Bali’s Best Kept Secrets – Nusa Penida

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Have you ever been to Nusa Penida? Most tourists who’ve been to this beautiful Indonesian Island probably have no idea that the island is known locally as the ‘black magic island’.

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Nusa Penida has historically been the island where the evil and dark spirits were banished to by priests on Bali’s mainland. Nusa Penida is the biggest of the three Nusa Islands located just 30 minutes off the coast of mainland Bali.

Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan make up the trio of islands, each with uniquely breath-taking landscapes. 

In Bali, the residents strongly emphasize balance – both of the good and the bad. Therefore for the Balinese, Penida is an important spiritual destination. For tourists, you can pay a visit to the revered temple where fresh water runs into the sea and you’re probably going to feel a strong spiritual presence there.


Read More: Top 10 Must-Go Places In Bali

Getting to Nusa Penida

The easiest and cheapest way to get to Nusa Penida Island from Bali is via the Sanur Beach route. Sanur beach is located in Denpasar, the capital of Bali. When you’ve arrived at the beach, the locals will use traditional public boats called “jukung” to bring you across to Penida Island. Each Jukung cost you a maximum of IDR 40.000 and the journey takes approximately 90 minutes.


There’s another option you can take if you depart from Sanur. Instead of the jukung, you can opt to take a speedboat which is a lot faster but also a lot more expensive. Going by this route will cost you about IDR 50.000 more but it can cut short your travelling time by a whole 40 minutes

Alternatively, if you are situated on the east side of Bali, you can go by the Padang Bay route.

Padang Bay is located on the east side of Bali, an hour’s drive from Denpasar. From there, you can take a ferry boat (Kapal Ro-Ro and Kapal Re-Re) which takes you across the Badung Strait


This journey takes around an hour to get to the Toya Pakeh Harbour in Nusa Penida Island. 

Getting Around Nusa Penida

When you arrive at the harbour of Toya Pakeh, you can rent a motorbike which is undeniably the best way to get around Nusa Penida! However, I must warn you that the roads can get super rocky at times so put your helmets on and stay safe. 

The ABCs Of Nusa Penida


Angel’s Billabong – A crystal clear natural pool on the west coast of Nusa Penida.


Broken Beach – Features a hole in the rock that has been eroded over time by the powerful waves. It is a little cove on Nusa Penida island and it has an archway that wraps around the bay allowing water to flow in and out from the ocean.


Crystal Bay Beach – Crystal Bay is the name of a secluded cove with 200-metre stretch of sand on the west coast of Nusa Penida Island.

Despite its isolation, the bay is quite accessible thanks to well-developed roads. Besides its beautiful palm-fringed beach, the bay is best known as one of Nusa Penida’s famous snorkelling and dive sites.


Kelingking Secret Point Beach – This is one of the best sunset spots on the island of Nusa Penida and offers a unique angle of Kelingking Secret Point Beach

Instead of hiking down the stairs, head along the cliffs and you will come across a worn path along the cliff edge. There is no railing so do exercise caution! Here you can find multiple stunning viewpoints which provide a better view of the beach and is undoubtedly the best place to catch the sunset.


Manta Point – Check out the Manta Rays – the world’s largest rays. Snorkelling with Manta Rays are at the top of many tourists’ list and it is no wonder why this is so.

This fascinating once in a lifetime experience is hard to come by so when you’re in Nusa Penida, you have to come here. Even if you’re not a fan of snorkelling or diving, be sure to stop by to witness these beautiful creatures swimming in the clear blue waters.

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Mola Mola – Also known as the Oceanic Sunfish, the Mola Mola tends to live very deep below waters, making it difficult to spot them. The best period to spot them is from August to October where they swim up to shallow waters to be cleaned of their parasites. During this period, divers from all over the world come to Bali, especially for the Sunfish.

Peguyangan Waterfall – Peguyangan Waterfall is a very popular attraction located just off the west coast of Bali. A bright blue “instafamous” staircase which comprises of around 700 stairs leads you down to the waterfall and sacred water temple.

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This is one of the most dangerous hikes due to the steepness of the stairs but it’s worthwhile because the views are simply breathtaking.

When you’ve reached the bottom, reward yourself with a relaxing recovery swim at one of the most spectacular rock pools you can ever find.

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Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave – One of Nusa Penida Island’s major cultural attractions. The Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave is a large cave temple located in Sauna village, about 5 km from Sampalan harbour, on the north-eastern part of Nusa Penida Island. 

The word “Giri Putri” was given to the greatest cave in Nusa Penida Island for a certain reason. The word “giri” means ’hill’ and the word “putri” means ‘female”. These words were given to refer to the cave as a holy site of Siva on the manifestation as a goddess who possesses the nature and power to protect, nurture, and love human beings. This is a perfect place for meditation.


Rumah Pohon (Nusa Penida Treehouse) – The Rumah Pohon treehouse is located at the Thousand Island viewpoint. This viewpoint overlooks two pristine beaches accompanied by crystal clear waters, making it an all-time favourite viewpoint for locals and tourists alike.

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The Rumah Pohon treehouse is perched on the edge of an epic cliff view, overlooking the same islands as the Thousand Island viewpoint. This makes for a perfect view of the beaches, sparkling blue waters and islands of Nusa Penida and of course, a perfect location to take Instagram worthy shots! 

There’s a ton of unique and wonderful activities to do on the islanso check them out and do some good planning before heading to Nusa Penida!

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