Crystal Bay is home to the most popular beach on Nusa Penida and one of the best sunset spots across all of Bali. Facing directly west, Crystal Bay is perfectly situated to enjoy a blazing sunset made of vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple.
But more than just a spot for catching a sunset, at Crystal Bay you can also lounge the day away on the beach, snorkel, hike, and even grab a cold beer and freshly grilled fish.
In this article, we’ll cover all the best things to do in Crystal Bay to help you plan your visit.
Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida, Bali
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- Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida, Bali
- Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida, Bali | Things to Do
- Nusa Penida Resources
Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida | At a Glance
- Why you’ll love it | The best sunset spot on Nusa Penida!
- Getting there | Crystal Bay is located on the western side of Nusa Penida Island. It’s only about 20 minutes south of the main harbor area on Nusa Penida (by motorbike or car).
- Parking | There is a large, well-marked parking lot right in front of Crystal Bay.
- Fees | As of October 2023, there are no entrance fees to access Crystal Bay Beach. There is a 5,000 IDR per motorbike parking fee.
- Crowd levels | High
- What to do nearby | Kelingking Beach, Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach, Pandan Beach, Tembeling Forest and Beach
- Best sunset spot on Nusa Penida.
- Easy to access (no hiking or stairs required).
- Beach is wide and long, with plenty of space to spread out.
- Water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
- No entrance fee and parking is cheap.
- One of the more popular spots so expect crowds
- The ocean here is not the blue, crystal-clear water found elsewhere on the island.
How to get to Crystal Bay
Compared to most other beaches on Nusa Penida, getting to Crystal Bay is actually quite easy.
Crystal Bay is located about 20 minutes south of the main harbor and town area on Nusa Penida, Bali. It’s about 40 minutes from Kelingking Beach, the most popular attraction on the island.
The road to reach Crystal Bay is in surprisingly good shape for Nusa Penida standards. It’s paved the entire way and, save for the occasional pot hole, fairly smooth.
As you approach Crystal Bay, the last few hundred meters of the road is a quite beautiful straight stretch that is lined with towering palm trees. It’s actually a nice little entryway to Crystal Bay!
Be warned that all roads on Nusa Penida are extremely winding and very narrow. The roads were clearly not designed to handle the car traffic that has overtaken the island in the last few years.
Parking at Crystal Bay
- Cost | 5,000 IDR per motorbike
The parking situation is also surprisingly straightforward at Crystal Bay. As you make the final turn and head into the palm-tree lined straightaway, there will be a group of locals there to stop you and collect your parking payment.
We paid 5,000 IDR for our one motorbike. I wouldn’t be surprised if cars are a bit more.
The parking lot is located at the end of the road and right before the beach, making it impossible to miss. It’s quite large with plenty of room for the crowds that descend on Crystal Bay, especially at sunset.
This article highlights 8 of the best beaches on Nusa Penida, from popular hangouts to secluded gems accessible only by foot!
Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida, Bali | Things to Do
1. Crystal Bay Beach
The main attraction at Crystal Bay is, of course, Crystal Bay Beach.
The beach is wide and long, so even though there are typically a significant number of tourists, it never feels too cramped or crowded. Just don’t expect to have the beach to yourself.
Because the beach sits at the back of Crystal Bay, it’s fairly protected from strong current and large waves that are standard at other Nusa Penida beaches. With calmer water, Crystal Bay Beach is a great place to swim.
From the beach, there’s a nice view of the small island known as Pulau Batumejinong located just off the coast. The island is best known for its little arch that looks as if it could drop into the ocean at any moment, and the secluded Hindu temple perched atop the hill.
Insider tip | If seclusion and privacy are what you’re after, make the hike from Crystal Bay over to Pandan Beach, tucked away in the neighboring cove but only accessible by foot.
2. Sunset at Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida
Facing directly west and perfectly framed by the sides of the bay, there is no better place on Nusa Penida, and maybe all of Bali, to watch the sun set than Crystal Bay.
Before I experienced it for myself, I thought the rave reviews about Crystal Bay sunsets had to be overblown. I’ve seen some amazing sunsets at beautiful places. How much better could it be at Crystal Bay??
Well, let me tell you, the sunset at Crystal Bay is something else!
The bay is oriented perfectly for a direct view of the sun slipping below the horizon. The small, rocky island and countless fishing boats sitting out on the bay make the perfect foreground. The sun lights up in an unimaginably display of colors, brighter than any sunset I had seen before. Local warungs (family owned restaurants) line the beach, selling ice cold beer, the perfect accompaniment to watching the sunset after a long day exploring Nusa Penida.
If you are spending even one night on Nusa Penida, you absolutely have to catch a sunset at Crystal Bay.
Now, I do want to warn you that watching the sunset at Crystal Bay is one of the most popular things to do on Nusa Penida. This is not a secluded experience. But because the beach is so wide and long, you don’t need to rub elbows and jostle with other people for a good view.
3. Go Snorkeling at Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida
- Cost | 50,000 IDR per person for mask and fin rental
One of the best things to do at Crystal Bay is to head out into the water and snorkel!
Whereas most other snorkeling spots on Nusa Penida can only be accessed as part of an organized snorkeling tour, at Crystal Bay, you can actually just swim out into the bay and find an underwater playground of colorful coral and divers fish species. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to see a sea turtle!
There are a few local vendors who will rent a snorkel and fins right along Crystal Bay Beach, assuming you haven’t brought your own from home.
Pro Tip | Many snorkeling day tours also depart from Crystal Bay. If you want to spend a day out on the water, you can sign up for a Manta Ray snorkeling trip right here.
4. Hike to the secluded Pandan Beach
If the sunset views and easy access to snorkeling wasn’t enough, you can also hike at Crystal Bay. Pandan Beach is a small, secluded beach located just to the south of Crystal Bay, which can only be accessed by a short, 20-minute hike.
Because of its remote location, Pandan Beach sees significantly fewer visitors than Crystal Bay and remains off the radar of most tourists.
Pandan Beach is a quiet, secluded beach on the increasingly popular island of Nusa Penida.This article provides all the information you need to get to Pandan Beach, a quiet spot…
5. See the Hindu Temple at Crystal Bay
Located just behind the main beach area, you can find an intricately designed Hindu Temple. Emblematic of Nusa Penida’s Hindu-focused culture, it’s pretty cool to see such an amazing structure so close to the beach.
If you are wearing the proper attire (sarong), you can enter the temple, but we’d recommend just checking with a local person first. When you aren’t quite sure of the local customs, it never hurts to ask to be safe!
6. Enjoy a meal or cold beer from a local warung
Another reason we love Crystal Bay is the lineup of local warungs along the beach selling everything from cold beer to freshly grilled fish to young coconuts to nasi goreng. The warungs have plenty of beach-side seating and lounge chairs available for customers.
Even though the warungs are lined up across the back of the beach, they still leave plenty of space for people to access the beach in front so they don’t feel too imposing.
What’s better than drinking a cold beer and eating freshly-grilled fish on the beach while you watch the sun slowly dip below the horizon? Not much in my opinion!
Nusa Penida Resources
How do I get to Nusa Penida from Bali?
- Cost | 100,000 to 150,000 IDR per person from Bali (one way)
If you’re planning to visit Nusa Penida independently and stay overnight on the island, the best way to get there is by booking a fast boat from Bali on 12GoAsia. Most boats depart from the Sanur Harbour in Bali and arrive at Banur Nyuh Harbor on the western side of Nusa Penida.
We used the company Angel Billabong Fast Cruise because it was the cheapest option, and we had a fine experience. Don’t expect any luxuries: the A/C won’t work, it’s hot, bumpy and the choppy seas may induce seasickness for some!
But we’ve come to find that these conditions are the standard for traveling by boat in Southeast Asia.
How do I get around on Nusa Penida?
There are three ways you can get around to all the best things to do on Nusa Penida: by renting a motorbike, taking a guided tour, or hiring a private driver for the day.
How many days should I spend on Nusa Penida?
We’d recommend 3 full days to fully explore all the best things to do on Nusa Penida. This gives you one day to explore the eastern side, one day to explore the western side, and one day to go snorkeling with Manta Rays.
With two full days, spend the first morning snorkeling with Manta Rays and visit Kelingking Beach in the late afternoon. Spend the next day exploring the eastern side of the island.
When is the best time to visit?
- Rainy season | November to March
- Dry season | April to October
Nusa Penida has two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. Dry season is the most popular time to visit for obvious reasons, so if you want to avoid the crowds you may actually prefer to visit during the rainy season. Just be prepared to plan your day around the weather if you do visit during the rainy season.
No matter when you visit Nusa Penida, we’d recommend getting to Thousand Islands Viewpoint as early in the morning as possible to avoid some of the crowds. If you’re staying on the island, you can avoid the Bali day-tour groups that typically swarm the popular sights from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. by visiting early in the day or later in the afternoon.
Where should I stay on Nusa Penida?
If you want to really explore all the best things to do on Nusa Penida, the best area to stay is just inland from the western side of the island. Below are a few great places to stay:
- Budget | The Dagan Bungalow. Private and clean bungalows in a convenient location with prices starting at $35 USD per night.
- Mid-range | Bagia Bungalows. This is where we stayed and we had a great experience. Our host was super helping in helping us plan out our days, and giving us the inside scoop on which attractions are suitable to get to by motorbike.
- Luxury | Penida Bamboo Green Suites. Stunning luxury bungalows featuring hammocks with views overlooking the island, if you stay here, you just might not want to leave!
Other things to do on Nusa Penida
Looking for more to do on Nusa Penida? You may also be interested in these resources!
Questions about visiting Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida? What did you think of the beach? Let us know in the comments below!