Secret Bali: Nusa Penida

Ilse de Roo - Nusa Penida Bali - Best-kept travel secrets

The beautiful islands Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are frequently visited by tourists willing to escape Bali for a day or two – but the bigger island just after these more touristy getaways, Nusa Penida is still a somewhat unexplored secret that most people haven’t even heard of.

Atuh Beach

Atuh Beach, or Pantai Atuh, is a hidden beach on the remote south-eastern coast of Nusa Penida. The beach is secluded by magnificent green cliffs, while various limestone rock formations surround it, adding to the beauty of the area. The white sand beach itself is accessible via a purpose-built stairway, or you can try the narrow tracks along a rugged cliff face if you’re feeling adventurous. The beach is great for relaxing with a spectacular view. However, the waters aren’t always swimmable.

Diamond beach

Diamond Beach is a stunning hidden beach located at the bottom of a sheer cliff on the eastern tip of the island. Diamond Beach is the next beach over from Atuh Beach. With a long stretch of white sand, palm trees, rock pools and glistening turquoise sea, Diamond Beach is the epitome of paradise. However, the coastline of the entire island is incredible. There are so many amazing viewpoints from the top of the towering cliffs that look down to those classic blue waters Nusa Penida is famous for.

Angel’s Billabong

Angel’s Billabong is one of the magical spots you can’t help but marvel at. A crystal clear tide pool cascades into the ocean on the east coast of Nusa Penida. Out in that ocean, Manta Rays cruise the coast at leisure.

As with all tidal pools you need to arrive at the right time of day. If you visit Angel’s Billabong during high-tide you will experience a very different pool than the one you see in photos. You will need to check the tide using a site like ‘Magic Seaweed’. Once you figure out when the low tide is, you should plan your itinerary around that. 

The Billabong is a remarkable formation. The crystal clear water allows you to see the patterns and textures beneath the surface. In some areas, the water is deep enough for a little dip.

Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu) Viewpoint

This location is sometimes referred to as Pulau Seribu and sometimes as the Thousand Island Viewpoint. To get to the first viewpoint you need to climb down the steep stairway for about 10 minutes. Once you’ll reach this first viewpoint you will be amazed by the view. 

You can continue to the second viewpoint and then head to the famous Tree House, Ruma Pohon. The Ruma Pohon tree house itself is built off the land and overlooks the same islands as the thousand island lookout. The treehouse is available for bookings and is totally worth seeing if you’re visiting Nusa Penida.

Tembeling Beach, Natural Pool and Forest

If you are looking for something a little off the beaten path and away from the tourist hot spots you may enjoy the adventure of Tembeling Beach, natural pools and forest.

After checking out the Tembeling Forest from within the canyon, which is like a scene out of a jungle movie, you can head down the spiral stairs towards the Tembeling Natural Pools. Tembeling Natural Pool is one of the most relaxing places to visit in Nusa Penida. It’s a naturally formed pool with crystal blue waters. Here you can peacefully float on an inner tube, scale the surrounding rocks for a thrilling cliff jump, or lay by the quiet beach just a few stairs away.

Broken Beach

Broken Beach is one of many awesome locations on the island and not to be missed. The natural bridge stretches over turquoise waters that flows in and out of the archway, hence the name Broken Beach. Although you can’t go swimming at Broken beach, it’s such an unreal setting itself. The ocean water flows into a bowl that is surrounded by towering cliffs. You can take a panoramic walk all the way around Broken Beach to several different viewpoints offering incredible views.

Dive sites

Nusa Penida is a heaven for diving enthusiasts with mesmerizing underwater gardens and marine life. Some recommended spots including Toyapakeh (healthy coral reefs with hundreds of big fishes such as giant trevallies and more), Ceningan Wall (180 high enormous coral wall), Crystal Bay (mola-mola, Napoleon fish, healthy coral reefs, underwater caves, giant table corals), Temple Point (underwater temple with big Buddha statue) and Manta Point (home to giant manta rays).

Swimming with Manta Rays is one of the best things to do on Nusa Penida. These majestic creatures are absolutely incredible! They glide effortlessly through the ocean and are really friendly to swim with. The Manta Rays can be quite intimidating to begin with due to their body size of up to 5 meters, though you will soon realise they are harmless, humble giants. 

Snorkelling adventures to Manta Point can be booked at Toya Pakeh harbour at any one of the boat companies along the waterfront. 


Hi there, my name is Ilse and I’m a travel enthusiast. When I travel to a destination, I like to explore the non-tourists areas and stumble upon hidden places and unknown gems. Follow my personal Instagram for more about me: @ilse.roo

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