Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan are three islands a little southeast of Bali. Although Nusa Penida is the largest of these three, it is probably the least developed in terms of infrastructure and tourism. And this is exactly what makes the island so special.
You will find stunning, pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and some of the best diving spots in the country off Nusa Penida and it is a dream come true for those looking for excitement and off-the-beaten-track adventures. You can only travel slowly across the island since road conditions are rather poor.
1. Relax on Atuh Beach
Atuh Beach is a pristine, white sand beach, surrounded by impressive rock formations and huge cliffs. Although it can be difficult to get here because of the bumpy roads, this place can’t be skipped, when visiting Nusa Penida.
The drive here is an experience in itself - you will be passing through several villages, driving along curvy mountain roads and you will be able to enjoy stunning views of the ocean. The directions are surprisingly well marked and you shouldn’t have any problems with finding the beach. Just before you get to the mostly empty beach, you might have to leave your scooter behind, and walk the last few hundred meters, down a steep path.
At the beach, you can purchase drinks and light meals such as the typical Nasi Goreng. Make sure to try a fresh coconut, too!
Address: Atuh Beach, Nusa Penida
Website: Atuh Beach
2. Explore Crystal Bay
Crystal Bay is one of the better-known beaches on Nusa Penida. Crystal Bay is a popular spot amongst divers, as the famous mola mola (sunfish) is seen here, regularly. There are also great opportunities here for snorkelling - the water is clear and you might be lucky to see some manta rays!
The beach is popular as a day trip, from Bali, and you will find several huts where drinks, noodles, and Nasi Goreng are being sold. A few people offer massages and you can also rent snorkelling gear.
Although Crystal Beach is becoming more and more popular, you are likely to have the beach almost to yourself when visiting in the off-season. In high season (August) it tends to become a little more crowded, but still nothing compared to the neighbouring islands, like Bali.
Address: Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida
Website: Crystal Bay
3. Cool off at Temeling natural pools
These beautiful and refreshing pools are a great way to cool off after an exhausting day on your scooter, exploring the island of Nusa Penida. Surrounded by cliffs and greenery, these pools are certainly worth the visit. During the wet season, you will also be able to see impressive waterfalls.
The road leading here is very steep and can get slippery. Once you are there, keep in mind that the pools are separate for men and women.
Temeling natural pools
Address: Temeling natural pools, Nusa Penida
Website: Temeling natural pools
4. Indulge in traditional ceremonies in Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave
Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave is located halfway up a mountain, but relatively easily accessible, if you don’t mind climbing a few stairs. By crawling through a crack in the ground, you can access this impressive 300-metre (984-foot) long cave.
Locals gather here regularly for prayers, and you should rent a sarong to cover up before you enter the cave. It is a great place to see some monkeys up close, too.
Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave
Address: Suana, Nusapenida, Klungkung Regency, Bali 80771, Indonesia
5. Spend the day at Pasih Uug Beach
Pasih Uug Beach - literally translated as “Broken Beach” is another beach on Nusa Penida, well worth the visit. The beach almost seems like a huge pool - because of the many cliffs by which it is surrounded. This remote beach can only be accessed by foot or bicycle.
Pasih Uug has similar looking coastal cliffs to the ones you can find in Uluwatu, Bali. Pasih Uug offers superb views over the ocean and the water is so clear that you might even see some manta rays or turtles.
Pasih Uug Beach
Address: Pasih Uug Beach, Nusa Penida
Website: Pasih Uug Beach
6. Enjoy beautiful scenery at Angel's Billabong
This natural pool is carved between two cliffs and fills with water as the tide comes in. Angel’s Billabong has crystal clear water and offers spectacular views of the ocean.
The pool is around 125 square meters (1345 square feet) in size and is home to several types of small fish. While the pool is comfortable enough to walk in, it is best to wear some slippers should you plan to climb down to the beach, as parts of the reef can be sharp. During high tide, it can get a little dangerous to swim in the pool, as the waves can get rough.
Angel’s Billabong can be accessed from Pasih Uug Beach - it is just a short walk from here. Just like many other beaches on Nusa Penida, you will need to leave your motorbike behind and walk the last few hundred meters.
Address: Angel’s Billabong, Nusa Penida
Website: Angel’s Billabong
7. Go on an adventure at the Peguyangan Waterfalls
The Peguyangan Waterfalls are located on the southeast cliffs of Nusa Penida, and they are a real adventure! Locals come here to visit sacred temples and the jaw-dropping cliffs and scenic views attract many tourists.
Part of the hike involves an old stairway, which might seem a bit scary at first glance. The cliffside trail leads you down to the bottom of the hill, where you can find the waterfalls. The hike downhill offers some of the most stunning views you can experience on the island.
Address: Batukandik, Nusa Penida, Batukandik, Nusapenida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771, Indonesia
Website: Peguyangan Waterfalls
Nusa Penida - the alternative to Bali?
Nusa Penida is a beautiful place and a great alternative to the touristy island of Bali. You will find superb beaches and you will be able to thoroughly explore Indonesian culture. Nusa Penida is not only great for divers but is also an excellent and diverse destination for people looking to go hiking.
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