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 most Insta-famous icon but Nusa Penida’s allure extends far beyond this.
The islands’ rugged landscape is arguably the most diverse in Bali. 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.
How to get to from Bali to Nusa Penida?
To book your ferry from Bali to Nusa Penida, you can book your ticket in advance online or simply roll up at the harbour and book your ticket on the day of departure.
Below, we share a complete guide on How to get to Nusa Penida from Bali. Travelling to Lombok? Check out this guide on how to get from Lombok to Nusa Penida.
As most accommodations are located around Toyapakeh harbour, the ferry of Angkal Fastboat will be most convenient. The Angkal ferry takes 40 minutes instead of 30 minutes with Idola Express, but you will be dropped of in the centre.
The ferry ports in Bali and Nusa Penida
When travelling from Bali to Nusa Penida, 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 the most convenient harbour to arrive in Nusa Penida. If you arrive at one of the two other ports (Buyuk and Sampalan harbour), it takes about 20 minutes and costs 150.000 IDR ($7-$10) to go to travel to Toyapakeh harbour.
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.
Ferry from Bali to Nusa Penida including free pick-up
Now you know about the different ferry ports in Bali and Nusa Penida, let’s jumpy to the different ferry companies.
There are many ferry companies you can choose from, but we would strongly recommend booking a ferry 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 ferry tickets that include free pick-up.
See here the 3 ferry 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?
Getting to Nusa Penida 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.
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 100.000-150.000 IDR ($7-$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 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 leave from Sanur port. This is a convenient port to leave from and some of the ferry 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 ferry 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 depart from Sanur Beach. 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 companies offer hotel pick-up in most popular tourist destination in Bali (including Canggu, Seminyak and Ubud).
332,200 IDR ($23) + pick-up/drop-off from Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa, Jimbaran, Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Kerobokan, Canggu Club area, Denpasar, Sanur, Ubud Central area
Port #3: Ferry from Benoa to Nusa Penida
A little further south of Serangan is Tanjung Benoa, which is the main departure point for pricy round-trip day cruises to neighbouring Nusa Lembongan.
There used to be a few ferry companies operating from this harbour to Nusa Penida, 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.
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. Look out for a sign emblazoned with the 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).
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) from Canggu or Seminyak and 323,000 IDR ($20) 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 trips are limited compared to Sanur, 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 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 cruise costs 780,000 IDR ($54) 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 to Padang Bai 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 ($30). 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 form Kusamba and also does this harbour have less consistent ferry schedules.
Getting Around Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida’s roads are notoriously uneven, undulating and many roads aren’t sealed at all, so extra care should be taken.
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. Scooter rentals are cheap at around 75,000 IDR ($5) per day but should really only be attempted by confident riders.
PRO-TIP: Book your scooter in advance with Klook for $5.50 ($0.50 more)more and receive a good working one without the need to shop around for a good scooter. The scooter will be delivered and pick-up from your accommodation.
If you are not a confident with riding a motorbike, you can also hire a driver with air-conditioned car for 350,000 IDR per half day and up to 600,000 IDR for a full day.
Or better, check the offering of Klook to book a chartered car for a fixed price of 575,000 IDR ($40).
Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Penida
If you want to do some island hopping, there are regular ferries plying the short trip between Lembongan and Penida. It costs just 60.000 IDR per trip 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 at 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.
Organized Tour from Bali
A trip to Nusa Penida is an integral part of a Bali holiday nowadays, but not everybody has a few days to spare to explore it in great detail.
That’s why a day trip package from Bali is a popular and stress-free option for travellers with limited time. You get to see the main highlights and can kick back and enjoy it all without worrying about planning it all yourself. It’s also a very affordable option too.
A day trip with Klook from 534,400 IDR ($37) is highly recommended with a choice of west, east or south Nusa Penida tour itineraries. Each has its own hidden beauty spots and stunning viewpoints to soak up the awesome scenery.
Better still, make it an island hopping escapade and visit all three with a 2D1N tour to include Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Rates start at 1,690,000 IDR ($117). These rates already include your hotel and ferry transfers, so you can book with confidence, kick back and just enjoy the experience!