THE 8 BEST BEACHES ON NUSA PENIDA
Nusa Penida has become one of the most popular places to visit near Bali in recent years. One of the main factors in it’s rise to popularity is that Nusa Penida’s Beaches are just so damn epic. They all seem to be at the bottom of monolithic cliffs, include dangerous hikes down sets of stairs and have some of the bluest waters in all of Indonesia. It is a recipe for an amazing time and you rarely hear someone can back from Nusa Penida feeling underwhelmed. It is always a spot people want to go back to! I’ve visited three times and these are my favorite Nusa Penida Beaches.
8 BEST BEACHES ON NUSA PENIDA
After the interesting cave experience, we headed to the coast. We drove through a collection of villages waving to the kids as we dodged chickens, dogs, and potholes on the road. The poor road soon turned to a dirt hill so we abandoned the bikes and crossed our fingers we were in the right spot when all of a sudden we spotted an amazing view through the branches.
Atuh Beach is a stunning white sand beach surrounded by the huge cliffs and remarkable rock formations. An arch sits directly out from the shore while several islets string off in the distance.
We explored the shore and the ocean before enjoying a fresh $2 coconut. Air Asia knew what they were doing when they provided these umbrellas to the resorts. I can’t imagine how many Instagram photos have inadvertently advertised the airline.
Read the full blog post: Beautiful Atuh Beach on Nusa Penida
Kelingking ‘T-Rex’ Beach
The Instagram famous coastal cliffscape, which truly does look like a T-rex didn’t disappoint. I still remember the moment I laid eyes on the beach below. It felt like I was a human drone. I watched the crystal clear water slowly form into a wave before crashing below us, in what seemed like slow motion.
We took a short trek down the spine of the T-Rex and took in the epic drop-offs down each side. This is definitely my favorite thing to do on Nusa Penida and is just one of those landscapes that make you feel small. It makes you feel lucky to be in its company, to be able to witness earth’s creation.
Nusa Penida has so many amazing views making it hard to pick a favorite. But when the cliffs form in the shape of a Tyrannosaurus Rex at Kelingking Secret Point Beach it is bound to be a crowd favorite. Kelingking actually translates into English meaning Pinkie a term referencing the smallest finger on the hand. Just like a pinkie promise, the land does also appear to take the form of a Kelingking or pinkie finger. However, it is the comparison to the T-Rex that has caused this location to become so popular.
Crystal Bay Beach
Crystal Bay is probably the most popular beach on Nusa Penida for a number of reasons. It is the best sunset beach, facing directly west. This alone makes it a winner for people trying to have a sunset beer and watch the sun go down. It’s also the jump-off spot for snorkel tours and is only a 30-minute drive from the main port, Toyapakeh. Most importantly, unlike many of the crazy beaches on Penida, you can snorkel and swim with relaxing conditions.
Broken Beach is an incredible little cove on Nusa Penida island. The highlight of the cove and the reason it is called Broken Beach is due to the archway that wraps around the bay allowing water to flow in and out from the ocean.
All around the world, there are unique ways in which the earth has eroded over time. Sometimes mother nature leaves us with something quite remarkable. On Nusa Penida, one of those places that leave us in a state of awe at how over millions of years the earth has ended up as beautiful as it appears before us right now!
The arch at Broken Beach has been formed over many, many years and is now a true spectacle. From above the cove appears almost circular and closed in, however, at eye level the arch is quite high. Unfortunately, there is no way down into the cove for a refreshing dip although you can get in the water at Angel’s Billabong around the corner.
It’s funny how the times change. I am updating this blog post now and instead of just the viewpoint as I mentioned above, you can now walk down to the beach. The locals built stairs into the cliff. Now, this beach that a year ago was only possible to view from the cliffs, is accessible from an incredible stairway.
As you head down the stairs, you can really take in how these stairs were constructed. It was so fresh we could still see all of the chisel marks in the wall. Often the cliff hangs entirely over your head. This walk down may scare some but it isn’t too challenging.
The huge cliffs tower over you as you lay on the untouched sand. It is almost a little nerve-wracking being below such a huge wall of rock. It reminded me of certain beaches near the twelve apostles on the Great Ocean Road. The most important rock though is the diamond shaped rock in the shallows of the water. The beach is after all named after this diamond-shaped rock I believe.
Tembeling Beach, Natural Pool and Forest
Tembeling Beach is a little hideaway bay at the end of a crazy motorbike ride down through the forest. Along the way, you will pass by the Tembeling natural pools. If you are looking for something a little off the beaten path and away from the tourist hot spots you may enjoy the adventure of Tembeling Beach, natural pools and forest.
After checking out the Tembeling Forest from within the canyon, which is like a scene out of a jungle movie, you can head down the spiral stairs towards the Tembeling Natural Pools. There are two but the first one is the biggest. Set nicely below the large cliff wall, the crystal clear water has a beautiful blue tone to it, which is strange considering all of the stones and cliffs around are orange and brown.
A number of traditional statues and fountains decorate this spot and are used for water ritual. You can cliff jump from a couple of ledges at this first pool but check the depth and debris first as things can change over time. Head down a bit further and you will reach the second pool. This one is a bit more of a jacuzzi and I actually liked it better. There are small pipe fountains you can wash under and it’s a great place to hang out. From here you can also keep an eye on the beach!
If you continue the trail down you will reach Tembeling Beach. It isn’t anything too crazy especially by Nusa Penida’s lofty standards. Big cliffs on either side dwarf the small patch of sand. The best swimming here is in the natural pools not in the ocean as the waves can get quite interesting here. Stay safe and watch the currents.
Suwehan Beach is a place that epitomizes Nusa Penida. You’ll find huge towering cliffs, crystal clear yet strikingly blue water, an insane staircase down to the beach and maybe a turtle or two. In 2018 an earthquake ruined the stairs but by the end of the year, the locals had fixed them enough to make the access possible yet very sketchy. I’m sure throughout 2019 they will repair the stairs to their former glory.
Pandan Beach (Hike from Crystal Bay)
If you are feeling a bit adventurous there is a path that leads you from Crystal Bay up and over the hill. What you will discover on the other side of the hill next door is the beautiful Pandan Bay. It is safe to assume you will be the only person there as most people just hang out at Crystal Bay. There is one more bay called Puyung but I don’t think it’s accessible by walking. I will investigate on visit number four to Nusa Penida.
How to get to Nusa Penida
The ferry leaves multiple times per day from Sanur (east Bali) If you book it in advance often you can have your pick-up from the hotel included. To book it online in advance for the guaranteed lowest price you can click the link below to reserve your ticket.
Book your ticket: Sanur(Bali) to Nusa Lembongan/Nusa Penida Ferry
I have now visited Nusa Penida twice. The first time I only came for one day (7 hours) and this was a huge mistake. You definitely need to spend at least 2 days if not 4!! This way you can fully explore all of these cool spots rather than just getting a glimpse at each location.
If you are staying in Bali.. but still want to spend a day or two experiencing how epic Nusa Penida is, you can take a day trip on a speedboat to Nusa Penida and tour around the sights for the day (or stay for the night) with a guide before returning back to Bali in the evening. For just $63 (or even $45 if you are traveling in a group of 6), the top-rated Nusa Penida Day Tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off from Bali, lunch, boat transfers and your guide.
Nusa Penida Transport
The island is quite big and it can take over an hour to cruise from one side to another depending on where your accommodation is located. The roads are improving very quickly throughout Nusa Penida as tourist traffic increases but if you are a novice scooter driver this is gonna be an interesting journey for you!
A motorbike costs a little bit more than on Bali mainland. We got ours for 70,000 rupiahs per day with a full tank of gas. It wasn’t deal of the year but don’t expect to haggle down to 40,000 rupiahs as you might manage on the streets of Canggu or Kuta.
Things to know before you go
Nusa Penida Island is quite large compared to Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. Therefore you may want to consider spending 2-3 nights on the island if you would like to see all of the points of interest without having to rush.
The roads in some parts are fantastic but to get to many of the waterfalls and beaches the roads were pretty crazy. At times we were just driving over small rocks. If you aren’t confident on a moped this could be some terrain too heavy to handle.
There were a few spots that locals asked us to pay a small entrance or parking fee at. For example, as we left Kelingking we had to hand over 50 cents for parking even though nothing was mentioned beforehand. Just enjoy the views hand over the small fee and continue on your journey.
There’s a ton of epic things to do on Nusa Penida, but I also wrote detailed guides for all of the adventurous things to do on Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and the Nusa Islands as an overall guide.
Where to stay on Nusa Penida
I’m going to recommend three places to stay on Nusa Penida. All three of these spots are in great locations but each one is a little different. One is a luxury pick, one is a value selection and the last recommendation I have for you is where I recommend for the budget backpackers.
Ananta Bungalow – Value: The Ananta Bungalow is an awesome location right next to Crystal Bay, which is the best sunset beach on Nusa Penida and where the Manta Ray and snorkel trips launch off from. Basing yourself where you want to spend every sunset is a great idea. The beautiful bungalows have a thatched roof, terrace and combine the island life with modern facilities. The bungalows how WiFi and air conditioning. These are iconic looking bungalows and for less than $25 a night they really are the best value place to stay on Nusa Penida.
Semabu Hills Resort – Luxury: Semabu Hills is definitely the best pick of the luxury options. It has an epic infinity pool that looks out over the ocean, which is an amazing spot to relax after adventuring around the island. With breakfast included each morning and luxury rooms, this is the kind of place you treat yourself to as a family or a couple.
Hostel Nusa Penida – Budget: There’s always a good hostel when backpacking in Indonesia and on Nusa Penida, this is your pick. Hostel Nusa Penida has free WiFi, is in a good central location, which is close to most of the main attractions, beaches, and hikes. It’s clean, modern and the staff are legends.