Nusa Penida is an island about 40 minutes by boat from Bali. Its neighbouring islands are the famous Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Cenigan that are known for their great surf and marine life. If you are ever feeling the need to get in touch with your wild side, tickets to Penida are 175k for the fast boats or 70k for the local ferry from Sanur. The price is perfect for an adventurous getaway from the hustle and bustle of Bali. Filled with secluded white sandy beaches along the north and northwest coasts of Penida you can find Crystal Bay – the first location we decided upon our arrival at Toyapakeh beach. At first glance we we’re struck with how many boats were anchored at the shore (kind of ruined the moment) so we walked over to some steps that we noticed were overlooking the entire beach, then later noticing that these steps took us over the cliff on the left side and we ended up on the most beautiful secluded beach I’ve ever seen. Pandana was the official name but we decided to call it Paradise Cove, as soon as we got there we set up camp (we only had our hammocks and built a barrier around us in case of monkeys or who-knows-what). We went for a swim in the magnificent cove we had to ourselves and then walked back over to the ‘‘touristic side’’ to look for some food. As we popped over the hill a local fisherman was arriving with his day’s catch and for Rp10k we had enough fish for the four of us. We cooked it up in a nearby warung, then went back to our cove and called it a day.
The next day snorkeling was our first activity, beginning in Crystal Bay and then after at Manta Point (Nusa Penida’s most popular snorkeling spot). As the day progressed we were determined to see as much of the island as possible so we agreed on renting scooters (Rp70k per day), with the Guyangan Waterfall being at the top of our list. We walked down the 700 or so steps to the most stunning and slightly dangerous cliff face-waterfall, enjoying the views and getting fit all at the same time. Our final destination was Broken Beach (pictured above) which is a large cave that lost its roof over time, creating an interesting geographic form. Watching from above, as the water comes streaming through the natural made hole, we thought to ourselves; “this is another perfect place to set up camp”. 200 metres away the Angel Billabong is a natural infinity pool that simply took our breath away (pictured below). It’s a pool created by the high tide and overlooks the ocean. If you’re as lucky as we were, you can see turtles and mantas swimming by.
Food was one of our main concerns heading to the island but if you like Indonesian all you have to do is ask anyone on the side of the road and they will point you to the nearest warung – and there are plenty of them. In fact, everyone on the island is more than happy to help you reach your destination if you ask politely. The wild nature of this untamed island offers plenty to those with an adventurous spirit, but there are a few asphalt roads to get you around. Even though we missed a lot of the popular attractions, finding our own way throughout the island over three days, sleeping out rough for two nights and costing next to nothing, it was one of the best experiences I can recall. Other attractions not to be missed include; the FNPF Bird Sanctuary, Pura Penataran Ped, Goa Giri Putri, Puncak Mundi, Pura Batu Medahu and the Tembeling Forest. We strongly recommended Nusa Penida for anyone up for a thrilling experience amongst Mother Nature.