to cleanse their spirit from evil.
The purification ceremony ends with a bath under the fourth large spout. Here they will carry out the last step: they will receive the blessing of the gods concluding the ceremony under the great jet of water.
We are not in a real temple, but the sacred place consists of a small area hidden behind a modest gate.
The spectacularity of the place is the panorama. Going down the staircase will be tiring, it is true, but you will not feel the fatigue if you let your gaze get lost beyond the horizon. Certainly, the difficulties will increase in the ascent, but the view, from above, is even more beautiful.
And your heart will turn an intense blue.
2 – Seganing Falls
This destination is perfect for those with a true adventurous spirit and do not suffer from vertigo! Real natural waterfalls that from the rock flow directly into the sea. The scenery is unique, the show unforgettable.
The path to arrive at Seganing waterfalls it is extremely treacherous, especially during the rainy season. In this period, the slipperiness of wet steps is added to the already precarious stability of the wooden stairs. The waterfall sits beneath a steep cliff and requires visitors a lot of effort. But believe me, you won't regret it.
Local inhabitants call it cascata in Sebuluh, giving it the name of the area in which it is born. The beauty of this waterfall is the passage of water through the rocks.
It flows uninterruptedly into the inlets, giving life to the wall, and then plunging with arrogance into the immensity of the ocean.
A hidden body of water, rarely visited by tourists: how can you exclude this enchanted place from your travel itinerary?
3 - Tembeling natural pool and forest
Di Nguyen Quang Ngoc Tonkin /
Tembeling it is located about 45 minutes from the port of Toya Pakeh, on the west coast of the island, a short distance from the cliff of Banah.
The road to reach the beach and the pools of Tembeling is steep and rocky, somewhat treacherous. The path to reach the pools crosses the forest: the greenery dominates you and totally envelops you.
Immersed in nature, guarded by the warm embrace of orange and brown rocks, the natural pools of Tembeling will transport you to the quiet and entrancing peace of Nusa Penida.
The eddies of water are two of different sizes: one larger and deeper, the other similar to a freshwater whirlpool. Let yourself be pampered while your gaze is lost in the green of the forest, until you reach the nearby beach.
From here you can admire the ocean without the risk of colliding with the violence of the waves, feeling the gentle caresses of the swimming pools. Statues and fountains make the place magical, decorating the surrounding space where traditional rituals take place.
A few minutes from the beach, passing through the forest, you come to a crack carved into the rock. Here there is a small cave that at the other end overlooks a hidden, secret beach, adorned with rock sculptures.
4 - Rumah Pohon: the tree house
Every child's dream: to have an amazing experience in a tree house. In Nusa Penida you will be able to fulfill the wish of the child hidden within you.
The path that leads us to the house unwinds among the plants, in a green spot that is lost in the blue: the sky above us and the ocean beyond our gaze, to delineate the boundaries.
The tree houses in which it is possible to stay are 3, located a short distance from each other.
But only one is immortalized in every photograph available on the web: the most beautiful, as the most panoramic. It is the 15 m² wooden house, with a balcony with a breathtaking view that stands in the center of Thousand Island Viewpoint.
Here you have the opportunity to stay overnight, but anyone, by purchasing the entrance ticket, will be able to admire its interior and, above all, enjoy the view.
The gaze is lost from this shaky paradise, shaken by the gusts of wind that give you the sensation of circling in the air. From here the thoughts take flight, rise above the clouds and fall sheer from the cliff, diving into the deep blue of the ocean.
La Treehouse Treehouse it has become a pilgrimage destination for Instagram users from all over the world and has awakened the desire for childhood in all of us. Climb the wooden stairs of the tree house in Nusa Penida, open your eyes to its balcony and let yourself be conquered by the wonders of the island.
Probably the roundup of places described in this article could make you think that you need to spend a lot of time on the island. It is not so. It will take you a few days to visit every hidden corner of this oasis that will kidnap and conquer you.
Nature manifests itself continuously: in the colors of the wind, in the intensity of the sea, in the cliffs that plunge into the ocean, giving life to unique landscapes.
When you feel the chaos of Bali distracting you, take the ferry and escape to Nusa penida: here you can start hearing the noise of your thoughts again in the wonder of silence.