I can’t believe it. I stare down at Diamond Beach from the cliff and I can’t believe it actually looks the way it does in all those photos with thousands of likes. Even without the Lightroom presets, Diamond Beach is absolutely dazzling.
After a hot and crowded climb down the stairs, we’re standing ankle-deep in white couscous-y sand. The waves are as powerful as they are blue, and the best part — the crowds we jostled our way through just minutes ago have dissolved.
The number one mistake people make at Diamond Beach
When we first came down to Diamond Beach, I kept wondering how come it remained so peaceful if the stairs had been packed with sweating, panting tourists. And then I realized people went down and never stayed.
So here’s a big mistake I want to warn you against: don’t leave Diamond Beach before you actually hang out there. Sure, the famous Diamond Beach swing and the nest right next to it are Instagram-worthy, but don’t just take your photos and leave. This is one of the most stunning beaches on Nusa Penida, so do yourself a favor and enjoy it for a couple hours!
Now, Diamond Beach has few to no amenities — the only place that has food and water is the warung right next to the stairs, the one with the swing and the nest. (They charge a fee for both, by the way — 50K IDR ($3.6) for the nest and 100K ($7.2) for the swing. There’s usually a line, too.) There are no umbrellas or sunbeds, but if you bring a blanket and grab a spot in one of the caves, you’ll have some shade to cool off in.
Waves can get powerful at Diamond Beach, and we only saw one brave man actually swimming, but splashing around and body surfing in this unbelievable water is just as fun. Also, if you head towards the end of the beach, you’ll find a natural pool that’s shielded by the rocks. We soaked in the clear, shallow water for an hour, until hunger drove us back to the more civilized Atuh Beach.
What’s a good time to go to Diamond Beach?
Diamond Beach truly shines at sunrise and right after. The sun illuminates the beach from the water, the light is perfect for photos, and the throngs of tourists haven’t arrived yet. This is by far the best time to go if you’re ok with getting up early.
If you like to get your sleep, around 12 pm is also a good time to go. Yes, the stairs get busy, but the beach does not. But make sure it’s mid-tide when you go, so you can actually be in the water, not just dabble your feet in it.
At a later hour, the sun eventually hides behind the massive cliff. So if you wanted a beach sunset, head to the west coast of Nusa Penida.
What you should know before visiting Diamond Beach
- There’s an entrance fee — sort of. We came to Diamond Beach from Atuh Beach and simply went down the stairs. Nothing indicated we needed a ticket. Only later I learned there was a hut on the opposite side of the road, charging a fee of 10K IDR ($0.73). So while there’s technically an entry fee, it’s hard to say how legit it even is.
- The stairs are fairly civilized, but they’re still not for everyone. The staircase leading down to Diamond Beach is comfortable by Balinese standards: it has ropes you can hold on to and the stairs themselves are sturdy. But by western standards, it’s woefully unsafe. There are still a few steep and narrow parts, and with the amount of people going up and down, you can be stuck against the ropes, waiting for a group of people to pass. If you’re afraid of heights or are traveling with a child, this might be difficult.
- There are no amenities on the beach. Like I said above, the only sign of civilization is that warung with the Diamond Beach swing, so don’t expect umbrellas or mojitos. Personally, I loved the unspoiled beauty of Diamond Beach — there’s plenty of western comfort elsewhere in Bali.
How to get to Diamond Beach from Bali
As you know, Diamond Beach is on Nusa Penida, a smaller island east of Bali. That means that if you’re staying in Bali, you have several options for seeing Nusa Penida.
Take a fast boat from Sanur, then rent a scooter by the harbor
Boats and ferries to Nusa Penida are aplenty at Sanur port, so you can just show up and get a ticket for the nearest one. We haggled a bit and paid 150K IDR ($11) each for a fast boat ride that lasted 40 minutes. But you can pay even less if you book a boat to Nusa Penida on Klook: the current price is $8.40 per person.
Once you get to Nusa Penida, you can rent a scooter at one of the shops by the harbor. As is often true in touristy areas, you’ll start getting harrassed by scooter owners the minute you set foot on the island. But for better prices and better quality rides, walk down the harbor a bit. 70K IDR ($5.15) per day is a fair price for a scooter. Once you’ve got your wheels, follow the Google Maps route to Diamond Beach.
☝The ride from the harbor to Diamond Beach will take you about an hour, and the roads on Nusa Penida are often steep and winding. What’s more, the paved road to Diamond Beach turns into gravel and dirt about 10 minutes to the destination. Because of that, we had an accident and witnessed another one just minutes after. Bottom line is, be very careful and maybe don’t do this if you learned how to ride a scooter yesterday.
Get a Nusa Penida island tour that includes Diamond Beach
A less exciting, but more comfortable way to see Diamond Beach is a day trip to Nusa Penida with one of the many tour companies in Bali. Most Nusa Penida tours cover the west coast of the island, because that’s where the Insta-famous Kelingking beach is. But this Nusa Penida Island East tour will take you to the east coast, where Diamond Beach, Atuh Beach, Thousand Islands Viewpoint, and the Molenteng Tree House are.
The tour includes a return fast boat transfer from Sanur and a private car with an English-speaking driver.
Spend the night around Diamond Beach
Finally, the most expensive, but the most comfortable option is to book accommodation right next to Diamond Beach and ask your hotel for a transfer from the harbor. Then you can walk to the beach in the morning, avoiding the crowds and the tricky roads.
The Instagram jackpot would be staying at the Rumah Pohon Molenteng Tree House, the tree house with a view you’ve likely seen online. The amenities are very basic, but watching the sunrise above Diamond Beach without getting out of bed makes up for it. Just make sure you ask for a tree house with a view, because not all of them have it.
How to get to Diamond Beach from Atuh Beach
Now, if you decided to do Atuh Beach first, you can easily get from there to Diamond Beach. Head to the very end of Atuh Beach and follow the concrete stairs that take you up the Atuh Cliff. Once you get to the top, there’s a warung selling snacks and coconuts, complete with a swing and two hammocks you can chill in.
Do take the opportunity to chill, because you have another set of stairs ahead (the ones leading down to Diamond Beach). And do keep an eye on the monkeys: the one you see in this photo is stuffing his face with my coconut and throwing chunks of it at unsuspecting people.
When you’re ready, follow the path left of the restaurant, and you’ll get to Diamond Beach within just a couple minutes.