After seeing the picture of Kelingking Beach or “The Little Finger Beach”, people are usually stunned and put Nusa Penida on their bucket list.
To reach Nusa Penida you have to cross the ocean with a boat as it is located 12 km from the main island of Bali. Unfortunately, you can’t go there by plane because there is no commercial airport in the island.
Here are the options:
By catching a ferry from Padang Bai
As the main harbor of the eastern part of Bali, Padang Bai is renowned as the port where you can ride a ferry to the neighboring Lombok island. Yet, it turns that here you can catch a public ferry to Nusa Penida as well.
The ferry cost cheaper than Sanur’s fast boats (IDR40,000/person). And—here’s the best part—the lower deck is, which means you can bring your vehicle along! However, the crossing takes more time than that of fast boats. So this option is only for those with time in hands. Departing daily at 11 am, the ferry reaches Nusa Penida three hours later, around 12.30 pm.
By Caspla Bali boat from near Goa Lawah Temple, Pesinggahan Village
Caspla Bali, running regularly twice a day (7 am/4 pm) from Bali to Buyak in Nusa Penida, has a humble pier about 8 km south of Padang Bai. Unlike going by ferry which will take you 1.5 hours, the yellow speedboat only needs 15 minutes to finally throw the anchor at the panoramic shoreline of Nusa Penida.
The ups, the fare is very reasonable: IDR50,000 for the locals, IDR75,000 for foreigners. (It is advisable that you directly purchase the ticket from the operator.) The downs, going by Caspla Bali means that you have to leave your motorbike in Bali and rent another scooter in Nusa Penida.
By either fast or traditional boat from Kusamba Village
Gangga Express departing from the traditional fishing village of Kusamba (7.30 am/4.30 am), Klungkung, can also take you to Nusa Penida. By paying IDR100,000, you’ll embark on a 15 to 20 minutes journey to the largest settlement of Nusa Penida, Sampalan Village.
If you are looking for the more adventurous way, you can take the traditional boat at 1 pm. However, the journey requires a strong stomach in that you will cross the roaring ocean by a small crowded boat, along with many other passengers and their motorbikes—and sometimes livestock. But it costs you next to nothing.
By speedboats from Sanur Beach
It turns that Sanur does not only provide one of the most scenic sunrises in Bali but also reliable public boat services to Nusa Penida. There are several speedboats commuting daily between Sanur and Nusa Penida, such as Optasal (9 pm/10.30 pm), Caspla Bali Boat (11 am/2 pm/4.30 pm), Maruti Express (8.30 am/10 am/4 pm), and Mola-Mola Express (8.30 am/4.30 pm). The one-hour journey will cost you from IDR200,000 to 250,000.
Two things to remember. First, since you’re cruising by a passenger fast-boat, you can’t bring your motorbike along. Second, make sure you arrive in Sanur at least half an hour before the departure time. Why? Since Sanur is the most popular jetty—though actually there is no jetty—to Nusa Penida, the boat tickets might have already been sold ten minutes before boarding. And expect a delay.
By fancy Quicksilver Cruise from Tanjung Benoa
If you have a little spare time but still insisting on going to Nusa Penida (and you’re taking your family), perhaps you should go to Tanjung Benoa and book a trip from Quicksilver Cruise. Lone travelers might think that cruising with Quicksilver feels so… superficial. But those who go with their families might think differently as the cruise will happily arrange safe banana boat sessions, snorkeling, and meals.
As it is a fancy-boat cruising, it will cost you a lot more than any other way to go to Nusa Penida: USD110 for adult and half price for the child. It departures daily at 9.15 am from Tanjung Benoa (boarding at 8.45 am). After half a day enjoying the crystal clear water of Nusa Penida, it will go back from Penida at 3 pm and arrive at Tanjung Benoa at 4 pm.
”Are we there yet.”