Bali is magical, it has something special. Few people question this. However, it is also noisy, chaotic, has hellish traffic and is full of tourists practically all year round. Perhaps these are reasons enough for more and more travelers to dare to explore the neighboring island of Nusa penida. So if you are also thinking of including it in your travel itinerary in Indonesia, do not miss the following guide with all the info you need to travel to Nusa Penida.
Content that you will find
1. Introduction to the island
Located in the southeast of Bali and separated from it by the Badung Strait, this beautiful and wild island emerges from incredibly turquoise waters. With a population of 7,000 and an area of approximately 200 square kilometers, it is the older sister of nearby Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. A great little paradise still a long way from reaching the tourist development of the island of Bali. In Nusa Penida you will have to inhale very deeply because you will find endless places that will take your breath away.
2. When to go to Nusa Penida
Although it is possible to visit Nusa Penida throughout the year, the best period is the one included between May and September. The wind and the dry season allow you to explore the island comfortably avoiding the precipitations and extreme humidity of the rainy season. Although, the months of July to August are the ones that receive the greatest influx of tourists and when finding accommodation can be more complicated.
3. How to get to Nusa Penida
There are four ways to get to Nusa Penida from bali:
→ The PUBLIC FERRY. It leaves every day at 12.00 from the port of Padang Bai southeast of Bali, it reaches the port of Sampalan (north of the island). It is the cheapest alternative, it costs about € 2, but also the slowest and subject to delays (the journey takes an hour and a half). The perfect option for those on a tight budget, but have time to spare. If you are traveling by motorcycle in Bali, you can take it with you on the ferry (at an additional cost) and avoid having to rent another one when you arrive in Nusa Penida.
→ The PUBLIC FAST BOAT. It leaves every day at 6.30 am from the port of Sanur and it takes about an hour and a half to get to Penida. It costs about € 2.50.
→ SPEED BOAT or speedboat. Different local companies offer this service several times a day from the port of Sanur, covering the route to the different ports of Nusa Penida (most arrive at Toyapakeh) in about 30-40 minutes. Prices may vary depending on the company you choose and your ability to negotiate with them, but they are around € 12-15 per tour. The price of the ticket usually includes the pick-up from your hotel in Bali and the transport from the port of arrival to your accommodation (as long as it is within the radius that they have set, otherwise you will have to pay a plus or hire your own transport). You will have a small discount if you buy the round trip ticket.
- Check prices and schedules here
- Buy the tickets here.
→ TOUR from Bali: There is also the option of traveling to Nusa Penida on a tour, including transportation, guide and entrance fees. More info here.
For get from Nusa Lembongan there is a speed boat from the port of Jungut Batu that covers the short route to the ports of Toyapakeh Y Buyuk regularly. It costs about € 4, without fixed schedules, when there are enough people for the journey to be profitable.
The same Speed Boat companies that cover the trip from Bali to Nusa Penida also operate the route from the Gili Islands to the island with different departures per day and prices that vary between € 30-40.
Here you have all the companies that operate and their schedules
4. How to get around the island
Move in motorcycle by Nusa Penida is not easy. The roads to get to many of the places of interest are in poor condition and if you are not an expert driver the adventure can turn into a nightmare. Rent your own motorcycle It will cost you between € 3-5 a day and you can do it directly at the port of arrival or at your accommodation (most offer this service). Don’t forget to ask for a helmet!
If you are not used to driving a motorcycle or you are not sure you can / want to deal with the continuous potholes and holes on the island’s roads, it is best that you hire a private driver (car or motorcycle) and literally let yourself go. A car with driver It can cost between € 35-50 a day, so a good idea is to share a vehicle and expenses with other travelers!
The possibility of rent bikes, but unless you have Induráin’s legs and are willing to break a sweat, it is not a feasible option to tour the entire island!
5. Where to sleep in Nusa Penida
Although it is true that Nusa Penida does not yet have a large hotel infrastructure, it is possible to find decent accommodation options and even special places such as those well known among Instagrammers. Atuh Beach tree houses: Rumah Pohon Tree Hous.
Near the port of ToyapakehWhere most speed boats arrive, there are quite a few simple and affordable accommodations. In the North Coast You will find slightly more expensive alternatives, but in return it is quite likely that you will have beautiful views of the sea. You will also find a handful of accommodations scattered around other areas of the island and some close to the main places of interest.
If you visit the island during the months of greatest influx of tourists (July-August), it is recommended that you book in advance.
6. What to see and do in Nusa Penida
Although the best thing is to enjoy the tranquility of the island, there are some places that you cannot miss. This is the best thing to see and do in Nusa Penida:
– Visit the beaches of the island. One of the main attractions that Nusa Penida has are its beaches. The most famous on the island are:
- Cristal Bay, where you can enjoy unforgettable sunsets.
- Atuh Beach, a wilder beach that is reached after a rather bad road.
- Suwehan Beach, Be careful because the access stairs are damaged after the Lombok earthquake in August 2018.
- Kelingking Beach, spectacular and very photographed beach to the west of the island.
All these beaches are white sand and ideal to relax and take a bath. Keep in mind that many times reaching them will not be easy, so good footwear will facilitate the way.
– Hallucinate with the awesome cliffs, waterfalls and natural pools of the island. On the spectacular coast of Nusa Penida, in addition to beaches, you will find incredible cliff areas such as Broken beach, freshwater waterfalls like Peguyangan Waterfall, Seganing Waterfall and natural pools like Trembling or Angel’s Billabong (Avoid bathing in it at high tide!).
– Contemplate magical sunsets from Saren Cliff Point or Karang Dawa View Point just above Kelingking beach.
– Visit the temples most important on the island, such as the impressive Pure Goa Giri Putri (Temple of the Mountain Cave) and the curious Pura Paluang (Temple of the Car).
– Diving. Nusa Penida is known throughout Indonesia for its dives, its bottoms are rich in life and famous for being visited by the spectacular Manta Raya, the whale shark and nurse sharks, not forgetting the turtles. If you do not have a diving certificate, you can go snorkelling and with a bit of luck live the experience of swimming with Mantas Ray. You can also contemplate them from the Point Lookout Blanket without even having to get your feet wet!
7. Map of Nusa Penida
Here we leave you a map with all the points of interest on the island of Nusa Penida.
The beautiful Nusa Penida has so much to offer and now is the time to do it !! It is fair to dedicate at least a couple of days to live the adventure of exploring unspoiled nature in its purest form …
We hope that our travel guide to Nusa Penida help you organize and enjoy your next trip to the island!
* Photocredit: Shutterstock