Nusa Penida is one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia, located just off the southeastern coast of Bali. Known for its rugged beauty, pristine beaches, and incredible cliffs, Nusa Penida is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and anyone seeking to soak up epic island vibes. If you’re planning your first trip to this stunning little island, here’s my guide on the absolute best things to do in Nusa Penida.
Besides highlighting what to do in Nusa Penida, this guide is also jam-packed with other handy info – from how to get there, how to get around, where to stay, and what to pack. Ready? Let’s go!
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Table of Contents
Nusa Penida Essentials
- Find the best hotel deals in Nusa Penida, or see my top picks below.
- Pre-book a seat on the ferry so that you’re guaranteed a spot. This one includes a pick-up at your hotel in Bali.
- You’ll need transport to get around the island. Book a scooter rental or hire a private car with a driver here in advance.
- It’s always best to be prepared for unforseen circumstances. Make sure you have travel insurance covering you and your belongings abroad. I use SafetyWing and cannot recommend them enough!
- There is so much to do in Nuda Penida! Plan to spend at least 2-3 days on the island to experience its best bits. If that’s not an option, this full-day Nusa Penida tour from Bali is a great way to see the highlights in a limited time.
10 Epic Things to Do in Nusa Penida
Visit Kelingking Beach
The number one thing to do in Nusa Penida, and probably a big reason you’ve come all this way, is to see Nusa Penida’s iconic T-Rex-shaped cliff – Kelingking Beach.
Kelingking Beach is one of the most famous landmarks in Indonesia and arguably the most beautiful beach in Nusa Penida. And it’s not hard to see why! It has breathtaking viewpoints, a unique coastline, and the most stunning turquoise water imaginable!
There is a massive viewpoint offering incredible views over the T-Rex’s spine, surrounding cliffs, and the exquisite white sand beach below. And if you’re up to it, you can hike down a steep (and rather scary) pathway down the ridge for even more spectacular views.
That said, you should know the trail is quite harrowing (especially if you want to hike to the beach). And it’s definitely not recommendable for people with a fear of heights! Wear proper footwear (i.e., no flip-flops), bring extra water, and only attempt this hike if you are fit enough to return to the top!
While Kelingking Beach is absolutely stunning, it’s not the safest place to swim as the waves can get rough. It’s advisable to only visit during low tide.
Make sure you have cash on you when visiting. You’ll need it for the parking fee (IDR 10,000) and for that ice-cold Bintang after the hike!
Drop by Angel’s Billabong
Angel’s Billabong is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Nusa Penida and another must on your list of things to do.
Located just south of Kelingking Beach, Angel’s Billabong is a stunning natural tidal pool surrounded by hanging rock cliffs. It is revered for its crystal clear water, showcasing multiple layers of depth and volcanic rock formations beneath the surface. The pool overlooks Manta Bay – and if lucky, you may spot a few mantas gliding in the water nearby.
It’s best to visit Angel’s Billabong during low tide, as the currents can produce some scary waves during high tide. For this reason, swimming is no longer possible here, and the entire edge is now roped off. That said, you can still scramble over the rocks for an incredible view (and pics) of the infinity pool. Just wear proper shoes or sneakers, as some stones are quite sharp. And don’t go too close to the edge!
Marvel at Broken Beach
Just a short walk from Angel’s Billabong is another must-visit place in Nusa Penida – Broken Beach.
What really makes Broken Beach so unique is its stunning natural beauty. Broken Beach is not really a beach but a circular cove featuring an incredible arched rock created by a collapsed cliff. The cove houses a gorgeous turquoise pool filled with crystal clear water and also acts as a natural gate for water flowing between Manta Point and the inlet.
While most people never bother to walk past the main photo stop (right in front of the arch), it’s worth walking along the top of the circle towards the arch for even more epic views. The loop only takes about 10 minutes to walk, and the path is relatively flat.
Along the pathway leading to Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach, you’ll also find a good selection of warungs and eateries, where you can grab everything from nasi goreng to gelato.
The parking fee for Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach is IDR 10,000.
Snorkel with Manta Rays
You simply cannot visit Nusa Penida without joining a snorkeling trip! Snorkeling in Nusa Penida is a magnificent experience thanks to the beauty of the reefs and the wide array of marine species. Moreover, it’s one of the few places in Indonesia where you can spot giant manta rays up close.
For the best chance of spotting these gentle giants, you’ll want to get yourself to Manta Point or Manta Bay. While you can arrange a private boat at one of the nearby harbors, a great stress-free alternative is to join a guided tour. The guides are very experienced, and they know exactly when and where to spot mantas. Tours can be booked via your hotel, from the harbor or online in advance. Here’s a great Nusa Penida snorkel with manta rays tour! Alternatively, if you’re coming from Bali, this manta ray snorkeling tour might be a better fit.
Relax at Crystal Bay
A highlight on any trip to Nusa Penida is ending your day with an epic sunset plopped down in the sand. And the best place to do that is at Crystal Bay!
Located along the western coastline of Nusa Penida, Crystal Bay is a 200 m-long postcard-perfect beach featuring soft sand, swaying palm trees, and dreamy clear waters filled with colorful coral and tropical fish (including the rare Mola Mola).
Since the water is the perfect temperature here, Crystal Bay is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling. The beach is also lined with tons of warungs where you can grab a freshly cracked coconut or a cold beer. And if you’re hungry, don’t miss the chicken satay smothered in peanut sauce!
There is a small parking fee of IDR 10,000 to visit Crystal Bay. Beach umbrellas and sun loungers are also available to rent. Bring cash because the vendors don’t accept cards.
Visit Pandan Beach
If you’re looking for a less crowded beach, add Pandan Beach to your list of Nusa Penida things to do. This secluded bay is home to crystal clear water and soft sand. The marine life is incredible here, and it was one of my favorite places to snorkel in Nusa Penida. If you swim out past the coral reef, you might even spot a few turtles.
The easiest way to get to Pandan Beach is to join a snorkeling tour, but it’s also accessible on foot from Crystal Bay. The hike takes about 15 minutes. Just make sure to bring bug spray!
Have Sundowners at Secret Penida
If you’re looking for an awesome spot to catch the sunset with a boozy cocktail, Secret Penida is for you. Located on the island’s northern coastline, this beachfront restaurant features hip interiors and even more awesome vibes.
Secret Penida also has a good selection of food options, including burgers, pizzas, salads, and more. Plop down in one of the cozy chairs overlooking the ocean while you sip on a delicious coconut mojito.
Chill at Kul de Sak Beach Bar
Another great spot to while away the time or catch one of those epic Nusa Penida sunsets is Kul de Sak Beach Bar.
Kul de Sak is a laid-back beach bar right beside Buyuk Harbor. It overlooks the ocean, has great food and drinks at affordable prices, and has a lovely vibe. What’s not to love!
Kul de Sak is not the biggest place, so if you want to chill in a bean bag or have the best sunset viewing spot, come a little earlier to secure your seat.
You can access the bar from the beach during low tide, but if it’s high tide, you’ll need to walk down a small alleyway behind the strip of local shops and warungs to get to the bar. Keep an eye out for the signs pointing the way.
Take a Day Trip to Nusa Lembongan
While Nusa Penida is the largest of the three Nusa islands, it’s worth venturing out to Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan if you have time to spare on your Nusa Penida itinerary. That said, if you only have time to visit one of them, make it Nusa Lembongan.
Nusa Lembongan is a beautiful, laid-back island with incredibly diverse sights ranging from a mangrove forest and a natural blow hole, to epic beaches and amazing snorkeling opportunities. The island is small enough to explore in as little as a day. You can catch a 15-minute fast boat from Toya Pakeh Harbor to Nusa Lembongan. Alternatively, many day tours run from Bali too.
Grab a Cuppa at Tropical Brew
Another great place to go in Nusa Penida is Tropical Brew. This tiny roadside coffee shop has a super laidback vibe, and it’s a cool spot to grab a coffee, freshly baked croissant, or even a smoothie bowl!
Try the tropical smoothie bowl or the dragon fruit bowl – pure tastebud heaven!
Other Things to do in Nusa Penida
Unfortunately, I missed a whole day in Nusa Penida due to a flight delay. Here are a few more things to do in Nusa Penida which I didn’t have time to check out, but hopefully you can!
- Diamond Beach (Google Maps) is an idyllic white sand beach fringed by towering cliffs and epic blue water filled with giant rocks jutting out from it.
- Atuh Beach (Google Maps) is another stunning Nusa Penida beach near Diamond Beach.
- Rumah Pohon Tree House (Google Maps) is a dreamy little treehouse with stunning views over Nusa Penida’s eastern coastline. It’s also one of the most Instagrammable places in Nusa Penida!
- Banah Cliff Point (Google Maps) is the best place to get a close-up look at Nusa Penida’s rugged coastlines and sheer cliffs.
- Teletubbies Hill Viewpoint (Google Maps) is a set of perfectly contoured lush green hills. Since it’s still a hidden gem in Nusa Penida, it’s a great spot to get off the main tourist path.
- Peguyangan Waterfall (Google Maps) is a small waterfall with crystal-clear pools next to the ocean. It’s only accessible by climbing down a steep cliffside stairway, so wear proper footwear.
- Tembeling Pool (Google Maps) is tucked away in a dense forest and comprises two crystal-clear natural pools surrounded by towering cliffs. It’s not the easiest place to reach, so plan accordingly.
How to Get to Nusa Penida
The best way to get to Nusa Penida from Bali is by fast boat. Speed boats leave several times daily from Sanur Harbor, and the journey takes about 35 minutes. While you can arrange a Grab to get to the harbor, a great stress-free way to travel is to book a ferry from Sanur to Nusa Penida, which includes hotel pick-ups and drop-offs in Bali. Most boats allow up to 30kg of luggage per person, but if you want to avoid tugging hefty bags along on your dream island vacation, you can also store your luggage at Sanur Harbor. Prices start at IDR 70,000 per piece per day.
If you’re not close to Sanur, you can also take a fast boat from Serangan Harbor to Nusa Penida. The ferry only sails once a day and takes about 45 minutes.
While most speed boats sail to Toya Pakeh Harbor, also known as Banjar Nyuh Harbor, it’s important to note that Nusa Penida actually has several harbors. Check with your accommodation which one is best for you. Another thing to know is that you’ll need to pay a landing/environmental fee of IDR 25,000 when disembarking at the harbor. Bring cash, as this usually isn’t included in the ferry price.
How to Get Around Nusa Penida
Getting around Nusa Penida is best done by renting a scooter or hiring a driver for the day.
While renting a scooter is undoubtedly the most fun way to get around Nusa Penida, you should know the island’s roads are less developed, so be prepared for bumpy rides, especially when visiting off-the-beaten-path spots. Traffic is heavy, there are many hairpin bends, and some sections of the roads have serious rough patches. I’m not trying to discourage you, but please only rent a scooter if you are experienced in driving one and have the necessary license.
If you like to have things all planned out, you can book a scooter for pickup at the harbor here on Klook. Alternatively, once you arrive, you can arrange a scooter at one of the many scooter rental shops at Toya Pakeh Harbor. Prices generally start at IDR 75,000 per day for a 125cc scooter. Try Nicely Penida Rental or Doel Hadi Rental Scooter. Another option is to arrange a scooter rental via your hotel. Our hotel quoted us IDR 90,000 per day. Whichever option you take, make sure to get a helmet!
A less adventurous, albeit certainly more stress-free way, to get around Nusa Penida is to hire a private car with a driver. It will cost a bit more, but you’ll have the luxury of sitting back in an air-conditioned vehicle, and you won’t have to worry about navigating the roads! As mentioned before, there are many twists and turns up and down the hills of Nusa Penida. So, if you suffer from motion sickness, pack some Dramamine.
Where to Stay in Nusa Penida
If you’re looking for the most luxurious accommodation in Nusa Penida, MĀUA Nusa Penida is for you. This beautiful 5-star resort is nestled on the hilltop of Gamat Bay and offers amazing views over the ocean and jungle. With only 25 villas, MĀUA Nusa Penida offers a peaceful retreat accompanied by all the creature comforts you would expect from a luxury resort. Check prices/ availability here.
We stayed at The Kama, and I cannot recommend them enough! This beautiful 4-star boutique hotel is perched on a hill and offers panoramic views over the ocean and Bali in the distance. The property only has eight rooms, making it the perfect relaxing retreat. The staff is amazing, the breakfast is delicious, and the dreamy infinity pool is the best spot to end your day with an ice-cold Bintang or boozy cocktail! Overall, The Kama is perfect for an upscale stay without the hefty price tag. Check prices/ availability here.
Atalaya Villas is a beautiful boutique hotel just a 3-minute drive from Crystal Bay. The hotel features spacious rooms with beautiful Boho-inspired interiors, a sparkling infinity pool, and an onsite restaurant. For a real treat, book yourself into one of the villas with a private pool! Check prices/ availability here.
For the ultimate glamping escape, stay at Autentik Penida. These luxury tents are set on stilts right amidst a jungle and offer incredible views over the surrounding area. Each tent is well-equipped and has its own balcony where you can really soak up the jungle vibes or watch the monkeys playing in the forest. Autentik Penida also has a stunning pool, dishes up amazing breakfasts, and is only a 5-minute drive from Crystal Bay. Check prices/ availability here.
For those who prefer to stay somewhere a little more affordable without sacrificing style and comfort, try The Saka Boutique Hotel. This 3-star hotel features clean, spacious rooms, a beautiful garden, and a lovely pool. Additionally, it’s super close to Toya Pakeh Harbor, where you can arrange snorkeling trips or catch a boat back to Bali or the other Nusa islands. Check prices/ availability here.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly place to stay in Nusa Penida, try La Roja Bungalows. Located along the island’s northeast coast, these cute wooden cottages feature basic interiors, but each bungalow is spacious and has AC. There is also a nice pool to cool off in after a long day exploring all the best things to do in Nusa Penida. Added to that, you’ll be within walking distance of lots of local eateries and bars. Check prices/ availability here.
What to Pack
Like the rest of Indonesia, Nusa Penida is hot and humid year-round. Pack light, breathable clothing to keep cool in the heat. Along with all the usual items you’ll include in your Bali packing list, here are a few more things you might want to bring along.
- Camera & Drone: Nusa Penida is STUNNING! Remember your camera (I use an Olympus Mirrorless camera). Bring a drone like this DJI Mini Pro 3 for even more epic footage.
- Underwater Camera: Nusa Penida is home to some pretty stunning marine life, so snorkeling or diving should definitely be on your Nusa Penida to-do list! Bring a GoPro to capture all the colorful fish and those majestic manta rays at Manta Point!
- Waterproof Phone Pouch: If you don’t want to splurge on a GoPro, this waterproof phone case is a great alternative to keep your phone protected.
- Dry Bag: If you’re joining a boat tour around the island or visiting one of the waterfalls, this lightweight dry bag will help keep all your stuff dry.
- Reef-Safe Sunscreen: Pack a decent sunscreen to protect you and the environment. This Sun Bum SPF 70 sunscreen spray is my ultimate go-to.
- Quick Drying Towel: There’s nothing worse than tugging along a bulky wet towel. I love this Turkish beach towel – it dries super fast, sand literally cannot stick to it, and it’s perfect for boating or snorkeling adventures.
- Reusable Water Bottle: You’ll need a reusable water bottle in Nusa Penida, especially if you plan to hike to Kelingking Beach. This Special Made water bottle is leak-proof, lightweight, and folds up!
- Motion sickness medication: If you get nauseous easily, pack some Dramamine for your Nusa Penida trip. You’ll need it for the boat and navigating the roads!
What to do in Nusa Penida in Conclusion
With its laidback vibes and an amazing variety of things to do, Nusa Penida is undoubtedly one of Indonesia‘s most beautiful islands to visit!
Whether you come to swim with mantas, see all the dreamy sights, or escape the crowds in Bali, I guarantee you’ll love it just as much as I did!
So, there you have it – the BEST things to do in Nusa Penida! Plus a bunch of tips to help you plan the ultimate dream trip to Nusa Penida. Have an awesome time, and if you’ve got any questions or suggestions, drop me a line in the comments below!
Don’t forget to save these awesome things to do in Nusa Penida for your future trip!