3 In Asia/ Indonesia

10 Places You Can’t Miss In Bali

Bali is a beautiful island in Indonesia. There are so many things to see and do, from hiking volcanoes to snorkelling with turtles, that it’s easy to be overwhelmed by how much there is to this beautiful island and not know where to start! If you’re planning a trip there and are wondering what to do in Bali or what the best places to see are, here is a list of top 10 destinations and activities that you can’t miss!

Enjoying the sunset in Gili T, admiring Lombok in the distance

Enjoying the sunset in Gili Trawangan, admiring Lombok in the distance

Bali Top 10: 10 Places You Need To Visit In Bali

Gili Trawangan, Lombok

Kind of ironic that my number one “must-see” on a trip to Bali, isn’t actually in Bali. Gili Trawangan is part of the three Gili islands, in Lombok. Since it is just a short two hour ferry away, most people visit the Gili islands during their stay in Bali. The three days I spent in Gili Trawangan were the highlight of my Bali trip, which is why I’m ranking them as my number one. Gili T is entirely pedestrian, meaning the only way around the island is either cycling or by horse cart. We spent three days cycling around the island, snorkelling with turtles just off the shore from our hotel, and relaxing on beautiful white sandy beaches with turquoise water. For anyone looking for the chill beach and island vibes, while also having the opportunity to snorkel with turtles, you should definitely pay the Gili islands a visit on your next Bali trip!

Enjoying the turquoise water of the Gili T beaches

Enjoying the turquoise water of the Gili Trawangan beaches

One of the many turtles we saw while snorkelling in Gili T

One of the many turtles we saw while snorkelling in Gili Trawangan

Pura Bratan Temple

Bali is the land of temples, if you had to pick one to visit on your trip, Erin of Have Compass Will Travel recommends Pura Bratan! “Pura Ulun Danu Bratan or Pura Bratan is a stunning water temple in Bali situated on the shores of Lake Bratan. This temple has significant meaning to the local people. It serves as a place of worship and offerings to the water, lake and river goddess, Dewi Danu. This temple is situated in the heart of Bali about a 50Km drive north of Denpasar, this temple is a little hard to get to making it less touristy. The temple sits on a lake which provides a beautiful reflection if you go at the right time of day. Surrounded by mountains, Pura Bratan is a very unique water temple and one worth visiting.” You can follow Erin’s adventures and see more of her photos on Instagram!

Pura Bratan temple, shot by Have Compass Will Travel

Pura Bratan temple, shot by Have Compass Will Travel

Ubud

Ubud is a town in central Bali, and a very popular tourist destination. The town is dotted by temples all throughout it, has a lovely market, is surrounded by rice fields, and there is also a Monkey Forest! What’s not to love about it? While the main streets in town can be very busy, walking around the rice fields is very relaxing, as you often won’t see any other tourists for quite a while. The Monkey Forest is also a fun place to visit, just remember not to bring food with you unless you want to be attacked by monkeys!

| READ MORE: UBUD IN 24 HOURS |

The famous terraced rice fields of Ubud

The famous terraced rice fields of Ubud

One of the cheeky monkeys in the Monkey Forest of Ubud

One of the cheeky monkeys in the Monkey Forest of Ubud

Sekumpul Waterfalls

Bali isn’t just the land of temples, it’s also the land of temples, and some of the most scenic ones according to Jess from My Feet Will Lead Me are the Sekumpul waterfalls! “Who doesn’t love a “take-your-breath-away” waterfall. They are plentiful in Bali, but perhaps known as the most beautiful of all is Sekumpul Waterfalls, around 2 hours north of Ubud, which is actually a cluster of 7 waterfalls, cascading down the mountainside. It is a long drive, and a bit of a trek, however the entire journey is incredibly scenic. The trek will include passing by local homes, seeing rice terraces in the distance, mountainous jungle as far as the eye can see, and great views of the falls. A massive decent down steep steps and across the river will finally bring you to the impressive falls where you swim.

Sempuku waterfalls, by My Feet Will Lead Me

Sempuku waterfalls, by My Feet Will Lead Me

At the parking lot, there are guides for hire when you arrive, and although you can refuse their pushy services, having a guide has its benefits. They will lead you on the route with the safest and easiest places to step, as you are walking through the river some of the time, and take pictures for you. Plus, it’s an opportunity to learn about the country by asking a local questions. Accessing Sekumpul waterfalls requires traveling down (and back up) many stairs and along slippery rocks across a river but it’s well worth the effort. A swimsuit, water shoes, dry bag, towel, and drinking water are necessities. Because the journey is a bit more difficult than other falls, it is not crowded and you may even find yourself one of the few people there. The invigorating energy of these falls will leave you mind blown.” You can read more about Jess’s experience in Bali here, or follow her adventures on Instagram!

Sempuku waterfalls by My Feet Will Lead Me

Sempuku waterfalls by, My Feet Will Lead Me

Tukad Cepung Waterfall

While we’re talking about waterfalls another one you can’t miss according to Sasi is Tukad Cepung! “Bali has many amazing waterfalls, but Tukad Cepung deserved a place in Bali Top 10 because the waterfall is located inside a cave & it’s a hidden gem since not many travelers know about this place. It’s located in Bangli, around 1,5 hours from Kuta/Seminyak or 40 minutes from Ubud by car/motorbike. Once you get there, from the parking area you will find a locket where you can buy the ticket for a small fee to help the locals maintain the place, then your adventure begins! You will need to walk down through some stairs & trek through the forest to get to the river. Then you have to walk a bit in the shallow stream & walk through the narrow cave to get in. Once you get inside you will be amazed by everything, water falls from the opening on top of the cave the way the sunlight hits the waterfalls, also there’s a beautiful valley with big rocks that you can climb.”

Tukad Cepung Waterfall, shot by @sashi_mie

Tukad Cepung Waterfall, shot by @sashi_mie

Mount Batur

There is nothing more exciting than a night hike, especially when you know there is a beautiful sunrise and view waiting for you at the top. Oceana of Maps and Mandalas says; “If you’re looking to see the Island of the Gods from heaven itself, Mount Batur is the place to do that. An active volcano that last erupted in 2000, Mount Batur is among the island’s sacred sites, and the mountain is the centre of both lore and legend. However, there are no limitations on hikers summiting the peak, providing they do so with a registered guide.

Sunrise from the top of Mount Batur, photo by Maps and Mandalas

Sunrise from the top of Mount Batur, photo by Maps and Mandalas

The big draw for Mount Batur is to arrive at the peak as the sun is rising. This means making the upward climb at night after being picked up from your hotel sometime in the very, very early hours of the morning. It’s a thrill once you get to the top and realise how far you’ve come, and even more of a thrill on the way down when you realise how perilous the climb was, but absolutely worth it the entire way through.” Read more about Oceana’s experience here, or check out more of her photos on Instagram and Facebook!

Oceana in Mount Batur

Oceana in Mount Batur

Kawah Ijen, East Java

While we’re talking about volcanoes and sunrise hikes, figured I couldn’t not talk about Kawah Ijen. Once again this isn’t actually in Bali, but on the neighbour island of East Java. We went there on a 24 hour trip from Bali so figured it should also be included in this list! We set off on our hike at 2am, and after climbing up under a beautiful starry sky we made it to the top in time to see the electric blue flames, a natural phenomenon visible only here. We then waited for the golden sunrise and explored the crater of Kawah Ijen, which is actually filled with water and is the largest acid lake in the world.

The sun breaks through and turns East Java pink

Sunrise over East Java from the crater of Kawah Ijen.

Standing over the crater of Kawah Ijen, looking down at the biggest acidic lake in the world

Standing over the crater of Kawah Ijen, looking down at the biggest acidic lake in the world

Manta Ray Point, Nusa Penida

Manta Ray Point is an area in Nusa Penida, an island just 20km South-East of Bali, where it is possible to snorkel and scuba dive with manta rays at their feeding point. Michelle from Intrepid Viajera got to scuba dive with these beautiful animals, check out her video below! She says; “Manta Ray Point is a must see for snorkelers and scuba divers alike. It was my first time seeing manta rays and I’ll never forget their grace as they swam by.”

9. Tirta Empul Temple

Pure Bratan isn’t the only temple you should pay a visit to on your trip to Bali, Anika recommends the Hindu Balinese Water Temple Tirta Empul. “This traditional spring water temple is a peaceful oasis not far from Ubud and the Tegalalang rice terraces. It’s a sacred place for Hindus, and the water is supposed to be spiritually cleansing. Whether you bathe in the holy water, look at the traditional Hindu temples and architecture, or simply walk around and enjoy the gardens and tranquillity it is definitely worth a visit whilst in Bali!

Tirta Empul Temple, by Anika

Tirta Empul Temple, shot by @anikapetal

There are several pools of water within the temple complex, and many buildings to explore. It’s a beautiful place, and a very nice change of scenery for most as you are able to see the traditional side of Bali and the Hindu religion. Entrance is 15.000 IDR, and when visiting you should dress in appropriate temple attire – or make use of the colourful sarongs offered when entering.”

Tirta Empul Temple, by Anika

Tirta Empul Temple, shot by @anikapetal

Seminyak

Seminyak is a part of Bali very popular for its beach bars and surfing. While it is a very touristy spot of Bali, it’s a fun area to check out if you like surfing. There are lots of places along the beach that will rent you boards for as little as £5 a day. After a long day of surfing you can then enjoy a relaxing meal and drinks sitting on the bean bags of one of the many beach bars.

Surfing in Seminyak, Bali

Surfing in Seminyak, Bali

Dinner on the beach with a sunset view and live music

Dinner on the beach with a sunset view and live music

Potato Head Club

I know we’ve already reached our top ten, but after so much exploring around Bali; chasing waterfalls, snorkelling with turtles and manta rays, hiking volcanoes, and visiting temples, I thought I’d include a number eleven and tell you about one of the best beach clubs where you can go relax and have fun. Inma of A World To Travel recommends the Potato Head Beach Club; “Designed by a renowned architect, the Potato Head Beach Club in Bali has a couple of restaurants, a bar, a tropical garden, an infinity pool to die for (check it out yourself in the picture!) and superb sunset views. Indeed one of our Indonesia adventures highlights!” You can see more of Inma’s adventures and photos on Instagram!

Sunset at the Potato Head Beach Club, shot by A World To Travel

Sunset at the Potato Head Beach Club, shot by A World To Travel

You are now ready for your next trip to Bali, knowing the top 10 (+ 1) must-see places to visit! Want to know more about Bali? Check out this Bali travel guide, or read here the 10 things you should know before travelling to Bali. If you’ve been to Bali before, do you agree with us? Do these places make your Bali top 10 list? Let me know in the comments below!

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Planning a trip to Bali? Looking for the best things to do and must see spots on the island? Here is a list of the top 10 places you can't miss!

Planning a trip to Bali? Check out this list of 10 must-see locations on your first trip to Bali. Featuring some of the best things to do, places to see and places to eat in Bali, Indonesia.

Planning a trip to Bali? Find out the 10 places you can't miss when visiting this beautiful Indonesia island.

Planning a trip to Bali? Find out the 10 places you can't miss when visiting this beautiful Indonesia island.

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  • Dwan
    July 22, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Oh those beach chairs are calling my name. I cannot wait to explore the waterfalls in Bali. So beautiful!

    • gomoboni
      July 23, 2017 at 6:57 am

      Haha I know the beach chairs are the best thing for a chill evening! 😉