Ok Bali is wonderful. But if you have enough time, I can only recommend you to escape to Nusa Penida, you won’t regret it!
Some consider that the island gives a good idea of what Bali was like 50 years ago… So be prepared, you won’t find any fancy bars and restaurants like on Nusa Lembongan. The roads by themselves are an attraction. And the choice of accommodation is limited. But it guarantees you that even in the heart of Bali tourism peak season, you will sometimes feel as alone as Robinson Crusoë.
Ready for a little adventure?
How to get there?
Of course there is the easy (and more expensive) way : taking a fast boat from Sanur. But I would recommend to take the public ferry in Padang Bai. It’s way more fun, you can meet local people – they might even have great tips for you – and you can take your bike with you.
From Kerobokan/Canggu/Semyniak it takes a little more than 1 hour. We arrived in Padang Bai around 9am but the ferry only left around noon. It seems there’s only one departure/day and it costs around 30 000 IDR/person and 70 000 IDR/bike. It’s the same for the way back, which you’ll have to pay directly in Nusa Penida the day of your departure. It takes 1 hour to reach Nusa Penida.
There you can rent scooters if you did not take yours on the ferry or hire a local scooter driver.
Also the roads might seem ok in the north of the island, as soon as you go south it changes completely… Get ready to be tossed about! But it’s part of the fun.
What are Nusa Penida must-see?
- Crystal Bay : amazing for snorkeling ! There are so many fishes and corals you won’t know where to look.
- Angel’s Billabong and Broken beach : you want a new profile pic? Well that’s the place for it.
- Manta Point : it might not be the best place to see manta rays but it’s still a gorgeous place.
- Cave Temple : you better not be claustrophobic… It’s really impressive.
- Pantai Atuh : an incredible beach all for yourself… Tempting right ?
- THE PEOPLE : take the time to meet local people, they are really nice and welcoming.
- Sunrise on the east coast : watching the sun rise over the Rinjani Volcano and slowly light up the seaweed fields is one of the best way to start your day.
- There’s even a place called Teletubbies hill… no kidding!
Accommodation and food :
Nusa Penida is way less touristy than its neighbours Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan. But don’t worry you’ll still find something to eat and somewhere to sleep. You’ll just have less options.
We found our guesthouse by talking to people in a small warung. It’s located near the Full Moon bungalows, somewhere on Jl Ped-Buyuk. The place was nice enough for 150 000 IDR but very, very simple.
Fun fact : Nusa Penida is the only place where I had goat sate (skewers), and well, it was tastier than I expected !
Attention please :
- Bring enough money : they are some ATM on the island but better be careful, some of them only accept Visa and other only Mastercard.
- If you are 2 on a scooter, it better be powerful ! Some roads are really, really steep. And know that there’s a chance you’ll get a flat tire. But no worries, you will find someone to fix it for you.