Best Hidden Gems in Bali, Brief overview of Bali’s popular attractions and why it’s worth exploring hidden gems
Bali is home to many hidden gems that are often overlooked by tourists. The best hidden gems in Bali offer you a chance to experience Bali’s unique culture and natural beauty away from the crowds.
Exploring these destinations can provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of Bali.
You’ll find in this article an introduction to lesser-known destinations in Bali that are off the beaten path. Recommendations for scenic drives, hiking trails, and secluded beaches. Suggestions for cultural experiences that are unique to specific regions in Bali.
Beach, Cliff, Surf, Authentic
Want to bask on a beautiful beach, but without the thousands of tourists? Bingin Beach, on the west coast of the southern tip of Bali, is a real little haven of peace.
Bingin Beach is a hidden gem located in the southern part of Bali, near the town of Uluwatu. This stunning beach is known for its crystal-clear water, white sandy beaches, and world-class surfing waves.
You can choose between: taking a surf lesson, meditating on the sand, going for a walk on the cliff, or doing underwater activities in complete peace of mind.
What Makes Bingin Beach Special?
Bingin Beach is a secluded paradise that offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Here are some of the things you can expect when you visit:
- The beach is known for its crystal-clear water, making it a perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling.
- White Sandy Beaches: The beach features soft white sandy beaches, ideal for sunbathing and relaxing.
- Surfing: Bingin Beach is famous for its world-class surfing waves, attracting surfers from all over the world.
- Stunning Sunsets: The beach offers breathtaking sunset views, providing visitors with a perfect end to a perfect day.
How to Get There
To get to Bingin Beach, follow these steps:
- Head south towards Uluwatu.
- Turn right at the intersection near the Uluwatu Temple and follow the road towards Bingin Beach.
- Follow the signs until you reach the parking area near the beach.
It’s important to note that the beach can be quite crowded during peak season, so it’s recommended to arrive early if you plan to spend the day there. Additionally, the beach is quite secluded, and there are limited food and drink options, so it’s recommended to bring your own supplies.
Medewi, village of fishermen and surfers
Surf, Authentic Village, Authentic
This small village in the north of the country is ideal for mingling with the population and living like a Balinese. There are few curious people who come to spend a few days here, so you can take the opportunity to surf quietly, take beautiful walks in the green hills, and chat with the fishermen.
Notice to those interested in surfing, Medewi is THE most beautiful left on the island. It unfolds slowly but surely. Every wave is actually a party. On this spot in the west of the island, there is no rivalry, only sharing. In addition to surfing, it is possible to occupy your days visiting the surroundings, which are grandiose and very untouristy.
Using a scooter, you can stroll through the villages near Medewi. Lost, the inhabitants will not fail to wave at you to say hello. This heat is more difficult to notice in overcrowded places. All around Medewi, the blue of the ocean merges with the shimmering green of the coconut palm forests, rice paddies and jungle. A unique landscape. Rather Muslim, it is interesting to see the mosques draw the curves of this small town.
Rice field, Countryside, Road-trip, Authentic
This lush valley is surrounded by serenity. It is not often mentioned in travel guides, and that’s good. You will have the scenery of the rice fields and Mount Agung all to yourself! The best is to take a scooter and criss-cross the local roads, exploring the countryside of Bali.
Many say this Sidemen village is like Ubud thirty years ago. Others will say that it is even much prettier. With Mount Agung in the background, the landscapes that have remained very wild are absolutely beautiful. Sidemen has the ability to conquer hearts and dazzle eyes. The surrounding nature is out of the ordinary. Bali’s largest volcano towers over large, rolling hills thick with tropical jungle.
This village is also a cocoon surrounded by rice terraces, each more beautiful than the next. Mainly agricultural, Sidemen impresses the (rare) visitors with its luxuriant and infinite side. A few small local hotels with a view of Mount Agung seem to be a good excuse to put down your suitcases there for a few days.
Hiking in the rice fields of Sidemen and getting lost in the heart of the Balinese countryside… A good opportunity to visit small isolated villages, meet the different communities of the region and immerse yourself in the lush vegetation of Bali.
Here are some activities to do nearby:
- Get lost on the roads with your scooter and find viewpoints
- Seesaw in the jungle to find (it’s a bit lost)
- Visit Pura Tirta Gangga temple (with water and water lilies)
- Visit the Pura Lempunyang temple with its door which gives a view of Agung (a bit crowded because tourists want THE Instagram photo, I advise you to get there early enough)
Penglipuran Village is a traditional Balinese village located in the highlands of East Bali. The village offers a glimpse into the traditional Balinese way of life, with its well-preserved traditional houses and ancient temples. Visitors can explore the village’s narrow streets, traditional markets, and learn about the local customs and traditions.
The village is situated on a hill, surrounded by beautiful bamboo forests and rice paddies, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The village is also known for its clean and well-maintained streets, which are lined with traditional houses and small gardens.
One of the unique features of Penglipuran Village is its traditional architecture. The houses in the village are made of bamboo and wood, with thatched roofs made from local grass. The houses are built according to traditional Balinese architectural principles, with a central courtyard and separate areas for living, cooking, and sleeping.
Visitors to Penglipuran Village can also observe and participate in the village’s traditional customs and rituals. The village is known for its unique and colorful ceremonial processions, which are held to mark important occasions such as weddings and religious festivals.
Penglipuran Village is one a hidden gems in Bali that offers visitors a unique and authentic glimpse into traditional Balinese culture and architecture. Here are some of the highlights of this beautiful village:
In addition to its cultural and architectural attractions, Penglipuran Village is also a great place to sample local Balinese cuisine. Visitors can try traditional Balinese dishes such as babi guling (spit-roasted suckling pig) and nasi campur (mixed rice with various side dishes).
Nusa Penida is a beautiful island located southeast of Bali. Although this island is developing more and more, it is still relatively untouched by tourism. Reaching Nusa Penida requires a one-hour ferry ride, but this effort is amply rewarded. If you dream of diving with manta rays and sunfish, this is the place to come.
Nusa Penida is a relatively untouched island. It offers breathtaking natural landscapes, crystal-clear water, and an opportunity to experience Bali’s cultural heritage.
Here are some of the things you can expect when you visit:
- Natural Wonders: The island is known for its natural wonders, including stunning beaches, limestone cliffs, hidden caves, and waterfalls.
- Snorkeling and Diving: The crystal-clear water around the island is home to a diverse array of marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkeling and diving.
- Cultural Heritage: The island is home to several temples and shrines that reflect Bali’s rich cultural heritage.
- Seclusion: Unlike the bustling beaches of Bali, Nusa Penida is relatively secluded, making it a perfect destination for travelers looking for a peaceful retreat.
How to Get There
To get to Nusa Penida, follow these steps:
- Head to the Sanur Beach Harbor in Bali, where you can take a fast boat to Nusa Penida. Several operators offer daily trips, and the journey takes around 30-40 minutes.
- Once you arrive at the Nusa Penida harbor, you can hire a scooter or a car to explore the island.
- Follow the signs and ask the locals for directions to your desired destination.
It’s important to note that the roads on Nusa Penida can be quite rough and challenging to navigate. Therefore, it’s recommended to hire a local driver or a guide who is familiar with the island’s roads.
Aling Aling waterfalls
They are quite remote, but you will not regret the trip. These high waterfalls are nestled in a natural setting, and offer a refreshing swim. You can also jump at different heights and slide down natural slides.
Pura Kehen Temple
Temple, Paddy Field, Wild Animals, Elephants, Authentic
The temple is accessed by a staircase built like a terraced rice field. The mix between gray stones and very green trees is striking. The elephant statues at the entrance are very impressive, as is the century-old tree with huge roots. In addition, you will be calm by going here to Bali, because few tourists make the trip.
Lake, Turquoise Water, Volcano, Authentic
For a walk off the beaten track in Bali, head to Lake Batur, which rests at the foot of two volcanoes, Mount Batur and Mount Abang. Located at 1400m. of altitude, this splendid crater lake extends over 10 km in diameter and offers striking landscapes when the color of its crystal clear waters changes according to the color of the sky.
A beautiful ancient temple located on the shores of Lake Batur, Kintamani, Bangli. The Temple provides holy water for the Pura Ulun Danu ceremony. Surya Edy Gautama, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Pura Rambut Siwi Temple
Beach, Temple, Authentic
Siwi Rambut means “hair cult”.
Although it is one of the largest Hindu temples in Bali, the Pura Rambut Siwi Temple is an off-the-beaten-path trip, as it is little known to travelers. It’s an important historical site that dates back to the 16th century, and with its geographical location, perched above a vast black sand beach, it offers a superb view that alone is worth the detour!
Not to be missed in Medewi!
Pura Rambut Siwi is a beautiful example of Balinese Hindu temple architecture, with its tiered roofs, ornate carvings, and intricate stone sculptures. Visitors can explore the various courtyards and shrines within the temple complex, including the main sanctuary, which houses a black stone statue of the Hindu god Vishnu.
Not to be missed in Medewi! Pura Rambut Siwi is a large red brick temple, located between the villages of Yeh Satang and Yeh Embang, on a cliff overlooking the beach. Together with Tanah Lot, Petit-Tenget and Ulu Watu, it is one of the four great coastal temples of the west. Its construction dates back to the 16th century, and it is said to have been the work of Dang Hyang Nirartha, the famous Javanese itinerant priest who was very mystical and revived the faith in Bali.
Kanto Lampo waterfalls
Less crowded than its neighbor Tegenungan Waterfall, Kanto Lampo is an equally stunning secret waterfall. Surrounded by a lush environment, it is accessible on foot by going down a path for about ten minutes.
This is one of the most beautiful hidden gem located in Gianyar regency in Bali. It’s a great spot for those who want to escape the crowds and experience a peaceful and refreshing natural environment. In this article, we will explore what makes Kanto Lampo Waterfall so special and provide you with a guide on how to get there.
Once arrived, place to enchantment! Don’t forget your bathing suit, you will only want to take a refreshing splash in its clear waters.
Kanto Lampo Waterfall is unique in that it offers a multi-tiered waterfall experience. The waterfall cascades down a series of small ledges and pools, creating a beautiful natural landscape.
Here are some of the things you can expect when you visit:
- Swimming: The pool at the base of the waterfall is perfect for swimming, and the water is cool and refreshing.
- Natural Surroundings: The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery, and the sound of the cascading water creates a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
- Photography: With its natural beauty and picturesque surroundings, Kanto Lampo Waterfall offers many opportunities for photographers to capture some stunning shots.
- Trekking: The hike to the waterfall is relatively easy and offers a chance to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding forest.
How to Get There:
To get to Kanto Lampo Waterfall, follow these steps:
- Head southeast from Ubud towards Gianyar.
- After passing through the town of Sukawati, turn right onto Jalan Raya Beng.
- Follow the road until you reach the village of Beng.
- Once you reach the village, turn right onto Jalan Raya Kanto Lampo.
- Follow the road until you reach the parking area.
- From the parking area, you will need to hike for about 5-10 minutes to reach the waterfall.
It’s important to note that the hike to Kanto Lampo Waterfall can be slippery, so it’s recommended to wear appropriate shoes and bring a change of clothes. Additionally, it’s recommended to hire a guide as they can help you navigate the trail and ensure your safety.
Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon, East Bali
Jungle, Canyon, Climbing, Authentic
Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon is a natural wonder located in the Sukawati district of Bali, Indonesia.
Want to hike off the beaten track in the jungle? The Beji Guwang is a treasure that the locals treasure. This 3 km (1.9 miles) long canyon can be visited with a guide and allows for a memorable walk with rock climbing and swimming in wild places. An idyllic place to escape the crowds and reconnect with nature!
It is a hidden gem that offers stunning views of the canyon walls and crystal-clear waters flowing through it. The canyon is made up of rocky cliffs, narrow passages, and small waterfalls, making it a popular destination for adventurous travelers.
Visitors to the canyon can hike through the narrow pathways, climb over rocks, and wade through the water to explore the area. It is recommended to hire a local guide as the canyon can be challenging to navigate for first-time visitors.
The best time to visit Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon is during the dry season (from April to September) when the water is clear and calm. Visitors should also wear appropriate clothing and footwear as the terrain can be slippery and uneven.
Overall, Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon is a unique and exciting destination that is sure to impress any traveler looking for an adventure in Bali.
Pantai Soka Beach
Beach, Black Sand, Volcano, Deserted Beach, Authentic! Pantai Soka Beach offers a unique and unforgettable beach experience.
Discovering Bali off the beaten track is above all looking for the Holy Grail: a deserted and wild beach, far from the bustle of Kuta.
Pantai Soka Beach will meet all your expectations: surrounded by rocks and dense tropical vegetation, its black volcanic sand is ideal for laying down your towel and enjoying a moment of relaxation with, icing on the cake, a unique view of the Mount Agung!
Pantai Soka Beach is a hidden gem located in the Tabanan regency of Bali. This stunning beach offers a unique combination of rugged coastal landscapes, picturesque rice paddies, and peaceful traditional villages.
Here are some of the things you can expect when you visit:
- Dramatic Scenery: The beach offers a rugged coastline and impressive rock formations that create a dramatic and awe-inspiring landscape.
- Surfers Paradise: The beach is known for its challenging waves, making it a popular destination for surfers looking for an adrenaline rush.
- Local Experience: The beach is located near several traditional Balinese villages, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the local culture and traditions of Bali.
- Beautiful Sunsets: The beach offers a beautiful sunset view, making it the perfect spot to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring.
How to Get There: To get to Pantai Soka Beach, follow these steps:
- Head west from Denpasar towards Tabanan.
- After passing through the town of Kerambitan, turn left onto Jalan Raya Denpasar-Gilimanuk.
- Follow the road until you see a sign for Pantai Soka Beach.
- Turn left onto the road and follow the signs until you reach the parking area.
It’s important to note that the beach can be quite isolated, so it’s recommended to bring food and drinks if you plan to spend the day there. Additionally, it’s recommended to check the tide times before visiting as the beach can be dangerous during high tide.
Tibumana Waterfall, East of Bali
Tibumana Waterfall is a beautiful natural attraction located 1h 30 mn drive from Seminyak in Bali. It is situated in the village of Apuan, making it an easy day trip destination for visitors.
Tibumana Waterfall is a serene and peaceful spot, surrounded by lush greenery and a small stream that leads to the waterfall. The waterfall itself is about 20 meters high and cascades down into a crystal-clear pool below, making it a great spot for swimming and cooling off on a hot day.
It’s important to note that the hike to waterfalls can be slippery, so it’s recommended to wear appropriate shoes and bring a change of clothes. Additionally, it’s recommended to hire a guide as they can help you navigate the trail and ensure your safety.
Once you arrive in Apuan village, you will need to walk down a flight of stairs to reach the waterfall. The path is well-maintained, and there are several small shops selling drinks and snacks along the way. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as the path can be slippery and rocky in some parts. Overall, getting to Tibumana Waterfall is relatively easy and straightforward, and the journey itself offers beautiful views of Bali’s natural landscape.
Trunyan Village, unique civilizations
Trunyan Village is a unique destination located on the eastern shore of Lake Batur in Bali. This ancient village is home to one of the most distinct and fascinating cultures on the island. In this article, we’ll explore what makes Trunyan Village so special and why it’s worth a visit.
What makes Trunyan Village special?
Trunyan Village is a unique civilization that has managed to preserve its ancient customs and traditions for centuries.
Bali Aga village, inhabited by descendants of the original Balinese, who do not cremate or bury their dead, but just lay them out to decompose, bones can be found on the ground. Paracetamol, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Here are some of the things that make this village stand out:
- Unusual Funeral Customs: Trunyan Village is known for its unusual funeral customs, where the bodies of the deceased are not buried or cremated but placed under a massive tree. The tree, known as Taru Menyan, is said to absorb the odor of the decomposing bodies, leaving the air around the village fresh and clean.
- Ancient Architecture: The traditional houses in Trunyan Village are built using bamboo and thatched roofs, giving them a rustic and authentic feel. The houses are adorned with intricate carvings and designs, showcasing the village’s unique craftsmanship.
- Stunning Scenery: Trunyan Village is surrounded by beautiful scenery, including the majestic Mount Batur, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Batur, and lush green rice paddies. Visitors can enjoy the stunning views and take part in various outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.
How to Get There:
To reach Trunyan Village, follow these steps:
- Take a taxi or private car from Ubud or any other town in Bali to Kedisan Village on the eastern shore of Lake Batur.
- From Kedisan Village, take a traditional wooden boat across the lake to Trunyan Village. The boat ride takes around 30 minutes and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lake.
- It’s important to note that visitors to Trunyan Village must respect the local customs and traditions.
- The village is strict about maintaining its unique funeral rituals and visitors must follow the rules and regulations set by the villagers.
Trunyan Village is a unique and fascinating destination that offers visitors a glimpse into Bali’s ancient cultures and traditions. With its unusual funeral customs, ancient architecture, and stunning scenery, Trunyan Village is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Bali’s history and culture. Follow our guide on how to get there and experience the magic of Trunyan Village on your next Bali vacation.
Menjangan Island (Deer Island), North West Bali (near Java Island)
Menjangan Island is a hidden gem located off the north-west coast of Bali, about 3.5 hours from Seminyak. This secluded island offers some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in Bali, with crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life.
Visitors can also explore the island’s stunning natural landscape, including its pristine beaches and dense forests.
Menjangan Island is a hidden gem located off the north-west coast of Bali, near the West Bali National Park. The island is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and diverse marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.
Here are some of the top things to do on Menjangan Island:
- Snorkeling and Diving: Menjangan Island is famous for its diverse marine life, including coral reefs, colorful fish, and even sea turtles. There are several snorkeling and diving spots around the island, including Coral Garden, Eel Garden, and Secret Bay. These spots offer a chance to explore the underwater world and discover the island’s natural beauty.
- Trekking: Menjangan Island is also home to dense forests and exotic wildlife, making it a great destination for nature lovers. There are several trekking routes around the island, including a hike to the top of Menjangan Hill, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
- Beach Activities: Menjangan Island has several pristine beaches, including Pasir Putih Beach, which is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and beach activities. Visitors can also enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, and other water sports around the island.
- Photography: Menjangan Island’s stunning natural beauty and diverse marine life offer numerous opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Whether you’re capturing the colorful underwater world or the lush green forests, Menjangan Island is a paradise for photographers.
This island is part of the West Bali National Park. This National Park is not only home to Bali starlings, but also home to underwater biodiversity. Like in this Menjangan Island for example. The marine park is still well preserved with its clear water. Chafidwahyu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
How to Get There:
To get to Menjangan Island, visitors can take a boat from the port of Labuhan Lalang, which is located about 3 hours from Seminyak. The journey to Menjangan Island takes about 30 minutes by boat, and visitors can arrange for a boat tour from the port.
Alternatively, visitors can also take a guided tour that includes transportation to and from the island, as well as snorkeling and diving activities. These tours can be arranged through various tour operators in Bali and offer a convenient way to explore Menjangan Island without having to worry about transportation.
It’s worth noting that Menjangan Island is located within the West Bali National Park, and visitors are required to pay an entrance fee to enter the park. The fee includes access to the island as well as other attractions within the park. Visitors should also be aware that the island’s marine life and coral reefs are protected, and should take care to avoid damaging them while snorkeling or diving.
By venturing off the beaten path, travelers can discover hidden gems that offer a unique glimpse into the island’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Whether it’s exploring ancient temples, relaxing in crystal clear pools, or snorkeling in pristine waters, Bali’s hidden gems have something for everyone. So, if you’re planning a trip to Bali, make sure to explore beyond the tourist hotspots and discover the island’s best hidden gems.
While visiting the best hidden gems in Bali can be a great way to explore the island’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, it’s important to exercise caution and take certain safety measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Many of Bali’s hidden gems are located in remote areas, and the terrain can be uneven or steep. Visitors should wear appropriate footwear and clothing and be prepared for hiking or walking on uneven surfaces.
Caution when swimming
Some of Bali’s hidden gems include waterfalls or natural pools, which can be inviting for swimming. However, visitors should exercise caution when swimming and be aware of the water conditions, as some areas may have strong currents or hidden hazards.
Hiring a local guide
Hiring a local guide can be a great way to explore Bali’s hidden gems safely and efficiently. A local guide can provide valuable insights into the local culture and history and help visitors navigate the terrain.
Bali’s weather can be unpredictable, and visitors should be prepared for sudden changes in weather. Visitors should bring appropriate clothing and gear for different weather conditions, such as rain gear or sun protection.