Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong are on the South-West coast of Nusa Penida, not far from Crystal Bay. However, to go there by scooter or car you have to make quite a big detour. The road to go there used to be the worst one in all of Nusa Penida. Nowadays only the last hundred meters are a remainder of that terrible road ! You can also walk from Crystal Bay to Broken Beach, but the trail is not easy to find and it is a 2 hour hike.
The local name of Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong is Pasih Uug, which means broken beach in the Balinese language. Together with Kelingking Beach and Crystal Bay, Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong are some of Nusa Penida’s most iconic destinations. If you visit the island for the first time, they are a must. It would be a shame to miss these beautiful spots. During covid, there are very few tourists on the island, so you can choose to visit these spots at any time of the day.
Why is it called Broken Beach ?
The spot was named Broken Beach as a result of the collapse of a part of the cliff. The collapsed part has a circular shape, forming an arch that borders the sea. Hence, the entire spot looks like a circular bay with an arch overlooking the sea. The photos are much better than the description though!
At Broken Beach, you will probably spend some time walking around the bay and taking plenty of pictures. But take care with selfies! Some careless tourists have gone too far in their effort to take the perfect selfie and have fallen from the cliff. Since then, signs have been put up that warn visitors about the risk of selfies!
If you’re lucky you may see some Manta rays from the cliff. The cliff is, namely, located on top of the so called Manta Bay where fishing boats bring guests for snorkeling.
If you’re lucky you may see some Manta rays from the arch. The bay in front of Broken Beach is indeed called Manta Bay. This is where fishing boats bring you when you book a snorkeling tour.
Is it possible to fly a drone at Broken Beach?
To get a great photo with a drone, I would recommend you to fly around 150 meters high and take a vertical shot from there. However, do not try to fly under the arch to shoot a video. Many people have tried and were unsuccessful, given the number of drones that were found in the sea at the foot of this arch. When I asked a specialist why this happens, he explained to me that the pilots lose contact when they fly too slow under the arch. So when the drone tries to reach its planned altitude for recovery, and it is still under the arch, it will hit the top of the arch, fall and sink.
Therefore, you either have to fly at full speed below the arch and bet that the inertia of the movement will recover the drone on the other side. The other alternative is to stop the video before the arch, restart the video on the other side, and edit your video afterwards!
A billabong is an Australian term which normally refers to an isolated pond that is left behind after a river changes course. At Angel’s Billabong, it is more like a natural pool embedded in the cliff. During high tide it is filled with clear water, and during low tide the natural pool appears. The water is very clear and it is quite fun to go for a swim at low tide. However, don’t try to swim there during high tide, or when the waves are big. Make sure to get out as soon as the first wave enters the pool, because I saw tourists who lost their balance by a wave. They were lucky the wave didn’t sweep them out of the pool, because when that happens, it’s almost impossible to come back. Believe me, it happened. The two following photos were taken within 5 minutes.
How to get to Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong
By scooter or car
From Toyapakeh, turn left at the intersection (after the village of Sakti). The road turning to the right takes you to Crystal Bay. After you’ve taken the left road, take the first road on the right and follow the road signs. The road is brand new except for the last few hundred meters. To avoid this last part of dirt road, turn left when you see the sign ‘Wayan Coffee’. You can park close to Broken Beach and from there, walk to Angel’s Billabong. It will take around 40 minutes in total to get to Broken Beach from Toyapakeh or Crystal Bay.
There are many ways to put together your own tour of Nusa Penida, including Broken Beach and Angel Billabong.
Hiking from Crystal Bay to Broken Beach
You can hike to Broken Beach from Crystal Bay, which takes about two hours, but it’s not an easy trail to find. Also, you need proper shoes. The start of the hike is pretty easy. When you’re facing the sea at Crystal Bay, walk to the left side of the beach. There you will find stairs that go up onto the hill and then down to Pandan Beach. You will have to climb form the beach to the top of the next hill. From here it becomes a bit tricky to find the trail that will lead you onto the other side of the second beach through the forest.
Once you get out of the forest, the way is flat until Broken Beach. There is no clear path, but if you have Google Maps you should find the right direction and reach Broken Beach. Angel’s Billabong is right next to it. Recently, some people told me that they managed to reach Crystal Bay fromBroken Beach by scooter, following a road shown on Google Maps. I have tried to find this road but never found it…
How do you get from Bali to Angel’s Billabong ?
You can find all the information on how to get from Bali to Nusa Penida island, including which ports and fast boats to choose, the time tables and prices on 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 chose to visit Nusa Penida island on a day trip. Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong, as well as Kelingking Beach, were usually a part of these day trip tours. It was, therefore, better to avoid the peak visiting hours between 11 am and 3 pm. During covid there are few visitors at any time of the day. It is, however, better to come before 2 pm if you would like to enjoy Angel’s Billabong’s pool in the sun, which is also better for the photos.