For a small island there are a surprising number of things to see and do on Nusa Penida. From stunning cliff views and picturesque beaches to strenuous hikes and incredible drives, you could spend every minute here doing something different. Just make sure you book somewhere comfortable to stay; you’ll be so tired at the end of each day that all you’ll want to do is fall into a comfy bed and sleep (I have some suggestions here). Here’s my suggested three-day itinerary for Nusa Penida.
If you’re in a rush you could probably cram most of this into 2 days, but you might not get much time to enjoy the sights. If you have more time then I would stay longer and explore the less touristy parts of the island and the gorgeous drives around the hilariously-named ‘Bukit Teletubbies’!
- Day 1: Rumah Pohon Treehouse, 1000 Islands Viewpoint, Atuh Beach, Sunset Viewpoint
- Day 2: Banah Cliff Point, Tembaling Forest, Saren Cliff Point, Peguyangan Waterfall
- Day 3: Broken Beach, Angels Billabong, Kelingking Beach
Rumah Pohon Treehouse, 1000 Islands Viewpoint, Atuh Beach, Sunset Viewpoint
Rumah Pohon Treehouse
The most iconic spot in Penida after Kelingking beach, this treehouse is actually available to book for an overnight stay. If that’s out of your price range then you can pay a visit during the day to check out the incredible views and get some photos.
Roads to the treehouse are paved most of the way, with the last 5 minutes or so unpaved. There are some steep parts so be careful once you turn off from the main road. There’s an IDR5k charge to visit the treehouse, and it’s around a 10 minute walk to visit it once you park up.
1000 Islands Viewpoint
Right beside Rumah Pohon Treehouse is a gorgeous viewpoint and great place to get some photos. The viewpoint is on Google Maps as ‘Atuh King Five Nusa Penida’ which is a little confusing, but once you get to the treehouse you’ll see signs for it.
The easiest drive of our 3 days, the road to Atuh beach is paved so it’s a breeze compared to the drives to Kelingkling and Broken beach. To get down to the beach you’ve got to get down a steep set of stairs, and the beach is private so there is a charge of IDR10k per person and IDR5k for a scooter.
Just after the hut where you pay look out to your right and you will see the beautiful Diamond beach, and just further up the cliff the famous Rumah Pohon Tree house which you have just been to.
There are a bunch of restaurants and bars on Atuh beach, with beanbags or sun loungers where you can lie and have a nap or just chill out for a little while. The sea is calmer here than Kelingking so you can swim.
If you’re staying on the west of the island (I have some accommodations suggestions in this post) then try to leave Atuh beach by 5pm and you’ll catch some epic views on the way home.
This is something we discovered ourselves so it’s not marked on Google maps, but the route we followed is below and the part of the road circled in yellow is the best bit of the drive. The route below starts at Atuh beach and ends at the point where the above photo was taken, but you can continue on the same road to get to the other side of the island.
The views we saw on this drive are comparable to the Hai Van pass in Vietnam, and this is one of the most scenic drives we’ve done.
Even if you’re nervous about driving in Nusa Penida this road is paved and it’s in far better condition than the roads in the south of the island so you can do this.
We saw barely any other tourists each time we drove there which made the drive really peaceful and felt like we were the only ones around.
Banah Cliff Point, Tembaling Forest, Saren Cliff Point, Peguyangan Waterfall
Banah Cliff Point
A majestic viewpoint with stunning views over the rugged coastline and bright blue sea, Banah Cliff Point isn’t on a lot of itineraries so you might have the place to yourself. We found this spot on Google Maps and decided to pay a visit early in the morning – and we were the only people there!
The drive to Banah Cliff is mostly fine, apart from the last 5 or 10 minutes when the road gets very rocky and steep. The most difficult part of the path is within walking distance of the viewpoint so you can park up and walk the rest of the way if you prefer.
There is another, lesser-known, but equally great view just beyond Banah Cliff Point! Keep going past the Banah Cliff Point sign and the temple and there is a field on the left. If you walk through this field up to the tree at the end, there is another viewpoint that looks over the other side of the island. The views here are also stunning and this is a great spot for photos.
Tembaling Forest and Beach
A lush forest with a stunning beach, cave and a fresh spring you can swim in, this was our second favourite spot after Kelingking beach. The directions on Google weren’t correct so if you are coming here after Banah Cliff Point then drive back along the unsealed road for around 5-10 minutes until you reach a spot where a bunch of men are sitting in a shelter surrounded by motorbikes (a local said it’s a security checkpoint). Turn right down the road next to these guys and you’ll be driving into the forest (there’s a red signpost for the forest if you look closely, although it’s usually concealed by motorbikes).
The road into the forest is steep so drive slowly, and towards the end of the route it gets a little trickier – it’s not as tough as the drives to Kelingking or Broken Beach. There is a parking area around 5 minutes walk from the entrance to the beach, don’t be tempted to drive past this point to make the walk quicker – we did that and Tim crashed his bike (editor’s note: had a small mishap, but it was the road’s fault) on the way up.
The beach is gorgeous and we sat on the rocks for a while taking photos and looking at the waves. It’s small, rocky, and not great for swimming but there’s a beautiful spring at the foot of the steps where you can dive in and cool off. I would definitely make sure this place is on your itinerary!
Saren Cliff Point
Similar to Banah Cliff Point, Saren offers incredible views of the Penida coastline – and it even has a swing for prime Instagram photo opportunities. You can stop here on the way to Peguyangan waterfall.
Peguyangan Waterfall (Mata Air Guyangan)
We didn’t make it to this spot during our trip – there was an earthquake the morning we were supposed to go so we were a little nervous about climbing down the 300+ steps to the waterfall in case another one struck. But it was on my itinerary so I thought I would still include it here!
From what I gather the main draw of this place is the walk down the bright blue staircase to and from the waterfall with its epic views and picturesque location. There is a rock pool at the bottom where you can hop in and enjoy the views out over the ocean, and although I’ve read that the waterfall is a little underwhelming, the entire experience is worth the trek up and down the stairs.
Heading to Bali? Don’t forget to book your airport transfer!
Broken Beach, Angels Billabong, Kelingking Beach
A stunning cove and cliff formation carved out by the rough turquoise waves, Broken Beach is a majestic sight to behold. The views here are stunning, and there is so much more to see than the famous arch that draws in tourists. Check out the views from the cliffs surrounding the arch (where the top photo was taken) and see if you can spot manta rays swimming in the ocean.
The road to Broken Beach is difficult to navigate and full of potholes, and there are a number of unsealed roads you need to drive along so take it slowly and carefully.
A short walk from Broken Beach, Angel’s Billabong is a large pool where you can cool off and look out to see waves crashing against the rocks around you. I’ve seen many photos of this place and I have to say that when we got here we were slightly disappointed as the pool was covered in thick green moss and didn’t look particularly inviting. I think this might be due to the current weather conditions, so the pool might look better when you visit.
There are small shacks near these two locations selling Bintang and snacks if you’re hungry. After you have finished in the pool walk up along the cliff away from Broken beach for some great views of the ocean and manta ray spotting.
The number one sight that people come to Penida for, Kelingking or ‘T-Rex’ Beach was the highlight of our trip – but a visit here is not for the faint of heart! The views overlooking the beach from the top of the cliff are spectacular and with most of the tourists crowding around one part of the cliff, you have plenty of space to explore and find a spot to take your photo. Walk along the path, away from the entrance to the beach trail and you can find some great vantage points.
The climb up and down to Kelingking beach is extremely difficult and involves pulling yourself along using ropes, wooden poles and rocks. There are some pretty hairy parts to the climb and I would advise only doing it if you’re healthy and fit enough, and are wearing the right footwear. We were in rubber flip flops so we ended up doing the trek barefoot as we were slipping so much.
The beach itself is worth the trek up and down, but I can’t stress enough how prepared you should be. Bring plenty of water (there are stalls at the top of the cliff where you can buy some), wear a lot of sunscreen on your face and back, wear comfortable shoes, and bring a bag so that you do not have anything in your hands as you will need them to get up and down. You can’t buy food or drinks on the beach so bring what you need with you – we ate before the climb which I was very grateful for as we started the trip back up again.
Also the sea is really rough here, so be careful – we were thrown around by a few waves high enough to scare us off going back into the ocean. We also heard that the day after we visited a girl was hit by such a strong wave that she broke her leg. So mind yourselves!
That’s everything I would recommend for your trip to Nusa Penida! If you have any other suggestions comment below to let me, and other readers know 🙂
Thanks for reading!