Nusa Penida has become one of the most popular islands to visit for those on a vacation in Bali. With its epic cliffs, beautiful beaches, and manta-ray experience, it’s starting to become more of a must-do than Bali itself. Getting to Nusa Penida from Bali by ferry takes ONLY 35-minutes by fast-boat but the actual transit can take longer with taxi’s and waiting times.
HOW TO GET FROM BALI TO NUSA PENIDA
In this blog post, I’m going to break down the best THREE options to get to Nusa Penida from Bali. As the price goes up with each option, the transit time goes down and the transit becomes easier. There’s a way to get to Nusa Penida from Bali for every budget. The cheapest way is to book the Ferry with 12go and the easiest way is to book the Fastboat with hotel pick-up in Bali with GetYourGuide.
How to get to the Nusa Islands
There are three main options to get to Nusa Penida depending on your budget and how many logistics you want to manage. Here are the three options with the cheapest first:
- Book your ticket: Sanur (Bali) to Nusa Lembongan – Book a regular ferry that leaves from Sanur to Nusa Penida on the reliable website 12go. You then need to moped or taxi across to Nusa Penida via another ferry/boat.
- Book a fast boat: Sanur (Bali) to Nusa Penida – This option is great as you go direct from Bali to Penida without having to stop in Lembongan. This option is only slightly more expensive than stopping in Lembongan. This is my favorite option of the three and can be booked on Klook.
- Book a fast boat with hotel-pick up: Sanur (Bali) to Nusa Penida – This option includes a fast boat from Sanur (Bali) to Nusa Penida but also includes pick up from your hotel in Bali in a van. This option from GetYourGuide is a bit more expensive but takes all the hassle out of the transit from Bali to Nusa Penida.
CHEAPEST WAY: BALI TO NUSA PENIDA FERRY
Don’t have time to read the whole post? No problem! I’ll jump to the important bit. The best, easiest, most reliable way to book a ticket for the ferry to Nusa Penida from Bali is to go book online for the Ferry with 12go. This way you book at the correct price, have online proof of ticket, and don’t need to wait to book in person at the dock.
TIPS FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I’ve personally made the journey 6 times on the ferry to and from Penida so I know the drill from all locations and have got you covered with this blog post about how to get to Nusa Penida from Bali and other locations. I’ll cover ticket prices, how to book, whether you need an open ticket or not, and also the different routes and options available.
GETTING TO THE FERRY PORT IN BALI
Bali is a large island, comprises of many different regions so depending on where you are staying in Bali, will depend on how long it takes to get to the port. All of the transits leave from the port of Sanur which is in Southeast Bali (Some do also leave from Padang Bai). It is approximately 45 minutes driving from Seminyak or 35 minutes driving from Kuta. Often traffic and multiple pick-ups from your van/taxi service will make that time a bit longer. If you are looking for a ferry ticket with hotel-pickup, this is the best option: Penida Fastboat + hotel pick-up in Bali with GetYourGuide.
SHOULD YOU BOOK ONLINE OR AT THE PORT?
You can head down to the port and book your ticket there but from my experience, it is always cheaper to book in advance online. Otherwise, you will arrive at the port, line up for a ticket then have to wait for the ferry whenever that is. If you book online you can simply arrive just before your ferry leaves. So best to book the ferry online with 12GO.
DO I NEED A SPEEDBOAT OR IS A FERRY OKAY?
If you travel to Lombok, it can be important to take a speed boat instead of a ferry. This can save you more than 3 hours in transit time due to the distance between Lombok and Bali. From Bali to Nusa Penida the distance is much shorter and a speedboat isn’t paramount due to the short distance. However, the ferry is the local transit option so you will naturally have to deal with a bit of chaos compared to a more expensive fast-boat option.
GETTING FROM NUSA PENIDA TO NUSA LEMBONGAN
You can get from Nusa Penida to Nusa Lembongan and vice versa and you don’t need to book that in advance. There is a small boat leaving every hour. However it is possible to also book that leg of the journey with 12GO.
THE BENEFIT TO BOOKING ONLINE
I always book the ferry online with 12GO as the price is fixed and there are guarantees. I prefer not to have to haggle with the vendors on the street in Bali when I don’t have to because it’s easy to be misled and you never know how to trust.
Okay, so those are a few tips now let’s look at how to get to Nusa Penida from Bali via ferry or boat.
HOW TO GET FROM SANUR (BALI) TO NUSA PENIDA
The ferry leaves multiple times per day from Sanur (South-east Bali). To book the ferry to Nusa Penida online in advance for the guaranteed lowest price you can click the link below to reserve your ticket via the booking company I use for all of my train and boat tickets in Southeast Asia called 12GO. This online booking agency is generally pretty reliable all over Asia, so I stick with what works to avoid issues with new websites and agents. Below I have put the link to the search page for Sanur to Nusa Penida where the tickets are usually around $10 one way.
Book your ticket with 12GO: Sanur(Bali) to Nusa Penida Ferry
BOOKING THE CONVENIENT PACKAGE DEAL
If you prefer to have everything handled in a package deal, you will pay a bit extra but it can be convenient. Generally, at your hotel, hostel, or at a vendor on the street you can book an ‘open’ ferry ticket to Nusa Penida that includes a return ticket and pick-up and drop-off from your hotel. It will cost around $30-$40. You can also book the package deal online with GetYourGuide. This may sound expensive but when you consider you get the following:
- Pick-up from hotel in Bali and dropped to Sanur Port
- Ferry to Nusa Lembonga/Penida
- Ferry back to Bali
- Pick-up from Sanur Port and dropped at your hotel in Bali
The $40 ticket is an ‘open ticket‘. This means when you want to return back to Bali from Nusa Penida, you go to the office in Nusa Penida with your ‘receipt of purchase’ (or Nusa Lembongan) and ask for an ‘actual ticket’ for the next day. Pretty simple process.
The pick-up will get you from your hotel and is often a big van that is making several stops along the way. They are always full by the end so don’t think you have hit the jackpot with a full back-row to yourself. Enjoy it while it lasts. You will organize the pickup from your hotel when you make an online booking.
The journey to Sanur Port from Canggu takes about an hour, from Seminyak 45 minutes, from Kuta 35 minutes, and Ubud well just cross your fingers and hope for under an hour depending on traffic. Once you arrive at the port, the driver will hand you over to the representative who takes you straight to the office and they will tag your bag and give you a sticker so the boatmen know you are on the right boat.
It’s likely you will have to wait about an hour (possibly more) before your actual ferry leaves but that is just how it goes. Your big luggage will be put below the deck by the staff and you will take a seat. Tip: grab a window seat as it can often get stuffy and hot inside the cabin. Depending on the boat you may be able to get onto the roof and enjoy the wind. Keep your small bag with personal belongings with you during the trip.
When you arrive you will depart the boat and wait for the boys to pass your luggage down the chain until it is clear of the water. Welcome to Nusa Penida you have made it!
HOW TO GET TO NUSA PENIDA FROM NUSA LEMBONGAN
If you are on Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan and want to transfer between the two it is quite easy. There is a small boat operating pretty much every hour that you will pay about $4-5 for a ticket to ride across the channel. It is only about a 10-minute ride but you can take your full luggage if you want. It is possible to book this short ferry trip online with 12Go or you can book it in person when you arrive.
Many will leave their big luggage at their hotel on Nusa Lembongan and just take an overnight bag with a change of clothes for 1-3 days on Penida so they aren’t limited by too much luggage. It’s a good idea.
If you are on Nusa Lembongan trying to go to Nusa Penida the best place to get the boat is from the yellow bridge. There is a small unofficial-looking building there where you buy your ticket and wait. On the Nusa Penida side just head down to the Toya Pakeh Harbor and that will shuttle you across to Nusa Lembongan.
HOW TO GET TO NUSA PENIDA FROM BALI AIRPORT
The best way to get to Nusa Penida from Bali Airport (Ngurah Rai Airport) is to get a taxi or a Grab (like an Uber) at the airport to the harbor in Sanur called ‘Sanur Beach Harbor’ on Google Maps. It will take about 30-40 minutes from the Bali Airport to the Sanur Beach Harbor. I suggest NOT booking your ticket in advance in case you have a plane delay. The best thing to do is just get down to the harbor and then ask at any of the booths for a ticket to Nusa Penida.
HOW TO GET FROM NUSA PENIDA TO LOMBOK
It is possible to get from Nusa Lembongan to Lombok but not currently possible directly from Nusa Penida. That just means you take the 10-minute boat trip to Nusa Lembongan from Nusa Penida and you can skip across to Lombok without having to go all the way back to Sanur, Bali, which is pretty convenient.
CAN YOU GET TO THE GILI ISLANDS FROM NUSA PENIDA
It is possible to get from Nusa Lembongan to the Gili Islands but not currently possible directly from Nusa Penida. That just means you take the 10-minute boat trip to Nusa Lembongan from Nusa Penida and you can make your way over to the Gili Islands without having to go all the way back to Sanur, Bali.
HOW MUCH LUGGAGE CAN YOU TAKE ON THE NUSA PENIDA FERRY
Almost all of the ferries have the same rule, allowing two pieces of luggage weighing up to 30KG in total. Interestingly, none of them actually weigh your baggage so I’m not sure how this is actually enforced. The luggage is stored on the deck, shielded by a sizable tarp to prevent water damage but I suggest keeping your valuables in your carry-on backpack as they do tend to throw the baggage around a bit.
IS THE FERRY TO NUSA PENIDA SAFE?
Generally the ferries seem quite safe but the safety standards also seem pretty loose. I’m sure there are life vests but are there enough? The ferries are often quite battered and old so that also doesn’t fill me with confidence. It’s only a short trip but on rougher days, I’m sure the risk does go up. I wish I could write that it is a very safe trip and you should have no concerns but due to cost-cutting and loose safety standards these ferries are not free of danger. A ferry sunk off Bali in 2018 with 50 people on board. Six people died in that incident. Another boat crashed and sank traveling from Bali to Nusa Penida in 2023. There were no casualties in that incident but passengers had to jump into the ocean in lifejackets and their belongings sank.
BEST NUSA PENIDA DAY TOURS
If you are staying in Bali.. take a day trip on a speedboat to explore the highlights of Nusa Penida. It takes just 35 minutes to get from Bali to Nusa Penida by speed boat. Yep, in just one day you can snorkel with Manta rays and visit lots of the best beaches and viewpoints.
Manta Ray Snorkeling Tour
Manta Ray Nusa Penida Tour (from Bali): Snorkeling with Manta Rays is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one of the best wildlife encounters I’ve had in my life. The Manta Rays are majestic and very friendly. With a wingspan of 5m, these gentle giants cruise around you while you snorkel amongst them. The Nusa Penida Manta Ray Snorkel Tour includes pick up and drop off from your hotel in Bali and all transport and tickets included.
Nusa Penida Highlights Tour
Nusa Penida Highlights Tour: Get picked-up from your Bali hotel, take a 35-minute fast boat to Nusa Penida and then visit the most popular viewpoints, beaches and snorkel spots on the island. This small Nusa Penida Highlights Tour group tour is the most highly reviewed day trip for Nusa Penida Island. You’ll visit all the most popular spots and can request certain viewpoints on your itinerary. Places you will visit are sites like the ones listed below:
- Angel’s Billabong
- Kelingking T-Rex Beach
- Broken Beach
- Rumah Pohon Treehouse
- Snorkeling at Crystal Bay
- Thousand Island Viewpoint
MORE NUSA ISLANDS BLOG POSTS
There are a ton of epic things to do on Nusa Penida, but I also wrote detailed guides for all of the adventurous things to do on Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan. You can explore more of my guides by clicking one of the links below.