Although it is fully possible to take a day trip to Nusa Penida from “mainland” Bali, this two day Nusa Penida itinerary is a great way to see more of what this picture perfect island known for its dramatic cliffs and breathtaking viewpoints has to offer.
The best way to experience Nusa Penida in two days is to split the island into South/West and North/East. While the island isn’t massive, the way the roads to the main sights are laid out means it is impossible to see everything in one day.
Although I read that roads are terrible on Nusa Penida, this isn’t really the case.
Yes, there are spots (usually the last bit before getting to a viewpoint) are a bit rough, but it seems like a lot of work has been put in to make roads better. There weren’t nearly as many potholes or unsealed roads as I was expecting (luckily!)
Still, it takes time to get from one place to the next so we limited what we did during our two day itinerary on Nusa Penida. Of course you can fit more in depending on how early you set off and how long you spend at each point.
If time allows, you might want to consider extending your Nusa Penida trip to three days to ensure you get sufficient time at each spot and get to see everything this pretty island has to offer! If you do have the flexibility of adding more time, I’ve added a few bonus items at the bottom of the two day itinerary for you too!
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How To Get To Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is a rugged island located just off the southeast coast of Bali, Indonesia.
A fast ferry or speed boat from Sanur to Nusa Penida will set you back around IDR200,000 per person (you can definitely haggle this down though!) It takes just 40 minutes to get to Banjar Nyuh harbour on Nusa Penida from Sanur.
There is also a public slow ferry from Padang Bai in east Bali. If you’re on a budget, this is definitely the cheaper option at IDR30,000 per person). It takes around 2 hours to reach Sampalan Harbour on Nusa Penida on the Roro slow boat.
Bear in mind that the ferry from Sanur and the slow boat from Padang Bai arrive on different parts of Nusa Penida – make sure you know where you’re headed in order to help you plan your accommodation and onward trip.
Get more important tips about Nusa Penida in my key facts guide!
Nusa Penida Tour or DIY Itinerary?
Whether you visit Nusa Penida on a tour or do it yourself with the below suggested itinerary is obviously completely up to you.
If you feel comfortable driving a scooter, that is my recommended way of visiting the top sights on Nusa Penida. We much prefer to do things at our own pace, and there will be things on this Nusa Penida itinerary that you won’t be able to do on an organised tour.
However, if you’re not comfortable driving a scooter, you may want to consider either joining a tour around Nusa Penida or hiring a car and driver to take you around.
I would not recommend hiring your own car as the roads are super narrow and windy and there is rarely enough room for two cars side by side.
Day 1: Nusa Penida – South & West
First up on your Nusa Penida itinerary is the South and West of the island. There are many things to do here and to see it all you either need to start early or allocate more than one day.
I suggest kicking off the first day of your Nusa Penida trip by driving south to Manta Point.
Of course, if you have time, you might want to consider a snorkelling trip to actually swim with these amazing creatures. But, either way, from the top of Manta Point you’ll get a spectacular view of the surrounding cliffs. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll see Mantas swimming in the sea below.
It is a little tricky to find once you reach the parking area. We met a few people along the way who had simply given up. Clearly they did not use Maps.me (we always use Maps.me! We’d honestly be lost without it!) Once you see the temple, simply follow the narrow path up along the right hand side of the fence to reach Manta Point lookout.
Be aware that there is little to no shelter here and it gets hot! Always make sure you bring enough water with you and wear a hat!
Kelingking Beach (aka T-Rex Bay) is probably the most famous and highly instagrammed spot on Nusa Penida (maybe even Bali!)
I can see why though – The view from the top is breathtaking!
It does get busy but we didn’t find that it was too terrible in terms of getting photos. Make sure you walk up and left for a less crowded viewpoint of the T-Rex before heading down the stairs.
If you’re game and have enough energy (and water! Do not set off without plenty of water!), climbing down the steep cliff steps is definitely worth the effort. It will take you about 30 minutes to clamber down, and the same back up again. There are steps about halfway down and then it turns more rugged. But, there are always railings or ropes to hold on to and if you take your time, you’ll be totally fine.
The beach is stunning but be careful about swimming here. The waves are INSANE and the current is extremely strong. While you can swim here if you’re a confident swimmer, I’d still caution against it. You’re very likely to get thrown around like a rag doll in those waves when you come back out. Trust me, I speak from experience….
You can easily spend all afternoon here, so it might be worth either eating before you head down or bringing a picnic lunch!
Check out my full guide on Kelingking beach and viewpoint for more useful information for you visit!
Day 2: Nusa Penida – North & East
Day two of your Nusa Penida itinerary is nice in the sense that you won’t have as far to travel between spots!
But, it is a longer drive to get there in the first place.
You have two options in terms of getting to Atuh beach. Either you can approach it from the left or combine it with your entry to Diamond Beach on the right.
The benefit of approaching from the left is that you avoid the entrance fee of IDR10,000 per person that is charged at the Diamond Beach entry point.
The downside is that it is further to walk with more steps to climb (and descend!) It also means that it’s not as easy to include Thousand Islands viewpoint and the Instagram-famous Rumah Pohon treehouse.
Atuh Beach, while maybe not the most beautiful of beaches, is one of the few places where you can find some relief from the relentless heat and swim. The waves crash on many rocks meaning they loose a lot of momentum before they hit the beach and you’ll be able to swim safely closer to shore.
But… the rocks mean that it is… well… rocky!
There are multiple stalls along the beach most of which also rent out sun-beds and umbrellas. So, you can easily hang out here for the day if you wish!
The next bay along from Atuh Beach is the picturesque Diamond Beach.
Although it is perhaps not quite as spectacular as Kelingking Beach, it’s pretty close! It’s also easier to get down to Diamond Beach.
Yes, there are still a lot of steps. But, they are proper stairs. Not too much cliff climbing here!
Again, similar to Kelingking Beach though, swimming here is treacherous at best. The waves are huge and currents strong. There are also a lot of big rocks under the water so you can very easily hurt yourself.
Paddling might be the smarter option.
If you’re not up for clambering up and down all those steps, Jogglo Viewpoint is pretty spectacular in its own right, giving you a view of Diamond Beach on one side, and Atuh beach on the other.
Bonus Day – Additional Things To Do: Nusa Penida
If you have more time to spend, here are a few more places that you could consider adding to your Nusa Penida itinerary;
Angel’s Billabong & Broken Beach
We initially intended to visit Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach on Day 1. But after spending longer than expected at both Manta Point and Kelingking Beach, we didn’t have enough time.
We made another attempt on Day 2 but found that the road was closed…
There was a sign up stating that there was a detour but we weren’t able to find it so unfortunately we didn’t make it to these two points. They look stunning though and would definitely make a worthwhile addition to your Nusa Penida Trip Itinerary if you can figure out how to get there… Please do let me know in the comments if you have any tips or updates on this!
Thousand Islands Viewpoint & Rumah Pohon Treehouse
As I mentioned, the Thousand Islands viewpoint is on the far side of Diamond Beach and potentially a do-able addition to your Day 2 itinerary. But, this depends on where you enter from and whether or not you go down to the beaches.
We skipped this viewpoint as it seemed like it would offer more or less the same view as we got from Jogglo Viewpoint between Atuh and Diamond beaches.
Plus, I didn’t feel the need to get the Instagram picture with the treehouse.
Still, if you enter from the right hand side, you may as well add this one in too!
If, after an action packed and tiring two day trip around Nusa Penida, you’re looking for a bit of relaxation, Crystal Bay may well be the perfect addition.
There’s no climbing to get to the beach here so just grab your swimwear, maybe a mask and snorkel, and get ready to soak up some rays!
Still haven’t gotten enough exercise you say?
Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that to get to Peguyangan Waterfall, there are many more stairs to climb!
I’m told there are around 750 steps on these iconic blue stairs, taking you all the way down the cliff.
But, despite the name, the waterfall really isn’t that spectacular so bear that in mind when deciding whether or not to add Peguyangan Waterfall to your Nusa Penida Itinerary…
We didn’t end up snorkelling on Nusa Penida because we simply ran out of time.
While in my opinion, the snorkelling in the Gili Islands is likely better, the opportunity to snorkel with the magnificent Manta Rays on Nusa Penida was a big draw.
There are plenty of boats that can take you out either as a private group or with other tourists.
Prices start from IDR250,000.
Of course, there isn’t a guarantee that you’ll actually see mantas but if you have the time, it’s certainly worth considering adding snorkelling to your activity list for your trip to Nusa Penida.
Bear in mind that (as I mentioned above) the waters around Nusa Penida are pretty rough. I’ve read reviews of people going out snorkelling who found the water very rough which took away from the enjoyment of snorkelling here.
Do your own research and decide whether it is worth it to you or not!
So there you have it, my suggested 2+ day Nusa Penida itinerary! This should allow you to take in the most beautiful and popular spots on the island. Have you been to Nusa Penida? Which of these places was your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!
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