December 2018 – It was October when I went to Bali for the first time and it didn’t take me long to decide that I would have to come back to this paradise as soon as I could! So right after my first Bali trip in October I booked tickets to go again in December, but for 3 weeks this time – I was so excited to have so much time to explore and go on little adventures this time! I can’t wait to share them all with you, but let’s talk about Nusa Penida today!
The ferry to Nusa Penida leaves from Sanur as well as Padangbai. For me it was more convenient to leave from Sanur, just because I stayed in Ubud before and it was a bit closer (I travelled by scooter the whole time). Before I decided to go to the Nusa Islands I did some research and found out that apparently the ferries from Sanur run more frequently than the ones from Padangbai. For me Sanur worked very well and I can definitely recommend it! The ferry from Sanur cost me about 400,000 Rupiah one way which is about 40 AUD. You might be able to get it a bit cheaper but I didn’t bargain because I was in a rush to get the boat. It is super easy to get there in the morning to get the ticket and jump on a boat, so there is no need to prebook anything in advance! After I got my ticket I jumped into my adventure and onto the boat! About half an hour later I arrived on Nusa Penida to be greeted by just about 10.000 taxi drivers that all wanted to take me to my hostel – I have never felt more wanted. 🙂
My hostel was awesome so just for about 20,000 rupiah I got picked up from the hostels driver and 10 minutes later I arrived at my hostel (Nuansa Penida).
I stayed on Nusa Penida for 3 nights and did a day trip to Nusa Ceningan as well as Nusa Lembongan – My favourite Island was definitely Nusa Penida where my Island adventure started! I would say that travelling solo is definitely not a problem on Nusa Penida or anywhere in Bali. If you are not shy you can meet people to take along on your journey almost everywhere! It is so much fun to share your adventures with someone else and talking to random people is so much fun – you never know, they might end up being one of your closest friends in the future!
On Nusa Penida I stayed in a lovely hostel called Nuansa Penida (you can find it on booking.com) and I can definitely recommend that one! The location was awesome, I could get around both sides of the island easily from there.
On the day of my arrival I decided not to waste any time and get straight into it! I rented a scooter at my hostel which only cost me about 20,000 rupiah per day (about 2 AUD) – it is sooo cheap and in my opinion the best way to get around!
I had heard about a temple that is in a cave before I went to Nusa and decided that I definitely had to check it out – it took me about half an hour to get there from my hostel (Nuansa Penida) and the view of the ocean along the way was beautiful! I stopped along the way to hang out at a small spot not far from the road – apart from a couple of locals on their boat I was all by myself! Perfect for a quick dip, it was freaking hot that day!
When you get to the temple you have to borrow a sarong for 5,000 rupiah (about 50 australian cents) and once you’re ready to go you climb up heaps of stairs to get to the entrance of the temple! I stopped half way to take a few photos because the view was amazing (obviously not because my cardio absolutely sucks 🙂 )
This temple cost to get in but it is definitely worth it! When you get to the entrance a man sprinkles wholy water onto your head and sends you in with a blessing. I couldn’t see the entrance from there and when the man took me over to the entrance I knew why -The entrance is tiny and hidden by surrounding rocks! It is literally this hole that you have to crawl through to get in! A few metres down the small entrance tunnel opens up to a massive cave – The cave has light only from a few small light bulbs on the side of the small walkway you walk down towards the other end of the cave. When I got in I smelled the typical bali scent (it’s wonderful, I personally love the smell of incense and now that I have been to Bali it reminds me of my time in Bali every time we have it at home).
I was lucky enough to walk in when a group of people was in a ceremony – a priest was talking and singing to them and they would join the singing in periods. I felt like I was in another world, you definitely don’t want to miss such a magical experience! The cave reminded me of some sort of fantasy movie and I felt more of a mystical vibe going on in there.
Crystal Bay was the first beach I checked out on Nusa Penida as it was the closest one to my hostel. When I got there in the afternoon it was pretty busy but not too overcrowded.
The water is beautiful – crystal clear (as you can guess by the name haha) and really nice for a swim! The view is amazing as you’re surrounded by green trees and bushes and even some hills and boats that are floating around in the water.
When you walk to the left once you are on the beach you can find stairs that are a bit ruined at the bottom – they might be a bit hidden behind bushes and trees but once you get a bit closer you will be able to see them!
I discovered them when I walked along the beach and decided to climb up – when I first got up it looked like it was going nowhere, but it is definitely worth walking for a while (by “a while” I mean just about 15 minutes)!
We ended up following a small track that is at the top of the stairs over to another bit of stairs that lead us down to another beach. Like I said at the start, Crystal bay was fairly busy and the beach we found here was the opposite! When we got there we had the beach all to ourselves so we decided to go in for a swim and it felt amazing! I am not sure what the name of that bay is but definitely check it out when you get to Crystal Bay!
When I first got to Crystal Bay and walked past all the little warungs and stalls that sell stuff people were trying to sell me snorkelling tours. Snorkelling is beautiful in Nusa Penida and I can definitely recommend going but you should book it somewhere else!
The stalls all tried selling me a tour for about 500,000 rupiah (about 50 AUD) which is more than double the price you can get elsewhere! I ended up booking with my hostel which only cost me 250,000 rupiah which was the group price – my friend Lexi and I ended up on the boat by ourselves so we basically had a private tour for that, it was amazing!
Our snorkelling tour
Our boat took us to three different spots in total and we got on the boat hoping to see turtles and manta rays – this is what many people come here for! Before I went to Bali I found out about the manta rays and couldn’t wait to finally see them! I thought I might even be lucky enough to swim with them. But, going through all our snorkelling spots being all excited for the mantas, our hopes slowly faded. When we got on the boat our tour guide already told us that the waves might be too big to go snorkelling at manta bay – you can check out the weather forecast before you book your snorkelling tour (you can book on the day you would like to go) but you can never 100% predict what the weather is going to be like. Apparently you have to be lucky to see them, but don’t you worry – I talked to plenty of people who saw them so I might have just been very, very unlucky!
I will be back to check them out for sure, I will be coming for ya Mantas! 🙂
Even though we didn’t see any turtles or Manta Rays we still had a wonderful time in the water – all the colourful fish and corals are definitely still worth seeing! Swimming with any living creatures under water is an amazing feeling and experience!
On day 2 we started our road trip on my scooter with a guy I had met at the hostel – What a bumpy ride that was! There were definitely a few critical moments where we thought we would not get back to the hostel but the adventure was so worth it!
You will be able to find out about all the amazing places we saw and our experience riding the scooter through a few sweaty situations in my next post!
Lots of Love,