12 Best Places to Visit in Bali that goes beyond the regular tourist attractions

Attracting tourists like a magnet, Bali is a dream island that’s hard to explain, and can only be experienced. There are very few places in the world, where you want to stay forever and never come back. The sun kissed shorelines on the backdrop of mighty mountains; Bali is all about tepid blue waters, emerald rice terraces, exceptional hospitality and Balinese dance.

Now that you can’t wait to visit Bali, do check out this refreshing list of best places to visit there that goes beyond what everyone knows.

1. Amed beach
Amed beach in Bali
Travel beyond the white sandy shores; spend a day at the Amed beach. The only beach with black volcanic coarse sand with the backdrop of untainted and beautifully rugged natural scenery; Amed beach is not for those who want a postcard perfect views. It’s for the ones who love the peace of un -touristy seaside, underwater corals, scuba diving and snorkeling, and abundance of underwater life.
Why go here:

  • Less crowd and more peace
  • Rare black volcanic sand
  • Underwater corals

2. Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul Temple in Bali
With so many temples, Bali can easily be called as an island of Gods. While you can find many other more famous temples in Bali, the serenity and tranquility of Tirta Empul temple is unmatched. With various shrines and other intricately carved architectures, the temple makes for an artistic sight.
Why go here:

  • To soak in the serenity of the warm water pool inside the complex
  • Observe the astounding local rituals and beliefs
  • People watching

3. Ayung River Valley
Ayung River Valley in bali
One of the best places to see in Bali, Ayung river is the longest river on the island of Indonesia is loved for its adventurous nature and white water river rafting. Adjacent to the river is the Ayung river valley. Walk amidst the lush tropical forest valley, discover hidden waterfalls, and surrender yourself to the raw grandeur of the natural beauty. If you are not into rafting, swimming in the pristine waters of the river is the next best thing you can do.
Why go here:

  • Abundance of lush natural greenery
  • A small trek experience along with river rafting
  • Spectacular river

4. Ubud for its Rice Paddies
tanah lot temple
Known as the cultural heart of Bali, Ubud tourism, mainly cashes on to the famous motion picture- Eat, Pray, Love’s success and offers its tourists similar EPL experiences. What is mostly left behind without exploration by most tourists is the jaw- dropping beauty of its rice fields. The cool and breezy rice paddies look like a flowing green sea and are the picture perfect locations to simply sit back and soak in all the greenery and serene beauty.
Why go here:

  • For highly picturesque location with abundance of natural greenery
  • To witness the traditional Balinese street performances
  • For a meal at the Murni’s Warung with legendary popularity, splendid riverside location and sensational food experience.

5. Tukad Unda Dam
Tukad Unda Dam Bali
Traditionally, Tukad means river and Unda means layers, therefore, the place is essentially referred to Layers of water. Go there early morning to truly experience the beauty of the place and to avoid the tourists who come here mainly for water excursions. The curtains of cascading water from different platforms, look mesmerizingly beautiful. And more than getting drenched in, you would want to soak in the spectacular scenery and create a memory for life.
Why go here:

  • For local sand mining activity
  • For beautiful layers of mini waterfalls
  • Postcard perfect dancing water pictures

6. Banyumala twin waterfall
Banyumala Twin Waterfall
Not an easy one to find, Banyumala twin waterfall is every bit worth your effort and is definitely one of the best places to visit in Bali. Steep cascading mighty rocks drenched with a gush of water, making thunderous sounds, the place is unworldly. To reach this place, you will most likely have to take a local’s help who can guide you to this remote magnificent location.
Why go here:

  • For the hidden spectacular beauty
  • Amazing photo shots with surreal views
  • To get lost in the simplistic natural beauty.

7. Secret Point Huts in Nusa Ceningan
Nusa Ceningan in Bali
Although, it has been receiving international attention recently, most likely, regular tourist guides won’t take you there. You will have to find a local to be able to explore this nature’s hidden secret. Nestled between the Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, what you discover here is an astonishing blue lagoon that has blue ocean filled water alcove hitting the coast. It’s a rare treat to your eyes.
Why go here:

  • For witnessing bluest of the blue waters with warm and cozy shorelines
  • For Cliff jumping activity

8. UluWatu for its Kecak Dance
UluWatu in Bali
Ulu Watu is a small village in Bali, mainly famous for its Ulu Watu temple sitting on a 70 meter high cliff top. While the temple is a major tourist attraction, what most tourists miss out is the traditional Kecak dance. Few visitors actually are able to see the dance that happens there every evening at 6p.m. As most tourists go back by that time. You must see the exceptional dance without music. It is performed only on the chants from the excerpts of the epic Ramayana. Please arrange a transport as nothing is available from the temple to go back.
Why go here:

  • For the most amazing sunset views
  • The famous temple
  • For the small, humble village locals with exceptional hospitality

9. Tenganan Balinese Village
Tenganan Balinese Village in Bali
A village that still lives in the pre Majapahit Balinese era, the Tenangan Balinese village near Candidasa is a gem of a place to learn the ancient customs and traditions of the Balinese. A great place for authentic Balinese handicrafts and the simplicity of the village as against the developed and tourist centric Bali will sweep you off your feet.
Why go here:

  • To witness the ancient rituals, customs and lifestyle of the traditional Balinese
  • To experience the exceptional hospitality, cuisine and warmth of the locals
  • Buy souvenirs of handicrafts and handlooms

10. Pengalipuran Village
Penglipuran Village in Bali
One of the Bali’s most iconic, traditionally rich and neat mountain village Pengalipuram is surprisingly less visited by tourists. A great place for explorers looking to capture the essence of Bali, Pengalipuran village has uniformly laid out traditional Balinese houses with customary split gateways; kitchens covered in soot of the billowing wood fire hearths, and uniquely laid out compounds. A village that even today strictly follows the traditional customs of Bali is surrounded by dense, lush green forest and coffee plantations.
Why go there:

  • To experience a completely different lifestyle with strong moral values and traditional Balinese culture
  • To witness old Balinese architecture
  • To listen to great cultural and historical stories of Bali from the friendly locals

11. Munduk
Munduk in Bali
Located in the peace of North Central Bali, Munduk is for those who want to explore the breathtaking views of ridges, rice fields, rivers, and colossal mountains. A thriving mountain retreat, it’s another world within Bali. Quiet, calm and serene; this small place has few modest hotels and lodges and the beauty is best experienced on foot and by cycle trails.
Why go here:

  • For amazing mountain scenery
  • Hidden waterfalls and traditional villages
  • Mountain treks and hiking

12. Balian and Medewi villages
Balian village in bali
A surfer’s paradise, the beach of the Bailan village, located on the west of Kuta is less crowded and has some of the most loved waves for surfers. Although, not as beautiful as other North Bali beaches, it sure has the exceptional harmony. The place is ideal for yoga retreats too.
Drive for just over an hour from Bailan and you’ll reach the Medewi village. This tiny village of the fishermen boasts of the longest left hand wave in the world. Much loved by surfers, the beach of Medewi village is still relatively sans regular tourists, but indeed is a great place to visit.
Why go here:

  • To see world’s longest left handed wave
  • To get a glimpse of real Bali before the outburst of tourism
  • For a relaxed, laid back outing

There’s so much more to Bali than just the famous beaches, temples and souvenir t- shirts. Discover Bali by getting under the skin through its off beaten paths. These places not only offer you the best of this majestic island’s beauty, but also introduce you to the awe- inspiring cultures, traditions and lifestyle of the locals.
Been to Bali? What has been your favorite place? Have you discovered any hidden gem? If yes, do share with us. We would love to know more about it.

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