Bali is known for being the “exotic dream destination” of Indonesia. The tranquil beaches, the serene nature and the captivating spiritual energy from the locals is the perfect proof of why Bali is a favourite travel destination by many people.
Where to stay:
Ubud is the perfect city to have as a base when exploring Bali! Ubud is the city in Bali where there is the most to explore in a short time. You will find everything from beautiful waterfalls to local markets to beautiful temples in and around the city of Ubud.
Recommended hotel: Visesa Ubud Resort
Desa Visesa is a luxury resort that welcomes you by performing a small “welcome ceremony” at arrival. An experience worth it all! At this resort you have the opportunity to take a cooking class in an outdoor patio kitchen located in the middle of the resort’s very own kitchen garden. Want to know a secret? There is also a landing spot for helicopters in their garden. Yes! It is a huge garden! And don’t worry, they don’t use the helicopter place that often so you will have peace and quiet to enjoy your private session with the kitchen chef, while he takes you around the garden to collect fresh grown vegetables and spices. While you’re preparing and cooking a local meal, guided by a professional local chef, he will also make sure that you have a local drink at your hand at all times!
Besides being able to take a cooking class, the resort has a spa and wellness department. If you choose to book at treatment there you will start with a complimentary welcome juice to enjoy in the lobby with the view of the rice fields. Your treatment will take place in a small cozy outdoor patio room in the rice fields. You will have complete silence and the only sound present is the sound of the wind and the birds.
Desa Visesa also offers free shuttle bus transportation to the center of Ubud and back again.
How to get around:
- Scooter – Rent a scooter for around 50,000-100,000 IDR per day.
- Taxi – Rent a taxi driver for a day. He’ll drive you anywhere for a fixed price. Prices differ from taxi driver to taxi driver, so find your inner bargaining-person! Usually prices are around 600.000-800.000 IDR for a whole day.
Where to Eat:
- Milk and Madu (Most delicious smoothie bowls and other breakfast dishes you’ll ever experience)
- Monkey cave Espresso Ubud (Tasty Coffee to stay or to go!)
- Local Warungs – they are to be found everywhere (Nasi Goreng is a recommended dish to try!)
5 beautiful places to visit in Bali
1. Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida
Kelingking Beach is one of the most breathtaking places on earth you’ll ever see! A place where you wish you could build a beach cabin and stay for the rest of your life.
Where: Nusa Penida Island
How to get there: Take a ferry from Sanur Ferry Port in Bali. You will be dropped off at the Toyah Pakeh Harbour in Nusa Penida. Here you can rent a scooter or a taxi driver and drive to Kelingking Beach. It is recommended to be an experienced scooter driver and know which roads to take to KelingKing Beach, since there are several roads to take to get there and only one is scooter friendly.
How long: It is recommended to stay on the island of Nusa Penida for a couple of days, depending on how much you want to explore. A one-day trip is very stressful. Especially if you take the wrong turn or end up on very bumpy gravel roads. Then it might take you longer than expected to get back to the ferry. The last ferry runs at 5pm! However, if you choose to do this and should end up missing your ferry by a minute or two, don’t hesitate to ask the local dock workers to help you out! They are very friendly and have small speedboats. So, in worst case scenario they will try to send signals to the ferry to stop, if it’s not sailed too far away already, and you might be lucky that it stops. In this case they will sail you out to the ferry in their speed boats, so you can board it and get home to Bali anyways (Speaking from experience!). If this scenario happens make sure to give them a tip as a thank you!
Price of scooters: Around 60,000 – 80,000 IDR. Be aware that they might not have helmets for you when you rent their scooters! So, bring your own helmet or try to find a local who has helmets with the scooter.
What to bring:
- Cash for everything. The majority of places on the island only accept cash
- Swimsuit + Towel
The hike to Kelingking Beach: Distance from Kelingking carpark to Kelingking Beach: Approximately 30 minutes down and 30 minutes up. Depends on your physical condition and how much you want to stop for pictures on the way.
Good to know:
- You are not allowed to swim in the ocean at Kelingking Beach, because the waves are several meters tall and the current is very strong.
- When you finish your hike, you can reward yourself with a delicious and creamy softice at this amazing ice cream place at the top of the hike. Take advantage of their lounge and chill in the comfy fatboys/beanbags while you eat your well-deserved ice cream.
- Wahsrooms: Yes. There are washrooms at the carpark on the top of the hike. Not on the bottom at the beach. Be prepared to pay a small “cleaning fee” of 2.000 – 5.000 IDR in order to use the washrooms.
- Entrance fee: 10.000 IDR
- Parking fee: 5.000 IDR
2. Air Terjun Tibumana (Waterfall)
Air Terjun Tibumana is a small waterfall with a pool that you can swim in. The water is really nice and there are not too many people in the water. However, there can be quite a few people on the bay taking pictures of the waterfall.
- Where: South-East Bali. 45 mins – 1 hour drive from Ubud
- When to go: Every time of the day. This is one of Bali’s best kept small waterfalls, so it is not as crowded from tourists as you might think.
- How to get there: Rent a scooter or a local taxi driver for the day. Be aware that your taxi driver might not know this waterfall, since it is not as well-known as other tourist attractions in Bali. So be prepared to have an address ready for your driver!
- Distance: It’s a short 15 min walk down to the waterfall from the parking lot
- Washrooms: Yes. There is a washroom down at the waterfall as well as at the restaurants near the parking lot. Be prepared to pay a small fee of 2.000 – 5.000 IDR for using the wash rooms at the restaurants!
- Changing room: Yes. There is a changing room down at the waterfall where you can change your swimsuit.
- What to bring: Cash, a swimsuit and a towel
- Entrance fee: 10,000 IDR
- Lockers: 5,000 IDR
3. Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Tegalalang Rice Terraces is a huge agricultural icon of Tegalalang Village. It’s known for its beautiful picture-perfect lush green landscapes.
- Where: North of Ubud
- When to go: Tegalalang Rice Terrace is huge and therefore you can get pictures by yourself no matter what time during the day you go there. The pictures you see here, are taken in the middle of the day. However, a good tip is to go in the morning or in the afternoon when it is not that hot. You are walking in a huge tropical forest climate, so be prepared for the fact that it is very humid in there!
- How to get there: Rent a scooter or a local taxi driver for the day. Tegalalang is just a 30 min drive from Ubud
- Distance: The length of the hike is up to you! However you can easily spend 3-4 hours in there
- Washrooms: Yes. There are washrooms at the carpark as well as a very few washrooms inside the rice fields. Be prepared to pay a small fee of 2.000 – 5.000 IDR in order to use the washrooms.
- What to bring: Water, cash to pay the local farmers for crossing their bridges/walkways, and make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and light clothes, since its very humid in there
- Entrance fee: 10,000 IDR
Parking: 2,000 IDR
4. Tirta Gangga Water Palace
Tirta Gangga is a beautiful water palace with a lot of different pools and fountains. Walking through the gardens of the water palace brings a very calm feeling. There is a lot of places to sit down and also a restaurant where you can enjoy the calming sounds of the running water.
- Where: East Bali
- When to go: This is a popular destination, so if you would like to avoid the crowds, then go early morning or in the afternoon (Maybe after your visit to Pura Lempuyang Temple). There’s a pool of big beautiful orange fish that you can feed with fish food, which costs 5,000 IDR for a bag of fish food.
- How to get there: Rent a scooter or a local taxi driver. This is located close to the temple Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang. The water palace can therefore be visited after or before your visit to Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang.
- Entrance fee: 30.000 IDR. There’s a pool inside the temple, in which you can swim if you pay an extra 10,000 IDR.
5. Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang – Also known as “Gateaway to heaven”
Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang Temple is one of the oldest temples in the world. It is located on the top of a mountain and has an unforgettable view of the mountains and greenery of Bali.
- Where: East Bali
- How to get there: This is a few hours of drive from Ubud. You can definitely go there in a day trip. Either by scooter or by renting a local taxi driver for the day
- Distance: 15 minutes walk from the entrance to the temple
- Entrance fee: Donation. The usual amount of donation for temples in Bali is around 10,000 – 30,000 IDR.
When to go:
It is recommended to go early in the morning as it quickly gets crowded! If you want to get a picture alone in front of the temple, it is recommended to be there as some of the first people when they open at sunrise! Otherwise you will end up in a huge line up with waiting time of at least 30 min to an hour. In this case, it might be better for you to find accommodation close by, so you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to leave Ubud. If you want the classic picture with the reflection of the temple, you have to give the local man who is sitting and taking pictures a tip for doing this. He holds a mirror under your camera when taking the picture.
What to bring/wear:
- A sarong, which is a long skirt covering your legs – This is a requirement! If you don’t have a sarong you can rent it at the entrance for 10,000 IDR (Note: Even if you wear long pants you still need to wear a sarong due to the fact that it is a part of their culture)
- A shirt that covers your shoulders. Otherwise you won’t be allowed to enter the temple.