Located just 45 minutes off the coast of Bali is an island called Nusa Penida. Its rugged coastline, jaw dropping cliffs and picturesque beaches have catapulted it to the top of many travelers bucket list.
Nusa Penida is the largest of the three Nusa Islands which also include Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Currently, it is the most wild and underdeveloped of the three but that is slowly starting to change as there is a rise in tourism.
There are two main sides of the island that visitors can explore: The East and the West.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to see both sides of the island in one day due to the road conditions. Therefore if you are short on time and only have one day you will have to choose which side to visit.
If you have the time, it is best to spend at least 3 days on Penida Island so you can explore both the east and west sides.
The east coast of Nusa Penida Island includes spectacular sights like Diamond Beach, Thousand Island Viewpoint, Atuh Beach and more!
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All of the main stops along Nusa Penida’s east coast can easily be done in one day and you’ll still have time to relax and enjoy the beaches!
Keep in mind that traveling around Nusa Penida is not easy. Due to the condition of the roads, most of the sights will take anywhere from 45-90 minutes to reach even though the actual distance isn’t that far.
In order to maximize your day exploring Nusa Penida’s east coast it is best to arrive to the island very early in the morning. If you are staying a few days then I would recommend waking up early and hitting the road around sunrise. Plus the earlier you get started the less crowded the spots will be!
Luckily, there aren’t as many different stops that you need to make along the east coast but they should definitely be visited if you have the time!
Top Places to Visit on Nusa Penida’s East Coast
Possibly the most picturesque beach in all of Nusa Penida Island and maybe even Bali is Diamond Beach! As soon as you head down towards the steps that descend to the beach your eyes will be rewarded with a spectacular view. Milky, turquoise water, white sandy beaches and large rock formations resembling diamonds that jut out from the sea are just a few things you’ll find at Diamond Beach.
You can go all the way down to the beach but there are a few spots along the way where the stairs turn a bit more difficult. So just take it slow and proceed with caution. There are also stops along the way with a small shop and the growingly popular Bali swings!
If you go down to the beach the best time is early in the morning while the tide is low. Around noon the tide will come in and reach all the way to the cliff making the beach a bit dangerous. Plus the earlier you go the less crowded it will be!
› How to Reach Diamond Beach:
If you are renting a motorbike and driving yourself then type Atuh Beach parking into your GPS. Or you can use these coordinates:(8.7760485, 115.6150220) Once you’ve reached this spot continue a bit further until you can no longer descend down the hill.
Park your bike and then walk the rest of the way to reach the top of the beach. While we were there it appeared that they were doing road work so you couldn’t drive all the way down but hopefully that means the roads will be better.
Head down from the parking area and you will see the beautiful Diamond beach and steps leading down to the ocean.
There was no one there at this location to make you pay for parking but we also arrived just after 7 AM. From our experience it seems that most of the parking attendants don’t show up until around 8 or 8:30 AM.
2. Atuh Beach
Located just on the opposite side of Diamond Beach is Atuh Beach. This spot is much better for swimming and relaxing since it is protected from the rough seas a bit more than Diamond Beach. Here you’ll find many umbrellas and beach chairs set up along the shore offering you a place to chill for a couple of ours and soak up the sun. There are also plenty of places to grab a bite to eat if you get hungry.
› How to Reach Atuh Beach:
Head to the parking area for Diamond Beach and then continue just past the steps that lead down to Diamond Beach. The entrance area to Atuh beach should be on the left just beyond that point. It will take you about 10 minutes or so to climb down the set of stairs to reach the beach!
3. Thousand Islands Viewpoint
A short 10 minute drive from Diamond Beach is Thousand Islands Viewpoint. This spot is absolutely worth a visit as you are already in the vicinity and the viewpoint offers a backside angle of the stunning beach.
There are a couple different viewpoints and areas to explore once you’ve reached the bottom and it wasn’t as crowded as some of the other spots!
There are quite a bit of steps leading down to the actual viewpoint and during the midday it gets pretty hot. Make sure to bring enough water with you and replenish at the restaurant before leaving!
› How to Reach Thousand Islands Viewpoint:
Once you leave Diamond beach head back to the road you drove on. You will come to a a spot where you can either turn left or right. Right will take you back to the main road towards the harbor and left will bring you to this viewpoint. There will be a 5,000 IDR ($.35 USD) parking fee but it also allows you to take photos on the tree house.
4. Rumah Pohon “Tree House”
This famous tree house on Nusa Penida’s east coast can actually be rented out as an airbnb! Can you imagine waking up to a view like this? Just know that if you do choose to stay here the amenities are pretty basic. The shared toilet (there are 2 other tree houses available) is outside and is more of an outhouse.
If you don’t want to stay here for the night, you can easily visit while you are at Thousand Islands Viewpoint. While you can’t go inside the tree house unless you are staying, you can take photos on the steps!
Just be respectful if there is someone actually paying to rent out the tree house. It doesn’t seem fair to have paid to stay there and then have people all over your steps while you’re trying to relax.
And we’ve heard from a source that the airbnb hosts won’t do anything to stop people from taking photos because they’ve “paid” for it. In all honestly, you should probably just stop for the viewpoint and save your money.
› How to Reach Rumah Pohon “Tree House”:
The Rumah Pohon tree house is located at the same spot as the Thousand Islands Viewpoint. In fact, you will actually walk past the 3 treehouses to reach the main viewpoint!
How to Get to Nusa Penida Island
› From Bali
To get to Nusa Penida from Bali you will first get to the Sanur Harbor on the south east side of the island. You can either take a taxi, GRAB, motorbike or tour company to reach the harbor.
Once you’ve arrived you will find many fast boat companies where you can purchase either a one way ticket or an open return ticket. The fast boats run multiple times a day and we purchased our roundtrip tickets for 325, 000 INR (~$22 USD) per person. We used a company called Angels Billabong (I used them before) as they had a boat that left at 2PM.
The journey to Penida Island takes about 45 minutes and there are many boats that run during the day.
› From Nusa Lembongan
To get to Nusa Penida from Lembongan you can easily take one of the fast boats which take about 10 minutes. The boats leave directly from the yellow bridge on the Lembongan side at these exact GPS coordinates (8.6930270, 115.4506560) The tickets cost 50,000 IDR (~$3.50USD) for one-way or 100,000 IDR (~$7 USD) for a return.
The boats typically leave every hour starting at 8AM but they might leave more frequently if they have enough passengers. The last boat leaving Nusa Lembongan back to Penida is at 5PM so make sure you are at the harbor before then!
How to Get Around Nusa Penida’s East Coast
There are quite a few ways to adventure around the island. The most popular, albeit dangerous, choice is to rent your own motorbike. The roads can be very dangerous in some parts so it is important that you be a skilled driver before deciding to rent a bike.There are also many tour companies that you can use to take you around the island to all the different locations. Furthermore, you can hire a motorbike driver to show you all the best spots.
Where to Stay on Nusa Penida
With the increase in tourism, new accommodations are popping up all over the island. From budget stays to luxury hotels, you will be sure to find something that fits your needs. I’ve stayed in one of the iconic bungalows, as well as one of the smaller guesthouses and both were very nice.
› Mid-Range: Bintang Bungalows
› Budget: Puri Ratu Guesthouse
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