Tembeling Beach and Forest is a magical spot on Nusa Penida that remains an underrated adventure on the increasingly popular island. Exploring Tembeling includes a few different components: walking through the beautiful lush green Tembeling Forest, swimming in two bright blue natural pools, and lastly, a secluded beach hidden between massive seaside cliffs.
Because getting there takes a little bit more effort than other things to do on Nusa Penida and most guided tours don’t visit here, Tembeling Beach and Forest offer a reprieve from the selfie-snapping Instagram crowds of Bali.
Keep reading to learn more about how to visit this unique spot!
Article Contents (click to expand)
- Tembeling Beach and Forest on Nusa Penida
- Tembeling Beach and Forest | What to Expect
- Getting there and parking
- Hiking down through Tembeling Forest
- Tebeling Natural Pools & Beach Entrance
- First Natural Pool
- Second Natural Pool
- Tembeling Beach
- Side Beach at Tembeling Beach
- Returning to the parking area
- Nusa Penida Resources
Tembeling Beach and Forest on Nusa Penida
Tembeling Beach & Forest | At a Glance
- Hiking distance | About 5km (3.1 miles) round trip with 275m (900 feet) of elevation gain.
- Getting there | Tembeling Beach and Forest are located on the southeastern side of Nusa Penida. The parking area is about 35 minutes via motorbike from the main harbor on Nusa Penida.
- Parking | The entrance is located at the bottom of a steep, unpaved road. You can drive all the way down to the main entrance but we recommend parking at the top of the hill and walking down. You can also hire a local driver to take you down the last stretch for about 50,000 IDR. The steep, unpaved road/trail is about 2.5 km each way.
- Fees | As of October 2023, expect to pay 5,000 IDR for parking, plus a 5,000 to 10,000 IDR per person “donation” to enter the Tembeling Natural Pools and Beach. A roundtrip motorbike “taxi” from the parking area will run you about 60,000 IDR per person.
- Crowd levels | Expect medium crowd levels. You won’t have the place to yourself but it won’t be packed.
- What to do nearby | Peguyangan Waterfall, Kelingking Beach, Crystal Bay, Pandan Beach and Angel’s Billabong
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.
- A unique Nusa Penida experience.
- Fewer crowds make it a much more enjoyable experience compared to other spots on the island.
- Includes hiking through the jungle, swimming in natural pools, and relaxing at a secluded beach, giving you a nice variety of activities.
- It is a bit of a challenge to reach Tembeling Beach and natural pools, requiring a steep hike or motorbike ride.
- It isn’t located close to many other attractions and isn’t included in most Nusa Penida tours so you will need to get there on your own.
Tembeling Beach and Forest | What to Expect
Getting there and parking
As noted above, the official entrance to the Tembeling Beach and Forest is located at the bottom of a 2.5 km steep, unpaved path that cuts through a lush jungle canyon. You will want to park your motorbike (or have your driver drop you off) at this location at the top of the hill.
To access this entrance you have three options, detailed below.
Option 1 | Park at the top and walk down
The first option is to park at the top of the hill and simply walk down to the entrance. This is what we did and if you have the time/energy, we’d recommend it.
The walk down took us about 20 minutes, while the hike back up took about 30 minutes. The path is very steep with about 900 feet of elevation gain on the return trip. Make sure you have enough water for the entire journey.
The path is a straight shot and very easy to follow.
Option 2 | Park at the top and take a motorbike taxi down
- Cost | Approximately 60,000 IDR roundtrip per person (be ready to haggle)
When you park at the top of the hill, there will be a handful of local guys immediately offering to shuttle you down to the entrance on the back of their motorbikes.
They will try to convince you that the hike down is longer and more strenuous than it actually is. They will also try to ply you with special offers just for you.
If you want to take a motorbike taxi down, do not accept the first offer for a ride. When we pulled up, one guy immediately offered to drive us down for 100,000 IDR each. We said “no thanks” and another guy quickly offered 60,000. My gut says you could get it even lower with a little bit of haggling.
Before you agree to anything, make sure you are clear on the price and what you are paying for, especially if you’re paying for the return trip or just a one way journey.
It should take only about 5 minutes to take a motorbike taxi from the top of the hill down to the entrance.
Pro Tip | Remember that haggling is standard and the local guys offering to taxi you down to the entrance will initially request much more than what they will eventually settle for.
Option 3 | Drive your motorbike down to the entrance
Technically, you could drive your own motorbike all the way down to the entrance to Tembeling Forest and Beach but we would not recommend it.
Before we went to Tembeling Forest and Beach, we were talking to a local guy at our hotel and he said that he wouldn’t drive down the path to Tembeling because it’s too scary. And he’d been driving a motorbike on Nusa Penida since he was a young kid!
After walking down the path, we completely agree. The road is super bumpy, very steep, and narrow. Unless you are very experienced driving a motorbike, we would not recommend driving yourself down the hill.
Hiking down through Tembeling Forest
As we mentioned, we hiked down through Tembeling Forest to reach the natural pools and beach at the bottom. While it took us a bit longer than hopping on the back of a motorbike and the hike back up in the afternoon heat was quite the challenge, it was actually a nice little hike.
The Tembeling Forest is a dense, lush jungle and we even got to see some monkeys swinging from the trees!
Tebeling Natural Pools & Beach Entrance
After about 20 minutes of walking, you’ll see another parking lot for motorbikes and there will be a guy sitting there asking for donations before you officially enter the Tembeling Forest and Beach area.
There is a small Hindu temple at the entrance and the natural pools are a holy site for the local people. Your donation goes to maintaining the temple and surrounding area. Obviously, we don’t know exactly how the donations are appropriated but the area does seem to be relatively clean, compared to most other spots in Indonesia.
There is no set amount you are required to donate. We had 10,000 IDR readily available so threw it in the donation bin and the guy at the entrance seemed plenty appreciative.
First Natural Pool
After passing through the entrance, you’ll then descend a series of stairs for about 5 minutes before reaching the first natural pool. For whatever reason, there will likely be significantly fewer people at this pool, compared to the second pool.
We actually liked this pool better, not only because we had it entirely to ourselves, but we also thought it was prettier and had clearer water.
The first pool is also where you’ll find the Hindu fountains and a small temple.
Second Natural Pool
Just a short walk beyond the first pool, you then come across the second natural pool. This one is a little bit bigger, sits closer to the beach, and will likely have more people.
The views of the ocean and the beach from the second pool are quite nice and it’s a cool spot to chill out for a bit.
From the second natural pool, Tembeling Beach is just a few steps further down towards the ocean. Tembeling Beach is fairly small, but there are some nice sandy stretches to spread out and lay in the sun.
The area is pretty rocky and, like many beaches on Nusa Penida, the waves are big and the current is strong so we wouldn’t recommend swimming. You could wade into the water for a bit but we wouldn’t go too deep.
Side Beach at Tembeling Beach
As you head down to the main Tembeling Beach area, you can actually bear off to the right, walk under the cliff, and you’ll pop out to a small rocky cove with beautiful views of the surrounding cliffs and rock formations.
There isn’t really anywhere to hang out over here, but it’s worth the quick detour to soak up the views and take a few quick pictures.
Returning to the parking area
After you’ve taken a dip in each swimming pool and explored the beach, you can return to the parking area the same way you arrived.
If you hiked down to Tembeling Forest and Beach but don’t have the energy to climb back up the steep hill, you can get a motorbike taxi to take you back up. There will be a bunch of guys waiting around the entrance who will be more than happy to zip you back up.
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 Tembeling Beach and Forest? Questions about how to get there? Let us know in the comments section below!