One of the popular spots on the west side of Penida is Crystal Bay, aka Crystal Beach. This is not really a “must see” location, but it’s still a good hangout or suntanning spot, and it has plenty of warungs (little food and drink shacks) for refreshments. There’s even accommodation here if you’d like to stay close to the beach.
Snorkeling gear can be rented here for 50,000 IDR ($3.50 USD), and the corals are supposed to be pretty good if you go further out, but do be careful because I’ve heard the ocean currents at this bay can be a bit dicey in some spots. Generally there are plenty of traditional boats anchored out in the bay that you could grab onto though, if need be.
There’s also a small island (more like a large rock with some trees on it) out in the center of the bay, but access for tourists is limited since there’s an old Hindu temple on it. Speaking of temples, there’s also one on the main beach that is surrounded by palm trees and makes for a cool photo op, even though you can’t go inside.
I first visited Crystal Bay back in 2017, when Penida was a quieter island and still in the process of being discovered by tourists. I flew a little drone over the ocean and looked at the boats from a distance, while some very intrigued local kids huddled around to watch. Nowadays, the beach here is getting pretty crowded with tourists, but I still think it’s worth a stop to at least look around or chill for awhile.
In my opinion, the best thing about Crystal Bay is that it’s one of the great spots to catch the sunset in Penida. Last July, I went back here with a buddy and we sipped Bintangs with our toes in the sand while the sunset came down over the rocks on the coast. This is a great place to stop for some downtime or finish the day after touring Penida.
How To Get To Crystal Bay
Crystal Bay is on the west side of Nusa Penida island. It’s accessible by car or scooter, about 20-30 minutes drive from the main docks and accommodation in northern Penida. There’s a tiny 2,000 IDR (15 cents) parking fee as of 2019.
If you’re looking for more info on how to get to Nusa Penida island in the first place, you can find that here.
Day Tours To Crystal Bay
If you’re on a tight schedule or want to skip the extra steps involved in arranging your own trip to Nusa Penida, there are a number of companies that offer prearranged day trips to Penida for as low as $50 USD, complete with hotel transfer, island tour, lunch, and same day return to Bali (or Nusa Lembongan).