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Nusa Penida is one of the three main islands off the mainland of Bali. What was once a quiet paradise has become one of the most popular day trips from Bali, with travellers queuing up daily to make the 45 minute journey over to this dramatic cliffside oasis. Because of its popularity, the best way to experience Nusa Penida is to stay the night and enjoy the beaches to yourself in the early mornings and through sunset. A day tour is certainly enough time to see it all so regardless of how long you choose to visit, here is your complete guide of what to see in Nusa Penida!
Nusa Penida is just a 45 minute ferry ride from Bali. There are many tour operators selling fast ferry tickets between Bali and Nusa Penida, leaving a few times each morning and returning at various times in the afternoon. If you are short on time, you can visit Nusa Penida in just one day from Bali. I would suggest taking the earliest ferry (around 8:00am) from Sanur and returning at sunset time. A day trip to Nusa Penida is enough time to get a glimpse at each of these locations, however if you have more time two nights on Nusa Penida would be ideal.
Getting around Nusa Penida is fairly straight forward as the island is not too large to navigate on your own. You can expect to pay more on Nusa Penida for a scooter than you would in Bali; around 70,000 rupiahs per day.
Diamond Beach is the crowning jewel in the paradise that is Nusa Penida. What was once an inaccessible beach at the base of a dramatic cliff is now accessible thanks to inventive locals who have built stairs all the way down to the stairs.
These stairs are not for the faint heated – they are steep, at times crumbling (towards the end) and you will need to use a couple of ropes to reach the beach safely. The beach is best enjoyed in the morning and until the early afternoon as the sun will eventually disappear behind the cliff.
Just a short drive away is Kelingking Beach, the most photographed location in Nusa Penida. The view overlooking the beach has given Kelingking the nickname “T-Rex” and standing at the top of the viewpoint, you can soon see why! If you have time to make the trek down to the beach it is hands down one of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia!
The dramatic cliff edge is lined with a sketchy but safe staircase (closed shoes would be better than flip flops if you have the option). The staircase is lined with a bamboo railing which adds to the excitement of the trek down. Another bonus is to consider how remote the beach is – so you can enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches you have ever been on without the crowds!
This is another one of Nusa Penida’s famous view points and indeed one of the most instagrammed spots on the island. To reach this view point you will first need to make your way to the car park and then walk down for about 20 minutes to the Tree House that has made Nusa Penida quite famous.
You can book a room here for the night (it is incredibly popular so be sure to do so in advance) or you can pay around $5 for five minutes to take a photo (eek!)
There are many more wonderful things to do on the island of Nusa Penida if you have more time and as time passes, this island is bound to become more and more developed and accessible.