The Nusa Islands consist of three little islands: Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. While most people visit only Nusa Penida as a day trip from Bali, I highly recommend visiting all the 3 islands! With this perfect Nusa Islands itinerary you can cover all the must see spots in 3 days!
The Perfect Nusa Islands Itinerary for 3 Days
Local people say that the Nusa Islands are the perfect place to see how Bali was like 20 years ago, before it became a tourist hotspot. And it’s really true: the Nusa Islands have such a raw beauty that you won’t believe your own eyes!
Day 1 : Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan
Getting around the Nusa Lembongan is pretty easy. You can walk around if you have time (and if you can bear the harsh sunshine) but you can also rent a scooter or barter with the local taxi drivers to save time.
Since we didn’t have any experience with scooter riding, we opted for a taxi. Finding a taxi around the harbour was not so hard, so we asked for a ride to the Devil’s Tear, since this was the first stop on our Nusa Islands itinerary.
The Devil’s Tear located in the south-west corner of the island. It’s a pretty cool spot! When the waves crush against the rocky coastline they create a massive water spray explosion with thousands mini waterfalls pouring back to the ocean. Try not to stay close to the edge because the waves are really strong and completely unpredictable!
Dream beach is just a few minutes walk from the Devil’s Tear. It’s the most popular beach on Nusa Lembongan and it’s the perfect spot to chill and have a dip in the ocean.
If you don’t want to spend hours on the beach it’s better to ask your taxi driver to wait for you until you’re done with your sightseeing! Although the parking lot will be full with cars, those are all from organized tours, hence they already have passengers. Practically there is no free taxi waiting around the beach, so we had a really hard time finding another ride. So it’s better to organize something in advance or you may have to walk from this point!
The Yellow Bridge connects Nusa Lembongan with Nusa Ceningan, it is the only connection between the two islands. As you can see in the below photo it’s pretty narrow, so it is only suitable for scooters or pedestrians.
That also means, that there are no cars on Nusa Ceningan! You can continue riding your scooter or you can walk, but you will have no option to take a taxi.
The Blue Lagoon is located in the most southern part of Nusa Ceningan. This spot is famous for its crystal clear turquise water and the amazing rock formations along the coastline. Since we didn’t have a scooter we couldn’t make it all the way down to the Blue Lagoon in time, because we had to get back to catch the last boat to Nusa Penida. But we found some amazing beach swings on the road!
Arriving to Nusa Penida
After you are done with the sightseeing on Nusa Ceningan, head back to the yellow bridge and cross over to Nusa Lembongan again. You can find some local boats around the bridge that will take you to Nusa Penida for your overnight stay.
There is an official ticket desk where you can purchase your tickets. The ticket price is 60,000 Rp (3.7 EUR / 4.2 USD) for one way per person. The boat doesn’t have a fixed timetable, it will depart once it’s full with passengers (although it happens quickly).
It takes around 15 minutes to reach Nusa Penida, you will arrive at Toya Pakeh Harbour. I recommend staying on Nusa Penida for 2 nights, we choose to stay around the harbour to save time on the transportation.
Day 2: Nusa Penida - South
Nusa Penida is a pretty big island with many amazing viewpoints, so you will need at least 2 full days to explore everything. I recommend breaking down your itinerary for 2 days and visiting the southern side of Nusa Penida in one day, and the eastern side in another day.
You need to rent a scooter or hire a private driver to take you around the island. The roads are in a really bad condition, they have many potholes and they are so bumpy that you can easily feel sick while driving. Therefore don’t believe what Google maps says about the driving times, it’s a lot more in reality! Furthermore, there is no coastal route, so you always have to venture back to the inland and go back out again.
As I mentioned before, we didn’t have any experience with scooter riding so we chose the most safest option and hired a private driver. It was a really good decision, especially after seeing the condition of the roads..
Peguyangan Waterfall is located at the bottom of some huge cliffs, in order to reach it you need to climb down almost 700 stairs on the hillside. The iconic blue stairway is really narrow and steep, so it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. But the view along the road is incredible! Oh, and don’t expect any waterfalls down there – the name is only symbolical.
Banah Cliff Point
Banah Cliff is an epic viewpoint along the coastline. Actually there are two different lookout points: the Panorama Viewpoint and the Banah Cliff Viewpoint. Both of them offer an incredible view of the surrounding cliffs and the shimmering blue ocean!
Kelingking Beach with the T-Rex shaped cliff is all over on Instagram, this is the most famous spot in Nusa Penida. Visiting this place is a real must have on your Nusa Islands itinerary!
The view from the top is breathtaking, although you can decide to hike down to the beach as well. If you wish to do that, be prepared for a really hard hike! It takes about an hour to get down and the walk is very steep and only secured by a bamboo rail. Don’t even think about hiking down in flipflops or sandals!
Angel’s Billabong is an incredibly clear tide pool where you can also have a dip in the water. But you have to be very careful and only do it at your own risk! Always watch out for the signs and only get in the pool when the tide is really low. Don’t stay close to the edge, as the high waves can easily swipe you out to the open ocean. Don’t believe me? Check out these videos (especially the second one) and see it for yourself!
Broken Beach is right next to Angel’s Billabong, you have to walk just a few minutes to reach it. There is an amazing archway that creates a natural pool by allowing the water to flow in and out from the ocean. You are not allowed to swim there, in fact you can’t even go down to the beach, but you can walk around the natural pool.
If you still have some time left, make a little detour to Crystal Bay on your way back to Toya Pakeh harbour. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for that, but it would have been a perfect sunset point!
Day 3: Nusa Penida - North
Goa Giri Putri
Goa Giri Putri is a cave temple located on the northern coast of Nusa Penida. Since it’s a religious place, you always have to wear a sarong (you can also rent it, if you don’t have your own).
The entrance is only through a small crack in the rock and you have to crawl through it to reach the cave. Inside you will find a huge temple courtyard and that is always filled with locals praying and participating on ceremonies.
Thousand Islands Viewpoint (Pulau Seribu)
The Thousand Islands Viewpoint offers the most breathtaking view on the island. There are several viewpoints in the area, you have to climb down the steep stairway to reach them. There are no words that describe how beautiful the view is.. I had to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming!
Rumah Pohon Treehouse
The Rumah Pohon Treehouse is also a part of the Thousand Islands Viewpoint. This spot was my ultimate favourite viewpoint on our Nusa Islands itinerary! You can actually rent it for an overnight stay as well, check out booking.com for more info.
Atuh Beach is really close to the Thousand Island Viewpoint so it’s the perfect place if you want to include some beach time in your Nusa Islands itinerary. It can be accessed from the right and the left side as well, but in both cases you have to climb down on a long stairway.
If you park on the right side of Atuh Beach then you will have access to Diamond Beach as well. Like in Atuh Beach, you also have to hike down on a long stairway to reach Diamond beach. Both beaches are amazing so it’s really up to you which one you choose!