Welcome to Kelingking Beach, the captivating (once) hidden gem, now incredibly popular beach, nestled on the rugged island of Nusa Penida, Bali. This stunning destination, affectionately known as the “Dinosaur Head” due to its remarkable cliff formation, lures travelers with its crystal-clear waters, pristine white sandy beach, and awe-inspiring view. As one of Bali’s most popular attractions, Kelingking Beach attracts over 500,000 tourists annually, seeking an unforgettable adventure and a glimpse of Mother Nature’s grandeur. Although that many people visit, most don’t make the trek down due to the steep and dangerous climb.
As you stand at the cliff’s edge overlooking Kelingking Beach’s turquoise waters and iconic dinosaur-shaped cliff, prepare to be mesmerized by this picture-perfect setting, a dream come true for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. But the true adventure lies in the thrilling hike down to the beach, amidst the untouched natural splendor, where each step offers a new perspective of the Dinosaur Head cliff, leaving you in awe of its natural artistry. Can you spot the T-Rex head in pictures from above?
While Kelingking Beach takes the spotlight, Nusa Penida has even more to offer for those eager to explore. A short distance from Kelingking Beach, you’ll discover Broken Beach, a natural bridge where turquoise waters flow beneath the arch, creating a strikingly beautiful spectacle. A 45-minute hike will take you to this captivating destination. Crystal Bay is another must-visit spot, boasting crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life, perfect for snorkeling and swimming. And if you seek a serene and spiritual experience, make your way to Peguyangan Waterfall, where you’ll descend a series of blue stairs carved into the cliffside to reach a tranquil waterfall with breathtaking ocean vistas. You can find our Ultimate 3-Week Bali Itinerary with more details here.
How to Get to Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida
Getting to Nusa Penida and From the Port to Kelingking Beach:
To reach Nusa Penida, take a ferry from either Sanur Beach or Padang Bai in Bali. The ferry ride takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your departure point. Be sure to check the latest schedules and book your tickets in advance to secure a spot. Once you set foot on Nusa Penida, your exciting journey to Dinosaur Head begins. Upon arrival, you have several options to get to Kelingking Beach, with the distance from the port to the beach being approximately 25 kilometers, and the journey taking around 45 minutes by car or scooter.
If you prefer a hassle-free transfer, consider booking a private car with a local driver like Yande who drove us on our trip there. He was great! This way, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic drive to Kelingking Beach. Alternatively, rent a scooter if you’re an experienced rider and seek a sense of freedom and flexibility during your exploration of Nusa Penida. Remember that roads will not be paved.
Hiking Down to and Up from Kelingking Beach:
The journey to Kelingking Beach is not for the faint of heart, as the trek down and back up the cliff requires physical stamina and caution. The descent takes at least 30 minutes, with a well-marked trail that guides you through the lush greenery and rugged terrain. The railings have been upgraded in recent years to go from sticks to mostly not sticks haha. Sturdy and comfortable footwear is essential for tackling the uneven and sometimes steep path. As you make your way down, be ready to use ropes and to move aside for others coming the opposite direction, and don’t forget to take a look at each new view of Dinosaur Head.
When we hiked down for the first time, I remember the absolute glee of running straight into the water. We got there at 6am and started hiking down and had the entire beach to ourselves. In all our years of traveling, it is still one of the most beautiful and memorable beach experiences in the world.
While the descent is undoubtedly exhilarating, the ascent is a more challenging task, so take your time at the beach below. Get some shade and cool off. Be sure to consider how hot the sun will be on your way back up and don’t leave at the wrong time. Take your time climbing back up the steep trail, and don’t hesitate to take breaks and catch your breath.
Be Careful of Strong Currents
Once you’ve reached the beach, it’s crucial to be aware of the natural elements and exercise caution. Kelingking Beach is known for its large waves and strong currents, which can make swimming dangerous. Always pay attention to the beach’s safety signs and avoid going too far into the water, especially if you’re not a confident swimmer.
Instead, enjoy the beach from a safe distance, relax on the soft white sands, and soak in the breathtaking surroundings. Admire the towering cliff, take stunning photos of the Dinosaur Head, and explore the hidden coves and rock formations that add to the beach’s mystique.
Tips For Visiting Kelingking Beach:
To ensure a seamless and enjoyable visit to Kelingking Beach, keep these tips in mind:
Best Times To Visit:
The best time to visit Kelingking Beach and Nusa Penida is during the dry season, which typically falls between April and October. This period offers sunny weather and calmer sea conditions, ideal for hiking and beach exploration. As I mentioned earlier, visiting in the morning or the evening where the sun has cooled off will make a better experience.
Getting Around Nusa Penida:
Rent a scooter or hire a local driver to explore Nusa Penida comfortably. The island’s rugged terrains require some adventurous spirit, so be prepared for an exciting ride.
What To Bring:
Pack essentials such as sunscreen, a hat, comfortable walking shoes, and plenty of water for the hike both down and up in addition to beach visitThere’s a chance there’s a snack shack open but don’t count on it. And of course, don’t forget your camera to capture the incredible memories.
Kelingking Beach, the Dinosaur Head gem of Nusa Penida, awaits you with its unparalleled beauty and thrilling trek. The journey to this paradise will leave you with unforgettable memories of an awe-inspiring view, a pristine beach, and an adventure of a lifetime. Follow our tips on how to get to Kelingking Beach, explore nearby attractions, and embrace the raw natural beauty of Nusa Penida for an experience you’ll cherish forever.
If you’re looking for a more thorough guide for your visit to Bali. Here’s our Ultimate Itinerary.