A detailed travel guide to Nusa Penida Island featuring 12 epic things to do on Nusa Penida! Explore the best Nusa Penida Island with this epic guide!
Looking for an adventure beyond the Bintangs and over-trodden market stalls in Bali– Nusa Penida island is where it’s at! This is by far, the best island off Bali for adventure travel. Nusa Penida is more rugged, wild, and in my opinion, generally just more beautiful than neighboring Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
In this island travel guide, I’ll let you in on the 12 best things to do on Nusa Penida, including the best places to visit, and some ideas on how to spend your time on the island.
Tip: I’ve also written independent articles to several of these Nusa Penida attractions and highlights, which include more photos and info about each. Furthermore, if you scroll down to the bottom of this post, you’ll find a detailed Nusa Penida travel guide with tips on everything from getting around to where to stay.
- How to Get to Nusa Penida
- 12 Epic Things to do on Nusa Penida Island
- Where to Stay on Nusa Penida: Accommodation Guide
- How to Get Around on Nusa Penida
- Best Time to Visit Nusa Penida
- Is Nusa Penida Worth Visiting?
- More Travel Tips for Visiting Nusa Penida Island
- More Things to do in Nusa Penida & Indonesia
How to Get to Nusa Penida
Tip: If you're already in Nusa Penida and looking for things to do, skip this bit. If you're looking to get a cheap deal on the Nusa Penida ferry, read on or read the complete guide on how to get here.
The first thing you might be wondering is how to get to Nusa Penida island. There are ferries running from Sanur to Nusa Penida every day, which is 25 minute drive from Kuta on the coast of Bali.
What you want is the "fast boat", which is much quicker and safer (yes there've been a few capsizing events lately). The difference in cost is very marginal and definitely worth it!
It used to be the case that getting to Nusa Penida was a bit hit and miss in terms of price. That's because it seems every single tour operator in the dog-eat-dog streets of Kuta and Seminyak was out to make a buck off your misfortune.
Luckily, you can now book the ferry to Nusa Penida from Bali online, guaranteeing you get the best rate. Best of all, you won't have to deal with the hassle of bartering! This also includes a transfer from your hotel to get around to the other side of Denpasar (Sanur ferry terminal).
Book the cheap ferry from Bali online: Sanur (Bali) Ferry Transfer (fast-boat)
Best Nusa Penida Trip from Bali (Includes the Top Things to do on the Island)
I'd recommend staying on Nusa Penida Island for at least a couple of days in order to experience all of the epic things to do! However, we don't all have the luxury of unlimited travel time.
So, if you're instead looking to tick off the Nusa Penida attractions on a big, adventure-filled day, then it might be a good idea to book an organized trip from Bali.
The best tour operator running trips from Bali to Nusa Penida is a local tour company called Four Elements. Their most popular day tour is the Nusa Penida Adventure Tour, which includes:
- Fast boat transfers & all entrance fees
- Hotel pickup/drop-off
- All snorkeling equipment
- Visit to Crystal Bay, Manta Ray snorkeling, Kelingking Beach lookout, Atuh Beach, Borken Beach, and Angels Billabong
Multi-day Nusa Penida Tour: if you want to spend more time on the island without the hassle of planning things yourself. Four Elements also runs a 2-day tour and an epic 3-day tour.
12 Epic Things to do on Nusa Penida Island
With some of the logistics out of the way, let's do a deep dive into this Nusa Penida travel guide featuring 12 things to do on the island.
1. Kelingking Beach
Starting with the best attraction isn't always the classiest of moves. But for me, I'm just so stoked about Kelingking Beach that I want to share it with you straight away.
Kelingking Beach, or "T-Rex" viewpoint is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful landscapes you'll find in Indonesia. This spot definitely does the rounds on social media but trust me, it's a spot you don't want to miss.
A tip for this one is to come early in the morning for the best light and fewer crowds. Also, if you're game, I'd definitely recommend making the steep descent down to Kelingking Beach, one of the wildest on Nusa Penida Island!
2. Thousand Island Viewpoint
Nusa Penida island is all about wild, exotic viewpoints and you can probably already guess that chasing these are some of the funnest things to do when visiting.
Thousand Island Viewpoint, also known as Pulau Seribu offers sweeping views of large outcrops soaring out of the turquoise blue water below.
You'll have to walk down a rather steep section to get to the best viewpoint here. At the base, you'll find some fences built to keep tourists safe from the sudden death drops ahead. This is a perfect place to sit, relax, and enjoy the incredible views over the Island of Nusa Penida!
3. Nusa Penida Tree House
If you're looking for instagrammable things to do on Nusa Penida, then you've probably already come across this particular treehouse online.
The Nusa Penida treehouse is located just a little up the road from the Thousand Island viewpoint. You can actually stay here for a night by booking online at Airbnb. When I visited, no one was around so I took the opportunity to snap some photos.
4. Snorkel With Manta Rays at Manta Bay
One of the most epic things to do on Nusa Penida island, and an activity that is advertised almost everywhere in Bali, is a snorkel with Manta Rays.
Nusa Penida seems to be a Manta Ray hub of sorts. You'll often see them from many of the viewpoints and cliffs around Nusa Penida. However, due to how steep the coastline is on the island, you might have a hard time getting down to the water to swim with Mantas.
For this reason, most people book a Manta Ray snorkeling trip at the appropriately named 'Manta Point'. If you're already staying on Nusa Penida, you can book this Manta Point snorkeling trip very cheaply online.
Alternatively, for those staying in Bali, you can also book a Nusa Penida Manta Ray snorkeling trip with a stop at Nusa Ceningan for 650,000.
5. Snorkeling At Crystal Bay Nusa Penida
By far, one of my favorite snorkeling spots on Nusa Penida is Crystal Bay. This beach is one of the closest swimming beaches to the main port, meaning it's easy to get here. The roads have recently been revamped in Nusa Penida, meaning they're not as hectic as they once were.
Book a motorbike: Here's the cheapest rate online (50,000 per day)
So, one recommendation for things to do on Nusa Penida is to rent a motorbike and ride over to Crystal Bay for snorkeling. It takes just 20 minutes to get here, and if you're blessed with good visibility, you're in for a treat!
6. Angel's Billabong
If you plan the tides right, Angel's Billabong is a beautiful, blue rocky tide pool for swimming. You'll find this spot right near Broken Beach and what you want to do is aim to visit at low tide.
If the low tide and sunset line up at around the same time, then this is definitely something that you'll want to do on Nusa Penida since it's one of the best spots for photos!
7. Broken beach
Broken Beach, or Pasih Uug Beach, is a rocky archway formed from a collapsed sea cave many years ago. The strong tides on Nusa Penida continue to sweep beautiful, turquoise water through the arch and into the void every day.
You'll find Broken Beach on the west side of the island, not too far from Crystal Bay. It also shares the same car park as the Angel's Billabong (above), meaning you'll get to tick off two Nusa Penida attractions in one go.
You can walk all the war around the exposed hole or simply take some photos of the archway near the edge.
8. Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach is my personal favorite beach on the island. What's unique about this particular east coast beach is that locals have carved out a spectacular stairway into the vertical cliff!
This opened up one of the most pristine beaches to everyone! If you look closely, you'll soon realize why it's named Diamond Beach. There are several large rocky outcrops on this section of the coast that are shaped exactly like diamonds.
There's a viewpoint at the top where you can hang out and admire the view over the crystal clear water and palm trees lining the shores. But, I definitely recommend making the steep descent down to Diamond Beach's shores. In my opinion this is one of the best beaches in Indonesia and visiting is easily one of the top things to do on Nusa Penida!
9. Peguyangan Waterfall
Peguyangan Waterfall, or Guyangan Waterfall, is located on the west side of Nusa Penida, closeby to other worthwhile attractions like Kelingking Beach. This spot isn't much of a waterfall in the conventional sense, but more of a natural spring.
Peguyangan Waterfall is famous for its blue, steel staircase leading down to the cliffside spring. You'll find a pipe here with redirected water that flows off the cliff into the Indian Ocean– hence the waterfall.
This spot is also a popular pilgrimage site and you'll find a shrine so make sure to bring a sarong.
10. Tembeling Beach
Tembeling Beach is an epic adventure fit for those looking to get a bit off the beaten path. You won't find any tour buses or large crowds here!
That's because the road down to Tembeling Beach is one of the steepest and sketchiest on the island. If you're confident on a motorbike, you can get down here to find an awesome forest and natural pools for swimming and cliff jumping.
11. The Pura Goa Giri Putri Temple
The Pura Goa Giri Putri is one of the best temples I've visited in Hindu Indonesia. This unique temple is actually within a large cave with several caverns!
You'll find this cave on the northeastern tip of Nusa Penida, approximately 25 minute ride from the port.
There's a donation fee to get in and you'll also need to bring a sarong. Alternatively, you can rent a sarong at the entrance for 50,000 rupiah.
The Pura Goa Giri Putri cave is situated halfway up a hillside. Once you're inside, you're free to explore, keeping in mind that locals come here to pray. If you continue further into the cave, there are smaller caverns with unique shrines.
12. Banah Cliffs Viewpoint
The last attraction on this Nusa Penida things-to-do list is the incredible Banah Cliffs viewpoint (Tanjung Banah).
The Banah Cliffs offer not one, but two epic viewpoints. You'll find this epic spot on the west coast, between Kelingking and Tembeling. The soaring cliff viewpoint spans out to the open sea, with incredible arched rock formations visible.
This is definitely one of the best viewpoint locations on Nusa Penida!
Where to Stay on Nusa Penida: Accommodation Guide
Nusa Penida isn't a huge island, but there are several options to pick from when choosing where to stay. Below I've included my 3 picks for budget, mid-range, and luxury accommodation.
- Luxury: Adiwana Warnakali Resort - This isn't the most expensive luxury resort on Nusa Penida but it's definitely one of the best! This resort is waterfront located with large, luxury suites and an incredibly included breakfast.
- Mid-range: Jukung Cottage - This epic, beachside resort-style cottage retreat offers great bang for buck. It features a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, and a shared lounge.
- Budget: Hostel Bukit Sangcure - This is the accommodation I chose in Nusa Penida. It's a cheap backpacker hostel that is close to the port and offers breakfast and bike rentals.
How to Get Around on Nusa Penida
If you're not booking the island highlights tour, and you'd rather explore the island yourself, then you'll want your own scooter. Motorbike is how most people get around on this island, locals and tourists alike. This is a good way to explore some of the remote parts of the island like Diamond Beach and Teletubbies Hill.
A good price for a scooter/motorbike rental on the island is between 50,000 to 70,000 rupiah. However, you'll likely have to barter down from as high as 15,000 before landing on a fair price.
Instead, I'd recommend just booking a scooter rental online, which guarantees you'll get the best rate of 50,000 rupiah per day.
Motorbike rental booking: Scooter for 50,000 per day (best rate)
While the roads have definitely improved over the past few years, the island is still notorious for bumpy, sketchy roads. Apparently, a lot of people crash when coming over from Bali because they're just used to dirt and gravel roads.
If you're still in the planning stages of your trip, I'd definitely suggest getting travel insurance. I never travel without it and have had my fair share of claims in the past. For adventure destinations like Nusa Penida island, you're going to want World Nomad's insurance.
This offers the best coverage and I swear by them for claims.
Best Time to Visit Nusa Penida
The great thing about Bali and the Nusa Islands is that you can honestly visit at any time of the year and still have a great time. In saying that, the best time to visit Nusa Penida falls between the months of May to September. This is the dry season, which obviously results in less rain and cooler weather than in the rainy season.
Whenever you visit though, it'll be swimming weather, so don't stress if you're visiting in the off-season or shoulders. Actually, you might enjoy it more due to the lack of crowds!
Is Nusa Penida Worth Visiting?
I'm sure you already know the answer to this question– of course Nusa Penida is worth visiting, there's just so much to do here, especially for adventure travelers! In fact, if I had to make a call, I'd definitely choose this island over Bali and the other Nusa Islands too for that matter!
More Travel Tips for Visiting Nusa Penida Island
Wrapping up this ultimate travel guide to Nusa Penida featuring the 12 best things to do is this quick rundown of things you'll want to know. They're more so tips, and I've touched on a few of these already, this one's for the skim-readers!
- To get to Nusa Penida, book a fast-ferry from Bali
- The best way to get around is by scooter, don't pay more than 70,000
- There's a 10,000 rupiah "entrance fee" payable at each attraction. A local will come and collect it
- Nusa Penida has a pretty bad plastic pollution problem. Do your part by picking up small pieces of trash on your adventures. No, you won't clean it all, but your actions will be noticed and followed
- Swimming at many of the beaches can be dangerous in big swell
- If you've got time, go check out neighboring Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan as well!
More Things to do in Nusa Penida & Indonesia
That's a wrap for this detailed travel guide to Nusa Penida island featuring 12 epic things to do! For more travel guides and adventure inspiration, head over to some of my other articles below.
Friday 5th of August 2022
This is an amazing article - thanks so much!!
I don't feel confident driving a scooter, could I use a taxi instead to go to the different places you mentioned?
Sunday 7th of August 2022
You could to some places. A better and more cost-effective option might be to book one of the organized tours I've linked to.
Sunday 27th of March 2022
Hey there! Is it easy to get to many places by scooter? If I rent one, is the distance driving to the many popular locations far from each other? Thanks!
Sunday 27th of March 2022
The roads on Nusa Penida have improved in recent years, so it's certainly easier than it used to be. Still can be rough in some sections. In terms of distance, it's really not too bad. I'd still stick to one side per day though, would be a bit of a mission to try to ride to every spot in a single day, that's for sure!