NUSA PENIDA - THE HIDDEN GEM OF BALI
Nusa Penida is the most beautiful of the 3 islands off Bali's coast. The best thing about Nusa Penida is that tourism hasnt taken over this place yet, so you wouldnt find heaps of tourists here. Roads are pretty bumpy over here, so getting to each place wont be easy. It is recommended to take a motorbike tour here since roads are too small for a car. If you plan to ride on your own then be careful. There are not many signs on the roads and there is a risk of falling from the scooter because of the roads.
HOW TO GET THERE FROM BALI
If you plan to go there only for a day then booking a day tour would save you a lot of hassle. If you are staying in Kuta then first you have to go to SANUR harbour and buy a boat ticket to Nusa Penida. There would be many options to choose from and tickets would range from 1200-1500 INR for a round trip. You can also book tickets in advance and some boat companies offer pickup from kuta. Also be prepared to get wet(knee length) since there is no jetty to board the boat, you have to walk in sea and get into the boat.
PLACES TO SEE
Nusa Penida is known for its incredible high coastal cliffs and yet untouched nature. There are plenty of places that will take your breath away, but let me tell you, getting to those places is not easy at all. So you have to really work hard for a good click. My favourite place in Nusa Penida would undoubtedly be KelingKing beach.
1. KELINGKING BEACH
The cliffs at Kelingking Beach form the shape of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, hence it is so popular.
You can also hike down which is a 30-minute incredible steep path which involves alot of concentration and energy, so think twice before attempting to go down. But who would be able to resist a pure clean sand beach with crystal blue water.
The beach was sooo beautiful and the hike down was totally worth it. The waves were so strong that it isnt recommended to swim here. Then came the most difficult part of the journey, which was the hike up ;) . I took atleast 3-4 breaks and drank lots of water to not get dehydrated plus it was so sunny. There are no stalls on this beach for obvious reasons, so make sure to carry a bottle of water because you will need it badly to not get dehydrated.
2. ANGEL'S BILLABONG
This was my second favourite place in Nusa Penida. When i first saw this place on insta, i knew that i had to go here and have a swim at the natural infinity pool. But that is only possible when the tide is low. Many people have died here while trying to swim during the high tide and getting pulled bacck in the sea. So swim at your own risk.
I was so lucky to be here when the tide was low and had a good swim in the natural emerald pool. The rocks are very sharp while going down to this pool, so please be careful.
3. BROKEN BEACH
A small beach formed by the hill which is broken at the center, is 45-minute bumpy ride away from KelingKing.
I was sooo lucky to spot a big turtle swimming in water.Unfortunately couldnt capture it.
4. ATUH BEACH
This beautiful beach is so far away from all the other tourist attractions and is pretty difficult to reach unless you have an experienced tour guide on a scooter. Getting to the beach involved 100+ big steps, but the views from top are amazing.
After getting down, comes a beautiful beach with many small warungs for refreshments and snacks.
A pretty remote place to promote urself AirAsia :P
Climbing those big stairs again was a huge task. There are also a few Tree houses right on the top of the cliff, 15 mins away from Atuh beach. The views from there were also spectacular.
5. PEGUYANGAN WATERFALL
This waterfall will take your breath away and so will the journey down the cliff. You have to walk down 700 iron blue stairs, which takes you to the bottom of the cliff and shows you the most scenic areas. A temple and small waterfall with fresh water are located here. If you are scared of stairs or height then this place is not for you ;) . Also you have to wear a sarong(traditional wear to cover legs) before starting the journey. If you dont have one, dont worry, you can rent one for 5-10K IDR.
Climbing down 700+ stairs was pretty difficult, esp wearing a sarong. But the views kept me going. I had read a few blogs and saw people relaxing in a infinity pool down here, but the board cleary said No Swimming and its always better to respect the tradition.
If you walk further down,you will see a board saying " Bathing Area". Thats where the natural spring is.
The rocks are very slippery, so please be careful while walking down.
6. TEMBELING FOREST
The only disappointment of my trip was Tembeling Forest. I had read so much about this place that it has a natural pool right inside the forest as shown below :
As soon as i saw this pic, i knew it would be on the top of my wishlist. I was so excited when i got to tembeling forest, eager to swim in this pool. I searched the whole forest for half an hour, climbed on rocks looking for the pool, but couldnt find one. Later some locals told me that because of landslide, the pool no longer exists. I was so sad to hear this and i think the pool existed in this place shown below :
This place was still beautiful, but i was too sad to explore the place any further.
If you walk further, there is a small beach which is beautiful too.
PLACES TO STAY
Usually a day tour is enough to see the 4 main attractions, but if you wish to see all the places like i did then staying 1 night is recommended. There are not many options to stay in Nusa Penida like Nusa Lembongan so dont expect luxury here. Also none of the hotels supply hot water, so be prepared to take a bath in cold water in morning. I stayed in Nusa Garden Bungalow which was a hostel cum hotel. It has cheap options for lunch and breakfast too and is kind of a farmhouse. Mels Homestay is also a good option. I have heard that Namaste Bungalows, Ring Sameton Inn , Bintang Bungalows are luxourius than the rest but are on the expensive side.
PLACES TO EAT
Nusa penida is a small island and you wont find much options to eat like Bali.You will find many small warungs providing Nasi Goreng( chicken fried rice), Fried chicken with rice etc. I had heard that Penida Colada was a good restaurant but dint get a chance to eat there. However i had lunch at this beautiful small warung, but i dont remember the name.
I had Fried chicken with rice and sambhal, which was so simple and tasty.
PEOPLE OF NUSA PENIDA
The people on this island were so nice and used to get so happy after seeing tourists visit their place. Saw many old people working hard on the fields to make their living. Saw some selling fruits in scorching heat while climbing hills. My advise to all travellers would be to buy something from them, wouldnt matter much to us but for them its their living.
Nusa Penida is such an under-rated place for people visiting Bali. It was the main reason why i went to Bali and i would highly recommend this place. I hope this article will be a useful guide for anyone wanting to visit this island in future. Would be happy to arrange a Bali tour with Nusa Penida Day tour for anyone interested.