**Updated : May 2023**
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Is one day enough for Nusa Penida?
Short answer (don't hate us...) is no. If you're reading this then you're most likely planning to just make a day trip to the island and explore as much as you can. However, it's worth noting that the earliest ferry to Nusa Penida gets in around 8:30 AM and leaves around 5:30 PM. Which gives you 9 hours to sit in traffic (there's surprisingly a lot of traffic on this small island), hike the popular spots, wait in some more lines, and check out some of the cute cafes, all while relaxing on the beach and taking in the beautifully stunning coast lines and beaches. If you truly only have one day on the island, then you'll have to pick just a few things from our list to make it work, but our best recommendation is to spend at least a few nights on the island to really explore! We spent 3 nights at the Star Semabu Resort, and had the best time - next time we would even up it to 4 or 5 nights!
10 Best things to do on Nusa Penida
If you truly only have enough time to take a day trip to Nusa Penida, then we've gathered some of our favorite things to do on the island into this short, easy to read list! Our ultimate favorite experiences are near the top of the list, while some of the things we might not have had time for are closer to the bottom! Our favorite thing we did while on the island was exploring Guyangan Waterfall and stopping by the many cute cafes on the island. Read on for our 10 best recommendations while visiting Nusa Penida!
1. Kellingking Beach (a.k.a. the "Dinosaur Head") - You've more than likely already heard about this spot, but in case you haven't, then any list you find online will definitely have this "not-so-hidden" gem on it! In order to drive there, hike to the bottom (where the beach is), enjoy a cool drink and make your way back to the port, we would recommend devoting at least 5 hours to this spot. The *approximately* 500 stairs make it a killer and although we've heard the beach is beautiful, we've also been told the waves can often be too rough to swim in. It's also worth noting that there are small cafes on the walk to the viewpoint from the parking lot where you can get a cool drink, as well as bathrooms that cost 5,000 IDR per bathroom use and 20,000 IDR per shower. This spot is typically one that people make time for during a day trip to the island, but if you're looking for something a little more unique, we recommend that you skip it and choose something else from our list instead!
2. Rent a Motorbike - Even if you're just coming for the day, a fun (and very cheap!) way to get around the island is via motorbike! We were able to rent ours for 100,000 IDR per night, so we wouldn't pay much more if you're just renting one for the day. Our only caution is that motorbikes can be dangerous, and if you've been in Bali exploring then chances are you've already seen people who've been in a crash and are all bandaged up. We HIGHLY encourage you to wear a helmet, and to ask for one if you're not given one, as the roads can get very congested and tight when you're driving to some of the more popular spots. The roads on Nusa Penida can be very bumpy with a lot of pot holes as well, so stay focused and watch out for chickens, dogs, cows, etc. ;)
3. Guyangan/Peguyangan Waterfall (a.k.a. Blue Stairs + Hidden Pools) - During our time on Nusa Penida, this was our favorite spot hands down (you can see our entire adventure here in our video below!). Even though the waterfall only exists after a heavy rainstorm, it was very secluded, and we ended up only seeing a total of about 10 people during our entire hike down and back up! Because there are quite a few stairs and you'll more than likely want to relax at the hidden pools (PRO TIP : bring, or better yet, wear your swimsuit!) we recommend devoting at least 5 hours to this spot. When you enter, you'll also have to pay 15,000 IDR per adult and they'll have sarongs for you to wrap around your waist if you don't have something covering your knees. It's also worth noting that they do not permit women that are menstruating. While hiking and enjoying the pools, we also saw multiple sea turtles and manta rays!
4. Angel's Billabong - Angel's Billabong is another one of the more popular spots on Nusa Penida, due to good reason. After paying 10,000 IDR to park, you'll be able to hike down to the natural infity pool which you can swim in during low tide! There is also a great spot here to watch the sunset, and sometimes you'll be able to spot manta rays swimming below you from the cliffs!
5. Spa Life - If you're only visiting Nusa Penida for the day, chances are you won't have time (or want to spend time) relaxing at a spa. However, spas on Nusa Penida are very cheap, and for a one hour full body spa we paid 125,000 IDR at the Aloe Spa - which is a little out of the port area but one we would highly recommend!
6. Go Parasailing/Paragliding - Nusa Penida Paragliding offers tandem paragliding for visitors to Nusa Penida! Although we didn't have time for this during our stay on the island, this would be a great option for those of you who are looking to add a little excitement to your visit! Not only would the views be incredible, but we almost guarantee you would see some sea turtles and manta rays from up above!
7. Relax at the Pool or one of Many Beaches - Although we chose our villa pool, Nusa Penida has some of the most incredible beaches in the world to relax at. Some of the ones we were most recommended were Diamond Beach and Atuh Beach. Diamond Beach is located on the southeast coast, and is an incredible white sand beach that takes about 20 minutes to hike down towards. Atuh Beach is also located on the southeast coast of Nusa Penida, and is only about 30 minutes from Diamond Beach, and is considered one of the most epic beaches on Nusa Penida! If you're planning to visit one or both of these on your day trip to Nusa Penida, we recommending heading straight there and leaving at least by 4pm to ensure you get back in time to catch the last ferry of the day!
8. Tembeling Beach and Forrest - Although named after the beach and forrest, this spot is popular due to the incredibly clear natural pool. We've heard the hike down is very steep and can be quite difficult, however we've also heard it's 100% worth it! The beach here is right on the edge of a forrest, and the drive down can be very difficult, so we only recommend going if you're comfortable driving on sketchy roads and with the hiking activity that's required to get there!
9. DIY Food Tour - Nusa Penida has an incredible number of cute cafes scattered throughout the island, if you're only there for one day you might not have time to visit too many, although we recommend getting at least one smoothie bowl. ;) You can check out our entire list of cafes on Nusa Penida here.
10. Manta Ray Tour, Snorkeling & Diving - Although you'll probably see manta rays on hikes throughout the island, you'll have an even better chance by taking a manta ray snorkeling or diving tour! The tour typically takes 3-4 hours, and leaves very early in the morning. We would recommend checking with the individual tour company to make sure they don't mind waiting for your ferry to come in, and although we weren't able to fit this into our itinerary while we were there, diving in Nusa Penida is definitely a bucketlist experience you won't want to miss!
Watch our Adventures in Nusa Penida here!
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We're Deborah & Tyler, a pretty average husband and wife duo from a pretty average state that didn't want to live so averagely. After our *Covid wedding we sold everything that didn't fit into the Jeep and moved to Alaska, then decided to take a gap year!
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