Nusa Penida, my love!
I’ve got a crush on the world. I love those moments when we realize how tiny we and our problems really are. The day I visited Nusa Penida was one of those days. Maybe this is the most beautiful place I was lucky enough to see until now, the peak of my Bali experience.
Probably because it had beach and sun, adventure and adrenaline, beauty and love, white sand and crystal clear water. The full package.
Totaling some 200 square kilometers, Nusa Penida is much larger than the better known Nusa Lembongan. However, tourist infrastructure is very limited here so expect a bumpy ride to the main attractions.
Take into consideration that this is a wild, rugged and largely untamed island which offers plenty to those with an adventurous spirit. It is highly recommended to spend more time here and see fewer sites each day. Travel is extremely slow between each site and the road conditions are very poor.
Let the adventure start.
HOW TO ARRIVE?
As I said in my previous post, the easiest way to get to Penida is by boat from the Yellow Bridge on the Lembongan side. The prices are low – 50.000 IDR meaning less than 4 EUR/way/person. You do not have to book this ride, you just go in the morning near the bridge and find local people heading that way. Do not expect luxurious boats though. The ride only lasts around 15 minutes and paradise is found.
Do not forget to be back on the beach before sunset so you can return to Lembongan.
TRANSPORTATION ON THE ISLAND
Motorcycles are the most common means of transport both for tourists and locals. Renting one for the day will cost you around 5 EUR. Car rental is not very common because of the rough roads. You should take notice that even by scooter, it will be pretty difficult to arrive to your destination. Take your time if you are less experimented and consider that you will make around 25-30 km/hour.
You also have the truck option suitable for larger groups or for those that don’t feel like risking on their own.
WHAT TO SEE
- Broken Beach, also known as Pasih Uuh, was the first tourist attraction visited by me. Let me start by saying the road is in extremely bad shape, a “broken road” to the Broken Beach. It will take almost one hour by scooter to arrive there from the harbour. But the view will compensate. You will find a spectacular scenery – a large cave that has lost its roof over time. Stay on the edge of the cliff and watch the big waves crashing the rocks below you. You will be amazed by the size of the natural pool formed there and by the color of the water. It is said that watching the sunset here could be really beautiful. Unfortunately, I chose not to sleep on Penida so I missed this one, even though I am a sunset chaser.
- Angel’s Billabong can be found just few minutes away from Broken Beach. It is also called the Angel of Nusa Penida. I must admit that it didn’t manage to actually steal my heart. It is a beautiful place, visible from the cliff. I have seen people swimming in this natural pool, but I was not lucky enough since the waves were too big and dangerous that day.
- Kelingking Beach – And I finally arrived to the masterpiece. This amazingly beautiful place that stole my heart for good. I was planning and dreaming to see it one day. And that day came sooner than I hoped for. The best part is that I was not disappointed at all. You arrive at Kelingking Secret Point, the edge of the cliff, and marvel yourself with a breathtaking scenery. It is hard for me to explain the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I have even carried one special white dress for this place because I have already imagined the perfect picture.
People say that the cliffs come in the shape of a Tyrannosaurus Rex which seems pretty comic to me, but I must agree with them.
From the view point, you will fall in love with the almost untouched beach that can be observed at the bottom of the cliff. At least, I did. And that was the moment I knew I had to arrive there no matter how hard it would be, even though that meant missing the last attraction on my list: Crystal Bay. I simply could not leave this place without experience it at its fullest.
If you look careful at the pictures, you will see a tiny winding path on the „spine” of the dinosaur. Yes, that is the way if you want to get to the beach. I chose to ignore the back pains from the bumpy road and started to descend on the dangerous path.
The safety at Kelingking is non-existent so this is just for the brave ones, probably being the reason this place is still almost untouched. Some bamboo and stone stairs tied with thin rope. Not the image you want to see from that height. Add the sun burning your skin and the fact that I forgot to take water with me. Not a good combo. But when you are halfway down, you just continue. And boom! After almost 40 minutes, there it is! Some final bamboo stairs and I got to heaven. Literally!
I felt a happiness that is hard to put into words. Probably this is the feeling that a wanderer has when he arrives in a new beautiful place. I found a place on the white thin sand at the shadow of a palm tree, put my swimsuit on and hit the waves. The lack of safety continues when you approach the ocean. Huge waves that can swallow even the best swimmers. But we had a lot of fun chasing the waves and running from them and tanning on the sandy beach. My boyfriend had the uninspired idea to put his scuba flippers on and tried to swim in the ocean. One wave was enough to lose one flipper and almost took him away from me. We laughed, we tanned and we played in the sand. Almost two perfect hours in paradise. We could not stay more because the way back up was almost 50 minutes long and we had to catch the boat to Lembongan before sunset. I don’t want to complain about the stairs on our way back, it is enough to say I asked for water from a person going down because I felt like fainting from the heat. Imagine the muscle pain from the next day. All in all, we could have not spent the day better than that.
- Crystal Bay – this beach is known for its crystal clear water perfect for snorkeling. Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice it for Kelingking beach, but I sincerely don’t regret it because it gives me the perfect excuse to run to Bali again as soon as possible. I have seen pictures and if you have time don’t hesitate and snorkel for us as well.
Crystal Bay is also one of the most known diving sites on the island along with Manta Point, Manta Bay, Toyapakeh, Gamat Bay. In fact, Penida is a world class diving destination where you can find no less than 247 species of coral and 562 species of fish.
WHERE TO EAT
Well, you can find some simple local warungs with traditional Indonesian food on your way to the main attractions. Probably, you will laugh when you hear I didn’t even want to lose time eating, so I was happy enough with some coconut water and cassava and sweet potatoes chips.
My boyfriend ate an odd soup with unknown ingredients at the warung found near the Kelingking Secret Point parking lot.
WHAT TO BRING
I thought about making a list with the essential items for a day trip to Penida taking into consideration that we forgot lots of necessary things back at the hotel.
- Sunscreen with high SPF because the sun burns both on the scooter and on the beach (and especially on the stairs to Kelingking Beach 🙂 )
- Towels both for beach and for the scooter to make your trip a little bit easier;
- Swimsuit and shorts;
- Autan, if you want to avoid insects problems;
- Some money for the boat, scooter and food;
- Water, water, water 🙂
- Sneakers, if you are seeking for adventure and want to get to Kelingking beach;
- Go Pro, especially if you want to do snorkeling or scuba dive;
- A backpack to carry all this is the best option for the scooter.
Tip: leave your scuba equipment at home because it is hard to carry it on the scooter and you can rent it directly from Crystal Bay.
You may also find some accommodation options on Penida Island. What I can say is that soon we will have a larger variety to choose from because the place has got more attention lately.
So, this was my happy day. I hope the pictures will inspire you to take this the adventure as well. The main reason to return to Bali for me is visiting Penida again. Do not forget to subscribe and follow me on Facebook and Instagram to be the first to get all the travel secrets.
Till next time!
And remember: life is short and the world is wide…