If you’re after lush rainforests, relaxation and amazing food, Ubud (and surrounds!) has got you covered! Ubud is most definitely one of my favourite places in Bali, and probably the world. After several trips here over the years, it’s safe to say I’m well travelled in Bali and can recommend some places to see and explore while you’re in this lush part of Bali. My recommendations below are for Bali and the northern surrounds of the island. Read on for lush waterfalls, hiking adventures & monkey encounters!
1. Take a hike down to Sekumpul Waterfalls
This waterfall is well worth the visit! It has to be my favourite waterfall I’ve visited so far. I will warn you though- it is quite the hike both in driving there and then in getting down to it- so be prepared to spend a full day to see this waterfall. You can hire a driver for a day for generally around 500k Rupiah depending on how long you want to stay and where your accomodation is in Ubud. Once you arrive, there will be villagers at the top who will offer to walk with you and give you a meal- you do not have to take their offer as they do charged quite a lot (around 800k Rupiah). We decided to help their village out and have them accompany us, which we believe was well worth it! They helped us trek though the rice fields, held our belongings and then even took our photos for us. When we were exhausted, we got a VIP ride back up the hill. The waterfall itself is stunning and probably my favourite. Truly a must see with your own eyes!
2. Go climbing and zip-lining through the trees at the Bali Treetop Adventure Park
If you’re a thrill seeker like me (not like my husband, he hates heights and rollercoasters) then you will LOVE this place! Don’t forget to pack your closed in shoes and some fingerless gloves (you can also buy gloves there for 20k Rupiah). It costs about $30USD each for the day and the courses range from easy up to expert. Try to go during the dry season or expect to be disappointed when it starts raining and you can’t climb. The courses are full of different challenges to get between the trees plus heaps of zip-lines. Great way to face your fears and be a big kid!
3. Take in the views at Bedugul, Wanagiri Hidden Hills Swing!
You have probably heard of the Ubud Bali Swing.. Well this one is different! It’s much cheaper but of course a bit of a drive out compared to the general Ubud swing. Great to do on the way to Sekumpul waterfalls. Once you drive through Bedugul, you will reach the top of the mountain which overlooks the lake and here is the swing. Help the locals out with payment to take a photo (about 150k Rupiah) and get your instagram shot. Don’t forget to stop for a while and take it all in too! You’re only there once right?
4. Visit Tegenungan Waterfall
If you’re not as adventurous or have limited time, this waterfall is well worth the visit compared to Sekumpul waterfalls. Only a 20 minute drive from Ubud or 40 minutes from Sanur, this waterfall is a much easier climb down to visit and swim. There are some markets before you walk in so you can grab something to eat and a refreshing coconut. You can also climb up the top to see the view and all the balancing rocks in the river.
5. Dine at Hanging Gardens
If you want a fancy place to eat or if you just want to visit for a drink and take some photos, head out to Hanging Gardens Bali. With a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the forest, this place is a treat. If you do stay for dinner, expect it to be fancy restaurant pricing, not your usual Bali price. The food is phenomenal though, so treat yourself!
6. Keep your belongings safe at Monkey Forest
This forest is very famous, situated in the heart of Ubud, the monkeys here are a little wild. Some believe they have been trained to steal your stuff in exchange for food. So put your sunnies, hat and water bottles away in your bag and hold everything tightly! The monkeys are very clever and know just how to distract you so they can seize the opportunity. Don’t make eye contact either, monkeys see this as a threat and can get aggressive. The forest itself is gorgeous with temples and lush rainforests. Tickets are relatively cheap and you can buy food to feed the monkeys. Just remember to be vigilant!
7. Climb Mount Batur at Sunrise
This one has to be one of my favourite things to do in Bali! You can book a driver to take you out, either through your hotel or through a local booking service. It shouldn’t cost you more than 250k Rupiah each, hotels might try and charge more so shop around. Be prepared for an early start as you will be picked up from your hotel about 2am. You will be hiking up in the dark, so ensure you wear proper footwear and bring a jacket as it can get quite cool at the top! After you’ve hiked up and seen the sunrise, you will get a tour of the mountain which is actually a volcano. There are some nicer monkeys on this mountain that aren’t as crazy as the ones at monkey forest, so you can feed them and let them sit on your shoulder. The hike down can be quite tricky as the rocks are slippery so take your time too! Overall a magical experience and one of my fondest memories.
8. Do some yoga at Yogabarn
Ubud is the place people go to find themselves, reconnect with nature and heal their soul. If you want to connect with like minded souls, meditate, cleanse, do yoga and an array of other spiritual goodies, check out Yoga Barn! Located in the heart of Ubud, this place has a lovely vibe and daily classes and spiritual teachers that visit.
9. Do a trash walk at Bambu Indah
Want to give back and get a beautiful tour of the river in Ubud? Sign up for a trash walk at Bambu Indah! John Hardy is the owner of this magical place (it’s also the place that jackfruit as a meat replacement started!) and he has a vision for a greener future. Make sure you’re prepared to get muddy and maybe even take a swim. You get to see this gorgeous part of Bali while cleaning it up at the same time- win win!
10. Hire a scooter and ride through the rice fields
There are so many gorgeous rice fields in Bali, it’s one of my favourite things to just get lost riding my scooter through them. Get off the beaten track and find a cafe in the middle of a rice field, it will not disappoint you! We recommend Dragonfly Cafe in Ubud, it’s a close scooter ride through the rice fields in Ubud!
If you liked this list, then you’ll love my top next blog about top places to eat in Ubud! Stay tuned 🙂