Pandan Beach is a quiet, secluded beach on Nusa Penida accessible only via a 20-minute hike from Crystal Bay. It is not accessible by car or motorbike. Whereas many of the beaches on Nusa Penida have become quite popular and crowded, Pandon Beach remains quiet and secluded.
If you’re willing to put in a little effort, you’ll be rewarded with access to one of the most peaceful beaches across all of Nusa Penida.
Article Contents (click to expand)
- Pandan Beach | At a Glance
- Pandan Beach | What to Expect
- Pandan Beach | Frequently Asked Questions
- Nusa Penida Resources
Pandan Beach | At a Glance
- Hiking distance | Approximately 1.25 (2km) miles roundtrip from the parking lot, with about 200 feet (60m) of elevation gain.
- Getting there | Pandan Beach is located just south of Crystal Bay Beach on the western side of Nusa Penida. To access Pandan Beach, you first need to go to Crystal Bay Beach and then hike over to Pandan Beach.
- Parking | There is a large parking lot at Crystal Bay Beach. The roads to access the parking area are paved and fairly easy to navigate, with a few steep but manageable sections.
- Fees | As of 2023, it costs 5,000 IDR to park a motorbike at Crystal Bay Beach. There are no other entrance fees.
- Crowd levels | Low
- When to go | Can be visited year-round, but the best time is during dry season (typically April to October)
- What to do nearby | Crystal Bay Beach, Kelingking Beach/T-Rex Viewpoint, Tembeling Forest, Peguyangan Waterfall
- Secluded location means few, if any, crowds.
- Hike to Pandan Beach has nice views back over Crystal Bay.
- Good beach for swimming.
- Great spot to watch the sunset.
- No entrance fees.
- Need to hike about 20 minutes (each way) to reach the beach.
- The hike to get there is quite steep with lots of stairs
- The beach is fairly small.
- Although the beach itself is clean, the area around it can be littered with trash.
We’re bringing you an honest and up-to-date guide on the best things to do on Nusa Penida, plus the popular sites that we’d recommend skipping in 2023.
Pandan Beach | What to Expect
Getting to Pandan Beach (and Crystal Bay Beach)
To reach the secluded Pandan Beach, you first need to head to Crystal Bay Beach, a long stretch of sand about 20 minutes from the main harbor on Nusa Penida.
The road leading to Crystal Bay Beach is hilly, narrow, and winding. However, compared to most roads on Nusa Penida, it’s actually in good shape, with few potholes or unpaved sections.
As you approach Crystal Bay Beach, you will need to pay a 5,000 IDR fee to park. The parking lot, which is quite large, is located right in front of the beach.
Crystal Bay Beach
Before you start the hike over to Pandan Beach, it’s worth spending some time exploring Crystal Bay Beach, which is one of the most popular things to do on Nusa Penida. Crystal Bay Beach is probably the most easily accessible beach on Nusa Penida and is wider and longer than most other beaches on the island.
Along the edge of the beach, there are plenty of small warungs, or family run restaurants, offering local dishes, fresh seafood, cold beer, and lounge chairs for rent.
Hiking to Pandan Beach
To reach Pandan Beach, you need to hike over the small cliff on the southern end of Crystal Bay Beach.
Start by heading south, or to the left, when you arrive at Crystal Bay Beach. As you approach the end of Crystal Bay Beach, you’ll see a small sign pointing you towards Pandan Beach and a set of concrete stairs leading upwards.
Pro Tip | The staircase to Pandan Beach is located around here.
From here, continue climbing up the stairs, enjoying nice views of Crystal Bay Beach behind you. In 10 minutes or so, you’ll reach the top of the incline, and the trail levels out for a few minutes.
Then, the trail quickly descends down to Pandan Beach via another steep set of concrete stairs.
All in all, the trail from Crystal Bay Beach over to Pandan Beach took us about 20 minutes and probably covers about three quarters of a mile (1.2 km). The trail is well-trodden and easy to follow. There is some elevation gain as you hike up from either beach, but it’s nothing too extreme.
Exploring Pandan Beach
While Pandan Beach isn’t as wide or as long as Crystal Bay Beach, you’ll still likely have more space to spread out and enjoy the beach around you.
Pandan Beach sits at the back of a small cove that protects it from some of the stronger currents and bigger waves. While you may need to keep an eye out for large chunks of coral, it is a great place to cool off with a swim.
If you’re in need of some refreshment, there is a small shack selling cold drinks and small snacks.
Once you’re done enjoying Pandan Beach, you can simply head back over to Crystal Bay Beach the same way you came.
Pandan Beach | Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to visit Pandan Beach?
While you can visit Pandan Beach at any time, we’d especially recommend going to watch the sunset.
While crowds flock to the neighboring Crystal Bay Beach to watch the sunset, you could slip on over to Pandan Beach to enjoy essentially the same view with significantly fewer people.
However, make sure you don’t stay for too long after the sun slips below the horizon, so you don’t end up hiking back in the dark!
What should I pack?
We’d recommend bringing all the standard beach gear, including a towel, bathing suit, and sunscreen. Wear a pair of comfortable shoes or sandals, like Chacos, with good traction, since the trail is steep and slippery in spots.
It’s also important to remember to bring plenty of water and some snacks, so you have enough fuel for the hike to Pandan Beach and back.
How hard is the hike to Pandan Beach?
The hike to Pandan Beach is on the easier side due to its short distance, but that doesn’t mean it should be underestimated. There is some significant elevation gain that can be a challenge, especially if you’re hiking in the heat of the afternoon sun.
Are there bathrooms available?
When we hiked to Pandan Beach, it looked like there was one shoddily constructed restroom, that cost 5,000 IDR to use.
We didn’t use the restroom ourselves and we didn’t see anyone else using it so can’t exactly attest to the quality of the facilities, but we wouldn’t expect much.
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!
We want to hear from you! What did you think of Pandan Beach? Questions about how to get there? Drop us a comment below!