Kelingking Beach is a hidden beach in the village of Bunga Mekar, on the southwestern coast of Nusa Penida island. You can enjoy one of the most breath-taking views over the hills and small strip of white sand from atop a hill of the same name. The sight features a limestone headland covered in green, against the deep blue waters of the open Indian Ocean. This unique formation is reminiscent of a Tyrannosaurus Rex head, hence its nickname ‘T-Rex Bay’. The secluded beach itself is down a rugged 400m cliffside hike. This is recommended only for the fit and adventurous.
Enjoying the scenic seascape and taking photos and selfies from above would be sufficient for most. You can enjoy the sweeping views from a purpose-built platform, which is bordered by bamboo fences. If you dare the challenging trek down to the beach, make sure it’s during low tide. Some sections of the path can be steep, requiring a bit of rock climbing, especially on the way back up. Locals have put rocks and bamboos to aid visitors over the years.
Once you’ve reached the sand, you’ll have it all to yourself most of the time. Depending on tide conditions, the waters are swimmable. However, note that the undercurrents can be strong, and being the remote site that it is, there are no lifeguards around. Besides your camera and a good pair of shoes, be sure to bring drinking water with you on the descent, to keep you hydrated
Angel’s Billabong (Natural Pool)
Angel’s Billabong is a spectacular rock formation on Nusa Penida island’s southwestern cliff edges. It’s nearby Pasih Uug (Broken Beach), another popular site with unique limestone formations. The naturally formed rock lagoon offers a scenic seascape. You can descend into its crystal-clear rock pools for a swim or a soak, but only during low tide. The rock pools are one of the must-sees for visitors to Nusa Penida. The island itself is famous for its beautiful cliffs and pristine coastlines. Both Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach are very popular sites here. However, you’ll most likely have this amazing natural infinity pool all to yourself on your visit.
Take extra caution at all times when descending into Angel’s Billabong. Avoid going down if it’s a high tide. Don’t attempt to swim there during these times – the otherworldly view is still worth a visit from the top. The waters from the open Indian Ocean are rough. The jagged rocks turn it into a treacherous combination (there have been fatal incidents in the past). If it happens to be low tide, carefully descend the sharp rocks. You can enjoy a dip in the crystal-clear pools amongst its jade seaweed-covered rocks. You can even swim around the whole lagoon to your heart’s content. It’s a good idea to come with reef shoes.
Broken Beach (Pasih Uug) is a scenic coastal formation on the southwestern edge of Nusa Penida island. The spot is marked by a hilly arch-like rock formation, which is the distinguishable landmark of the area. Set over the crashing waves of the open Indian Ocean, Broken Beach is a great spot for travel photographers and panoramic view seekers. The adjacent area is also home to grey long-tailed macaques. If you’re lucky, you may spot silhouettes of giant mantas near the surface of the deep blue water.
The journey to Broken Beach is an overland adventure through Nusa Penida’s rugged limestone terrain. Most of the pathways are rocky and unpaved. The majority of people rent a motorbike to reach Broken Beach. It will take around two hours to reach this corner from the main harbour area in Nusa Penida’s north-western tip. Once you get to Broken Beach, you’ll be rewarded by a truly sweeping seascape.
Crystal Bay is the name of a secluded cove with a 200-metre stretch of sand on the west coast of Nusa Penida Island. Despite its isolation, the bay is quite accessible thanks to well-developed roads. Besides its beautiful palm-fringed beach, the bay is best known as one of Nusa Penida’s famous snorkelling and dive sites. Near the shore, the waves are swimmable during calmer tides with crystal-clear waters, hence its name. Divers praise the superb visibility, sometimes down to 30 metres.
For divers, midyear is usually the migrating route of pelagic species, and you’ll have a high chance of catching glimpses of the mysterious mola-mola or oceanic sunfish, and even manta rays. For the regular beach lover, Crystal Bay is good for a day out, doing nothing on the sand. The bay is scenic, being surrounded by the nearby hilltops on both ends and with the Pulau Batumelinjong islet dotting the nearby horizon. You can also explore the seaside temple, Pura Segara Penida, halfway along the bay.