Is Visiting Kelingking Beach Worth the Hype?

Last Updated on April 27, 2024 by Kylie

Kelingking Beach is one of the most popular stops on Nusa Penida, a small island east of Bali. The overlook offers the most enchanting views of the island’s coastline, where cliffs are greeted by crystal blue water. 

A trip to the island isn’t complete without stopping here, and if you aren’t convinced, check out this post on why you need to visit Nusa Penida Island. This overlook was hands down one of the most captivating places I’d seen in all of Bali, but given the strenuous nature of the hike down, was it really worth visiting?

Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida, Bali

Day trips to Nusa Penida are popular for most travelers, however, I recommend staying for at least 3 days. Nusa Penida is an insanely beautiful island that shouldn’t be rushed.

Getting to Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is a 30-minute boat ride out of Sanur Beach Harbour. Tickets, which can be purchased the day of, are fairly inexpensive costing between 100,000 IDR ($6 USD) and 150,000 IDR ($9 USD).

This harbor is unlike others I’ve come across, meaning there’s no dock. You walk onto the beach, drop off your luggage, remove your footwear, and climb onto the boat. Once you arrive at Nusa Penida, you climb off and onto the sand, and then wait for your luggage to be carried out.

Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida, Bali

Getting to Kelingking Beach (are the road conditions safe?)

Nusa Penida’s road conditions are rough. Only some roads are paved, while the rest are dirt (get ready for a bumpy ride). The roads are also relatively windy, and narrow, often against cliffs without guardrails.

If you’ve never driven a motorbike before, now is NOT the time to learn. While it may feel inconvenient to not have one, the road conditions aren’t beginner-friendly. To get around, we organized a taxi driver with our bungalow.

Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida, Bali

What should I bring?

The only essentials you need are water, sunscreen, and your phone. Your trip to Kelingking Beach can last anywhere from 10 minutes to over 3 hours, depending on if you just want some photos, or are up for the hike down.

If you’re planning on hiking, definitely wear closed-toe shoes!

Most importantly, have multiple bottles of water! Water and other refreshments can be purchased at the bottom of Kelingking Beach, but be sure to have several on hand. The hike down is intense – it’s steep, hot, and offers no shade.

If you head down to the beach, bring a light sarong/wrap to use in place of a towel. This way, you can save both space and weight in your bag.

The view from the top

Nusa Penida’s views do not disappoint! There is plenty of space along the top to soak in the panoramic views of Kelingking Beach.

As soon as I walked up to the bamboo railing, I was speechless! The water was SO blue! Pictures don’t do it justice.

Going down to the beach

The way down is longer and much more challenging than it appears. Your safety is dependent solely on a bamboo railing, and in fact, there’s no railing at many points, forcing you to grip tightly to boulders and hold a steady balance. The hike is steep and often feels as though you’re scaling down at a 90-degree angle.

With minimal stops, the way down took about an hour to reach, however, the way back up took well over an hour

Down at the beach

Kelingking Beach itself is gorgeous! You’re on a private little white sand beach engulfed by sky-high cliffs.

The water is usually rough with a strong current and powerful shorebreak. This beach isn’t for novice swimmers; it’s easy to get caught in the current.

Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida, Bali

Nearly passing out on the way up

This is where I almost passed out from dehydration. My friends and I were unaware of how difficult the hike would be and thus didn’t carry enough water (in fact, we weren’t anticipating a hike at all). We visited in the middle of the day when the heat and crowds were at an all-time high. People were cranky and yelling at one another to move.

Many times, we were at a standstill letting others pass because of how narrow the path got. When heading back up, I led the line for a bit. People behind yelled to keep going every time I let others, who had been waiting, pass by. Another time, someone heading in the opposite direction paused for a moment and asked how close he was to the bottom. Even in that brief moment, those behind me yelled at us to keep moving.

After pushing through about a third of the way back up, I reached a point of exhaustion. I began to lose vision, heard ringing in my ears, felt dizzy, and had a sensation that everything around me was spinning. I was low on water and still had most of the hike left before reaching the top. If it weren’t for other visitors who so graciously shared their water (and one guy who poured some on me), there’s just no way I would’ve made it back.

Reaching that point of physical exhaustion and dehydration in the middle of a cliff was honestly terrifying. I had to mentally stay calm and continuously tell myself that I’d make it back.

Overall thoughts on Kelingking Beach?

A visit here is well worth it! However, I wouldn’t recommend going down to the beach since it’s incredibly strenuous and difficult to swim at. Nusa Penida has several other beaches that are just as beautiful and don’t require an intense hike to reach.

Check out these posts for more on backpacking Bali

The Prettiest Hike in Bali! I Present to You, Mount Batur
Your All-Inclusive Guide to Bali’s Monkey Forest

Follow:

22 Comments

  1. Kelly
    September 19, 2020 / 2:51 am

    I’m.so bummed out I missed out on this beach when I was in Bali. But I guess it’s just a good excuse for a return trip. Thanks for the great tips!.

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:08 pm

      I think it’s a great excuse too!

  2. September 19, 2020 / 2:56 am

    Such great points, I was recently in a hike and it ended up way longer than expected and I ran out of water. Haven’t done that since. It’s easy to underestimate something like this that you see a lot but no one gives the full story. It looks impressive though and glad you had some caring people to help you

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:09 pm

      It’s so easy to underestimate places like these! And omg I’m glad you made it out safe and sound!

  3. September 19, 2020 / 6:14 am

    Great points. Bringing enough water is almost always the most important thing on any hike. Glad you got water from others.

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:10 pm

      Seriously! Always take more water than you think you’ll need.

  4. September 19, 2020 / 7:08 am

    Sounds lovely! I actually didn’t realise this was in Bali at first so when I came back from visiting I was disapointed haha … might have to go back now 😉

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:11 pm

      Aww no!! But hey now you’ve got incentive to return 🙂

  5. September 19, 2020 / 9:00 am

    Such an awesome place, looks like from a fairy tale. I’m definitely adding it to my bucket list

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:17 pm

      Yes!! It’s SO surreal once you’re there!

  6. September 19, 2020 / 1:25 pm

    Really glad you decided to get a local to drive you, I’ve seen so many people get injured because they decided it was a good time to learn how to ride a motorbike! I’ve always seen photos of this place but I had ZERO idea that the climb down was sketchy. Always assumed it was well paved because of how many people visit it. Definitely gonna learn from you and bring enough water – I’m so guilty of under packing water. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:25 pm

      I thought the exact same thing because of how many people visit! Never would’ve guessed the hike down was that sketch (let alone that it’d be a HIKE down). I’m so glad this helps!!

  7. September 19, 2020 / 2:01 pm

    your pictures are beautiful! it definitely looks worth visiting to me!

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:25 pm

      It’s absolutely worth it! 🙂

  8. Rosh Patel
    September 19, 2020 / 7:47 pm

    the beach looks gorgeous but looks like it needs hiking boots for sure

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:26 pm

      Shoes definitely would’ve helped haha

  9. September 19, 2020 / 8:19 pm

    Omg that sounds so scary! I am so happy you are okay and had other people help you. And thanks for sharing this experience. I would love to visit next time I’m in Bali and I’ll make sure to bring tons of water!

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:27 pm

      So scary! But on the plus side, it makes for a good story today 🙂 I’d love to hear about your visit next time you go!

  10. September 19, 2020 / 8:21 pm

    I’m so sad that I missed out on this when I went to Bali! I wanted to go back this year, but that’s not going to happen. Your photos are beautiful and I cannot wait to visit someday!

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:28 pm

      Aww no!! Fingers crossed for next year!

  11. Charlotte
    September 20, 2020 / 10:06 am

    Ah Nusa Penida, so beautiful. Love your photos! I visited Kelingking for the first time six years ago and was lucky enough to have it all to myself. I’ve been back many times since but never dared to hike down to the beach. Can’t wait to go back to Indo, hopefully soon 😀

    • September 20, 2020 / 11:28 pm

      Omg all to yourself?!? SO LUCKY!! I can’t even imagine … it was packed when I went!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *