Imagine a tropical island with striking cliffs, lush green jungles and an ocean so blue you have to pinch yourself to check if it’s real. Now dream that you have the entire island practically to yourself. No selfie sticks interfering with your views, no traffic and honking horns distracting you from your surroundings, just raw, natural beauty everywhere you look.
The Island of Nusa Penida is less than 1 hour by speed boat from mainland Bali and less than 30 from Nusa Lembongan. Surprisingly, even with its close proximity to Bali it has somehow managed to fly under the radar and keep its magical ways. How long this gem will remain a gem is hard to know, which is why you better be quick if you want to experience the magic that is Nusa Penida.
Nusa Penida is all about natural beauty and in comparison to its neighbouring islands Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, Penida is extremely undeveloped. If you plan on staying a couple nights be prepared for a very quiet stay but appreciate it for the rare commodity that it is. Because of the size of the island and the road conditions it’s almost impossible to get to all the sights the island has to offer in just one day.
Swimming with manta rays in Nusa Penida is possibly the best thing you might possible want to do in Bali.
It is hard to adequately describe the incredible experience of swimming with manta rays. The few moments of chaos as you get into the water, waiting for the bubbles to clear and to orientate yourself, and then, the magical, silent and graceful approach of a manta ray from the blue. A localised area of upwelling at Manta Point off Nusa Penida creates the perfect manta ray cafetaria, and although the water is a little chilly, visitors who go swimming with manta rays here are not disappointed as the manta rays abound
Some of the more beautiful places around the island include Broken Beach, Angel’s Billabong, Karang Dawa View Point, Crystal Bay for snorkelling and Goa Giri Putri a sacred cave. On a day trip from Nusa Lembongan we managed to take in Banah Cliff, Broken Beach, Karan Dawa as well as spend an hour relaxing on Crystal Bay Beach.
How to get there
From the Bali mainland, boats mostly depart from the Padangbai seaport in East Bali, but you can also hop on a boat from Sanur. Most visitors usually visit Lembongan and Ceningan first, then add a boat ride to Penida as an extended tour on their Nusa Islands trip
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