Are you looking for fun activities or things to do in Nusa Penida? Make sure to read our full article on this episode. Penida is the largest of the trio Nusas, which also includes Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan.
Nusa Penida has now made it onto every Bali visitor’s bucket list, known for its particularly ‘Instagramable’ landscapes. Not to mention, the waters around Nusa Penida are magical. The dive sites around the island have attracted thousands of divers from all over the world; every year, between June and August, dozens of dive boats can be seen anchored, divers plunging into the waters. Most are out on a quest to catch a glimpse of the giant ocean sunfish, or molas, at Crystal Bay. Along with it, what else things you can do in Nusa Penida? But remember, to go there from the main island, there are several ports that offer public boats. You can find it at Benoa, Sanur, Kusamba, or Padang Bai.
Atuh Beach is one of the top list as the most beautiful beaches with killer views. The view really is a breath of fresh air. The glistening turquoise ocean is well-guarded by craggy mountain peaks with perfectly laid out stretch of white sand. This beach is called the “Hidden Beach” as it is surrounded by the cliffs, making it difficult to spot.
To reach the beach, it is recommended to rent a scooter at the harbour when you arrive. After half-an-hour-drive on the coastal road, you can start your adventure once you park at top of the cliff. As you walk nearer to the cliff, get ready for a hike down to the beach. You will notice a concrete staircase that was built for local villagers who come to visit the nearby temple. And there you are, you’ll be standing on the pristine white sands of Atuh Beach with the vast blue ocean in front of you.
The stunning coral reefs are what brings Atuh to life. Especially during low tide where you can see the rainbow of colours from the corals on the ocean floor. Suit up with your snorkelling gears and dive into the ocean where you will find hundreds of colourful fish around you. The sun rays make the ocean glisten as though it were mixed with diamonds.
Apart from Atuh Beach, while you are in Nusa Penida, you might want to visit Peguyangan Waterfall. This incredible beauty is placed in the backdrop of a water temple. Therefore, a bit of an adventure is involved in getting to the waterfall. You have to traverse a path that is literally hanging off the cliff edge.
Rumah Pohon Molentang
Rumah Pohon Molentang is situated on the cliffs of Tanglad village. You need to use the wooden staircase to reach the top of the treehouse. Up there, you have a million-dollar view of the beaches and island around you. Visiting this place will allow you to find peace and give you time to contemplate about life, which is exactly what many of us are looking for when on vacation.
Located “beachfront”, this site is a dazzling natural pool where you can soak away your troubles. Believed by the locals as a site where angels used to bathe, Angel’s Billabong is a nature-made infinity swimming pool overlooking the vast Indian Ocean. The road to reach this beautiful sanctuary is quite challenging. And, it doesn’t get easier once you’ve arrived on the spot for you have to climb down the rugged, sharp coral reef. But once the crystal-clear water of the pool is within sight. You’ll feel like you’re in paradise and all those bumpy roads leading to this place were worth it.
Angel’s Billabong is located in an area called Pasih Uwug, meaning “broken beach”, and it is a brilliant geological phenomenon.
Tembeling Natural Pool
Tucked away in the centre part of the island are two other natural pools. Reaching these natural pools you have to walk downhill around one kilometre through a forest path surrounded by trees with the sounds of insects and bird songs. The insects sounds can be quite loud especially during the wet season. The natural makeup here is so charming you’ll definitely find quite some spots to snap photos and/or selfies! Approaching the natural pool, you’ll be greeted by a temple.
The inviting, clear water of the Tembeling men’s natural pool is sure to make you want to dip, or climb the limestone wall and dive into the water. The women’s natural pool is smaller and very shallow; and this allows only plunging and soaking. The area of the pools is considered sacred, and there are rules applied for everyone who wishes to go here – such as women on their period are not allowed to enter. There are shrines erected here, and this makes the area one of the places frequented by the Balinese Hindu pilgrims.
Goa Giri Putri
Goa Giri Putri is a meditation site, a Balinese Hindu temple and a Buddhist worshipping place rolled into one. The cave temple Goa Giri is a delight to discover. Loosely translated to “the cave of the daughter of the hill”, this temple is crowded by pilgrims.
Getting into this temple one must crawl and kneel through a small hole before finally stepping on to a path that leads to a huge, natural, cathedral-like area where shrines and labyrinths for meditation are located. Occasionally, water dips from the walls of the cave. Near the exit, an altar is dedicated to the Buddhist goddess Dewi Kwan Im, the goddess of mercy and compassion. Non-worshippers are allowed entry given that they wear praying attire. Lights have been installed inside the cave, and this allows adequate lighting if you wish to snap some photos.
Another worshipping place for the Balinese Hindus and a feast for the eyes for the visitors is Pura Paluang. Known as the Car Temple, Paluang is unique with two shrines in the shape of a car. The two cars are believed to be vehicles of the local spirit.
And just like anything else sacred places, the two cars are wrapped in checkered poleng cloth with offerings. Pura Paluang is located in Bunga Mekar village. To reach the temple you will travel through a roads that have been eroded and turned to gravel. The roads may be bumpy, but the breathtaking natural views will make the journey to Paluang a pleasant one. Close to the temple, you can get a glimpse of a real Balinese life.
In Sakti Village, everybody plays an integral role in serving the society. Working happily together in large groups, chatting and laughing to prepare for religious ceremonies and festivities that maintain social harmony. In Sakti you can also buy traditional woven cloth straight from the villagers in their homes. Hawkers, who are mostly children, gently offer you some souvenirs such as necklaces, t-shirts, and even palm oil.
Away from Sakti village is a spot for those who adore coastal brilliance jotted by lonely palm trees: Crystal Bay. Located on the west side of the island, Crystal Bay is often empty. Just outside the bay there is a big rock, a small island which can be used as a point of reference. This spot considered some of the best on the island with eels, Napoleon fish, parrot fish and turtles common place. During the summer months Mola Mola are often spotted here although they can also be spotted during the wet season. The current and swell can be strong and so diving without a guide is unadvisable. Only dive here when you have a certain level of experience.
Diving in Manta Point near Crystal Bay
Diving around Nusa Penida is a truly magnificent experience. To witness the magic of the mantas, or the lure of the vibrant coral reefs. Manta Point, as the name suggests, is a dive site known for viewing manta rays. They throng to the area due to the large amount of plankton here, meaning the visibility is poor. But, the more plankton around the more likely it was for us to see some manta.
From May to September or when Australia in winter, the water temperature around Nusa Penida can reach around 15°c. However, the cold water seems to be the perfect conditions for the ocean sunfish or Mola Mola. This flat fish swim up to the surface where banner fish await, ready to eat bacteria and plankton off of the giant sunfish’s scales. Beware, the amazing view also comes with great risk. Anticipate for some tricky strong currents at these dive sites. If you’re not diving, don’t worry, snorkelers can also enjoy the view from the surface. Snorkelers are advised to go with local guides and equipped with whistle, snorkelling buoy and flag as the boat traffic in the area can be busy and possibility to get caught by the current.
Batu Bolong is a spectacular natural arch created by the rock cliffs that goes down into the sea. It is not a place for you to swim or jump.
Kelingking or T-Rex Beach
Kelingking Beach on the island’s Bunga Mekar village offers breathtaking views over the hills and small strip of white sand. The unique natural makeup here features a limestone peninsula covered by green with blue water of the Indian Ocean. Also known as the “T-Rex Bay”, Kelingking has a unique formation that resembles the head of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Cross Over Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan is very popular among those seeking a quick getaway from the hectic pace. There are myriad of things to do with fun water games. The surrounding azure waters will invite you in to join the activities that will surely thrill and excite.
So many things can be done or seen on this island. This includes diving, visiting the underground village house and sailing between the islands. You can also just enjoy the stunning beach views. If you opt for luxury packages, your day’s trip will include total access to a private beach. A pool-side romantic dinner is a great option for honeymooners and the experience is one that’s worth spending extra on.
Nestled between Lembongan and Penida, Nusa Ceningan is also famous for crystal clear waters, diving and snorkelling. A suspension bridge on the Ceningan Strait makes a visit to this island from Nusa Lembongan easy. Ceningan has now flown into the radar of honeymooners and those looking for a quiet, laid back atmosphere.
The landscape of Ceningan composes scenic paths and small roads. Viewing the sunset over Bali from the central Ceningan ridge is very much worth the effort. The estuarine channel between Lembongan and Ceningan is home to many seaweed farms. In Ceningan you can find the bluest water you’ve ever seen at the aptly named Blue Lagoon. That’s the end of this article about things to do in Nusa Penida. If you want to find out more about the island, or things to do in Bali open this link and this link.