Photo: Jungle hideaway.


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At Nusa Penida’s Tembeling you can enjoy a tranquil tropical forested walk winding up at a somewhat secluded rocky beach and take a refreshing dip in a nearby pristine springwater pool, a sacred site for the Balinese.

The area is not accessible by car (at the moment), which makes this concealed locale feel like a secret hideaway compared to the busier sights on Nusa Penida, but can be reached via a steep motorbike goat track with the final paved section on foot. The closest point that cars can reach would require a decent hour’s trek at a guess, but from the motorbike parking area, it’s an easy ten-minute walk down solid cement stairs and paths until the forest opens to reveal the shrines and pools. Take your time to enjoy the birdsong and the sound of the thundering waves—you may even spot a cheeky monkey if you look carefully.

Cairns by the sea. Photo taken in or around Tembeling, Nusa Penida, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Cairns by the sea. Photo: Sally Arnold

Four stone shrines sit in an alcove in the cliff face, and beyond this a small fenced off pool is tucked away in an overhanging cave from which a group of gargoyles spurt water into the ablution area below. Here an enticing large shaded turquoise pool is difficult to resist, so make sure you leave enough time for a swim. Stone cairns, likely added by tourists adorn the cliff face, adding to the mix of natural and man-made embellishments at this serene spot.

The path continues to the rocky shore where an open cave leads to another rocky cairn-covered beach. The sea was a little wild here the day we visited, so probably not the safest spot for a swim—stick to the pool for cooling off. Near the beach is a much smaller pool which is supposed to be reserved for women while the large pool is for men, however neither our driver nor any signage indicated this was the case, and several women were swimming in the “men’s pool” (which is by far the more desirable option), so perhaps the “rules” have changed now this is becoming more of a tourist destination rather than a sacred site—please check with locals and/or your guide or driver. Toilets/change rooms are available, but are in such bad condition, filthy with no water and are ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Southwest coast of Nusa Penida

Location map for Tembeling

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