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Nusa Penida Day Trip: What to See in One Day

Nusa Penida is the largest island of the Nusa Islands just off the east coast of Bali, Indonesia. The island is popular with tourists due to the island’s pristine beaches, magnificent viewpoints, a coastline that resembles the head of a tyrannosaurus rex and gorgeous dive sites

I’ve been to Bali many times and each time I stay in Canggu to get pampered and eat at the best cafes. But this time around, I left Canggu! *Gasp* And I ventured out to see something different. So glad I did because Nusa Penida is everything I wanted and more!

And there are so many things to see on Nusa Penida that you may want to stay at least two days on the Island. But if you can only spare one day from your itinerary, you can still see some of the best highlights on Nusa Penida in one day.

So if you like unspoiled beaches and rustic island vibes, then keep reading and find out how you can spend a day on Nusa Penida.

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What you need to know before taking a day trip to Nusa Penida

Before spending the day on Nusa Penida, look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Bali. I included a lot of information, including how to get around Bali, how to get a prepaid SIM card and other essential Bali travel tips.

Here are a few additional tips for going on a day tour to Nusa Penida:

  • You can visit Nusa Penida for the day from Nusa Lembongan or Bali.
  • Doing a self-exploration tour of Nusa Penida is possible. But you should be at least an intermediate rider when riding a scooter. The roads on Nusa Penida are super rough and bumpy!
  • Bring enough cash for scooter rental and food for the day.
  • Bring enough water, especially if you are going during warmer months.

Nusa Penida 1 day trip: What to bring

Exploring Nusa Penida as a day trip is super fun! For a guaranteed good time, make sure you bring the following:

  • a small backpack for all your belongings
  • a pair of versatile shoes that is ideal for walking over sharp limestone into the rock pool and riding a scooter
  • quick dry clothing because you will be in and out of the water all day
  • bathing suit because there are many gorgeous beaches around the island
  • a small towel to dry off or to sit at the beach
  • enough cash for the day since most places will only take cash
  • plenty of water for the long scooter rides around the island
  • lots of sunscreen to block all the UV rays while you are scootering around
  • hat and sunglasses to further block any sun rays

How to get to Nusa Penida

1. Small boat from Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Penida

Catch a small boat to Nusa Penida from the north end of the Yellow Bridge on Nusa Lembongan. You will see many signs for the boat going to the biggest Nusa island. Park your scooter as indicated.

A return trip to Nusa Penida costs 120K IDR per person. There isn’t an exact schedule for the boat, but they will start the journey once the boat is full. The trip to Nusa Penida takes about 20 minutes.

The boat will drop all passengers at the pier at Toya Pakeh Beach, which is on the northwestern coast of Nusa Penida.

2. High-speed boat from Bali to Nusa Penida

Many companies offer fast boat services from Bali to Nusa Penida.

All the fast boat companies are along the beach in Sanur at the end of Jalan Hang Tuah. Each company will have several boats going to Nusa Penida as early as 7:30 am and returning as late as 5:00 pm. And the price may include pick-up and drop-off at specific locations in Bali.

Check schedules and prices with Penida Express. Prices start from 196K IDR per person.

How to get around Nusa Penida

There are three options to get around Nusa Penida. Either rent a scooter and get around the island yourself, hire a car and driver to take you around the island or join a tour. I’ll explain the pros and cons of each option.

1. Rent a scooter for a self-guided tour of Nusa Penida

Once you arrive in Nusa Penida, plenty of people will approach you and offer you deals on renting a scooter. A scooter rental costs 80K IDR or so. You get a moped, helmet and a full tank of petrol.

The advantage of a self-guided scooter ride is you are on your own schedule. So you can do whatever you like at your own pace.

However, if you are unfamiliar with driving a scooter, you may not want to try it in Nusa Penida. Part of the road to Kelingking Beach is quite rough – it is quite bumpy for at least 20 minutes, and it feels like the entire road is full of speed bumps.

So, before renting a scooter, be aware that the roads are not for inexperienced drivers. Ask yourself: is riding a scooter the best option to explore Nusa Penida? And if not, there are other options as well.

2. Hire a car and driver for a self-guided tour of Nusa Penida

An alternative option is to hire a car and driver to take you around the island.

The advantage of this option is that you leave all the navigating and driving to someone else. And you get to sit in an air-conditioned car between visiting different attractions.

However, it will cost you at least 250K IDR per person and another 250K IDR for hiring a driver. It is a comfortable option but not the cheapest option. Getting a few other travellers to rent a private car might be worthwhile.

3. Join a Nusa Penida Day Tour

Another option is to join a one-day Nusa Penida tour. Many tours go to Nusa Penida from Nusa Lembongan or Bali.

You can find many tour operators in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan or online. The fee starts from 300K IDR per person.

Also, there are numerous Nusa Penida day tours from Bali as well. They offer Nusa Penida one-day tours and multiple-day tours if you want to spend more time in Nusa Penida.

One-day Itinerary for self-tour of Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is a relatively big island but the toughest part about getting around the island is the road condition. Many parts of the road are not paved and super bumpy. Which means it would require more travel time between attractions.

It is possible to see most the highlights of Nusa Penida in one day. However, it is quite fast, and you will have to start early.

Below is a suggested one-day itinerary for Nusa Penida if you are touring the island on your own scooter.

  • Arrive in Nusa Penida around 8:00 am.
  • Rent a scooter at the pier, and off you go!
  • First, visit Crystal Bay Beach to see the clear crystal water and enjoy a refreshing coconut at the beach.
  • Drive about 55 minutes to Broken Beach. The distances between the two beaches look close, but there is only one road that will take you from one beach to another. Make sure to visit Angel Billabong while you are there.
  • Next, drive about 30 minutes to Kelingking Beach to see the famous tyrannosaurus rex coastline. If you only take photos from the top of the cliff, it should take no more than 30 minutes or so. But if you want to descend to the beach below, you will need more time, especially for the climb coming back up. It is quite a trek to go back up!
  • Go back to the pier! Make sure you leave yourself sufficient time to get back to the pier.
  • Catch the last fast boat back to Nusa Lembongan or Bali.

Nusa Penida one day trip: things to do in Nusa Penida

Whichever mode of transportation you choose will be great because there are many things to do in Nusa Penida. I included all the attractions on the map.

1. Crystal Bay Beach

A white sandy beach with crystal clear water where you can swim and dive. The beach definitely earned the name because the water is crystal clear!

And it is one of the best spots to snorkel in Nusa Penida. Not far from the beach, you snorkel in crystal water and find fish swimming in the shallow water.

Or if you want to relax at the beach, choose one of the beach lounge beds on the beach.

Don’t worry about finding food. There are several vendors selling food and beverages like fresh coconut.

2. Broken Beach

Another famous hot spot on Nusa Penida is Broken Beach. At the southeastern tip of the island, the area used to be a large cave but part of the area collapsed. From an aerial view, it looks like a giant crater with rocks and water inside. You can walk around by following the path.

If you have seen Broken Beach on Instagram, the famous shot is the area where a strip of land resembles an arched bridge.

3. Angel’s Billabong

Close to Broken Beach, Angel’s Billabong is a quiet blue rock pool with big waves crashing at the cliff’s edge.

Take a look at all the different hues of blues and greens within the rock pool once the waves have settled. You can cool off from the sun by dipping into the rock pool. But be careful of the sharp limestone!

4. Kelingking Beach

Anyone who goes to Nusa Penida would want to see the tyrannosaurus rex! The outline of the coast looks like the head of a t-rex. And it is probably one of the best Instagram spots in Bali!

Most people hover over the coast to take photos of the dinosaur’s head from various viewpoints.

And for those who want to get up-close and personal, you can descend the hundreds of steps down the back of t-rex and descend to Kelingking Beach. The view of the coast is marvellous no matter where you are at.

If you are spending more than one day in Nusa Penida

The one-day Nusa Penida itinerary only covers the highlights of the western part of the island. There is so much more to see on Nusa Penida, so I highly recommend staying overnight on the island.

Here are some of the best attractions on Nusa Penida if you have another day:

  1. Tembeling Beach and Forest – a serene natural pool that is excellent for swimming while the beach is further away from the coast.
  2. Teletubbies Hill – the green rolling hills got its name from the children’s show because it resembles the round green hills in its background. It is a different scenery than all the well-known ones around Nusa Penida. And it is especially magnificent when viewed with a drone.
  3. Rumah Pohon “Tree House” – the famous Instagram Nusa Penida treehouse, Rumah Pohon is located at Thousand Island viewpoint on the east side of the island.
  4. Diamond Beach – once you park your scooter in the designated parking lot, walk towards the coast and descend the steep staircase along the huge rock wall. You can see beautiful coastal cliffs and water from the stairs, and the view is spectacular. The beach is more swimmable than the nearby Atuh Beach.
  5. Atuh Beach – hike down the steep path to a gorgeous white sandy beach in a small cove with beautiful turquoise water surrounded by erratic limestone rock formations. Visit during high tide to see the turquoise water or low tide to see a completely different beach.
  6. Swim with Manta Rays – join a tour from Bali to swim with Manta Rays.

Where to stay in Nusa Penida

If you spend only one day in Nusa Penida, you can only see one part of the island because the road terrain is so rough that it is hard to get around the entire island in one day.

So it is highly recommended to stay at least one night in Nusa Penida to explore other attractions.

There are many types of accommodations (hostels, hotels, villas), including one of the best places for glamping in Bali.

Here are some of my top picks:

  • Traditional Balinese Bungalow ($) – rent a wooden Balinese bungalow on the island’s west side and enjoy panoramic sunset views.
    • Check prices & reviews: Airbnb
  • Authentik Nusa Penida ($$) – go glamping in a luxurious tent near the pier.
    • Check prices & reviews: Airbnb
  • The Mesare Resort ($$) – get a one-bedroom cottage with a jungle view in the middle of Nusa Penida.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Atalaya Villas Nusa Penida ($$$) – get a bohemian deluxe suite at this resort near Crystal Bay. There’s an outdoor pool and a sun terrace.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

Bali is the perfect destination to be a minimalist traveller. Learn how to pack a 7kg carry-on luggage by following my minimalist travel packing list

Want to join a tour in Nusa Penida?

Are you ready to take a Nusa Penida day trip?

Are you going to spend a day in Nusa Penida on your own? The vibe is so different from the rest of Bali that you’ll be glad you went. Also, ensure enough time for a day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.

Nusa Penida is just so special. The island is one of the places travel photographers look for

Does this post inspire your upcoming travels? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading my Nusa Penida itinerary post

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Bali:

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

8 Comments

  • mo
    March 2, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Ah, just the post I needed! I have dived all around Penida, and I have even been to two of the other Nusa islands, but never made it to the actual Penida island! Thanks for the tips, I will be referring to these when I head over soon 🙂

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      March 4, 2019 at 3:05 pm

      Well technically you’ve been to Nusa Penida especially if you did all the diving around the island! How amazing! I hope you have blog posts about that! 🙂

      Reply
  • florabaker
    March 2, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    I wish I’d had this post before I went to Bali last year! Then again I didn’t actually make it to Nusa Penida – so hopefully I’ll go back again and use this 🙂

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      March 4, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      You have to go back to Bali! I know I already want to go back! 🙂

      Reply
  • Daisy
    March 2, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    This is beautiful! I’ve always wanted to visit indonesia, the islands are absolutely gorgeous! Saving this for later because it will definitely come in handy 🙂

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      March 4, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      I hope you will go someday! I already want to go back! 🙂

      Reply
  • Stephen
    May 10, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Great article, thanks for the info! Do you have any recommendations on who to hire for a self-guided tour with a private car and driver?

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      May 12, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Stephen! Thank you so much! I rented the scooter and did an island tour on my own. I don’t have a specific contact. But once you are on the island, people will approach you to rent scooter and car + driver. I contemplated to hire a car and driver with some of the people I met on the boat going to Nusa Penida but ended up doing the scooter thing instead. Hiring a car and driver is not the cheapest option so sharing a car might be an option as well. Hope this helps! 🙂

      Reply

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