Living in Western Australia we have become accustomed to visiting Bali on multiple occasions with this trip marking our third time to the Indonesian island. However, we are shocked that this was our first discovery of another small Indonesian island – Nusa Penida, about a 30 min boat ride off the coast of Bali.
How to Get There
You won’t be able to fly into Nusa Penida directly, however after arriving at the Denpasar airport in Bali then catching a quick 30 min drive to Sanur (costing about IDR100,000) you will soon be at the boat port ready to head over. There you can jump on a 30 min boat ride to Nusa Penida with fares costing about $33 return. The Maruti Express departs daily at 9am, 10am, 2pm and 4pm.
Things to do in Nusa Penida
Once you have arrived you will feel as thought you have just stepped into paradise. Coming from Bali which is filled with tourists, they are surprisingly lacking here adding to the natural beauty of the area.
Swim in Crystal Bay
As the name suggests, you will be treated to crystal clear waters ideal for snorkelling in the bay. If you are heading here for the day you can pop into the resort situated on the beach to grab a quick drink or early lunch.
Quick tip: If you want the best view of the big rock (or small island depending on how you look at it) then walk along the beach, through the shallow waters and around the corner to the right of the beach to get an up close view.
Go diving or snorkelling
Nusa Penida is the largest of three “Nusa” islands which allows the area to provide a wider range of dive spots. If you don’t have your own gear there’s a dive resort on the island who can assist you with a tour or rental. You can expect to see giant Manta Rays, plenty of fish and one worth looking out for – the Mola-Mola ocean fish (Google it – it’s one awesome looking fish).
Swim in an infinity pool: Angel’s Billabong
A pool wedged between two cliffs [check], a natural infinity pool [check] and beautiful green waters [check]. Wether you plan to go for a swim or just to have a picnic, it’s well worth the visit to Angel’s Billabong.
Go See Bukit Teletubbies
No you won’t see a Balinese version of the Teletubbies but instead a unique set of hills nicknamed by tourists who were inspired by the set-piece of the show of the same name. Heading east along the island will bring you here and though not as awe-inspiring as Pasih Uwug – it’s worth the stopover.
Stare in awe at Pasih Uug
Alright, most of the suggestions have involved water sports or getting wet but this one you don’t need to bring your bikini for. Here lies the Pasih Uug sea crater (not to far from Crystal Bay) on the south west of the island. When you walk out to the cliffs edge and see the natural bridge in the distance you will struggle to put down your camera.
Go See Atuh Beach
As the day goes on and the sights are slowly checked off you cannot help but assume you have seen it all. Another clifftop, another natural bridge, another beach to swim in – is this one of Indonesia’s most beautiful islands? Like I said before – how did we not come here before?
As the sun slowly sets and you make your way back to catch the last boat (or maybe you plan to stay the night?) we suggest you make one last stop at Banah Cliffs to enjoy the views and go through your almost full memory card from the day, strategically planning which photograph to upload first.
Where to stay in Nusa Penida
With nights costing around $55 for a luxurious villa overlooking the beautiful Agung View, you will start to question why you haven’t thought of travelling to Nusa Penida before? These three storey highly affordable accommodations also come with a view of Ganung Agung volcano.
If you are wanting to stay in West Penida then these tranquil bungalows are for you. Originally the first resort to open on the island you can’t help but feel like a local in these straw thatched roof houses.
Where to eat: Somewhere?
I feel bad for not remembering the cafe name or the family name of the owner. Simply because looking at the cafe you wouldn’t even know it was one. This tropical house set on the beach with views of locals working the seaweed farms and a volcano was a fitting backdrop to drink one of the most thirst quenching fruit juices I have ever had.
Here’s a picture – if you ever find the name of the cafe, please tell us.
Something different: Volunteer with Sea Turtles
The reason we made our way to Nusa Penida in the first place was to continue doing what we love – volunteering whilst travelling abroad. Here we spent two days caring for several highly endangered species of sea turtles. If you were interested in having a unique holiday you can read more about our sea turtle conservation experience, however this would not be a day trip and is done over a week or two.
What island in Indonesia should we visit next?
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