We’ve been to Bali, Indonesia two times and try to explore the less-visited places. While we loved our time in Ubud during our 4 days in Bali, we also enjoyed visiting North Bali and East Bali. Most visitors tend to overlook North and East Bali in their Bali itinerary due to the distance from the popular areas of Kuta, Canggu, and Seminyak.
In this post, we’re sharing the 10 best things to do in North Bali and how to get to North Bali. The fewer crowds, incredible waterfalls, abundant greenery, and quietness are great reasons to visit North Bali. While this list of North Bali attractions is not comprehensive, we look forward to coming back to this area in the future. It’s well worth the visit to North Bali and to stay in this tranquil area for 2+ days.
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10 Best Things to Do in North Bali, Indonesia
1. Visit Sekumpul Waterfall.
Sekumpul Waterfall is one of the best waterfalls to visit in Bali. It was the first waterfall that we visited and we were spoiled by its sheer beauty. You can’t help but awe at the stunning cascading falls that are 80 meters (260 feet) high. Plus, you’re in the middle of the jungle so there are lots of trees and plants everywhere.
To get to the base of the waterfall, you’ll need to walk down the hill for 15 to 20 minutes from the main registration kiosk. The trail is slippery so be careful. Depending on the water flow from the waterfall, you may need to cross a stream that is calf-deep high. Feel free to spend a few hours relaxing in the refreshing waters and/or visit the neighboring Fiji Waterfalls.
Check out our Sekumpul Waterfall guide to read about our experience.
Tip: Don’t stop at the fake registration sites as you drive towards the Sekumpul Waterfall parking lot. They are tourist traps.
Address: Sekumpul, Sawan, Lemukih, Sawan, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81171, Indonesia
Admission Cost: 20,000 IDR ($1.40 USD)
- Private tour of Sekumpul Waterfall with Ulun Danu Beratan and luwak coffee plantation
- Small group tour of Sekumpul Waterfall, Ulun Danu Beratan, Taman Ayun, and lunch
2. Awe at the Banyumala Twin Waterfall.
Banyumala Twin Waterfall is another beautiful waterfall to visit in North Bali. It’s tucked away on an unassuming narrow road. Drive carefully as the roads aren’t in the best conditions. From the parking lot, walk 10 minutes down a hill to see the two “twin” cascading falls. Compared to Sekumpul Waterfall, the scale is much smaller yet it is a peaceful area to swim. A picturesque spot is to take a photo on the bamboo bridge with the waterfall in the background.
Address: Wanagiri, Sukasada, Wanagiri, Sukasada, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81161, Indonesia
Admission Cost: 30,000 IDR ($2.10 USD) which includes a complimentary water bottle
3. Enjoy the Buyan and Tamblingan Lakes.
If you’re visiting Banyumala Twin Waterfall, drive along Jl. Raya Pancasari/JI. Munduk Wanagiri road and stop by an overlook area to see the calm Buyan and Tamblingan Lakes. There is a platform where you can see the two lakes (also known as the “twin lakes”) and take photos.
While you’re there, there is a vendor showcasing their large iguana and huge bat. You can take photos with them but you’ll need to pay 30,000 IDR ($2.10 USD). Monkeys are also in the area so be careful if you’re carrying food.
We heard that there are some hiking trails around Buyan and Tamblingan Lakes but we didn’t have enough time to do them. We’ll return to the area to do this adventure next time.
Address: Jl. Raya Pancasari, Gobleg, Banjar, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali, Indonesia
Admission Cost: Free
4. Kayak around Pura Ulun Danu Beratan.
Bali never ceases to amaze us with the breathtaking temples. Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is small temple complex surrounded by Lake Beratan. Lingga Petak Temple is the famous water temple that contains holy water. Unfortunately, you cannot walk to the temple as it’s located in the lake. To get a closer view of the temple, rent a wooden boat to kayak around the lake.
It does get crowded here so go early in the morning. There is a shopping area before entering the temple and the coconut ice cream is delicious!
Address: Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82191, Indonesia
Tip: You don’t need to wear a sarong to this temple.
Admission Cost: 50,000 IDR ($3.50 USD)
5. Visit Brahma Vihara Arana.
Brahma Vihara Arana is a unique place to visit as it’s largest Buddhist monastery in Bali. Located in a remote location, you will have the entire place to yourself like us. We saw two other people when we left the monastery.
This peaceful complex is well-maintained with Balinese and Tibetan architecture stupas, pagodas, and Buddha statues. The highlight of this place is the miniature version of Borobodur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Java, Indonesia. You’ll love the quietness of this place. The monastery is open from 8:00am – 6:00pm.
Tip: Please wear appropriate clothing to cover shoulders and legs and take off your shoes when entering places to pray.
Address: Gg. Sahadewa, Banjar Tegeha, Banjar, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81152, Indonesia
Admission Cost: 20,000 IDR ($1.40 USD)
6. Get up early and do the Mount Batur Sunrise Trek
Trekking Mount Batur at sunrise is a bucket list adventure that you have to do while you’re on the island. Located on the northeast of Bali, hundreds of hikers take the daily trek up this inactive volcano to the summit at 1,717 meters (5,633 feet). It’s an early start with pick up from your Ubud accommodation between 2:00am -2:30am. You’ll start hiking with your group around 4:00am to reach the top of the mountain before 6:30am.
The hike isn’t too challenging but the pace will be slow due to the single track. Once you reach the top, find a place to sit and enjoy a snack or breakfast. The view of the sunrise overlooking the caldera is breathtaking and well worth the early morning wake up call.
Tip: The top of the mountain is windy so bring a jacket. Watch out for your food and drinks as monkeys will attempt to steal them after the sun rises. One monkey tried to take my banana that was inside a styrofoam container and tucked away in the front pouch of my backpack.
Address: South Batur, Kintamani, Bangli Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Admission Cost: Tour prices vary depending on your tour package. If you do not pre-book your tour, we recommend that you walk around the main Ubud area and ask around for pricing. We were quoted between 300,000 IDR – 400,000 IDR ($21-$28 USD) per person for the hike and coffee plantation visit.
- Mount Batur sunrise trek with luwak coffee plantation visit
- Small group Mount Batur sunrise trek
- Private Mount Batur sunrise trek with a hidden waterfall
- 2 Days sunset & sunrise camping on Mount Batur
7. Walk through the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is a well-known rice field located in the Tabanan area. Technically, it’s in the central part of Bali, yet we wanted to include this on the list as you’ll pass by this rice terrace on your way to the other North Bali attractions.
Jatiluwih is a great place to walk around as the walking trail is easy to follow. Along the way, stop by the mini visitor’s center to talk with locals about the rice fields and see the farmers tending their crops.
The fields are mostly luscious green due to receiving water from the subak, a UNESCO recognized water irrigation system of canals and tunnels which connects to over 19,500 hectares of rice fields. Hopefully, on your visit, farmers aren’t burning their crops to make way for the new season.
Address: Jalan Jatiluwih No No.Desa, Jatiluwih, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82152, Indonesia
Admission Cost: 40,000 IDR ($2.80 USD)
8. Enjoy the quietness at Pura Luhur Batukau.
Pura Luhur Batukau is a smaller temple located at the slopes of Mount Batukaru and nearby Jatiluwih Rice Fields. While this temple doesn’t have the same allure as Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, we loved the intimate feeling of this place and the rustic look of the moss covering the temple grounds. There is a nice lake surrounded by tall trees in the back of the complex.
Pura Luhur Batukau Entrance Fee: 20,000 IDR ($1.40 USD), includes sarong rental
Address: Jalan Penatahan-Wongayagede, Wongaya Gede, Penebel, Wongaya Gede, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 85125, Indonesia
9. Take your IG shot at Handara Gate.
This is the famous Instagram-worthy gate located at the entrance of the Handara Golf and Resort. If you’re passing through the area, take a few minutes to showcase your creative pose with the Balinese style gate. There will be a line of people waiting for their turn.
Since we already had an amazing photo with Pura Lempuyang’s Gateway to Heaven, we skipped Handara Gate and proceeded to our next destination. Plus, our driver said that there was a fee to take a photo with the gate. We would prefer to support a local temple than a resort.
Address: Desa Singaraja-Denpasar, Pancasari, Sukasada, Pancasari, Buleleng, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81161, Indonesia
Admission Cost: Around $4-$5 USD
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10. See Dolphins at Lovina Beach.
Our Bali driver recommended us to come back to Bali to see wild dolphins at Lovina Beach. He said that it was a fun experience to see them swim around your boat at sunrise. If you’re not into dolphin watching, you can see the dolphin statue or hang out and relax at Lovina Beach.
Address: Off of Jl. Seririt-Singaraja, Bali, Indonesia
- See the sunrise at Lovina beach, dolphins, and waterfalls
- Private tour to see dolphins and Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
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How to Get to North Bali
You’ll either be fortunate enough to stay in a North Bali hotel or need to travel into the area. Since we visited North Bali as day trips from Ubud, we had a driver to take us to the various attractions. It’ll take at least two hours to drive from the center of Ubud to North Bali. Here the transportation options in further details.
1. Ride a motorbike.
Riding a motorbike provides you the flexibility to travel around Bali. It’s a cheaper option as it’ll cost between 60,000 IDR – 300,000 IDR ($4.20–$21 USD). If you do not know how to ride a motorbike, please do not use this option as your chances of an accident is very high. Book a motorbike and check out the options here.
2. Hire a driver for the day.
Hiring a driver is the best investment that did for our trip. We didn’t want to deal with navigating the windy and narrow roads. Drivers can range from 500,000 IDR – 650,000 IDR ($35-$46 USD). Book a driver here.
Or, you can hire the driver that we used. Contact us and send us an inquiry. We loved our driver as he was safe on the roads and an awesome person to hang out with. He gave us tips to ensure that we didn’t get cheated by the local people too.
3. Go on day tours.
We’ve provided tour options for each of the attractions which will help save you money and time.
As you can see, there are so many popular and hidden gem North Bali tourist attractions to visit. We highly recommend that you take the time to explore this area fully.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Indonesia, check out our other posts for inspiration:
What do you want to see in North Bali? If you have questions about these attractions, ask us in the comments below.
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Photo credit: Instagram images used in this post with the photographer’s permission.
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Pin #2 photo credit: Biliana Gortchova via Scopio Photos