Nusa Penida holiday guide (2020)

Nusa Penida


Indonesia Nusa Penida Guide

Nusa Penida is the home of the Kelingking beach and one of the most famous Instagram locations in Southeast Asia, the T-Rex Kelingking viewpoint. Other highlights include the breathtaking Peguyangan Waterfall, nestled at the bottom of an iconic blue stairway. While the Broken beach, Crystal bay, and Thousand Island’s Point – three excitingly nAmed features – show off secluded bays, tide-pools, coral reefs, archways, and beaches you would expect of a premium tropical paradise. And then, of course, there is Manta bay’s glorious snorkeling and diving. Nusa Penida is Bali for those who prefer the laid-back charm and off-the-path seclusion – and travel by boat, because it’s the only way you’ll get there!

Nusa Penida is a part of a collection of three islands, which makes up the Nusa islands, and it happens to be the largest and most visited of them too. They are all located at the southeast border of Bali, featuring a hilly interior and little in the way of tourism infrastructure. Although the small island is very close to Bali, it is also a nearby location for sister island Lombok, pulling in crowds from these locations and independently too.

The untouched nature of the Nusa Penida is breathtaking. You can explore hidden bays and waterfalls, terrific viewpoints, seaweed farms, relax on the world-class beaches, surf, take adventurous hikes, and discover abundant underwater world. It’s close to impossible to run out of the activity ideas once you’re on Nusa Penida. If anything, we do not recommend planning your entire trip around Nusa Penida. While the location is excellent, it is one place you would be better off seeing and moving on to other islands and areas in the country for a wholesome holiday experience. With its hilly mountains and regions, climbers will find this a great place to get the adrenaline rush they have been seeking. The highs also make this location great for diving. Speaking of, the bright and calm waters are best friends to snorkelers too, so don’t miss out on that if it’s your kind of thing. Even though Nusa Penida is considered small by a lot of standards, the location still manages to pack a lot of fun and attractions into its space. Coupled with the fact that you can unearth almost all the secrets here in such little time, it is the ideal spot for the adventurer.

The best thing about Nusa Penida is that you can visit at any time of the year and get the fun you are seeking. Since it is not best suited as a stop for your holiday location, you can simply ferry out to the island for a couple of days. There are also open trips that would take you to its most famous sights during the day and are very popular from Bali and Lombok. However, the best time overall to visit this location is in September, when the weather is arid and accommodating of explorers. Generally, we recommend avoiding travel during December-March, especially if you are into snorkeling and diving because the sea is not to be rough and lacking visibility.

Seeing as this location is small, there are no variety of areas to stay at since you would most likely get the same experience across the board. Thus, the various lodges and accommodation options have devised a way to bring something extra to the table. It is for this reason that snorkelers will love the option of Kubu Ganesh, just as water-skiing and banana boating enthusiasts will prefer to stay over at Caspla Beach Hotel. These are not the only great locations, though, seeing as we have fantastic picks in Bintang Bungalows and Coco Resort too.

With proximity to Bali, it would be a shame if that did not make the list of best islands near Nusa Penida. Its two other sister islands, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, spice up the location with more colors. The same goes for all three Gili islands, as well as the South Gilis. At the same time, Nusa Penida enjoys the presence of Lombok in the area, wrapping up the array of amazing islands surrounding the attractive location.

Bali has been highly developed for tourists, offering a lot of activities and attractions for those who want to see them. The same can be said about the nightlife, which is about one of the best on all the Indonesian islands. That, and we have not mentioned the array of restaurants and great beaches. Nusa Penida might have amazing beaches to match, but it pales in comparison with the other metrics. Perhaps the most significant advantage it has over Bali is in its relative quietness, providing for a more romantic getaway and quiet vacation. Located just 30 minutes away from touristic Bali, Nusa Penida is the perfect getaway for people who’re looking to relax on sandy beaches, explore untouched nature and take the most Instagrammable photos you could imagine.

Nusa Lembongan might be a smaller island, too, but it is not less significant when compared to Nusa Penida. With beautiful beaches suited for active water sports, exciting beach clubs, and trekking options makes it possible to enjoy a couple of days on Nusa Lembongan, too. But here, you would have run out of activities and places to go compared to Nusa Penida island in lesser days.

Ease of reach is a strong point for all the Gili islands, so that should be considered here. However, Gili-T does not offer anything near the array of accommodation or fantastic deals that you get on Nusa Penida island. Gili Trawangan is more suited for divers and snorkelers, while Nusa Penida brings more areas to be explored, with improved fun activities, and a better overall holiday spirit.

Best islands to see from Nusa Penida

Nusa Lembongan


Nusa Ceningan


South Gilis






Gili Trawangan


Gili Meno


Gili Air