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A Weekend on Nusa Penida

Just one short ferry ride away from Bali is Nusa Penida, an incredibly beautiful island full of some of the most stunning beaches and coastline I’ve seen! While backpacking Bali I wanted to see a few of the surrounding islands so I decided to hop on a ferry and head to Nusa Penida before going to Gili Trawangan. I will warn that the ferries going to and from Bali are not for the weak, they can be very rocky and that does not slow them down. If you get sea sick, make sure you have plenty of medicine! Per usual I didn’t do a lot of planning ahead of time, I asked around and people said you could do most of the well known stuff in just a day or two so I booked a hostel for two nights and headed off!

Although they’re not far from each other, Bali and Nusa Penida are two very different islands with one big thing in common, they both have terrible traffic! Both islands are busy and very popular; I found that Nusa Penida was a bit more of a holiday destination than a backpacker spot. I didn’t see any Grab or Gojek drivers in Nusa Penida so I would recommend hiring a scooter or a driver for the day. If you hire a scooter be very careful while driving, there was a lot of traffic but also a lot of windy and hilly roads that can be dangerous if you’re not careful.

Starting with one of the most well known beaches, visit Kelingking Beach. This beach is probably one of the most insta-famous beaches you can find so it’s busy and crowded here. If you want to get a good picture without a lot of people, keep walking away from the parking, past the path down to the beach and there will be plenty of space to get a nice photo. We chose not to hike down to the beach just because we had a couple other things we wanted to do after and didn’t want to spend our entire day here.

Visit Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong. Both of these are just a couple minutes from each other and share one parking lot. Be careful coming and going from this spot as the road was mostly just a bumpy dirt road with some rocks in it. When we were there it was a beautiful day so there were lots of people here. At Broken Beach there’s plenty of space to walk around and get nice photos; Angel’s Billabong was a bit smaller and tighter so you might have to wait a couple minutes to get to where you want to be. Take some time to enjoy walking around here because the view of the coastline is absolutely beautiful!

Relax, grab a fresh juice and go for a swim at Crystal Bay. We got to Nusa Penida midday and wanted to relax and find a nice beach to swim so we drove to Crystal Bay. There’s plenty of space to lay out and there were lots of places to grab a juice or a snack if you get hungry! Be careful when you’re swimming because when we were there you could see the rip current farther out in the water. Some of the beaches in Nusa Penida had a bit of a hike to get down to them so I highly recommend Crystal Bay if you want something easier to get to.

Sip on a cocktail in the pool at Amarta Penida while watching sunset. I guess I should just simplify and say find a nice spot to see sunset but I had such a nice time at Amarta Penida! We went and had some food and then hung out in the pool for the rest of the day. If you’re just going for sunset and want a table, I would recommend making a reservation because it got pretty full as the night went on. I would also recommend Crystal Bay if you don’t want to worry about making a reservation, there’s plenty of parking and plenty of space to sit and enjoy sunset.

Visit Diamond Beach. Most of the things we did on the island were on the west side but on our last morning we drove to the east side and went to Diamond Beach. I’m not usually a sunrise girly but someone from our hostel invited us to watch sunrise with them and not being good at saying no, we all said yes! It was magical watching the sky turn pink and orange at a completely empty beach on a very busy island. Even if you don’t go for sunrise, definitely stop just to see how amazing the coast looks. Some of the stairs down to the beach are a bit sketchy so you might want a shoe that stays strapped on your foot.

1 thought on “A Weekend on Nusa Penida”

  1. Beaches look quite inviting. How warm is the water? Should I bring my beach shoes? Are there lots of rocks?

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