Bali Travel Tips: What You Need to Know About Fast Boat to Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida has become one of the hottest spots to visit around Bali and its surroundings these days. It’s not without any reason that some people strongly suggest Nusa Penida as a part of the itinerary, because now that I’ve been to Bali for the first time… I think Nusa Penida is the only place that I genuinely liked and enjoyed during my last trip.

When I arranged the itinerary for this Bali trip, I was already planning to go to Nusa Penida. However, I was a bit hesitant to book a tour since everything I found on the internet is freaking expensive. The average price of the tour for Nusa Penida starts from IDR 600,000 (around $42 USD) per pax, and I was traveling with my mom and my brother.

I’m the kind of person who is absolutely price-sensitive, and I find the price quite expensive. I mean, if the price is that high, with the same amount of money I could actually book a flight back home. Therefore, I decided to just do everything on my own.

It’s not that we were in a really tight budget, if anything I was quite adventurous when I decided to just go to Nusa Penida first and see what options I could find once I get there. At first, I checked the boat schedule from Bali to Nusa Penida through Easybook.

That, only to find out that the boat ticket isn’t so cheap either. The ticket starts from IDR 150,000 (around $10 USD) one way. As I doubt that the price would be that high, I did some research in my mother tongue Indonesian… Only to find out that the average price for the boat ticket is actually half of it.

Bali Travel Tips: What You Need to Know About Fast Boat to Nusa Penida

Fast Boat to Nusa Penida from Bali

Since I found out that the average price for the fast boat from Bali to Nusa Penida started from as low as IDR 75,000 (around $5 USD), I decided to just ask around the locals.

Most of the boats from Bali to Nusa Penida depart from Sanur beach. After we stayed at The Alea Hotel Seminyak, we moved to Hotel Sanur Indah that is located close to the port. FYI, we only stayed there for one night before we went to Nusa Penida, and I didn’t have the chance to take any picture in the property so I wouldn’t write any review for the property.

Anyway, my first attempt to find out about the boat ticket to Nusa Penida was through the hotel. I asked the hotel whether they sell the boat ticket to Nusa Penida and they actually do. Unfortunately, the price of the boat ticket is still super expensive as they offer around IDR 350,000 per pax.

How to Get the Ticket

Long story short, I finally asked the driver that we hired that day, Bli Putu, about the boat information. He ended up giving me his friend’s number, Pak Ketut. He said that Pak Ketut could help me arranging my trip to Nusa Penida and I could ask him for details about the price and everything.

Guess what? I could get the boat ticket from Pak Ketut for only IDR 100,000 (around $7 USD) one way. We used El Rey Junior Fast Boat for our transportation from Bali to Nusa Penida, and I heard that if we buy the ticket directly to the company, you could actually get it as low as IDR 50,000 (around $3.5 USD) one way.

Was I disappointed that I could have gotten the ticket even lower if it wasn’t through Pak Ketut as the agent? Yes and no. I mean, as a typical Asian who swears by frugal way of life, of course getting things the cheapest is somewhat like an achievement. But I’m trying to be positive that I actually helped Pak Ketut while at the same time, he also helped me find an alternative to go to Nusa Penida at a lower price.

To give you a context, after I bought the ticket through Pak Ketut, I rechecked Easybook to see the price there and apparently if I had to book through the platform, it would have cost me IDR 400,000 for a one-way ticket. 4 times more expensive than I got from Pak Ketut, so yes… It was a deal!

The boat ticket I got from Pak Ketut.

Fast Boat Schedule from Bali to Nusa Penida

There are plenty of options you could find when it comes to the fast boat to Nusa Penida. In fact, if you spare some time to go hunting the ticket on your own, you could actually just go wander around Sanur beach to find so many ticket booth that offers you the service.

You could even do a day trip from Sanur to Nusa Penida, just take the boat from Sanur in the morning and leave Nusa Penida in the evening. It’s possible, although I personally wouldn’t suggest it. I’ll explain to you in another post about Nusa Penida why I wouldn’t. 😉

As for me, I bought the boat ticket with El Rey Junior Fast Boat from Sanur at 10.45 AM, and leave Nusa Penida 2 days later at 2.15 PM. I couldn’t complain about my schedule choice!

Some of the boats used for Bali-Nusa Penida trip.

El Rey Junior Fast Boat from Bali to Nusa Penida

After I got the ticket from Pak Ketut, I just went to El Rey Junior ticket booth an hour before my departure and checked in. Once we checked in, they gave us a card with a lanyard for each to identify us as their passengers. We could board the boat 15 minutes before the departure schedule.

I left all the baggage at Sanur Indah since we were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to board the big items on the boat. Well, we actually could but I’m glad that we left all of our big bags at the hotel.

The thing is that boarding as well as off-boarding the boat in Sanur beach is the challenging part that you might want to consider before you go. In Nusa Penida port, it’s relatively easy since they actually have a proper dock to park the boat. There’s actually a board lane to get to the boat for passengers there, which isn’t available in Sanur.

Yup, you definitely have to dip into water to board the boat in Sanur and this is the most challenging part of traveling from Sanur to Nusa Penida. Especially since I traveled with my mom. My mom wears hijab and all, so it was just impossible to keep her clothes dry for this boat trip. In fact, she slipped a bit and almost got drowned when she tried to get on board.

To be honest, I was a bit sorry for taking her there. But anyway…

The proper dock they have in Nusa Penida port, that Sanur beach lacks. It’s also the boat we took from Nusa Penida back to Bali.

The Boat

For Sanur-Nusa Penida-Sanur boat trip, El Rey Junior Fast Boat service uses a 60 seaters boat that with 3 seaters in each side of the boat. The boat is quite comfortable, especially when it’s almost empty. #introvertproblem

The journey from Sanur to Nusa Penida and the other way around takes only around 30 minutes. And you’re eligible to bring a big bag for this journey too. The boat staff will handle all bags, but due to our personal experience to get on board from Sanur, it is actually quite risky if you bring your valuables on-board.

The seaters on the boat.

I think the key to a comfortable journey using the boat is to travel light. Apart from the challenging part of getting on board in Sanur, there is really nothing to complain about the journey. The boat is quite good and comfortable, they depart on-time so there was no delay that we experienced.

Although FYI, the seat might not be as comfortable if you were tall since the leg space is quite small. I said comfortable because I’m short small. You see, perspective… 😛

The Journey

As I previously mentioned, I didn’t experience any delay on the trip from Sanur to Nusa Penida and the other around. The journey took around 30 minutes, and since I didn’t have any problem with traveling around the sea… Like no seasick or whatever, the journey was quite smooth. I even took half the time taking a nap. 😛

The Verdict

I don’t have anything to complain about the fast boat services except for the boarding and off-boarding process in Sanur. I’m not sure if it’s only El Rey Junior or it goes the same way with other fast boat services. In that case, I really have to think twice to take another trip to go across the Bali mainland to either Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida or Gili islands by fast boat services. Especially not if I travel with the elderly like my mom. It’s a lot of work.

(+)

  • Easy check-in process and you’re eligible for a baggage service up to 30 kgs. 
  • The ticket is quite affordable, compared to what I found on the internet. 
  • The boat trip was quite smooth, and I have nothing to complain about the boat itself. 

(-)

  • Boarding and off-boarding process in Sanur port that sucks to the bone. I had no problem with it, if only I traveled alone, but I was traveling with my mom who’s wearing hijab and all. We didn’t expect this, so we had a hard time during the boarding process. 
Somewhere in the middle of the sea, en route to Nusa Penida from Sanur.

Some Tips to Travel from Sanur, Bali to Nusa Penida by Fast Boat Service

It was my first time to be in Bali, and it was also my first time to take the fast boat from Bali mainland in Sanur to Nusa Penida. There are some things that I wish I knew before I took the boat trip, so that’s why I want to share this section for those who are interested to travel to Nusa Penida for the first time.

The Dos

  • Even though a big baggage up to 30 kgs is allowed on the boat trip, I would strongly suggest you travel as light as possible. Take your valuable items with you in the backpack you take to Nusa Penida, and leave everything in the concierge at the hotel if possible. Believe me, you’ll thank me later.
  • Despite the idea of traveling on a boat, it will help you a lot if you dress like something between traveling and swimming at the same time. The boarding process in Sanur will force you to get into the beach, so getting into the water is impossible to avoid. I was wearing a pair of pants and a t-shirt at the time with flip-flops, so practically I was the only person that had no big trouble with the boarding process. My mom was wearing hijab so half of her outfit got wet once she got on and off the boat. My brother was wearing shoes at the time, so his shoes were filled with sands when we traveled as we had to take off before we boarded the boat.
  • Instead of booking the boat ticket in advance, if you travel in the low-season, you can just go to Sanur beach and get the go-show ticket for the fast boat to Nusa Penida. The price is much lower than those you found on the internet.

The Don’ts

  • Put all your valuable items in place. I really don’t have time to take some pics during the boarding process as a courtesy because I was too scared that I would incidentally drop my phone or camera.
  • The journey might not be suitable for the elderly, unless the elderly was born to be an adventurer. My mom is in her 50s and she’s not really into adventurer in a way that she doesn’t know how to swim or do anything around the water. I was a bit nervous when I found out how we got on board at Sanur beach.

Despite everything, I’m glad that I made the journey so I know how it is so then I could share with you my experience of traveling on the fast boat trip to Nusa Penida. Have you visited Nusa Penida from Bali using fast boat? Did you have a better (or a worse) experience compared to mine? I would love to know your story, drop me a comment below and share yours… Cheerio! 🙂


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