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What to do on Nusa Penida Island: Ultimate Guide

What to do on Nusa Penida Island: Ultimate Guide

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Explore the best Nusa Penida Island with this epic travel guide featuring 12 epic things to do & see on your next trip!

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 absolute BEST things to do on Nusa Penida, including the top places to visit, and some ideas on how to spend your time on the island.

Quick Things to Know About Nusa Penida

With its dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches, and vibrant marine life, I recommend spending at least a few days here to check out all the spots and activities. Here's what you need to know.

  • How to get here: You can visit on a day trip from Bali or take regular transport from Bali. Speed boats run from Sanur, typically taking around 45 minutes. Always book in advance as trips sell out!
  • Entrance/parking fees: At almost every beach and attraction on Nusa Penida, you have to pay a 10,000 IDR entrance fee. This is normal.
  • Transport & getting around Renting a scooter is the best way to get around to all the top sites. But be prepared for challenging roads. Alternatively, hire a local driver.
  • Cash is King: ATMs are limited and can be unreliable. The best ATMs are in Toyapakeh. I recommend bringing enough cash for your stay.
  • Food and Water: Stick to bottled water and try local warungs (small restaurants) for affordable and delicious meals.
  • Best Time to Visit: The dry season (April to October) offers the best weather for exploring and outdoor activities.
  • Safety: Roads can be rough, and medical facilities are basic. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
  • Crowds: Visit popular spots like Kelingking Beach early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Epic Things to Do on Nusa Penida Island

I've explored every inch of this island on multiple trips. Here are my favorite and must-visit spots that you should add to your Nusa Penida itinerary. I've also written independent blog posts about several of these attractions and highlights, which include more photos and info about how to get to each.

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 the "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!

Kelingking beach, t-rex viewpoint on nusa penida, things to do
T-rex Beach (Kelingking)
Kelingking beach bamboo staircase on nusa penida
Beach cave kelingking
Early morning at Kelingking Beach

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!

Thousand island viewpoint, palau seribu, nusa penida things to do

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.

Nusa penida tree house

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 IDR.

Things to to nusa penida island 1 3

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.

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!

Cyrstal bay nusa penida

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!

Angel's billabong rock pools at sunset, nusa penida

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.

Broken beach, nusa penida, indonesia
Arch on broken beach, nusa penida
Broken beach on nusa penida, indonesia
Broken Beach at high tide

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!

Diamond beach stairway
Diamond beach 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.

Blue staircase nusa penida
Peguyangan infinity pool, nusa penida
Kids hanging out in the natural infinity pool
Peguyangan waterfall and shrine, nusa penida, bali

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.

Tembeling beach natural pools nusa penida
Tembeling beach on nusa penida

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 a 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.

Cave temple on nusa penida
Kelingking beach bamboo staircase on nusa penida

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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!

Banah cliffs viewpoint, things to do on nusa penida

Exploring Nusa Penida's Highlights from Bali

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.

Four Elements is the best local tour company running trips from Bali to Nusa Penida. Their most popular day tour is the Nusa Penida Island & Snorkeling Tour Top Pick, 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
  • Snorkel with Manta Rays

How to Get to Nusa Penida

The first thing you might be wondering is how to get to Nusa Penida island, which is much more affordable and easier than getting to the Gili Islands or getting to Lombok from Bali.

Still, 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. Here are some things to know:

  • Ferries are running from Sanur to Nusa Penida every day, which is a 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 worth it!

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).

Tip: if you're looking to get a good deal on the Nusa Penida ferry check out the complete guide on how to get to Nusa Penida.

Infographic on how to get to 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.

Resort pool on nusa penida island

1. Adiwana Warnakali Resort Luxury

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.

Pool at jukung cottage villas in nusa penida

2. Jukung Cottage Mid-Range

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.

Hostel dorm on nusa penida island

3. Hostel Bukit Sangcure Budget

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 these days is between 70,000 to 100,000 rupiah. However, you'll likely have to barter down from as high as 15,000 before landing on a fair price.

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 to check out HeyMondo Travel Insurance.

These guys are a new company but are growing massively thanks to excellent coverage and good value for money.

Motorbike to crystal bay nusa penida
Monkey in bali

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!

Coral at crystal bay nusa penida
Coral & marine life on nusa penida island

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!

Things to to do on nusa penida island

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.

  • 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 150,000
  • 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!
Things to do nusa penida island
Top tips for nusa penida
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

Beatriz

Friday 5th of August 2022

Hi Olly,

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?

Thanks! B

Olly Gaspar

Sunday 7th of August 2022

Hi Beatriz,

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.

Olly

emily

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!

Olly Gaspar

Sunday 27th of March 2022

Hi Emily,

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!