JUST FANTASTIC! Nusa Penida is the largest of three islands off the south eastern coast of Bali, the others being Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Understand Totalling some 200 square kilometres, Nusa Penida is much larger than the better known Nusa Lembongan. However, tourist infrastructure is very limited here but growing fast. Due to a lack of natural fresh water, little is grown or produced on Nusa Penida, and even some basic foodstuffs come in by boat. Visitors should therefore expect higher prices than in Bali, and not bank on any tourism-related luxury items being available for purchase here. Nusa Penida has also become an unofficial bird sanctuary for endangered Balinese and Indonesian bird species, including the critically endangered Bali Starling (Leucopsarrothschildi). In 2004 theFriends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF) started an introduction program onto Nusa Penida of the near-extinct Bali Starling. Over 2 years from 2006, 64 birds were released into the wild. By the spring of 2009, 58 chicks had successfully hatched in the wild and in 2010 there were estimated to be over 100 birds. As with many similar release bird projects in the West Bali National Park that have failed because of poachers, this has been a bit more successful in preventing the Bali Starling from becoming extinct. The local Nusa Penida population actively protects the birds. In 2006 all villages unanimously passed a local regulation making it an offence to steal or threaten the life of the birds. Get in Map of Nusa Penida There are public boats from from Sanur, Kusamba or Padang Bai in East Bali. From Padang Bai You can catch the daily public ferry (large boat that includes vehicles) at 11:00 am. A passenger ticket is Rp 31,000 each way and can be purchased at 10:00 am inside the building marked “Loket”. To bring your own motorbike costs an additional Rp 50,000 and is purchased at the gate as you drive up. This ferry arrives in Sampalan at the Sampalan Ferry Terminal on the North-East corner of the island, just off of the main road. This is a preferable way to get to and from Nusa Penida. The boat is fairly stable on the water, and it affords you great views, bathrooms, and the ability to walk around the boat and stretch. There is also a smaller private speed boat service that typically carries up to 20 people. This departs from Padang Bai beach side every morning. You should be at the beach side by 06:30 to catch the public speed boat. Buy ticket from ticket office near beach and then wait until the boat has enough passengers for the boat to depart. The ticket cost is Rp 45,000 each way if you are Indonesian. If you are from abroad, they will ask you for 75,000 Rp or show the way to the public ferry. This smaller boat requires walking thigh deep in water and being packed into a boat like sardines. It’s fast but not really as comfortable as the less expensive ferry. From Kusamba Gangga Express operates several speed boats a day from PelabuhanTribuana in Kusamba. Price for foreigners is Rp 100,000 each way and takes about 30 mins. There is a daily public boat between PelabuhanTradisional in Sampalan and a port next to PelabuhanTribuana in Kusamba. Leaves Sampalan at around 6 am and probably goes straight back after reaching Kusamba. Price is Rp 45,000 and takes 45 mins. From BenoaHarbour Quicksilver runs daily cruises from BenoaHarbour in Bali to their monstrous pontoon which floats off the north western shore of Nusa Penida. The trip includes water sport activities centred on the pontoon. Rp 570,000 per person. From Sanur Mola-Mola express, Sanur Beach. Scheduled departures from Sanur Beach at 07.30, 16:30. Departures from Sampalan, Nusa Penida at 08:30, 15:30. It’s new speed boat service, just 2 times daily to Nusa Penida. One way Rp 75,000/person for locals and Rp 175,000/person for tourists. Caspla Bali Boat, Sanur Beach in front of Ananda Beach Hotel, ☎ +62 361 791-2299. Scheduled departures from Sanur Beach at 08.00, 11:00, 14:00 & 16:30. Departures from Buyuk, Nusa Penida at 08:00, 12:30 & 16:00. Speed boat service, 3 times daily to Nusa Penida. One way fare Rp 150,000/person and return Rp 300,000/person. Maruti Express, Hangtuah Street (Sanur beach) front Diwangkara Holiday Villa, ☎ +62 813 3875 4848 or +62 812 383 1639. Scheduled departures from Sanur Beach at 08.30, 10.00 & 16:00; departs Nusa Penida at 07.30, 09:00 & 15:00. The first speed boat service to Nusa Penida. One way Rp 175,000, return Rp 300,000. From Nusa Lembongan Public boats depart daily at 06:00 close to the suspension bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan and run to Toyapakeh or BuyukHarbour in northern Nusa Penida. There are also services from the JungutBatu area of Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Penida. All of these can be a little ‘worrying’ at times and are often very crowded. Charter boats are available, departing from and arriving at the same area as the public boats. If you are staying on Nusa Lembongan, ask at your hotel. If not, go to the shoreline close to the suspension bridge or to the beach at JungutBatu and ask around amongst the boatmen. Rates certainly vary but expect to pay around Rp 300,000. Get around Renting a motorcycle is the most practical option, and this will cost you about Rp 60,000. Look for outlets in Toyopakeh and Sampalan (or more likely, they will find you!) You may be able to find a rental car but they are not common and not recommended as the roads to as good as every spot worth seeing are very rough and small. Some visitors from Nusa Lembongan arrive with rented pushbikes – make sure you get permission to take the bike off Nusa Lembongan first. You should note that roads in Nusa Penida are rough, hilly away from the north coast, and in remote areas no more than stone-strewn tracks. Local public transport is in small old bemos or on the back of a truck. These vehicles ply the north coast road with some regularity, but elsewhere on the island do not bank on anything. Take note that it is recommended not to plan too much in one day, allthough the distances might not seem so big. For a less experienced scooter driver the conditions of the road allow an average of 25-35 km/h. Be sure to get your tank full before leaving into the hills. Fuel uses quickly in this rough conditions!