Nusa Penida is one of those destinations that is just incredible. If a visit to the island isn’t on your bucket list, it probably should be. Turquoise water, beautiful nature, cliff formations, and stunning white-sand beaches, are just some of the things you can look forward to during your stay on the island. But as with every new destination, there are some things which are good to know before traveling to Nusa Penida. Below, we have gathered some of the things that we would have found useful to know before we arrived on the island.
#1 Day trip versus more days
Nusa Penida is only a short speed boat ride from Bali, which means that it is possible to visit the island during a day trip. But the big question is often; is a day trip enough time? We would always recommend you spend around 3-4 days or more on the island. That way you will be able to visit most of the island and do some incredible things like hitting some of the beautiful beaches. If your time is limited, a day trip is the most ideal way to experience some of the most popular sites like Kelingking Beach and Angel’s Billabong. But no matter your amount of time you should definitely plan for a trip to Nusa Penida.
Nusa Penida is somewhat part of Bali which means that the rules applying for Bali also apply to Nusa Penida. Because of that, you are required to have a visa when traveling around Bali and Nusa Penida. There are three types of visas for Bali: social and business visa, free tourist visa, and visa on Arrival. To apply and get approved for a visa to Nusa Penida / Bali you need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months upon entering the country. We have gathered all the information you will need for your visa application right here. Hopefully making the process a lot easier.
#3 Don’t drink the tap water
This one might be quite obvious, but you should not drink the tap water on the island. There can be some bacteria in the water that your stomach might not be used to, which can make you sick. So, to avoid this buy your water or go the sustainable way and use a filtered water bottle.
#4 Be aware of extra tax at restaurants
In Indonesia, the law demands that all bars, cafés, and restaurants, must charge 21 percent extra on food and beverages. In some places, you will find that this is already part of the prices on the menu, while others add it to the final price on the receipt. Because of these extra taxes, you are not required to tip in restaurants. But with so many other places you can always tip if you experience good service.
#5 Crowds of tourists
As beautiful Nusa Penida is, as crowded it can be. Especially some of the main sites such as Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, Angel’s Billabong, and Crystal Bay tend to be crawling with tourists. The reason for this is often the day trips. A way to skip some of the crowds is to visit the sights when other tourists eat lunch. The most perfect way to avoid big crowds is to spend a few days on the island.
#6 Going on a tour or by yourself
Whether you are visiting the island for a day or more we would always recommend you plan the trip by yourself. If you need some help, we have made the perfect 4-day Nusa Penida itinerary, from which you can pick and choose the things you would like to do. Or look at our guide for a day-trip on the island.
If you are not the planning type of person, it is easy to find tour companies that will do all the work for you. No matter what you choose you can look forward to an incredible island experience.
#7 The roads tend to be bad
The roads of Nusa Penida tend to be quite bad. But they are gradually being redeveloped, making it way easier to get around the island. Even so, you should expect to drive on some small and narrow dirt roads. Another thing to be aware of is that you are required to drive on the left side of the road. This comes as a shock for many tourists, making their driving insecure. The rule of thumb when driving in Nusa Penida is never to drive too fast and remember to slow down before turns.
#8 You will need cash
The numbers of ATMs on the island are limited and if you find one it is probably out of order. Therefore, you should always bring enough cash for your whole stay. Most of the tourist sites (including parking) and restaurants only accept cash. This means you should bring plenty of cash for your stay in Nusa Penida.