Exploring the best of Nusa Penida a detailed guide

Keling kling beach, Nusa Penida, Bali
Keling Kling Beach

Bali is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in Asia and so it’s no surprise that it gets quite a bit of limelight when it comes to tourism. Nonetheless, Bali isn’t the only island that’s worth exploring in Indonesia. If you’re on a tight schedule you should definitely consider adding the 3 Nusa islands, Penida, Lembongan and Ceningan, to your bucket list! They are all incredibly stunning, have rich cultural backgrounds of their own, and if you venture off the beaten path, you’ll even find some spots that are just waiting to be discovered.

So to make things easier for you, here’s a detailed and comprehensive guide on exploring these 3 islands!

Nusa Penida

How much does it cost to get from Canggu to Nusa Penida?

Cab fare from Canggu to Sanur Port- IDR 24,000

Ferry ride from Sanur Port- IDR 150,000

Ferry ride to Sanur Port- IDR 150,000

Sanur port, Nusa Penida, Bali
Sanur port

Located in Denpasar, Sanur Port is one of the places you’d go to catch a ferry or speedboat to the other islands outside Bali, and the journey from Canggu to this port will take you about an hour. The earliest boat leaving from Sanur Port to Nusa Penida is at 7 am. If you’re hoping to visit Nusa Penida for just a day, we’d recommend taking this first boat out so that you’ll have plenty of time to explore the island. Thereafter, you can head back to mainland Bali in the evening on the last boat, at around 5 pm.

The boat ride from Sanur Port to Penida is a 45 minute, very choppy crossing. If you have the tendency of getting seasick, be warned! We’re not ones to get seasick normally, but this ride had us second-guessing ourselves. Additionally, you will have to wade through the water for a short distance to get on and off the ferry. So, do wear flip-flops, water shoes, or any other footwear that would make this hassle-free for you.

Once you get to Penida, the first thing on your to-do list should be sorting out your mode of transport around the island. If you’re renting a scooter, it would be helpful to know that the going rate near the port to rent a bike for 24 hours is around IDR 100,000.

Location 1: Pura Dalem Ped

The Pura Dalem Ped temple is one of the most important and sacred sanctuaries in Nusa Penida. Made from limestone, the structure is alluring but has a very eerie ambience that lingers in the air. This could be because we happened to be one of the few people there, and due to the fact that the history of this holy place is one that is dark.

Legend has it that Penida used to be an island of black magic a long time ago, and as a result, people avoided the island for quite a while. It is also said, after many failed attempts, a general of the Watu Renggong Kingdom succeeded in defeating the evil spirit, known as Ratu Gede Nusa, who ruled the island under his evil spell. The Balinese believe in the balance between good and evil and as such, this temple was built not to vanquish evil spirits, but mostly to keep them at bay.

Something to keep in mind before visiting Pura Dalem Ped:

● You won’t be allowed to enter the temple unless you’re wearing traditional Balinese clothing. Luckily, there are a few shops close by where you can rent this clothing. We were able to rent our outfits for IDR 20,000 from a shop opposite the temple.

Location 2: Tembeling Beach & Spring

On the West side of the island lies the exquisite Tembeling Beach and Spring. There are quite a few elements that go into making up the collective beauty of the Tembeling area, including a forest you can explore, a Secret Beach and even a freshwater “jacuzzi” pool!

On the hike down to the beach, you’ll come across an extraordinary freshwater spring (known as Tembeling Spring) which is situated close to a small temple. A swim in this calming teal-coloured pool is just the right remedy to cool off on a hot day, and if you’re a thrill-seeker, you can also cliff jump from some of the ledges encasing the spring!

The spring was an amazing find for us because we happened to come by this gem at around 3 pm and it was only us, with just a handful of people passing by. This was such a stark contrast to most of the touristy places we’d visited in Bali, so it was a very welcome and refreshing change.

If you continue walking down the trail, you’ll arrive at Tembeling Beach, which is not your typical white sandy beach. Rather, there are a plethora of rocky cliffs towering over the beach area. If you venture a little further towards the natural pools, you’ll come across a cave where hundreds of rocks are artfully arranged and balanced atop each other in unique formations. Carefully make your way through the cave so as to not topple the rock formations, and you’ll be at the doorstep of the Secret Beach! Like the main beach, this part of Tembeling is also surrounded by massive cliffs but is more enclosed than the former.

Our experience at Tembeling was, in a word, amazing. We got to the beach at around 3.15 pm and it wasn’t crowded at all. What’s more, the lighting was just right, so we were able to snap some amazing shots!

We’d absolutely recommend adding Tembeling Beach and Spring to your itinerary if you’re planning a trip to Nusa Penida!

A few things to keep in mind before visiting Tembeling:

The road to get here is very narrow, rocky, steep, and a bit on the dangerous side. Locals in the area generally warn tourists visiting about how terrible the road is and suggest that it might be safer to walk. So be wary!

Swimming in the sea, at the mercy of the usually rough waves, wouldn’t be the best idea. Instead, you can stick to taking a dip in the natural pools in the area.

● Make sure to be careful when you’re swimming in the freshwater springs, too. Do a quick depth check, avoid diving in deep and observe the debris first as these parts of nature can fluctuate over time.

Location 3: Kelingking Beach

Ticket price per person: IDR 10,000

Also situated on the West Coast of Nusa Penida, Kelingking Beach is probably one of the main reasons why tourists even opt to explore, and it’s easy to see why!