After a bit of a disappointing time in Lombok, I was looking forward to the next part of my trip to Nusa Penida. This tiny island off the south east coast of Bali is a must visit in your Bali itinerary. The coastline is stunning, with a number of breathtaking lookout points scattered around the island.
You can take a boat from Lombok to Nusa Penida (it takes 2.5 hours and costs around 300,000 IDR). Arrange with your homestay to pick you up or there are usually a load of scooter taxis/cars at the port ready to pick you up. It took about thirty minutes to get to my accommodation so make sure you negotiate a good deal. I stayed at Kira Cottages which was lovely, with a secluded pool and lots of cacti. Like a lot of homestays, you can organise your trips through them and often get good deals. Popular things to do here include snorkelling trips and island tours to check out the famous coastline.
Stunning Manta Ray at Manta Point
The snorkelling on Nusa Penida is special as it’s one of the only places that you can swim with Manta Rays, so a lot of people go there specifically for that. They are absolutely huge with a wingspan up to fifteen feet, and luckily are harmless to humans. The guy at my homestay took me by bike to Toya Pakeh Harbour for the trip, where you are given a wristband to make sure you are put with the right group (there are loads of tours leaving from here and it’s really busy – the company I went with was called Bahisnawa Snorkeling for around 100,000 IDR). This particular day it was chucking it down and I thought it might get called off but no, we went out to sea with the rain lashing down and my head covered with a towel. I wasn’t that pleased about it and it was actually easier to deal with in the water, but luckily it eased up. We arrived at the usual spot for Manta, and before long three small fins were visible which was the sign to jump in. I couldn’t wait to see them so closely! I jumped in and swam around a bit to get a good look, and one of the guides took my hand and guided me towards one. I panicked as it was so huge and I’d never been in the water with anything like this before. It glided underneath me and I twisted about, worried I was going to land on top of it. After about three minutes I decided that I needed to get out, I’d seen it and that was that which I kind of regretted because they are so majestic. So stay in the water as long as you can with them (if you can). Other dive sites included Crystal Bay, where you can see amazing fish (again the rainbow parrotfish and angel fish were my favourites) and coral as well as Gamat Bay, which is famous for its coral. You can also snorkel at Wall Bay, where you can see giant moray eels and more Manta. Snorkelling is here probably the best in Bali (apart from Amed) and so affordable so make sure you go!
|Kelinking Beach, Broken Beach, Angel’s Billabong and Green Kubu|
The day after I did a bike tour with the manager of the homestay. This is a great way to visit the main lookout points of the island where you’ll get amazing views as well as enviable photos! Here’s more about the places that I went to on this tour. Just like the waterfalls here there is an entry fee for pretty much anywhere but it’s always minimal.
Kelingking Beach (entry 10,000 IDR)
Probably the most breathtaking site on the island, this bay is also known as the T Rex due to the shape of the bay resembling a dinosaur’s head. As you walk down to the lookout point, you’ll come across lots of monkeys and their babies! Just watch out for your possessions because they are pretty naughty and will try to take anything that isn’t nailed down, so to speak. Marvel at the beautiful beach below (crowned the most Instagrammable Beach 2021 – you can go down there if you’re willing to tackle the steps like a mountain goat). Often there’s a bit of a queue to take pictures but you can get a range of different shots; you can sit over the edge and get the bay behind you and go a bit further down the steps for different angles.
Broken Beach (entry for here and Angel’s Billabong – 10,000 IDR)
About three kilometres north of Kelingking you’ll find Broken Beach, with it’s epic photogenic cove/archway created from erosion over millions of years. There’s a large natural pool (unfortunately you can’t swim in it) and a look out point where you can see manta rays from above. You can also walk across the top of the arch and get some great long shots.
A beautiful naturally formed infinity pool surrounded by surrounded by unusual rock formations. You can swim in the pool and the volcanic cliffs quite unusual. You can also see Mantas from the cliffs here.
My guide also took me to the Green Kubu restaurant, which has amazing views of the sea and rice fields. There’s a traditional Balinese archway that looks great in photos. Just a note to bring sunscreen on any trip you do, but here it seemed very easy to get burned! The menu is pretty extensive and it’s a nice place to finish the tour.
I thoroughly enjoyed Nusa Penida and could have easily stayed a few more days. From here I took the boat to Sanur back on Bali.
Thanks for reading!