The Best Hikes and Walks in Bali, Indonesia

Hiking Mount Batur in Bali is an unmissable experience for nature lovers
Hiking Mount Batur in Bali is an unmissable experience for nature lovers | © Emma Tyers / Getty Images
Photo of Elisabetta Crovara
4 September 2021

Secret waterfalls, sacred volcanic peaks, enchanted rice paddies, ancient temples and giant trees. Bali is a paradise on Earth for hiking and trekking freaks. We put together this guide to the best hikes and walks in Bali. Grab your backpack and boots, and get exploring.

Want to visit? You can now book an exclusive adventure with Culture Trip to take in all the island has to offer on our specially curated small-group Bali adventure.

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 2,000m/6,560ft 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.

West Bali National Park

Spot deer on Menjangan Island, Indonesia | © Walt Jones / Alamy Stock Photo

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 190sqkm (73sqmi), with a further 580sqkm (225sqmi) of protected reserve on the eastern highlands, the park covers 10% of the total land area of Bali. Beaches, rainforest and volcanic peaks – the National Park offers a large variety of landscapes that can be explored on foot with a guide.

Campuhan Ridge Walk

Campuhan Ridge Walk is a spectacular route in Ubud, Bali | © Leonid Serebrennikov / Alamy Stock Photo

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”. Come here, and watch mesmerizing sunrises and magical sunsets over sacred river gorges and lush tropical forest. Be patient to get your ideal photo: it might get busy during golden-hour times.

Lake Tamblingan Trek

Enjoy serene nature scenes by Danau Tamblingan, Bali | © RooM the Agency / Alamy Stock Photo

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-to-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 who will allow you to explore the untouched rainforest with exotic birds and giant ficus trees and paddle on a traditional canoe on the lake. The Bali Jungle Trekking info booth is located on the road overlooking the lake, 200m (656ft) after a couple of local restaurants and lookouts. There are few tourists in the area, so enjoy the lush nature.

Mount Batur Hike

Mount Batur, Bali, is a popular hiking destination | © Gabriela Lukacijewska / Alamy Stock Photo

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 for the trek start the journey from Ubud. The volcano with its caldera, another Unesco World Heritage site on the island, is one the most popular sunrise-spotting places in Bali – and you can experience the spectacular vistas from this special vantage point on a guided sunrise hike as part of Culture Trip’s specially curated small-group Bali adventure, led by our local insider. Check out our complete guide to trekking Mount Batur to make the most of the volcano hike.

Botanical Gardens

Come to the Botanical Gardens near Ubud for a peaceful walk | © Craig Lovell / Eagle Visions Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Ubud Rice Terraces Walk

Visit the rice fields in Tegalalang, Ubud | © Oneinchpunch / Alamy Stock Photo

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 organise walks around the area, and you can also reach the site by yourself and choose your own path. The entrance fee is around 10,000 Indonesian rupiah (£0.50).

Mount Catur

Looming over Lake Beratan, the second-biggest lake in Bali, Mount Catur is one of the volcanic peaks in Bali, the fourth in height (2,096m/6,877ft). The trek to the summit starts from the Gua Jepang caves, which were built by WWII prisoners, and takes around three hours; the path is pretty easy to follow. It’s an ideal alternative to the busy Mount Batur hike. Tip: avoid the hike during the rainy season (October to March) because leeches can be a problem.

Sambangan trek – Secret Garden

Marvel at waterfall views in Sambangan, Bali | © Dmitry Molchanov / Alamy Stock Photo

Sambangan is a forest in Northern Bali, also known as the “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 – as well as coffee plantations, rice fields and all the beauty that Balinese nature can offer.

Candidasa – Lempuyang Temple

The hike to Lempuyang Temple, Bali, is well worth the effort | © Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo

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. The hike to Lempuyang Temple is one of those. It’s not an easy one, but it is a marvellous experience. On the path, you may encounter locals taking large offerings to the temple for worship. It is definitely worth the fatigue. Interested in visiting? Both Candidasa and Lempuyang Temple feature on our exclusive 12-day Bali trip, among many other awe-inspiring destinations.

Mount Agung Hike

Hiking Mount Agung will reward you with views of the whole of Bali | © Putu Artana / Alamy Stock Photo

With its 3,031m (9,945ft) of altitude, Gunung Agung is the highest peak on the Island of Gods, and it is venerated as the most sacred entity. Mount Agung is currently an active volcano, which, under normal circumstances, can be hiked. It’s a tough hike, though, 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 neighbouring 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.

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