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14 Best Things to Do in Nusa Penida

A woman stood on the steps leading down to Diamond Beach in Nusa Penida

14 Best Things to Do in Nusa Penida

What Bali trip would be complete without a visit to the island paradise of Nusa Penida? Just a short way from the eastern shores of Bali, this extraordinary destination is an essential stop for beach-lovers and nature enthusiasts. In this guide we cover the 14 best things to do in Nusa Penida, as well as where to stay, how to get here, and more.

A wooden treehouse with steps overlooking the ocean and islands with the words "Best things to do in Nusa Penida - Indonesia" superimposed

Nusa Penida, Bali

With its pristine beaches, awe-inspiring viewpoints, and mystical temples, it’s no surprise that Nusa Penida is a very popular destination. We’d recommend getting to most things as early as you can to avoid the crowds. Many people take organized day trips from Bali which means the tourist spots get busier throughout the day.

A woman stood on a high cliff looking down on a sandy beach and crystal blue waters

Things to Do in Nusa Penida

1. Diamond Beach

Starting in east Nusa Penida, discover the dazzling allure of Diamond Beach, where pristine white sand meets the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. The steep cliffs and natural limestone formations create a mesmerizing backdrop, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a slice of paradise on Nusa Penida.

Beautiful blue ocean with white sandy beach and steep rocky cliffs

The stairs leading down to the beach are a relatively new addition, allowing access to the sandy bay below. The waves and currents can be strong on this side of the peninsula, so if you want to go for a dip, it’s better to head to Atuh Beach on the other side.

The name comes from the pointed pinnacles jutting out of the ocean that resemble diamonds.

2. Atuh Beach

On the other side of the same headland is the postcard-perfect Atuh Beach, which is known for its dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters.

A woman stood on the water's edge looking out to the ocean, a tree covered cliff area in the background

This secluded cove area offers a peaceful retreat, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, or simply appreciating the breathtaking surroundings.

There are a few shacks – or warungs as they’re known in Bali – at the back of the beach selling drinks, fresh coconuts, and local food.

3. Kelingking Beach – The T-Rex

Prepare to be awestruck by the iconic T-Rex-shaped cliff at Kelingking Beach. This dramatic viewpoint is one of the main contributors to Nusa Penida’s fame.

The uncanny T-Rex shaped cliffs in Nusa Penida

The cliffs offer a jaw-dropping sight of the T-Rex shaped peninsula, rugged coastline, and turquoise waters below.

You can hike all the way down to the beach below but bear in mind it takes around 30-45 minutes each way.

4. Angel’s Billabong

Discover one of the best natural wonders on Nusa Penida island – Angel’s Billabong – a mesmerizing tide pool carved into the rocky coastline.

If the time is right, you can swim in the natural infinity pool of refreshing emerald waters. You have to be very careful with the tides because the sea often crashes over from below, even when it seems calm. The locals will rope it off during these rough periods, but even if it’s open, there’s still always a risk.

If you don’t fancy a dip, or the waves are too high and dangerous, it’s an incredible place to stop and see anyway. With huge waves crashing on the rocks sending white foam and spray high in the air in a dramatic show.

5. Broken Beach

Just a short walk from Angel’s Billabong is the beautiful Broken Beach. A natural rock bridge arching over the turquoise Indian Ocean water.

You can’t access the beach down in the cove, but you can walk a full circuit around the top of the cliffs.

6. Banah Cliff Point

For some unparalleled views over the ocean, make your way to Banah Cliff Point.

A woman stood on the edge of a cliff in a cream dress overlooking azure blue waters

Perched on the edge of the island, this spot provides a panoramic scene of the deep blue water, surrounding cliffs, and distant rock arch peeking out of the water.

It’s a lesser-known viewpoint and one that organized tours don’t tend to visit. So, it’s a lot quieter than other spots around the island like the T-Rex.

7. Tembeling Beach and Forest

The once hidden gem of Tembeling Beach is now a very popular stop on the tourist trail. But still, it’s a tranquil retreat away from the bigger crowds.

Tembeling is the perfect combination of lush greenery meeting the pristine shoreline. A place where you feel rejuvenated by the natural surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll through the forest, swim in the natural pools, have fun on the swings, and relax on the beach.

Don’t forget to visit the “secret” beach on the other side of the tunnel leading through the cliff. The hundreds of stone stacks scattered around this side are a testament to how badly kept the “secret” is these days!

A woman swinging on a secluded cove beach with many stone stacks

There’s no road down to Tembeling, instead you have to traverse a very steep, rocky path. It’s relatively difficult even for an experienced rider, especially if you have someone on the back. If you’re not confident then you can pay a local $3-4 to take you down from the top.

8. Guyangan Waterfall

Take the thrilling hike down to Guyangan Waterfall, tucked away at the bottom of the sheer cliff face on the south end of Nusa Penida. We hope you’re not afraid of heights, because the stairs leading down are very steep. We actually saw a couple of girls turning around as they reached one of the steeper sections.

At the foot of the cliffs, you’ll find a Hindu temple, cascading waterfalls, and natural pools that you can bathe in. Locals cleanse themselves in these waters similar to the more traditional water temples found around Bali.

9. Snorkel with Manta Rays

Nusa Penida is one of the best places on earth to catch a glimpse of a manta ray. With a thriving population in the waters surrounding the island, you’re almost guaranteed to see these ocean giants at one of a few of their favorite spots.

The best area of all is Manta Point, where there’s over a 90% chance of seeing them on any given day. There’s also Manta Bay which tends to be a lot busier since it’s nearer to the main town and harbor in west Nusa Penida.

To maximize your chances of swimming with these majestic beasts, you should take a tour with multiple stops.

A black and white manta ray swimming majestically through the blue water

Book your Manta Snorkelling tour in advance.

Diving into the crystal-clear waters, filled with vibrant coral reefs, and the chance to encounter these graceful creatures make for an unmissable activity in Nusa Penida.

For those with SCUBA diving certifications or looking to get them, Nusa Penida is also a great place to dive with mantas!

10. Teletubbies Hill

Some of you may be too young (or too old!) to remember the Teletubbies on TV. But one defining element of the adorable, but annoying quartet was that they lived in a grassy, underground house in the rolling hills of the British countryside. The reason for the history lesson will become apparent when you see the Teletubbies Hill in Nusa Penida.

A man standing looking out over rolling green hills

This unique landscape reminiscent of the iconic children’s show has the same rolling green hills dotted with vibrant wildflowers that match the quirky aesthetic of the show.

11. Rumah Pohon Tree House – Thousand Islands Viewpoint

A woman standing at the top of a set of stairs leading to a wooden tree house with an incredible view of the ocean and islands

Perched on the cliffs with a panoramic view of the Thousand Islands, the Rumah Pohon Tree House has become an Instagram sensation. It’s a unique location that offers an incredible view of the island’s breathtaking sunrise.

It was originally somewhere you could stay the night, but thanks to the demand as a photo spot it doesn’t seem that’s the case now. Instead, they charge 75k IDR (around $5) for a 2-minute slot to capture your best pose.

A woman sat on a rock overlooking the azure ocean with sharp pointed islands protruding from the sea

It’s best to get here early, and we mean very early! We arrived just before sunrise and there was already another couple waiting. Throughout the day, the queues get very long, sometimes several hours. Also, the paths leading to the treehouse and other viewpoints are very steep, so you want to avoid tackling these in the hot sun. And finally, the views are better at sunrise anyway.

Rumah Pohon just means tree house in Bahasa, there are a lot of accommodations with this name. To ensure you’re heading for the correct place, this one is at the Thousand Islands Viewpoint.

12. Suwehan Beach

Escape to the secluded paradise of Suwehan Beach, where the untouched beauty of nature takes center stage. With its pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters, this hidden gem offers a peaceful retreat for those seeking solace away from the crowds.

The waves and currents can be very strong here, so take care if you’re planning on swimming in the sea.

13. Crystal Bay

Crystal Bay, another secluded beach on Nusa Penida, is a surprisingly quiet spot. Far closer to the busier town and harbor area, this powdery white beach has somehow avoided the usual tourist route.

A woman looking out over the ocean at sunset on a sandy beach, surrounded by cliffs

This hidden bay lives up to its name, boasting crystal-clear waters ideal for snorkeling and swimming. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset, the sky burning red and orange as sun sets over the western horizon.

14. Goa Giri Putri Temple

Add a spiritual side to your Nusa Penida journey with a visit to the mystical temple in Giri Putri Cave. Tucked inside a limestone cave, this sacred site offers a unique experience underground.

The temple holds religious significance for the Hindu Balinese community. It is often visited by pilgrims who come to pray and perform religious rituals.

Explore the cave’s chambers, soak in the spiritual atmosphere, and marvel at the temple’s intricate carvings and decorations.

Where to Stay in Nusa Penida

Most of the accommodation on the island is in the north-west near to the harbor and the busiest area. There’s no need to move around on Nusa Penida since it’s a small island, so we’d recommend staying in this area the whole time.

Take a look at Nusa Penida accommodation for something that suits your budget.

Where to Eat in Nusa Penida

There are a number of great beach restaurants along the northern coast. Some of our favorites are Penida Colada Beach Bar, Mambo Beach Restaurants, and Secret Penida Restaurant & Bar.

How to Get to Nusa Penida

You can take the ferry from Sanur Beach in Bali to Nusa Penida. A one-way ticket starts at around $10-13, but for a few dollars more you can book a speedboat transfer.

A yellow and black speedboat style ferry docked at a concrete pier

Another option if you’re also visiting Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan is the direct small boat between Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. It operates throughout the day and leaves when there are enough passengers. The kiosk is located near the Toya Pakeh Harbour.

Check out our guide to the best things to do in Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan.

There is no jetty or dock when you arrive on Nusa Penida so it’s a good idea to wear appropriate footwear for getting off on the beach.

Getting Around Nusa Penida

As with most of Bali and surrounding islands, the best way to get around is to rent a scooter and ride yourself. The roads in Nusa Penida are fairly quiet so it’s a good place to gain some experience if you’re relatively new to riding.

The other option is to hire a driver to take you around or to book guided tours that cover most of the main spots.

Take a look at some Nusa Penida tours before making a decision.

How Long to Stay in Nusa Penida

We’d recommend spending 3-4 full days on Nusa Penida which may be more like 5 days depending on your ferry or boat times.

It’s possible to see everything on this Nusa Penida itinerary in 3 days but may be a bit rushed. 4 days would be the ideal length of time for a good balance between activities, points of interest, and some downtime.

Final Thoughts on Nusa Penida

In conclusion, Nusa Penida stands as a captivating jewel in Bali’s crown, offering a diverse tapestry of natural wonders and cultural experiences. From the enchanting Diamond Beach to the iconic T-Rex cliff at Kelingking Beach, this island paradise paints a picture of breathtaking beauty at every turn.

It’s easy to see why Nusa Penida is such a popular tourist destination. And although the main attractions are getting too busy, there are still hidden gems and early mornings to avoid the crowds. With its pristine beaches and incredible viewpoints, Nusa Penida has earned its place as a must-visit destination on any Bali itinerary.

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