There are three Nusa Islands located off the coast of Bali – Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida. Nusa Penida is the largest of the three but also the least developed/popular. Although in recent years it has gained more popularity, some people still say this is what Bali was like decades ago before it became a widely popular tourist destination.
During my trip to Indonesia we visited Ubud, Seminyak, Changuu and Nusa Penida. There are pros and cons about each place, and although I recommend them all, Nusa Penida completely blew my breath away.
If you have the time, I would definitely add Nusa Penida to your list. You really only need 2-3 days to explore the island, although I could never get sick of these views!
Top Things to do in Nusa Penida
Kelingking Beach Viewpoint is by far my favorite viewpoint of Nusa Penida. The beach down below is known as “Secret Beach,” as it is very difficult to get to and not very crowded. We seriously underestimated the difficulty of the the hike down. The walk down to the beach takes about an hour but is along an extremely steep path. There is a “railing” made from bamboo but it is not very stable. Part of the way there are paved steps, but towards the bottom it gets even steeper and is extremely rocky and unpaved. The way back up was much more difficult than down. If you plan do do this hike make sure you bring sufficient water and do not walk down in the heat of day at 1pm like we did.
There weren’t many people swimming in the water as the waves get very big and unpredictable. At one point a local Indonesian man even whistled for everyone to get out because it was too dangerous. So, if you do swim, be cautious! Although the hike down is difficult I think it is definitely worth the view. It is the perfect place to relax for a few hours underneath the shade of a tree or the rocky caves.
Angel’s Billabong is just one of many magical spots on Nusa Penida Island. The name is derived from a mythical story about an angel bathing, hence the name Angel’s Billabong. The unique landscape of the crystal clear tidal pools between the cascading cliffs draws in many tourists. You can even take a dip and swim, but only during low tide. It can be extremely dangerous to swim in at the wrong time so make sure you do your research! Surprisingly, this was one of the most crowded spots we visited so make sure you plan accordingly.
Broken Beach is right around the corner from Angels Billabong, so you can definitely see them both in one trip. Broken Beach earned it’s name when a piece of the cliff literally broke off leaving us with this beautiful arch formation. We were there during peak times so it was a little crowded, but if you want to try to avoid crowds I suggest going early in the morning!
Enjoy the sunset at Amok Sunset, Nusa Penida
Amok Sunset was our favorite restaurant in Nusa Penida. You won’t find a ton of trendy cafe’s and bars like you will in Seminyak or Changuu, but this spot had great ambience. It is a very picturesque spot overlooking the water and nestled among palm trees. The restaurants has it’s own pool along with a tree house and many of the popular bamboo nest chairs. It is a little pricier but well worth the cost. They had a great happy hour promotion when we visited, and the drinks and food were all up to par!
Where to Stay in Nusa Penida
When we were looking into where to stay, we noticed there weren’t a ton hotels/hostels to choose from on the island. We opted to stay at Bintang Bungalows. They were very budget friendly and had a nice pool with a full restaurant and bar near. The only con was the location – these bungalows were deep in the jungle and it took a long time to get to any of the beaches or sightseeing locations. If I were to visit again, I would probably choose to stay somewhere closer to Crystal Bay.