Kelingking Beach is one of the most famous spot of Nusa Penida. The rock of Kelingking Beach looks a little like the backbone of a dinosaur that would drink in the sea. And by the way, on Google Map the bay is called T-Rex Bay. If you are lucky you will see Manta rays from the top of the cliff. The esplanade overlooking the rock is now very popular with tourists and drone pilots. This is one of the places that contributed to the tourist development of Nusa Penida, especially through social networks.
Kelingking Beach has been shot tens or hundreds of thousands of times. And it is one of the most iconic place in Nusa Penida. The locals compete with imagination to build bamboo platforms that offer different points of view. And tourists are not lacking in creativity to try to think out the box to make THE different picture. Be careful though, some have pushed the creativity too far and there have been casualties.
Kelingking also means pinky finger in Indonesian. But it’s a little more complicated to understand why. Or it takes a lot of imagination …
Kelingking Beach : do you really deserve it ?
My advice: take the small path that goes down the ridge for at least a few meters. You will be much quieter and the photos will be much better. Another advice, take your photos before going down, you will probably be less photogenic afterwards … The descent along the crest line till the first corner is also quite easy. And you can check there if you have the courage to go all the way down to the beach.
The trail then continues to Kelingking Beach. I went down there several times, before a fire burnt all the vegetation of the cliff above the beach. The fire destroyed the whole complex system of ropes and wooden poles built to facilitate the descent. I have not been down to the beach since then (if you try the experience, you will understand why you think twice before doing it …). But I know that the trail to the beach has been rebuilt.
How long to go down to Kelingking Beach?
It takes half an hour to get down to Kelingking Beach. It is essential to wear good shoes and to pay particular attention to your steps. Signs indicate that access to the beach is under your sole responsibility. And allow 45 minutes to climb back from the beach.
For those who love records, here are the challenges to beat.
The speed record to go down to Kelingking Beach : a young guy, particularly athletic, who did not want to leave his girlfriend alone too long, went all the way down and then back up in 20 minutes (as he said). He was obviously very much in love and / or very jealous.
Going down to Kelingking Beach twice in a row : Another tourist realized, back to its scooter, that he forgot the keys at the beach. He went down a second time to look for them. And he found them !
Going down to Kelingking Beach daily : There are now vendors bringing down cold drinks every day and selling them on the beach. They probably did not learn the law of supply and demand because they sell their drinks at the same price as everywhere else. I assume they finish their day when the coller is empty but maybe they refill several times a day.
Down there, the beach is awesome. But be careful, as everywhere in Nusa Penida, waves and currents can drag you off.
How to go to Kelingking Beach ?
The road to go to Kelingking Beach is pretty good now, except for a small portion of it. It is therefore quite easy (at least much easier than one year ago) to go by yourself riding a scooter. But the trafic may be very dense and you need to be careful on the road. And if you are a group of 4 or more, it may be easier to rent a car with a driver.
From Toyapakeh turn left after the village of Sakti (the right road goes to Crystal Bay). Then my recommendation is to take the second road on the right and go through the village of Batumadeg. The distance is a little bit longer but you will save time because the road is much better. At the end of the village of Batumadeg, turn right towards Kelingking Beach. This will be the only portion of the road that remains to be renewed. It will take you around 50 minutes to reach Kelingking Beach from Toyapakeh, from Crystal Bay or from pretty much anywhere in Nusa Penida. You will have to pay an entrance fee of IDR 5,000 to access the site. About 30 cents, it’s quite reasonable !
There are many options to combine the visit of Kelingking Beach with other places to see. Check here some ideas of itineraries in Nusa Penida.
What is the best time to go to Kelingking Beach ?
Many tourists choose to visit Nusa Penida with a daily tour. And Kelingking Beach, together with Broken Beach, is usually part of these daily tours. It is therefore better to avoid the peak time of the visits which is 11 am till 3 pm. The beach is in the shadow of the cliff in the morning so if you plan to go down to the beach, the best option is probably to go to Kelingking Beach around 3 pm. Or even 4 pm to 5 pm if you only plan to enjoy the view. Sunset can be spectacular but then you will have to go back in the dark which may not be the best idea.
After Kelingking Beach
Many warungs opened on the esplanade. You can drink fresh coconut milk, fruit juice or eat a nasi goreng or a mie goreng.
You can also have your picture taken on the branch of a dead tree. He had to suffer the assaults of many tourists and the highest branch is now broken.
If you have taken a sarong with you, take a ride to Pura Paluang, taking your first right when leaving Kelingking Beach. This temple, also called Pura Car, has an altar dedicated to the god who protects the cars. Very kitsch but fun, and you will have a beautiful view of Batu Bolong which inspired the logo of Warnakali dive center.