After living in Bali for a few months, we’ve decided that it’s time to explore the surrounding islands and the first place we visited was the incredible Nusa Penida. Every digital nomad and traveler was raving about this place, so I had to see it with my own eyes.
After a bumpy ferry ride, we finally got to our accommodation. We rented a motorbike and started exploring Nusa Penida. The first morning, we woke up early and drove to Atuh Beach, an incredible beach located right near the super-famous Diamond Beach.
In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know when planning to visit Atuh Beach on Nusa Penida.
1. Where is Atuh Beach Nusa Penida?
Atuh Beach is located on the eastern coast of Nusa Penida. Right near it is Diamond Beach and the famous Rumah Pohon Tree House.
The beach is located inside a small bay, surrounded on both sides by steep cliffs. However, the feature that makes it popular is the broken cliff located right in front of the beach. If you ask me, it kinda looks like a dinosaur.
There are two access roads leading to Atuh Beach, each ending on one side of the beach. I recommend choosing the route that also leads to Diamond Beach (the southern road).
2. How to get to Atuh Beach Nusa Penida
To get from Bali to Nusa Penida I recommend booking your ferry tickets online. They’re much cheaper than buying them from the pier.
To explore Nusa Penida you can either rent a motorbike or hire a driver. When we visited, we chose to rent a motorbike because Dan is an experienced driver. However, for those who don’t know how to drive a motorbike, hiring a driver is the best option.
Good to know – When we visited Nusa Penida the roads were in a TERRIBLE shape. It took us a lot of time to get from point A to point B, but I heard that things changed recently. Roads to tourist attractions are now paved and in good condition.
Option 1 – Rent a motorbike
Once you arrive at your accommodation, ask your host if he/ she can help you rent a motorbike. Usually, all locals who own guest houses or hotels have motorbikes for rent.
When you arrive in the port of Nusa Penida there will also be people who’ll ask you if you need a motorbike but I recommend renting one directly from your accommodation. Prices usually start at IDR 80 K per day, depending on how many days you want to rent the motorbike for. More days = cheaper rates.
Tip – make sure you have enough gas. You can fill the tank at shops near the harbor. The price for 1 L of gas is around IDR 10 K.
Important – The parking fee for Atuh Beach is IDR 10 K and you can only pay cash. If you hire a driver, this fee should be included in the tour price.
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Option 2 – Hire a driver
If you don’t know how to drive a motorbike or you simply want to sit back and relax while exploring Nusa Penida, I recommend hiring a driver. Prices usually start at IDR 500 K per day and they depend on your negotiation skills.
You can search online for a driver or you can ask the owner of your guesthouse or hotel.
Good to know – If you hire a driver, keep in mind that it’s customary to leave a tip at the end of the trip. Consider tipping somewhere between IDR 40 K and IDR 60 K.
3. Climbing down to Atuh Beach
From the parking lot you’ll have to climb down a set of stairs and walk through tall vegetation until reaching Atuh Beach (around 20 minutes one-way). Even though we arrived at Atuh early, the sun was already burning our skin, so make sure to bring sunscreen with you. Also, don’t wear flip-flops as the trail is quite steep.
Once you start following the trail from the parking lot, you’ll first pass by the stairs leading to Diamond Beach. If you haven’t been to Diamond Beach before, I recommend visiting it first because it becomes super-busy later in the day.
After the stairs to Diamond Beach, follow the trail and on the right side of the path you’ll see a small hill. Climb to the top of the hill and you’ll be rewarded with the most insane view of Diamond Beach. We flew our drone and took some crazy photos.
After visiting this viewpoint, follow the path until you reach a small wooden shop selling snacks and other refreshments. You can buy something from here or you can continue your journey down the stairs. There are a few bars on the beach too.
Take a few minutes to admire the view. Rising from the dense vegetation is the beautiful Atuh Beach and its turquoise water.
4. Atuh Beach, Nusa Penida – what to expect
Once you reach the beach, you’ll be welcomed with the most beautiful turquoise water and fine, yellow sand. The beach is about 150 meters long and it’s wide enough to accommodate a few beach bars and sunbeds.
Instead of laying our towel directly on the beach, we chose to rent two sunbeds (IDR 50 K for the entire day). After we relaxed for a bit, Dan went to the bar and bought us 2 Bintang beers.
Tip – when visiting Indonesia, you have to try the country’s most popular beer – Bintang. My favorite flavor is orange.
Good to know – You can also order something to eat from the bars at Atuh Beach. However, don’t expect anything too fancy. You can have Nasi Goreng for IDR 25 K.
After about one hour of taking photos and exploring the beach, a few clouds covered the sky and soon after, it started raining. It seems like we made the best decision when we decided to rent sunbeds with umbrellas.
Anyway, we spent around 2 hours at Atuh Beach and we loved our time there. The beach wasn’t crowded, which was exactly what we wanted.
5. Can you swim at Atuh Beach?
When we visited, the tide was high. I saw a few people in the water, but we decided not to swim. Even though the beach is sandy towards the inner bay, there are many pebbles which are then replaced by bigger stones when getting close to the sea.
I highly recommend bringing some water shoes if you plan to go swimming at Atuh Beach. Also, make sure to check the tide. If the tide is low, you can’t swim at all.
Keep in mind that there is no lifeguard at Atuh Beach, so don’t venture too far from the shore. If the waves aren’t too big, you can go snorkeling, but you’ll have to bring your own mask.
Watching the sunset at Atuh Beach when all the colorful rocks are exposed is a unique experience. I’ll talk about it more below.
6. Sunrise and sunset at Atuh Beach
Sunsets in Bali and nearby islands are usually pretty spectacular!
If you’re an early person, you can also go Atuh Beach for sunrise. The sun will beautifully reflect into the water, creating an unforgettable view.
Either way, make sure to bring your camera and plenty of batteries because you’ll want to take lots of photos.
7. Atuh Beach cliff jumping
If you’re an adrenaline junkie and you like cliff jumping, Atuh Beach is the perfect place for you. If the tide is not too low, you can swim to the rocky arch, climb on the limestone cliff and jump.
Before jumping, make sure that the water is deep enough. As I said before, there are no lifeguards at Atuh Beach and if something happens, getting to a hospital will probably take hours.
Personally, I haven’t tried cliff jumping, but I’ve seen lots of people enjoying this activity.
8. Is it worth visiting Atuh Beach?
Honestly, Atuh Beach was my favorite beach in Nusa Penida. It wasn’t crowded, the views were spectacular and there were plenty of places to explore.
Another advantage is that Atuh Beach is located near a few other tourist attractions such as the Diamond Beach and the Tree House. You can easily visit these 3 attractions in the first half of the day and then you can head to the famous T-Rex Beach.
9. Atuh Beach entrance fee and opening hours
Apart from the IDR 10 K for parking, you’ll have to pay an entrance fee of IDR 10 K per person to visit Atuh Beach.
This entrance fee is new and has been introduced in the past year. When I visited, there was no entrance fee to visit Atuh Beach.
10. Places to visit near Atuh Beach
If you choose the southern road, you’ll first pass by the path leading to Diamond Beach before reaching Atuh Beach. Take the path and then climb down the stairs carved into the cliff and you’ll reach a beautiful beach with palm trees and a huge rock near the shore.
The rock is shaped like a diamond, hence this place’s name. Keep in mind that if the tide is high, you won’t be able to actually walk on the beach because the waves reach the cliff and it’s not safe.
Try to visit Diamond Beach when the tide is low if you want to explore it from one end to another.
Well, the wooden Tree House is famous due to Instagram. From Diamond Beach and Atuh Beach it’s a short ride to the Tree House. You’ll have to get down a few stairs from the parking lot before reaching this famous wooden house.
Most of the time, there are lots of people here trying to take photos. Even if you don’t climb the wooden stairs, you can still enjoy the views. The tall limestone cliffs and the turquoise water create a spectacular scenery.
If you have enough time and you like remote beaches, head to Suwehan Beach. It looks a bit like Diamond Beach, but it’s much more quieter. Getting down to the beach is challenging and I recommend wearing sneakers or something comfortable. Climbing down these steep stairs is almost impossible in flip-flops.
11. Where to stay on Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is a relatively small island and most hotels and guest houses are located in the western part of the island, near the port. I recommend this area because there are a few supermarkets and restaurants around.
I searched for the best accommodation for every budget and these are my recommendations:
- Budget – Double-G Guesthouse – excellent location, spacious rooms, air conditioning, friendly staff
- Mid-Range – NG Sweet Home – beautiful pool, quiet area, good location, spacious & clean rooms, continental breakfast included
- Luxury – Adiwana Resort – excellent location, incredible pool, beautiful views, luxurious rooms, excellent facilities
12. Final thoughts
Nusa Penida is one of the most beautiful islands near Bali and a popular tourist attraction. You can visit it as a day trip from Bali or spend a few days here. I recommend planning at least 2 days to explore Nusa Penida.
There are lots of places to see and beautiful beaches like Atuh Beach. If you have any questions about planning your trip, let me know in the comments section below. You can read more about Indonesia (costs, transport, food) in my Indonesia travel guide.
May the travel bug bite you!