We spent 4 days visiting Nusa Penida Island, and we highly recommend you to take some time for this island and don’t just visit it in one day because it has so much to offer which you don’t want to rush through.
How to get to Nusa Penida from Bali
You can get to the island from the Harbor in Sanur, Bali by fast-boat which takes you about 45 minutes. But the trip is more time-consuming because we were told to be at the Harbor 1 hour before departure. In our experience, it wouldn’t have been necessary to be there that early because we had to wait a lot. But except for that, it worked all pretty well. There are many companies to choose from, to get to Nusa Penida we took Angel Billabong and when we came back to Bali from Nusa Ceningan, we booked the Crown. Both companies did a good job, took care of our big pieces of luggage, and it was a comfortable ride. The cost of the speed boat was around IR 200K, which is about 14 USD for one way. It depends if you have pick-up and drop-off services included or not. We got our tickets directly at the Harbor. We heard that they could be booked online for a cheaper price, but we don’t have any experience with that.
Prepare yourself to get wet feet when entering and leaving the boat because there is no such thing as a footbridge. We recommend you to wear shoes that can be removed easily and shorts and not long pants or dresses.
How to get around in Nusa Penida
When we first arrived, we took a taxi to our accommodation because we had our entire luggage with us. We paid about IR 150K for a 30 min ride.
After that, we rented a scooter for our whole stay and paid IR 70K per day, which is about 5 USD. We highly recommend you to get around by motorbike yourself because this allows you to visit some of the very famous spots early in the morning. You should get to these places before the tourist masses arrive; this will make it a lot more of a memorable experience for you.
But we have to mention that the streets on Nusa Penida are sometimes terrible and we had a lot of bumpy rides which caused to ass-pain. Also, there are a lot of accidents happening because of these streets so if you have no experience driving a scooter we wouldn’t recommend you to. If you are an experienced driver, you will be fine, just count enough time for the way and always wear your helmet.
If you decide not to drive yourself, we would recommend you to book a private driver to visit the famous spots before the big tourist tours arrive. We heard from other people that they had amazing experiences visiting these places with a local guide via a private tour. Also, the guide can take photos of you if you like, which is plus because it sometimes got very challenging to place our tripod.
What to do on Nusa Penida
There is a lot to do on this Island, and we were thrilled by the adventures we had there. We didn’t even make it to do all we wanted to. That is why we mention again, count enough time if you really want to experience this Island.
Diamond Beach and thousand Islands View Point
On the east coast of Nusa Penida, you can find the incredibly beautiful Diamond beach. It has its name because of the Diamond shaped rock which is located in the bay. We have seen a lot of pictures of this beach and couldn’t believe that it is even more beautiful in real life.
We recommend you to visit this beach early in the morning. We got there around 7 am and we experienced it to start getting crowded by 9 am. When we first arrived there were only very few other people. Another great thing about arriving early is that you can skip the entrance fee because there was no-one at the entrance yet.
The stairs down to the beach that is newly built are pretty easy, but they go only halfway down. After that, it gets much steeper, but still some stairs you can follow. Only the last part is a bit of a hike but nothing impossible 😉
The beach is worth every step to get there. It is a beautiful white sand beach with turquoise blue water. We enjoyed our time at the beach so much. But be aware that the water is very rough there, so it’s not recommended to swim.
Just a few minutes ride from Diamond beach you can find the thousand islands viewpoint which gives you a stunning view, and we highly recommend you to visit this place at sunrise because it’s the perfect spot for it. Unfortunately, we caught some rain when we did so. This is also the place where the famous Rumah Pohon Treehouse can be found.
There are probably not that many places in the world that are more famous than this beach, but when we got there, we totally realized why. It’s a magical place and what makes it unique it the T-Rex shaped formations that can be admired from above.
To visit this beach we recommend you again to get there early or at sunset. We heard that the big tours leave in the late afternoon and If we had known earlier, we would consider visiting for sunset because the lights on the beach would have been better. But also in the early morning, it was a beautiful experience. We arrived at the beach shortly before 7 am and were the first ones there.
We took some photos at the top and admired the beach from above first because we know that a lot of people wouldn’t go all the way down, but the top can get crowded. After that, we started our hike down. The first part until the middle is pretty easy, but the second part got way more challenging. We recommend you to wear the right shoes, either sneakers or sandals that have a good sole and can not slip off your feet. It took us about 30-40 min to get down.
The beach we landed on was worth every step. Probably the most beautiful beach we have seen so far. The ocean is wild and rough, and you can spot Mantas in the water. Also not a beach where it is recommended to swim because it can get quite dangerous with the huge waves.
We spent about 1.5 hours at the beach. There were only a few people coming all the way down, and we loved the time we had there. After that, we hiked back up, which took us about half an hour again. By that time, the top was crowded already, and we were happy to hop on our scooter and drive on.
Broken Beach and Angel Billabong
These two places are right next to each other so you can park your scooter and walk to both of them. There is a parking fee of IR 5’000 which is less than 1 UDS.
Angels Billabong is like a natural infinity pool which is very beautiful. It is possible to swim inside but only at low tide because at high tide the waves are breaking over the rocks and it can get very dangerous. During the time we visited the low tide was unfortunately not in the morning, so we didn’t get to swim inside, and because of the crowds, we decided not to come back in the afternoon when the tide got lower.
Right next to it only a few minutes by walk, you can find broken beach which is like a big round hole and a natural archway which you can walk over. It is not possible to get down to the actual beach, but it’s beautiful to see from above.
Where to eat on Nusa Penida
We had fantastic food during our time on Nusa Penida and have listed our favorite spots here:
Our favorite place on the Island. Located on the beach with the best beach vibes and great vegan options. Very delicious Buddha Bowl as well as smoothie bowls. Run by a lovely Australia-Penida couple working towards sustainable practices.
Great place to have Breakfast and good Coffee. We loved the smoothies Bowls here.
Lovely place to have dinner. We loved their curry and black rice dessert.
Vegan Soul Kitchen
This place is a bit secluded, but that is why it’s even more idyllic to eat there. They have amazing Vegan dishes and smoothies.
Our favorite Warung on the Island. Delicious Nasi Goreng and Gado-Gado for a reasonable price. (Add a delicious watermelon juice to your food, because water is sold only in plastic bottles here)
Where to stay on Nusa Penida
We stayed at La Roja Bungalows and we liked the place a lot. Spacious Bungalows and super friendly staff. We had the chance to rent a scooter directly at the hotel and there were some good restaurants close from the Bungalows.