Get around in Nusa Penida
The island is large and whatever the length of your stay you will have no trouble filling your days. But how to get around in Nusa Penida? Find here hiking suggestions, how to rent a scooter or a motorbike, car transfer or car with driver renting prices and more!
Are you planning your trip to Indonesia and Bali and need some practical information about Nusa Penida ? Do you want to know how to get around in Nusa Penida ? Know the state of the roads in Nusa Penida? You will find all the information here. And if you have a question, don’t hesitate to ask it. The island is about 200 km2, twice the size of Paris. But there is no public transport … A small guide is essential !
The roads are gradually being redeveloped and it is becoming easier to get around on Nusa Penida. Some sites, however, require driving small dirt roads. Renting a scooter or motorbike is probably the best way to see the island. But there are alternatives. Those who are less experienced on scooters will probably prefer to rent a car with a driver to get a tour of the island.
Walking or hiking
The island is so big you cannot fully get around walking, unless you are really a good walker and have plenty of time in front of you. But there are still very nice hikes. I have plans to mark out hiking trails along the west coast of Nusa Penida. But I guess this will wait until the end of the coronavirus crisis …
In the meantime, I have explored for you the hike from Crystal Bay to Broken Beach. Another nice hike is in Temeling primary forest. If you park your scooter before the long descent or if your car driver drop you off, you can follow a nice two kilometer hike (one way).
A walk from your hotel in Sakti to Crystal Bay or to Gamat Bay then to Amok sunset bar can also be nice. You will also, almost everywhere on the island, come across many schoolchildren walking to or from school !
Nusa Penida with scooter
For those who like adventure, the scooter is the best way to discover the island at its own pace. You can check any spot you want and stop to enjoy the viewpoint or take a photo. You can rent scooters at Toyapakeh Harbour and in most hotels. The helmet is not compulsory but it is safer to wear one. Please note that scooter rental prices are higher than in Bali. And they are variable depending on the season. The price should be between 70,000 rupees and 100,000 rupees per day.
But avoid negotiating too hard. I have already seen renters increase their prices during the negotiation, exasperated by the lack of respect from some tourists. I still smile at the memory of three tourists who absolutely wanted to rent their scooter for 50,000 rupees instead of the very reasonable price of 75,000 rupees offered by the scooter rental company. And who ended up paying 100,000 …
Just remember that 10,000 rupees is about 60 cents for us, but the price of a meal for local people.
Motorbike in Nusa Penida ?
The scooters are generally 125 cm3 because some roads are very steep. But you can also rent real motocross. A motorbike may be the best choice if you are familiar with their handling, given the condition of certain roads in Nusa Penida island. The price will be higher.
Driving a scooter in the rain in Bali ?
If you are visiting Nusa Penida island or Bali during the rainy season I recommend that you buy a poncho for a few euros. There are many colors and they protect really well from the rain. If you see all the Balinese stopping to put their own, it’s time to do the same. You can be soaked in seconds …
Nusa Penida is normally drier than the rest of Bali with less than 1000 mm of rain per year. But nevertheless it is always good to have a rain coat in your motorbike. The basic ones cost only a few euros.
Or check the weather forecast !
How to drive on the roads of Nusa Penida?
Much of the road network has been refurbished. In particular the road which makes a kind of tour of the island. It runs along the entire north coast, from Toyapakeh to Suana. It then goes up to Atuh Beach, to Tanglad and crosses the whole island until a fork towards the beach of Crystal Bay, also refurbished.
Driving around Nusa Penida island on these brand new roads is really a pleasure. However, the following three rules must be observed.
- Drive left in Indonesia and in Bali. In particular, keep your left hand when you come across a car or a truck which sometimes drives very fast. Drive only on proper roads and not on a small path along a cliff (unfortunately this is a true story, one casualty …).
- Slow down BEFORE turns or descents. Most falls happen when drivers brake hard and there is gravel on the road.
- Don’t go too fast. Because you may run into a big truck at any time, but also a child or an animal. Personally I do not deviate from my race for a toad (very often in the evening or at night) or a hen (all the time). But I avoid dogs or … pigs. And also because you can pass without any transition from a brand new road to a rotten road. This is how I made my only real big fall on a scooter while going to Atuh Beach.
On Nusa Penida dirt roads
All the other roads are of average, even poor quality. In particular, most of the cross roads that go from the main road to the sea. The worse one used to be the road leading to Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong. A kind of disaster, especially in the rainy season when all the potholes were filled with mud. It is now much better. My advice, start testing your ability to drive a scooter in Nusa Penida island by going to the places served by a good road : Crystal Bay, Goa Giri Putri, Atuh Beach, Kelingking Beach. Once familiar and comfortable you can go to Temeling, Guyangan or Suwehan. And if you are not completely confortable, take a car driver or a motorbike driver !
Driving at night in Nusa Penida?
The night is totally dark about 45 minutes after sunset. So around 7 p.m. But driving in Bali or Nusa Penida at night is sometimes more comfortable than by day on good quality roads. Because there are fewer cars and trucks and you can see them coming thanks to the headlights. However, you have to drive more slowly and be more careful on poor quality roads.
Map of Nusa Penida and its road network
This map of Nusa Penida island produced by Namaste Bungalows hotel shows the quality of the road network. It is fairly accurate except it anticipated the renovation of the roads south of Tanglad to Suwehan Beach and Tabuanan which have not yet been repaired. If you want the high resolution pdf version of this map, please just add a comment at the end of this article or send me an email !
By clicking at the top right of this page you will get the map of Nusa Penida island by Google. Google Map is also very useful on the island. The distances and travel times between two places are pretty accurate and take into account the condition of the roads. On the other hand, you must check and write the correct name for each place. For example to go to Temeling you have to type Tembeling. I try for each destination to give you the correct name to type. Mapsme still doesn’t know the roads of Nusa Penida very well, I don’t recommend it, because I saw a lot of tourists lost in the middle of nowhere following its directions. You can also see my Google map of Nusa Penida where you will also find the location of my top 15 sites to see in Nusa Penida.
If you have a lot of suitcases with you, the best option is to book through your hotel your transfer from the port. Otherwise you will find drivers to drive you to your hotel with your luggage but the prices may be higher. I have already seen a driver asking IDR 300,000 to drive tourists to the tree house they had booked near Sekartaji. There is an agreement between the drivers of the island to charge some kind of lump sum prices so negotiating is almost impossible. The price for an average trip is 150,000 to 200,000 rupees.
Rent a car in Nusa Penida ?
You cannot rent and drive a car yourself, so you will need to rent a car with driver for half a day or a full day. In certain cases the driver can also act as a guide. It is a good option if you are a bunch of people who want to visit the most remote locations of the island. The prices are also higher than in Bali but it is roughly 100,000 rupees per hour. So about 400,000 rupees for half a day or 700,000 rupees for a day. The driver will normally accept 6 of you in a car so it can really be a relatively cheap option.
If you are alone, you can also rent a scooter with driver.
There are many possibilities for boat trips. The main one is the tour to snorkel and see the famous Manta rays. But scuba diving will also give you a great opportunity to discover the coast from the sea, and to visit the seabed. Public and private boats also connect Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan islands for around 60,000 rupees each way. You can also rent a scooter on Nusa Lembongan island.
I hardly saw any on the island. It must be said that it is quite hilly, with a peak higher than 500 meters above sea level. But if you have your own bike and you feel like it, this may be an original way to get around in Nusa Penida !
Any question on how to get around in Nusa Penida?
I will be happy to answer any questions ! Just contact me or post a question !
Other pages you want to read
My top 15 places in Nusa Penida
After 30 visits to Nusa Penida I updated my list of 15 awesome sites so see in Nusa Penida : beaches, temples, cliffs, dive sites and many more !
Atuh & Diamond Beach
Atuh Beach and Diamond Beach are among the most beautiful beaches in Nusa Penida Island, now very easily accessible. It takes about an hour from the port of Toyapakeh to reach them. If you take the right route you will have Atuh Beach on one side and Diamond Beach on the other. Diamond Beach is best known thanks to the stairs cut into the cliff. Atuh Beach is very pleasant for swimming at high tide.
Kelingking is a spectacular rocky outcrop into the sea. The rock looks like the backbone of a dinosaur that drinks in the sea, in a bay called T-Rex Bay ! The view is exceptional but if you have the courage and the time, you MUST go down to the beach. Get good shoes and once down to the beach, watch out for waves and currents. Believe me, it is worth it !