The Wonderful Indonesia Series: NUSA PENIDA – Hidden Paradise Off Bali

After spending 3 days in Ubud, I decided to go down & spend the next 2 full days in the islands. There are 3 known islands off Bali – Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan & Nusa Penida. Most tourists & travelers go to the 2 small islands – Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan because of the beaches. I decided to the less-visited Nusa Penida. Vlogs of Thomas Alex Norman & Christian LeBlanc (Lost LeBlanc) have urged me to visit this beautiful island.

Kelingking Secret Point – one of Nusa Penida’s highlights 😍

Nusa Penida is the southern most & the biggest island off Bali. Part of Klungkung Regency, the island is characterized by beautiful rock formations & untouched nature. The island is slowly becoming popular because of its stunning landscapes but everything about the island is still basic.

Another highlight of the island – Atuh Beach 😍

Nusa Penida may not be a popular destination for Filipinos but I will show you below why you should include this place in your list of go-to places. Believe me, the photos of places you see on Instagram really exist on this island!

How I Went To Nusa Penida

I booked my boat transfers to & from Nusa Penida with Maruti Express. Normal ferry rates from Sanur to Nusa Penida costs 75,000 IDR for locals & 125,000 IDR for foreigners. I don’t know the reason behind the different rates but I guess the locals get a ‘discount’ or maybe that is the actual rate.

Stunning view from Angel’s Billabong 😍

I saw from Maruti Express’ website that they offer a pick-up & drop off service + round-trip tickets to Nusa Penida for 550,000 IDR. However, they have a promotion until 31 December 2017 that sheds 20% of the rate, making it only 440,000 IDR. I took this offer. It still looks expensive if you try to compare it with the usual 125,000 IDR x 2 = 250,000 IDR. If you are to add your taxi / Grab or Uber ride from the hostel to Sanur & back to the hostel from Sanur, you will most likely pay the same amount.

The Maruti fast boat to Nusa Penida

The Maruti Express staff picked me up from Lokal Bali Hostel at 7:00 am & then we went straight to the office to get my tickets then to the waiting area by the beach. The fast boat left late (a little past 9:00 am; supposed to be 8:30 am). The trip to the island took us about an hour. Upon arrival in the port, I waited for my free shuttle to the hostel.

Accommodation

Nusa Penida is an island that is yet to be developed. The island has limited choices of places to stay. I was travelling on budget but then again as mentioned in my Ubud post, I wanted to have a private room for my stays for the trip (well except the 2 nights in Lokal Bali Hostel). A friend recommended that I stay in Full Moon Bungalows. It is one of the few budget accommodations in the island.

My private room in Full Moon Bungalows

View outside my room

Full Moon Bungalows have dormitory rooms for a cheaper price but I opted to stay in a private air-conditioned double room with toilet. I got the room for 300,000 IDR per night (600,000 IDR for 2 nights) on Booking.com. The rate includes a breakfast meal & free shuttle services to & from the ports. The hostel also has free Wi-Fi in the rooms & in the common areas (probably the most decent connection I had on the island). The rooms were made of bamboo walls & aren’t soundproof. You will hear what is happening in the other room & vice versa.

Hostel’s free breakfast – nasi goreng!! 😋

I think the accommodation I got on the island is a bit expensive but I think it was okay. I am in island with very limited choices of accommodations. This is also what you need to pay when you want privacy & an air-conditioned room. C’mon, I’m on vacation. 😉

Hostel’s pet cat – super cute one! 🐱

How I Went Around Nusa Penida

The only means of transportation around Nusa Penida is by car or motorbike. Cars are usually used by tour agencies while backpackers rent out & drive motorcycles. I was not 100% confident about my motorbike skills (plus a friend warned me about the dangerous bumpy roads in the island) so I hired a motorbike with a guide. It cost me 300,000 IDR for the whole day (petrol included). I know it was a bit expensive, but I didn’t want to risk my safety. It’s still way cheaper than paying 700,000 IDR for a car & a driver.

Where I Went In Nusa Penida

With Nusa Penida being untouched & undeveloped, access to the unique places to visit is hard. It usually takes an hour or so from one beautiful beach to the next bay. People also go to the island to go diving with the mantas & snorkeling. I don’t dive & I didn’t feel like snorkeling so I decide to pass on those 2 activities. Instead, I went to the following beautiful scenery:

Angel’s Billabong

Angel’s Billabong is a beautiful rock formation with a natural infinity pool in it. One can go to the infinity pool by climbing down the challenging rocks. Visitors are not advised to go down during high tide as people can be washed away to the sea due to strong water current.

Broken Beach

From its name, this place is a beach that was formed because of a broken part of a cliff. The circular form is about a hundred meters in diameter. What’s nice is you can actually walk around it.

Kelingking Secret Point

Kelingking Beach is my favorite place in Nusa Penida. You won’t believe this place exists until you see it in person. It only looks like a small finger attached to the mainland when you see it in the photos but it’s really huge in person. The limestone cliff & white sand blend well with big waves & blue waters. This stunning view point is out of this world; definitely a must-visit in Nusa Penida.

Crystal Bay Beach

After a long day of going around places, my guide took me to Crystal Bay Beach for some sunbathing & relaxation. It was a perfect sunny afternoon to enjoy the beautiful views of the bay & the rock formations.

Goa Giri Putri

Goa Giri Putri is a holy temple cave located in Suana, Nusa Penida. The entrance to the temple cave can be reached after climbing a hundred steps up. All guests are required to sign up in the guestbook & give a small donation to the temple. Everyone then has to go through a very small hole to make it to the cave temple. The temple has a number of worship areas & shrines inside. You will see a big opening at the end of the temple – this serves as the temple exit.

Atuh Beach

Atuh Beach is a hidden place characterized by scenic cliffs, beautiful but dangerous rock formations, untouched green nature, turquoise waters, white fine sand & big waves. Very few people visit this beach every single day so it’s a perfect place to relax, sunbathe & watch the beach. I spent my entire last day in Nusa Penida in this beach. You don’t need to worry about getting hungry whilst on the beach; there are small shops & restaurants in the beach selling food & drinks.

Most daily tours to Nusa Penida (from Bali) don’t include Atuh Beach in the itinerary so make sure to always check with your guide / tour office. You should not miss this beautiful untouched gem.

Another Day & Night In Kuta

Back in my favorite hostel in Kuta – Lokal Bali Hostel

After spending 48 hours in Nusa Penida, I boarded the same boat back to Sanur in Bali. I went back to Lokal Bali Hostel, stayed & relaxed there for the whole afternoon. I went swimming in the pool & had a quick nap. In the afternoon, I went to Kuta Beach for the sunset & met friends for dinner.

The famous Kuta Sunset 😍

Journey Back To Manila

The following morning, I went to the Ngurah Rai International Airport to fly back to Manila via Kuala Lumpur. I boarded the late morning Malindo Air flight to Kuala Lumpur. Upon arrival in KLIA, I immediately transferred to KLIA2 for my next flight. I dropped by the supermarket in Gateway@KLIA2 to get some treats before boarding my Cebu Pacific Air flight back to Manila.

Stopover in a random beach 🌞

Trip Verdict

That’s me enjoying the superb view of the Broken Beach 😍 Trip was a success!

I had an awesome 7-day (or maybe 6 full days not including the last day) trip around Ubud & Nusa Penida in Bali, Indonesia. It was nice visiting Ubud & rediscovering what this little cultural town has to offer. I didn’t have any regrets taking a side trip to Nusa Penida. The island offered some of the most beautiful & stunning landscapes I’ve seen in my entire life. The Paon Bali Cooking Class, Kelingking Secret Point, Angel’s Billabong, Broken Beach & Atuh Beach were the highlights of this trip. I may not have seen everything Bali has to offer but I am happy with the places I went to this time. I look forward to returning in the returning in the future – I just don’t know yet when will that be.

Jaw-dropping beauty of Angel’s Billabong 😃


Do you have any questions about Nusa Penida? Feel free to ask you questions & share your thoughts by posting a comment below. You can also send an email to contact@thewkndtravel.com. Drop me a message on Facebook, drop a comment on Instagram or send me a tweet on Twitter.

Thank you for reading. Make sure to watch out for my Komodo blog post!

PS. Photos were taken using my HTC Re & HTC U11.

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