Nusa Penida is magic.
With scenic views, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, crystal clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling, delicious restaurants, romantic yet affordable lodging, extremely friendly people, and a few of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever stepped foot on, Nusa Penida should definitely be on your couples trip bucket list. This island is especially recommended if you already have plans to travel to Bali – Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination.
SEE & DO
1. Broken Beach / Pasih Uug
Broken Beach is a unique landscape that provides an opportunity to chill out and look at the big sea with your partner, or take photos with the popular arched tunnel (pictured above).
2. Angel’s Billabong
Just a short trek away from Broken Beach, you’ll find another unique feature – a natural infinity pool! Take a swim with your partner, but be careful. If you get too close to the edge, the strong ocean water can be dangerous and sweep your off your feet (in a very non-romantic way).
3. Snorkeling with Manta Rays
We went on a two-hour manta ray snorkeling trip with the self-described “Best Penida Guide” named Boney Mars (@boney_mars on Instagram), and he was an absolute joy! It was amazing swimming with these gentle giants. This experience was definitely one of our favorites during our week in Nusa Penida!
4. Crystal Bay
Crystal Bay is one of the most popular tourist spots on Nusa Penida, for good reason. It’s easily accessible, safer for swimming than the other popular beaches on the island, provides a good opportunity to snorkel on your own (you can rent a snorkel right on the beach), and has a really chilled out feel – perfect for grabbing a cold Bintang (the local beer) and just relaxing.
5. Kelingking Beach
If you’ve spent any time on the travel side of Instagram, you’ve probably seen Kelingking Beach. What you might not have realized, however, is that many people just take the photo from the top and then leave, due to how long, steep, and sweaty it is to trek all the way down and back up.
But if you and your partner are up for a roughly 20-30 minute challenge each way (including some rope usage), it is totally worth it! Because even if sweat isn’t your idea of romance (fair enough), a gorgeous beach with a secluded cave area might just be! And if you want to spend a good amount of time there, the cave area is a great place to set up a little picnic together and enjoy watching the powerful waves.
6. Rumah Pohon “Tree House”
Rumah Pohon Tree House is another popular photo spot, but it is also a wonderful place to simply enjoy the scenic views!
Disclaimer: We were there when no tourists were around. When there are a lot of tourists, we’ve heard you may be a bit out of luck regarding a “romantic feel”. This is because you may only be able to spend a few minutes on the treehouse before the next person in line takes your spot. You may even have to pay a small fee… But if you’re planning on coming anytime soon, you will likely not be competing with many tourists, so you might get lucky and be able to hangout for a while, for free!
7. Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach is perhaps my new favorite beach in the world, given the strikingly turquoise waters, the soft inviting sand, the cliff right behind you, the cone-shaped “islands” in the sea, the playful pools and crystal clear waters at low tide, the picturesque palm trees on the side, and the dynamic combination of all of the above! (Can you tell I’m in love?)
It is absolutely gorgeous and super romantic, especially if you come early enough to avoid a crowd. We loved it so much we went three times in the same week (#obsessed).
Diamond Beach is to the right of Atuh Beach when facing the sea, and is more pristine than Atuh beach in my opinion; perhaps because it has only become accessible by stairs within the last couple of years. Like Kelingking, there are a few spots on the way down that might be tricky for the less “outdoorsy” types, but if you’re somewhat fit and hydrated, and are wearing a decent pair of shoes or sandals (not flip flops!) than you’ll be okay.
8. Tembeling Springs, Beach, and Jungle
Tembeling Springs is a great place to go if you’re looking to escape the more touristy spots for a while. It’s unique in that you can bathe in fresh spring water, feel immersed in the forest, and look out at the sea all – at the same time. It’s a cool place to explore, relax, meditate, rejuvenate, and perhaps build some cairns as well.
Disclaimer: There’s a steep, rough road down that is only accessible by motorbike. Then to get to Tembeling Springs, there is a bit of a walk further down from there. It’s nothing too bad – but it’s just good to know in advance!
9. Devil’s Tear (In Nusa Lembongan)
If you’re visiting Nusa Penida for at least 3 days, I highly recommend taking a day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, the two smaller islands northeast of Nusa Penida.
On Nusa Lembongan, check out Devil’s Tear at high tide. It’s a mesmerizing overlook where you can watch waves crashing over the rocks, creating different sized pools. With the crashing waves, the glistening pools, and the spontaneous rainbows, all of your senses will feel excited and you’ll want to just grab your partner and kiss them passionately – trust me.
But be careful to not get too passionate, because these powerful waves and rough rocks can cause serious injury if you’re not careful.
10. Blue Lagoon (In Nusa Ceningan)
Given the convenient Yellow Bridge that connects these two islands, it’s easy to get from Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Ceningan in just a few minutes. Hop over to this next island and visit the Blue Lagoon, another spot where you can set up a picnic and feel astonished by the bright, blue, beautiful waters that create sounds and swirls and splashes. It will blow you away.
Pro tip: Make sure to not only look at the view from the cliff overlooking the beach, but cut through the trees on the right side (when facing the ocean) to explore the rocks and cliffs all around the lagoon. Some of the grass and branches are a bit prickly, but you won’t care once you’re viewing the lagoon from this unique perspective. This was one of the most romantic spots of the week.
Prasi Sunset Bungalows
Prasi Sunset Bungalows was our favorite stay of the week! It was reasonably priced and a great value for such a beautiful view (Sunset view every night? Yes, please). It also had an inviting pool, good breakfast, and a friendly owner. The bungalow rooms are clean, comfortable, and feel very private – more so than a standard hotel – so it’s perfect for a couple.
Disclaimer: The only downside for some may be the semi-rough road to get there, especially in the final stretch. You should either hire a driver or be a decent scooter/motorbike rider if you plan on staying here.
Penida Colada is a cute little restaurant with a sea view and a cozy feel. But even as a more touristy spot in a good location, they don’t skimp on the food and drinks! Everything we ate there was quite delicious, and their happy hour deals on cocktails was a steal (they had us at 2-for-1…). We highly recommend Penida Colada as a cute and more casual date spot as well.
Be Pasih Warung
Even though this place had the best fish either of us had ever tasted in our lives (no lie), our favorite thing about Be Pasih was the friendly, funny, kind-hearted owner, Made. We became friends with him (as one might expect after going to the same restaurant three nights in a row), and not only did he make us feel at home, he also took John spear fishing and asked his wife to teach us her sambal recipe! We couldn’t recommend visiting Be Pasih enough.
✔ Rent a motorbike to explore the island
Nusa Penida is a relatively small island (around a 2 hour drive all the way around), but given the amount of things to do and the fact that you may have no idea how long you actually want to spend in each spot until you get there, renting your own motorbike/scooter will give you the most flexibility and freedom.
Additionally, if you’re new to riding motorbikes, spend some time riding in Bali for practice, because some of the roads in Nusa Penida may be more windy, bumpy, and/or covered in gravel than you’re used to. You should feel quite comfortable on a bike before renting one here.
✔Bring more than just flip flops
Some people, in seeing photos from Nusa Penida, may just assume that all they need to bring are flip flops because that is what they normally wear to the beach. However, a lot of these spots take a bit of effort to get to, as you are climbing down to a beach (or jungle or waterfall or overlook) from a cliff. This means that a pair of sandals/Tevas/Chacos/etc. will certainly come in handy during this trip!
✔ Stay for at least 3 days
Some people simply take a day trip from Bali and try to hit all the top spots within a few hours. Please don’t do this. You will be able to take nice pictures, but you won’t be able to truly *experience* any of what this precious island truly has to offer. If you’re crunched for time, at least try to stay one or two nights. But we think 5 days is the best amount of time to spend in Nusa Penida, especially if you want to do a day trip to Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan as well.
✔ Remember to put down your phone!
Remember to take your time at each place and be present! The beaches, overlooks, and even just the drives are gorgeous and highly photogenic. But it was very sad to see people, say, climb down to Diamond Beach just to take some photos then climb back up without spending any time truly enjoying the surroundings.
Capture the moment, sure, but don’t spend ALL of your time worrying about getting the “best” photos, otherwise you may regret not actually feeling “in the moment“ (especially with your partner) in all of these beautiful and romantic places!
I hope these recommendations are helpful to you as you plan your trip to Nusa Penida! If you have any questions or additional recommendations, please comment them below!
Loving the old; exploring the new,