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Hiking in Bali: Scenic Trails and Natural Treasures

Hiking in Bali is one of the greatest ways to truly discover the island’s biodiversity and natural wonder. From volcano hikes and national park explorations to discovering beaches and temples along the way, if you’ve ever wondered which places to hike in Bali, look no further than this helpful guide and get ready to immerse yourself in these awe-inspiring walks, hikes and trails.

Mount Batur Hike For Sunrise

There’s nothing quite like climbing an active volcano for sunrise. Hiking Mount Batur from Ubud will give you exactly that experience—an exhilarating hike that will leave you feeling like you’re on top of the world as the sun begins to peak upon the horizon. Classed as a moderately difficult hike in Bali, it features some steep elevation to begin with before reaching the base of the mountain. From there, it’s an elevated walk up a rocky hiking trail, but you’re treated immensely along the way. Before you even reach the summit, you’re treated to the glorious fiery colours of sunrise, as night turns to day all around you—it really is a magical feeling.

It is recommended that you embark on the Mount Batur sunrise hike with a guide, of which you can find several within the Ubud area. In order to make it to the summit in time for sunrise, pick-up is at around 2am, with most tour groups providing breakfast and coffee before you begin. Whilst you’ll start the hike in the dark, the guides provide headlamps for visibility and by the time you reach the very top, twilight will light the way. Once at the top and you’ve had time to sit and embrace your surroundings, you can wander slightly further around the rim of the crater to explore the views on this side. You may even spot a group of wild monkeys greeting you as you welcome in the day.

Though the early morning wake-up may not be ideal, the chance to witness night turning to day at 1717 metres above sea level (weather permitting, of course), is one of those truly unique and unforgettable experiences and certainly one of the top volcano hikes in Bali that it would be a shame to miss. 

If you’re staying at The Ungasan Clifftop Resort, our Experience team can organise your excursion to Mount Batur.

Difficulty Level: Moderate-Challenging

Uluwatu Beaches and Temple Walk

Why not spend your day exploring Uluwatu’s coastline, famed for its alluring cliffs and iconic beaches. Though you may need a form of transportation such as a private car or scooter to get between each destination, there are some excellent walks to stop off at and discover for yourself.

Starting at Nyang Nyang Beach, your transport can drop you at the top carpark, where you’ll have to follow a dirt track until you reach some steps that will take you down to this hidden beach. It presents the ideal spot to sit, relax and absorb the beauty of this pristine beach of Uluwatu. 

Drive 10 minutes and you’ll reach Karang Boma Cliff which affords mesmerising views over the ocean, the rugged coastline and towards Uluwatu Temple in the distance. Following the path, you’ll reach a section of the cliff-face that juts out, offering far greater views, as well as the perfect photo opportunity. Just remember to be careful and to not get too close to the cliff’s edge for your own safety.

Taking a further seven minute drive, you’ll arrive at one of Bali’s most sacred and finest locations, Uluwatu Temple. After paying the entrance fee, which includes a sarong if you require one, you’ll be able to explore the grounds to your heart’s content. A flight of steps will take you to a wondrous viewpoint with soaring vistas of the temple’s surroundings. 

It cannot be stressed enough that Uluwatu Temple is the perfect place to watch the sun go down and if you visit at this time of day, you’re conveniently placed to stay and watch the famous Kecak dance. This ticketed performance features vibrant costumes, fire and a dazzling backdrop, making it an evening you definitely don’t want to miss whilst in Uluwatu.

Though you may want to split this sightseeing trail across more than one day, next along the route is Suluban Beach, which is located a five minute drive from the temple. You need to wander down some quite steep steps that take you steadily down to the shoreline, but take your time and check out the restaurants and cafes that call this patch of cliff home—you’ll likely return to one of them after your day at the beach. Once at the bottom, you’ll arrive at a relatively small cove area where you can lay your towel and retreat to the clear shallow water that forms little pools around the sea’s rocks. 

Suluban is also a great place to catch the surf and you’ll often see surfers wading out to the depths for the best waves. All in all, Suluban is a cute spot to while away the day and once you’re finished, why not stop at one of the cafes or bars, including the revered Single Fin, and enjoy a Bintang as the sun goes down.

End your beach and temple trail at Padang Padang beach. This vibrant and laidback spot is the perfect combination of surf and relaxation. Vendors selling street food and cool drinks can be found set back from the shoreline, to help keep you well satiated throughout the day. This picturesque beach features clear swimmable waters and a small lookpoint point accessed via steps cut into the rock. Morning, midday or evening, Padang Padang beach offers the full package.

Difficulty Level: Easy-Moderate

Campuhan Ridge Walk

A far cry from Uluwatu’s coastline-laden wanders, Ubud’s Campuhan Ridge Walk offers a luscious green oasis replete with rice fields and lush greenery through which to traverse on your next trek in Bali. An easy round trip of three miles that anyone can enjoy, the low sun in the morning and evening sets this paved trail aglow in warm light, making it an idyllic wander, either by yourself or with someone else. The scenic mountain valley lined by tropical foliage unfolds before you, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Ubud. Along the way, you’ll pass the walls of the Pura Gunung Lebah temple complex, then, at the end of the walk, you’re treated to a stop at the Karsa Kafe, a serene spot with huts floating atop a lotus pond and a great place to enjoy a well-deserved refreshment.

Difficulty Level: Easy

West Bali National Park

A haven for birdlife, West Bali National Park offers an exceptional selection of natural wonders to uncover. Though you cannot wander through the national park unguided, you can book onto a tour, where you’ll be treated to all the treasures that are housed within this ecosystem, underneath tree canopies, through mangrove forests and even onto the beach—whereby the marine park provides fantastic snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities. 

If birdwatching is your main priority, the Tegal Blunder Bali bird walk trail is a two-hour easy loop around the park that will give you the chance to spot the endangered Bali Starling, an exquisite white bird with vibrant blue eyes. Other species that can be discovered include the Javan Sparrow, Javan Banded Pitta and Beach Thick-knee. 

For more serious hikers, you can continue onto the Gunung Klatakan trail—a six hour trek that takes you further into the rainforest all the way to Mount Klatakan. On this trail, you’re more likely to spot an anteater, a Java buffalo, deer, marbled cat and hornbill.

Difficulty Level: Varied Difficulties

Munduk Waterfall Trek

For waterfall lovers, the Munduk Waterfall Trek encapsulates some of the best in northern Bali. The trek starts in Munduk village taking 3-4 hours, incorporating the Labuhan Kebo Waterfall, Melanting Waterfall, Munduk Red Coral Waterfall and the Golden Valley Waterfall. Most of the waterfalls require a descent down some steps to access, but what’s waiting at the bottom is well worth the effort and with a sprinkling of warungs and cafes throughout the trek, you won’t have to worry about your energy levels dropping too low.

The Labuhan Kebo waterfall is set in a picturesque valley with a series of bamboo bridges permitting idyllic views—some of these are set closer to the waterfall itself which allows for differing perspectives of the cascading water before you.

Next, the Melanting waterfall lies in an ethereal rocky valley, conjuring up images of a fairy woodland. Here, you can get close to the waterfall and feel its exhilarating presence, or admire from further away for more of a wide-angle perspective that allows the scene before you to truly unfold. 

Onto the Munduk Red Coral waterfall, you’ll discover a powerful narrow waterfall flanked by luscious green leaves that cascades down into a river of shallow water, ideal for an afternoon dip. Invigorating all of the senses, the sound of rushing water and bamboo tubes controlling the flow of water creates a meditative experience.

Finally, the Golden Valley waterfall is a smaller falls, with water flowing at varying rates before plunging into the pool below. Conveniently, a viewing ledge is accessible set immediately in front of the waterfall, making it easy to capture a couple of photos. You can also view the falls from the Eco Cafe, an authentic Balinese space from which to enjoy a refreshment, with the vibrant Golden Valley as your backdrop.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Sambangan Secret Garden Trek

For a combination of trekking and adventure, the Sambangan Secret Garden, which encapsulates the Sambangan area, is a haven of verdant foliage and forest, nature trails and waterfalls. 

It is best to book onto a tour of the area to ensure you are able to see everything there is to offer. Guides will take you past rice terraces, through the forest, over bamboo bridges, rocks, as well as cliff jumping. You’ll also meet local people who will educate you on the use of traditional medicine from native plants and teach you about Balinese culture. 

From Aling-Aling waterfall, featuring a dazzling lagoon, jumps and a rope swing to natural rock slides and idyllic scenery, the Sambangan Secret Garden hike in Bali is a special encounter to say the least. You may choose to stay within Sambangan village and spend multiple days exploring the area, but there are many tours that wrap it up into a 5-6 hour day and cater to different abilities.

Difficulty Level: Varied Difficulties

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