I had been wanting to visit this places for quite some time, and when I actually did, it was one of the best travel moment in my life.
Where is Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is a small island (200 square kilometres) about 45 minutes Ferry Ride towards the east from Sanur Beach, Bali. I don’t know when did exactly Nusa Penida became popular destination. But, it was still under development and infrastructure construction when I visited it (June 2019).
Nusa means “island” and penida means “priest” in Balinese language. So, Nusa Penida means the island of Priest. However, In 1900 a dutch map called Nusa Penida as Bandit Island. It is because Klungkung regency used to deport to Nusa Penida its criminals, political opponents and black magic adepts. Perhaps the beauty of Nusa Penida was kept hidden for so long thanks to its bad reputations and dark magic secret.(Source: Nusa Penida)
But nowadays, it is one of the most visited tourist attraction (in Bali and beyond) thanks to its T-rex-like coast (Kelingking Beach) and many other picturesque spots
How to get to Nusa Penida from Mainland Bali
Know that Nusa Penida is reachable from its neighbouring islands Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands used to be more popular than Nusa Penida. It can be reached from these islands using small boat than run every hour. It takes aroud 10 minutes and the boat costs IDR 60,000 one way, IDR 120,000 return (3 USD one way, 6 USD return). The boats depart from Yellow Bridge (Lembongan Side) and arrive at Toya Pakeh Harbour Nusa Penida. The ticket can be purchased along the beach where the boad harboured, and the boat will depart once it is full (up to 8-10 people).
The Beach and The Boat
If you are from mainland Bali, you can reach Nusa Penida from Sanur beach. On the first day I arrived in Bali, I picked hotel in Sanur beach so that i can reach the boat easily. There are so many boat company that cater passenger from Sanur to Nusa Penida daily. The frequency vary between operator, but usually they depart once in the morning from Sanur to Nusa Penida, and Return to Sanur in the evening.
The boat will arrive at “Pelabuhan Tradisional Sampalan Nusa Penida” or Nusa Penida Sampalan Traditional Harbour.
How to get the ticket
I read many blogs that mentioned about Mola Mola Express Boat as commonly used boat to Nusa Penida. However, if you go to the port at Sanur beach, there are literally so many boat company lined up along the shore. You can buy the ticket in advance and compare price between company if you’d like. For me, I considered booking Mola Mola express myself. But, since I was on a private tour in Nusa Penida, the ticket was included in the package. So, I got the ticket through the tour company.
If you choose to peruse each every boat company, you can head to Sanur beach (just before Matahari Beach) days before, as well as assess the departure point. You could also call mola mola beach phone available on its profile in Google Map. Or like me, you can skip the hassle and book through any travel agent. However, please also note that you need to go to the boat company’s stand before the departure to get the physical ticket. Another option is to book it online through 12go.
The price and Schedule
Here’s the price and schedule of the boat from Sanur beach to Nusa Penida. I used Mola-mola Express’s price since i used that boat. But there are many others operators too.
Express Boat Schedule to Nusa Penida (source: www.thenusapenida.com)
|Nusa Penida - Sanur||07:30||16:00|
And this is the price of the boat (you may want to check with the operator directly for the most recent price)
Mola Mola Express Boat Price (source:www.thenusapenida.com)
|One Way Price (IDR)||Return Price (IDR)|
Where I stayed in Nusa Penida
As the tourism bloom in Nusa Penida, there are lots of accommodations. I found mine through Airbnb. My first few choices were booked, so I found this gems in Airbnb. I looked specifically accommodation with unique design, somewhere instagrammable. The location was pretty remote, but our driver managed to find it. What I love about this place is the remoteness and the design.
10 Best places to visit in Nusa Penida
Soon as I arrived at the harbour, I called our driver and we were immediately picked up. My plan was to have a packaged tour. It basically covers cars and drivers for 2 days, Lunch, snorkelling, as well as return ticket from Sanur beach to Nusa Penida. I booked the accommodation myself, and all entrance fee and driver’s tip were excluded. It cost IDR 1,200,000 per person. The tour i was with is Nusa Penida Trip and these are the awesome places we visited in Nusa Penida in two days.
1. Angel’s billabong
Angel’s Billabong, broken beach, and devil’s billabong are located on the same area, the west part of Nusa Penida. Our driver took us from the port directly to these place. As you can imagine, the spot was packed and you have to wait patiently to take any picture. At that time the wave was strong, so swimming was prohibited. I saw many pictures of people get their picture taken while floating or swimming, but at that time it was impossible. What I love about this place is the crystal clear and turquoise blue color.
2. Broken Beach
If you take some walks, you will arrive at broken beach. It is basically a rugged extension that has a hole in the middle of it, creating a very beautiful view towards the open ocean. Contrary to the some pictures I had seen, the view point were free from trees. So, it was definitely super-hot and humid out there.
3. Kelingking Beach
That famous T-Rex beach was extraordinary packed that afternoon. Another queue in a hot bright sunny day. But it was indeed beautiful. Our driver advised us not to go down to the beach as the road was very bad. And it was. But it doesn’t stop us to go down, but only half way since we had another place to go, so we managed to go down a bit and hiked back up. Most of the tourist did not go down as well, though I think it could be the best beach moment for us.
4. Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu) Viewpoint
We went to this place for sunrise, and we arrived at 5:30 am in the morning. There was nobody there except us and another two people. We waited patiently as the sun rose and presented us the best view. Different from the other day where we went to the western Part of Nusa Penida, Thousand island is almost the eastern-most part of Nusa Penida. Just a meters away lay the famous Rumah Pohon.
5. Rumah Pohon (Tree House)
Staying at this place could be our dream came through. Back in 2018, me and my friend planned a trip to Nusa Penida but it was cancelled due to earthquake in Lombok and nearby area. At that time, I already booked one night in this tree house since August 2018. In 2019, when we finally back to Nusa Penida, I thought about staying in it couples of time, but we decided to stay somewhere else and visited the house instead. The best news is, you can see and take picture on the stair with the permission of the people staying at the house.
After getting some pretty sunrise pics in Thousand Island Viewpoint, we visited the house and there was a couple who stayed there and was admiring the view from the balcony. We asked permission from them to take picture on the stairway and if that was okay for them. They said yes and we took several pics on the stairway overlooking the beautiful bay. It was one of the best sunrise view in my life.
6. Diamond Beach
It is called diamond beach for its diamond-like stones on the beach. We went there from Rumah Pohon and at that time we went down to the beach and not just stop at the viewpoint. Again, we were met with rugged and uneven ground, but it was worth it. There were not too many people at the beach around 10 am, and we almost got the beach to ourselves. There were also locals who built a set for photo (a swing and a “bird cage” stage) which were not free. I took the swing and my friend took the “bird cage”.
7. Atuh Beach
Next to Diamond beach was Atuh Beach, we only saw them from the top and did not go down as we did on Diamond Beach.
8. Teletubbies Hill
The viewpoint that our driver suggested was not articulated very well and so we went around to see a better view point. Although we saw some array of green hills, it wasn’t as dramatic as those in Holbung Hill North Sumatera. However, the breeze air was very welcomed although the humid remained.
Snorkeling gear and suits as well as boat was included in the package. We went snorkelling but the wave was quite strong, so we decided to went back and explore the land instead.
10. Tembeling Beach and Forest
We had a discussion for quite some time whether or not we should go back to Kelingking and went down to its beach or visiting new Places. Since we almost ran out of highlighted place in Nusa Penida, our driver suggested Tembeling beach. However, the journey toward the beach was no joke!
We drove to a point where it was impassable for car and continued our journey by motorcycle (rent for IDR 25,000 – the owner drove the motorcycle for us). Man, even the motorcycle ride was no joke either. It was a very rough path going down for about 20-30 minutes passing through forest, stones, and passing some impassable road.
After quite sometime, we arrived on a parking area and our driver led us to a cave near the beach. We passed few natural lagoon as well in the middle of the forest. The place is indeed secluded and only several visitors were there. The cave was enchanted, with gap overlooking the open sea and full of stacked stones. We then proceeded to the beach, the Tembeling beach. It was a quiet beach, although the sand was not that clear. The best part of this complex is the lagoon though.
We stop by the lagoon where several people were already there and in turn took plunges from the cliffs. My friend could not help herself and took the plunge. Me? I hiked to the top but did not make it ! I was too afraid to jump. It was the best decision to go to Tembeling beach although mind you, of all 10 places I mentioned today, this was the riskiest so far. I said that because Nusa Penida has been undergoing a massive development to promote its tourism. Hopefully in the near future this place has a better access. Although, the idea of having a virgin place and remain untouched is very important.
TIPS: Bring a lot of water since Nusa Penida is dryer and hotter than Bali. Use sunscreen and comfortable footwear. If you plan to travel around Nusa Penida by yourself, you can rent motorcycle at around IDR 70,000 to IDR 200,000. Have Fun!!!