A Complete Travel Guide to Nusa Penida: The Blue Paradise Island

The iconic Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida with its unique T-rex shaped rock glowing at sunset.

Nusa Penida is undoubtedly the largest and the most popular of the three Nusa Islands located near mainland Bali. Home to the iconic T-Rex shaped cliff (aka Kelingking Beach), breath-taking landscapes, and some of the bluest waters in the world, it is a beautiful destination famous for its rare rock formations and incomparable natural beauty.

With a unique blend of incredible snorkelling and diving sites, untouched sceneries, and a myriad of Instagrammable spots, Nusa Penida barely needs any introduction today. Most people visiting Bali do at least a day trip to this blue paradise island, but after having spent a couple of nights there recently, I have to say that a day alone would not do it justice.

So, if you are curious about travelling to Nusa Penida and are wondering what all there is to see and do on the island, you are in the right place. In this guide, you will find everything from how to get there from Bali (and beyond), the best places to see in Penida Island, where to stay, and more. Read on for tips on making the most of your Nusa Penida trip!

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Know Before You Go

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (RP or IDR).

Power sockets: Type C and Type F.

Area: Approximately 209 square kilometres. 

Language: Bahasa and Balinese are the most commonly spoken languages in Nusa Penida. English is also wide-spread in the tourist areas so everyone working in the industry can speak it well.

Entrance Fee: As of 2023, all tourists visiting Nusa Penida have to pay an entrance fee of 25k IDR for adults and 15k IDR for children. This fee will be collected upon your arrival in Nusa Penida and they only accept cash. It is intended for the betterment of infrastructure on the island and covers Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan too.

Where is Nusa Penida?

Nusa Penida is a moderately underdeveloped yet popular island, located off the southeast coast of Bali in Indonesia. It is approximately 25 km from the island of Bali, and 4 km and 5 km from Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, respectively. 

A drone shot of small islands in the sea near Nusa Penida.

Even though the Nusa Islands are separated from mainland Bali by a body of water known as the Badung Strait, all three of them still fall under the Bali province. This is why many first timers get confused when hearing that Nusa Penida is a part of Bali. It is a separate landmass that is under the administration of Bali but is often combined together as part of the overall Bali experience.

CG’s tip: Since all three Nusa Islands are located really close to each other (and Bali), it is possible to group all of them in one trip. Each one of them has its unique landscapes to offer and is worth visiting!

How to get to Nusa Penida?

The closest airport to Nusa Penida is located on the island of Bali. Whether you are looking to visit for a day trip or an overnight stay, the only way to get to Penida Island is by sea. Here are the best options of reaching Nusa Penida from Bali and its nearby islands:

Getting to Nusa Penida from Bali

This is the most popular option to get to Nusa Penida. You will need to purchase tickets for a fast boat that will drop you there directly, without making a stop in any other nearby island on the way. Speed boats like these typically take about 45 minutes to reach Penida from Bali and there are numerous companies to choose from.

There are a few active ports on both islands, but the most widely used is Sanur Harbour (Matahari Terbit Port) in Bali and Banjar Nyuh Harbour in Nusa Penida. The first boat from Sanur to Nusa Penida departs at 7:30 am and the last one leaves at around 5:00 pm. This schedule can change depending on the weather and the sea conditions, so make sure to always double check it closer to your date.

Until very recently, hopping on a boat from Bali involved wading into knee deep waters from the beach while carrying your luggage overhead. But the newly built fast boat terminal in Sanur has a well organised pier, boarding gates, and air-conditioned waiting areas. This is why now most boats to Nusa Penida depart from and arrive at this modern harbour. 

Sanur Harbour is roughly an hour from popular areas like Ubud and Canggu. This travel time can vary depending on the traffic, so I would suggest leaving a little buffer to be safe. You can get there easily by either using your own transport or purchasing the fast boat tickets with a hotel pick-up included. Just remember to reach at least 45 minutes prior to your departure time to complete the check-in formalities. 

The price of the fast boat tickets to Penida varies across different companies and packages. You can buy your tickets online, via a local agent, or in person at the ticket counters at the port. Since this route to Nusa Penida is very common, I would suggest booking your tickets in advance as they tend to sell out pretty quickly (especially during the peak season).

12Go Asia is a great place to purchase your fast boat tickets if you are looking to get just that sorted. For tickets with hotel pick-up or sightseeing included, Klook and GetYourGuide have many highly rated packages. This one with a trip to the highlights of Nusa Penida along with a hotel pick-up and drop off is such a perfect and hassle-free option for day-trips.

In case you want to take your own scooter/car to Nusa Penida or are simply looking for a cheaper alternative to get there, it is also possible to take a public ferry from Padang Bai in Bali. The ferry operates twice a day from Monday to Saturday at 10 am and 2 pm. On Sundays, there is only one operational ferry at 10 am. 

The ferries from Padang Bai are often delayed, crowded and take much longer to reach. I would only recommend this option if you want to bring a vehicle across instead of saving money. The price difference isn’t significant enough and the safety protocols are up for debate.

CG’s tip: There may be no boats or ferries between Bali and Nusa Penida on important holidays such as Nyepi, Nyepi Laut, Galungan and Kuningan. Make sure to check the availability for these religious days in advance to avoid any cancellations or last-minute change of plans.

Getting to Nusa Penida from Nusa Lembongan / Nusa Ceningan

If you are staying in Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan first, you will have to take a local boat to get to Penida. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are connected by a Yellow Bridge and all the boats to Nusa Penida depart from there (on the Lembongan side). From Ceningan, simply cross the bridge until you reach Nusa Lembongan again and head to the make-shift ticket booth there.

The boats between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida run quite frequently and there is generally one every hour from 7:30 am to 04:00 pm. During the peak season, the boats may operate until 30 minutes before sunset so you can enquire about the last slot at the ticket office when you first arrive. The ticket price is 100k IDR (6.5 USD) one way per person.

You can also book your tickets online in advance as seats are often limited. The local boats between Lembongan and Penida don’t usually follow a fixed timetable and instead depart when they are full with passengers (happens quickly). This is why it is important to arrive on time to claim your seat first and exchange your booking voucher for a physical ticket. 

The journey from Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Penida takes around 15 minutes and you’ll arrive at the Toya Pakeh (aka Banjar Nyuh) Harbour in Penida.

CG’s tip: The harbour in Nusa Lembongan isn’t as advanced as the one in Bali yet, so you will probably have to lug your suitcase on the sand. From what I know, there are also no docks in Lembongan right now. I would recommend you to wear flip-flops or any easy to remove footwear in case you have to go into the water to board.

Getting to Nusa Penida from Lombok / Gili Islands

While visiting Nusa Penida from Bali or the other Nusa Islands is more popular, it is also possible to get there from Lombok and Gili Islands. Lombok and Gili Islands are located further away from Penida (as compared to Bali), but there are still several fast boat companies that connect them. However, keep in mind that not all of them go direct.

Most speed boats from Lombok or Gili Islands make a stop in Bali before continuing to Nusa Penida. These ferries operate multiple times in a day and take roughly 2-4 hours to reach Penida, depending on the layover. You can either book the entire journey with the same company to avoid changing boats in Bali or book two separate tickets with a boat change. 

Operating less frequently, there are also direct speed boats to Nusa Penida from both Lombok and Gili Islands that do not stop anywhere in between. These are slightly more expensive than the non-direct boats, but a great option if time and efficiency are important for you. 

The direct speed boat of Idola Express from Lombok to Nusa Penida takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Penida. Idola Express also offers direct connection between Gili Islands and Nusa Penida, which takes 2 hours and 15 minutes each way. Both of these options can be easily booked online on 12Go Asia.

CG’s tip: It is also possible to fly from Lombok to Bali and then take a fast boat to Nusa Penida from there.

How to get around Nusa Penida?

Nusa Penida is an island with modest overall infrastructure. Public transportation in Nusa Penida is pretty much non-existent and online cab aggregators like GoJek and Grab aren’t operational there as of yet. The island is also bigger than it looks with attractions spread out from one end of the island to the other. This is why it takes forever to go anywhere there!

Typically, most boats arrive in Nusa Penida at the Banjar Nyuh harbour on the northwest corner of the island. Whether you are staying overnight or just visiting on a day trip, you will need to use one of these ways to head to your final destination:

Rent a scooter

Renting a scooter is the cheapest way of getting around Nusa Penida. You can reserve it online and have it ready for your arrival or simply get it from one the many vendors at the harbour. It is also possible to rent a scooter in Penida with your hotel or Airbnb. The price of scooter rental in Nusa Penida ranges from 70-100K IDR per day and gas is also economical. 

Although an inexpensive and flexible option, this is not suitable for everyone and I will only recommend it to advanced drivers who are used to the island’s terrain. The roads in Nusa Penida are no joke and deadly accidents happen there every single day. Being a mountainous region, there are a lot of winding roads too with little visibility of what’s ahead. 

Popular landmarks like Angel’s Billabong and Kelingking Beach have particularly broken and bumpy paths so you have to be extra careful there. If you are a confident scooter driver and end up renting it, just make sure you always wear a helmet when driving, honk before blind turns, and have a valid travel insurance that covers scooter rentals and accidents. 

CG’s tip: There are not many petrol pumps close to the popular tourist places in Nusa Penida as of yet. In fact, I barely saw any after going deeper into the island from the harbour. If you are staying close by, always fill your tank before leaving on an excursion or make a note of the petrol pumps on your route.

Charu Goyal of Travel with CG standing in an orange maxi dress in the middle of a Balinese gate at Amartha, looking out to the sea at sunset.

Get a taxi / shuttle

This option is good for short one-way transports. As soon as you get off your boat at the harbour, you will find many taxi drivers offering a ride to your hotel or a desired drop-off point. If you are planning to rent a scooter afterwards with your hotel or simply have a lot of luggage, you can get one of these taxis to go to your accommodation comfortably. 

These taxis are present throughout the busy areas by the harbour. In case you happen to go to any café or restaurant close by later in the day, you can find a taxi there as well by waiting on the side of the road. This option isn’t suitable if you are far out as there may not be many empty taxis deeper inside the island.

Some hotels also provide paid shuttle services to nearby places which are great for short journeys. The hotel that I stayed in had this service and we used it many times to go to day clubs, cafes and restaurants. They also provided pick-up services to bring us back to the hotel which was perfect for when we didn’t have a private car after sightseeing hours. 

CG’s tip: If you are going out after 7 pm, then ensure you have a way of coming back to your hotel before leaving. There aren’t many people outside in Nusa Penida after dark so it is difficult to find taxis at that hour. I always coordinated with my hotel before leaving and they sent a shuttle for pick up whenever we were done.

Book a private car with a driver

This is the best way to explore Nusa Penida. Since the roads there are quite dangerous for two-wheelers and all the tourist spots are spread out, it takes much longer than anticipated to go anywhere on the island. You will be spending a lot of your time in transit so having a comfortable ride is key for a happier holiday, especially under the scorching sun.

You can find a driver at the harbour once you get to Nusa Penida, ask your hotel or guesthouse for a recommendation, or book online in advance. Depending on your Nusa Penida itinerary, it is possible to customise your booking with the driver and hire for any number of days or hours. This option of private car with a driver in Nusa Penida is highly rated.

The drivers in Penida charge per destination rather than by the hour so you will still have plenty of flexibility in terms of how much time you spend in a particular place. An experienced driver will also act as your tour guide and will tell you a lot about the island’s interesting history. Most drivers that I came across in Nusa Penida spoke good English.

Personally, I booked an all-inclusive 100% custom Nusa Penida tour with Putu of Bali Travel Monkey and couldn’t be happier. This included hotel pick-up and drop off in Bali, return ferry tickets, a private car with English speaking driver in Nusa Penida for 2 and a half days with pick-up and drop off at the port for 135 USD per person for two people. You can message him on Instagram with your itinerary to get a quote.

What is the best time to visit Nusa Penida?

Similar to Bali, Nusa Penida also has two seasons – wet and dry. The best time to visit the island is during the dry season, which typically runs from April to October. During this time, most days are sunny, the sea is calm, and the climate is hot and humid. These conditions are ideal for enjoying the pristine turquoise waters on the iconic beaches of Nusa Penida.

Having said that, it is also the busiest time of the year. June, July and August are the most crowded months in Penida. If you want to avoid peak season, I would recommend visiting just before or after that. I went at the end of May and it was perfect. The ferries still had available tickets and the traffic wasn’t that bad either (by Nusa Penida standards at least).

The rainy season, on the other hand, is from November to March. Nusa Penida sees comparatively fewer tourists during this period so prices of hotels and transportation are much cheaper. However, the sea can be very rough and it often rains heavily, making it more challenging to reach and explore Penida. 

Since the majority of the must-see places in Nusa Penida involve a multitude of stairs, I would not recommend visiting it during the wet season. The steps are already slippery and uneven in a lot of spots, so I do not even want to imagine them during or after a heavy downpour. If you do go, consider hiring a private car instead of exploring on a scooter.

How many days are enough for Nusa Penida?

Most travellers visiting Nusa Penida mainly come to see Kelingking Beach or Manta Rays on a day trip from Bali. But, in my opinion, that is equivalent to barely scratching the surface.

Nusa Penida has so many beautiful beaches and viewpoints that a day alone can never be enough. Not to forget, it takes a lot of time to get from one spot to another in Nusa Penida, particularly during the peak hours when the island is full of day trippers. I would suggest spending at least two full days in Penida as a bare minimum. 

A rock beach at Tembeling beach and Forest with a bamboo swing looking out to the sea.
A secret second beach at Tembeling Beach and Forest

If you have more time, three full days are more ideal for first timers, especially if you want to do snorkelling and diving as well. This will give you enough opportunity to see marine life, while also checking out all the popular places in Nusa Penida as well as exploring some hidden gems.

CG’s tip: I spent two full days in Nusa Penida and was able to see all the highlights on my list. However, I would have liked to have an extra day or two to check out some other spots as well. Three full days would have indeed been ideal.

Best Nusa Penida Day Tours

Not everyone has the luxury of time to be able to stay overnight in Penida. So, while I do not recommend going on a day trip to Nusa Penida, it is better than not being able to go there at all. In this case, I would suggest opting for one of the guided tours below to make the most of your time:

Nusa Penida Small Group Trip by Speed Boat: Kelingking Beach is the most famed spot in Nusa Penida and this day tour will take you directly there. It is one of the best rated tours for Penida if you want to see the west side of the island on your trip. This free-cancellation tour will also take you to Broken Beach, Angel’s Billabong and Crystal Bay. Ferry tickets and entrance fees are included and you can even opt for hotel pick-up and drop off in Bali. 

Day Trip to East Nusa Penida, Atuh & Diamond Beach: If you have been dreaming about visiting the incredible Diamond Beach instead, then this day tour to the east side of Nusa Penida is perfect for you. You’ll begin your trip at Thousand Islands viewpoint and continue onto the Instagram famous Rumah Pohon Tree House before heading to Atuh and Diamond Beach (they are next to each other). This tour also comes with a hotel pick-up and drop off in Bali.

Swim with Manta Rays in Nusa Penida: Nusa Penida is widely known for its marine life, so you cannot go wrong by opting for a snorkelling day trip. This tour will take you to three different snorkelling locations and you can end the day by going on a Mangrove tour by a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard. Hotel pick-up and drop off, fast boat transfers, snorkelling equipment and lunch on a beach are included in the price.

Where to stay in Nusa Penida?

Most of the beautiful places to see in Nusa Penida are located on the eastern and the western side of the island. But, large stretches of land near those are still uninhabited and you will barely find any good restaurants and cafes around. This is why I highly recommend not staying inland and instead finding a hotel or guesthouse close to the harbour areas.

Banjar Nyuh Harbour is the most frequently used port in Nusa Penida. It is located in the northern part of the island, which is home to several cafes and restaurants. Irrespective of what your preferences and budget may be, you should definitely stick to this area for your accommodation (unless you are going for an experiential stay somewhere else) in Penida.

A large infinity pool looking out to the sea at Semabu Hills Hotel in Nusa Penida during sunrise.

I booked the Semabu Hills Hotel Nusa Penida for three nights and absolutely loved the location. It is a 4 star property situated on a quiet hill close to Banjar Nyuh (Toya Pakeh) Harbour, offering unobstructed views of the island and the sea beyond. This hotel has mixed reviews online, but personally, I didn’t have any negative experience during my stay.

Semabu Hills Hotel has two infinity pools and a decent on-site restaurant. A lot of the good places to eat on the island are located close by and the hotel even offers an on request pick-up and drop-off shuttle services to go there. I found it really useful for when we didn’t have our driver or any other mode of transportation with us. The area near Kutampi Beach is also nice to stay in.

Best places to see in Nusa Penida

Penida island has a wealth of incredible places to offer. So now that you have all the practical information about visiting this blue paradise island, here are all the best places to add to your Nusa Penida itinerary:

Kelingking Beach

The iconic Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida with its unique T-rex shaped rock and white sand beach in the morning light.

Kelingking Beach is undoubtedly the most famous place in Nusa Penida. Home to the iconic cliff that truly looks like a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur sitting over the ocean, it is one of the most photographed spots on the island. In fact, pictures from the Kelingking Viewpoint are what really made Nusa Penida popular in the first place.

Kelingking Viewpoint is only a short walk from the parking, while the beach requires an intense climb down. If you have limited time or cannot be bothered to complete the hike to go down to the beach, then fret not. There are several stunning viewpoints along the edge of the cliffs, and taking pictures from there is one of the best things to do in Nusa Penida.

Most people visiting Kelingking Beach either just see it from the Kelingking Viewpoint or descend down a few flights of stairs to get a better look. In case you want to make your way to the beach, please note that the last section of the hike doesn’t have stairs and it can be very challenging. I would only recommend it to experienced hikers visiting in proper footwear.

Since Kelingking Beach is a very popular spot, it can get really crowded during the day with both day trippers and overnight tourists. To experience it without the crowds, going at sunrise is key to truly appreciate its natural beauty in peace. Sunset is also a nice time to visit as the sky turns all shades of orange and you can see the setting sun in the distance.

CG’s tip: There are often a lot of monkeys at the cliffside of Kelingking Viewpoint and near the stairs going down to the beach. Be careful if you are carrying food or any other loose items on you.

Opening hours: All day.
Entrance fees: Free.

Diamond Beach

Diamond Beach, one of the best places to see in Nusa Penida, captured from a viewpoint at the top of the cliff with a great view of diamond shaped rocks and the pristine white sand beach.

With a pristine white sand beach, crystal clear turquoise sea, and unique rock formations, Diamond Beach is the most beautiful beach in Nusa Penida. It is located in the eastern part of the island and is known for its glistening diamond shaped rocks, rising from the shallow azure water. The landscape here is truly one of a kind and shouldn’t be missed!

When visiting Diamond Beach, you can either admire this postcard perfect paradise from the viewpoint at the top or make your way down to the beach. The climb down to Diamond Beach isn’t as difficult as the one at Kelingking Beach, but there are still some steep and slippery parts here as well.

Not to forget, the last bit of the path also doesn’t have steps yet, so you will have to hold onto a rope to climb down and back up over small rocks. There is only one rope for people going up and down so it can get busy during peak hours. The climb takes roughly 20 minutes each way and you should only go during low tide.

Diamond Beach isn’t ideal for swimming and can be dangerous, especially during high tide. The ocean on this part of the island is very rough and unpredictable. Plus, the waves often come with corals and small rocks that can end up being painful if you are not cautious. There have been many accidents at Diamond Beach in recent years.

The viewpoint, on the other hand, is easily accessible from the parking area and has a breath-taking view of Diamond Beach. If you are not an experienced hiker and swimmer, I would recommend seeing the beach from above and then going to the nearby Atuh Beach for a swim instead. 

Opening hours: 07:00 – 18:00, every day except religious holidays.
Entrance fee: 25K IDR per person.

Atuh Beach

Atuh Beach and its colourful day beds visible from a viewpoint on top of a cliff with a beautiful bamboo swing.

Situated right next to Diamond Beach, Atuh Beach is a crescent-shaped bank of powdery white sand with crystal clear waters. It is remarkably known for a natural rock arch in the ocean that looks like a big elephant (or a stiletto according to locals). This arch looks particularly beautiful at sunrise when the sun is right in between the arches.

Atuh Beach can be accessed from two different parking lots, one on each side of the cliff. If you enter from the southern parking area, or simply follow the direction for Diamond Beach on maps, you can see both Diamond and Atuh Beaches in one go. These two beaches are located on two different sides of a mountain and it is easy to move around between them.

I personally recommend seeing Diamond Beach from the viewpoint first and then continuing onto Atuh Beach for a swim. You will also be required to climb down several flights of stairs to get to Atuh Beach from the top of the cliff, but this path is much easier with proper steps. The only drawback is that there are no ropes or handrails to hold onto.

Atuh Beach is more suitable for swimming in general, although there can be high currents here too. If you don’t feel like going into the water, there are also several sunbeds and small make-shift shops selling coconut water and some Indonesian food on the beach. It is also possible to rent towels on Atuh Beach for a small fee.

Opening hours: 07:00 – 18:00, every day except religious holidays.
Entrance fee: If you are visiting Diamond Beach on the same day, you don’t have to buy a separate ticket for Atuh Beach when entering from the southern parking lot. Otherwise, it is 25K IDR per person.

Rumah Pohon Tree House

Rumah Pohon Tree House in Nusa Penida at sunrise.

As one of the most famous Instagram places in Nusa Penida, Rumah Pohon Tree House is no stranger to anyone visiting the island. Also known as Nusa Penida Tree House, it is a beautiful spot offering an unobstructed view of the Diamond Beach and its unique rock formations from a different perspective. 

Rumah Pohon Tree House is located on the eastern part of Nusa Penida as well, close to Diamond and Atuh Beaches. Until recently, this tree house used to be a humble Airbnb with nothing but a small mattress on the floor and a plastic fan. But due to its increasing popularity on Instagram, the management has converted it into solely a photo location now.

To get to Rumah Pohon Tree House, you will have to climb down several steps from the parking lot in true Nusa Penida fashion. The stairs here are steep, but the overall climb isn’t too bad. It will take you around 15 minutes to reach the treehouse. There are also a few other photo points along the way, but I would recommend stopping there on your way back instead.

Ever since the tree house has become popular, there are long queues of people wanting to take photos with it. The caretakers at Rumah Pohon are surprisingly organised and they will hand over a ticket with your slot in the queue upon payment of the photo fee. Every person only gets two minutes to take pictures, and they will even time you with a stopwatch.

Honestly speaking, it can feel a tad expensive for a few timed photos, but the view from there is so worth it. Besides, sunrise and sunset aren’t that busy as of yet. If you visit on a day trip, there can be more than an hour long wait during the afternoon.

Opening hours: sunrise to sunset.
Entrance fee: 5K IDR for parking + 15K IDR for entry + 75K IDR for photos at the tree house. There is also additional fee for photos at the optional other spots along the way too.

Thousand Islands Viewpoint

If you would rather not pay extra or wait to take photos at Rumah Pohon Tree House, simply continue up the cliff to this viewpoint instead. Providing a stunning view of the surrounding islands and the blue ocean, Thousand Islands Viewpoint is one of the best lookout spots in Nusa Penida. If you are lucky, you may even spot some dolphins and manta rays from here!

Since Thousand Islands Viewpoint is located in the same area as the tree house above, you can easily visit both spots at the same time. There is no extra charge for taking photos here (at least not yet) and it is often less busy too. The sunrise from here is really spectacular, but the midday sun brings out the best blue hues in the water.

Thousand Islands Viewpoint is also known as Pulau Seribu. Other than a few mesmerising vantage points, there is also a small shrine at the top here. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes and carry water for the way. The ascend can be more exhausting in the heat.

Opening hours: sunrise to sunset
Entrance fee: 5K IDR for parking + 15K IDR for entry.

Peguyangan Waterfall

Peguyangan Waterfall is one of the underrated spots in Nusa Penida offering spectacular cliffside views. It is located on the southeast coast of the island and is also known as Guyangan Waterfall. You may have seen photos from its iconic blue steps that look like a stairway to heaven. These stairs lead to a pilgrimage site and some natural infinity pools.

If you are afraid of heights, Peguyangan Waterfall might not be the place for you. The climb down on the 150-metre iron blue stairs that are winding down the side of the cliff is steep and somewhat dangerous. Plus, many parts of the staircase have really narrow planks and it can often be slippery as well. I would not recommend visiting here with kids in any case.

Even though the name of this place suggests a waterfall, there is really none here. Instead, you will find multiple cascading springs of water flowing directly into the Indian ocean. There are also incredible plunge pools at the bottom of the stairs that look directly into the sea. If you are feeling adventurous, you should definitely hike down to check them out.

Peguyangan Waterfall has a small sacred temple at the bottom of the blue stairs for water blessing. You will be required to wear a sarong here even if you do not plan to go inside the temple. You can either bring your own or rent it at the entrance for a small fee. The locals praying here are friendly and are happy to explain the ritual if you are interested.

Opening hours: All day
Entrance fee: Free, albeit a small parking charge of 5K IDR.

Angel’s Billabong

A natural pool between two tall, rugged cliffs overlooking blue ocean water and a small island in the distance.

Angel’s Billabong is a natural infinity pool, perfectly sitting in the middle of two cliffs in western Nusa Penida. This unique phenomenon is formed by volcanic rocks and overlooks the majestic ocean. The water at Angel’s Billabong is so incredibly clear that you can see the surface, even from far away. It truly is a mesmerising sight to behold!

While the pool at Angel’s Billabong looks inviting, it is not actually allowed to swim there anymore. The water currents here are known to be very unpredictable, especially during high tides. There have been a few accidents where people were hurt by the surrounding rocks or swept to the ocean due to the sudden waves. But, it is still worth going for the viewpoint.

The last stretch of the road to Angel’s Billabong has many potholes and is very bumpy. So, if you can, I recommend visiting here in a private car instead of a scooter. The walk from the parking lot isn’t bad and you can easily get there in a few minutes. Make sure to bring your camera with you and arrive early before it gets too busy.

Opening hours: All day.
Entrance fee: Free, except for a small parking charge.

Broken Beach

A drone shot at the circular cove of Broken Beach with blue water in the centre and a walking trail around it.

Broken Beach is another unmissable spot in Nusa Penida, located next to Angel’s Billabong. It is a circular bay, famous for its magnificent natural stone archway formed by centuries of relentless ocean waves and strong winds. The unique landscape here is a prime example of the artistic ability of nature. So much so, that every sight has an awe-inspiring view!

If you look at the bird’s eye perspective in the picture above, you will notice that the cove of Broken Beach actually looks enclosed. But, once you are there, you will realise how high the arch really is. It is not possible to access the beach here because of the high cliffs. But, some boat companies do drive past the arch when the tide is right.

Broken Beach is also known as Pasih Uug. This fascinating landmark is home to a diverse marine life as well. While walking from or towards Angel’s Billabong, you may spot schools of fish and manta rays swimming in the ocean. There are some warungs and shops selling drinks and snacks on one side of the cove too. 

Opening hours: All day.
Entrance fee: Free, except for a small parking charge.

Crystal Bay

Crystal Bay is a popular beach with comparatively calm waters, making it a great place for swimming and snorkelling in Nusa Penida. If you are looking for a beautiful beach on the island that is easily accessible, Crystal Bay should definitely be on your list. The walk from the parking lot to the beach is just a few minutes with no stairs at all. 

Crystal Bay is located on the west side of Nusa Penida and is only a 30-minute drive from the main harbour. Due to the short distance and comfortable walk to the beach, it tends to get very crowded during the day. There are many small shops selling food and drinks at Crystal Bay. You can even rent a sunbed for a few hours, but they can get booked out when busy.

The marine life at and near Crystal Bay is really good. Most snorkelling tours in Nusa Penida start from here. The water quality is nice too and you can easily spot healthy corals, turtles, schools of fishes, manta rays and more. Make sure to go early to avoid the crowds. Or, later in the day if you want to relax and watch the sunset. It is supposed to be stunning from here!

Opening hours: All day.
Entrance fee: Free, except for a small parking change. Renting a day bed or snorkelling equipment is also at an additional cost.

Gamat Bay

If you are looking for a less crowded beach in Penida, Gamat Bay is for you. The road to get here isn’t the best, but you will be rewarded with a quiet beach with white sand, clear blue water, and rows of palm trees. Gamat Bay is also one of the best spots for snorkelling in Nusa Penida so you can expect to encounter beautiful marine life upon visiting here.

Most snorkelling tours starting from Crystal Bay often stop at Gamat Bay and Manta Point, but you may not get a chance to enjoy the beach on those. Gamat Bay is a great spot for turtle sightings and some people even end up seeing them close to the shore. You can rent snorkels at the beach and just go into the water if you like. It is also possible to free dive there.

Gamat Bay can be reached by both sea and road. If you are coming by car or a scooter, the walk from the parking lot to the beach isn’t hard, but a bit steep. There is a small restaurant selling good food too and the staff even looks after the cleanliness of the beach. With plenty of day beds and few tourists, you can calmly spend the day enjoying the view here.

Opening hours: All day.
Entrance fee: Free.

Goa Giri Putri Temple

If you have seen your fair share of natural wonders and beaches, then worry not. Nusa Penida has some cultural sites too, out of which this one is definitely worth checking out. Goa Giri Putri Temple or Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave is a sacred religious Hindu temple located inside a limestone cave. It is known for its spiritual nature and captivating architecture.

To enter the temple, you will have to climb up a steep set of stairs and then squeeze through a narrow opening in the rock to go inside the cave. The interiors of the cave are surprisingly vast and there are many Balinese Hindu shrines and offerings all around. The atmosphere of this place is especially exceptional.

Similar to the temples in Bali, all visitors are required to wear a sarong before entering Goa Giri Putri Temple. You can rent it from a small shop near the parking area for 5K IDR or bring your own. It is also possible to purchase a sarong from there if you like. Once inside, you can choose to either participate in the traditional ceremonies or simply observe. 

The exit is through another side of the cave and is slightly easier with concrete steps. If you have enough time, I think Goa Giri Putri Temple is worth checking out for a different Nusa Penida experience. The island has a rich cultural heritage and this spot provides a great insight into it.

Opening hours: 7:00 am – 05:00 pm.
Entrance fee: Donation based.

Teletubbies Hill

Nusa Penida is not just about epic coastlines and dramatic cliffs. Named after a popular TV show, Teletubbies Hill is a unique attraction that shows just how diverse the landscape of this island really is. When visiting here, you will find a large area filled with rolling hills that are reminiscent of its namesake in the show. They look especially green in the wet season!

Teletubbies Hill is located in the central part of the island and is worth stopping for a while if you are in the area. This place is not that famous yet, so you will not come across many people or warungs here. But, I am not certain if it is worth a visit if you are staying far away. Although, if you have a drone, you can get some really beautiful pictures and videos here.

Opening hours: All day.
Entrance fee: Free.

Paluang Cliff

Located only a few minutes from the jam-packed Kelingking Beach, Paluang Cliff is a serene viewpoint that overlooks the other side of the T-rex. It has several photo points from which you can get a different perspective of Kelingking and the surrounding turquoise blue ocean. The place is nice to admire the unique rock formation of this area and snap photos at ease.

At the moment, there are 4-5 installations like a boat and bird’s nest for photos at Paluang Cliff. But, this number may increase in the future when this spot starts to get more visitors. The photo point is only a short walk from the parking area and you can access it without any issues. However, be careful when visiting as there is barely any protection on the cliffside.

Opening hours: Sunrise to sunset.
Entrance fee: 30K IDR per person.

Banah Cliff Point

Banah Cliff Point is another note-worthy viewpoint to add to your Nusa Penida list. It is a beautiful hidden gem offering a breath-taking view of the ocean and some unique rock formations. If you are looking to enjoy the scenery of Nusa Penida with only a handful of people around, then this is the place for you.

The road to reach Banah Cliff Point is not yet paved, and can be dangerous in some parts. If you are planning to visit here, I would recommend either having a local drive you on a scooter or hiring a private car. You can also walk the last stretch of the road but it will take you a while.

Opening hours: All day.
Entrance fee: Free.

Tembeling Beach and Forest

A two person's swing at Tembeling Beach and Forest looking out to the sea in Nusa Penida.

Tembeling Beach and Forest is an off-beat site in Nusa Penida and one of my absolute favourites. Accessed through a dense lush green forest, it is a beautiful place where you will find natural swimming pools, a secluded beach, and a couple of Instagrammable swings looking out to the ocean. It truly is a gem worth visiting!

To reach Tembeling Beach and Forest, I would recommend you to park your vehicle at the parking lot and hail a motorbike taxi. The path from thereon is very steep with lots of rocks so it is not advisable to drive yourself further. The locals know the way really well and are trained to drive people back and forth safely. You can also choose to walk if you like.

Once you get to the end of the trail, you will have to climb down several steps to go to the pools. This last bit has concrete staircase all the way, which are in fairly good condition. This section is also inside the forest so you will have plenty of shade from the trees. Once you reach the bottom of the steps, you will be welcomed by the first natural pool.

After having a look at the first pool, make your way ahead until you find yourself near the other natural pool. This one overlooks the ocean and is much better to take a dip or relax in. Tembeling Beach is only a few steps away from there. If you have more time, don’t forget to also check out the small beach on the other side of the cove too.

Opening hours: All day.
Entrance fee: Free except 75k IDR per person for optional motorbike taxi. 

Suwehan Beach

Last but not the least, Suwehan Beach is one of the best kept secrets of Nusa Penida. With a picturesque strip of white sand, crystal clear turquoise water, and a rare cone shaped rock in the sea, it is a scenic paradise far away from the typical crowds. I didn’t get a chance to go there personally yet, but it looks like one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.

The road to get to Suwehan Beach, like many other hidden gems in Nusa Penida, is bad. But the pristine serenity of the place more than makes up for it once you are there. The access to the beach involves climbing down many concrete stairs and you may encounter an occasional monkey or two on your way. If so, simply carry on ahead and try not to engage.

Suwehan Beach can only be enjoyed during low tide, so always make sure to check the current before going. The beach can completely disappear when the tides are high and you don’t want to descend all the way there to find that. If you are unsure, just ask the local warung owner at the top of the cliff.

Opening hours: All day.
Entrance fee: 5K IDR.

Apart from all these places to visit in Nusa Penida, the island of course has many other spots. If you are staying for longer or simply want more suggestions – Nyanyad Beach, Batu Siha Beach, Seganing Waterfall, Saren Cliff Viewpoint and Abangan Hills Viewpoint are some places that I also have on my list and couldn’t visit yet. The Toya Pakeh Beach next to the harbour is also nice.

Where to eat in Nusa Penida?

Nusa Penida has a lot of nice cafes and restaurants to eat at. But, most of them are close to the harbour areas instead of the tourist attractions. If you are also a foodie who likes to eat good food whilst travelling, here are some places that I would recommend checking out in Penida:

Sunny Cafe Penida: This small cafe is conveniently located next to the Banjar Nyuh Harbour. They have a huge plant-based menu along with vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. We stopped here for a quick lunch before our boat back to Bali and were pleasantly surprised. I especially loved their cheesy mozzarella sandwich (veggie version) and vegan tacos!

Penida Colada Beach Bar: This is a casual beachfront bar and restaurant serving both international and Indonesian delicacies. We went here for dinner and absolutely loved the vibe. They have live music every weekend and the staff look after you so nicely. The place is also made beautifully and the food is delicious too. I would love to go again during the day!

Singabu Sand Beach: It is a tastefully made beach club in the same area as all the above spots. We went here on our driver’s recommendation for lunch and although I loved the vibe of the place, the food was a hit or a miss. Most of the dishes that we ordered lacked flavour, but their Nasi Goreng was one of the best I have ever had! I would probably go back to relax in their beach club looking out to the sea, but not necessarily for the food itself.

Sushi Island: Sushi Island is a family-run Japanese restaurant serving good quality food, not too far from the main harbour. Everything that I tried here tasted really fresh and delicious. In fact, I was not expecting to find good Japanese food in Nusa Penida at all, but Sushi Island proved me wrong. Made and his family are really kind and serve such good quality food for an affordable price. The vegetable gyoza and avocado rolls were my favourite here!

Amarta Penida: Formerly known as Greenkubu, this place should definitely be on your list if you are looking to enjoy a beautiful view. They also have a really nice pool, lots of different seating areas, and a picturesque gate that is reminiscent of all the iconic sites in Bali like the Gate of Heaven. I didn’t find many great vegetarian options at Amarta, but absolutely loved seeing the sunset from here. 

Secret Penida Restaurant & Bar: This is another nice beachfront restaurant in Nusa Penida that you can spend the day relaxing at. They open from 7 am – 11 pm every day, so you can visit here any time of the day as per your choice. Although, I have heard that the sunsets from Secret Penida are particularly spectacular. The menu offers mostly western options.

Apart from these, there are also many other places that I had on my list but didn’t have the time to visit yet. I would love to go back and check out Cactus Beach Club, Vegan Soul and Kitchen (only accessible by scooters/on foot), The Chill Penida, Amok Sunset, Organica Fresh and Tasty Food someday.

Map of the best places in Nusa Penida

To make your time in Nusa Penida more convenient, I have also created a custom map containing all the best places on the island for you. I have used three different colours – blue for west Nusa Penida, orange for east Nusa Penida, and green for restaurants/bars. This way you can club places that are closer in one outing and plan your trip with greater ease.

Just click on the bracket in the upper right corner and the map will automatically open in Google Maps on your device. You can leave it open to come back to it later or share with friends and family. 

Best day trips from Nusa Penida

Even though there is plenty to see and do in Nusa Penida itself, the other Nusa Islands are so close that it would be a crime not to visit if you have the time. Both Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are remarkable destinations only a short ferry ride away from Penida. Here is how you can make the most of your time in each:

Nusa Lembongan

Located a mere 15 minutes away, Nusa Lembongan is another slice of paradise with beautiful beaches, serene coastal areas and surreal landscapes. I would typically suggest staying here overnight in order to explore the length and the width of the island, but it is possible to see the highlights in a few hours. There are many tours offering this day trip!

One of the most popular spots to see in Nusa Lembongan is the Devil’s Tears. It is a more dramatic version of Angel’s Billabong where you can admire intense waves crashing over the rocks. Another must-visit site is Mangrove Forest with its dense variety of wildlife, birds and fishes. Tour it by gliding through the waterways in a traditional jukung boat.

If you have more time, you can spend the day relaxing at one of the beaches in Nusa Lembongan. Mushroom Bay, Jungut Batu Beach and Dream Beach are some of the most visited beaches on the island.

Nusa Ceningan

Many tourists skip Nusa Ceningan in favour of the bigger Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, but this little paradise has so much to offer. Plus, you can easily walk from one end of the island to the other in a few hours so it is an ideal destination for a day trip. Trust me, you would be surprised to discover how much beauty there is in this tiny island!

Begin your day by crossing the iconic Yellow Bridge from Lembongan to Ceningan. This is the only way into the island, and you can do it by foot or on a scooter. Once there, make your way to the Blue Lagoon – the most popular place with surreal blue water. It is not allowed to go in the water due to the waves, but the nearby Mahana Point is great for cliff jumping.

For the rest of the day, you can spend your time strolling around, relaxing at one of many beach bars, or sunbathing at the beach. Secret Beach, My Beach Ceningan, and Song Tepo Beach are some of the best spots.

Tips for visiting Nusa Penida

  • Always carry enough cash with you. Most ticket offices, scooter rentals, warungs, and small cafes/restaurants in Nusa Penida only accept cash. Penida island doesn’t have many functional ATMs either so it can become quite challenging to withdraw money there at the last minute. Big hotels, cafes, restaurants and bars on the other hand generally have card machines.
  • Many blogs online recommend exchanging your currency to Indonesian Rupiah before arriving into Nusa Penida as you will supposedly not find good exchange rates there. It may have been true at some point, but I came across many exchange rate shops near the Banjar Nyuh Harbour offering similar rates as Bali. You should still exchange from beforehand to be safe, but just know that it is also possible to do it in Penida upon arrival. 
  • The roads in Nusa Penida are really bad, especially near Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong. It is not the place to test your scooter skills if you are not a confident rider. Please consider shelling out a little extra in this case and hire a car for your safety. 
  • If you are going to drive a motorbike or scooter, note that it is better to not overtake four-wheelers and instead wait on the side if you see one approaching. The local car drivers are known to drive rashly and the narrow roads there sometimes have questionable ends. Some parts of the island do not have any safety barricades on the coastal roads.
  • Download offline maps beforehand. Although Telkomsel has good coverage in most parts of Nusa Penida, Wi-Fi and cellular data aren’t very reliable on the island. If you are planning to drive yourself around, I would recommend saving offline maps on your phone just in case.
Lush green hills with a field of palm trees and small houses in between them.
  • There are barely any street lights in the majority of the island so driving before sunrise and after sunset can be tricky. Try to only cover short distances during this time or go with a local. The roads in Nusa Penida aren’t your best friend even in broad daylight so I would not recommend driving in the dark in any case.
  • It can take a lot of time to cover short distances. This is especially true when the first few ferries start arriving in Penida in the morning and the last ones are about to leave the island in the afternoon. All the tourists that visit on a day trip usually arrive and leave at the same time. This results in a major peak in traffic on the roads as they often have similar itineraries, making them all go in the same direction.
  • Crowded can be an understatement. Nusa Penida has seen a HUGE increase in the number of tourists in recent years so every popular place on the island will be buzzing with people. If you want to enjoy it in a better environment, consider staying overnight and exploring outside of the day tour hours.
  • The fast boats from Nusa Penida to Bali can depart promptly or ahead of schedule, so it is advisable to arrive at least 45 minutes before your departure time. Once you are there, go to the ticket booth of your boat company and get an actual ticket along with a lanyard. Your seat is guaranteed once you have these, and then you can follow people with the same lanyards towards your boat when it is time to board.
  • This goes without saying, but please be considerate when doing any water activities in Nusa Penida and do not touch the corals. Also, make sure you wear reef friendly sunscreen and do not litter anywhere on the island. Nusa Penida is a natural paradise that should be well taken care of.
  • Last but not the least, say no to single use plastic bottles. Many sites like Diamond Beach hand over small plastic bottles to all tourists, which end up littering this otherwise incredible location. Bring your own water when you are out and about on the island and educate the locals on the best environment friendly practices.

What to pack for Nusa Penida?

  • A camera! Nusa Penida is one of the most photogenic islands in Indonesia (and probably the world), so you would be crazy to travel all the way there and not capture its beauty. Whether you are comfortable using a smartphone or a professional DSLR or mirrorless camera, make sure to take one with you and snap some pictures. This is what I use!
  • A drone. If you already have it or have been considering getting one, the landscape of Nusa Penida looks unreal from a bird’s eye perspective so you should try bringing one if you can. I loved using mine every chance I got!
  • A hard drive because all those photos and videos need to be stored somewhere now, don’t they? This may not apply to everyone, but I like to keep a backup of my files every day and thus carry a hard drive on all my trips. Not only does it help with emptying SD cards, but I honestly sleep better knowing my photos are safely backed up. This is the one I use.
  • A comfortable pair of shoes. The terrain in Nusa Penida is rough and you will often find plenty of gravel everywhere you go. Make sure to pack something with a nice grip that you don’t mind wearing for long hours. There is going to be lots of climbing up and down when you are there.
  • A pair of water shoes as well. This is not super important if you aren’t planning to go into the water, but Nusa Penida has some of the best beaches in the world so you may want to think it twice. The beaches and nature pools there often have sharp rocks in the water so I would highly recommend investing in good water shoes.
A wide angle picture of the natural rock arch at Broken Beach with a small boat passing through it.
  • Snorkelling gear. The marine life in Nusa Penida is incredible and you must go on at least one snorkelling trip while you are there. Although it is possible to rent snorkelling gear at many places on the island, bringing your own is more economical if you are doing many tours. In some cases, it can also be more hygienic as well.
  • Lots of reef-free sunscreen! This is important everywhere, but especially in Nusa Penida where the sun tends to be very strong. And since you will probably be going in and out of water a lot, please make sure that it is marine life friendly.
  • Swimwear. Talking about water activities and beaches, you will of course need to bring at least a pair of swimwear if you are going to partake in any of these. I bought a few since I stayed more than a night.
  • A travel plug adapter that supports outlet types C and F. If your devices are bought from outside Indonesia, then make sure to carry this to have a seamless experience at your accommodation or check with your hotel for a spare. This one works in most places around the world.
  • A portable charger. Since you are going to be out and about all the time and using your phone for photos, directions, restaurant reviews, you may run out of battery quickly. A portable charge ensures you always have a working device with you!
  • A waterproof bag. You will have to take boats to travel between Nusa Penida and Bali so it is essential to keep your electronics safe. This can be super useful should there be any mishaps and also on snorkelling tips. Besides, you can even take it swimming to ensure you always have your stuff with you.
  • A medicine for sea-sickness. The boats between Bali and Nusa Penida can experience a lot of turbulence due to the rough sea so if you are someone who gets sea-sick easily, it may be useful to carry a few tablets for the journey.
  • Last but not the least, always carry a bottle of mosquito-repellent if you tend to get bitten a lot like me. I try to have it on me everywhere I go and it has never been not-useful.

FAQs about Nusa Penida

What does Nusa Penida mean?

Nusa Penida is derived from the Balinese language where the word “Nusa” means “island” and “Penida” means “priests”. The literal translation of Nusa Penida is “island of priests” in English.

Is Nusa Penida worth visiting?

100% yes! With its distinctive limestones, spectacular viewpoints, mesmerising marine life, and unbelievably clear blue water, Nusa Penida is one of those rare places, the beauty of which is even better in real life. If you get the chance, you should definitely visit Nusa Penida at least once in your lifetime.

Can you do a day trip to Nusa Penida from Bali?

If you are short on time, a day trip from Bali to Nusa Penida is definitely doable. In fact, it is very popular and many people travelling to Bali go on a day tour to explore the highlights of Nusa Penida. Just make sure to leave as early as you can, the first boat leaves around 7 am. 

Also, keep in mind that Nusa Penida is quite big and you won’t be able to see all the must-see places in a single day. Many other day tourists will have a similar itinerary as you so you will most likely be competing for the same locations on a day trip. It can get seriously crowded there!

Which side of Nusa Penida is the best?

Most landmarks in Penida are scattered between the eastern and western parts of the island so you’ll have to pick one when going on a day trip. Both sides of Nusa Penida have something unique to offer so it totally depends on which sites are you interested in seeing more.

The iconic Kelingking Beach, Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach are located on the west side of the island. This tour with all the transfers included is perfect if you want to see these spots in a day as they are only a fairly short drive from the harbour. This part of Nusa Penida also has some beautiful snorkelling locations.

A bird's eye perspective of Diamond Beach and its surrounding cliffs submerged in blue water.

The east side, on the other hand, is home to the picturesque Diamond and Atuh Beaches, Thousand Islands Viewpoint, and the viral Rumah Pohon Tree House. This side of the island is a little further from the harbour, but so worth it for its incredible views. This small tour from Bali is great to explore eastern Nusa Penida.

Do you need to book your boat trip in advance?

It is not exactly required to book your fast boat tickets to Nusa Penida in advance as they do sell them at the port on the day. But, fast boats between Nusa Penida and Bali can be booked out quickly, so I would recommend you to get yours here a few days before to secure a spot. This is especially true if you are travelling in a big group or during the peak season.

Are there any ride sharing apps in Nusa Penida?

Unlike Bali, Nusa Penida doesn’t have any ride sharing apps like GoJek and Grab. You will need to rent a scooter or hire a car with a private driver to get around the island. Some hotels also have shuttle services for short journeys.

Is Nusa Penida safe?

When it comes to crime, Nusa Penida is pretty safe as most people are friendly and want tourists to have the best time. However, the island’s dramatic cliffside viewpoints, strong ocean currents, terrible terrains and dangerous roads are prone to accidents.

If you are visiting Nusa Penida, make sure to only drive a scooter if you are very comfortable with it. The “roads” in some parts of the island are extremely hazardous and the local car drivers there drive very fast which can lead to many mishaps. The ocean current in Nusa Penida is also highly unpredictable so do not go swimming if there are signs against it.

The iconic viewpoint of Kelingking Beach with the T-rex made Penida island famous almost overnight and it seems that the infrastructure there hasn’t had a chance to catch up. When going to these viewpoints, make sure to not risk your life for a few photos and always be careful. 

CG’s tip: In case you visit Kelingking Beach or Diamond Beach on a rainy day, I would advise against climbing all the way down to the beach as the path is slippery as it is.

Is there nightlife in Nusa Penida?

Nusa Penida isn’t very big on nightlife as of yet so you will barely come across any parties on the island. Some restaurants, cafes and beach clubs do have live music in the evening but that is mostly it. Fairly speaking, there is no comparison of the nightlife in Nusa Penida with that of Bali, Gili Islands or Lombok.

Are the fast boats to Nusa Penida safe?

As much as I would love to say that the speed boats and ferries between Nusa Penida and Bali are completely safe, I have to admit that it is not entirely true. The boats that I took seemed quite fine, and though the majority of the rides end up being completely okay, the safety standards are not up to the mark. 

The boat companies apparently have life vests on board but there is speculation about whether they have enough. Some of the boats are also old and battered, and at times, filled above the passenger limit. There are definitely some cost-cutting methods and loose safety protocols so I do have my concerns.

For example, the sea condition wasn’t in our favour while returning to Bali and the ride was extremely bumpy. Everything ended up being fine, but it did leave me wondering that no one informed us where the lifejackets are stored upon boarding – a small piece of information which would be crucial should things go south.

To have a safer journey, I would recommend checking the wind and waves forecast before your trip. Wisuki shows you how big the waves are going to be on a particular day. If the forecast says that it will be above 2 metres high, then the ride would probably be bumpy. In which case, I would recommend you to go another time, especially during the wet months.

Which arrival port to choose for Nusa Penida?

Most fast boats and ferries from Bali to Nusa Penida arrive at the Banjar Nyuh Harbour (aka Toya Pakeh) in Penida. This is the most popular harbour on the island but there are also a few others. If you are travelling from any other island or simply have an option to choose your arrival port in Penida Island, then pick one that is closest to your hotel or your first stop. 

I stayed close to the Banjar Nyuh Harbour so it ended up being the perfect choice for me. The area by the harbour is filled with restaurants and cafes so it can be a great base for overnight stays. 

How much luggage can you take on the Nusa Penida boat?

Most fast boats and ferries allow passengers to bring two pieces of luggage weighing up to 30 kg in total. Except, they barely measure the weight so it isn’t strictly enforced. You have to hand over your suitcases before going up to the waiting area inside the main building. The boat staff then carries it and stores it on the deck for you once the boat is ready. 

But if you are asking for my opinion, I would suggest only taking a small cabin bag to Nusa Penida and storing all your big suitcases in Bali. This reduces the weight on the ferry and you do not have to drag your luggage on the sand at the port in Penida as it is not as developed. It will also end up being a blessing should the luggage get spoiled in an unfortunate situation.

Many people book an affordable villa in Sanur to store their luggage near the port or you can even keep it with your Bali hotel when checking out. There are also many luggage storing facilities close to Sanur Harbour that are greatly rated. My friend and I left our big suitcases with Putu and it ended up being very convenient. 

CG’s tip: Although the boat companies do their best to prevent water damage on both big and small suitcases, I would still recommend keeping your valuables in a small backpack or a purse with you. They tend to throw the bags while loading and unloading so things can still break.

Final Thoughts

The view of Diamond Beach and its surrounding towering cliffs at sunrise.

That’s a wrap on a comprehensive Nusa Penida travel guide from me! I hope you found the information in this blog post helpful in planning your trip to Penida, the blue paradise island of Indonesia. My friend and I had such a lovely time there and I truly hope that you do too.

I tried to include everything I could think of in this guide, but if there is anything else I can help you out with, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. You can also DM me on Instagram or send an email. I love hearing from you and helping you plan your trips!

Happy Exploring,
Charu xx

Want to keep reading? You may like “Wapa di Ume: A Hidden Paradise in East Bali” and “520+ Best Bali Quotes and Bali Captions for Instagram” too.


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