One of Bali’s oldest and best known beach resorts, Sanur continues to attract visitors in their droves to its beach and restaurants. Quieter than some other resorts in Bali, Sanur has just the right mix of places to stay, dine and drink at, and is a good base for day trips to other parts of the island or even to other islands, like Nusa Penida. This small island is a popular tourist attraction, despite having very little tourist infrastructure, but this makes it the ideal day trip destination from Sanur. Known for its bird sanctuary, some amazing dive sites, and stunning scenery, a visit to Nusa Penida from Sanur is highly recommended if you want to see a different side to Bali!

Options for Travel from Sanur to Nusa Penida

Options for Travel from Sanur to Nusa Penida
Ferry going back to Bali from Nusa Penida © Nokuro / Shutterstock.com

The island of Nusa Penida lies roughly 20 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of southern Bali, so it’s not too far away, but far enough that you’ll probably want to plan your trip in advance. With no airports on Nusa Penida, the only way to travel there is by boat, but there are many different boat options to choose from because multiple operators travel this popular route from Sanur to Nusa Penida.

Sanur to Nusa Penida by Boat

Sanur to Nusa Penida by Boat
Speedboats in Sanur, Bali on the way to Nusa Penida © sudarat chanthubha / Shutterstock.com

When we say ‘boat’ we actually mean speedboat, so this will excite any high-speed enthusiasts who love to feel the wind in their face! To be perfectly honest though, these large speedboats are not designed for passengers to be sitting out on deck; instead there is an inside cabin with plenty of seats, and windows keep the breeze (and any potential wave splashes!) off the passengers, allowing you to arrive safely, dry and not sunburnt! But, on that note, something any passengers should consider, is that the majority of these speedboat operators leave from the beach at Sanur, not from a pier or jetty. This means that passengers have to wade out to the boat which means you will probably have to take your shoes off, and you will likely want to wear shorts and something that dries quickly and easily so that you’re not sitting in wet clothes for a while.

With all that information out of the way, let’s get down to the actual boats, tickets and schedules. With numerous operators traveling from Sanur to Nusa Penida, the easiest way to search for multiple boat companies and check their prices and schedules is to go to the travel booking website, 12Go.asia. They sell tickets for many of the best known speedboat companies, and as well as being able to easily compare prices and boats, you can also read what other passengers have said about the services and pick up a few tips.

The first tip may involve the schedule as different companies suggest different travel times. Some advertise that they can get you from Sanur to Nusa Penida in as little as 30 minutes but getting there this fast is unusual. You should probably allow for 45 minutes, and it could be as much as an hour depending on the sea conditions. If it’s a little rough, the boats usually travel at slower speeds.

Through 12Go, you can book with The Angkal Fastboat, Mola Mola Express, Maruti Fast Boat, Crown Fast Cruises, and Idola Express, so there are plenty to choose from. Services usually start as early as 7:30am, while the last boat from Sanur to Nusa Penida leaves at 4pm. The services they provide are all pretty similar but boat sizes do vary a bit. If you’re someone who is prone to sea sickness then you should aim for a larger boat as these will ride the waves more smoothly than a smaller boat would. You can also look for the cheapest tickets if you want to save yourself some money. Tickets from Sanur to Nusa Penida with Mola Mola Express and Idola Express tend to be considerably cheaper than with the other companies mentioned, yet there really isn’t anything to set the apart.

All of these can be booked online through 12Go where you will get instant confirmation of your purchase. Do be sure to check times of the return boats back to Sanur, and actually, it’s worth booking your return ticket at the same time to be sure you get a seat and are not stranded on the island!

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