The biggest of the Three Sisters archipelago, Nusa Penida is only one hour’s boat ride southeast of Bali; boats run from the towns of Sanur and Padang Bai. Although the island totals only some 200 square kilometres, you will be amazed by its natural beauty: white sand beaches, stunning cliffs or the mysterious, 250 metres deep Toya Pakeh Channel. Dividing Nusa Penida from the neighbouring island of Ceningan, the channel is one of the world’s deepest channels between two islands and is yet to be explored. This “sea river” also creates the perfect environment for a rich population of Ocean Sunfish. With four more currents bypassing the island and nurturing the waters, the sea is rich in seaweed, one of the main sources of livelihood for the local community.
The majority of the island’s population is Hindu; a small Muslim community can be found in the village of Toya Pakeh. A number of both public and private shrines and temples are scattered around the island, the biggest one located in the town of Sampalanu. The town also plays host to a daily traditional market, with fresh seafood, spices, poultry and an abundance of other goods on offer.
Nusa Penida is also a popular destination for divers. However, even those not keen on this activity will find a wide array of activities to engage in. With Bali attracting the majority of tourists, Nusa Penida is the road less travelled, offering its visitors an abundance of human-made and natural wonders but sparing them the crowds.