Nusa Penida is an island just 25 km away from Bali, but almost no-one have heard about it just few years ago. This island with less than 1000 people living there was in the shadow of Bali for a long time. Everything has changed literally in a year. It started with the Instagram. After the island was visited by few big instagrammers, it was opened to the world. Now there are almost no people who have seen the famous images of the island and haven’t put it into their bucket list of must-visit places. Thought Nusa Penida is so big and popular now, it is still pretty undeveloped compared to Bali and visiting it is kind of adventure of it’s own.
I have visited it when i was in Bali as a day journey and want to share how to visit Nusa Penida from Bali in this article.
What to see in Nusa Penida
Let’s be frank: mostly people come here to see amazing Kelingking beach. When I came here i was expecting to have a great day out, but i ended up seeing one of the most beautiful places i have ever seen in my life. It’s amazing sight, it’s a breathtaking scenery! No words can describe how gorgeous it is!
One of the most intriguing part of it is a little beach. You can reach it by walking very edgy and a bit dangerous stairs, which goes on the edge of the hill. Definitely not a walk for you if you have a fear of heights. Still it’s worth waking at least a bit. The stairs are really in a very bad conditions and i never have heard that someone wanted to do the climb once again. Still it’s fantastic place even you prefer to skip the stairs. Actually, most of the people don’t do it and you can be fine enjoying the view even without risking your life.
Apart from it there are some more amazing places:
Angel Lagoon or Billabong is a photo paradise place with little lagoon, which looks like a panoramic pool with a view to the ocean
Broken beach is an amazing creation of mother nature, which is round shaped cars formation right next to the sea with the small tunnel leading to it,
Atuh Beach and Crystal Bay are nice places to chill and swim if you are lucky with the weather,
Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave is a great cultural place and not as well known as previous one’s,
Manta Bay is an incredible snorkelling place with giant Manta Rays swimming next to you.
How long to plan for Nusa Penida
Mostly people visit Nusa Penida as a day journey from Bali. It is enough to visit major places and take already well-known pictures. Still it’s not enough to see everything as there are two route on the different sides of the island, roads are super bumpy and 1 day is not enough to see major places here. So if you take it seriously, you could stay for a night. There are several hotels, including nice one, but mostly it’s kind of homestay. Still don’t expect too much and no fancy dining as there are no restaurants here, only home cafes. You can spend here even 3 days if you are interested in visiting all spots and diving.
How to get from Bali to Nusa Penida
The easiest and cheapest way to get to Nusa Penida Island from Bali is by getting to the Sanur beach (actually, it’s a harbour much more than a beach). If you are willing to skip very pushy sellers of speed boat tickets, you can spot traditional public boat called ‘jukung’. Jukung will cost you maximum 3-4$ and it will take around 90 minutes to reach Nusa Penida. The boats looks pretty old and they are definitely not for everyone.
Also, keep in mind that the sea could be pretty rough. So the ride could be an adventure.
There are also several speed boat options, which are mostly used by tourists. They are at least 3 times more expensive, but that really depends. When i have researched ticket options, i have found that there is big problem with this speed boats in Bali. The reason is the price war between boat companies. Everyone try to sell the ticket to you as expensive as possible. The price depends on how fair is your agent, what is your nationality and how you look like. I have found online that return price for speed boat is around 13$. I couldn’t find anything like this and mostly suggested price started from 30$ and goes up to 160$ through some online agent web sites. I ended up paying 250 000IDR (around 18$) for return ticket and it was relatively good deal.
The trip takes around one hour to get to the Toya Pakeh Harbor in Nusa Penida Island. The ride itself was around 35 minutes. I hardly could call it enjoyable, to be true: i had to wait in an area where many people smoke non-stop, the ride was super bumpy and the seats though looking nice, were super uncomfortable for a tall person like me. Still it was a way to get there.
There are several other options from other harbours and most of them are even more expensive, so i would skip it.
How to get around Nusa Penida
Getting around Nusa Penida is possible only if you have some kind of vehicle as there are no public transportation here. On the exit from the ferry there are lots of people suggesting you to rent a motorbike or a car. Also there are private day tours on the car with the guide and driver. The roads on the island are pretty bad in some areas, so if you choose to drive on your own, make sure that you are a good driver and always wear a helmet. I saw couple of people driving motorbikes without helmets there and it looks crazy.
Anther option is hiring a private driver with the car. I choose it as i’m pretty bad driver and prefer to stay safe as possible.
Check Nusa Penida Guiding. It is young local family business, helping tourists to explore their home. In this way you will help the community of the place and local economy and have a great time. It was good and they act safe on the road and helped me to get to the best points at the best time of the day to avoid crowds.
How much does it cost to visit Nusa Penida for a day
UBER to the harbour from Seminyak was around 7$
Ferry tickets – 18$ return.
Renting a motorbike for a day is around 8$ + gas + parking fees on the sites.
Renting a car is around 50$\day + gas + parking fees on the sites.
Day tour including ferry ticket and lunch – 50$\person
SO the total price of the day trip to Nusa Penida from Bali for 2 people incl. UBER there and back to the place where you stay
if you hire a motorbike – 65$ + lunch
if you hire a car – 110$ + lunch
if you hire a guide with the car – 120$ incl lunch