Should you visit Nusa Penida?
Nusa Penida is one of the most Instagrammable places in Indonesia, thanks to its spectacular views such as Kelingling beach and Broken beach. Tourists from all over, especially from Bali, travel to Nusa Penida to experience this small island first hand. The thing is that if you’re traveling to Bali and thinking “is it worth visiting Nusa Penida, even if it is just for a day”, well read all about it here to answer your question!
Thankfully, there’s organised tours that take tourists for the day to show them all that Nusa Penida has to offer. I personally opted out from this, as I wanted to fly solo and not be depended on anyone else. You can easily find these tours with a simple google search. However, bare in mind these start super early in the day and most probably, you’ll be accompanied by a large group of other tourists. So, all in all, this trip is purely on visiting Instagram hot-spots, taking pictures and then return back to Bali.
We arrived at Sanur, Bali’s port, to catch one of the many boat cruises to Nusa Penida. There’s boats every two hours, so plan ahead if you’re flying solo. We took Angel Billabong boats, and full disclosure, it’s not the easiest thing to do. If you’re traveling with many suitcases, well, don’t. Try to take with you the bare minimum, as getting on the boat requires you to get knees deep in the water. Boat porters will carry your luggage on boats the same way. Although the trip was just a mere 45 minutes, if you get sea sick, try to choose a seat at the very back of the boat next to a window or on the upper deck.
Here’s something I hadn’t read online prior to my trip to Nusa Penida: the roads are horrendous. Be very careful on how you’re planning on going around, as it might be super dangerous driving on a motorcycle. I jokingly said that ‘I think the term “get ready for a bumpy ride” was coined there’ and that doesn’t even begin to describe it. If you get car sick, perhaps you should avoid visiting Angel Billabong and Broken beach. I have seen many tourists riding on motorcycles and looked like they feared for their life, so I truly recommend getting a car/driver to get you there.
The thing with this place is that there’s a lot, and I mean a lot of people who visit daily. This means that sometimes, there’s even a queue to actually see the place and take that Instagram gold content. I personally find this ridiculous (#hypocrite), so if you don’t mind that, then that shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you opt to “fly solo” and not partake in a day tour, chances are you’ll find less people. This is because organised day tours are in the early AM. So, if you go later on in the day, the group tours would have already moved to the next stop.
We decided to spend the night there, something that I don’t regret as we were exhausted. This was because we were on full tour mode throughout our trip or maybe because getting to Nusa Penida and its hot spots was exhausting but that, I recommend. Although the hotel we stayed at was pretty decent, if you’re a luxury traveler, odds are you won’t find something to suit your needs. This applies to restaurants as well. But hey, we had a margarita pizza at the hotel and it was just what we needed.
All in all, I just want to say that indeed, Nusa Penida is a stunning island. It is so raw and real that contributes to its beauty. However, with that being said, if you’re trying to decide whether you should visit for the day or staying an extra day in Bali, I would opt out. Although I don’t regret visiting, I wouldn’t 100% recommend it as I think the whole experience wasn’t my cup of tea. I think it has become an Instagram phenomenon and thus attracts a vast amount of tourists who’s sole purpose is to take pictures. Personally, that bugs me, and isn’t worth the “struggle” to get there just to take pictures and go back. Hope y’all don’t hate me for this.
If you’re planning on visiting Bali, read my complete 10 day itinerary here! Funny enough, it does actually involve Nusa Penida.
Thank you for reading this post, and I hope you enjoyed it! I hope this has helped you in planning your next trip to Indonesia!