Nusa Penida travel guide

What to see in Nusa Penida, Indonesia

There are many quiet and secluded white sand beaches along the north and northwest coasts of Nusa Penida. Other geographical highlights include limestone caves, spectacular high coastal cliffs with karst formations and offshore pinnacles in the south and east, and rugged hill tops in the high centre.

Nusa Penida has several interesting Hindu temples. When visiting be respectful and always heed local advice.

FNPF Bird Sanctuary

The conservation and community development centre for Friends of the National Park Foundation in Ped. Learn about FNPF's Bali starling introduction program and other matters of environmental concern on Nusa Penida.

Goa Giri Putri

(Karangsari or Karangsari Cave)

  • Desa Pakraman, Karangsari

Large limestone caves on the east coast about 4km north of Suana village. You will need a sarong which can be hired for Rp 5000, a donation is very much appreciated, Rp 25,000 is considered a good donation. In exchange you will see a very unique temple, and according to locals this temple has a great significance for people all over Bali. Climb the stairs and enter the caves via a manhole. Inside the caves there is (electrical) light and a place for meditation. The place for meditation can be entered by tourists, but be sure to take off your shoes and to be douced by holy water by a one of the priests before entering. The hole place has an awesome atmosphere. Take a bottle for some of the holy water. On public holidays it tends to be very busy with all Balinese who go on pilgrimage here as the place is of great religious and cultural significance. If you are lucky enough to be there on the right day, you might be able to witness a ceremony. The singing vibrates through all of the cave and gives a very mystical vibe to the place. At the end of the cave you can find a small temple which is a mix between a hinduistic and bouddhistic temple. This part is next to an exit which gives an amazing view on the hills behind it. Some impressive stalactites and other typical limestone formations can be seen.

Pura Batu Medahu and Pura Batu Kuning

Two interesting and stunningly located temples on the east coast road south of Suana. Instead of taking the main road from Suana heading south west, continue on the coast road towards the tiny village of Semaya. You will come to the two temples (Pura Batu Madan first) after about 1.5km and before you reach Semaya.

Sebuluh Waterfall

The Seganing waterfall which is very impressive, located next to Cacah Village (part of Sebuluh) or about 5km from Batu Madeg village.

South Coast Cliffs

The whole southern coast of Nusa Penida has spectacular, high white limestone cliffs which will simply take your breath away. Even by the standards of Nusa Penida, the southern quarter is remote and inaccessible. The roads are difficult and in places distinctly hairy. But once you get there it will all seem worthwhile. Some of the karst formations are really dramatic as are the numerous offshore pinnacles. Try anywhere along the south coast from Pendem, around Bakung Cape to the coast west of Batu Madeg. Allow plenty of time as the chances are you will get lost at some stage. On the eastcoast you have Atuh beach, which is one of those high white limestone cliffbeaches. You will have to drop your scooter off and make a little climb for 10 minutes. You will arrive on top of one of the cliffs and on the southern side there is a beautiful but inaccessible beach. You have an amazing view on some pinnacles and crystalclear water. Even from this height you can see the coral, and if you are lucky some turtles or mantas. More on the northern side is another beach which is accessible. Look for the very steep stairs going all the way down on the cliffwall. Swimming is possible, but only recommended on high tide, because on low tide you will have a hard time not stepping on the coral before you are deep enough to swim.

Temling lake

Located on the south of the westcoast, this little lake or rather swimming hole is located very close to the beach. You will have to drive with your scooter down on a very steep track with a steep descent next to it. The road is thankfully good enough to keep your scooter on the road. Certainly respect the Balinese roadcode here and honk regularly if you can't see what is coming. At a certain point the path changes into gravel and it is recommended to let your scooter here as it might be quite slippery, even though the locals don't seem to mind. Walk the rest of the road and enter this holy place for the Balinese people. In september 2015 the top was still in construction, but supposedly they are building a temple there. There is an entrance fee of Rp  10,000/person. Climb down the stairs and you will have an amamzing view on the ocean before arriving at the lake. The lake is formed by a natural spring out of the mountains. The water streams down from a little pond a little bit higher, which is in a small temple. Here the locals fill up their bottles with the holy water. Temling is officially the bathing pool for the men, but no one seems to mind if girls enter. The official bathing pool for women is located more downstream on the beach, but is very small and rather unimpressive compared to the other one. Walk to the end of this beach to see little streams of springwater running out of the rocks.

Crystal Bay

A stunning white sand beach at Banjar Penida west of Sakti village on the north western coast facing Nusa Ceningan. Perfect clear waters and excellent snorkeling. Lovely white sand beach and a great place for a picnic. A truly idyllic spot. This place seems to be one of the more 'touristic' spots on the island. This just means that there are a couple of little shops and some tables and chairs next to the beach. Great to relax from a bumpy scooter ride with a cold drink.

Pura Penataran Ped

  • Ped village

An extremely important temple to the Hindu Balinese many of whom make an annual pilgrimage to Nusa Penida specifically to pray here to protect against illness, disease and death. This temple is built on a quite grand scale which makes for something of a contrast with the generally rather austere nature of Nusa Penida.

Puncak Mundi

(Mundi Hill)

The highest point of Nusa Penida at some 521m above sea level. Great views from here. This area is also home to an alternative energy facility with wind turbines and a solar panel farm. Puncak Mundi temple perches high on the hill.