On the day that we arrived in Indonesia, we found ourselves traveling from Bali to Nusa Penida by boat early morning. Suffice to say that after a long journey and barely enough sleep we were exhausted. Yet why should one let a whole day go to waste? That was how we decided to head out to the Thousand Islands View point on Nusa Penida. The scarcity of tourists in the area made me think it would be a relaxing ride. It was in most parts until it wasn’t and yet, in hindsight I would still do it all over again.
Anyway, let’s take a look at how we got there, what we did and the mishaps along the way.
WHERE IS THE THOUSAND ISLANDS VIEW POINT?
Located on the south east part of Nusa Penida, the Thousand islands view point is a gorgeous spot that the organized tours bump off their list because it is too far to combine with the other more popular sites on the island. While there are a couple of places on this side of the island that provide accommodation, you will find that everyone heading here is usually a backpacker on a rented motorbike.
HOW TO GET THERE?
That brings us to the next question as to how to get there. I guess there are a few options. You could hire a car with a driver or you could sit behind a local on the motorbike. The most preferred option among tourists (us included) was to rent a motorbike for the day. The norm on Nusa Penida is 70,000 IDR per day. You need to be aware however that the main road is pretty decent but it isn’t wide. As you head closer to the Thousand islands view point, you will find that the road gets worse and worse. From road covered with gravel to road made of gravel, we saw it all.
If you are just learning how to ride a motorbike, this is not the road to learn on. We saw a lot of tourists fall and get nasty wounds. It wasn’t pretty. I would also not advise heading this way in the rain. The roads would be horrible.
Yes you heard right. Even though we were way out of the main tourist hub, we still had to pay entry tickets to head to the view point. Thankfully the tickets did not cost much. We paid 10,000 IDR/person. Like I said, not too bad.
WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THE THOUSAND ISLANDS VIEW POINT?
To be honest our aim was to reach Atuh beach. We landed up moving on a series of roads that drove us crazy. We finally decided that we had enough and we would just head to the view point and catch a glimpse of the beach from there. That is when we realized a couple of things.
THE THOUSAND ISLANDS VIEW POINT IS GORGEOUS
Heading to the Thousand Islands View point.
Yes you heard me right. The view point was worth all the discomfort as a short walk up the hill gives you a panoramic view of the beaches below. The cliff faces just take your breath away. The trek up hill is easy and there is a small hut like view point that gives you enough cover from the sun. That combined with the sea breeze makes the spot a great place to perch for a while.
One thing that you will notice is that on either side of the cliff face are two beaches. Both of which are accessible from the view point. One of them has steps cut out into the cliff face which takes you down. It is steep and I panicked at some point so I never did make it down but from my perch I could see the beach. There were a couple of Instagram worthy spots as so many people are bound to call them. The other beach is Diamond beach and it is easier to get to but since we did not have time and we were exhausted, we did not attempt it. I wish we had enough time and energy to head back.
Note that you can see Atuh beach from the view point but you can’t access it from here even though the parking is marked as Atuh beach parking on Google maps.
WONDERING WHERE TO STAY WHEN IN NUSA PENIDA?
The question of where to stay in Nusa Penida invariably arises. We found that there were a vaiety of options as you can see on the map above. One of the contributing factors to our decision was the distance between the sights that we wanted to visit and our accommodation. Another was the reviews. We finally made to our pick at the top of the island.
We found our little haven on Nusa Penida.
Our pick for accommodation was Govardham Bungalows. Situated at the north of the island, Govardham Bungalows came highly reviewed and had a large number of reviewers too. I must say that we not disappointed at all. The bungalows were large, spacious and with nice bathrooms. Did I mention that it had nice hot water?
The pool was one of the attraction that we were drawn to and the second was the view from the breakfast tables. You get a clear view of Mount Agung from there. It is the perfect place to watch the sunrise in the morning. Very peaceful and let’s not forget very restful. The accommodation also provided us free transport to and from the harbour. We rented a motorbike for 70,000 IDR/day so that we could explore the island.