Nusa Penida, Indonesia, is the most beautiful island I have seen so far in my life! After visiting 30 countries, I have stayed at several islands, but never on one as stunning as Nusa Penida. It is Paradise! Why does it have such a special charm? The nature is impressive, the people are very helpful and happy to see you and there is just no tourism at all! You will drive through remote places, on gravel roads and impressive nature: green forests, crystal clear blue water, big waterfalls, a natural infinity pool and so much more!
Start your trip from Nusa Lembongan, get some friends or family to go with you for more fun and safety. As you will find yourself in the middle of nowhere, I wouldn’t recommend to go alone, and remember: “Happiness is only real when shared” – Chris McCandless.
How to get to this paradise? Get a boat to Nyuh harbor, ask at your reception or at the harbor in Nusa Lembongan and bargain for a good price! We had our own boat with driver for three people for 700.000 IDR (about 50,00 €). Another option would be to do a snorkeling trip and to get out earlier at Crystal Bay. You should bargain with the snorkeling tour beforehand. However, I think it is more difficult as you might not be able to rent motorbikes there…
How to get around in Nusa Penida? Get a motorbike from Nyuh harbor for about 70.000 IDR full fuel (about 5 €). As I said, Nusa Penida isn’t touristy, so you don’t have too many options to rent a bike over there! You can fill up new petrol if you buy petrol bottles (in normal 1,5l kind of water bottles) in different small “House Markets”.
What to expect? You will have stunning views, beautiful nature and no tourists! So, I recommend to bring your own lunch and enough water for the day. You will find some small “House markets” and homemade food but not many restaurants. You also won’t drive on great roads nor have well signed roads. However, the locals are always happy to help you out with directions.
A one-day itinerary
Start your journey at Nyuh harbor and drive careful! Those rented motorbikes are not the newest ones anymore! ^^ If you don’t want to use google maps, you can always ask locals and they will point you into the right direction! From Nyuh harbor, turn right on the main road and first right again and find your way to Seganing Waterfall.
To get to Seganing Waterfall, you shouldn’t be afraid of heights! It is more a climb than a hike to get there. It is going down a cliff with stunning views at crystal clear blue water, water caves and a beautiful green forest on the cliffs. The way up and down is on a local self-made bamboo “stairs”.
The waterfall is considered to have holy water. Local people get their water from there and transport it up and down those rocks. When you made your way up those crazy “stairs” back to the top of the cliff, you wish you would have another waterfall up there as you are drained in your own sweat! It is a beautiful scenery but I consider it dangerous to climb up and down! You really have to trust yourself and the natural “stairs” of bamboo.
Pasih Uug (Broken Beach)
Afterwards, find your way to Broken Beach (Pasih Uug = Beach, broken) on the broken butt road as Markus, Luke and I called them. It is a muddy road full of holes. Drive carefully, we nearly had an accident when our motorcycle got stuck in the mud…
When you reach the end of the “never ending broken butt road” to Broken Beach, you will be happy and all your sacrifices will be worth it! BrokenBeach is formed by the incoming tide. First carving a cave and, later on, it collapsed and formed the spectacular view you can see today.
If you go up the hill and to the oceanfront, you can be lucky and see mantas and turtles from the top of the cliff. It is a great lunch spot to enjoy the beauty of the nature and watch the animals swimming in the ocean.
If you walk from Broken Beach on the right-hand side, a little further along a small path, you will reach Angel’s Billabong – a natural infinity pool. It is marked with a small orange flag on the top. You can’t visit it all day, as you have to be careful with high tide! No swimming is allowed when the waves reach above the pool during high tide! It could carry you out into the sea and it is really dangerous with all the stones. There are rough currents. If you want to visit Angel’s Billabong, always watch the tide and relax in the pool during low tide!
Giri Putri Temple (Stone, Queen)
From Angel’s Billabong, drive all the way back at broken butt road and find your way back to the North of the island to Jl. Ped-Buyuk. When you get to the main road, turn right and follow Jl. Ped-Buyuk along the coast with amazing views on fishing farms to Giri Putri Temple. You need to bring an own sarong, otherwise you can rent one at the store near the car park. To get to Giri Putri Temple, you need to climb several stairs. On the top, all the climbing is worth it, as you will have a beautiful view of Lombok. The temple is named Giri Putri as it is a stone temple in a big stone cave. It is a very special quiet atmosphere in that temple. When you arrive, you will have to climb down a small cave entrance (watch your weight! ^^) and follow slippery stone paths. Leave your shoes already at the entrance and follow barefoot.
I got a holy blessing which I experienced for the first time and it got me by surprise! You have to put all your belongings on a bench and then the priest will splash cold water over your head (and in our case over our upper-bodies as well ^^) for three times, the last time you have to take a sip of the holy water. He also will put flowers above your ears, your chest and rice on your forehead. A little bit further down in the cave, we got a Benang Sri Datu, a holy bracelet in three colors: black, white and red which are mixed all together. In Balinese culture, the different colors are related to their different Gods. Black stands for Wisnu God, the symbol for water and lives in the North; White stands for Iswara God who lives in the East and is the symbol for the sun; red is for fire, the Brahma God.
After the temple visit, drive back to the harbor on the good paved street Jl. Ped-Buyuk for about 30 min and take the boat back to Nusa Lembongan while enjoying the sunset. If you think one day is not enough in Nusa Penida, you should book your accommodation in advance!
Where to stay? You think one day is not enough in Nusa Penida? You can stay in a tree house, if you like! It was always your dream, to sleep in a tree? Here you can turn it into reality! As I have already said… Nusa Penida IS Paradise! ^^
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Enjoy this paradise island for a day or longer and share your special moments with us and all the travel-lovers out there.