WELCOME TO NUSA PENIDA
Nusa Penida is a small island south east of Bali. The region is comprised of three small islands - Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and of course Nusa Penida which make up the Klungkung Regency district. The island covers an area of 202.6km sq. The highest point Puncak Mundi is 524 metres. The collective population of the three islands is 45,178 according to the 2010 census.
Nusa Penida is the largest and perhaps least developed of the three. Nusa Penida has a rich history in Balinese legend. Once Nusa Penida was inhabited by dark spirits, demons, gods and one of the most feared characters in local mythology - I Gede Macaling, the spirit responsible for spreading sickness, plauge and disease. Pandita (Hindu high preists) sent by neighbouring kingdoms landed in Nusa Penida at Crystal Bay (called Penida in local language) cleansed the island of its evil spirits and most importantly, I Gede Macaling. This struggle between good and evil gave the island its name - Nusa Penida (roughly translated as Island of the Holy People). It makes sense then, that the Klungkung kingdom in Bali chose Nusa Penida to become a penal colony for its criminal outcasts, until transmigration opened up and the island was fully settled. Perhaps it is this history that has protected Nusa Penida from the onslaught of mass tourism indeed, Nusa Penida has been often described as the Bali of fifty years ago.
Balinese tradition and culture have found a stronghold on the little island of Nusa Penida. The island's main source of income is derived from agriculture with seaweed farming making up the majority of the income. The temples and spiritual areas of Nusa Penida are revered by residents of Penida and Hindus from Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia as well. Once a year, Indonesian Hindus will make a series of pilgrimages to Nusa Penida to pray and make offerings to the strong spirits that are still thought to reside on the island. This visit is thought to give the negative balance to the positive side of divinity - the balance between light and dark that is so pervasive in Balinese Hinduism.
Nusa Penida is, quite literally, off the beaten Bali track. Witness a people deeply connected with their past and spirituality, and make lifelong friends. Perhaps you too, as many have done before, will feel a trace of that Nusa Penida magic when you step off the boat. Come, and see if the magic of Nusa Penida can provide you the same balance as the Balinese strive for.