Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong are on the southwest coast of Nusa Penida in Bali. Not far from Crystal Bay. But to go there with a scooter or a car you have to make a big tour. The road used to be the worst of all roads in Nusa Penida island but now only the last hundred meters can testify of it ! You can also walk to Broken Beach from Crystal Bay, but the trail is not easy to find and it is a 2 hour hike.
The local name of the place is Pasih Uug (Broken Beach in balineese). With Kelingking Beach and Crystal Bay, Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong are some of Nusa Penida’s iconic destinations. If you come to the island for the first time, it is a must, it would be a shame to miss them. In 2020 there are few tourists so you can chose to come at any time of the day.
Why is it called Broken Beach ?
The place was named Broken Beach because it resulted from the collapse of part of the cliff. The collapsed part has a circular shape. And an arch was formed on the narrowest part that borders the sea. The whole place looks like a circular bay with an arch overlooking the sea. But better than an explanation, look at the photos !
You will probably go around the bay and you will probably take a lot of pictures. But beware of selfies ! Many careless tourists have gone too far to take their picture and have fallen (from high). Since then, signs warn visitors against the risk of selfies !
Can you fly a drone at Broken Beach ?
If you have a drone, to get a great photo, fly high (around 150 meters) and take a vertical shot from there. However, I do not recommend to fly under the arch and shoot a video. Many people tried unsuccessfully, given the number of drones found in the sea at the foot of this arch. I asked a specialist who told me that it happens because the pilots lose contact when they fly too slowly under the arch. The drone will then try to reach the planned altitude for recovery. And if your drone is still under the arch, it will hit the top of it, fall and sink.
So either you fly frankly at full speed below the arch and bet on the inertia of the movement to recover the drone on the other side. Or you stop the video before the arch, restart the video on the other side, and edit your video afterwards !
If you’re lucky you may see some Manta rays from the cliff. Because the bay is called Manta Bay and this is where fishing boats bring you for snorkeling.
A billabong is an Australian term which normally refers to an isolated pond left behind after a river changes course. Here, it is rather a natural pool embedded in the cliff. It is filled with clear water during high tide. And the natural pool appears at low tide. The water is very clear and it is quite fun to go for a swim at low tide. But when it is high tide, or when the waves are big, as soon as the first wave enters the pool, it is imperative to go out. I saw tourists being unbalanced by a wave. And they were lucky not to be swept away by the wave outside the pool, because then it’s almost impossible to come back. Believe me, it happened. The 2 following photos were taken within 5 minutes.
How to go to Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong
There are two options to go to Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong. It takes at least three hours in total. But both places deserve the effort because they are among the most popular places to see in Nusa Penida island.
Hiking from Crystal Bay to Broken Beach
It is a two hour hike but the trail is not really obvious. And you need proper shoes. The start of the hike is pretty easy. When you are facing the sea, at Crystal Bay, go to the left side of the beach. You will find stairs that go up on the hill and then down to Pandan Beach. Then it becomes a bit tricky to find the trail in the valley, in order to climb onto the other side of Pandan Beach. You have then to follow a contour line till the other side of the second valley.
There is no clear path but if you have Google Map you should find the right direction and reach Broken Beach in less than 2 hours. Angel’s Billabong is right next door. Some people told me recently that they managed to reach Crystal Bay in scooter, following a road shown on Google Map. But I never tried myself.
Go to Broken Beach by scooter or car.
From Toyapakeh, turn left after the village of Sakti (the right road goes to Crystal Bay). Then take the first road on the right and follow the indications. The road is brand new except for the last few hundred meters. To shorten this last dirt road section turn left when you see the sign Wayan Coffee. You can park close to Broken Beach and then walk to Angel’s Billabong. An alternative is to take the second road on your right leading you to Batu Madeg and to turn right just after Batu Madeg. It will take around 40 minutes in total to reach Broken Beach from Toyapakeh or from Crystal Bay.
You will then have to pay an entrance fee of IDR 5,000 to access the site (that was before covid).
There are many ways to build your own tour of Nusa Penida including Broken Beach and Angel Billabong.
How do you get from Bali to Broken Beach ?
You will find all information about how to get to Nusa Penida island from Bali, which port to choose in Bali and in Nusa Penida, how to choose the best fast boat to go to Nusa Penida, all the time tables and prices in this page : https://nusapenida.org/information/nusa-penida/get-to-nusa-penida-from-bali/
What is the best time to go to Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong ?
Before covid, many tourists choose to visit Nusa Penida island with a day tour. And Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong, together with Kelingking Beach, were usually part of these day tours. It was therefore better to avoid the peak time of the visits, between 11 am and 3 pm. But now there is very few people whatever the time of the day. It is better to come before 2 pm if you want to have Angel’s Billabong pool in the sun, which is better for the photos.