Nusa Penida is a small island southeast of Bali in Indonesia, with some of the most beautiful beaches on earth. A lot of people are making daily trips from Bali to Nusa Penida, so the “attractions” in the west and northwest of the island are sometimes very crowded. Nevertheless, we would recommend spending at least one full day on this paradise island. We spent 8 nights on Nusa Penida and could have stayed even longer – we fell in love with it.
It is not death most people are afraid of. It is getting to the end of life, only to realise, that you never truly lived.
There are so many beautiful things to see here, so we made a list to give you an overview of our 6 favourite things to do on Nusa Penida! You can also check these out on the map below.
1. Rent a scooter
A scooter is the best way to discover Nusa Penida island. Don’t be afraid of the terrible roads people talk about, as not all roads are like this. Also, if you drive carefully and concentrate, these won’t be a problem for you. If you feel like you’re unsteady on the scooter as a couple, it’s better to each have your own scooter and you will find it’s much easier. To rent a scooter, you can ask at your accommodation for a scooter or you can rent a scooter directly at the harbour.
2. Buy fruit at the local market, Pasar Toyapakeh
The market is located in a big hall near the Toya Pakeh Harbour of Nusa Penida (if you can’t find it, ask some locals for help). You can find a lot of different varieties here, especially vegetables, blossoms (for the flower bath) and fruits – but also meat, fish and some clothes. Our favourite fruit on Nusa Penida were Mangosteen (you must try them, they’re unbelievably good!) and the small bananas which are also very delicious.
3. Eat Mie Goreng at Alam Selumbung
This super cute restaurant (and amazing hotel) is located in Selumbung village around 20 minutes from the harbour by scooter. The wonderful woman who cooks there together with her mother, is super friendly and makes the best Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng. You pay for a whole meal (including drinks) for less than €3. For dessert, you should try her banana pancakes! The best pancakes we’ve ever eaten, and we’ve eaten a lot of them…
4. Snorkel at Gamat Bay
Gamat Bay is a one of the quietest beaches on Nusa Penida. There’s no parking area where you have to pay, as well as no bars or shops where you can buy drinks or food. So be sure to take enough food & water along with you.
If it’s high tide the beach is more or less gone, so you have to walk through the water to reach the bay and the dry grass where you can leave your stuff (without getting wet). It’s useful to inform yourself about the tides if you want to lay down at the beach.
TIP: You can download the app Tides Near Me to check high and low tide times in your area!
The bay is perfect for snorkelling and you don’t have to book a tour – you can do it by yourself so just bring the necessary equipment with you! Unfortunately, you can’t drive directly to the beach (on the way you pass Alam Selumbung, perfect stop for some food), you have to park the scooter around 10 minutes away from the bay and walk down a little hill. Don’t let this deter you, it’s not as exhausting as the walk to Atuh Beach or Kelingking Beach!
5. Watch the sunset at Amok Sunset
Amok Sunset is a lovely bar (with pool) located at the edge of Nusa Penida. At the edge you have a wonderful view towards Nusa Ceningan and in the background, you can see Bali – this place is a perfect chill spot for sunset.
Drinks and dishes are more expensive than the local places, but nevertheless cheaper then in Europe (e.g. beer €2, cocktail €6, marinated duck with rice €11, avocado sandwich €5).
If you drive to Amok Sunset you will pass Alam Selumbung, then drive around 25 minutes further from there. The journey and scenery to Amok Sunset is really beautiful and you pass a wonderful view point too.
If you drive back home after watching the sunset, be sure to drive slowly and carefully because there are some really big holes on the road which you’ll notice. It’s very useful and safe if your scooter has a functioning light in the front, so check this before you accept the scooter.
Also, Gamat Bay is on the way to Amok Sunset, so it’s a great idea to combine these two trips: snorkeling at Gamat Bay and watching the sunset at Amok Sunset afterwards.
6. Day-trip to Diamond Beach and Atuh Beach
Depending on where your accommodation is situated, this could be a super long trip for you. The distance from the harbour to these two beaches is around 30km. With the scooter you need around one and a half hours due to some parts of the road not being in the best condition.
It’s important to take the correct route and park at “Atuh Beach Parking” (which is how it’s named on Google Maps). If you take the wrong way you’ll drive only to Atuh Beach and won’t have access to Diamond Beach.
At the parking area you have to pay around €1 (for two people and a scooter). If you walk straight to the coast you can see Diamond Beach on the right-hand side and Atuh Beach on the left side.
The moment you see Diamond Beach is when you realise that the long journey was definitely worth it. Diamond Beach was one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen – it’s just a perfect place. To get down, you have to walk down some steps (15 to 20 minutes) to reach the beach. The way back up is definitely a challenge and can be really exhausting due to the sun and the big steps, but it’s definitely worth it. Just make sure you only go down if you can get back up!
Down at the beach you can find a little shop where you can buy something to drink and eat. There’s also the possibility to take some photos at a typical Bali-Nest or swing. Down at Diamond Beach there aren’t any loungers or parasols, so you have to be careful as there very few spots which are in the shade.
Furthermore, you should keep a close eye on the tide levels here, as the beach gets really small if it’s high tide – again, be sure to download the Tides Near Me app. In comparison to other beaches, Diamond Beach is a quiet and empty beach and of course a perfect place for taking some lovely photos.
Athu Beach is on the other side of the cliff and the way downstairs is a little bit longer, but the views are also fantastic. Down at the beach you’ve a large choice of bars and restaurants and you can also rent a lounger. There are also parasols next to the loungers so plenty of shade on this beach! It’s also very quiet with little crowds, making it the perfect place to relax, drink from a coconut, eat some Mie Goreng and swim in the beautiful sea.
We hope you got value from this post and if you have anything to add, any questions or more tips, please share your thoughts with us in the comments below! We would love to read them.
Lots of love,
A happy and inspiring travel couple living sustainably in Germany!