Visiting Kelingking Beach as a Solo Female Traveler (worth the hype?)

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One of the most iconic views in all of Bali takes on the shape of a dinosaur and goes by the nicknames: Cap de T-Rex, T-Rex Bay, and Dinosaur Hat Beach. Look up a photo of Kelingking Beach – can you see it too? 

Kelingking Beach is arguably one the most popular stops on Nusa Penida (a small island east of Bali)! The overlook offers the most enchanting views of the island’s coastline, where steep cliffs are greeted by crystal blue water. 

A trip to Bali just isn’t complete without paying a visit here, and if you aren’t convinced, check out this post on why you need to visit Nusa Penida Island. This overlook was hands down one of the most captivating places I’d seen in all of Bali, BUT there is so much I hadn’t known prior to visiting that honestly could have cost my life.

As an ambitious solo traveler, it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of exploring such an incredible spot. However, safety is especially important here, where there’s more to this beach than meets the eye.

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Kelingking beach on Nusa Penida as a solo female traveler!


Day trips to Nusa Penida are popular for most travelers, however, I recommend staying at least 3-4 days. Kelingking beach, or any place on Nusa Penida for that matter, is not something you want to rush. Nusa Penida is an insanely beautiful island and once you’re there, you’ll want to soak in every moment.

GETTING TO NUSA PENIDA

Nusa Penida is a quick 30-minute boat ride out of Sanur Beach Harbour. Tickets, which can be purchased the day of, are fairly inexpensive costing around 150,000 IDR ($11 USD). This harbor is unlike others I’ve come across, meaning there’s no dock. You walk onto the beach, drop off your luggage, remove your footwear, and climb onto the boat. Once you arrive at Nusa Penida, you climb off and onto the sand, and then wait for your luggage to be carried out.

See Also: How to pack as a solo female traveler in Southeast Asia

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GETTING TO KELINGKING BEACH (are the road conditions safe?)

Now that you’ve reached Nusa Penida, keep in mind that Kelingking beach is southwest of the island; about a 30-minute drive from Toya Pakeh Harbour.

Upon arrival at the harbor, you can either rent a motorbike or travel by taxi. Considering you’ll have your luggage, definitely take a taxi or Grab (Southeast Asia’s equivalent to Uber) to your hostel/bungalow.

Since I was traveling with a small suitcase (learn from my mistakes – travel with a backpack instead!), riding a motorbike wouldn’t have worked out. Besides, I’d never driven a motorbike, so this definitely wasn’t the time to try it out. I felt much safer being driven by a local who was familiar with the roads.

Forewarning: the road conditions are rough. Only some roads are paved, while the rest are dirt (get ready for a bumpy ride). The roads are also relatively windy, and narrow (often against cliffs without guardrails).


WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO KELINGKING BEACH?

The only essentials you really need are: water, sunscreen, and a camera. Your trip to Kelingking Beach can last anywhere from 10 minutes to over 3 hours, depending if you just want some photos, or are up for the intense hike down. If you’re planning on hiking, definitely wear closed-toe shoes! I wore sandals, which was a HUGE mistake!

Above all, have multiple bottles of water! Water and other refreshments can be purchased at the bottom of Kelingking beach, but be sure to have several on hand. The hike down is INTENSE – it’s steep, hot, and offers no shade.

If you decide to head down to the beach, bring a light sarong/wrap to use in place of a towel. This way, you can save both space and weight in your bag.


THE VIEW AT KELINGKING BEACH

Nusa Penida’s views do not disappoint! There is plenty of space along the top to soak in the best views of Kelingking Beach. So don’t worry – you can definitely snap several pictures without others in the way!

Up here, you’ll get a perfectly clear overview of Cap de T-Rex, where steep cliffs form the shape of a dinosaur wearing a hat. As soon as I walked up to the bamboo railing, I was speechless! The water was SO blue! Pictures don’t do it justice.


CAN YOU GET DOWN TO THE BEACH?

Yes. BUT BE CAREFUL. The hike is longer and much more challenging than it appears; your safety is dependent solely on a bamboo railing. In fact, there’s no railing at many points, forcing you to grip tightly to boulders and hold a steady balance. The hike is steep and often feels as though you’re scaling down at a 90-degree angle.

With minimal stops, the way down took about an hour to reach, however, the way back up took well over an hour. 


DOWN AT THE BEACH

Kelingking beach itself is gorgeous! You’re standing on a private little white sand beach engulfed by sky high cliffs.

When I visited, the water was rough, with a strong current and powerful shorebreak (I actually got knocked down by a set and was stuck in the whitewash). This beach isn’t for novice swimmers – it’s so easy to get caught in that current! 


HIKING KELINGKING BEACH

This is where I almost passed out from dehydration. My friends and I were unaware of how difficult the hike would be, and thus didn’t carry enough water (in fact, we weren’t anticipating a hike – ugh that lack of research!). We visited in the middle of the day and MAN was it crowded! We felt like a bunch of ants in line.

I won’t sugar coat the experience; it was crazy hot and people were cranky. 

At times, we were at a standstill letting others pass because of how narrow the path got. When heading back up, I led the line for a bit. People behind yelled at me to keep going every time I let others, who had been waiting, pass by. Another time, someone heading in the opposite direction paused for a moment and asked how close he was to the bottom. Even in that brief moment, those behind yelled at us to keep moving.

After pushing through about a third of the way back up, I reached a point of exhaustion. I began to lose vision, heard ringing in my ears, felt dizzy, and had a sensation that everything around me was spinning. I was low on water, and still had most of the hike left before reaching the top. If it weren’t for other visitors who so graciously shared their water (and one guy that poured some on me), there’s just no way I would’ve made it back.

Reaching that point of physical exhaustion and dehydration in the middle of a cliff was honestly terrifying. I had to mentally stay calm and continuously told myself that I’d make it back.

Moral of the story – have lots of water, be careful, and know your limits! If you don’t think you can handle the hike, stay at the top and admire the view from above.


MY OVERALL THOUGHTS OF KELINGKING BEACH?

A visit here is absolutely worth it!! Whether you hike down to the beach, or enjoy the dinosaur shaped cliffs from above, Kelingking Beach is a Bali icon that shouldn’t be missed! 

Know your limits. As I said earlier, if you aren’t comfortable hiking down, don’t do it. Even though the beach itself is stunning, it isn’t worth risking your safety if you’re uncertain or unprepared. Nusa Penida has several other beaches that are just as beautiful and don’t require an intense hike to reach (LOL).


Have you been to Kelingking Beach before? Share your experience for others in the comments!

Like what you read? Save it for later!
↓↓ Read more about Bali ↓↓ 

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Solo traveler’s Guide to Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali

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22 Comments

  1. Kelly
    September 19, 2020 / 2:51 am

    I’m.so bummed out I missed out on this beach when I was in Bali. But I guess it’s just a good excuse for a return trip. Thanks for the great tips!.

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:08 pm

      I think it’s a great excuse too!

  2. September 19, 2020 / 2:56 am

    Such great points, I was recently in a hike and it ended up way longer than expected and I ran out of water. Haven’t done that since. It’s easy to underestimate something like this that you see a lot but no one gives the full story. It looks impressive though and glad you had some caring people to help you

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:09 pm

      It’s so easy to underestimate places like these! And omg I’m glad you made it out safe and sound!

  3. September 19, 2020 / 6:14 am

    Great points. Bringing enough water is almost always the most important thing on any hike. Glad you got water from others.

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:10 pm

      Seriously! Always take more water than you think you’ll need.

  4. September 19, 2020 / 7:08 am

    Sounds lovely! I actually didn’t realise this was in Bali at first so when I came back from visiting I was disapointed haha … might have to go back now 😉

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:11 pm

      Aww no!! But hey now you’ve got incentive to return 🙂

  5. September 19, 2020 / 9:00 am

    Such an awesome place, looks like from a fairy tale. I’m definitely adding it to my bucket list

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:17 pm

      Yes!! It’s SO surreal once you’re there!

  6. September 19, 2020 / 1:25 pm

    Really glad you decided to get a local to drive you, I’ve seen so many people get injured because they decided it was a good time to learn how to ride a motorbike! I’ve always seen photos of this place but I had ZERO idea that the climb down was sketchy. Always assumed it was well paved because of how many people visit it. Definitely gonna learn from you and bring enough water – I’m so guilty of under packing water. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:25 pm

      I thought the exact same thing because of how many people visit! Never would’ve guessed the hike down was that sketch (let alone that it’d be a HIKE down). I’m so glad this helps!!

  7. September 19, 2020 / 2:01 pm

    your pictures are beautiful! it definitely looks worth visiting to me!

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:25 pm

      It’s absolutely worth it! 🙂

  8. Rosh Patel
    September 19, 2020 / 7:47 pm

    the beach looks gorgeous but looks like it needs hiking boots for sure

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:26 pm

      Shoes definitely would’ve helped haha

  9. September 19, 2020 / 8:19 pm

    Omg that sounds so scary! I am so happy you are okay and had other people help you. And thanks for sharing this experience. I would love to visit next time I’m in Bali and I’ll make sure to bring tons of water!

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:27 pm

      So scary! But on the plus side, it makes for a good story today 🙂 I’d love to hear about your visit next time you go!

  10. September 19, 2020 / 8:21 pm

    I’m so sad that I missed out on this when I went to Bali! I wanted to go back this year, but that’s not going to happen. Your photos are beautiful and I cannot wait to visit someday!

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:28 pm

      Aww no!! Fingers crossed for next year!

  11. Charlotte
    September 20, 2020 / 10:06 am

    Ah Nusa Penida, so beautiful. Love your photos! I visited Kelingking for the first time six years ago and was lucky enough to have it all to myself. I’ve been back many times since but never dared to hike down to the beach. Can’t wait to go back to Indo, hopefully soon 😀

    • Kylie
      Author
      September 20, 2020 / 11:28 pm

      Omg all to yourself?!? SO LUCKY!! I can’t even imagine … it was packed when I went!

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