Updated: May 2
In between scuba dives, you should take the time to explore Nusa Penida! Here are our best places to visit in Nusa Penida.
1# Getting up early for Kelingking and Broken Beach
These two sites are the Eiffel Tower of Nusa Penida; Kelingking’s ‘T-rex’ rock formation being the most Instagrammed beach of 2019 apparently! So, well, everyone wants to see it and you may end of queuing for a selfie in front of the famous dinosaur-looking cliff with thousands of other people. The trick is, you see, to go there super early and beat the crowds. Broken Beach, the famous cove-like arena with an archway open to the sea, is but steps away so if you can get an early night (it’s not really like Penida’s nightlife is going to keep you up...) and get up at the crack of dawn, you’ll get both these places all to yourself, well, not quite, but close enough….
Scooter: the roads have been massively improved lately so it’s not a horrifically perilous ride anymore. Still, you may want to practice a little before you try this one.
Taxi: a number of taxi options, included or not in a tour (but make sure they take you early).
2# Meeting the Mantas on the South Coast
Another unmissable of Nusa Penida, these majestic giants are there most of the year and the encounters are magical. Be aware that there are two spots, Manta bay where most of the snorkelling boats go (closer to Crystal Bay) and Manta Point, where most of the dive centres go (much further but better chance of an encounter with mantas for both scuba diving or snorkelling). If you wonder why the prices vary widely, ask which point they go to, if they offer a snorkelling guide, a flotation device to rest on or a wetsuit (temperatures drop to 18-20 degrees and less in July and August sometimes through till November). If you are diving, check they have 5mm suits and hoods available. Conditions can be difficult on this site with regular swell and boat traffic, so make sure you choose a professional outfit. This will be one of the best encounters of your life!
Getting there: you’ll need to go through a snorkelling tour or Dive operator.
We recommend Purple Dive Penida (of course) for diving and Aquaman for snorkeling.
3# The natural pools at Tembeling
One of the magical places on Nusa Penida. Still tucked away and preserved from the big day tour groups, Tembeling natural pools and forest are a great spot to spend a few hours.
Go build a stone statue in the arch opening onto the sea on the right or go and swing on the swings overlooking the pristine beach on the left. Shade from the lush trees makes this experience a cool and pleasant one. On the way back up turn, right to get to Saran cliff point to see the mantas swimming below and the breath-taking cliffs of the south coast.
Getting there: scooter: the roads are perfectly fine for most of it, but the last kilometre is a death trap. Unless you are an experienced off road biker, use the local guys who will drive you down and know the track down by heart, they’ll also take you to the cliff point and show you where to climb and jump into the pools. You could also just walk down.
Taxi: a number of taxi options, included or not in a tour (potentially not on this one but can be added on to a Kelingking tour for example). You’ll still need to get down there so as mentioned above use the local scooter drivers or walk.
4# Doing a beach clean up with Trash Hero Nusa Penida
People often complain about how much rubbish they see in Penida and in Bali in general. They often forget that there isn't really a properly organised free rubbish collection or recycling system yet- even though the local government is working hard towards it - and that a Balinese family produces 4 times less rubbish than a European one... So instead of complaining or being saddened by it, why don't you become part of the solution and help keep the magical island clean. Every Monday at 4.30, Trash Hero Nusa Penida organises a beach clean up on a different beach. Spend an hour cleaning, relaxing and making new friends. It often ends with a beer or two with lovely company in a beautiful spot. Join us!
Getting there: Look up the clean up location here every week
5# Cocktails/drinks with Mount Agung in Ped
One of the best views in Nusa Penida is Bali’s mighty volcano Agung seen across the sea from the North Coast and what better way to enjoy that view than with a cocktail in hand, the waves licking at your feet. Many bars in Ped offer happy hour cocktails and the incredible view, a nice way to chill out after a day of exploring.
-Purple Dive Penida, after your dives, chill by the infinity pool with a cold drink overlooking the sea and mighty Agung
- Penida Colada because the cocktails are all made with fresh fruit and they have one with chili!
- Coco Penida close by is also one of our favorite, try the coconut mojito!
Getting there: Head to Ped village by scooter, taxi or by foot. Penida Colada and Coco Penida right in the centre of the village, Purple Dive Penida is another 5 minutes drive, next to the petrol station in Sental.
The next 5 amazing things to do in Part 2 !