Nusa Penida is the largest of three islands off the southeastern coast of Bali, the others being Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
With an area of 247 km², Nusa Penida is much larger than the better known Nusa Lembongan. However, tourist infrastructure is not as advanced as Lembongan. It is an island of outstanding natural rugged beauty. The north shore is the most densely populated part of the island, and most tourism is based.
This is also where the beaches are and where the seaweed farms are. Seaweed farming started on the island in the 1980s as a way for locals to get an income. Sadly prices are declining, and so is production. Most locals still derive their income from subsistence farming.
The west and south side of the island is carpeted with limestone cliffs and magnificent views but not many beaches that can be accessed by land.
Due to a lack of natural freshwater, little is grown or produced on Nusa Penida outside of the rain season, and even a lot of product comes in by boat.
Nusa Penida has also become an unofficial bird sanctuary for endangered Balinese and Indonesian bird species, including the critically endangered Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi). In 2004 the Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF) started an introduction program onto Nusa Penida of the near-extinct Bali Starling.
The waters around Nusa Penida are part of a marine park authority (MPA) and are home to diverse corals and fishes. Nusa Penida is part of the coral triangle, a massive area renowned for being “the Amazon of the sea” as it provides a habit for the many fishes to breed in. Nusa Penida is renowned as one of the best diving sites globally and is also home to the giant manta ray and mola mola (oceanic sunfish).
What to see in Nusa Penida
There are many quiet and secluded white sand beaches along the north and northwest coasts of Nusa Penida. Other geographical highlights include limestone caves, spectacular high coastal cliffs with karst formations and offshore pinnacles in the south and east, and rugged hill tops in the high center.
• Crystal Bay, Sakti (take the only small road which heads west from the main road at Sakti village and keep going until you hit the coast). There is a stunning white sand beach at Banjar Penida west of Sakti village on the north-western coast facing Nusa Ceningan.
Perfect clear waters and excellent snorkeling. Lovely white sand beach and a fantastic place for a picnic. It is a truly idyllic spot, and you are likely to have it to yourself apart for the odd local villager and maybe a dive boat offshore.
• Pura Goa Giri Putri / Goa Karang Sari (Giri Putri Cave Temple / Karangsari or Karangsari Cave), Karangsari / Suana. Large limestone caves on the east coast about 4 km north of Suana village, near the village of Karangsari. The entrance is a short, vertical climb from the road level and leads to the temple; you will need to be suitably clad in a sarong (can be rented for Rp 5,000 from the shop at the roadside), sign the visitor book, and donate.
There are Hindu and Buddhist temples of great religious and cultural significance, and worshippers may be present. Photography is allowed. Along with bats, various cave insects, and whipscorpions, the cave is the only known habitat in the world of two species of freshwater crab, Karstama emdi and Karstarma balicum.
Both crab species are critically endangered and threatened by the increasing cave development for worship and tourists. Rp 5,000 to hire a sarong, and a temple donation of Rp 20,000 or so.
• Pura Ped, Ped village (at Ped village on the main north coast road between Toyapakeh and Sampalan). A significant temple to the Balinese Hindus, many of whom make an annual pilgrimage to Nusa Penida specifically to pray here. Worth a visit, especially at the full moon for the ceremony which goes on into the night. Entry in full ceremonial dress (sarong and sash) for both men and women is required.
• Puncak Mundi (Mundi Hill), Klumpu. The highest point of Nusa Penida at some 521 meters above sea level. Great views from here. This area is also home to a now-defunct alternative energy facility with wind turbines and a solar panel farm. Puncak Mundi temple perches high on the hill.
• Pura Batu Medahu and Pura Batu Kuning. Two interesting and stunningly located temples on the east coast road south of Suana. Instead of taking the main road from Suana heading southwest, continue on the coast road towards the tiny village of Semaya. You will come to the two temples (Pura Batu Madan first) after about 1.5 km and before you reach Semaya.
• Broken Beach & Angel Billabong (Pasih Uug) (in the southwest, walking distance from Angels Billabong). Stunning views from cliff tops show off the natural hole that encompasses Broken Beach. You can enter the infinity pool at low tide, but please do not enter at high tide when waves are crashing over the edge for safety reasons.
• Tembeling Rainforest & Spring. The whole southern coast of Nusa Penida has spectacular, high white limestone cliffs which will simply take your breath away.
Tembeling rainforest showcases the last remnants of rainforest that covered the island many years ago.
Green, leafy and calm, there are also two natural springs that you can bathe in. Continue your walk down to the beach for spectacular views.
• Peguyangan Spring (Peguyangan Waterfall). Set on the south side of the island, the spring is at the bottom of 700 blue stairs.
The spring at the bottom is small, but the scenery on the way down and at the bottom is magnificent. Wear proper shoes as footings can be a little precarious. This climb down and up is not for everyone, especially those that do not like heights, as the steps are set at the side of the cliff.
• Atuh Beach, Pejukutan, At the east side of the island Atuh beach welcomes the sun every morning. Walk along magnificent limestone cliff tops and if you are up for a bit of exercise, climb down the steps to the beautiful white sand beach. A photographer’s delight. Food and refreshments are available, and there is good snorkeling for small fish.
• Suwehan Beach, Tanglad, Set in the southeast corner of the island, Suwehan is one of the most remote beaches. The steps down (and up!) are a little strenuous but worth it for the beautiful, secluded white sand beach and magnificent scenery. The beach is not necessarily swimmable, depending on tides. The scenic drive to Suwehan takes one through farming communities, although the road is poor and quite steep in parts.
• Kelingking Beach, Bunga Mekar Village, A hidden beach in the village of Bunga Mekar, with nice views over the hills. The sight features a limestone headland covered in green against the deep blue waters of the ocean. This unique formation is reminiscent of a Tyrannosaurus Rex head, hence its nickname ‘T-Rex Bay’. The secluded beach is down a rugged 400 m cliffside hike, recommended only for the fit and adventurous.
🏨 Hotels Near Nusa Penida
|Penida Dive Resort||📍 Kampung Toyapakeh, Nusa Penida, Klungkung Regency, Bali 80771, Indonesia Kp. Toyapakeh, Kec. Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 813-3958-6849||penida-diving.com/|
|Autentik Nusa Penida||📍 jalan Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida, Sakti, Kec. Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771, Indonesia||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 853-3306-6807||airbnb.co.in/users/12309914/listings|
|Deva Devi Beach Inn RedPartner||📍 Beach, Jl.Ped Buyuk, Kutampi, Kutampi Kaler, Kec. Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771, Indonesia||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 21 80629666||reddoorz.com/id-id/hotel/indonesia/bali/nusa-penida/deva-devi-beach-inn|
|Mandala. The Bay.||📍 Jl. Sandy Bay, Jungutbatu, Kec. Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771, Indonesia||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 811-3853-733||mandala.house/|
|Daphila Cottage||📍 Kutampi Kaler, Nusa Penida, Klungkung Regency, Bali 80771, Indonesia Kutampi Kaler, Kec. Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 821-2121-6617||daphilacottage.business.site/|
|Coco Resort Penida||📍 Jalan Crystal Bay Desa Sakti Nusa Penida Island, Sakti, Kec. Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771, Indonesia||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 812-4645-410||warungcocoresort-penida.com/|
|The Klumpu Villa||📍 7GHG+RCR, Klumpu, Nusa Penida, Klungkung Regency, Bali 80771, Indonesia 7GHG+RCR, Klumpu, Kec. Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 813-3910-8029||–|
|Semabu Hills Hotel Nusa Penida||📍 Jl. Raya Toya Pakeh – Ped, Dusun Sebunibus, Sakti, Kec. Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771, Indonesia||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 812-3645-685||semabuhills.com/|
|Adiwana Warnakali Resort – Nusa Penida||📍 Sakti, Nusa Penida, Klungkung Regency, Bali 80771, Indonesia Sakti, Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 361 6207000||adiwanahotels.com/warnakali-resort-nusa-penida-bali/|
|Māua Nusa Penida||📍 Sakti, Nusa Penida, Klungkung Regency, Bali 80771, Indonesia Sakti, Kec. Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771||Klungkung Regency||📞 +62 361 6208999||mauahotel.com/|