After coming to Bali regularly for over 3 years, I finally ventured out to visit Nusa Penida - a small nearby "adventure" island with beautiful beaches and horrific roads.
We got up at 6am to drive from Canggu to Sanur, so we can get one of the first boats. It took us less than an hour. The drive was nice as there was no traffic and no heat.
In Sanur, parking was a bit of a problem as I didn't expect there to be so many bikes at the bay! There were literally hundreds of them, if not thousands. It took a while but with some help from a local we managed to find a parking spot.
We paid 350 000 rupiah for a return ticket (that's about $25 USD). Rather expensive, could have been less probably, but we didn't feel like haggling.
We were lucky - the weather was perfect and the sea was completely flat. I enjoyed the ride, even though the boat was a bit crowded!
It took just about 30 minutes to cross over to Nusa Penida.
Arriving in Nusa Penida
Arrical was quite chaotic, similar to any other touristy placein South East Asia. Several boats arrived at once, passengers crowded the beach, locals were offering scooter rentals and hotel rooms.
We wanted to rent a scooter as soon as possible. We paid about 80 000 rupiah (about $5) for the day - again, this could have been less but we didn't feel like haggling. We got the shitties scooters I had ever seen - but I doubt any scooter can stay in good condition on Nusa Penida with those horrific roads.
My friend looked online and found a decent homestay nearby, so we went straight there and booked it. It was an average twin room (very clean tho), for which we paid about $3 per person. Perfect - we were only going to sleep there anyways.
We had breakfast at a cafe nearby - Sunny Cafe, it was actually really nice with healthy food options. Then we relaxed in our room for an hour before hitting the road.
First we drove to Gamat Bay. It took a while getting used to the broken roads of the island, but we managed.
To get to Gamat Bay, we had to do a steep hike down. It was worth since the beach was completely empty, save for a few boats in the distance.
This place had a total "castaway on a deset island" vibe, I loved it.
We spent about an hour here before heading back.
The hike back up in the blasting sun was a challenge, but we made it. We got some water from the small warung at the top, then continued driving.
Our next destination was Crystal Bay. This beach was completely different - lots of people and restaurants around here. We didn't like it too much, but we took refuge from the heat under an umbrella and spent an hour or two here drinking coconuts.
Klingkling (T Rex) beach
It was getting late - around 3:30pm. We had planned to watch sunset at a special bar, but we also wanted to see the famous Klingkling beach. So we had to drive fast.
The T Rex beach didn't disappoint. It's very touristy and for a reason. The view from the top is incredible.
We only had about 15 minutes to enjoy the view and take some photos before heading back for sunset.
Amok sunset bar
Someone recommended this bar for watching the sunset and we really wanted to make it there in time. We drove like crazy on the windy Nusa Penida roads.
The last few kilometers were a dirt road through the jungle.
And then we arrived at the bar, which completely exceeded our expectations! It was a luxury place in the middle of the Nusa Penida jungle.
We sat by the pool and were given complimentary towels. We ordered spicy mango cocktails, which tasted amazing. We also had some pretty decent food. And we paid less than $10 each for all of this!
We stayed for a few hours watching the beautiful sunset. At night the whole place lit up with fairy lights, it was magical.
Around 7pm we left (unwillingly) as we had to be back in town to return the scooters. Driving back on the jungle dirtroads - at night - between palm trees and the full moon in the sky - was such an experience.
We made it back to town and returned the scooters.
We collapsed in our beds soon after. The next day we woke up at 6am to get the first boat back to Bali, as it was Monday and I had to work.
Nusa Penida was an adventure and I will definitely be back to explore more.