Nusa Penida, a More Exotic Option in Bali
Nusa Penida is by far the biggest island in the small cluster in the southeast of Bali. The other two are Nusa Lembongan (the closest from Bali) and Nusa Ceningan which are located in the middle. Penida is also the farthest from mainland Bali and is also close from Lombok.
With 200 square kilometer land area, Penida is huge and the most exotic of the three with many distinctive cliffs and lagoons all over its coasts. Penida’s attractions are also relatively untouched as this island is less traveled than Ceningan or Lembongan. Here are some of the best destination in Nusa Penida.
This billabong is located on the western tip of Penida. It’s a strange rock formation that allows water to be trapped in a temporary pond within the small valley. This billabong is dangerous during high tide but during low tide, this place is like a natural infinity pool that literally connects directly with Indian Ocean. You need to be extra careful when descending the rocky cliff to get into the pond because there is no easy access.
Just like in Menjangan Island, Penida also has several beautiful spots for diving. The most favorite dive spot is Crystal Bay because it has very good visibility, sometimes even up to 30 meters deep. This isolate spot is home to large coral reefs. This place is also in the migration route of several pelagic species, the most famous one is mola-mola or large sunfish.
The other popular dicing spot is Manta Point. Just like the name suggests, this is where you can find the gentle manta rays, sometimes also nurse sharks and spotted stingrays. The visibility is excellent even though the water can be quite cold. You can dive anytime of the year but the best times are between August and October.
Located on the easternmost part of Nusa Penida, Atuh is a hidden beach with a wonderful view all around. Atuh is a small stretch of white sandy beach located next to a magnificent limestone cliff. From this beach, you can see several islets like Batu Melawang, Batu Paon, Batu Abah, and Bukit Jineng that is also known as Batu Bolong (Hollow Rock). Batu Jineng is a spectacular rock formation and best viewed during sunrise or sunset.
Kelingking is another hidden beach located under a cliff. Since entering the beach is perilous, many tourists opt to just take selfies and photos from the overlooking cliff. There is a trek down to the beach that is really challenging, especially for getting back up. You should never go down to the beach during high tide. However, if you manage to reach the beach, you’ll most probably have the beach for yourself. The waters might be swimmable in low tide but be very careful because the undercurrent can be strong.
Broken Beach (Pasih Uug) is located near Angel Billabong and the route to this area can be challenging and usually reached using a motorbike. Broken Beach is actually a strange coastal formation with an arch-like rock as its landmark. This beach is ideal for photographers or those who hunt for scenic views. The waves are constantly crashing against the rocky wall creating a never-ending drama.
Nusa Penida is quite a big island and you will need couple of days to enjoy the best of it. The easiest way by renting a motorbike because it can go to the remotest spots on the island.