Nusa Penida is a captivating paradise island separated from Bali by the Badung Strait. It is the largest of a trio of small offshore islands, alongside Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, just 40km from Bali’s east coast.
Towering limestone cliffs and pristine white-sand beaches dot the Penida coastline. It has been filling the Instagram feeds of a growing army of intrepid travellers. Dinosaur shaped Kelingking Beach is the island’s most famous icon but Nusa Penida’s allure extends far beyond this.
Expect secret castaway beaches and lagoons, crystal clear waters teeming with manta rays and awesome viewpoints high above the crashing waves.
It definitely deserves much more than a fleeting day trip to really appreciate its charms. Give yourself at least a few days to really explore Nusa Penida Island.
Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan or Gili Islands?
Many travellers visiting Indonesia will make a choice between either visiting the Nusa Islands or the Gili Islands. See here the differences:
Nusa Penida – most adventurous
With limestone cliffs filling up the coastline, Nusa Penida Island is known for its spectacular landscape. Days will likely be spent exploring the islands’ hotspots by car or motorbike. Or even better, exploring the coastline with a boat trip and snorkelling with Manta Rays!
Nusa Lembongan – a combination between adventure and relaxation
Although not as spectacular as Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan also offers several viewpoints around the island. Thanks to its flatter landscape, Nusa Lembongan is a bit more developed. It offers more places to stay, restaurants to eat and also has more accessible beaches.
The famous yellow bridge connects Nusa Lembongan to its little sister Nusa Ceningan. The landscape of Nusa Ceningan comes closer to Nusa Penida with high cliffs along the coastline.
The Gili Islands – laid back beach vibe and nightlife
The Gili Islands are a group of 3 islands in the north of Lombok. The main transport to get around the islands is by bicycle as none of the three islands permits motorized traffic.
This certainly retains the laid back vibe of the island. You will likely spend your days relaxing on the beach, snorkelling, diving or partying in one of Gili Trawangan’s or Gili Air’s beach bars.
How to get from Bali to Nusa Penida?
With 5 different ports in Bali and 3 different ports in Nusa Penida Island, there used to be a lot of choices. Since the pandemic, however, the ferries only leave from Sanur and most arrive at Pelabuhan (Sampalan) harbour in Nusa Penida.
Located in the northeast of Nusa Penida, Sampalan port is a convenient location if you booked a stay in the northern part of the island or want to continue your journey to the famous Diamond beach in the south of Nusa Penida.
The fast boats only takes about 30 minutes, but including the boarding and arrival time, the total journey will be closer to 1 hour.
PRO-TIP: Although Nusa Penida is best explored over a few days, you can also book a day trip from Bali to Nusa Penida. This tour offered by Klook offers incredible value for only 525,000 IDR ($35.50). The ticket includes roundtrip tickets from the most popular destinations in Bali as well as a guide who will drive you to the best hotspots of Nusa Penida.
Slow ferry from Bali to Nusa Penida
31,000 IDR ($2.10)
An alternative to the fast boat is the slow ferry from Bali to Nusa Penida. We only recommend this option if you want to bring a vehicle to Nusa Penida.
Since the pandemic, the ferry only leaves once a day at 10:00 in the morning from Padang Bai. Make sure to be there at least 30 minutes before departure as you will need to buy a toll card.
To register this card, they will ask for your name(s), address and register your licence plate if you bring a vehicle. put money on it and then buy your ticket at the next ticket office.
See here the costs for the slow ferry:
Adult: 31,000 IDR ($2.10)
Motorbike: 50,000 IDR ($3.35)
Car: 295,000 IDR ($20)
Toll card: 30,000 IDR ($2) (can be shared with multiple people)
Although most ferries leave at 10:00, the ferry can sometimes be delayed by several hours.
Getting around in Nusa Penida
When you arrive in Nusa Penida, drivers will offer you a ride to your accommodation in Nusa Penida. You can check with your accommodation if they offer to pick up too or ask what is a fair price.
If you are staying in the Northern part of Nusa Penida, a taxi drive to your accommodation will likely cost somewhere between 50,000 IDR ($3.35) and 150,000 IDR ($10).
You might have read in some travel blogs that the roads in Nusa Penida are terribly bad. Luckily we have good news to share about that. Since 2020 the road conditions improved dramatically. Thanks to the improved roads, it’s now easy to get to most hotspots in Nusa Penida by bike.
This includes the road to Diamond Beach, Kelinging and Broken beach. On the other hand, the road to Crystal Bay can still use some renovation though.
Renting a bike on arrival in Nusa Penida
Even better, start your adventure right away and rent a motorbike directly from the harbour. There is much to see and experience on Nusa Penida and renting a motor scooter gives you the freedom to explore it all at your own pace.
Bike rental in Nusa Penida normally starts from 75,000 IDR ($5), but Klook offers currently a promotion to rent a bike for only 55,000 IDR ($3.70) per day.
Besides the low price offered by Klook, the renter will be waiting for you at the harbour with your bike. No reason to queue up or negotiate for the best rates. It’s basically a no-brainer if you were planning to rent one.
Of course, it’s still required to have a valid driver’s license and you should be comfortable driving a bike. If you don’t want to drive a bike in Bali, it’s also better to not drive it in Nusa Penida.
If you want to go island hopping to Nusa Penida’s neighbour island, there are regular ferries plying the short trip between Lembongan and Penida. The short boat trip to Nusa Penida costs just 60.000 IDR ($0) and leaves from the Yellow Bridge on Nusa Lembongan.
It takes just 15 minutes to get to Toyapakeh on Nusa Penida and tickets can be bought on the boat. There is no set schedule as the small boats wait for passengers to fill up (8-10 people) but this is rarely more than 20-30 minutes.
PRO-TIP: Check Tideschart for the tides of the day. Tides change each day and boats can’t leave from the Yellow bridge with low-tide. In that case you’ll have to arrange a private boat further on the river, which will be more expensive.Lombok to Nusa Penida
Below, we share a complete guide on how to get to Nusa Penida from Bali. Travelling from Lombok? Check out this guide on how to get from Lombok to Nusa Penida.
Information about the different ferry ports (pre-pandemic)
COVID-19 UPDATE: Currenlty (May 2022), there are only a limited number of ferry ports operating. The information shared below presents the pre-pandemic situation. Likely more ports are going to open again over the next months, but for now, Sanur port is the most important port in Bali.
When visiting Nusa Penida Island from Bali, you can leave from 5 different ports in Bali of which Sanur, Serangan and Padang Bai provide you with the best options.
Most of those ferries arrive at Toyapakeh which is a convenient harbour to arrive in Nusa Penida. Travelling between the other ports (Buyuk and Sampalan harbour) takes about 20 minutes and costs around 150,000 IDR ($10).
Which port is most convenient to you all depends on the place of your accommodation of course. But if you haven’t booked any yet or just don’t know yet, Toyapakeh will be your safest bet.
Fast boat from Bali to Nusa Penida including free pick-up (pre-pandemic)
COVID-19 UPDATE: Currently (June 2022) there are no ferries available that include pick up at your accommodation. For now, we recommend booking a (Grab) taxi from your accommodation to Sanur harbour.
There are many fast boat companies you can choose from, but we recommend booking a fast boat with free pick-up if you are not staying close to one of the ports.
The taxi rides from west Bali to the harbour are often already more expensive than the fast boat tickets that include free pick-up.
See here the 3 fast boat operators that offer free hotel pick-up in the most popular tourist destination in Bali (including Canggu, Seminyak and Ubud).
Ferries from Bali to Nusa Penida including pick-up
Then continue reading on the most extensive guide on Bali to Nusa Penida you will ever find – and probably also the most extensive route guide you will find on Gecko Routes.
What is the best ferry port to arrive in Nusa Penida Island?
Getting to Nusa Penida Island is a breeze with a good choice of ferry services from mainland Bali.
Later on, we will discuss which ports you can leave from in Bali, but first we want to give you an insight into the ferry ports on Nusa Penida.
Planning your arrival port wisely, can save you the unneeded taxi ride from one to the other port. The 20 minute taxi ride from Sampalan or Buyuk Harbour to Toyapakeh costs for example up to 150,000 IDR ($10).
To start with, we share an overview of the three different ports/harbours on Nusa Penida from west to east: Toyapakeh Harbour, Buyuk Harbour and Sampalan.
All ports are located on the northern coastline and this is also where you’ll find most accommodations.
Most popular ferry port: Toyapakeh harbour
Toyapakeh is arguably the best option as a base to explore around Nusa Penida Island.
You are within easy reach of several must-visit natural attractions such as Crystal Bay, Broken Beach and the astounding Kelingking Beach.
The area around Toyapakeh tourist centre of the Island, with infrastructure improving all the time and a growing selection of restaurants and beach bars.
It also has the most transport and tour companies. Most facilities are close to the centre, including many hotels and guest houses. There are several dive operators here too.
While it’s possible to include a hotel pickup from Bali in the ferry fare, it normally does not include hotel drop-off from the port to your Nusa Penida hotel. Still, some hotels in Toyapakeh do offer a free or paid transport service. These include Perak Cottages and Serambu Hills Resort among others. Check with your hotel in advance.
Buyuk and Sampalan harbour
Buyuk harbour is located about 8km more eastwards from ToyaPakey harbour and is followed by Sampalan harbour which is located 2km further east towards the north eastern corner of the Nusa Penida.
The drive from Buyuk/Sampalan harbour to Toypakey will take about 20 minutes by car, costing 100,000 IDR ($6.50) – 150,000 IDR ($10).
Like Toyapakeh, the area around Buyuk/Sampalan has a good range of accommodation options for most budgets.
From the Sampalan beachfront it is a quick 100-metre stroll to Jalan Nusa Indah where several bungalow resorts and hotels are located, including Nusa Penida Beach Hotel and Caspla Bali – which is the same fast boat company that operates boats direct from Sanur.
For accommodations a little further away, or if you are travelling with hefty baggage, there are always private cars or vans waiting close to Samapalan and Buyuk harbours to whisk you away to your desired hotel.
What is the best ferry port to leave from in Bali?
Most of the ferries from Bali to Nusa Penida Island leave from Sanur port. This is a convenient port to leave from and some of the fast boat companies also provide free pick-up from your hotel to Sanur port.
The second most popular location to leave from Bali to Nusa Penida is Kusamba, but there are more. In total there are five ports in Bali with ferries departing to Nusa Penida:
However, if you haven’t booked your ferry yet, we recommend to check first which fast boat companies provide free pick up and leaving from ports close to the area you stay in Bali.
After all, the taxi ride from one to the other harbour in Nusa Penida will take only 20min, while travel time between ports in Bali can vary with 1 hour or more.
Southeast of Bali: Leave from Sanur or Serangan
Most ferries from Bali to Nusa Penida Island depart from Sanur Beach which is located in the southeast of Bali. There are also options departing from Serangan Port and Benoa, but fares are a little more expensive and the departure times are limited compared to Sanur’s more frequent departures.
Northeast of Bali: Leave from Padang Bai
If coming from Ubud, central or east Bali, a more convenient option is to take a boat from Pandagbai.
Padangbai is the best (and only) choice if you want to come by car.
Free pick-up from your hotel in Bali
Several boat companies departing from Sanur and Serangan also offer hotel pickups from across South Bali.
(Free) hotel pick-up is highly recommended when taking the ferry from Bali to Nusa Penida. This service will not only save you the expense and hassle of making your own way to the harbour, you also don’t need to worry about tickets already being sold out.
These 3 fast boat companies offer hotel pick-up in most popular tourist destination in Bali (including Canggu, Seminyak and Ubud).
Below we go into more details and share the schedules of all ferries leaving from Bali to Nusa Penida.
Ferry companies and arrival ports in Nusa Penida
If you already booked your fast boat ticket, you can check which boat company arrives at which port in Nusa Penida below.
Ferry companies to Toyapakeh Harbour
From Sanur (Southeast Bali):
From Kusamba (North-east of Bai):
Angel Billabong Fast Cruise Dwi Manunggal Crown Fast Cruises El Rey Junior Sri Rejeki Gogun Fast Boat Angkal Fast Boat Semabu Hills Fast Boat
Maruti Express Semabu Hills Fast Boat
Ferry companies to Buyuk Harbour
Caspla Bali Mushroom Paradise
Ferry companies to Sampalan Harbour
Idola Express Caspla Bali Mola-Mola Express S’Gening Fast Boat
Gangga Express Sekarjaya
Schedules from Bali to Nusa Penida by Ferry (pre-pandemic)
Port #1: Sanur to Nusa Penida by Ferry
When departing from Sanur beach port, the ferry ride from Bali to Nusa Penida takes only about 30 minutes with fares starting at 150,000 IDR ($10) or 260,000 IDR ($17.50) including pick-up from your hotel.
Crown Fast Cruises + free pick-up from Sanur, Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Ubud Central, Canggu Club/Station
A little further south of Serangan is Tanjung Benoa, which is the main departure point for pricy day trip cruises to neighbouring Nusa Lembongan.
There used to be a few ferry companies operating from this harbour to Nusa Penida Island, but nowadays it’s mainly used for boat cruises like Bounty Cruises and Island Explorer, who offer round-trips from Bali to Nusa Penida and Lembongan.
Port #4: Padangbai to Nusa Penida by Ferry
10 km further northeast of Kusamba is the busy port town of Padangbai. This is the main gateway to Lombok and the Gili Islands, but you can also take a car ferry to Sampalan, Nusa Penida.
If you plan to take a motorbike across to the Island, departing from Padangbai to Nusa Penida is the only option.
Padangbai is also an intermediate stop for travellers going to Nusa Penida direct from Lombok and The Gili Islands.
When departing from Padangbai the journey from Bali to Nusa Penida takes about 20-30 minutes.
* Free pick up is only included for selected areas in Bali
Port #5: Kusamba to Nusa Penida by Ferry
A short 20 minute drive (10km) southwest of Padangbai, you’ll find Kusamba port.
Although Kusamba has the shortest distance from Bali to Nusa Penida, we don’t recommend to depart from this harbour as it is very hard to get here. Also does Kusamba not have as many ferry departures as Padang Bai.
A guide to the different ports in Bali
Port #1: Sanur beach port
The quaint beach town of Sanur is the main hub for trips to Nusa Penida (and Nusa Lembongan too) Boats are moored right on the beachfront at the northern end of the long beach strip.
It is accessed from Jalan Hang Tua which is just off the bypass road. Once you get to the seafront you’ll notice things look a little confusing and chaotic.
At busy times there are numerous boats and dozens of passengers with bags waiting to board. There are several different companies serving Bali to Nusa Penida from Sanur beach port. Look out for a sign emblazoned with the fast boat company you are travelling with.
Once you hand over your booking details, you’ll get a bag tag and ticket to board. With ticket formalities done you can now relax.
There is little shade on the beach here, so head to one of the food kiosks along the boardwalk for a cold drink while you wait to embark the boat.
You board from the beach so expect to get your feet wet as you clamber aboard.
At the other end of the Sanur beach strip is Mertasari Beach, where the Semabu Fast Boat company operates from a pier. It serves Toyapakeh Harbour in Nusa Pineda but only operates an average of twice a day in each direction.
How to get to Sanur Beach
As a well-connected tourist town, getting to Sanur is a breeze. Your boat ticket from Bali to Nusa Penida may include a hotel pickup from Bali’s main resort area such as Kuta and Legian, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua and Ubud.
If you’re ticket doesn’t include pick-up. See here how you can get to the port of Sanur:
Minibus from Kuta or Ubud to Sanur
From Kuta or Ubud, you can take a Perama Tour minibus service direct to Sanur Beach for around 50,000 IDR ($3.35).
From the Perama office at Kuta, buses depart at 07:00, 10:00 and 13:30 daily. Travel time is about 30 minutes. If you’re coming from Ubud, the journey takes at least 45 minutes.
The minibus leaves from Ubud every day at 12:00, 15:00 and 18:00. The Perama arrival point is at Jalan Hang Tua, which is a 10 minute walk to where boats depart.
Taxi to Sanur
If those timings don’t quite work for you, or if you’re leaving from other areas like Seminyak, Canggu or Uluwatu, you can also book a taxi or via Grab or Go-Jek.
Fares start at 162,000 IDR ($10.50) from Canggu or Seminyak and 323,000 IDR ($21.50) from Uluwatu.
See below an indication of travel times by taxi to Sanur:
Kuta to Sanur 30 minutes
Seminyak to Sanur: 45 minutes
Canggu to Sanur: 1 hour
Ubud to Sanur: 45 minutes
Uluwatu to Sanur: 1 hour
Port #2: Serangan port
Although departure times for Bali to Nusa Penida Island trips are limited compared to Sanur beach port, the transfer time to the port is a little shorter if you are coming from the South of Bali (Nusa Dua or Ulu Watu) and also from Kuta. It’s much less hectic and is a far more relaxing start to the journey too.
Fast boats services are infrequent and depart either in the morning or afternoon, with journeys by operators like Eka Jaya and Gili Getaway continuing on to Lombok and the Gili Islands.
A third company, Golden Queen, operates from nearby Pemilisan Harbour. These can sell out fast during the busy summer months so it definitely pays to book ahead.
How to get to Serangan
There is no regular public transport to Serangan, so you are restricted to ordering a taxi, or on-demand vehicle via Go-Jek or Grab.
Better yet, book with fast boat operator Eka Jaya or Gili Getaway who offer a free hotel pick-up from most areas of South Bali.
If the departure times are not ideal for your needs, a multitude of other options are available at Sanur beach, which is only a further 20-minute ride east along the bypass.
Port #3: Tanjung Benoa port for day trips
From Tanjung Benoa Marina, Quiksilver runs a sleek 40-metre catamaran from Bali to Nusa Penida and back on an inclusive day trip cruise.
It provides buffet lunch and various water sports activities from a huge pontoon off the Nusa Penida coastline, but you don’t spend much time ashore on the island.
It’s an option if you only have a day to spare cruising Bali’s offshore islands, but you’ll only get a very brief experience of Nusa Penida. A day trip cruise to Nusa Penida costs 780,000 IDR ($52) when booked with Klook.
Port #4: Padangbai to Nusa Penida by Ferry
10 km further northeast of Kusamba is the busy port town of Padangbai. This is the main gateway to Lombok and the Gili Islands, but you can also take a car ferry to Sampalan harbour in Nusa Penida.
How to get to Padang Bai
From Kuta, Seminyak or Canggu to Padang Bai
When traveling from Kuta, Seminyak or Canggu to Padang Bai, you can take a 2-2.5 hour taxi ride for around $30 or take the minute bus from Kuta for only $6.
A taxi from the west coast to Padang Bai will cost about 420,000 IDR ($28). Booking with one of the taxi apps like Grab and Gojek is easiest, but Bear in mind that they are not always allowed to pick you up.
However, before you do this also Bear in mind that the following three ferry companies provide free pick up from these areas too. The tickets of these ferry tickets are already cheaper than the taxi ride on its own.
If none of the above schedules fit your itinerary, you can also take a taxi to Padang Bai which will cost about 345,000 IDR ($23). But again, in this case you are better of to book a ferry service including pick-up.
Port #5: Kusamba to Nusa Penida by Ferry
A short 20 minute drive (10km) southwest of Padangbai, you’ll find Kusamba port.
Kusumba is a traditional sea salt-producing community, and has the shortest distance from Bali to Nusa Penida.
However, we don’t recommend to board from this location as it is hard and expensive to reach. Also are there not many options fronusa pm Kusamba and also does this harbour have less consistent ferry schedules.