There is a reason that this place is the most photographed/posted location on the planet. It is no secret that Bali is the dream destination these days for both travelers and influencers alike, so it is no wonder that people flocking to this unique destination have no hesitation in snapping a few photos for their Instagram feeds. Unfortunately, for some travelers, this destination isn’t necessarily the easiest to explore - especially if you want to make it down to the beach.
Upon arrival to Denpasar, once cleared through the Balinese customs, you will need to get a taxi directly to Sanur. Upon arrival in Sanur you can choose your ferry departure to the small island of Nusa Penida. Ferry runs to the island depart many times a day and from our experience you can book them just moments in advance. Having visited the island many times ourselves, we have found that a night in Sanur is worth your time. There are tons of hotels along the beach strip, dive shops and also countless delicious restaurants that specialize in a wide array of cuisines. We treat Sanur as a resting place, a chance to get a good night’s sleep and stock up on things before traveling to Nusa Penida because there isn’t much there.
Usually on the main island of Bali you can bet that lodging availability is not scarce, but when traveling to Nusa Penida you will want to make sure to book in advance and try to stay close to the port of arrival. This puts you right on track for Kelingking, close to the stores that the island does have, and also by everyone on the island that rents motorbikes out to travelers (you will need one). If you have never driven a motorbike before you are definitely going to want to practice for a little while on the straight roads that follow the coastline. The road to Kelingking is entirely uphill and also on a road that is in a less than desirable condition in many places. It is possible to get a car to drive you up there but you will pay far more and potentially run the risk of motion sickness if you are at all prone to it.
We recommend packing water and snacks for the trip. There are a few small, family owned restaurants along the way but it is always a good idea since the ride up is quite long and there is no guarantee that they are open for service. Once at the top you pay a small fee for parking and you can manage the rest on foot quite easily. There are places to eat and drink at the top and even a small shop where you can get some ice cream right next to the view point. As we mentioned before, this is a very popular place for people to visit and the chance of you being the only one there is almost nonexistent. Be prepared to wait in line for a while to get your viewpoint photo on the small cement slab on the cliffside. It is a sheer drop to the beach so we recommend being very cautious and paying attention to those around you. If you want to check out some different views you can head up higher along the ridge on foot to find some places that are farther away from the tourist photo line. You can find similar shots higher up and you will have less people around you, however, you will have more wild monkeys running around so be sure to keep an eye on your belongings - they will steal everything if you give them the opportunity.
If the beach below seems to be calling out to you, don’t be surprised. It is gorgeous from above and the Indonesian sun will undoubtedly have you wishing that you could go for a quick swim. Getting down to the beach is no easy task though, and you have to be extremely cautious if you plan to leave the viewpoint behind you and explore further. The trip down begins simple enough, a narrow staircase that runs atop the spine of the ‘tyrannosaurus’ rock formation jutting out from the cliffside. After a little while the constructed steps disappear and give way to a very difficult and steep walking/climbing scenario until you finally feel your feet touch the sand. It will take probably about an hour to an hour and a half to make it down if not longer, and the sun will be on you the entire time. You definitely need to pack water for this adventure and you need to be slow and steady as you head down to the beach. If you fall it could potentially be very dangerous.
The beach below is our favorite beach on the entire planet. Having been to hundreds of beaches across the globe, this is saying a lot. The waves are incredible, so much fun to play in and they make beautiful additions to photos. Only a small amount of people that visit the viewpoint actually make their way down to the beach so you will find it very easy to get a spot all by yourself if you actually choose to climb down. The waves can be huge so even though it can be fun to play in them at the shoreline you also have to be careful of the potential riptides and currents.
The climb up is surprisingly much faster and easier than the way down is so expect 30-45 minutes to make it back up. Climbing up a steep, slippery slope is far easier than walking down it. Once you make it back up be sure to stop in the shop for some of that ice cream we mentioned earlier… you will have earned it.
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