The idyllic karst islands of Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida are an adventure wonderland brimming with remarkable natural scenery. The trio boasts endless breathtaking vistas that are the Instagram envy of every traveler to Indonesia. Bali’s Nusa Islands are still kind of off-the-beaten-path as just 200,000 travelers visit the archipelago each year.
Nusa Penida is the largest island of the three and has the most spectacular natural sights. The island lacks modern infrastructure so seasoned motorbike fans can have fun here. Travelers should head out before dawn toward Broken Beach in order to arrive by sunrise, giving visitors this picturesque natural phenomena without the crowds. The basin at Broken Beach is framed by steep cliffs that were once the walls of a cave. Over time the ocean eroded the rock formations and the roof caved in – except for the impressive natural rock bridge that separates the lagoon from the sea. You can’t swim at Broken Beach but you can walk around the exterior of the lagoon for panoramic views; you might even spot a sea turtle or manta ray swimming by.
Within walking distance from Broken Beach is the extraordinary scenery of Angel’s Billabong. The natural infinity pool fills up quickly and travelers can take a dip to cool off – so arrive as early as possible. Plan your visit around high tide in order to capture photos of the waves crashing into the exterior wall. Travelers should be warned to steer clear of Angel’s Billabong during high tide, as swimmers can easily be swept out to sea.
Kelingking Beach is Nusa Penida’s most sought-out photo spot. Funnily enough and as is often the case, it’s often referred to as “secret point” beach. Well, the secret is out. The paved road to reach the viewpoint is easy to find and follow. Travelers wait in line to snap a whimsical shot as they look out over the massive cliffs, transparent sea, and pristine beach. Reckless adventurers ignore warning signs and climb down the crumbling path to the deserted beach below, which is quite dangerous.
Rumah Pohon Treehouse
Along the eastern coast of Nusa Penida is a picture-perfect treehouse that overlooks the gorgeous bay of Thousand Islands. The ticket to enter the area costs 5,000 Rupiah, and luxury in the area is hard to find. Most visitors come by at sunrise or sunset so visit the treehouse in the middle of the day.
The last photo stop in Nusa Penida is Atuh Beach where a natural rock arch jets from the aquamarine sea. To reach this unspoiled stretch of coast and capture the triangular rock formations you’ll have to head down concrete steps. The trek won’t take more than 10 minutes but may be slippery, so travelers should wear durable shoes. You won’t have the beach to yourself at sunset, but it’s the most beautiful time of day to visit and shoot. The tide will be low and you’ll be able to swim out to the rock – if you’re daring enough.
A magnificent lesser-known photo spot on Nusa Lembongan is Devil’s Tears. The most dramatic time to visit is during high tide. Many tourists hover around the large basin where the ocean is sucked into tiny rock caves and then sprayed out in a majestic mist aka the Devil’s Tears. There are numerous rocky outcrops where the sea continuously crashes and makes massive splashes that aren’t usually as crowded. To find them walk right around the cliff’s edge from Dream Beach.
Nusa Ceningan is the smallest of the islands but has the most epic sunset spots. From the western edge of Nusa Ceningan, you can enjoy unobstructed views of the sun setting into the ocean. From Nusa Lembongan, the best sunset spot is either from the Blue Corner where colorful bean bags are dotted along the beach. No matter where you are don’t miss a sunset as you explore Bali’s Nusa Islands. Each night vibrant colors erupt into the sky and reflect in the still sea below as fisherman bring in their daily catch and local women leave Hindu offerings in the sand.
A few more Insta-worthy spots to seek out around the islands are the yellow hanging bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, the sunken Buddha statues in the sea around Nusa Penida, a cliche but irresistible beach swing photo, a scenic ride through tall palm trees, and serene moments at the aptly named Dream Beach in Nusa Lembongan.