Sitting on the east coast of a paradise island just off Bali, Atuh Beach Nusa Penida is a hidden gem that’s fast becoming one of the island’s most popular destinations. Known as Pantai Atuh in Indonesian, the beach is nestled in a small bay and makes for a spectacular first impression. As you descend down the stairs that line the surrounding cliffs, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful landscape made up of pristine white sand, striking turquoise and deep blue water, and a series of dramatic rock formations peeking out of the sea. The hollow rock has come to be the most recognisable feature of Atuh Beach thanks to its unique natural arch.
Unlike many of Nusa Penida’s beaches, which, like much of the island itself, are still wild and untouched, Atuh Beach Nusa Penida has started to see the effects of tourism with a strip of sunbeds, bean bags and food stalls encompassing the entire length of the beach. Thankfully, however, it’s all very tastefully done and only adds to the atmosphere. The food stalls are made from straw, wood and other local materials, creating the ultimate beach shack vibe, while the colourful sunbeds and bean bags are very comfy and prove to be the perfect place to chill out for the day. If you’re looking for a beach with no manmade influences, head next door to Diamond Beach, which has just become accessible thanks to a brand-new set of stairs.
Things to consider at Atuh Beach Nusa Penida
In order to see Atuh Beach at its best, you’ll need to make sure you’re there for high tide. During this time the beach looks like the ultimate sandy paradise whereas at low tide all of the rocks are exposed and it makes for a very different picture.
It costs 100,000 rupiah (£5) to rent two sunbeds and a parasol for the day. Saying that we managed to haggle down to 80,000 rupiah (£4) so the price can certainly vary depending on your haggling skills and the time of day/year you visit. I believe it costs 50,000 rupiah (£2.50) to rent two bean bags.
Not all of the food and drink outlets list prices on the menu so be sure to ask before you order. The warung that we had lunch at did list its prices and the food cost between 20,000 and 70,000 rupiah while drinks cost between 10,000 and 50,000 rupiah.
Here are some example prices:
Banana pancakes: 25K
Fried rice chicken: 50K
Chicken satay and rice: 50K
Grilled octopus: 70K
Coca Cola/Sprite/Fanta: 10K
Small beer: 30K
Large beer: 50K
Large water: 15K
Fruit juice: 20K
How to get to Atuh Beach Nusa Penida and where to park
Situated on the east coast of the island, Atuh Beach Nusa Penida is a one-hour drive from the Toya Pakeh ferry port. The best way to get there is by hiring a scooter, which will most likely be available to rent at the harbour or at your guest house for about 70,000 rupiah (£3.50) a day. Most of Nusa Penida’s roads have now been tarmacked and are in good condition but the last few hundred metres leading to Atuh Beach are still quite rocky. It’s a little precarious but perfectly manageable if you take it slowly and carefully.
With stairs leading down both cliffs, Atuh Beach is accessible from the north and south side. Both have their own advantages but I would recommend aiming for the southern end of the beach. The hike down is slightly longer on this side (about ten minutes) and you won’t see the famous rock formations on the descent; however, if you access Atuh Beach from this side, you’ll be parked on the correct side to visit Diamond Beach.
You can reach both Atuh Beach and Diamond Beach by parking in the same car park –marked as ‘Atul Beach Parking’ on Google Maps – and it costs 10,000 rupiah (50p) to park a scooter for the day. As you start getting closer to Atuh Beach, the signposts for the beach will point in more than one direction – rather confusing! In order to reach the car park on the southern end of the beach, you’ll need to go straight at the first signpost rather than left and at the second one you’ll need to take the right turn instead of the left (this one has a separate poster of Atuh Beach sending you in the correct direction). Just be sure to follow Google Maps to ‘Atul Beach Parking’ and you’ll end up in the correct place.
Here is a map showing the route: