Temeling or Tembeling is one of the highlights of Nusa Penida island, still off the beaten track. You will find in the same pack a primary forest, a natural pool and a very romantic place by the sea. Not bad isn’t it ?
The road is very good till the entrance of the Temeling site, except for a few hundred meters. You will then have the choice between several options. If you came there with your own scooter you can directly ride down the path. It is very steep and pretty impressive but if you are a good driver it is not that difficult. You can also ask a Balinese to drive you down with his own scooter. If I remember well, he will ask you 20.000 IDR. Or you can go walking. It is a beautiful 2 kilometer hike but remember that you will have to come back up. If you came by car, only the last two options are available to you. Temeling is one of the places which remains almost untouched by tourism in Nusa Penida.
The primary forest of Temeling
An old-growth forest — also named primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest— is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance. That’s what you’ll see in Temeling. The path down to the beach runs along a pretty deep ravine. But the trees grew from the bottom of the ravine much higher than the ravine. You are therefore totally surrounded by the forest.
I had the bad idea to fly my drone there in February 2019. In less than one minute the drone hit a branch and fell down forty meters below. I went all the way down into the ravine and recovered it. And miracle of the primary forest, it flied again the next day, after changing the propellers. A few scratches on my legs were the price to pay but there is a lot of Aloa Vera in the forest which helps cicatrization. A good tip by the way for any small accident that can occur in Nusa Penida.
At the end of the road you will see a small temple which is also a nice point of view. It is called Mujaning Temeling Temple. You will then find a recently built (in 2017) staircase. And down the stairs you will see a large natural pool surrounded by the cliff. My friend Matthias, who went there recently, counted 222 steps from the temple to the natural pool. And then 67 steps from the pool to the sea.
Temeling natural pool
It was previously a pool reserved for men. The women had their own smaller pool by the sea but it disappeared and was replaces by public toilets …. In 2017 the men’s pool was totally filled up with soil. And when I asked what happened I had two different answers. According to some people a natural landslide filled it up. According to others it was voluntarily closed, after a fatal accident of an imprudent diver who dived from the cliff. One of the many facts/legends that you will hear in Nusa Penida and in Bali !
The first theory seems the right one because the pool was excavated again. But now the pool is not any more reserved for men and seems less sacred than it was. The kids use it as a natural play ground and they have a lot of fun. But there is still a secret and hidden natural pool, higher, with holy water, used for ceremonies.
A second pool was built close to the beach. It is alimented by spring water. When I visited Temeling for the last time the kids were carving out and crushing the limestone with a harder stone, and using it as a natural mask. I am not sure it is working as would clay, but it was pretty fun to watch. You will also find there a small stand with drinks and junk food.
The two beaches
You will then arrive at Tembeling Beach. It was not really possible to swim there when I first came in 2016. But the beach was cleaned of all the stones and it seems much easier now. The last time I went there it was Nyepi Laut, the day to honor and appease Dewa Baruna, the ruler of the oceans. So it was not possible to get in contact with the sea.
The view is very beautiful. And you can add up your own pebble to the mounds of pebbles formed over time by all the visitors.
You will also find another beach on the other side of the rock, passing through a cave. It is very beautiful also on the other side.
How to get to Temeling ?
The road is pretty easy and brand new almost all the way from Toyapakeh Harbour. You have to type New Tembeling Beach and Forest on Google Map. Don’t forget the “new” because otherwise Google may bring you to the closest point to the beach but with no access. From Toyapakeh, take the direction of Crystal Bay but turn left in the direction of Kelingking Beach at the first big intersection with a small temple in the middle. After a few kilometers take the first right or the second right. And then it is almost straight on until you see the sign Temeling. It is a 40 minutes drive. If you take the first right you will pass by limestone quarries.
If you came with a driver you will have to hike down to Temeling Beach or ask a local people to drive you down with a scooter. If you came with a scooter the way down is very steep and impressive but it is easier than it seems. Park the scooter when you see the sign Parkir because the last section until the temple is indeed very steep and you my have difficulties to drive back.
How do you get from Bali to Temeling ?
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/
If you follow the road that led you to Temeling you will find Banah Cliffs after 15 minutes and 4 kilometer of dirt road. It is a great viewpoint of Batu Bolong, a spectacular rock that inspired Warnakali dive resort logo, on one side, and Kelingking on the other side.