Nusa Penida Island — What to Know Before You Start
Nusa Penida Island-A Highly Visited Vacation Spot.
Are you aware of these names?
- Penida Bay
- Batu Abah
- Toya Pakeh
- Batu Meling
- Batu Lumbung
- Malibu Point
Do you recognize this fish?
I hope ‘neither’ is your answer to both the above questions.
Here are the answers.
The six names point to world-famous diving sites in Nusa Penida Island and its two more sister islands plus several uninhabited islets.
The answer to the second question is, it is an image of a marine creature known as “Mola-Mola” that is also called “Sunfish”.
This exotic fish may weigh up to a mammoth 2000 kg when fully grown up.
This huge fish is the star attraction of the veteran divers who visit the diving sites of Nusa Penida Island.
I will tell you more interesting facts about the Sunfish which I think will make you want to know more about Nusa Penida Island, where it is located, how to go there, what is there to see, the hotels to stay there.
The Mola-Mola lays a mind-boggling 300 million eggs at a time! This is world’s one of the heaviest fishes that are eaten by the men of Japan, Korea, and Indonesia and also by whale sharks and sea lions as prey.
Location of Nusa Penida Island:
It has two more islands and eleven islets in its archipelago.
The names of the two islands include:
- Nusa Lembongan
- Nusa Ceningan
All these islands and islets are separated from Bali through a strait called “Badung Strait”.
How to reach Nusa Penida?
This gets alluring because, in order to go to the this Islands group and stay, you must first reach Bali. If at all Bali makes you escape from all its natural beauty, you can think of visiting it.
There is a ferry harbor in Bali’s Sanur Beach. You have numerous options of ferries and speedboats. Get on board in one of them and it will deposit you in Nusa Penida in less than 60 minutes.
So, sea passage if your only option is to go to the Nusa archipelago.
Where do you stay in Nusa Penida?
Personally speaking, I would prefer to stay in any one of the beach resorts in Bali and make a day trip to the Nusa Islands.
Since the voyage involves less than an hour and with the availability of numerous two-way trips by boat, it sounds like a better option to stay in Bali.
However, if there is a sailor in you, you would want to explore all the islands and islets of the Nusa archipelago, and to achieve that, you need to stay here.
Here are some of the recommended hotels there.
- Ogix Cliff Paradise
- Semabu Hills Hotel
- Gangga Bungalow
- Pandawa Resort
- Arsa Santhi Hotel
Since these islands of Bali are big diving sites, most of the hotels are built closer to various beaches that also function as ideal diving spots.
Every hotel has a restaurant and a bar. I think the hotels’ staff can speak English. The food also includes Chinese and British cuisine so that international tourists don’t find it hard to eat their preferred food.
What to eat in Nusa Penida?
Seafood is the first choice, especially the heavy-weight Mola-Mola.
There are exclusive places to try Italian food.
I think the Indonesian dishes are too popular even among westerners. After all, who doesn’t eat a range of noodles mixed with an assortment of seafood and local vegetables!
Rice is the staple here and the noodles too. Soups and stews with different combinations are worth trying.
Kerupuk is a snack that is ubiquitously available in all the warungs. Try it just once.
During my research, I curated the names of a few recommended restaurants by real tourists from all over the world. I believe such reviews seriously.
- Jungle Warung
- Penida Colada
- Ulam Segara
- Sun Sun
- Mola Mola Waroeng
- Amok Sunset
What is meant by ‘Warung’?
You will come across the word, ‘warung’ frequently when it comes to eating places in the Nusa group of islands. Below is a picture of ‘warung’.
Shocked? It is one of the smaller eateries that we call it a café. A warung means a diner that certainly lacks the ambiance that we expect.
What is the Mode of transport to go around the island
If you don’t mind, rent a motorcycle to go around the island. It is a fairly large island comprising over 200 sq. km. So, a two-wheeler is a better option to stop at your whims, relax a bit before resuming.
What to see in Nusa Penida and its adjoining islands and islets?
Bird watching is the second best thing to do
besides seeing the marine creatures and colorful reefs as a scuba diver or a snorkeler. All the main three Nusa islands are birders’ haven.
Try to spot the lovely Java Sparrow and the white Bali Starling. These are non-aquatic birds.
Among the seabirds, you can easily spot the
- Spot-billed Pelican
- Black-tailed Godwit
- Beach Stone Curlew
- Black-headed Gull
I just mentioned a few birds as samples. For a veteran birder, a three-day outing would be highly rewarded.
- Beaches in Nusa Islands.
Obviously, beaches are the foremost attraction for tourists to Indonesia Islands.
- Goa Giri Puri
- Crystal Bay white sand beach
This is a popular spot to watch the sunset. Sunset time is when nature throws yet-t-be-named colors on the horizon. Even if you watch the sunset daily, you will not get bored.
- Pura Penataran Ped
- Kelingking Beach
It sure is a stunning-looking beach when viewed from the small hillocks. It is certainly a dreamy location. However, it seems there is no path or road to reach this place. I suppose a local guide knows how to take you to the small beach area.
- Broken Beach
Here you can see a sample of Angels Billabong’s rocks (boulders).
I think the video below is a better description of the Broken Beach.
- Atuh Beach
- Diamond Beach
Both are located close to each other. In order to walk close to the water, you need to climb down a rock staircase.
I am sure you will feel like acting in a top-notch Hollywood movie or in an ad film, because of the splendid location and the dramatic descent. Such places are not to be missed seeing; they don’t come by frequently in our nomadic life-eh?
- Manta Bay-try to watch the Manta Ray
Most of the beaches have shops that sell seashell jewelry. I don’t think it would interest a western tourist but the Asian tourists always fall for such cheap gifts that won’t last a year.
It is one of the must-see places on Nusa Penida Island. It is located near Broken Beach. The place is full of spectacular rock formations. Don’t imagine small sculptures but huge boulders dotting the beach.
See the eroded surface of the ricks that endured the bombardment by the rages of the sea for millions of years.
Try to climb a rock carefully for taking breathtaking selfies.
In between two huge rocks, a lagoon is formed that is devoid of waves. When it joins the active sea, the lagoon looks like an infinity pool that means a pool extends into the infinite sea.
It’s located nearby Broken Beach, another popular site with unique limestone formations. The naturally formed boulders-ridden beach is a seascape with a difference.
The water here is appetizingly clear, inviting you with passion to immerse yourself.
Thousand Islands View Point
Don’t ever think of bypassing the 1000 islands viewpoint. The gasping view that you will come to face after reaching the last step of a steep staircase is simply awesome.
No one has counted the 1000 islands but you will feel that way when you see so many dots of land space out in the Indian Ocean.
In addition to the viewpoint, there is a famous treehouse built on a cliff. I think the view from there will be much more beautiful.
Spend some time there and let the view sink in. Don’t rush to see another attraction in Nusa Penida.
Goa Giri Putri Cave Temple
Claustrophobiacs, please stay outside the cave. Those who dare can enter the cave through a rock hole and once inside, you will be surprised by the space.
Hm… I think it is not for me.
The waterfall is more of a gentle cascade, allowing the water to fall directly on to the sea. The way to reach the waterfall is again an exciting experience of climbing down steep steps.
What to see in Nusa Lembongan
Only 11 km separates the Nusa Pendia from Nusa Lembongan Island. The boat rode from Nusa Penida will take about 15 minutes only.
This island is a haven for scuba divers who simply cannot resist seeing new species of coral reefs for which this island is known.
Without entering a tropical rainforest when you are touring a tropical island, your trip would leave a vacuum in your tour itinerary.
The dense green cover provides an ideal habitat for beautiful birds. The birds of Indonesian rainforests equal the diverse species of the avifauna of Madagascar.
Joining an organized land and cruise tour.
Nusa Penida is a fairly large island. I have reported only a very few attractions. If you join an organized tour, the locals will show you many beauties of this tropical Indonesian island.
A cruise tour will take you to unnamed islets and expose you to diverse geography.