Nusa Penida was easily the highlight of our Bali trip - I can't recommend enough getting off the mainland and exploring some of the untouched coastline of Nusa Penida. Angel's Billabong and Broken Beach are probably the most popular destinations for tours due to their close proximity to the ports, but you will still experience less crowds than any attraction on the mainland. It's worth the trek along the rough roads just to experience swimming in a natural infinity pool!
After visiting the stunning Kelingking Cliff, it was about another 45 minute ride to Broken Beach. The dirt road all the way down to the arch was pretty rugged, and I was lucky Cody was there to drive our scooter, because there was no way I would have been able to make it there in one piece on my own with all of the holes, rocks, and ditches.
There was only one other scooter when we pulled up to Broken Beach. After admiring the view, we wanted to go swimming and headed to Angel's Billabong. We got lost looking for the natural infinity pool, but it turns out you just follow the path by foot to the right of Broken Beach, and from here you can also walk around over the top of the arch if you wanted to.
As we walked along the dirt path towards Angel's Billabong, the rock around us began to turn into a volcanic, sharp rock. As we walked towards the pool, the emerald green water stood out so clearly among the dark rocks and blue water behind it. There were several visitors just hanging out on the sides, so we decided to be the first ones in and had the entire pool to ourselves. Walking on the sharp rocks barefoot was pretty painful, and it took some careful maneuvering to lower myself into the pool. Bringing sandals or water shoes would definitely help!
We expected the bottom of the pool to be slimy, but the seaweed was actually pretty comfortable and made the bottom feel like soft carpet! The water was also so much clearer than I thought it would be, as waves must refresh the water often.
When we first got there, it seemed like medium tide as the waves were continuously crashing into the pool, but since the tide was dropping, by the time we got out only on occasion would a wave lap over the edge into the pool.
A French couple there told us about two people who had died that summer because they were standing by the edge, and a large wave suddenly crashed and sucked them out. As tempted as we were to stand on the ledge, we were extra cautious and kept our distance from the front of the pool, as I could see how you could easily get pulled into the ocean by a rogue wave.
It was hard to leave - the pool was just so nice to swim in and felt so great after sweating on the scooter in the humidity all day.
If you plan to come here, try to come at a dropping or low tide and be prepared for the rugged road! Also know that there is no bathroom, but there is a small stand right by Broken Beach to buy snacks and water if you need to refuel. Also bring small change cash, as almost all of the attractions on Nusa Penida require an 'entrance fee'.
If you're going separate from a tour, I'd recommend downloading an offline Google Maps of the area and saving your destinations as stars so you can be sure you're heading in the right direction. Seems like almost everyone who explores Nusa Penida gets lost at one point, but it's also part of the adventure :)
Nusa Penida is such a wild, untouched area of Indonesia, I really wish we had more than 2 days to explore. There were so many more places I'd love to see on the Eastern and Southern coast of the island, but the roads made getting from one place to another deceivingly long.