In the last few years Kelingking on Nusa Penida has really become a must do on any Bali itinerary. The stunning beach and interesting rock that looks like a T-Rex head has the crowds coming to this rural island on a daily basis. If you plan on visiting Kelingking then there are a few things you should know!
What you need to know before visiting Kelingking on Nusa Penida
How to get to Kelingking
Once you or on Nusa Penida there are three basic ways to get to Kelingking. You either take a scooter, get a private driver or go with a tour.
If you choose the scooter option then you should definitely be really comfortable driving one. The roads near Kelingking are some of the worst on the island. It is definitely the most difficult option but also the cheapest so although ideal for budget travelers, if you are inexperienced you should probably stay away from this.
Renting a scooter is very easy on Penida, you can do it at the harbour as you arrive or at your accommodation. It usually costs a bit more on Penida around 70.000 IDR per day. Remember to check the breaks, helmets, mirrors and lights before renting. Most of the scooters are worse for wear in Nusa Penida but you will especially need good brakes and a good helmet. The dirt road heading towards Kelingking is full of potholes and it is much easier navigating it alone on a scooter rather than having someone on the back. Let the person at the back hop off and walk while going down the tricky parts.
We hired a private driver when we visited Kelingking as we had a lot of gear with us and limited time to visit all the places we wanted to on Nusa Penida. I loved this option and would 100% choose it again if I was short on time. All our things were safe, we weren’t so tired and we got an insiders view on the island. Our driver spoke a bit of English and he could tell us so much of island. There are plenty of drivers available, just ask at your accommodation or speak to a local before departing to Nusa Penida. I feel like everyone knows someone!
We used Cassava tours as our private driver for the day and he was even nice enough to take some photos of us!
These are set tours that take you to a few spots on the island. There are plenty of tours that go to Kelingking, Broken Beach, Manta Point and Crystal Bay. These are best if you or on a day trip and you want to see a few spots. There are plenty of these tour companies on instagram just look for Nusa Penida day tours.
Best time to go to Kelingking
The best time to visit Kelingking is either for sunset or sunrise. This is not an option for people visiting for the day though as the first boats only get to Nusa Penida at 8:30am and the last ones usually leave at around 4:30pm. The crowds start getting there at around 10am so if you don’t mind sharing the space with a lot of other people then anytime is great!
If you stay over like we did and you make Kelingking your first spot you can get there at 7am. It sounds really early but we beat the heat so walking down the spine hiking trail wasn’t too bad. The water was already gorgeous and blue and the light stunning and even. The best thing? About 5 other people were there and we could take all the photos we wanted without a single soul around!
Kelingking view point
It is pretty easy to get to the view point at Kelingking. You park at the top parking lot and then take a stroll down past a few warungs till you get to the view point. The view really will take your breath away and it is so much better in real life than any photo! There are a few photo spots at Kelingking view point that are really great.
- The cement platform is the easiest with the best view. Remember to take the photo slightly from above to get the beach in!
- Slightly to the right of the platform there is a grassy patch on the cliff you can sit but I wouldn’t advise doing it. It seemed way to scary and dangerous as the 200m drop is sheer.
- To the left of the path there is a tree that makes for a very gramable photo. Only attempt this if you are really comfortable. I wasn’t but Mike was and he had to use a lot of upper body strength to lower himself down.
- If you don’t feel like hiking down there is a spot at the beginning of the stairs which gives you an insane perspective of the path, the beach and of course good old T-Rex!
You will most likely need about 15-20 minutes at the top view point soaking up the views and getting some great photos!
TIP – Always carry change around, most of these view points have an entrance fee. Kelingking costs 10.000 IDR per person.
If you decide to do the hike down to Kelingking beach or even just to the midway point you will get rewarded with even more beautiful views. The hike is pretty scary though and definitely not for beginners. The railings are not very stable and made from bamboo and rope and the path is a lot of mud, rocks and sand formed into crude steps.
TIP – Remember to wear good hiking shoes, put on sunscreen and take water!
The entire hike is really steep but if you want to do some of it I suggest hiking to the halfway point. We used that area to fly our drone and get some killer shots. I ended up hiking without any shoes on but we are really experienced hikers. Slops or normal running shoes will make this a slippery hike, rather wear a pair of hiking shoes with lugs!
The beach is absolutely gorgeous with white sand and incredible blue water. It is also very dangerous as the waves are mostly massive and the rip currents very strong. I would advise not to swim there and to stay away from the waters edge especially if you are not a strong swimmer. Also check the tides before going to make the most out of the beach!
You will get rewarded though if you decide to hike to the beach as it is never very full! Just remember to hike up before sunset as the hike is even more treacherous at night with no lights around!
Planning to stay over on Nusa Penida?
I would definitely recommend staying on Nusa Penida for at least two night or even more if you can! There are so many things to see and being rushed is the worst.
We decided on accomadation at Crystal bay as we wanted to be close to the beach and I am so happy we did.
We spent two nights at Ananta Bungalows and accommodation was really simple but super awesome and everything we needed including breakfast, a large clean room with aircon and the sweetest hosts!