When visiting Bali, there’s so many local islands to explore. After the 14 hour travel, it seemed worthwhile to see a few other spots whilst we were in the area. I researched the local islands and it seemed that the Gili Islands were beautiful but very popular so I kept going and stumbled upon the Nusa’s. Nusa Penida is easy to get to from Bali and offers the most beautiful, untouched coastal scape that you can dream of.
The ferry to head over to Nusa Penida leaves from Denpasar. We had a taxi take us from the hotel to the port and we waited until the ferry arrived. We took the ‘expensive’ ferry route as there’s a super cheap option but it left too early for us and we couldn’t get there in time. The ferry we took is a lot quicker and safer. You do have to wade through the water to get on the ferry and remove your shoes before hand so plan for that and wear shorts and flip flops. We were taking luggage as we were staying over night so if you do that, ensure it’s something you can carry over head so it doesn’t get wet. The ferry is choppy, you’re bashed around a bit and it does take about 40 minutes to get there. Anyone who suffers bad seasickness may not be able to cope.
We were staying in Nusa Penida for one night. I knew there was a lot to see on the island so I wasn’t too fussed about the accommodation. As long as it was easy to find and safe, I was happy. We had to get a taxi to Bintang Bungalows as we were dropped off onto the island and had no idea where we were. We pulled up and I was very pleasantly surpised. The bungalows are very cute, there’s about twelve in the complex and you have a shared pool, plenty of sun loungers, hammocks and a restraraunt. We checked in and dumped our bags whilst we laid in the hammocks and waited for our rooms to be cleaned. They were basic but adequate. A double bed, outside bathroom and some storage, couldn’t of needed more. The staff at the bungalows were very friendly and they organised our trip for us. They recommended we relaxed and headed down to the beach for the evening as it was a short walk away and organised a driver to take us to a few sights the day after.
We headed down to Crystal Bay beach once we had settled our belongings into our room. The beach was about a twenty minute walk from the bungalows and giving the opportunity to explore and enjoy the scenery, we were happy to walk down. The beach is beautiful but it is busy. We found a spot and paid to lay under an umbrella with a beanbag as we weren’t keen on getting burnt. It was a lovely afternoon, the beach has plenty of stands selling snacks and drinks to keep you occupied. We waited until sunset to make the most of things before we headed back to bed ready for exploring the next day.
Nusa Penida is an island, I can’t describe it any other way. There’s no shops, no towns, no real roads. You are driving on the bumpiest offroad lanes you’ll ever see, I have no idea how the drivers know where they’re going as it all looks the same. Luckily the Bintang Bungalows had a small restaurant where they offer sandwiches and other meals as there’s nowhere else to go to get anything to eat. As you drive around to the sights, you pass local farmers where their homes are tree houses, no electricity and a pig tied up outside, it brings a lot of perspective.
We woke up early and had breakfast at the bungalows before our driver took us off to see the sights. Firstly we headed to Angels Billabong and Broken Beach. Above is Broken Beach, a beautiful natural bay caused through erosion through the cliff. Angels Billabong is right next to it so it’s two sights in one stop which is handy. You can walk all the way around Broken Beach but you can’t go down, it’s pretty choppy so I don’t think we would if we could, anyway!
Next up we headed over to Kelingking Beach, the last sight on the list for us. Kelingking beach was high up on my list, I’d seen the photographs and I had to get myself to the white sand and the turquoise water. Kelingking was last on our Nusa Penida adventure before we headed back to the ferry port. We had about 3 hours before we needed to leave and much to our guides horror we said we wanted to trek down to the beach and back up. Be careful he kept saying – how bad could it really be! Put it this way, after doing it once, and I’m a pretty good climber and not particularly fearful with heights, I wouldn’t do it again. The beach at the bottom is like nothing you’ll ever see, the whitest sand, the brightest blue sea, monkeys playing behind you, warm breeze – actual paradise. The climb down is steep, very steep. You are climbing down an almost sheer rock face and your hand rails are bamboo tied together by the locals. There is steps eroded in by so much activity but the hardest part is putting that together with the seering heat from the direct sun and the thousands of people also trying to get down and coming back up. Theres no two way street, you literally climb over one another if someone is on their way back up. The further you go down the harder it is, towards the bottom you are hanging for dear life, hoping the bamboo doesn’t snap or the rock beneth you doesn’t slip. If you are scared, you can venture the first half down as this is easier and there’s a view point half way to get that classic photograph.
I personally found coming back up the hardest, you must have arm strength to do it as you need to physically pull yourself up, it is rock climbing with no harness.
Once we were back up at the top, we were broken. Aching, sun stroke, thirsty and filthy. That’s another point, don’t wear your best clothes, it’s very dusty on the way down and that mixed with sweat and being wet from the sea at the bottom just equals mud. You also want to prepare with good footwear, we had sandals on which were useless, you’re slipping and sliding out of your shoes which doesn’t help. We were still feeling the ache in our arms and legs a few days after. Genuinely, I am very glad we did it, it was amazing but I wouldn’t do it again now I’ve done it once and I would advise anyone who has a big fear of heights or is quite weak in their arms, don’t put yourself through it.
So that ended our little 48 hours in Nusa Penida. I am thrilled we did it, it really added to our experience. I would highly recommend adding it to your itinerary and if you’re a keen surfer or happy to hop on a bike and explore yourselves, stay a little while longer because you’ve never seen something so beautiful.
Bintang Bungalows – here
Fast boat from Bali to Nusa Penida – here
I hope you found my post useful, please feel free to email me with any queries! I’ll be back soon with a post about Seminyak.