Nusa Penida Island — The Hidden Gem in the Southeast of Bali
Nusa Penida is the biggest of the three islands southeast of Bali. It is a beautiful island with gorgeous scenery and warm hospitality. If you ever want to go to Bali, Nusa Penida is absolutely one of the places to experience!
Before visiting Nusa Penida, you can decide to research all about what to do and see for yourself, or you can have an agency do it all for you.
We chose the second option for this adventure by booking the whole trip with @rukettravelnusapenida. They arranged everything from pick up in our villa, boat tickets, a driver for all the days, tours/trips, accommodation, and so on.
We started our journey to Nusa Penida by boat from Sanur Harbour. The whole ride only took 40 minutes!
The agency had organised for us to stay at the Klumpu Hill Villa. This place was absolutely gorgeous with the outside view and cute bungalows.
The whole accommodation is perfect. The outside scenery of the villa is absolutely beautiful and the staff is super friendly. There’s an in-house menu with the basics from rice, noodles, omelette, spaghetti, and so on. Each of the rooms can host 1-2 people. However, they said that we could fit three people in one room. But when we got there, we were like, “Nooo, that’s not gonna happen! 😅”
The bungalows were 150k a night, so we decided to get one each instead (or at least that was what we were told the first day because at check out they were all of a sudden 250k instead).
The rooms are very basic and the toilets are a bit less up-to-date. It is the outside scenery you would stay here for. I had the staff fix my room’s toilet a few times, as the hot water is not always available, and the two other girls got electric shocks when turning on the water. They did their best to fix it though, even if it kept recurring. The food is quite average, and overall it matches the price I would say. However, they do charge a lot more in busy seasons, and then I would question the value a bit. Personally, I don’t think I would stay there again. I would rather try something else, and that can be arranged with the agency.
The Wi-Fi was really bad as in most of the islands, so if you are working online or rely on internet access, I would suggest you bring your own.
We had a trip planned for every day, filling up each half of a day of our vacation by combining exploring and relaxing. With all those stairs and the heat of the island, a relaxation felt needed for us to balance that.
On our arrival day, we chilled at our accommodation by the pool (partly because the girl I was travelling with came straight from clubbing to the morning boat in Sanur :D, but I actually often prefer not having a busy program on a travelling day, so it was a perfect fit :D).
What to do:
Day 1 – East Trip
- You stop by Bukit Teletubbies either on the way out on your trip or back from it. This is a shortstop with a little viewpoint over amazing bubbly hills. Super gorgeous and peaceful and a place to take in nature.
- Diamond Beach (such a gorgeous place, so make sure to get the photo on the stairs on the way down. There are a lot of stairs in general on this trip! It is not like you have to be super fit, but it is definitely not for everybody, so it is good to be prepared. And remember to get a lot of water! When you get to the end at the diamond beach you can get a little coconut and try the swing if you’re up for that (you have to pay of course). And then chill on the beach or go for a swim if the current isn’t too strong. Your guide will know where and when it is safe to swim.
- Atuh Beach (a bit of a downhill walk to get there and up again). Bring good walking shoes or comfortable flip-flop sandals. We only saw it from above, since the steps down to Diamond beach and back up were enough for us.
- The famous IG Tree House! There are a few stairs here as well as you get to the tree house. The main purpose of this treehouse is to take your photo with an amazing background. The driver took most of our photos and he did an absolutely amazing job! They are quite skilled at catching good angles and creating cute videos! At the time we were there we had to pay 75k for taking the photos 😅
Let’s take a detour!
After our daily trip and some lunch, our driver improvised a bit and offered to take us to a temple called Goa Giri Putri. Here we met a couple of steps and at the top, we paid 25k as a donation to the temple to go in. The entrance to the temple was probably the most “out of the ordinary” and also why I would definitely recommend visiting it.
It was a tiny hole between some rocks, and for someone like me with some claustrophobic tendencies, it seemed like an awful idea, but our guide promised it would be huge on the inside so we went for it – we have to test those boundaries sometimes.
When we went inside it was kind of like entering Batman’s secret cave. As you walk through the massive cave, at some point you will meet a few altars and a staircase. Tourists are not allowed up there, but we can hear the locals having ceremonies there.
After we passed the stairs and on the way out, we met a few more altars and a holy man, and he allowed us to join their blessing ceremony. We were sitting on the floor following the prayer and got a blessing in the end.
Afterwards, the driver took us to @virginbeachpenida — to chill and have dinner — which was the cutest place in the first row on the beach! Chilling couches, beanbags, sunbeds, and swings in the water. Perfect place for an afternoon chill and a great dinner while the skies of Nusa Penida are changing colours.
Day 2 – West Trip
- Kelingking Beach is probably one of the most iconic tourist destinations in Nusa Penida, and when you see the view it is understandable why. It is just magical!
- Paluang Cliff is the Instragrammable top of a cliff. You can find all the photo prompts like a swing, the nest, the tip of a boat, and other settings to get a nice photo. There were a few people when we got there, so our driver got us a number to wait in line while we could just sit and chill for a bit in the shade until it was our turn. Of course, our driver took all the photos as well.
- Broken Beach — another viewing point just because Nusa Penida has the absolute most gorgeous nature.
- Angel Billabong is located close to Broken Beach and I would definitely recommend going for a little swim here.
- Crystal Bay — chilling at the beach for sunset. Afterwards, we went for dinner at @secretpenida, which had an absolute vibe as well as the front row for ocean-viewing.
Day 3 – Snorkelling Day
On the snorkelling day, we had 4 different spots to explore: Manta Bay, Crystal Bay, Well Point, and Gamat Bay. We were very lucky to actually spot a manta ray at Manta Bay. I have been snorkelling there probably four times prior, and I wasn’t that lucky. So you’ll never know. Nevertheless, there were loads of beautiful fish to find in the other spots, and we saw a turtle as well. You can see some of our snorkelling videos under my highlight “Penida” on @simonelangholz. And definitely bring a GoPro if you have one. If you don’t have one, sometimes your guide on the boat can bring one for rent. Our snorkelling guide was so nice because he did all of our videos! (I am SO used to always having to do them myself, so I really loved that part!).
If you have even the slightest tendency of getting motion sickness, I would highly recommend you bring tablets to prevent and treat it! It was definitely a bumpy boat!
After a solid day of snorkelling, we went to @thechillpenida for some afternoon chilling and relaxation.
Day 4 – Leaving Day
On departure day we decided to take the boat back to Sanur at 1 pm (there’s a morning boat and an afternoon boat as well), and before the boat, we still had time to explore a bit, so we went to a place with some more stairs.
Our first stop was Guyangan Waterfall where you walk down the cliffside on a blue iron staircase that was “built on the side of the cliff” following the overflow pipe pumping water to Nusa Penida. At the end with some solid shaken legs, there was a little temple and behind that, you will find a natural pool where you can safely go for a little swim while watching the waves break on the edge of the cliff. I’ll have to say this was worth all the stairs.
No adventure is complete without a little challenge!
When we finally made it back up from all the stairs, we headed to Tembeling Natural Spring, or at least to the spot where you switch from car to jumping on bikes of the locals (I would not recommend going on this drive yourself!) We jumped on the back of the bikes and then we went on the craziest drive down a small road holding on for my dear life while repeating that hopefully, they know what they are doing because they drive this road every day. Luckily we did finally make it to the end for some more stairs down to the natural spring. It is a gorgeous spot close to the beach, and you can go for a little swim in the spring. So, don’t forget to bring a swimsuit.
And then it was time to head back to Bali. If you are ever going to Nusa Penida it is worth spending a few days there so you don’t have to rush through the different places, since there definitely are a lot of steps 😀
- @wayannusapenidatour was such a great guide during the whole trip! I would absolutely recommend contacting him or asking for him if you use the agency.
- Start the trips early to make it out to the different places before it gets too crowded.
- Bring cash (most places require us to pay in cash, but ATMs are available if you ask your driver to find one).
- Instagrammable outfits such as Sarong and wear decent attire for visiting temples.