Several travelers proclaim their love of Bali. It is the epitome of paradise and the tiny island surprisingly holds a lot of undiscovered gems. You may think you know Bali…but do you know what Nusa Penida holds? Fellow traveler Jason Cooper @salty_sandals is originally from South Africa and is a freelance photographer and English teacher in Hong Kong. He traveled to Bali in search for more than your typical Bali experience and discovered Nusa Penida.
Nusa Penida is the largest of three islands off the coast of Bali. Boats offer transfers between the islands and from the main island, and its recommended you stay at least 3 days! Check out Atuh beach, Peguyangan Waterfall, and take a hike for great views of Kelingking (below).
Jason traveled through Bali in February (during the rainy season) for two weeks. Traveling the rustic way, he rented a scooter to discover Nusa Penida and only once hired a driver to take him to the places that were hard to get to. The roads in Bali, especially during the rainy season, are sometimes difficult to ride on, so hiring a driver can be helpful.
There’s a lot to pack in on this tiny Island. Hiking offers incredible views, and the white sand beaches are best for relaxation. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular activities at Toyapakeh (beautiful coral and fish!) and Manta Bay (snorkel with the Manta Rays here! Book a tour in advance…)
Jason’s one hotel recommendation was Semabu Hotel on Nusa Penida. With clean and comfortable rooms, plenty of amenities and gorgeous pool views, you can add this hotel to your bucket list. And for food? Jason says, “Try to find a recently opened restaurant designed and named after the Krusty Krabi from Spongebob Squarepants. The two brothers who own it are legends, and they whip up a mean Krabby Patty!”
“It’s a photographer’s dream! Breathtaking coral reefs and marine life surrounded by steep, lush cliffs. Its beautiful because of its untouched scenery and very few tourists.”
It’s hard to choose a favorite memory when you’re in stunning Bali, but Jason’s most memorable time in the Nusa Penida was swimming in some rough waters and hiking to a hidden paradise.
“The most memorable moment for me was swimming in the Angel Billabong. We were warned not to swim there, because of the rough seas, but the waves crashing over the rock wall into the billabong made it truly an exhilarating experience.”
So if you’re planning your trip to Bali, and you want the quintessential paradise with untouched beauty and minimal tourists, make sure to check out Nusa Penida. Take care when navigating the streets if you’re driving, and make sure to bring a camera! Click the button below to follow Jason on Instagram!!!