Nusa Penida is one of the subdistrict territories from four subdistricts in the Klungkung Regency. Nusa Penida is the largest of three islands off the south eastern coast of Bali, the others being Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Totalling some 200 square kilometres, Nusa Penida is much larger than the better known Nusa Lembongan. However, tourist infrastructure is very limited here. It is though an island of stunning natural rugged beauty, and tourism-related development plans have been rumoured and mooted to no effect for many years now. Due to a lack of natural fresh water, little is grown or produced on Nusa Penida, and even some basic foodstuffs come by boat from Bali. Visitors should therefore expect higher prices than in Bali, and not bank on any tourism-related luxury items being available for purchase here. Plan accordingly. In 2004 the Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF) started an introduction program to Nusa Penida of the near-extinct Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi). By the spring of 2009, 58 chicks had successfully hatched in the wild. Although the long term viability of this population remains in grave doubt, this and similar initiatives in the West Bali National Park, would seem the last remaining hopes for the Bali Starling avoiding complete extinction in the wild.
How to get to Nusa Penida :
1. Public boats depart daily at 6am close to the suspension bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan and run to Toyapakeh or Buyuk Harbour in northern Nusa Penida. There are also services from the Jungut Batu area of Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Penida. All of these can be a little ‘worrying’ at times and are often very crowded.
2. Charter boats are available, departing from and arriving at the same area as the public boats. If you are staying on Nusa Lembongan, ask at your hotel. If not, go to the shoreline close to the suspension bridge or to the beach at Jungut Batu and ask around amongst the boatmen.
What you can see around Nusa Penida :
1. Crystal Bay , (take the only small road which heads west from the main road at Sakti village and keep going until you hit the coast.). A stunning white sand beach at Banjar Penida west of Sakti village on the north western coast facing Nusa Ceningan. Perfect clear waters and excellent snorkelling. Lovely white sand beach and a great place for a picnic. A truly idyllic spot and you are likely to have it to yourself apart for the odd local villager and maybe a diveboat offshore.
2. Goa Karang Sari (Karangsari or Karangsari Cave), Sampalan/Suana. Large limestone caves on the east coast about 4 kilometres north of Suana village. Find a local to help guide you and bring a flashlight. Some impressive stalactites and other typical limestone formations. The entrance is a short climb from the road level. Of great religious and cultural significance.
3. Pura Penetaran Dalem , (at Ped village on the main north coast road between Toyapakeh and Sampalan). An extremely important temple to the Hindu Balinese many of whom make an annual pilgrimage to Nusa Penida specifically to pray here to protect against illness, disease and death. This temple is built on a quite grand scale which makes for something of a contrast with the generally rather austere nature of Nusa Penida.
4. Puncak Mundi (Mundi Hill). The highest point of Nusa Penida at some 521 metres above sea level. Great views from here. This area is also home to an alternative energy facility with wind turbines and a solar panel farm. Puncak Mundi temple perches high on the hill.
5. Pura Batu Medahu and Pura Batu Kuning. Two interesting and stuningly located temples on the east coast road south of Suana. Instead of taking the main road form Suana heading south west, continue on the coast road towards the tiny village of Semaya. You will come to the two temples (Pura Batu Madan first) after about 1.5 km and before you reach Semaya.
6. Sebuluh Waterfall . Waterfall which is impressive during the wet season (only). In the central west of the island close to Batu Madeg village.
7. South Coast Cliffs . The whole southern coast of Nusa Penida has spectacular, 300 metre high white limestone cliffs which will simply take your breath away. Even by the standards of Nusa Penida, the southern quarter is remote and inaccessible. The roads are difficult and in places distinctly hairy. But once you get there it will all seem worthwhile. Try anywhere along the south coast from Pendem, around Bakung Cape to the coast west of Batu Madeg. Allow plenty of time as the chances are you will get lost at some stage.
8. FNPF office in Ped village , Office of the Friends of the National Park Foundation in Ped. Learn about the Bali Starling introduction program and other matters of environmental concern on Nusa Penida.