A FRESH TASTE OF BALI, INDONESIA: NUSA PENIDA
January 1, 1970
by Christine Padilla
Not very well known to the public, Nusa Penida is a virgin island outside of Bali, Indonesia’s main land. It’s a perfect spot for travelers who love to discover unspoiled paradises and utopias. Around 202.8km2 in area, Nusa Penida has a lot to offer, from a wide range of fine sand beaches, ocean cliff views, gorgeous villas, to a wide range of snorkeling and diving spots.
This article is a travel guide for first timer travelers who are planning on visiting Bali, Indonesia in the near future.
How to get to Nusa Penida from Sanur Harbor:
There are a lot of fast boats heading to Nusa Penida from Sanur harbor, leaving every hour or 30 minutes depending on the fast boat company. You can also go to Nusa Penida from Padang Bai Harbor, but if you’re planning to stay around Kuta, Sanur is the most convenient place to get there.
Roundtrip tickets cost around 750K ~ 1000K IDR depending on the fast boat company you’ll be choosing. It’s best to book them ahead of time to save yourself from the hassle and save time when you get to Sanur harbor. Although there are a lot of fast boat options to choose from when you get there.
During our 2 days and 1 night stay on this beautiful island, we were able to visit 9 tourist spots:
- Atuh Beach
- Rumah Pohon Tree House (Thousand Islands)
- Kelingking Beach (T-Rex Island)
- Manta Point
- Crystal Bay
- Gamat Bay
- Wall Point
- Broken Beach / Pasih Uug
- Angel’s Billabong
1. Atuh Beach
Among the beaches in Nusa Penida, Atuh beach is one of those virgin beaches with some decent facilities. I can compare it to some of the beaches in the Philippines with white sand, clear waters and several mini islands nearby, except that the waves in Atuh are strong. Some even go there to surf.
To be able to get to the beach, you need to go through quite a long staircase down the cliff. But believe me, the view was worth all the sweat! I also love that the beach was not crowded at all when we got there. Just enough tourists around to get your beautiful photos right on the perfect spots.
2. Rumah Pohon Tree House (Thousand Islands)
The Rumah Pohon Tree House or what they call the Nusa Penida Tree House, is located within the Thousand Island viewpoint, which is not far from Atuh beach. From the view at the tree house, you will already see the islands nearby. It was quite a challenge to trek around the viewpoints but the minute you get to each point, you will truly be awestruck. It was paradise.
3. Kelingking Beach (T-Rex Island)
Kelingking beach, well-known for the island’s T-Rex form, was my personal favorite Bali attraction. It has a steep staircase from the cliff that leads down to the beach which makes it chilling to go down. Unfortunately, we were not able to go to the beach because me and my friends were too exhausted at the time. I was only able to reach halfway of the staircase. But as I have heard and read, the beach view down the cliff was majestic. And that there was a hidden spot down there. I really regret not being able to go to the beach though, and I suggest you to try!
4~7. Manta Point, Crystal Bay, Gamat Bay, Wall Point
On our second day in Nusa Penida, we went snorkeling around Manta Point, Crystal Bay, Gamat Bay and Wall Point. It was indeed my best snorkeling experience so far. We were able to see the manta (stingray), the jiti tuna and a wide range of fish I was not familiar of, up close. The water was so crystal clear! I enjoyed it so much I didn’t mind getting sunburnt. You don’t have to worry about the snorkeling gears because those are already part of the fee. It’s definitely a must try when you visit Nusa Penida.
8. Broken Beach / Pasih Uug
Pasih Uug, well known as the “Broken Beach”, is also one of the famous tourist spots of Nusa Penida. As the English name suggests, and from the Balinese “Pasih Uugh beach” which means damaged beach, it is called that way because there’s a hole in the middle of the beach cliff. The beach is not famous for swimming, however, but it sure makes a great view for taking good pictures.
9. Angel’s Billabong
Only a 5-minute walk near Broken Beach / Pasih Uug, Angel’s Billabong is a gem in the heart of Nusa Penida. Because we were in a hurry to catch the fast boat ride back to Sanur, we only got a few minutes to take a glimpse of the beauty of this nature’s stagnant pool. I only wish I could have stayed longer and take a quick dip at the billabong. I was that beautiful for me! I highly suggest you spare ample time to enjoy it.
How to tour around the island:
There are options on how you would prefer to tour the island. If you prefer DIY tours, motorbike and car rentals are offered by locals when you reach Nusa Penida’s harbor. You can go around the island on motorbikes, just make sure you know very well how to drive because some roads there are dangerous. They do not require international driver’s license as long as you can provide them your passport. On the other hand, if you choose to rely on a tour group, there are also a wide range of tour groups in Nusa Penida that offer 1 day or 2 days tour, depending on how many days you would want to stay on the island. On my opinion, however, it’s better to book them in advance to save time and money.
During our tour, last March 18th to 19th 2018, we booked a tour group to accommodate us since none of us know how to properly drive a motorcycle. I would suggest it for people who want to ditch the hassle. On the other hand, though, if you’re up for some on-the-road adventure, DIY tour is probably fit for you.
So if you’re planning on going on a trip to Bali, don’t forget to add Nusa Penida on your itinerary! I highly suggest everyone to visit this incredible island. Truly a fresh flavor of Bali.