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Nusa Penida, located southeast of Bali, is a fascinating island that’s perfect for either a few days’ holiday or a day trip. We decided to explore this island on our own and spent a great day snorkelling and visiting some unique beaches.

In this article, we’ll share some valuable tips for planning your visit to Nusa Penida in one day!

Of all the places we visited during our trip to Indonesia, Nusa Penida was one of our favourites. This island is still relatively undiscovered for now, but it is gaining in popularity due to the beauty of its extraordinary beaches. Therefore, we highly recommend that you consider a visit to Nusa Penida in a day at the earliest, before it is taken by storm by mass tourism. Below, you will find some useful information if you are planning 1 day trip Nusa Penida, such as how to get around the island and how to get from Bali to Nusa Penida!

Why spend 1 day in Nusa Penida?

Nusa Penida is an island located off the south coast of Bali, Indonesia. In recent years, the island has gained popularity as a tourist destination due to its natural beauty and authentic culture. If you are thinking of visiting Nusa Penida in one day, here are some good reasons to do so:

  • The rich coral reef: Nusa Penida is a great destination for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. The island is home to a rich coral reef, which is home to a variety of tropical fish, corals and other sea creatures. You can see sea turtles, rays, sharks and even manta rays. There are many snorkelling and diving areas around the island, with crystal-clear waters and exceptional visibility. You can snorkel right from the beach or join a guided tour. 
  • The beaches: Nusa Penida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia. The beaches are characterised by fine white sand, crystal-clear waters and breathtaking cliffs. Some of the most famous beaches include Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong.
  • Breathtaking views: Nusa Penida offers breathtaking views. The island’s cliffs offer spectacular views of the ocean and beaches. You can admire the views from the top of the cliffs or take a hike to see the coastline up close.

How to get to Nusa Penida: the ferry from Bali to Nusa Penida in one day

The only way to reach Nusa Penida in one day is by sea, as the island doesn’t have an airport.

The nearest destination is Bali, from where you can take a fast ferry from the port of Sanur or Padang Bai.
The fastest route from Bali to Nusa Penida in a day is from Sanur harbour to Banjar Nyuh pier, with a total journey time of about 45 minutes. This is perfect for not wasting time if you need to visit Nusa Penida in one day.

Several local companies offer round-trip services from Bali to Nusa Penida by fast ferry at an approximate cost of €30. The first ferry leaves at around 07:30, while the last one back is at 16:30, which is the best time to make the most of your day in Nusa Penida. You can buy your Bali to Nusa Penida ferry tickets in advance online or at the port. Either way, we suggest you get there a bit early, as there might be a queue at the ticket office (even if you buy online, you’ll still need to go to the ticket office to get your ID bracelet for boarding).

An important recommendation is to plan your trip of 1 day in Nusa Penida only after checking the weather and sea conditions, as ferries may be cancelled in case of adverse conditions. Also, once you arrive in Nusa Penida, some activities such as snorkelling may be suspended if the sea is rough.

Nusa Penida one day trip: Getting around Nusa Penida

When it comes to getting around Nusa Penida in one day, there are two alternatives we recommend: renting a scooter or a car.

The distances to cover in a single day are quite short, so we recommend you opt for the scooter for several reasons:

  • Nusa Penida does not suffer from the same traffic congestion problems as Bali;
  • The roads on the island are generally well maintained;
  • You will find it less difficult to find parking spaces near major attractions, such as Kelingkin Beach;
  • You will avoid long queues to enter or exit car parks.
Passeggiata lungo il mare azzurro dell'isola di Nusa Penida in Indonesia - 1 day trip nusa penida

Nusa Penida one day trip: Nusa Penida waterfront

1 day trip Nusa Penida: Snorkelling in the coral gardens and swimming in the current

Despite the limited time available in a trip of  1 day in Nusa Penida, we highly recommend a snorkelling trip, as there are some truly beautiful spots on the island. Classic tours last about two hours and will give you the opportunity to explore some amazing spots:

  • Mantas Bay: this spot is located to the south of the island and is known for the probability of spotting manta rays, even if only by looking out from the cliff above;
  • Dolphin Bay: this is located next to Mantas Bay and is visible from Broken Beach. Here, with a bit of luck, you can snorkel and observe dolphins playing in the waves; we spotted them in the afternoon;
  • Crystal Bay: this spot is located on the west coast of Nusa Penida and is characterised by slightly deep waters and beautiful corals;
  • Gamat Bay: this bay is located north of Crystal Bay and is known for its shallower waters, ideal for fun snorkelling in the current following the southern reef;
  • Coral Garden in Manet Beach: in front of the white sand tongue of Manet Beach, you will find a beautiful coral garden, where you can admire many colourful corals and have close encounters with turtles.

You can book a snorkelling tour at one of the many tourist agencies along the road along the beach when you arrive in Nusa Penida. In particular, we recommend you consider the agency ‘Snorkelling at Nusa Penida’, located near the marina in Maruti.

Nusa Penida 1 day trip: Where to have lunch

There are loads of restaurants and local warungs on the island, both along the coast and inland. You can stop off and enjoy delicious local dishes during your trip to Nusa Penida in one day. There’s a wide and varied range of places to eat along the beaches.

To make the most of your time, we’d recommend stopping at a warung along your itinerary. We stopped at ‘RESTO D’UMA’, which is on the way to some of the most famous beaches on the island. The service is quick and the value for money is great. You can enjoy a classic nasi goreng (fried rice) or mie goreng (noodles) for about €2.

Nusa Penida beaches: Kelingking beach and neighbouring beaches

It’s tough to visit all the Nusa Penida beaches in one day, but along the west coast of the island are some of the most beautiful and famous beaches that you can visit during your 1 day trip Nusa Penida: Angel’s Billabong, Broken Beach and Kelingking Beach.

Angel’s Billabong is a very special cove, where the sea water enters through a narrow passage, creating a kind of natural pool. However, due to strong currents, this beach is not swimmable.

Broken Beach is located next to Angel’s Billabong and is a unique beach because it was formed in an opening in the ground and is accessible from the sea through a large stone arch. The surrounding walls are steep and this beach is also not suitable for swimming.
To visit both of these beaches, you need to park in the dedicated car park, which is about a 10-minute walk from Angel’s Billabong, and then proceed with a walk to Broken Beach. It is possible to walk all the way around Broken Beach to return to the car park.

Kelingking Beach is about half an hour’s drive from the first two beaches. There is a car park at the top of the cliff, from which you follow a footpath leading to a lookout point with souvenir shops and restaurants.
To reach the beach, you will have to tackle a steep and challenging flight of steps. The steps are high and the path is uneven, so it is advisable to wear sneakers instead of sandals or flip-flops. The time it takes to walk down to the beach is about 40-45 minutes, so plan well for the time to walk back.

Kelingking Beach is absolutely spectacular, set in a cliff that extends into the sea with a scenic path that offers breathtaking views and it’s a must-see place in 1 day trip Nusa Penida.

La scala e la spiaggia sotto alla scogliera alta in mezzo al mare di Kelingking beach a Nusa Penida in Indonesia - 1 day trip nusa penida

1 day trip Nusa Penida: Kelingking beach

Voragine tonda nel terreno, spiaggia e arco con mare a Broken beach a Nusa Penida in Indonesia - 1 day trip nusa penida

1 day trip Nusa Penida: Broken beach

Piscina naturale nel mare Angel's Billabong a Nusa Penida in Indonesia - 1 day trip nusa penida

1 day trip Nusa Penida: Angel's Billabong

If you are planning a visit to Indonesia, we definitely recommend to spend at least 1 day in Nusa Penida. Unfortunately, our exploration was limited to one day, but we will definitely return for more days, so that we can enjoy the island at times when all the daily tourism is gone and so that we can also explore the other beaches on the east coast. If you have further curiosities about Indonesia, we recommend reading the related articles and as always… trip to try!

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