The Nusa Islands (Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan) aren’t exactly secrets of Bali, and it’s getting very popular because it’s so accessible now. Just a 25-minute boat ride from Sanur and you’ve reached paradise. It took me long enough to finally visit these islands and I gotta say, they are SO. DAMN. MAGICAL.
I feel like this is one of the easiest and most rewarding paradise to get to in Southeast Asia. See with Komodo Island it takes two flights, and some painful hours of boat trips to get to some places. With El Nido, it takes two flights or you can switch that with 6-8 hours of bumpy car ride to get there. Some of the easier places to get to, they just don’t hit the spot. With the Nusa Islands, it definitely did. So let’s go!
1. Atuh Beach
Hi paradise! Get ready for a quick workout if you’d like to access this gorgeous beach. The view from the top of the cliff is absolutely breathtaking but it’s even more awesome to reward yourself with turquoise waters and powdery sand after a steep descent down the crazy stairs. At first it looked daunting but I was too distracted with the view to notice that I was sweating buckets.
On my way down. I guess I was too preoccupied with taking photos of the view, because my friend has already made her way down to the beach. Can you spot her? Haha! We got here around 8 or 9am and had the whole beach to ourselves. Seriously, nobody was in the waters. It was just us. Legit felt like a secluded beach.
2. Korawa Beach – the other side of Atuh Beach
On the other side of Atuh Beach is another amazing view. You’ll actually pass by here on while you make your way to Atuh Beach on foot. I’m going to run out of adjectives very soon but the views are just beyond gorgeous!
Couldn’t get enough.
We were so lucky to have such awesome weather conditions when we reached here. It was pouring in the port of Nusa Penida but sun was shining and skies were blue at the other end. So fingers crossed because the color of the sky does play a major part in how the scenery looks! Of course it’s still going to be gorgeous with grey skies but we were lucky to have the blues pop.
3. Rumah Pohon Treehouse
This was my favourite part of Nusa Penida!!! Definitely the most ridiculously photogenic treehouse I have ever laid my eyes on. Conditions were perfect that day (by perfect I mean for photos, otherwise, we were dying of heat haha!) and we were rewarded with blue skies and ocean for days.
It’s a short but steep climb down to the treehouse, but absolutely worth it. Remember to stay hydrated because it really gets hot out here. There’s a tiny warung just before you descend. We had indomie there with panoramic views of the Indian ocean.
4. Raja Lima Cliffs (Five Kings)
This is situated at the same place as the treehouse itself, you just have to walk past and head out further onto a viewpoint.
There are a few places to stand but the area is generally quite small. We only had 2 other people around us so it was easy to manoeuvre around but I can’t imagine having 15 or more people trying to squeeze onto this scary cliff. Crazy views. I wouldn’t mind sitting here the whole day if I didn’t mind getting roasted alive under the sun.
5. Kelingking Beach
Probably the most popular landmark of Nusa Penida. It’s also one of the nearer points on Nusa Penida (I mean, Atuh Beach and the treehouse were seriously quite far away.. Not to mention underdeveloped infrastructure and road conditions made the bumpy car rides way longer than it had to be) So naturally you would see so many tourists here. It was so, so, so crowded by the time we got here.
Doesn’t distract me from the view though. It’s popular for a reason. The viewpoint is amazing and the cliff reminds me of the famous cliff in Zakynthos, Greece. Except way more accessible. I never got to see it so Kelingking is good for me. You can actually hike down this cliff (quite a number of people to do it) but my friend and I felt a little too tired and lazy from the day trip so we opted out. Couldn’t imagine having to hike back up. It looked really steep.
There’s also a famous Instagram spot so popular with tourists. You get on this tree with the full view of the ocean as your backdrop. Now that’s pretty sick. Obviously, I failed at looking cool here. Also, Indonesians really do cater to people looking for that perfect shot. Because not pictured in this photo is a step ladder to get on this tree, omg. Hahaha!
6. Angel’s Billabong
Gorgeous infinity rock pool, where can you even find that? Loved it. But I felt a little stressed out here because the jaggy limestones were a little dangerous if you don’t pay attention to where you’re stepping. They’re pretty sharp at times too.
7. Broken Beach
If you continue to head straight in after Angel’s Billabong you’ll find the Broken Beach. The middle part of the beach looks like a giant whirlpool. Calm place with lots of random open field areas to lie down and enjoy the wind and sound of waves.
Aerial view of the Broken Beach, taken from a drone.
Also, please don’t try to have indomie from the warung at the Broken Beach. I know it’s a given but I guess I was too foolish and hungry. Had the worst food poisoning of my life and needed a jab. #trauma
I felt like Nusa Lembongan was the more chill (but still beautiful) island compared to Nusa Penida. Most of the restaurants and hotels are situated on this island where as Nusa Penida felt like a massive inhabited island with Jurassic Park vibes (which is not true). That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see here though. The beaches are amazing, but difference is that there are less dramatic cliffs compared to Nusa Penida.
8. Dream Beach
You’d most likely pass by this swing if you’re on your way to check out the famous Devil’s Tear Bay. This is a relatively chill beach with some beachfront restaurants if you need to find somewhere to eat and relax.
9. Devil’s Tears
Damn nature, you scary. Sometimes the waves hit the bay so hard to the point where I feel a tiny bit of fear and panic. I guess you could say it’s exhilarating but at the same time I didn’t wanna get dragged into the ocean either. Just be responsible around here and don’t let that selfie get out of control, that’s all. Otherwise it’s pretty safe and photogenic as hell.
A little further away from the bay and closer to the sea is this baby right here. Every once in a while the waves will hit the rocks at the right place with great power, and we’ll have the crazy water spit into the air. Just have a reliable and patient friend wait on the other side for you til the moment comes.
The surroundings of the main Devil’s Tears Bay are also incredibly beautiful. Take your time to explore, there are some parts where nobody really visits.
10. Mushroom Bay
Probably one of the main places for people to chill on this island. I didn’t visit there myself because we couldn’t be bothered to walk (our time was short on this island and we’ve exhausted ourselves) but I did send my drone there to do some recce. Ridiculous, I know. I would’ve loved to come here but conditions weren’t favourable that day for us anyway. It started to rain but if it was on a perfect day, we could be rewarded with bright clear waters and a stunning view of Mt. Agung.
Basically… the Nusa islands are amazeballs.
Really felt like I got my trip and money’s worth. Only spent two full days here on the islands and achieved so much. Did all of Nusa Penida in one day. Definitely worth it and doable during a long weekend or something. Just gotta pray for the perfect weather.
We were lucky to have an awesome and enthusiastic tour guide and company who were more than okay to let us customise our itinerary. Meet up was actually 9am but we told them we wanted to start at 7am and avoid the crowds (and we did!) so yay!
See you again, someday.