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If Bali is a delicious cake everyone is dying to take a bite of, Nusa Penida is the cherry on top. You can think of the island as a miniature of Bali in a more pristine, unspoilt state. From beautiful destinations to daring activities, discover these wonderful reasons to visit.
There’s a reason this bay was named after the shining and beautifully translucent material. Yes, crystal bay is, for crystal clear reasons, an excellent destination for snorkelling and diving. With great visibility and relatively calm waters, visitors can effortlessly spot exotic fish and observe colourful coral reefs.
Even for those who prefer to stay near the shore, the smooth white sand and friendly waves are also a delight, not to mention the famed sunset, creating silhouettes out of of jungly hills and fishermen’s boats.
This picturesque nook has become an iconic sight that represents Nusa Penida, even Bali. From the viewpoint up the hills, you can see the majestic cliff embracing the idyllic coast as if keeping it secret, where the white sands meet the vast blue sea that extends to the horizon.
You can relax and enjoy the view from above, or make your way down to the beach. The secluded location induces a sense of calmness and ease, but mind the steep way down and strong current.
Not your typical waterfall, this one is enjoyed from the top — the plunge pool is at the top before the drop, and the water flows down through the majestic cliff to the ocean below.
To reach the holy water temple at the cliff, you’ll have to descend through blue stairs on the side of the cliff. But fret not, the wonderful ocean view will accompany you along the way.
Bali’s famed spiritual vista extends to its surrounding small islands, including Nusa Penida. This island has a number of exquisite temples to visit. Carrying the unique Balinese-style architecture blended with Hindu elements and adornments, temples in Nusa Penida may be similar to those you see in Bali. Minus the crowd, and a plus in preservation.
Offerings, ornate carvings, and daily rituals are among the things you can observe in Nusa Penida’s temples. Among the most popular ones to visit are Pura Dalem Ped and Goa Giri Putri.
Nusa Penida’s north coast is an especially lively habitat for various marine biodiversity. Rubbing shoulders with manta rays, mola-mola, and other exotic species is a real possibility when diving on this island. And that’s on top of colourful coral reefs bustling with small fish roaming about.
No matter where you go in Indonesia, traditional markets are always a spot worth exploring. It’s where you see real locals doing real everyday things. But it’s also where you get fresh produce for the day or even authentic souvenirs to bring home. Shopping in traditional markets also gives you an opportunity to help support the local economy, keeping the places you love sustainable and allowing them to prosper. Mentigi Market is conveniently located by the beach, and has everything you need from fruits to local snacks and even souvenirs.
No one judges you for staying in during holiday, especially if you’re staying in a nice villa, courtesy of low price tags in Nusa Penida. For less than $70 you can get your own little cottage in a good location and well-managed accommodation.
And by well-managed, we mean the ones with ample modern facilities, cute floaties and stylish day beds included. Relax and pamper yourself while still tucked away in calming nature, and just moments from adventure.
Renting a motorbike is the most natural thing to do when exploring Bali and its nearby islets, Nusa Penida included. It’s a hassle-free process and lets you set your own pace and route. This is especially fun in Nusa Penida, as many parts of the island are still less-travelled. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a place not yet on Google Maps or everybody else’s Instagram feed.
Blissful coastal and underwater scenery may be obvious charms in Nusa Penida, but the pristine island also holds splendour further inland. From towering palm trees on the side of the roads to green hills and valleys, the island is full of tropical dreams.
Forget fancy restaurants and familiar meals for a while and expand your palate with delicious local meals. Rice is an almost mandatory part of any meal, and it’s versatile enough to pair with anything of your liking — fresh seafood, Bali’s famed roasted pork, or other local delicacies.
Another exciting part of eating local is the overall dining experience. You get to dine in humble warung establishments, just like the locals do. It’s nice to get over table manners for a while and enjoy the meal however you want to. Plus, eating local can be a cheap adventure in itself, and you can save money for even more adventures.
Let’s not forget the people who make this island captivating and comfortable in so many ways. They are the ones who manage your accommodations, sell you pretty merchandise, build and maintain the temples you visit. You’ll be surprised to find out how a simple “hello” can spur into friendly, heartwarming conversations. That’s one thing you don’t want to miss anywhere in the world.