Nusa Penida, a small island not far from Bali, is the ideal place to visit if you want a taste of what Bali was like before it was changed by major tourism.

It offers a mix of pristine white sand beaches, rugged hikes, and exciting diving experiences, plus some excellent restaurants and bars.

The best things to do nusa penida

Whether you have a day or a week to visit Nusa Penida, there is plenty to see and do. Read on for information on visiting the island and a list of the best things to do on Nusa Penida.

Where is Nusa Penida & how to get there

Nusa Penida Island is the largest of three Nusa islands just off the southeast coast of Bali, between Bali and Lombok.

In terms of how to get to Nusa Penida, the best choice is a speed boat from Bali. It takes about 45 minutes from Sanur beach port on Bali and you have three different drop-off points in Nusa Penida: Toya Pakeh, Buyuk Harbor, and Banjur Nyuh. Expect to pay US$15-20 one-way. The earliest boats leave at 8 am and the last returns leave Nusa Penida island at 4 pm.

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If you are traveling to Nusa Penida from Lombok, the trip will take 2-3 hours because all ferry services also make a short stop in Bali. If you are traveling from elsewhere in Indonesia, you should make your way to Bali first.

Read the complete guide to how to get to Nusa Penida.

Nusa Penida: Day Trip from Bali vs Staying on the Island

I think it is worth staying at least overnight on Nusa Penida island as there is plenty to do and the sunsets are incredible. However, if you are pressed for time, there are several Nusa Penida day trips that you can take from Bali.

Most Nusa Penida day trips will involve a private speedboat transfer from Bali for a small group, which will also offer quick transport around the island to some of the top spots, such as Kelingking Beach, Tembeling Beach, Angel's Billabong, Crystal Bay, and the opportunity to scuba with the giant Manta Rays famous in the region.

Best things to do nusa penida

You can expect a day boat trip to Nusa Penida to last 8-12 hours and cost between US$30-100 per person.

Viator offers one of the most popular and highly recommended Nusa Penida day trips, which takes in Broken Beach, Angel's Billabong, Kelinging Beach, and sunset at Crystal Bay, with a special Indonesian lunch included.

If snorkeling is your thing, check out this diving day trip from Bali, where you'll get to swim with Manta Rays, and that takes you to both Nusa Penida and the smaller neighboring island of Nusa Lembongan.

The 15 Best Things to Do in Nusa Penida

1. Hang out at Atuh Beach

Atuh Beach Nusa Penida is a resort-style beach where you will find sunbeds and kiosks serving food and drinks, making it a great lunchtime pit stop.

Relax and marvel at the big elephant-shaped rock in the ocean and see some pretty amazing marine life in the water at low tide.

2. Soak in the views at Diamond Beach

Next door to Atuh, you'll find Diamond Beach Nusa Penida. It is named for the rock formations that form the backdrop of the beach that look like giant diamonds.

A staircase carved into the cliffs offers access to the beautiful beaches below. Here, you might encounter dolphins and manta rays, plus an Instagram-worthy swing set between two palm trees.

3. Pose at Rumah Pohon Tree House

This is the famous Nusa Penida treehouse with spectacular views out over the island's green interior and blue seas. You can visit Rumah Pohon Treehouse just for the photo op and the scenes from nearby Thousand Island Viewpoint, or you can stay overnight if you don't mind the height and basic accommodation style.

Expect to pay 550,000 IDR (US$35) per person per night.

4. Hike down to Kelingking Beach

The cliff at Kellingking Beach Nusa Penida is one of the most famous images of Nusa Penida because the cliff looks like a giant t-rex in the water. Kelingking Beach Viewpoint offers excellent views out of the ocean towards Bali.

If you're extra adventurous, take the hike down to the white sandy beach below for a swim. It is quite challenging, so bring hiking shoes and expect the journey to take about an hour each way.

5. Visit Goa Giri Putri Temple

Goa Giri Putri is a stunning temple cave about a 15-minute drive from Buyuk Habor. It is open to tourists but is also a working Hindu temple, so make sure you bring a sarong to cover up. Expect to make a donation of around 100,000 IDR (US$6.50) to enter.

6. Find the secret Suwehan Beach

Suwehan Beach Nusa Penida is considered a secret beach because it is one of the few beaches that is not yet a regular stop on organized Nusa Penida tours.

You will have to take a scooter down a fairly rough road to get to this hidden beach. Once you arrive, you will be rewarded with soft white sand and perfect turquoise waves.

Nusa penida best things to do

7. Visit Teletubbies Hill

Yes, these are some big round hills located in the inland region of Nusa Penida that have been named for the kids' TV show.

The hills resemble the background scenery from Teletubbies. If you visit between December and April, when there is a lot of rain, they will look almost too green to be real.

8. Snorkel at Manta Point

Manta Point in the southeast corner of Nusa Penida is known to be a favorite spot for the giant manta rays that call the surrounding ocean home and a top snorkeling destination.

Manta Bay is shallow and calm, so it is safe for novice divers. Expect to pay between US$30-70 for snorkeling gear hire and an experienced guide.

9. Adventure to Peguyangan Waterfall

If you like a physical challenge and an element of danger, then take this ocean cliff hike to Pegurangan Waterfall, where you will find a small fall feeding a glorious natural swimming pool.

You will have to climb down a steep, bright blue stairway with hundreds of steps for a relaxing dip in dramatic surroundings.

10. Swim in the natural pools at Tembeling Beach & forest

This is a bit of a hidden gem on Nusa Penida's west coast. Among the cliffs, you will find beautiful natural pools fed by a small waterfall. You can also take a challenging descent to reach the beach below, but you'll be rewarded by having the place to yourself.

11. Tackle the trek to Seganing Waterfall

This is another small but beautiful waterfall that feeds a natural pool where you can go for a nature swim. Again, part of the reward for visiting is tackling the trek to get there.

While the path to the waterfall is more or less well-traced, you will feel fairly exposed and unprotected on the cliff face.

12. Visit the scenic rockpool of Angel's Billabong

Angel's Billabong is a crystal clear tide pool that cascades into the ocean, forming a natural infinity pool. Make sure you arrive at low tide to experience this spectacular sight. The sun shining on the rocks and clear water can create some spectacular colors.

13. Marvel at Broken Beach

Close by Angel's Billabong, this is a popular Nusa Penida hang-out for beach lovers. Its rock outcrops offer a great backdrop for pictures, including a freestanding rock arch. The water is incredibly clear, and Manta Rays often come to visit.

14. Spend a morning at Crystal Bay

Crystal Bay Beach is a popular spot with many excellent restaurants and bars. It is considered the best place to watch the sunset on the island as you see it sink below mainland Bali.

Nusa Penida Crystal Bay is often the last stop on any day trip before heading back to Bali by boat.

15. Hop to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan

Once you have circumnavigated Nusa Penida, it is time to visit its two neighboring smaller islands, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Choose Nusa Lembongan if you want to explore shops and restaurants and Nusa Ceningan if you are looking for beach landscapes even more rustic than those on Nusa Penida.

Ferries run between Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan several times a day, and Nusa Ceningan is connected to Nusa Lembongan via a famous yellow bridge.

Read our full guide to the Nusa Islands.

Where to Stay in Nusa Penida: Most Popular Hotels

When visiting Nusa Penida, there are several main areas that offer great options for accommodation.

Each area has its own unique charm and advantages, allowing you to tailor your stay to your preferences. Here are the main areas to consider for your stay in Nusa Penida:

  • Crystal Bay: My personal favorite that would suit anyone who likes swimming, snorkeling and hanging by the beach. It's also the best sunset spot on the entire island

  • East Nusa Penida: The East of the island has a lot of secluded areas and is a great area to stay if you like to spend more time at Diamond Beach, Atuh Beach and Thousand Islands Viewpoint.

  • North Nusa Penida: This is the busiest area on the island with many restaurants and bars, as well as temples and a great base with many hotels from luxury to budget that make a great base to explore the rest of Nusa Penida Island.

Things to do nusa penida

Atalaya Villas Nusa Penida ($$$)

Located on the west coast of the island near Crystal Bay Nusa Penida, Atalaya Villas offer luxury with a rustic feel. You will enjoy the clean, local antique decor. Enjoy the garden and outdoor swimming pool in the afternoons, scrumptious Indonesian food at the restaurant in the evening, and a full American breakfast in the morning.

Check availability & best rates

Akusara Jungle Resort and Spa ($$)

If you want to spoil yourself, this mountain-top Nusa Penida hotel near the north coast of the island offers full spa facilities. If you aren't relaxing by the pool, rent bikes and request a packed lunch to visit nearby sights.

Check availability & best rates

Penida Bay Village ($)

These affordable and tranquil villas are located just a short walk from Crystal Bay. Rooms have large beds and high ceilings. Start the day with an Asian breakfast, relax by the pool in the afternoon, and enjoy cocktails in the restaurant before using the free Wi-Fi to upload all of your snaps from the day.

Check availability & best rates

Saka Boutique Hotel ($)

Book your private room with a balcony looking out over the Indian Ocean or the mountains in this convenient hotel close to Toyapekeh harbor and beach. Enjoy lush gardens, an outdoor swimming pool, an Indonesian restaurant, and full 24-hour front desk service.

Check availability & best rates

3-Day Nusa Penida Itinerary

Only have three days to explore Nusa Penida? Here's your perfect itinerary!

Day One

  • Get the first boat of the day over from Bali and arrive before 10 am.

  • Throw a sarong over your shoulders to visit Goa Giri Putri Temple.

  • Have lunch and a swim at Atuh Beach on the East Coast.

  • Head to Diamond Beach and Rumah Pohon Treehouse for swimming and all your Insta shots.

  • Have an authentic Indonesian dinner and cocktails nearby or at your hotel for the night.

Nusa penida

Day Two

  • Book an early morning diving trip or head to Manta Point for snorkeling.

  • Visit Kelingking Beach or hike to one of the beautiful waterfalls with rock pools on the West Coast (don't forget your walking shoes).

  • Check when low tide is and make sure you are at Angel's Billabong to enjoy the infinity pool at the right time. Then, visit Broken Beach next door.

  • Make your way to Crystal Bay for sunset to enjoy drinks and watch the sunset behind Bali.

Day Three

  • In the morning, head to the neighboring Nusa Islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.

  • Explore Nusa Lembongan's Dream Beach and the cave pools of Devil's Tear. Stop at Ohana's Beach Club for lunch.

  • Head over the yellow bridge to Nusa Ceningan to see the Blue Lagoon and do some cliff jumping.

  • Head back to Bali on the last ferry of the day, which usually departs around 3 pm or 4 pm.

Read our guide to how to plan 1-2 weeks in Bali, including Nusa Penida.

The Best Things to Do in Nusa Penida – Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is Nusa Penida worth visiting?

Nusa Penida is definitely worth visiting with its mix of gorgeous beaches, lush green hills, and friendly locals. It offers a taste of what Bali was like before it became a major tourist destination.

📅 How many days do you need to see Nusa Penida?

If possible, stay at least overnight on Nusa Penida Island so that you don't miss the sunset behind Bali. Three days are probably enough to see everything that interests you on Nusa Penida.

🚗 Are there cars on Nusa Penida? How to get around Nusa Penida?

There are cars on Nusa Penida, though not many. You can usually find a driver who will take you around the island for about 750,000 IDR (US$50) for the day. Alternatively, you can rent a scooter for about 75,000 IDR (US$5) per day.

📍 Nusa Penida vs Nusa Lembongan, which one is better?

Which island is better depends on what you are looking for. If you want rugged cliffs and quiet beaches, Nusa Penida is a better choice. If you want nice hotels, restaurants, surfing and shopping, then Nusa Lembongan is probably better.

❓ Is Nusa Penida of the Gili Islands better?

For adventurous hikes and exciting scuba diving, Nusa Penida is a better choice. However, it can be a bit inaccessible, especially for families with children and anyone with mobility issues. The Gili Islands offer a tamer, more accessible alternative with lots of beach and time spent in the water.

The Best Things To Do In Nusa Penida – Final Words

A few days spent on Nusa Penida Island is sure to recharge your batteries and fix your beach cravings. The island is small enough that you can get to all the main Nusa Penida attractions within just a few days.

From its breathtaking landscapes and pristine beaches to its awe-inspiring viewpoints and vibrant underwater world, there are so many things to do in Nusa Penida, whether you're exploring iconic sites like Kelingking Beach, Crystal Bay, or Angel's Billabong or diving into the crystal-clear waters to encounter manta rays and vibrant coral reefs.

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