Nusa Penida Island is a small island south east of Bali. The region is comprised of three small islands – Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and of course Nusa Penida which make up the Klungkung Regency district. The island covers an area of 202.6km sq. The highest point Puncak Mundi is 524 metres. The collective population of the three islands is 45,178 according to the 2010 census.
Nusa Penida is the largest and perhaps least developed of the three fascinating Nusa Islands. Nusa Penida has a rich history in Balinese legend. Once Nusa Penida was inhabited by dark spirits, demons, gods and one of the most feared characters in local mythology – I Gede Macaling, the spirit responsible for spreading sickness, plauge and disease. Pandita (Hindu high preists) sent by neighbouring kingdoms landed in Nusa Penida at Crystal Bay (called Penida in local language) cleansed the island of its evil spirits and most importantly, I Gede Macaling. This struggle between good and evil gave the island its name – Nusa Penida (roughly translated as Island of the Holy People). It makes sense then, that the Klungkung kingdom in Bali chose Nusa Penida to become a penal colony for its criminal outcasts, until transmigration opened up and the island was fully settled. Perhaps it is this history that has protected Nusa Penida from the onslaught of mass tourism indeed, Nusa Penida has been often described as the Bali of fifty years ago.
Nusa Penida Island is a recommended place for snorkeling with a stunning view of coral reefs. There are some recommended snorkeling spot in Nusa Penida. They are Manta Bay, Crystal Bay and Gamat Bay. One of the most famous attractions in Nusa Penida is the opportunity to swim with Manta Ray. The waters of the southern part of Nusa Penida are known as the natural habitat of this gentle giant fish that makes underwater view seeker often make a trip to the southern waters of Nusa Penida for a chance to meet the magnificent fish.
Nusa Lembongan is a small island off the southeast coast of the main island of Bali. Quickly becoming one of Bali’s most popular attractions, this island paradise is a world away from the hassle and hectic pace of South Bali. Neither hawkers nor traffic mar the magnificent scenery; this is a fine place just to put your feet up and relax. Main activities include surfing, diving, and snorkeling. The water is some of the clearest you will find anywhere, and a vivid aqua blue in color. The beaches and other coastal landscapes are obviously a key draw, as are the sunsets.