NUSA PENIDA–best-kept secret

Sometimes it is great to just escape from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet. And Nusa Penida will do just that to
you – make you feel at peace. Not to mention take you back in time. Penida is the largest of three islands off the southeastern coast of Bali, the others being Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.

150It may surprise you, but Penida has 200 square kilometers and it is much larger than the better known Nusa Lembongan. However, tourist infrastructure is very limited there. To get there you can travel by boats from Sanur, Kusamba or Padang Bai. And when you step your foot on the island you will re- alize how authentic everything still is andthat you won’t have luxuries like in Bali, but you will have quality relaxing time. It is best to rent a scooter to drive around, although bare in mind that roads are rough and some- times just rocks. But you will forget all about bumpy ride once you reach quiet and secluded white sand beaches along the north and northwest coasts of Nusa Penida.

151For example Crystal Bay – the stunning white sand beach at Banjar Penida west of Sakti vil- lage on the north-western coast facing Nusa Ceningan. It has perfect clear waters and it is excellent for snorkeling. It is perfect for snorkeling and relaxing, and there are even a few vendors selling drinks so you don’t get thirsty.

On the east coast, you have Atuh beach, which is one of those high white limestone cliff beaches with turquoise water. It is a great place to spend an entire day. Just be careful because the road leading from the town of Ped to Atuh Beach gets very rough.

Broken Beach is a stunning natural formation and it is actually a natural bridge that makes for an unreal setting. It is an absolute must see! Just make sure not to get lost, since the roads are somewhat confusing. There are also Temeling natural pools of water – perfect for cooling down during these hot tropical days. They are cold and refreshing and surrounded by limestone cliffs and a lush jungle canopy. There are a couple of crystal clear swimming holes and you will probably have them all by yourself since they are not popular touristic spots. Just bare in mind that there are separate pools for men and women.

Nusa Penida also has several interesting Hindu temples Goa Giri Putri or Karangsari Cave is a unique temple, and according to locals, this temple has great significance for people all over Bali. Climb the stairs and enter the caves via a manhole. Inside the caves, there is electrical light and a place for meditation. It is a truly unique experience. This is a wild, rugged and largely untamed island which offers plenty to those with an adventurous spirit. Be open minded and try to spend more than just a few days in this undiscovered paradise.■

Bali Pocket Magazine