The honest Nusa Penida, Bali Guide Coming From Lembongan
An honest Guide to Nusa Penida coming from Lembongan
Bali: Nusa Penida Guide coming from Lembongan
Planning a trip to Bali? Well, maybe take a detour to Lembongan and Nusa Penida. You know all these beautiful cliff pictures that you see on google? That is Penida, darn amazing, right? While it has gotten more and more attention on the media due to its breathtaking cliff views, the island is currently preparing for a bunch of tourism. When we were there we still struggled with undone roads, that could barely be called as such, broken mopeds and long middle-of-nowhere-rides. That is probably about to change. Sadly, people were going to Penida for only a day with a driver, booking an expensive tour, only to leave trash behind. You don’t want to be part of that. Which is why I tell you, if you cannot handle the hikes and moped rides there, don't do it. But be aware that traveling individually on Penida has got to be planned, at least a little. This is an honest guide to Nusa Penida if you are coming from Lembongan.
How to get to Nusa Penida from Nusa Lembongan
A characteristic feature of Nusa Lembongan is the yellow bridge connecting the island with a smaller one on the other side of a shallow bay, called Nusa Ceningan. Every morning (ask a local what time exactly) local boats leave for Nusa Penida at the bottom of the yellow bridge. The mornings are the only times that boats can leave, as the bay will turn into muddy flat fields in the evening. The ride takes around 15 minutes. We paid 100.000 IDR per person (around 8$), which is thought to be super expensive for a local boat. However, that day every tourist paid the same. I assume that is how they are making money with the increasing tourism for Nusa Penida. We simply paid the fee and hopped onto the crowded boat. Don’t get seasick, guys!
Why you should stay at least one night
Nusa Penida is a HUGE island! If you think that you can travel to Penida in the morning and hop on the last evening boat to go back, you are mistaken. You will only get to do one or two sights and be very disappointed. As soon as you see the map of Penida further in this article, you will understand. Book in advance to get one of the few nice homestays.
Only use a moped if you know how to
The problem about Nusa Penida is that there are the tricky and dodgy roads. If you don’t have tons of experience riding a scooter, don’t do it. If you must get a driver, though, you will be one of the masses and dependent. We encountered girls that had a bad accident on the island, and it is very frequent. Get practice before you take on this adventure!
Book in advance to get one of the few nice homestays and organize a scooter with them. Make sure they will provide a helmet, which is very rare on Penida. Organize a scooter with your homestay. You will need it!
What to see
We picked out places that were quite close to each other, the ones that you see on the map, and even that was quite a hassle. I would, therefore, recommend doing these important spots and staying more nights if you want to take a route to the eastern part.
Since Instagram has made this site famous everybody wants to take a look down the breathtakingly steep cliffs. Go as early as you can to avoid the tourist buses. We went down a really unsteady and slippery path down to the beach itself. It is dangerous, though and there are signs that say that you should not do it. We did it, as it seemed safe for a couple of others as well, and we simply were too curious. But watch out!
Only 5 walking minutes away from Angel's Billabong lies Broken Beach. So for both sites you don't have to park your scooter twice. The Swimming Hole has definitely deserved its name, as the waters shine in every shade of blue there is. However, if you are thinking about taking a swim in there, be careful. Waves occasionally hit the opening of the hole and wash in tons of water, that might actually pull you down the cliff and into the sea.
(instapost by @iwanpasto)
If all of this hiking and bumping over rocky roads has made you hungry and tired you can head to Crystal Beach for your final destination. There are a few smaller simple restaurants/huts and it is the perfect spot to just tip your toes into the sand and chill out a bit. But don't wait too long, you have quite an exhausting ride ahead. And believe me, your butts will hurt with every stone you cross depending on how well your moped works.
Useful Tips to go to Nusa Penida
The homestay we spent the night it was still a construction site, but beautiful. If you go to Nusa Penida, the best option is to go from Nusa Lembongan and to stay a night or two. Lembongan is more “touristy” but definitely has a super relaxed vibe. From there it will only take minutes to take a local boat over to its bigger sister “Nusa Penida”. On our long moped-rides, that were torture for our butts and required a good deal of riding skills.
If you are going out on your scooter at night make sure to limit those rides to the area around the harbor in the northern part of the island. There they are not as shitty, and you take fewer risks in the dark.
For going back to Bali or Lembongan, speak to your homestay/hostel as soon as you arrive. They will organize it.
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