Where to go in Bali
Where to go in Bali
Our Guide on Where to Visit in Bali
Bali is a gorgeous tropical island that can be visited time and time again with little danger of repeating the same ground. The south of the island is Bali’s tourism hotspot, where you’ll find all of its well-known beach resorts. Should you be looking for a busy package holiday scene then Kuta or Nusa Dua will not disappoint, but here at UTC, we tend to offer guests quieter, more authentic destinations such as Sanur, Tabanan, or the clifftop resorts of Uluwatu.
An hour up from the coast is Ubud: the spiritual heart of ‘Island of the Gods’. With its many art galleries, craft centers, yoga retreats, and a plethora of accommodation from budget to blow-out, all set against a backdrop of idyllic emerald green rice terraces, Ubud is the jewel in Bali’s crown. Further inland still you’ll find the stunning rural regions of Sidemen and Munduk, offering gorgeous scenery, fantastic hikes, and adventure activities galore, and yet more stunning accommodation.
Should you embark on a wider tour of Bali you’ll find the excitement and adventure keep coming even as you move around its far reaches. Out in the far western corner of the island is the nature of West Bali National Park and the underwater treasures of Menjangan. To the east, the alluring and laidback black sand resorts of Amed and Candidasa, and behind the immense volcanic backdrop of Mount Batur and Mount Agung.
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Best places to go in Bali
Here is a summary of some of the best and most popular areas to visit.
Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali, with many museums, galleries, and shops where local artisans and craftspeople sell beautiful handmade items, stone and wood carvings, jewelry, and clothing. There are cafes for enjoying the delicious strong Balinese coffee and the unique Kopi Luwak, an Indonesian coffee produced with beans digested from the cat-like civet animal. This town is one of the best places to catch a traditional Balinese dance, a mesmerizing ritual accompanied by Gamelan music. It’s also where you’ll find the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary with more than a thousand entertaining Balinese long-tailed monkeys roaming around the paths, temples, and banyan trees.
A “secret spot” in East Valley, Sideman Valley isn’t visited by many tourists but it’s home to Bali’s highest mountain, the Telaga Waja River for rafting, the ancient village of Tenganan with its famous water palace, charming beach towns, and more. Visitors can also visit colorful markets, witness traditional weaving techniques and gaze at stunning rice fields that stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s authentic Bali, where Mount Agung is enveloped in the morning mist, while women wave hello as they make their way to local temples and children with their infectious smiles giggle as they pass by in their school uniforms.
Located in northern Bali with many passing through on their way to West Bali National Park, there are plenty of reasons to stick around Munduk. Here you’ll see a different side of Bali that’s incredibly lush, with many lakes, rice terraces, and waterfalls. It’s a place for waterfall hopping with some of the best in Bali, including a hike that showcases four of them, including Labuhan Kebo, with a pool at the bottom for swimming or wading, depending on the season. The Twin Lakes viewpoint, where monkeys are often roaming about, is a must with its magnificent view of Tambingan and Buyan lakes.
The small coastal village of Pemuteran is a hidden gem in Bali’s western region near West Bali National Park. It’s blessed with a serene beach that’s popular for snorkeling and diving among coral and tropical fish. At the Underwater Temple Garden, you’ll see the fish swimming around shrines and statues. By hiking verdant Batu Kursi, at the hilltop, you’ll be able to take in a view of the village and Pemuteran beach and discover the sacred temple of Pura Bukit Kursi. There are multiple eateries owned by locals who cook delicious Balinese dishes for savoring the island’s authentic cuisine.
On an island jam-packed with breathtaking beaches, Seminyak offers some of the very best and it’s just a 30-minute drive from the Denpasar airport. Visitors can enjoy smooth stretches of white sands that stretch for five miles between Canggu and Tuban, along with many upscale resorts, trendy bars, fine dining restaurants, buzzing clubs, chic shops, and world-class spas. It tends to be a health-conscious area with many vegetarian and organic cafes, although there are plenty of comfort foods and sweets. Famous for its sunsets, this is also one of the top spots to watch the sun go down on the island too.
A beach town on Bali’s southeast side, Sanur is just 30 minutes from Kuta and 40 from Ubud, providing a great base for exploring both and enjoying trips to neighboring Nusa Lembongan Island. It has an over three-mile-long stretch of beach with calm water protected by a reef with sands that are lovely to stroll or even ride a bike on. While there are tourist shops and many restaurants, you won’t find much traffic here. At the Pasar Sindhu Night Market, held during the late afternoon and evening hours, the various market stalls sell traditionally cooked Indonesian fare along with fresh fruits and vegetables.
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