A tiny island only accessible from a 40 minute boat ride to the only harbour on the island. An island which has only recently become a tourist sot at this is noticeable in the infrastructure and amount of facilities.
Boat Ride – Getting There
You can arrive to Nusa Penida from several different islands , Gili T, Gili Lombongan, and ofcourse Bali. There are different boat companies and prices due to this. The best option is from Bali along the Sanur coast line or Kuta both running along the , it takes a minimum of 40 minutes. The cost for a return ticket is £10, a single is around £5.50 make sure to ask your hostel or hotel to help with this sometimes they include the transfer along with the tickets.
You will sail through the Strait between Nusa Lembongan and Penida and get the first sense of how beautiful the island is. There is the main harbour town of Nusa where you anchor and are whisked off within 5 minutes straight into a festival of welcomes, and a lot of mopeds. Only in the last 5 years have cars become more popular due to its popularity and rise in tourism, before that the roads were only accommodating mopeds and small carts.
Accommodation on the Island
If you dive, Nusa penida is one of the most beautiful little secrets in Indonesia, small in size but surrounded by coral, with strong currents for drift dives, beautiful coral formations, and a favourite destination for turtles, mola mola and the giants of the sea the Manta rays which can grow upto 5 metres come for feeding and swimming across the rocks at Manto Point.
I decided to actually complete my Scuba diving Open water certificate after years of intro dives just not cutting it. This was a big one for me, a dream I had wanted to complete in one of the best sites in the world and I think I found it. I looked up the best dive shops, which are all found along teh same stretch of the island on the North coast. I chose Blue Corner Nusa Penida due to its recommendations and reviews. They were extremely professional, but also made me feel so relaxed and like patrt of the family staright away.
I can now say i am a Open water diver, who has ticked off 6 dives which were all incredible, unique, with amazing views and insane animal sightings like the turtles and a brief Manta Ray siting on my first dive.
The full story of my open water diving is in progress to anymore looking to complete one…
One thing that put a stop to my Diving for a day was one thing I had been warned about in Nusa Penida which was the motorbikes and the naarrow roads. Ihad never driven a moped before, I thought the island would be a good start, very quiet and secluded, but I was wrong, there is one circular road roudn the whole island and due to that the roads are hard warn and very well used especially when daily tourist taxis come over.
In the end i went with a new friend on the back of her moped to the nearby beach, only we never got there. One minute we were laughing and chatting, the next we were on the floor having alchol dabbed into our wounds after we had fallen off the moped. Strangers were so helpful and even helped us to the medical centre in the main harbour town on the island. We were both in so much shock, but due to the severity of the wounds inflicted I wasn’t allowed to go in the water for at least 3 days. Such an idiot
I am so glad I wasn’t on my own, and had someone else silently screaming with a bruised ego while applying cream and re bandaging.
An absolute gem of a beach, when you think beach and cove this is the poster image, its the reason why Nusa Penida has become in some ways extremely popular in the last year, with images of the staircase down to it as famous as the beach itself. 200 steps down and a small climb to the final sandy beach. Huge waves to jump and dive into while you look out onto the bright blue ocean, and the diamond shaped cliffs which gave it its name.
In my opinion a very over the top, Instagram attraction which takes some very steep steps to get down too, plus a whole lot of huffing and puffing back up. You also have to pay to actually have a picture with it?? It used to be accommodation where people could stay have an amazing view of the cliffs and coves below, but now is used for photoshoots. Myself and 2 others walked up the hill next to it, only another 20 steps, but without a doubt this was the view to enjoy, with vertical drops overlooking the diamond beach and cliffs. Take note you have to pay a small fee to park here.
Along the edge of the coast are some huge waves and with that comes wonderful formations naturally made within the
The name comes from the well known children’s program, with cute green rolling hills, completely the opposite setting to the sharp and dramatic cliffs around the Penida coastline. These are found along the main road on the South of the island.
The dinosaur shapes head land on the South side of the Island, with beautiful turquoise tones of the ocean, resident turtles, and a beach in pristine condition due to the hike to and from it putting most people off. Its popularity has brought businesses galore to the walk down to it, with restaurants, ice cream parlors and small shops. You will find monkeys swinging in the trees, and panoramic views of islands coastline.
Crystal Bay (Sunset Beach)
Worth a day of relaxing and soaking up the sun along this beach, very popular with the daily tourists, with beach huts with authentic Balinese food all day every day. It was given its nickname Sunset Beach due to the beautiful evening sun which melts into the waves as you sit along the beach. The parking is huge due to the popularity of this location, the one road in and out of it is super winding with some stuning views along the way .
Along this road is the turn off to the Sunset Café, which is highly recommended for good food and drinks.
If you are more about the quiet more next beach cove along from it over 10 minute up and down hill cliff pathway. It is perfect for a bit of peace and quiet away from the main beach. The name is Pandan Beach, sheltered from the wind, with rocks either side to tame the waves. If gave shelter to the sun in different spots too, and only about 10 people on the beach at once.
Overall Nusa was an amazing break from the chaos of Bali, and recharged me even with some pretty deep cuts to know remember Nusa forever :P… But I would highly recommend it as an alternative to the Gilis if you were tight on time .