Nusa Penida is part of the Nusa archipelago, located just 12km off of the Balinese mainland. In recent years, the island of Nusa Penida has become increasingly popular because of its stunning coastal cliffs, and pristine beaches. Apparently, its laid-back vibe is reminiscent of the Bali from 10 years ago. It’s not surprising that more and more people flock here to get away from the hustle and bustle of the main island. For more information about how to get to Nusa Penida and where to stay, here is a quick guide for the Nusa Islands. Following is a list of 7 must visit places on Nusa Penida:
1. Crystal Bay
I am going to start the list off with Crystal Bay, one of the most popular beaches on Nusa Penida with its soft sand, clear water, and swaying palm trees. It’s also a well-known spot for people who want to go snorkeling or diving. There are many boats equipped to take you out for a day trip or you can just relax on the shore, soaking up the sun and sipping fresh coconuts. Getting there was pretty easy; and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the road to Crystal Bay is nicely paved. A 15 minute drive took us past traditional villages and down a palm-lined path towards the beach.
Entrance fee: Free
2. Atuh Beach
On the far East side of the island, you’ll find a white sand beach hidden by the surrounding cliffs. The secluded Atuh beach is about an hour and a half drive from Crystal Bay, making it one of the most remote tourist spots on the island. The road to this remote beach is very bad, and full of loose gravel and giant potholes. The last section leading to the top of the cliff was still under construction when we were there in November 2017 and could only be accessed by scooter. Since this place is out of the way, it is not as busy as the other popular tourist destinations on Nusa Penida.
From the parking area, you’ll walk along a ridge with stunning views of the crystal blue sea before climbing down a steep stone path. It takes about 30 minutes to get all down to the empty beach below. This beach is nicer than Crystal Bay, but the water is really rocky, so you’ll definitely need to bring water shoes. At the bottom, you’ll find different warungs, each with lounge chairs and umbrellas where you can sit – provided you buy something. We had some french fries and coconuts while we relaxing by the beach.
Entrance fee: IDR 10,000 per person
3. Treehouse Lookout Point
Nearby Atuh beach is the treehouse lookout point. This place required a bit of a hike to get to, but once you’re there it’s magical. High up on the hills, surrounded by palm trees and jungle, you’ll find these secluded tree houses overlooking the surrounding cliffs and water. It’s the perfect place to feel at one with nature. These tree houses can actually be rented on airbnb, although I am not sure about hiking down the steps with luggage. But for just a moment, I imagined waking up to this stunning view at sunrise and it almost made me change my mind.
The steps leading down are not in the best condition, so make sure you take your time. In some parts, there are no proper handrails to grab onto in case you slip. It took us about 30 minutes to get down to the tree houses and lookout point. It was worth it though, once we made it there.
Entrance fee: IDR 5,000
4. Seran Cliff Point
Seran is a towering cliff overlooking the tumultuous ocean below. From the top, you have unobstructed views of the surrounding lush green cliffs and turquoise waters. This off-the-beaten path spot still remains relatively unknown to visitors. Even our local driver had not heard of it, and to get there we had to direct him using google map coordinates and by asking people in nearby towns. The road leading up to the cliff was terrible and can only be accessed by scooter (do you notice a theme here?). Our driver dropped us off when he couldn’t go any further and we had to hike the last kilometer to get to the edge.
Walking on the dusty road, wading through the tall grass and swatting away the persistent flies in the middle of a hot day was not fun. But once we got there and and saw the view, it made up for the arduous journey. It was time to sit back on the swings take in the panoramic views. If you look carefully, you might be able to spot some manta rays gliding across the crystal clear water. The best part is that we had the place to ourselves.
Entrance fee: Free
5. Kelingking Beach
Kelingking Beach is hands down the most instagrammable spot on Nusa Penida, and for good reason. The iconic T-Rex shaped ridge definitely lives up to its reputation. From the top of the cliff you get a glimpse of the breathtaking view of the green rock formation sticking out of the turquoise water and white sand beach below. From above, the white waves crashing onto the shore look like an abstract painting. After taking about a hundred pictures, I took a moment to admire what Mother Nature has created here.
Aside from admiring the view at the top, you can also hike down to the beach at the bottom. On the left side, you’ll find a steep staircase, carved out of the side of the cliff. The epic hike down takes about 45 minutes and is not for the faint-of-heart. Makeshift bamboo poles loosely held together are the only support and stability you have as you make your way down. Part of the stairs have collapsed and there is a big sign warning people not to go down, but people do regardless. It’s hard to resist the unspoiled beach below. I went down a little bit but got scared and went right back up, but Fausto went all the way down to the bottom. He had some cheeky monkeys to keep him company along the way. At the bottom, he had the beach to himself, but the waves were too high and too dangerous for swimming. Fausto’s advice is to bring plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated if you decide to hike to the bottom.
Entrance fee: Free
6. Angel’s Billabong
Angel’s Billabong is the famous natural infinity pool, one of Nusa Penida’s most popular stops. Most people come here to swim in the shallow pool that seems to shimmer under the sun in lovely shades of green and gold. The water is so clear, you can see the algae covered volcanic rocks all the way at the bottom. The dirt road to Angel’s Billabong is rocky and full of holes, and saying that it’s rough is probably an understatement. We saw a few bikes broken down that had to be towed away. But like everything else on this island, the hard work pays off once you make it there.
The best and least dangerous time to visit is during low tide. We got there around 9 am and were one of the first ones in the water so we were able to get a few good shots before the bus loads of people arrived. Most people take pictures from above, but if you feel particularly adventurous, you can go into the pool. But make sure to wear rock shoes if you decide to go in to avoid the sharp reef that can cut up your feet. Even if the water was nice and calm, beware of your surroundings and make sure to stay well away from the edge. We heard stories about people getting dragged out into the ocean by a rogue tidal wave.
Entrance fee: Free
7. Broken Beach
A little further on, you’ll find Broken Beach, known locally as Pasih Uug. This little cove used to be a massive cave, but now with its ceiling collapsed in, all you can see is a giant hole in the ground. You can see the ocean below, but there is no way to get down. You can walk around the edge and over the archway leading out into the ocean for stunning views of the coast. This spectacular place is definitely one of the most popular places in Nusa Penida, so be prepared to find a lot of people here.