Bali day trippers to Nusa Penida island generally visit only the top Instagram hotspots like Kelingking Beach and Diamond Beach, but there are so many other amazing things to see here.
From hidden beaches, to massive cliffs, sea caves and coral gardens, this island off the coast of Bali has every kind of exotic scenery imaginable.
This 4-day itinerary will guide you through some of the unmissable highlights of Penida, along with some hidden gems that most day tours miss out on.
You can click the links for more information on each of these sights as you go!
Where To Start
This entire itinerary takes place on Nusa Penida island in the province of Bali, but first you have to get there!
Fly to Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Bali, which is served by a bunch of budget friendly airlines with good ratings.
AirAsia often has flights from Singapore (SIN) or Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Bali for 1 million IDR ($70 USD) or less.
Next, take a morning speedboat from Sanur beach to Sampalan harbor in Nusa Penida. The journey only takes about 45 minutes or so.
If you hired a driver he’ll be waiting to pick you up at the harbor, otherwise you can rent a scooter pretty easily on the spot, and then the adventure begins!
More info: How To Get To Nusa Penida
Day 1: West Penida
Start the day off at this epic cliff spot, one of the most photogenic and popular views anywhere in Bali. If you’re up for a real challenge, hike down to the beach and back up, but bring plenty of water!
Just a short distance from the famous Kelingking cliff is this alternate viewpoint with a lot less crowds. It’s very easy to visit and only adds a few minutes to your itinerary!
This is another cliff spot that most tours pass up. If you’re interested, there’s a steep trail down to the bottom, where you can chill in a nice natural pool.
This is a hidden gem, a very short hike with a great payoff. Follow the stairs down to the west edge of the cliffs and you’ll get an amazing view of the doughnut shaped Banah rock and the white cliffs.
End the day with a trek down to Tembeling Beach. You can do the whole hike on foot, or hire a motorcycle taxi to take you down and back up. There’s a refreshing natural pool at the bottom, and a sea cave that opens up to a view of the huge cliffs above.
Day 2: East Penida
Day 2 is about incredible beaches. Enjoy the views of Diamond Beach from the overlook, and then walk the stairs down to the white sand. I think this is one of the most amazing beaches in the world.
Just a 2 minute walk from Diamond Beach is another one called Atuh Beach. This one may not be as ‘Instafamous’ but it’s still a great place to relax on the sand and get some food and drinks.
This group of 3 wooden tree houses sits right next to Diamond Beach, just a 5 minute drive away. It’s an epic location and you can even stay the night in one of the tree houses if you want!
This is a nice pull off spot you can hit on the drive north from the Diamond Beach area. The cone shaped ‘Teletubby’ hills are best seen shortly after the rainy season, when they’re a bright green color.
This is a Hindu temple inside of a big cave. You have to crawl through a tiny opening in the rock to access it, but the inside is way bigger than you might expect. It’s fascinating, and a nice change of pace from the other things on this itinerary.
Day 3: Snorkeling + West Penida
• Snorkeling Tour
Wake up early for a 2-3 hour snorkeling tour on the west side of the island. Shared tours cost about 150k IDR per pax and this can be arranged with Nusa Penida Explorer (☎️ +62 818-0533-3747). You’ll see rainbow corals, nemo fish, and maybe some manta rays and turtles if you’re lucky!
• Angel’s Billabong
Back on the road again! This is a multicolored tide pool that you can swim and soak in when the tide is low. Just watch out for high tide, because it can be risky here when the waves get really big.
This is another natural wonder: a horseshoe shaped bay carved out of the coastline. Sometimes you can even see manta rays floating around here on the surface of the ocean.
• Smoke Beach
This is an ocean ‘blowhole’ where the waves rush in and shoot up through a hole in the rocks. It’s a lot of fun to watch, and if the waves are big enough then you can see some seriously huge water bombs going off here. Just keep your distance and hide your electronics from all the spray!
Day 4: South Penida
This is another exotic beach that will remind you of the huge cliffs and pointy rocks at Diamond Beach, although this one is a lot less trafficked and still off the tourist path for most day tours coming to Penida.
• Sekartaji Cliff Spot
This spot is virtually unknown to tourism as of 2020, but it’s easy to access and the views from the cliffs are amazing. There’s even a narrow and sketchy path down to the point of the rock, but proceed very carefully!
Most tourists know of Manta Point as a diving spot where you can see manta rays, but there’s also a scenic viewpoint here where you can watch the boats come and go. This spot is still very quiet as of 2020.
This is a nice sunset beach with easy access, lots of sunbeds, and lined with food and drink shacks. Perfect place to wind down after a whirlwind tour of Penida island!
More Nusa Penida Travel Tips
Looking for more information on the beautiful island of Nusa Penida in Bali?
Check out my full Nusa Penida Travel Guide with free tips, maps, photos, and more.
When Is The 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.
Nusa Penida Private Driver
If you want to explore Nusa Penida in the comfort and safety of a van with a driver, my top recommendation would be Klook.com.
Their price is 540k IDR for a full day of driving in Penida (10 hours) for 1-5 passengers. That's the total price for the whole van + driver + petrol! It's a steal.
We've used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they're great! Highly recommended.
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.