Getting to Nusa Penida
We’re last-minute bookers so we booked our boat tickets, and our ride to the boat, two days in advance at our hotel in Ubud. We just walked to the reception and asked if they could bring us to Nusa Penida, they made a few calls and we paid the price. Having your hotel manage everything is probably not the cheapest way, but it’s the fastest and easiest way and we like that.
On our check-out day, we got picked up by a driver who drove us to the harbor. We had to pick up a few other people too in Ubud, who all went to either Nusa Lembongan or the Gili Islands. Once we were at the harbor, our driver picked up our ferry tickets at the ticket office, and we waited for our boat to arrive.
Getting onto the boat was quite the happening. We had to walk through the water and get on a floating platform. While on the floating platform, the boat was moored to it. Employees of the harbor helped carrying our luggage. It’s very common in Bali having to walk through the water to board a boat. So, make sure to wear shorts (you probably are) and to wear shoes that easily come off. Fortunately, there was a jetty in Nusa Penida, so getting off the boat was easy.
We arranged with our hotel in Nusa Penida that someone would pick us up when we arrived on the island. There were a couple of taxi drivers waiting at the jetty, so if you don’t have transport to your hotel, you don’t have to worry about getting there. We got picked up in an open-air vehicle in which you have to hold onto your luggage tightly as it gets bouncy.
Once arrived at our hotel, we had lunch, left our luggage in the room, rented a scooter and drove to Crystal Bay for some afternoon snorkeling and of course the sunset. Click here to read about the things to do in Nusa Penida.
Where to stay
We stayed in Arsa Santhi Penida, which we chose for its good reviews and central location (not too far from the jetty and not too far from most places we wanted to visit) and its connection to the main road. Moreover, we checked whether there were restaurants in the area we could go to (read about our favorite restaurant the Krusty Krab). While staying there, we discovered there was a gas station nearby, which made the location even better.
The hotel itself was good too. It was always clean, and the staff was very nice. The food at the hotel’s restaurant was pretty good too. The hotel has a pool, but we actually never took a dip in it as we were always driving around the island. It was very convenient that we could rent a scooter at the hotel. It wasn’t a problem at all when we wanted to extend our stay and to keep the scooter for another day. We would absolutely recommend Arsa Santhi Penida for a stay in Nusa Penida. This is not sponsored by the way, but just our honest opinion.
On our next visit to Nusa Penida, we might consider staying at a hotel near Crystal Bay as we ended up spending so much time at that beach. Getting from Crystal Bay to the main road takes some time though, which makes the location less perfect.
Getting back to Bali
We arranged our trip back to Bali again at the hotel. We paid in advance, for both the ride to the harbor and the ferry ticket from Nusa Penida to Bali. We arrived at Sanur in Bali and once we got there we booked a Blue Bird Taxi through its app My Blue Bird (which works very similar to Uber and Grab) that drove us to our hotel in Canggu.
Getting to Nusa Penida and back on your own
If you don’t want your hotel to arrange everything, it’s also possible to do it yourself. You might save some money this way. One of the main ports on Bali to get to Nusa Penida is Sanur. Go to the harbor of Sanur with your own transportation or by taxi, for instance. You can let your hotel call a taxi or get one through an app. We prefer Blue Bird Taxi in Bali as it works perfectly, while we had lots of trouble getting a Grab.
Once in Sanur, look for the right hut to buy boat tickets to Nusa Penida and wait for your boarding time. Sanur is pretty big and busy and there are lots of places where you can go for a drink or a bite.
In Nusa Penida, you can get a taxi at the harbor or ask your hotel if they can pick you up (the latter will most of the time be free). Getting back to Bali from Nusa Penida will work the same. Your hotel might be willing to take you to the harbor and at the harbor you can buy your ferry ticket to Bali.
Have you been to Nusa Penida or is it still on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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