Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is the largest of three islands off the south eastern coast of Bali, the others being Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.

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Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida

Totalling some 247 square kilometres, Nusa Penida is much larger than the better known Nusa Lembongan. However, tourist infrastructure is not as advanced as Lembongan. It is an island of outstanding natural rugged beauty. The north shore is the most densely populated part of the island and is where most tourism is based. This is also where the beaches are and where the seaweed farms are. Seaweed farming started on the island in the 1980s as a way for locals to get an income. Sadly prices are declining and so is production. Most locals still derive their income from subsistence farming.

The west and south side of the island is carpeted with limestone cliffs and magnificent views but not many beaches that can be accessed by land.

Due to a lack of natural fresh water, little is grown or produced on Nusa Penida outside of the rain season, and even a lot of produce comes in by boat.

Nusa Penida has also become an unofficial bird sanctuary for endangered Balinese and Indonesian bird species, including the critically endangered Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi). In 2004 the Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF) started an introduction program onto Nusa Penida of the near-extinct Bali Starling.

The waters around Nusa Penida are part of a marine park authority (MPA) and are home to diverse corals and fishes. Nusa Penida is part of the coral triangle which is a massive area renowned to be “the amazon of the sea” as it provides habit for the many fishes to breed in. Nusa Penida is renowned as one of the best diving sites in the world and is also home to the giant manta ray and mola mola (oceanic sunfish).

Map of Nusa Penida

There are public boats from Sanur, Kusamba or Padang Bai in East Bali.

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