When you travel to Indonesia, one way or the other you usually will fly on Denpasar, Bali. If you are just like us, you want to avoid hordes of tourists. This is when we started looking for a more quiet place around Bali and found Nusa Penida Island. Nusa Penida is just off mainland Bali and is a part of three islands, Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan. Each of those islands are unique but if you like nature and adventure, Nusa Penida it is!
It isn’t hard to get to Nusa Penida as ferry’s leave multiple times per day from Sanur (east Bali). Easiest way to book is either through your accommodation, online or just walk up to one of the ticket offices in Sanur. Prices are all different and in this case it’s worth to have a look around. Don’t pick the cheapest though, as safety is important. When we crossed with a fast boat it took about 45 minutes and the water was choppy. Our backpacks were a bit wet too, so get a waterproof cover if you like to keep your stuff dry!
1. Kelingking ‘T-Rex’
This is probably how you came up of Nusa Penida in the first place: the insta-famous Kelingking viewpoint. Is it worth it? Yes. Should you adjust your expectations? Yes. If you expect to have a chance to get one of those populair photograps and not have wait in a huge line to do so, that is. When you arrive at this point, you have to pay for parking your car or scooter. We just ignored the guy and drove around it to avoid this. There are huge crowds, all waiting in line to make that one famous picture. And to be honest, we hated it.
Visiting such a beautiful place with so many tourists ruins the whole experience for us. We didn’t stay long, however we did make some quick shots of T-Rex (without us in it because there was no space!) If you are up to it, you can climb all the way down from the viewpoint to the beach which takes about 40 minutes. Just remember you have to take all those stairs back up again too. Unless you have wings. Then you fly.
Besides the stairs, there is also a “track” to the right for a different point of view. Less tourists but be carefull as you will be walking along the cliffside and it’s a long fall down! Funny how all the pictures make it look like there is nobody there. Well, this isn’t the case and we feel that you should know this to avoid disappointments. We visited Kelingking around 2 pm, but heard from other travelers that it’s already very crowded at 9 am. Maybe be there at 5 am? Good luck.
2. Atuh & Diamond Beach
Away from the crowds on the opposite side of the Island, lies Atuh Beach. This beach is hidden away between two huge cliffs on both sides. You’ll hit the beach within a 10-minute walk down the stairs. The white sand is soft and you can even rent a beach lounger. Hungry or thirsty after walking? The local food stalls will take care of this. Good to know: beach loungers are free if you order food.
On the other side of the cliff to the right is Diamond Beach. This is such a picturesque beach and the landscape is jaw-dropping! When we visited the viewpoint they were building the stairs to Diamond beach. And with building we mean litterally chopping it out of the stone cliff. So if you visit Diamond Beach these days you can walk down those newly build stairs right on to the beach. How lucky are you! P.S. Don’t think about swimming here, currents and waves are dangerous. Only mermaids are alllowed to swim here.
Note: If you want to visit Atuh Beach only, make sure you take the road from the left side as you don’t have to pay an entrance fee of 10,000 Rupiah this way.
3. Rumah Pohon Treehouse & Thousand Islands Viewpoint
Just a couple of minutes from Atuh Beach is another famous viewpoint that you have probably seen on Instagram. This is the Rumah Pohon Treehouse, an Airbnb in a unique location. There are three treehouses on a small cliff surrounded by views to die for.
Another awesome place is the Thousand Islands viewpoint which is just around the corner from the treehouse. We love this spot and it seems that tour companies skip this side of the island as it was super quiet. We could look at these views forever. And the best thing is that you can actualy sleep in the treehouses and wake up feeling you are still in a dream. Just keep dreaming..dreaming.. dreaming..
4. Broken Beach, Angels Billabong & Manta’s
Just as Kelingking, these populair places are on the west coast of Nusa Penida too. Even though these places can be crowded, it’s still very pretty. We don’t know how we got to Broken Beach, but apparently we took a detour and had the most terrible road ever! It’s a miracle our scooter made it so far. Luckily the roads are improving fast, so by the time you visit Nusa Penida it will be no problem anymore. Broken Beach is not actually a beach but an archway formed over many years. Through the archway flows water in and out of the ocean in a turquoise bay. Unfortunately, there is no way down into the cove for a swim.
Anyways, if you just follow the signs and take the normal road to Broken Beach, park your scooter for 5,000 Rupiah at the parking lot. First stop in Angels Billabong, which is the best to visit during low tide. If you are here at the right time the water will be flat as a mirror. If not, don’t even attempt to get in there. After 5 more minutes you arrive at Broken Beach. You can walk around and on the archway to find the best view.
Tip: Halfway from Angels Billabong to Broken Beach there is an archway made out of trees. Instead of walking through, head up the hill towards the coast for some great views and if you are lucky huge manta’s! You can even walk down the coast further to escape the crowds and enjoy the view for yourself.