Bali is famed for its terraced rice paddies, white-sand beaches and countless waterfalls nestled deep in the jungle. With millions of tourists flocking to the island of Gods every year, it can be tough trying to find those so-called hidden spots.
Luckily, there are still a few non-touristy attractions in Bali. Although I can’t promise you’ll be the only one there, I can only guarantee that you won’t have to fight with the crowds when visiting these places. Here are some of Bali’s hidden gems that should be on your bucket list.
How to get to Bali?
Being Indonesia’s most visited island, it’s very easy to get to Bali with heaps of transport options from flights to ferries or a combination of bus and ferry. Below are the most common routes to Bali:
|Routes||Transportation methods||Starting price|
|Jakarta to Bali||Flight||US $55|
|Surabaya to Bali||Flight, minivan, bus+ferry||US $17|
|Yogyakarta to Bali||Flight||US $52|
|Banyuwangi to Bali||Bus+ferry||US $17|
|Singapore to Bali||Flight||US $70|
Once you get there, you can either rent a scooter or hire a private taxi to get around Bali.
1. Nyang Nyang Beach
Nyang Nyang beach (also known as Nunggalan beach) is a huge stretch of white sand beach located in the popular surfing destination of Uluwatu. Although the neighboring Dreamland or Balangan beach welcome hundreds of tourists every day, Nyang Nyang beach still remains under the radar.
It does require a 15-minute trek down a steep cliff to get to this beach but luckily the majority of the path is shaded by trees. Expect a deserted stretch of sand dotted with palm trees and a lone beach bar ready to quench your thirst after your hike.
Go for a swim in the turquoise water or take a stroll along the beach and don’t forget to snap a photo with the Insta-famous graffiti shipwreck.
2. Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls
For the absolute hidden gem in Bali, look no further than Banyu Wana Amertha waterfalls. Situated in North Bali, Banyu Wana Amertha offers a spectacular sight with a colorful jungle trail leading to three stunning waterfalls (or four, during the rainy season).
The aptly named spray waterfall is by far the most impressive one. With water bursting out from literally everywhere, there’s no doubt you’ll be drenched when you visit. There’s a small pool below where you can go in for a swim but be careful as the waterfall is quite powerful. Bwa waterfall is just as beautiful and there’s a small wooden hut where you can relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
3. Subak Juwuk Manis Rice Field
Ubud is considered the cultural center of Bali with flourishing art markets, temples and palaces. And with all the Instagrammable cafés and yoga studios popping up every year, there’s no denying that it has become a tourist hotspot.
So how exactly do you escape the crowds in Ubud? Simply by venturing off the beaten path! Luckily, you don’t have to stray too far from downtown Ubud to find a little piece of heaven. Subak Juwuk Manis rice field is situated at the end of a little side road not too far from Saraswati temple.
The path is only accessible on foot and in less than 5 minutes, you’ll reach one of the most peaceful and scenic rice paddies. It’s easy to miss the entrance so keep your eyes out for the small wooden sign along Ubud main road.
4. Sidemen Valley
If you’re looking for one of the most underrated things to do in Bali, make sure to visit Sidemen Valley, a small traditional village located in East Bali. Unlike in Ubud, there’s no weaving around the constant traffic or being chased by local touts. Sidemen provides more of an authentic experience and is a feast for the eyes.
You’ll feel completely at peace here as you wander around the village and take in the view of the lush rice fields with Mount Agung towering in the distance.
Some of the best things to do include trekking around the rice paddies, visiting Pura Bukit Sangan Gunung temple, experiencing the local traditional market or wading in an infinity pool overlooking the picturesque countryside.
5. Dusun Kuning Waterfall
Dusun Kuning waterfall is another non-touristy attraction in Bali that’s worth checking out. It’s located about 20 km east of Ubud and due to the winding roads around this region, it takes around 40 minutes to get there from Ubud.
After paying an entrance fee of IDR 20k, make your way into the forest until you reach a small Balinese temple. From there, you just need to walk down a long flight of stairs before reaching Dusun Kuning.
The waterfall plunges down a sheer rock face of 20 meters tall into a small pool below. Take a dip in the pools or snap a few photos without worrying about other tourists getting in the shot.
6. Nusa Ceningan
You can easily explore every corner of this small tropical paradise on a day trip. Jump on a scooter and start at the iconic Yellow Bridge connecting Nusa Lembongan to Ceningan before making your way to Ceningan Cliffs for a panoramic view of the turquoise bay.
Continue along the palm tree lined roads in search for the milky-blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, seek out the “secret” beach near Villa Trevally or cliff jump at Mahana Point for a dose of adrenaline.
7. Pengibul Waterfall
Another one of Bali’s best kept secrets is Pengibul waterfall. Despite being really close to the more famous Tibumana waterfall, Pengibul isn’t touristy at all. In fact, I was the only one there when I visited.
You won’t be able to swim as the pool is too shallow but it’s still a nice spot to visit for those looking for peace and quiet.
8. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
There’s no doubt that everyone has heard of the world-famous Tegalalang rice terraces but for some reason, Jatiluwih doesn’t even get half the same amount of attention.
This UNESCO World Heritage site features over 600 hectares of lush rice paddies growing on a gorgeous terraced landscape. The entrance fee to the rice terraces is IDR 40k and you’re welcome to spend the day strolling along the different trekking routes that take you to some of the most incredible panoramic views.
As you can see, it’s just a matter of going the extra mile if you want to experience Bali away from the crowds. Hopefully, this guide gave you some inspiration and convinced you to explore more off the beaten path.