Bali is magical, it has something special. Few people question this. However, it is also noisy, chaotic, has a hellish traffic and is full of tourists practically throughout the year. Perhaps these are sufficient reasons for more and more travelers 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.
NUSA PENIDA TRAVEL GUIDE – ALL THE INFO YOU NEED
1. Introduction to the island
Located in the southeast of Bali and separated from it by the Strait of Badung, this beautiful and wild island emerges from incredibly turquoise waters. With a population of 7,000 inhabitants and an area of approximately 200 square kilometers, it is the older sister of nearby Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. A small great paradise still far from reaching the tourist development of the island of Bali . In Nusa Penida you will have to inhale deeply because you will find endless places that will leave you breathless.
2. When to go to Nusa Penida
Although it is possible to visit Nusa Penida throughout the year, the best period is between May and September . The wind and the dry season allow you to comfortably explore the island avoiding rainfall and extreme humidity during the rainy season. Although, the months from July to August are the ones that receive the largest influx of tourists and when finding accommodation can be more complicated.
3. How to get to Nusa Penida (Nusa Penida Travel Guide)
There are four ways to get Nusa Penida from Bali :
→ The PUBLIC FERRY . It leaves every day at 12.00 from the port of Padang Bai southeast of Bali, arrives at 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 is an hour and a half). The perfect option for those who have a tight budget, but have plenty of time. If you are traveling by motorcycle in Bali you can embark 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 approximately an hour and a half to reach 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 in Toyapakeh ) in about 30-40 minutes. Prices may vary depending on the company you choose and the ability you have to negotiate with them, but around € 12-15 per route. The ticket price usually includes pick-up from your hotel in Bali and transportation from the port of arrival to your accommodation (as long as it is within the radius that they have set, but 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.
To 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 and Buyuk regularly. It costs about € 4, without fixed schedules, when there are enough people to make the journey profitable.
The same Speed Boat companies that cover the route from Bali to Nusa Penida, also operate the route from the Gili Islands to the island with different daily departures and prices that vary between € 30-40.
4. How to get around the island
Getting on a motorcycle through Nusa Penida is not easy. The roads to reach many of the places of interest are in poor condition and if you are not an expert driver, adventure can become a nightmare. Renting your own motorcycle will cost you between € 3-5 per day and you can do it directly at the port of arrival or at your accommodation (most offer this service). Do not forget to ask for a helmet!
If you are not used to driving a motorcycle or you are not sure that you can deal with the continuous potholes and holes of the island’s roads, it is best to hire a private driver (car or motorcycle) and literally get carried away. A car with a driver can leave for between € 35-50 per day, so a good idea is to share vehicle and expenses with other travelers!
There is the possibility of renting bicycles , but unless you have Induráin’s legs and are willing to sweat the fat drop, 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 known among the instragramers tree houses of Atuh Beach : Rumah Pohon Tree Hous .
Near the port of Toyapakeh , where most of the speed boats arrive, there are a good number of simple and inexpensive accommodations. On the north coast you will find slightly more expensive alternatives, but in return it is quite likely that you 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 attractions.
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 what to do in Nusa Penida / Nusa Penida Travel Guide
Although it is best to enjoy the tranquility of the island, there are some places you can not 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 of the island are:
- Cristal Bay, where you can enjoy unforgettable sunsets.
- Atuh Beach , a wildest beach that is reached after a pretty bad road.
- Suwehan Beach, be careful because the access stairs are damaged after the Lombok earthquake in August 2018.
- Kelingking Beach , spectacular and photographed beach west of the island.
All these beaches are white sand and ideal for relaxing and taking a bath. Keep in mind that it will not be easy to reach them many times, so good footwear will make the way easier.
– hallucinate with the impressive 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 such as Peguyangan Waterfall , Seganing Waterfall and natural pools such as Tembeling or Angel’s Billabong (avoid bathing in it when there is high tide!) .
– Contemplate magical sunsets from Saren Cliff Point or Karang Dawa View Point just above Kelingking beach.
– Visit the most important temples on the island, such as the impressive Pura Goa Giri Putri (Mountain Cave Temple) and the curious Pura Paluang (Car Temple).
– Dive . Nusa Penida is known throughout Indonesia for its dives, its funds are rich in life and famous for being visited by the spectacular Manta Raya, the whale shark and the nurse sharks, not forgetting the turtles. If you do not have a diving title, you can snorkel and with a little luck live the experience of swimming with Mantas Raya. You can also see them from the Manta Point Lookout without even having to get your feet wet!
We hope that our Nusa Penida Travel Guide will help you organize and enjoy your next trip to the island!