This morning we were up super early to get ready for our day trip to Nusa Penida!
Nathan had to quickly go and get our clothes from the laundry place as we had run out of clean clothes the day before but they had shut before we could collect them again.
Our driver who picked us up was a guy called Agung who arrived around 7:00am (a little later than scheduled as he was confused as to where our hotel was)
Luckily he was a quick driver and we got to the harbor in Sanur a little after 8:00am.
Sanur is a little seaside town on the southeast of Bali. This is where all the boats will depart from if you’re doing any trips out to the islands.
When we got to the harbor, Agung took us to the one of the boat companies to collect our pre-booked tickets and then showed us what boat to take. There were so many people at the harbor! There’s so many different companies that do day-trips so there’s definitely a lot of commotion as people are trying to find their boats or lining up for tickets.
Once our boat was ready for everyone to board, we waddled through the water (just below knee height) and were helped onto the boat by the people working on board.
I have to say though, there was a lot of pushing and cutting in line!! Like we’re all literally going to the same place I wish people would just chill a bit. Not to mention Sanur Harbor hasn’t been developed properly where you can just step onto the boat. You literally have to walk in the water to get on and off so when people are pushing in front just to get on it’s super annoying.
The boat ride to Nusa Penida took about an hour. I read online it’s only meant to take about 42 minutes so maybe it just felt a lot longer as I had assumed it’d be a quick 20 minute ride.
If you get seasick, definitely take some tablets beforehand as there were a few people (mainly children) who were not well on the way over.
Once we got to Nusa Penida, we met our driver who was waiting for us with our name on a sign. We told him in the car where we wanted to go and he recommended we start at Broken Beach as there would be less tourists there at that time of day.
Broken Beach is a scenic coastal formation on the southwestern edge of Nusa Penida. It’s one of the more popular hangout spots for the manta rays however we didn’t see any from where we were.
Next stop was Angels Billabong which is just down from Broken Beach. If you like you can swim in the natural infinity pool which is framed by rock cliffs and hangs out over the ocean overlooking Manta Point Beach.
When we got back to the car, I had a look at the photos our guide had taken and they definitely weren’t as good as what our guide took of us in Ubud! Hahahaha. To get the scenery in the background, he kept adjusting the settings so it had this weird kind of warped or stretched out affect. In other words, I looked massive in all the pictures! I tried to edit them the best I could but if you see my legs look really weird or my ass the size of a watermelon in any of these pictures than now you know why 😀 😀 😀
When we hopped back in the car, our driver took us to Kelingking Beach which is one of the most popular and iconic views in Bali and has the famous ‘T-Rex’ shaped rock sticking out over the ocean. The view was absolutely beautiful! The water was clear and blue and the beach looked absolutely amazing. There’s a 120m high path to go down to the beach but the hike takes about 2 hours to get down and back up and it didn’t look easy! Everyone was sweating when they were returning so we decided to give it a miss. Especially as we had more to see.
I did read online that there’s another spot located very close to Kelingking Beach with its own amazing scenery, called Paluang Cliff. It’s just a 5 minute drive from Kelingking and it gives you views of the Kelingking T-rex from the other side, without the crowds if you didn’t want to wait in line for a photo like I did 😀
I make it seem like these places were super quick and easy to see but it actually takes ages to get around the island. Many of the roads in Nusa Penida are still very rough and narrow so you go slower on some roads due to them being so rocky!
I personally wouldn’t hire a scooter or motorbike, although lots of people seem to do it with no issues, just because it gets so hot and dusty on the roads I’d rather be in an air-conditioned car haha.
Lunch was included as part of our tour package so we stopped off at a local Warung (restaurant) and chose something from a Set menu. I ordered some rice dish and Nathan got Chicken skewers with satay sauce. The portions were small but it was enough to keep us going for the day.
Next stop, Diamond Beach.
The cliff lookout over Diamond Beach has always been popular at Nusa Penida. However, a few years back, local developers carved a stairway straight into the cliff-face, opening up the beach to everyone.
It takes about 15 minutes to reach the bottom and it is pretty steep so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that doesn’t have a good level of fitness. When you get to the end of the staircase, you actually have to hold onto a rope to get you onto the beach as the stairs don’t take you all the way to the ground. Again – don’t be bringing your 87 year old grandma down here.
While we were waiting for our turn to get down to the beach, we spoke to some people who were climbing back up and they told us to be careful while swimming in the ocean as someone had nearly been swept out there. Apparently it is not really recommended to go into the water at Diamond Beach. If you do, you shouldn’t go out too far as the riptides are very strong and there are some very rocky sections in the water too. Not to mention no one can really help you if you do get swept out as there are no lifeguard’s or anything around. If you are planning on going, just stick to the rock pools or the shallow waters for your instagram snap!
Kind of like I did…
Unfortunately we didn’t get the sun at Diamond Beach as it was shaded by the cliff. Nathan kept saying we should have walked down to Kelingking Beach and enjoyed the sun there but we weren’t to know that Diamond beach would be so shady! If we could do it again, we probably would have made the effort to treck the 120m’s down to Kelingking Beach and stayed there for the day as it really was stunning!
After spending a couple of hours at Diamond Beach, we woke up our driver who was having a little nap in the sand and we headed back up to the car.
By this stage, it was around around 3:30-4:00pm so we made the hour’s drive back to the harbour to get our boat back to Sanur.
There was definitely more places to see on Nusa Penida but as we were limited on time we mainly checked out the main spots that you see on everyone’s Instagram posts.
The boat ride back to Sanur felt a little faster than the way over. The poor guy who was sitting in front of us threw up the whole way back. Thank god Nathan and I don’t really get that seasick!
When we got off the boat, our driver was meant to meet us but my phone died and I was the only one who had his WhatsApp number. There were far too many people to be able to find him (plus I’d kinda forgotten what he looked like) so after walking around for ages we walked back to the place he parked his car when he dropped us off and thankfully he was there waiting for us! He couldn’t get in contact with us either so he walked back too – lucky!
After Agung dropped us off at our accommodation, Nathan and I freshened up a bit and then headed off to Jimbaran Beach to grab some dinner. There were so many restaurants at Jimbaran Beach we were gutted we didn’t find all these places the night before when we were trying to find somewhere to eat!
We ordered Nachos, Pizza and a couple of drinks from this restaurant called Beekini Bowl and sat on the beach to watch the planes lands as you could see the airport in the distance.
Was a nice relaxing way way to end a busy day!
Top Tips for visiting Nusa Penida
- Bring water in an insulated drink bottle. It gets so hot and you’ll be walking lots so you’ll want your water to be cold when you’re sweating
- There’s a lot of stairs and walking in the sun, lather on the sunscreen!
- If you’re doing a day trip, book a driver for the day. Unless you’re a Bali pro, it’s more comfortable to hire a driver and get them to take you around the island. They’ll take you to where you want to go and everything is on your own time so there’s heaps of flexibility!
- Don’t be on Diamond Beach or Kelingking Beach when the sun goes down as it will be dark when you hike back up
- If you’re driving yourself around the island, take it slow as the roads have little maintanice and get very narrow
- All the famous spots will be filled with tourists taking a picture. Get there early to avoid the lines. Luckily, most people just want a photo and will move on so the wait isn’t crazy long.
- 3 Days is the recommended amount of time to see the WHOLE island however you can tick off the main sites in a day if you’re tight on time
- There’s a hidden beach called Suwehan Beach which isn’t included in many of the day tours. It’s a 30 minute hike down to the beach but you’ll be greeted with gorgeous white sand and turquoise water. Go before lunchtime so you get the sun.