Nusa Penida island has become an unmissable stop during a Bali holiday. With a combination of breathtaking landscape, fascinating culture and awesome scuba diving, it should indeed feature on the list of the top places to explore whilst staying in Bali. People often ask how many days are enough to discover Nusa Penida. Here is some advice to help you decide.
1 day on Nusa Penida is never enough
Since Nusa Penida is an island, you will use up a few hours of your first day getting there, depending on where you are coming from in Bali (note that the airport is only 20 m away from Sanur's harbor to Nusa Penida) it can take some time to first get to the harbour, the trip from sanur usually take 90 minutes (including 30-minute check-in time and 15 minutes luggage claim). The island is big (200 km2) so depending on where you are staying it can then take another 45 minutes or even 1 hour to reach your accommodation. The last boats leave at 5 to return to Bali.
Unless you go on an organised tour which will give you a quick glimpse of the main tourist spots, 1 day is just not enough to get a real feel for the island and its off-the-beaten-track treasures.
2 days on Nusa Penida is too short
If you have two days you can explore, for instance, either the Southern part or the Eastern part of the island on your first day. people drive slowly and the island is big so doing both is unlikely if you want to really appreciate it. These two areas have the most famous natural beauty landscapes that gave Penida its Instagram fame. Both are definitely worth a visit. The next day you can join a scuba diving trip to see Manta rays (or a snorkeling trip)-another of the unmissable activities on Nusa Penida- and still have the time to get the boat back to Bali.
3 days give you more time to explore Nusa Penida
With three days you can devote 2 full days to exploring the incredible natural features and go scuba diving with Manta rays and not be exhausted. You may even be able to fit in either another morning of diving or exploring the lesser-known gems of Penida, like Teletubbies Hill for instance.
4 days on Nusa Penida is the perfect balance
In 4 days, you will have time for two mornings of scuba diving, (highly recommended, the coral reefs are world-class) and 2 days of exploring the island, at an ideal pace that matches the local rhythm. This gives you time to relax, go to the beach, discover hidden gems at a leisurely pace and feel like you are truly on holiday on a paradise island. Yet, that still- hopefully- leaves you enough time to explore the wonders of Bali during the rest of your stay