Nusa Penida is the biggest of the three Nusa Islands just off from mainland Bali. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan make up the trio of islands, each with uniquely breath-taking landscapes. There are so many awesome things to do on Nusa Penida Island BUT you are probably looking for 3-day itinerary that packs the best stuff into just a few days.
The Perfect Nusa Penida 3-day Itinerary
If you are looking for a huge list of all 27 places I’ve visited on Nusa Penida, you can check that out. If you want an epic 3-day Nusa Penida Itinerary, that is what this blog post is all about. I’ll give you a few different options of 3-day plans and also detail the activities within those itineraries. I’ll also share tips on how to get around, how to get to Nusa Penida, where to stay and a few tours I actually do recommend like the Manta Ray Nusa Penida Tour.
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.
NUSA PENIDA ITINERARY: 3-DAY PLAN
Okay, so when I made the plan for you of what to do each day, I chose locations near each other but also in a specific order so that you aren’t just at lookouts all day in the hot sun. You need to break up the day with hikes and viewpoints followed swims at the beach. So this is a mixture of activities followed by refreshing dips in the water. That’s how I usually try and plan otherwise you run out of energy by midday because Nusa Penida gets HOT!
I went to all of these spots with a motorbike but please, please drive carefully. I railed myself once on Nusa Penida pretty bad and the island has claimed so many victims with its slippery and gravel roads. You will do a bit of driving getting to and from each spot but that is just par for the course. I’ve added quite a bit to each day below but if it is a bit overwhelming just remove one location. This isn’t a competition to collect bucketlist spots, feel free to remove a few spots to have a more relaxing day.
BEST NUSA PENIDA TOURS!
These are the four most popular Nusa Penida Tours. I’ve done all four and they are AWESOME!
NUSA PENIDA ITINERARY DAY 1:
- Enjoy Sunrise at Atuh Beach
- Walk down the stairs to Diamond Beach
- Tembeling Forest, Pool & Beach (If you want to pack a lot in)
- Thousand Island Viewpoint and the famous Nusa Penida Treehouse (for sunset if you want to drive back in dark)
NUSA PENIDA ITINERARY DAY 2:
- Angel Billabong (Check tide times as it is important to be at low tide when you visit)
- Broken Beach
- Kelingking Beach
- Kelingking Cliff viewpoint
- Crystal Bay for sunset
NUSA PENIDA ITINERARY DAY 3:
- Snorkeling with the Manta Rays morning tour
- Snorkel at Gamat Bay (included in the tour)
- Peguyangan Stair Trek
- Banah Cliffs for sunset
SWIM WITH MANTA RAYS ON NUSA PENIDA!
So that is the basic itinerary I would suggest for three full days on Nusa Penida. Obviously, you need to take into account the travel from Bali will take about half a day so you need almost 5 days in total to complete this 3-day Nusa Penida itinerary as you need a day of transit on either end. Below, I’ll detail each location listed in the itinerary with photos and information.
NUSA PENIDA ITINERARY: DAY 1
Enjoy Sunrise at Atuh Beach
Atuh Beach is one of the most picturesque and beautiful beaches on Nusa Penida, an island off the southeastern coast of Bali, Indonesia. It’s s a stunning white sand beach surrounded by the huge cliffs and remarkable rock formations. An arch sits directly out from the shore while several islets string off in the distance.
Read the full blog post: Beautiful Atuh Beach on Nusa Penida
Walk down the stairs to Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach, found at the easternmost point of Nusa Penida Island in Indonesia, is well-known for its stunning look. With its white sandy beach, clear blue-green water, and massive cliffs, the beach is a sight to behold. The place got its name from the diamond-like rock structures scattered around, but there’s one rock that stands out.
Right in the shallow waters, there’s a rock shaped like a diamond, and it’s probably the reason why the beach is named ‘Diamond Beach’. To get down to the beach, you’ve got to use a set of stairs carved straight out of the cliffs. And trust me, the panoramic views you get during that descent are worth every step.
Read the full blog post: Diamond Beach on Nusa Penida
Tembeling Forest, Pool & Beach
Tembeling Beach, tucked away at the end of a thrilling motorbike journey through the woods, is a secret gem worth exploring. It’s a place you’d like if you’re up for an adventure that’s not crowded with tourists. On the way, you’ll come across Tembeling’s natural pools.
Imagine a scene straight from a jungle film – that’s what the Tembeling Forest looks like from inside the canyon. After soaking in that sight, you can move down the winding stairs leading to the Tembeling Natural Pools. There are two pools, with the first one being the largest. Despite being surrounded by orange and brown cliffs, the water in the pool is surprisingly clear and blue.
Follow the trail further and you’ll reach Tembeling Beach. Although it’s not the best beach on Nusa Penida, it’s worth a visit. The beach is flanked by towering cliffs and has a small stretch of sand. While the sea here can be a bit rough, the natural pools offer a safer option for swimming. Be sure to keep an eye on the currents and stay safe.
View full blog post: TEMBELING BEACH, NATURAL POOL & FOREST ON NUSA PENIDA
Thousand Island Viewpoint and the famous Nusa Penida Treehouse
Firstly, you might be wondering what Pulau Seribu means and it actually just means Thousand Island. This location is sometimes referred to as Pulau Seribu and sometimes as the Thousand Island Viewpoint so I thought I would reference both.
There are several viewpoints that have had fences and structures added to them for the benefit of tourists. There are huge drop-offs here so the fences are to keep tourists safe!
To get to the first viewpoint you need to climb down the steep stairway for about 10 minutes. Once we reached this first viewpoint we were pretty awestruck. The view is incredible! We could see a small little empty beach sitting at the bottom of the cliff. It was paradise.
We continued on to the second viewpoint and then to the Instagram famous Tree House. There was nobody inside but the door was locked. We took a few photos here and debated whether or not we would stay out here. We all concluded it would be worth it for the feeling of enjoying the sunrise on the balcony of the treehouse!
Read the full blog post: Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu) Viewpoint
NUSA PENIDA ITINERARY: DAY 2
Angel Billabong (Check tide times as it is important to be at low tide when you visit)
Angel’s Billabong is one of the magical spots you can’t help but marvel at. A crystal clear tide pool cascades into the ocean on the east coast of Nusa Penida. Out in that ocean, Manta Rays cruise the coast at leisure.
As with all tidal pools you need to arrive at the right time of day. If you visit Angel’s Billabong during high-tide you will experience a very different pool than the one you see in photos. You will need to check the tide using a site like Magic Seaweed. Once you figure out when the low tide is, you should plan your itinerary around that. On the day we wanted to visit Angel’s Billabong the low tide was at 8 am so we arrived right at 8 am and it was perfect.
The Billabong is a remarkable formation. The crystal clear water allows you to see the patterns and textures beneath the surface. In some areas, the water is deep enough for a little dip! It is a highly photographed spot on Nusa Penida because of how unique the landscape is.
Broken Beach is an incredible little cove on Nusa Penida island. The highlight of the cove and the reason it is called Broken Beach is due to the archway that wraps around the bay allowing water to flow in and out from the ocean.
All around the world, there are unique ways in which the earth has eroded over time. Sometimes mother nature leaves us with something quite remarkable. On Nusa Penida, one of those places that leave us in a state of awe at how over millions of years the earth has ended up as beautiful as it appears before us right now!
The arch at Broken Beach has been formed over many, many years and is now a true spectacle. From above the cove appears almost circular and closed in, however, at eye level the arch is quite high. Unfortunately, there is no way down into the cove for a refreshing dip although you can get in the water at Angel’s Billabong around the corner.
The Instagram famous coastal cliffscape, which truly does look like a T-rex didn’t disappoint. I still remember the moment I laid eyes on the beach below. It felt like I was a human drone. I watched the crystal clear water slowly form into a wave before crashing below us, in what seemed like slow motion.
We took a short trek down the spine of the T-Rex and took in the epic drop-offs down each side. This is definitely my favorite thing to do on Nusa Penida and is just one of those landscapes that make you feel small. It makes you feel lucky to be in its company, to be able to witness earth’s creation.
Nusa Penida has so many amazing views making it hard to pick a favorite. But when the cliffs form in the shape of a Tyrannosaurus Rex at Kelingking Secret Point Beach it is bound to be a crowd favorite.
Kelingking actually translates into English meaning Pinkie a term referencing the smallest finger on the hand. Just like a pinkie promise, the land does also appear to take the form of a Kelingking or pinkie finger. However, it is the comparison to the T-Rex that has caused this location to become so popular.
Kelingking Cliff viewpoint
Here is a great little tip for enjoying Kelingking Secret Point Beach from a unique angle. Instead of hiking down the stairs, head to the right along the cliffs. There is a worn path along the cliff edge but no railing so be careful. Here you can find multiple epic viewpoints, with arguably a better look at the beach than the hike.
It’s an awesome spot for sunset and doesn’t involve any hiking for those of you out there looking for the easy option. We came back two nights later after our beach session down at the bottom and just caught the sunset up on these cliffs. Definitely one of the best sunset spots on the island of Nusa Penida and a unique angle of Kelingking Secret Point Beach.
Crystal Bay for sunset
Crystal Bay is probably the most popular beach on Nusa Penida for a number of reasons. It is the best sunset beach, facing directly west. This alone makes it a winner for people trying to have a sunset beer and watch the sun go down. It’s also the jump-off spot for snorkel tours and is only a 30-minute drive from the main port, Toyapakeh. Most importantly, unlike many of the crazy beaches on Penida, you can snorkel and swim with relaxing conditions.
NUSA PENIDA ITINERARY: DAY 3
Snorkeling with the Manta Rays morning tour
Book now by clicking here: Nusa Penida Manta Snorkel Tour
When we jumped into the water we were immediately staring face to face with a giant Manta Ray, which is one of the most majestic creatures of the ocean. More than five Manta Rays playfully looped around the bay, entertaining the group of snorkelers. The Manta Rays always seem playful and loop back again and again unlike turtles or fish, which often swim away at the sight of humans. The Manta Rays will often actually head straight for you and then dart off to the side at the last minute.
Snorkel at Gamat Bay (included in the tour)
We jumped off the boat, and immediately realized the water at Gamat Bay is much colder than at Manta Point and Crystal Bay. I’m not sure why that is. The second thing we noticed was the incredible coral structures and rock formations beneath the surface. The depth ranged from a few meters closer to shore all the way down to a perfect free-diving depth of 5-20 meters.
Our guide told us this is where you can see a turtle if you are lucky. We looked long and hard and finally, we found a turtle who let us chill near him for ten minutes as he went about his business. The water clarity at Gamat was perfect!
Peguyangan Stair Trek
Peguyangan Waterfall is one of my favorite spots on Nusa Penida because it has a mix of everything. Up and down those steep blue stairs is a workout. Then you add in the spectacular coastal cliff views that are the trademark of the island. Finally mix that in with the tradition and culture of the sacred temple and the waterfall, which is a pilgrimage site and you have this awesome blend in one spot!
The hike down takes about 20 minutes, leading you down to the pilgrimage site. The sacred temple is based on the water blessing. I spoke to one of the locals who was going through his ritual. There are three spouts.
In order, they must shower underneath each and then use the fourth main spout to finish. This is how they cleanse themselves and receive blessings. I didn’t go under the three smaller spouts but the local guys who were dressed in just a sarong or underwear for the boy invited me to shower under the main spout.
Shrines and trinkets are spread throughout the sacred site, which eventually leads you down to cascading pools. These pools have the purest of water, it looks like bottled water it’s so clear! The rock pools are tiered down until they eventually flow out into the ocean.
It’s a really beautiful area and has so many different things going on. As we left there was a ceremony taking place with 20 locals sat on the ground being led through a prayer.
Banah Cliffs for sunset
Banah Cliffs is another epic viewpoint on Nusa Penida. The view down the coast at Banah is striking. As we sat on the edge and looked down we couldn’t even figure out how big the drop was. When we threw a rock off the edge, we never saw it hit the ground, such was the scale.
The cliffs are known as a great sunset spot just like Kelingking, which is just down the road! There are two defined ‘spots’ at Banah Cliffs, one involves a short walk and one is right next to the parking lot. The highlight at Banah Cliffs is the arch out in the ocean. A small rock arch sits out in the crystal clear water. We spent a couple of hours at both sites at Banah Cliffs taking in the epic coastline.
Nusa Penida Transport
The island is quite big and it can take over an hour to cruise from one side to another depending on where your accommodation is located. For this Nusa Penida itinerary, you will need a bike (or renting a van and driver) although the roads are improving very quickly throughout Nusa Penida as tourist traffic increases if you are a novice scooter driver this is gonna be an interesting journey for you!
A motorbike costs a little bit more than on Bali mainland. We got ours for 70,000 rupiahs per day with a full tank of gas. It wasn’t deal of the year but don’t expect to haggle down to 40,000 rupiahs as you might manage on the streets of Canggu or Kuta.
Warning: this island is notorious for bike crashes due to the bad roads. I railed myself here going around a corner. Drive slower than normal. Trust me.