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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 2:47pm
LifestyleTravel

A user's guide to Nusa Penida

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2012, 10:10am

Getting there

Direct flights to Denpasar from Hong Kong are available on Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines and Garuda Indonesia. The Maruti speedboat costs 250,000 rupiah (HK$201), one way and leaves Sanur in Bali two to four times per day, depending on the season (tel: +62 812 383 1639). From neighbouring Nusa Lembongan, charter a boat (100,000 rupiah, one way) for the 10-minute trip.

Staying there

The most comfortable place to stay on Nusa Penida is the Ring Sameton Inn (tel: +62 361 785 3464), which has spotless air-conditioned rooms set in a motel-style arrangement near Ped village, next door to the Friends of the National Park Foundation, for 300,000 rupiah.

Several small homestays are located in Sampalan, the main market town. Tombong Limo (tel: +62 821 4615 1288) has spotless rooms looking towards the island's nine wind turbines - and little else - for 250,000 rupiah. Keep an eye out for further information about a bungalow operation set to open early next year on the road to Crystal Bay.

When to go The dry season is April to November.

Diving

The editor of DiveHappy.com Chris Mitchell, says Crystal Bay is a favourite place to see mola molas because it's relatively sheltered, so the currents are not as strong as elsewhere on the island. Your best chance to see them is when temperatures drop, from July to September.

"Some mola have been known to come almost to the surface in Crystal Bay, making it very easy even for inexperienced divers to see them," he says. "However, care still has to be taken, as the currents change quickly, and there can also be a downward current." Diving fatalities occur regularly on the island, so choose an experienced operator.

For more information on the Friends of the National Park Foundation, go to fnpf.org

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