**Updated : May 2023**
Use the map to see a visual of all our recommendations - click the arrow next to our photo to have a pop up list! This post may also contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase a product via these links, with no extra cost to you!
Where to Begin
When you initially begin your search on how to get from Bali to Nusa Penida, you'll quickly learn just how many different ferry companies there are, and most reviews will say the experience is complete chaos. If we're being honest, we would agree - from overcrowded waiting rooms to a parking lot that's so full the taxis can't enter, the entire process begins online. The first step in getting to Nusa Penida is to book your ticket in advance, online. We booked through bookaway.com and ended up getting roundtrip tickets with Angel Billabong. We also had the option to purchase round trip tickets for the same day or round trip tickets over multiple days, which was perfect for us as we wanted to stay on Nusa Penida for a few nights.
Once you book your ticket online, the second step is to get to the Sanur Beach Harbour in Denpasar. (There are multiple ports on Bali & Nusa Penida, but this is the port we departed from, with arrival into Penida Ferry Port.) The best way to do this is to either walk, grab a taxi, or our favorite and by far the most popular (and cheapest) option - get a Grab (Southeast Asia's equivalent to Uber). Once you get to the intersection of JI. Hang Tuah you'll realize this is where the chaos begins, depending on how many ferries are leaving at the same time as you, the drive up to the harbor could already be completely full, and therefore stopped. When we arrived the line wasn't even budging, so we opted to get out of the taxi on the main road and walk to the harbor. Once we found the Angel Billabong building and checked in to get our badges to board, we walked over to the main, large building for all ferry passengers. (This is at the end of the road and to the left.) The building itself is nice, with an indoor/outdoor waiting area, bathrooms, and is slightly air conditioned - however, with multiple ferries leaving at the same time and everyone crowding the door to exit the building onto the boarding docks, we could barely hear which boat was being called out (there was no mic system) and the entire process felt very unorganized and chaotic. If this is still the case, we recommend waiting outside, with a nice breeze, and simply have one person go in and check which boat is boarding every so often.
When your boat is finally called, and you make it through the crowds of people, you'll head onto the boat ramp and into your ferry. Be warned, our boat was completely full, with luggage thrown upstairs, no AC, and windows that remained closed for a majority of the ride due to the spray of the ocean waves (except for the ones that were stuck open). It's important to note that because luggage is put upstairs, and the waves are often quite intense in this area, there is a chance that it might get wet. It's even more important to note that on this route it is quite common for people to feel seasick, and even though the ferry ride is only 45 minutes we highly encourage you take dramamine to prevent a woozy tummy, as well as to do your best to claim a spot outside. On our boat there were only 4 seats outside near the back, so we recommend claiming one of these as soon as you get on the boat.
When you arrive at Nusa Penida, your bags will be unloaded and you'll be bombarded with a swarm of taxi drivers. We recommend walking out of the harbor area (you'll have to pay a tourist fee to exit onto the island of Nusa Penida - when we visited it was 25,000 IDR or $1.68 USD per person) and finding a taxi there, or just calling a Grab. When you're ready to make the journey back to Bali, the process is a bit different. Each boat checks in at a different location, and there's no main building to gather in. Although each company is a bit different, Angel Billabong had a small hut, with enough seating for about 20 people. We waited here until it was time for our boat to depart.
What You Should Know (+ best tips)
Watch our Nusa Penida Adventures here!
Check out our other Indonesia blogs here!
Pin this posts for later!
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!
We share bucket list itineraries and cost saving guides to help you travel easier and inspire your next adventure! ;)
Our blog and all its content are free to you, however when you purchase through referral or affiliate links on our site we may earn a small commission. Learn more here.