Visiting Atuh Beach and need a guide? In this post, I give you all the information you will need to have an awesome day on Atuh Beach including how to get there when to visit and what to expect when you arrive. Keep reading to find out.
What is Atuh Beach?
Atuh Beach is a hidden beach on Nusa Penida that will take your breath away with its clifftop vistas. It’s a little tricky to get to but you won’t regret it. Atuh Beach was one of my favourite and most enjoyable things I have done on Nusa Penida. In fact, it was so relaxing lying on a binbag and taking in the views of the turquoise bay in front of me, that I did not want to leave!
How to get to Atuh Beach?
Atuh Beach is situated on the southeastern side of Nusa Penida about one hour drive from Toya Pakeh Harbour. There has been a new road built along the eastern coast which made getting to this part of the island way quicker and easier. The last bit, however, will take you through a dirt track in the forest with many brunches sticking out of the ground.
Boats leave 9 times a day from (Sanur Ferry Port) Bali to Nusa Penida and are run by two companies: The Marlin Fast Boat and Crown Fast Cruise. Getting to Nusa Penida takes 45 minutes and arrives at Toya Pakeh Harbour. You can buy your ticket online before departure or arrive early in Sanur port and buy your ticket there. Expect to pay around 100k IDR.
For those already staying on Nusa Penida, the easiest way to get to Atuh Beach is by hiring a scooter and driving there yourself.
Motorbike rental on Penida is a little pricier than in Bali mainland so expect to pay around 80k IDR for a full day. Remember to ask for a helmet and check breaks and lights before you set off.
Also, the roads in Nusa Penida are poor, narrow with many bumps and potholes. If you’ve never ridden a scooter before, then this is not the place for your first time. However, if you’re an experienced driver you may find it strenuous but you will be fine. And a lot of visitors choose that option so you definitely won’t be alone.
From the main harbour area, it should take around an hour to get there. If you’re already on the island, try to leave in the morning before the ferries arrive with day-trippers. I’ve witnessed some crazy traffic from the ferry port at ‘rush hour’.
With a driver
If you don’t feel comfortable to ride a scooter, you can hire a car with a driver. A full day should cost around 600k IDR. The advantages of hiring a driver are you don’t need to worry about driving and navigating steep, bumpy roads that often turn into dirt tracks. Also, it is nice to relax in the air-conditioned car while getting to your next location.
This is the option that I’ve used. I rode a motorbike in Uluwatu, which I found ok, but didn’t feel confident enough to do it in Nusa Penida.
What to expect on arrival
There are two access points to enter the beach. The official one to the right of the beach. There is a car park where you’re expected to pay 5k IDR and an entrance fee is also collected which is another 10k IDR. The parking area gets busy in high season and it may be hard to get to if you’re on a scooter. It’s uphill and the road is sandy and I saw people struggling to ride up their motorbikes.
From the car park, the path climbs up to where local men collect the entrance fee to Atuh Beach. There is a bench under a little roof to protect them from the sun. From there, you can continue straight on and then around a building, then down the steep path, where concrete stairs been built leading to the beach.
The advantage of arriving on this site is that you also get access to Diamond Beach which is not something you want to miss!
The other access side is from the left side. There is no parking or entrance fee at the moment. And you get a different view of the beach.
Whatever way you choose to go, both involve a steep climb down the concrete steps. It takes about 15 minutes and it’s not too bad. Don’t forget to stop from time to time to take in some epic views and some great photos too!
Atuh Beach is one of the prettiest beaches on Nusa Penida. Most people that arrive during the day are on a tight schedule and don’t even go down the beach but only take a few photos from Atuh Beach cliff, where the views are to die for!
If you decide to go down, you’ll get a pristine clean beach with soft, white sand and lovely turquoise water. The best part is, that you can actually swim in the sea here because the waves are not too crazy as on Kelingking Beach or many other Bali beaches. The beach is kind of hidden away and surrounded by massive cliffs that protect it from strong currents. The bottom of the sea is a little rocky so you may want to watch your step when you’re going for a swim but it’s not too bad.
There are a few warungs on the beach and parasols and sun loungers to rent out for the day. I sat on the binbag for free in exchange for buying some food and drink later on. The sun loungers were 100k IDR for the day. I got some coconut water for 25k IDR and some fresh cut up mango (20k IDR) and fries (20k IDR).
There is also a cute arch facing the beach that adds charm to the view. You can easily spend here all day, it’s beautiful and relaxing with the right number of visitors and local warungs where you can get a tasty lunch.
Best time to visit
Any time is good to visit this beach really. Atuh Beach doesn’t get nowhere near as many visitors as Kelingking or Broken beach. It is because it’s situated on the other side on Penida island and it’s not in day-tripper’s itinerary.
Having said that the perfect time to visit the beach is early morning to see the sunrise at Atuh Beach. The beach is facing east which is perfect for experiencing an epic sunrise. Get there just before sunrise but when it’s already brightening up so you can see where you’re going on the steep path.
It’s also worth mentioning that Atuh Beach is tidal and the best time to visit is during the high tide when you can enjoy a swim. During the low tide, the sea moves away from the beach exposing its rocky bottom, which is also can be a pretty view to experience.
Other points of interest nearby
Check out my full post on the most incredible things to do in Nusa Penida.
Diamond Beach is just on the other side of the cliff from Atuh Beach. There is no additional fee and it’s probably because not many people go down to the beach. There are two reasons for that. The first one is because the path down is not very well maintained. It starts with nice concrete steps but it then deteriorates which makes it almost impossible to get down.
I managed to get down halfway and then turned back when the steps just finished on me and I didn’t have the guts to continue the descent in fear of falling off the cliff.
The second reason why you may not want to go down is that the sea is too rough to swim and the beach is mostly covered by shade from the nearby cliffs. Also, you can’t beat the clifftop view!
Rumah Pohon Treehouse (near Atuh Beach)
This famous treehouse on Nusa Penida is definitely something that you will never forget. It is situated a short drive from Atuh Beach and it’s a must-see if you’re in the area! There is a small entrance fee (5k IDR) and an area where you can park.
To get to the treehouse from the car park, follow the path down, it’s fairly steep but should take no longer than 10 minutes’ walk.
There are actually a few tree houses there where you can stay overnight. The one with the best view is to take photos only. There is a ladder that you can climb and get to the house. The view is truly jaw-dropping!
Tip: To take the best photo, climb to the tree which is slightly behind and to the right of the treehouse. This way you get the best angle of the ocean view as well.
If you follow the path further and uphill, you’ll get to two more viewing points. At the last one, there is a bench under a small roof where you can take a break from the heat.
On the way back, by the parking area, there is a small warung where you can stop over for a cold drink or an ice cream.
Thousand Island Viewpoint
This is the viewpoint which is located in the same spot as the Rumah Pohon. It is included in the 5k IDR entry fee while visiting the treehouse.
There are two spots where you can take in some incredible views over some interesting rock formation and crystal-clear turquoise sea.
The first one is a thin, bridge-like path that is fenced off by sticks and robe.
The second one, slightly higher up where you can see the treehouse at the bottom
Where to stay
There are a few options to stay near the beach, but the area around Atuh beach is largely underdeveloped. If you decide to stay, expect to have peaceful, away from it all experience which may be suitable only for a few nights.
If you want to have more restaurant and shop options, I recommend staying near the harbour.
This hotel consists of a beautifully designed cottage with tasteful accessories made of natural materials like stone and wood. They come with lovely outdoor bathrooms and a porch and are situated in a well kept, lush garden. There is a nice pool where you can get your breakfast served on a floating tray in the pool or served in your room if you prefer that, both for no extra charge. The hotel offers a free pick up and drop off at the harbour. The owner and staff are really friendly and helpful.
Kompyang cottages are located on the west Nusa Penida within 20 minutes’ drive to Toya Pakeh harbour and within a walking distance to a good selection of local warungs.
This hotel is situated in an excellent location close to the beach, some great beach clubs, a choice of restaurants and shops all within a walking distance. This is the hotel where I stayed and really liked it, especially for its convenient location.
The rooms are clean and simple with all the standard comforts such as air-conditioning, mini bar and wifi. There is also a pleasant pool area where you can chill out and a free breakfast is served in the hotel’s restaurant.
Family-owned cottages situated on the mountaintop with some amazing views, only 2.5 km away from Atuh Beach. The owner is very friendly. There is a good hotel warung which serves local food and has a lovely outdoor setting on a deck overlooking hills and lush greenery. The cottages are clean and very cute, come with an en suite bathroom.
This property is a little further away from Atuh Beach, about 20 minutes’ drive but it comes with a pool. The wooden cottages are spacious and clean and the property is overlooking the Eastern coast. The friendly host will help you with travel arrangements and restaurants recommendations. The hotel is located not far from Giri Putri cave temple and Teletubbies Hills.
The hotel which is also one of the best Nusa Penida hostels offers private and shared rooms. It is located within 20 minutes’ drive from the harbour on the western coast, minutes’ walk from shops and small, local restaurants.
What I liked most about this property is a very pretty pool area with white decking around it and a well-kept garden. There is a choice of older bungalows and newer ones situated around the pool which are so cute, simple yet very tastefully designed.
This is a great option for a solo traveller for very cheap but quality accommodation with chic communal areas!
Atuh Beach Things to Know Summary
• There are two main entry points – to the left and to the right of the beach.
• If you enter from the right side, you will be expected to pay 5k IDR for parking and 10k IDR entrance fee.
• The beach is great to visit at any time of the day.
• Check the tide and ideally visit during the high tide.
• The climb down is steep but takes only 15 min.
• There are parasols to rent on the beach for 100k IDR, small shacks with food and drinks and yes there is a toilet.
• Don’t forget to visit Diamond Beach and Rumah Pohon treehouse!
Is Atuh Beach worth a visit?
If you have more than one day in Nusa Penida then Atuh Beach is a must. Even if you don’t like lazing on the beach too much, you can turn a visit to Atuh Beach into an adventure.
I loved the clifftop view over the beach and the relaxing vibe lazing on a binbag with a cold coconut in my hand.
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