Considered one of the coolest surfing spots in the world, the island of Bali is also home to mountains, rainforests and jungle trails. The central plateau and the northern areas hide jungle treks, volcanic hikes (above 2,000 meters high) and nature walks that are definitely worth a visit. Temperatures can get cold up there, so make sure to pack warm clothes together with your boardies. The variety of the landscape requires varying levels of expertise – we’ve selected the best hikes and walks on the island.
Taman Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park) is an absolute gem located on the very northwestern corner of the island. Covering an area of 190 square kilometers, with a further 580 square kilometers of protected reserve on the eastern highlands, the park covers 10% of the total land area of Bali. Beaches, rainforest, volcanic peaks, the National Park offers a large variety of landscapes that can be explored on foot with a guide.
Probably the most Instagrammable walk in Ubud, Campuhan Ridge Walk is a gift for the eyes and the soul. Tjampuhan—the ancient spelling of Campuhan—means “place where two rivers meet.” And it’s there that the magic happens: a mesmerizing sunrise and sunset walk, overlooking sacred-river gorges and lush tropical forest. Be patient to get your ideal photo: it might get busy during the golden hour times.
Danau Tamblingan is one of the three volcanic lakes located on a plateau in North-central Bali. Lake Tamblingan and Lake Buyan are known as “twin lakes.” Only a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Ubud, it’s an ideal one/two-day getaway, especially to escape the hot weather. Temperatures can get pretty low, so better to pack warm and wet-weather gear. Here you can find guides for a dreamy jungle trek, that will allow you to explore the untouched rainforest, with exotic birds and giant ficus trees, and to paddle on a traditional canoe on the lake. Bali Jungle Trekking info booth is located on the road overlooking the lake, 200 meters after a couple of local restaurants and lookouts. There are few tourists in the area, so enjoy the lush nature.
Mount Batur is one of the volcanic peaks of the island of Bali, located north of Ubud. Most of the tour companies that provide guidance to the trek, start the journey from Ubud. The volcano and its caldera, another Unesco World Heritage Site on the island, is one the most popular sunrise spotting places in Bali. Check out our complete guide to Mount Batur trek to make the most of the volcano hike.
Also one hour drive north of Ubud, the Botanical Gardens are a magical natural wonder. Out of the busy tourist routes, here you can delight yourself with an authentic heart-to-heart connection with nature. Giant ficus trees, wild monkeys, bamboo forests and exotic flowers – come here for a peaceful walk or to challenge yourself on the high ropes circuits of the Tree Top Adventure Park.
An official Unesco World Heritage Site, the Tegalalang rice terraces are simply dreamy and worth a visit. They are one of the main tourist attractions on the island – a well-deserved reputation. Several tour companies organize walks around the area and you can also reach the site by yourself and choose your own path. Entrance fee is around IDR10.000.
Looming over Lake Beratan, Bali’s second-biggest lake, Mount Catur is one of Bali’s volcanic peaks, the fourth in height (2,096m). The trek to the summit starts from Gua Jepang caves, which were built by WWII prisoners, takes around three hours and the path is pretty easy to follow. It’s an ideal alternative to the busy Mount Batur hike. Tip: avoid the hike during rainy season (October to March) because leeches can be a problem.
Sambangan is a forest in Northern Bali, also known as “secret garden” as it’s far away from the main tourist trails. The trek starts at the Sambangan Secret Garden Waterfall. On the path, you’ll have the chance to admire dreamy waterfalls—Pucuk, Kroya and Kembar—coffee plantations, rice fields and all the beauty that Balinese nature can offer.
On Bali’s eastern shore, the area of Candidasa hides “virgin” beaches, camping spots on cliffs and hilly areas with a large choice of walks and hikes. Lempuyang temple is one of those. It’s not an easy hike, but it’s a marvelous one. On the path, you may encounter locals taking large offerings to the temple for worship. Definitely worth the fatigue.
With its 3,031 meters of altitude, Gunung Agung is the highest peak on the Island of Gods and venerated as the most sacred entity. Mount Agung is currently an active volcano, which in normal circumstances can be hiked. It’s a tough one, usually lasting six hours up to the summit. But the view, oh the view. You’ll feel on top of the world, overlooking the whole of Bali, the neighboring island of Lombok and the surrounding ocean. Make sure to research and book with an expert guide: the path is tricky, slippery and ever-changing, due to rock-fall.