So you’ve bought your flight to Bali but aren’t sure what sights, sounds and food you must try? Luckily we’ve created a top 15 list of places, experiences and foods that will make your trip the most memorable yet. Bali, while being relatively small, has so much to offer for every type of traveler. From spiritual yogis, to surfers, to foodies, to Instagram photographers, there are plenty of amazing experiences for everyone. Below is our list of the top 15 destinations to hit during your trip in Bali.
1. Pura Tirta Temple
Due to a sacred spring running through this temple, Pura Tirta Empul is and important Hindu Balinese temple and is a place locals and visitors can come to for a spiritual cleansing experience. Indoor fountains divert water from the spring into a long rectangular pool which is the site of the cleansing.
There is enough to do in Ubud to keep you busy for a few days which is why we chose to stay here the longest. If you prefer beaches though I would recommend spending a could of days somewhere close to the ocean! From Ubud you can also take a private car to tour the amazing rice fields nearby as well as some sacred temples.
3. Tama Ayun
A beautiful moated temple with a royal past. This 17th century water temple is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012 as part of Bali’s rice-field irrigation system.
4. Tegenungan Waterfall
The majestic Tegenungan Waterfall is one of the few waterfalls that aren’t situated in the mountains. Hidden in Ubud Village, this 30-m tall fall gives you a glimpse of natural beauty against a lush valley landscape. During the wet season, the fall would be pumping and the water at the bottom would be at its deepest, perfect for swimming and enjoying the fresh water!
5. Campuhan Ridge Walk – Ubud, Bali
Just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Ubud is the serene Campuhan Ridge Walk. A favorite spot for people taking morning strolls and an increasingly popular instagramable location in Bali. I’d aim for sunrise if you plan on visiting because you might just get some light rays coming through the trees! There is also a swing at one end of the ridge walk, but a local man said it wasn’t very stable when we checked it out.
6. Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang
Another shot you see all the time from Bali on Instagram is the huge Hindu gates. There are actually quite a few gates around the island of Bali as most temples have one form or another of them. If you want Mt. Agung, Bali’s largest mountain and the Volcano to most recently erupt in the background, then Pura Pentaran Agung Lempuyang is your best bet. It is called the gateway to heaven, and it is beautiful!
7. Sisterfields Cafe
Sisterfields is a top choice for the more “gourmet foodie.” You’ll find endless inspiring dishes-not to mention the beautiful insta-worthy plating! (Don’t miss out on their polenta fries!)
8. Bukit Cafe
Creative, healthy dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bukit Cafe is a must-visit location for the health-conscious traveler looking for tasty cuisine. Be sure to check out their chia puddings and quinoa salads!
9. Ubud’s Hidden Canyons
About a 30-minute drive outside of Ubud, there’s a series of “hidden” canyons waiting to be explored. There are guides hanging around the entry to the canyon and YES you 100% need one – there is a decent amount of rock scrambling and it is not advised to go without a guide. You just pay the guide whatever price you think is fair at the end of the trip.
10. Macheese Cafe
For more casual eats, and something you don’t see a lot of in SE Asia, make sure to try one of the insane loaded macaroni and cheese skillets from Macheese Cafe. Macaroni and cheese is just one of those dishes that’s rare in this part of the world, so to when I not only find the dish on a menu, but then discovered it was very well done, it was a nice surprise.
Craving Mexican cuisine while abroad? Be sure to check out Lacalaca. The BEST Mexican, kind of Tex-Mex just be sure to have a jalapeno margarita here. You will not regret it.
12. Cafe Organic
When you first step into Cafe Organic, its tropical theme is evident at once. When we were there, we noticed that even the cafe owner was donning a tropical outfit! There are both outdoor and indoor options. The outdoor seating features straw umbrellas and plant creepers on the wall. Every table is not without a tiny pineapple, further emphasizing its theme.
13. Tanah Lot
Pura Tanah Lot is breathtakingly stunning and definitely should be one of the top things to do in Bali! Literally meaning ‘small island floating on the sea’, Tanah Lot is supposedly the most visited & photographed temple in Bali. Pura Tanah Lot is one of the 7 sea temples around the southwestern coast of Bali.
14. Bali Swing
While potentially a tourist trap (and a very famous Instagram spot), the popular Bali Swing still makes the list due to how iconic it is and the great view it affords. There are quite a number of places that have these swings throughout Bali. For you guys who look for a little more insurance and the like, Bali Swing makes sure everyone who has a go is all harnessed up. They have 5 main swings going up to 78 meters above ground. Though it is a hefty entrance fee, you can try out all the swings for as long as you and, have a buffet lunch, and a try out a few other activities.
15. Tamblingang Lake, Munduk
Many people do a day trip to the Munduk area for the temple at Tamblingan Lake. Actually staying in Munduk will give you the time to see even more beautiful places. The area is a little cooler and can feel really comfortable. Waterfalls, swings, coffee, trekking, Munduk has it all. From Gadugan to Munduk is a solid 2.5-hour drive.