There is an abundance of things to do in Nusa Penida. It is an island reserved for the for adventurous souls. Expect narrow, steep and winding roads leading to dramatic cliffside views. Straight-down staircases guide you to hidden bays and Bali’s signature turquoise waters. Amongst the untouched landscapes on Penida island are hidden gems like freshwater springs and infinity rock pools. We rate this island and it’s adventures as one of our favourite experiences in Bali.
Here are our ten favourite experiences on this magical island…
1. Kelingking Beach
This infamous beach is also known as Secret Point Beach but is no secret at all!
For good reasons, this viewpoint is one of the top tourist attractions in the whole of Bali. The celebrity T-Rex shaped rock is genuinely one-of-a-kind. The beach below is usually only visited by the brave and fit, making it a whole lot quieter and our kind of paradise. It’s also one of the only beaches in Bali with big shore-breaking waves and absolutely no rocks leading into the sea.
A few big trees offer shady spots on its soft white sand. For many reasons Kelingking Secret Point Beach is our favourite beach on Nusa Penida and visiting it was one of our most memorable experiences. Have a look at our complete guide on Kelingking Beach. Here you’ll find all there is to know about this top spot on Penida.
2. Diamond Beach
This beach is another one of Penida’s hard-to-reach locations. Your reward after climbing down hundreds of stairs is breath-taking and well worth all the effort. Diamond Beach is a sea-shell decorated white sand beach. Surrounding it is crystal clear turquoise waters, shallow caves, and dramatically high cliffs.
Unlike some of the other beaches on Nusa, shady spots exist here under the small caves at the foot of the cliffs. Be one of the first to grab a cool place for the day.
Swimming in the sea at Diamond beach is not ideal with crashing waves and a strong current drawing you towards the rocks. It’s easier to cool off at high tide or swim past the breakers into the calmer but deep waters. Alternatively, wait for low tide and dip off in the shallow rock pool (only one is available).
Expect to find a long line of stationary people on the cliffs stairs as everyone tries to get that perfect Instagram shot. Check our complete guide to this beautiful beach, with details on how to get there and what to expect.
3. Peguyangan Waterfall
Never have we seen a series of staircases so closely resembling tracks of a rollercoaster and equally as daunting from the top. The cliff edge views at Peguyangan are some of the best we’ve seen on the island. The 50-meter drop beneath narrow blue steps looks onto rocks and crashing waves below. From the bottom of the staircases looking up, it’s apparent why it’s called The Blue Stairway to Heaven.
After descending all the stairs (over 700), you’ll find two freshwater springs shaded under a natural half-cave. Water trickles down rocks, filling up the first pool which tiers down into the second. From the second pool, water slowly escapes it into the ocean. This area is magnificent! Not only do you get to swim in natures refreshing infinity pool but You’ll enjoy the close-up view of the sea with waves crashing onto rocks right in front of you.
Visiting Peguyangan Waterfall is one of the less-publicized things to do on Nusa Penida. You won’t find the usual queues of Instagrammers standing idol on the steps and taking up the entire path, as you do at Kelingking or Diamond beaches. Even when you reaching the final destination, you’ll probably only share the experience with a handful of people.
4. Atuh Beach
Like most others, we rate Atuh Beach as one of the best beaches on Nusa Penida. It has a long stretch of white sand and a few rock-free areas leading into the sea. If you swim past the breaking waves, you’ll enjoy calm and crystal clear waters with a magnificent view of the iconic arched rock resting in front of you.
This gorgeous bay litters with sunbeds, umbrellas and warungs selling cold drinks, beers, and simple meals.
It’s not the hardest climb down to the beach, but it’s no stroll in the park either. Once you’re down there, kick up your feet and spend the day relaxing and enjoying the perfect postcard seascape. Check out our full guide on Atuh Beach for essential things to consider (like time of day to visit).
5. Angel’s Billabong & Broken Beach
Angels Billabong is a very beautiful, naturally formed infinity pool. As far as rock pools go, this one beats them all! It’s on the famous west coast of the island. For the most part, the road is decent until the last 400m stretch covered with potholes and loose gravel.
Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong are a five-minute walk between each other. If you go at midday, expect to see crowds and taking turns swimming in the infinity pool area. Once you’ve been to the pool and witnessed the arch of Broken Beach, head further up the hill to a manta ray viewing point and try your luck at spotting manta rays through the crystal clear waters. Both locations in this area are tourist hot spots and visited by busloads of day visitors coming from mainland Bali. Be sure to get there before noon to miss the crowds.
If you visit Angel’s Billabong during high-tide, you risk not seeing the infinity pool in all its glory. Check out the full guide for all the information before visiting this great location.
6. Tembeling Springs
These springs are by far the hardest place to get to on Nusa Penida island. You could mistake the bike road down to the springs as a sketchy walking path. Bikes and drivers on them are in for a rough ride when jiggling up and down incredibly steep paths. We almost changed our minds and turned back a couple of times, but our inner adventure voices wouldn’t let us. Only after reaching the final destination we were informed the locals offer their services to drive you in and out of the area as passengers. Being more experienced at this sort of thing, it’s probably a good idea and one we highly recommend.
From the parking lot, the walk to the springs is relatively short and less demanding. The large spring found halfway down is a fantastic spot to swim in. If you’re up to it, climb up the rocks and jump down into the fresh blue water below. After relaxing here, make your way down towards the beach. There’s another natural pool enjoyed by the locals and a cave with many rock ornaments. The area finally opens up onto the beach where ladies offer cold drinks and freshly cut fruit. We spent the whole day at this secluded spot and would go back in a heartbeat, but maybe as passengers!
If you’re planning a trip to Nusa Penida, make sure you check out our article below. Nusa Penida is not for everyone, the article explains in detail.
7. Cliff Views And Searching For Sea Life Below Them
If only someone had written about this before us, we would’ve invested in binoculars (although not a prerequisite). Bali stands out in our minds as having the brightest blue and crystal clear water we’ve ever seen! The beauty of this is witnessing the aquatic life meters above sea level, even high up on cliff tops. Without having to enter the ocean, you’ll spot sharks, manta rays and turtles swimming amongst gorgeous untouched coral reefs. Some of our favourite locations to enjoy a little sea safari include Kelingking Beach, Diamond Beach Peguyangan Falls and Broken Beach.
8. Crystal Beach
After spending a couple of days hanging out on Penida’s cliffsides and punishing staircases, there’s no better reward than a trip to Crystal Beach. Precisely named for its crystal-clear waters, this quaint bay ticks all the boxes on a paradise checklist. Its position on the island makes it a popular choice for day visitors and those staying on the island; you’ll get to enjoy Bali’s most lavish tropical sunsets. When you reach crystal bay, one of the most spectacular sights to see is the long stretch of road packed with towering palm trees, located just near the parking lot.
After making your way through this tropical paradise, a welcoming line of warungs and shops stands between you and the beach sand. The private little beach is beautiful and one of the only dark-sand beaches we liked. Spend the day working on your tan, sipping on cocktails and enjoying creature comforts like day beds and umbrellas. It’s also the hub for snorkelling.
9. Poolside Chilling
Don’t judge us! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a day off from all the vigorous Penida adventuring. We find the ideal way to spend downtime is lazing around at refreshing pools while drinking cocktails.
Not many spots on Nusa Penida have the signature infinity pools we were so accustomed to in Bali. It was something we missed, and after a full week of exploration in the heat, we wanted nothing more! After doing a quick search, we located a restaurant on the east side of the island. Poolside café offers great food and ice-cold coconuts; all enjoyed in its refreshing saltwater pool. Be sure to check this place out when visiting the island. Remember to balance your adventures out with some much-needed down-time to prevent travel burnout.
10. Dining At Moonrise
In the area called ped village, several restaurants and diving schools pave the min road. This area might not be the best location for Bali’s tropical sunset and sunrises, but it has front row seats to some of the most spectacular moonrises we’ve encountered. Most of the restaurants offer seating facing the ocean, touching distance from the shoreline. If you’re visiting the island around the full moon, you can expect a larger than usual moon to illuminate the night sky as it makes its way up from the horizon.
The Penida Colada Bar is one of the most popular spots on Nusa Penida, and for a good reason. Everyone comes to this trendy resto-bar for its fresh fusion dishes, excellent cocktails and happy night vibes. Enjoy casual dining with your feet in the sand listening to the gentle waves lapping right in front of you.
Things To Do In Nusa Penida