Nusa Penida Island In Bali: Complete Travel Guide & How To Visit

The beautiful, exotic Nusa Penida island lies just 15 miles from Bali, the most famous tourist destination in Indonesia.

It’s a much smaller island than Bali, but it has some of the most incredible scenery in the entire Bali province (which it’s part of). We’ve visited Penida at least a dozen times over the years, but it never gets old.

The island can be visited on a day trip from Bali (same day return), but I think it’s better to spend at least a few days seeing things here.

This travel blog will explain how you can get to Penida, the best transport options, and some of the best sights to see on the island.

Nusa Penida Day Tour Packages

First of all, if you’re on a tight schedule or want to skip the extra steps involved in arranging your own trip to Nusa Penida, Klook has prearranged day trips to Penida for as low as 600k IDR, complete with hotel transfer, island tour, lunch, and same day return to Bali.

We’ve used Klook for lots of day tours and activities around the world, and they’ve been great! Highly recommended.

Book Now: Nusa Penida Day Trip

Kelingking Beach drone view in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Banah Cliff Point in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Snorkeling with coral and fish in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
Where Is It?

Nusa Penida is a small island located 15 miles (25 km) south east of Bali, Indonesia.

Penida has two small neighboring islands sitting next to it, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, but it’s become the most famous of the three because of its scenic cliff views and stunning beaches.

How To Get To Nusa Penida

From Bali, the only way to reach Nusa Penida is by speedboat or ferry, with the speedboat journey taking about 45 minutes or so.

There are a bunch of speedboat companies making this trip daily, and they all depart from Sanur Beach in Bali at various times. Here is my full writeup on how to get to Nusa Penida with one of these speedboat companies.

The other option is booking a day tour to Nusa Penida. If you’re on a tight schedule or want to skip the extra steps involved in arranging your own trip to Nusa Penida, Klook has prearranged day trips to Penida for as low as 600k IDR, complete with hotel transfer, island tour, lunch, and same day return to Bali.

We’ve used Klook for lots of day tours and activities around the world, and they’ve been great! Highly recommended.

More info: How To Get To Nusa Penida

Banah Cliff Point in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Rocky cliffs near Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Snorkeling with coral in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Drone view of boats and swimmer floating at Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

 
 
 
 

Visiting Nusa Penida Island

Tourist Fee

Since 2019, there’s a new fee for tourists getting off the boat at Nusa Penida, and it’s intended to pay for better infrastructure on the island.

The fee is 25k IDR for adults and 15k for children. It gives you entry to all three of the Nusa islands: Penida, Lembongan, and Ceningan.

Transportation: How To Get Around On Nusa Penida

Just like in Bali, you have two main transport options for exploring Nusa Penida: motorbike rental, or car with driver.

I’ve always done the car with driver, and the prices are roughly equivalent to what you would pay in Bali – 550k IDR ($38 USD) or less – for a full day of driving.

Scooters are easy to rent from your accommodation (or other places) in Penida, and you can expect to pay about 75k IDR (~$5 USD) per day with a full tank of gas.

More info: Nusa Penida Transport & Drivers

Big coral formations underwater at Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Donut shaped Banah rock near the Banah Cliff Point in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Steep cliffs on the southwest coast of Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Exotic corals underwater at Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
Where To Stay
 
Best Things To Do & See In Nusa Penida

These are just a few of the top things to do in Nusa Penida.

For a complete list of 30+ awesome things to see and do on the island, you can find that here.

• Kelingking Beach

The Kelingking cliff is the most famous view in Nusa Penida, and probably one of the most famous views in all of Bali. This is an incredible “T-Rex jaw” shaped rock sticking out over the ocean, with perfect turquoise water splashing around it. The first time you look over the edge of the cliff and see this view, it really is breathtaking!

More info: Kelingking Beach & Cliff

The T-Rex shaped cliff point at Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
The T-Rex shaped Kelingking Cliff.
• Broken Beach

For most visitors to Penida, one of the first stops will be Broken Beach. This is a cool circular cove formed in the rocks, complete with a leftover arch. This area is also one of the popular hangout spots for the manta rays, so you’ll most likely get to see some rays floating around in the sea nearby.

More info: Broken Beach

Drone view of Broken Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
Aerial view of the circle shaped bay at Broken Beach.
• Crystal Bay

One of the popular spots on the west side of Penida is Crystal Bay. This is a good hangout or suntanning spot, and it has plenty of food and drink shacks for refreshments. Snorkeling gear can be rented here, or you can just sit around and chill out while eating some chicken satay.

The great thing about Crystal Bay is that it’s one of the best 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.

More info: Crystal Bay & Beach

Tourists with the sunset and palm trees at Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
Crystal Bay is a popular sunset spot in Nusa Penida.
• Banah Cliff Point

The great thing about Banah Cliff Point is that it actually has half a dozen different view points along the cliffs, and at each view point you can walk right up to the edge of the cliff and look down at the waves crashing on the rocks.

From these cliffs you can usually see a bunch of tiny manta rays and speedboats floating around on the ocean below. You can also see the Banah rock, a doughnut shaped rock sticking out of the ocean. Great stuff!

More info: Banah Cliff Point

Sea cliffs at Banah Cliff Point in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
Banah Cliff has multiple viewpoints.

 

• Tembeling Cave & Beach

This is an awesome sea cave that opens up to a view of the huge cliffs on the Penida coast. There’s also a small natural pool near the cave that you can take a dip in.

More info: Tembeling Beach

• Suwehan Beach

Are you looking for a hidden beach with perfect white sand and turquoise waves? Suwehan is one of the best hidden beaches in Penida. The hike down takes about 30 minutes and it’s exhausting, but totally worthwhile. This is one of my favorite places in Penida. There’s even a cool pointy rock that looks like a Christmas tree.

More info: Suwehan Beach

    
Pointy rock and sand at Suwehan Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

• Atuh Beach

This is one of the coolest beaches on the south end of Penida island. Unlike Suwehan Beach, Atuh is not a secret and there are sunbeds, beanbags, and a couple of nice food & drink shacks here.

The highlight of Atuh Beach is probably the big elephant shaped rock in the ocean (locals say it looks like a stiletto), and the huge variety of sea life that can be seen trapped in the rocks at low tide.

More info: Atuh Beach

Tourist couple relaxing with their kid on the sand at Atuh Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
The locals say the rock at Atuh Beach looks like a high heel shoe.
• Nusa Penida Treehouse (Rumah Pohon)

Visiting this tree house, and then coming back later and staying a night in it, was probably one of the coolest things I have ever done in my travels. The room and bed are basic yes, but the views and location are out of this world.

You’ll fall asleep to the sound of geckos chirping in the trees, and wake up to an incredible sunrise over the Raja Lima islands, with dolphins and manta rays swimming and jumping in the distance.

More info: Nusa Penida Treehouse

• Diamond Beach

Diamond Beach, named after the pointy diamond shaped rock on the beach, is another utterly incredible “cliff beach” on the southeastern coast of Nusa Penida island. It’s newly accessible for the first time since late 2018, when a path down to the beach was carved into the side of the cliffs.

More info: Diamond Beach

Pointy rock and palm trees at Diamond Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
Diamond beach gets its name from this unique pointy rock.
• Teletubbies Hill

The center of Penida island has these big round hills named after the background scenery from the Teletubbies kids show. If you come here during or just after the rainy season, the hills are a perfect green color.

More info: Teletubbies Hill

• Manta Point Overlook

Manta Point is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in Penida, but it’s also the name of a cliff point overlooking the same location. You can sit here and watch the boats (and manta rays) come and go, with epic panoramic views all around you.

More info: Manta Point Overlook

What To Bring

Most of the items below could probably be found in Penida in a pinch, but the quality of stuff you buy on the street won’t be guaranteed (personally, I’m not about to use a junky knockoff bag from a street vendor to protect my expensive camera gear).

It’s best to buy vetted products online!

  • Waterproof Bag:
    • Save
    Essential for keeping your electronics safe on the boats. I brought a 30 liter bag and was able to fit my drone, tablet, camera, phone, and a bunch of other stuff inside. Everything was kept dry, even when I took the bag swimming a few times!
  • Waterproof Phone Pouch:
    • Save
    Same as above, but these are for your phone only. Great for if you don’t have other electronics and just need something small to protect your phone with.
  • Snorkeling Gear:
    • Save
    Many of the islands have nice corals and fish, and you won’t want to miss out on them. Snorkels and masks can be rented on the boat too, but if you plan to do multiple tours it’s more economical to bring your own gear.
  • Water Shoes:
    • Save
    Save your feet some grief and wear water shoes! We got some cuts while walking to shore from the boats.
  • Camera:
    • Save
    Duh!

Giant sea cliffs and islands on the coast of Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Palm trees and hills at Atuh Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

 
Best Restaurants

The flurry of tourism is bringing new restaurants to Penida by the week, so now it has a bunch of great options!

  • Penida Colada: This was one of the first ‘great’ restaurants on the island, with a big menu, beach vibes, good food and good presentation. Plus the name is cool!
  • Warung Nengah Mesin: Mother’s cooking. Simply delicious. This is a local warung in the south part of the island, so it’s easy to reach from many of the major sights.
  • Penida Espresso: Best smoothie bowls on the island, and they’re very reasonably priced at 59k IDR ($4 USD)!
  • Sweet Spot: One of the first air-conditioned indoor cafes on the island! Great brek here.

Tropical fruit and drinks at Penida Colada cafe in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
 
Nusa Penida speedboat in Bali with the Mount Agung volcano in the background
  • Save

 
Other Tips
  • Credit Cards: Almost all restaurants and hotels in Penida are cash only. Best thing to do is bring lots of cash with you from Bali.
  • ATM: Penida still has almost no ATM options. The most reliable seems to be the Bank BRI booth at Sampalan, but it only lets you pull 1 million IDR per try.
  • WiFi: The WiFi situation here has improved dramatically, and most hotels in Penida already have great WiFi.
Is Nusa Penida Safe?

Yes!

We live in Bali off and on. Violent crime is unheard of in Penida, and petty crime is just as rare. This is a tight knit community and the locals are very kind and hospitable.

Balinese are religious people, so please don’t disrespect the temples or local culture. And do be careful if you hike any of the steep cliffs like Kelingking Beach!

Sekartaji Cliff Point view from below in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

Tiny orange flowers in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

 
Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Penida depends on what you’re looking for.

Bali’s rainy season runs from November to April. It’s less crowded during this time, and the rain is mostly at night, but the weather during the day can be hot and humid at 90-100 F (32-38 C).

From May to August, the temps are a lot cooler, and it’s more breezy and sunny. This is the high season so it’s a little more crowded.

Penida is spectacular at any time of the year, but I think the best months for photography are March to May (right after the rainy season ends), when the island is covered with green foliage.

However, if you’re just looking for the nicest weather, May to August are the most comfortable months of the year.

Drone view of Banah Cliff Point in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save

White sand on Puyung Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali
  • Save
How Long To Stay

Don’t be a day tripper. There’s so much to see and do here. I would try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Penida, or longer if you’re a scuba diver.

Take a look at my Ultimate 4-day Nusa Penida Itinerary for some ideas!

Nusa Penida Hotels
 
Where We Stayed

We stayed at Saren Villa on the north coast of Nusa Penida, and paid 240k IDR ($15 USD) for a private double room with cold A/C, hot shower, and good WiFi.

This is one of the cheapest options in Penida, and it's in a great location near the best restaurants! We were happy.

Prices may fluctuate from time to time, so just keep an eye out for a good deal.

  • Save
Our Nusa Penida hotel (© Booking.com)
  • Save
Our Nusa Penida hotel (© Booking.com)
See Also