North Bali is a place not many people visit when coming to the island. However, an offbeat vibe, black sandy beaches and impeccable nature make this area so worth exploring!
Whether you are short on time or you’re on a full island road trip, this post will show you the 16 most amazing places you need to visit in North Bali!
(Updated June 2023)
16 Amazing Places To Visit in North Bali
In Canggu, you got everything you need, the best restaurants, waves for surfing, a buzzing coffee scene and all sorts of yoga and wellness facilities. However, every now and then it’s just necessary to actually leave the area and see something new. After all, Bali is one of Indonesia’s most beautiful and magical islands – what a shame it would be to not explore this island more often right?
In this post, I’m going to share with you the 16 most amazing sights to see in North Bali!
A Brief Overview of Visiting North & West Bali
The coastal area of North Bali is different to other parts of Bali in many ways. Firstly, you will notice the change in architecture, influenced by Dutch colonial days, but also a bit of Chinese flair can be found.
Secondly, it’s in North and West Bali where you will see a stronger presence of Islam. The rules are bit more conservative when it comes to sunbathing on the beach (don’t go topless as a woman) and you likely hear the occasional call to prayer.
How To Reach North Bali
The best way to reach North Bali is with your own car or scooter or alternatively, with a driver. Hiring a Balinese driver for the trip is great if you don’t know how to drive a scooter or if the turbulent traffic just overwhelms you.
Getting a driver for a full day will cost you about 650.000 IDR (35 USD). If you intend to stay multiple days, you might be able to negotiate with him to also drive you back to South Bali.
To drive with your own scooter might give you the most freedom and most of the places I recommend visiting are based on a scooter road trip
Cost of renting a scooter for one day: 50.000 IDR (3 USD).
What You Need To Visit in North & West Bali – Amazing 16 Places You Need to See
This post is designed with the idea that you start your trip to North Bali in Canggu or Ubud. Some of the natural sights are easier to reach from Canggu and others from Ubud, either way they all shouldn’t miss on a Bali itinerary.
North Bali: Tabanan (1 Day)
Tabanan is actually an area considered Central Bali. As this one is rather an addition and probably on your way up to North Bali, I wanted to include it for you! It’s recognized for its tea plantations & rice paddies that are part of the UNESCO Heritage List as well as its nature and cultural activities revolving around Balinese culture.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Jatiluwih in Bahasa Indonesian means actually “real” and “beautiful” – and I couldn’t agree more! Right on the foot of Mount Batukaru, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are an outstanding sight of Bali and shouldn’t be missed on any itinerary. In my opinion, it tops the Tegallalang Rice Terraces by far and is less busy. Inscribed in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List, it deserves a list in the 10 most amazing places to visit on the way to North Bali.
This is the place to find the most expansive rice paddies of Bali, stretching through valleys and villages. If you wouldn’t go any further, you’d still have a relaxing and soothing day trip from the crowds.
The road leading through the area is just immensely picturesque, one of those places where you’d like to stop every 2 metres. There were lots of restaurants lining the streets, so I think having a nice meal with a view like that is a must on that trip!
Tip: Stop by Batu Karu Kopi for some amazing coffee and views!
Leke Leke Waterfall
Leke Leke (Air Terjun Leke Leke) is one of Bali’s best waterfalls, and is less touristy! From Jatiluwih in Tabanan, it’s roughly a one-hour ride through the lush green scenery.
Once you get to the entrance, it’s an easy 30 minutes walk to the waterfall. I’d recommend going in the morning or late afternoon for the best light and the least amount of people. Once you walk across the bamboo bridge, you can already hear the sheer force of the waterfall in the distance.
The welcome area on the top is brand new, with lots of photography spots. Currently, the entry is 50.000 IDR.
Big Banyan Tree
The Big Banyan Tree really is one of Bali’s biggest gems and absolutely mindblowing to see for first time! The extent of the branches and roots is incredible and standing underneath it really felt like a big hug from mama nature. These Big Banyan trees are considered holy by the Balinese and many other countries – to bring prosperity and goodness to the area.
The friendly Balinese man collecting donations mentioned that the tree is over 600 years old. Also, the village is looking forward to more visitors, so make sure to visit this amazing place on your roadtrip through Bali!
Entry: a small donation of 25.000 to 50.000 IDR
On the way to North Bali, and just a bit of a detour away to Munduk you can find one of Bali’s most unique spots, Bali Beans Coffee. This company focuses heavily on supporting fellow local farmers and making sure the coffee grows in a way that doesn’t damage the environment.
Bali Beans offers real ‘Crop-to-Cup’ Experiences where you can visit the coffee plantation, learn about the unique way of growing, see the roasted beans and try their amazing varieties.
Fee for the ‘From Crop to Cup’ Experience: 150.000 – 220.000 IDR (10-15 US$)
Where To Stay In Tabanan
Head over to the lovely Pondok Nyoman Guesthouse for a traditional Balinese guesthouse experience and incredible views.
That morning you could still see the full moon in the distance and the clouds turning pink, smell the morning freshness infused with incent accompanied by the sound of screaming roosters and temple bells. All of the things I love about Bali – in that one moment.
North Bali: Bedugul (1 Day)
Bedugul is a mountain lake resort area in the North of Bali and right next to Lake Beratan. The whole area enjoys a rather cool climate and is the ideal point for many adventures.
Once you enter the area, make sure to visit the strawberry fields, grab some fancy papaya or mango snacks and support the local ladies.
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
One of Bali’s top temples, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is the iconic sights of Bali. Nestled in the Beratan Lake, the famous Hindu temple attracts thousands of visitors every year. Floating in the lake, the temple is surrounded by mist and moody mountain ranges that add to the scenery. At 1200 metres above sea level, it’s such a must-go photography spot.
It’s a mesmerizing place, and I’d suggest you go early to avoid the crowds.
Rumah Gemuk Wedding Space
The beautiful event venue Rumah Gemuk is a pretty unique place in North Bali. With its glasshouse design, it overlooks the wonderful Lake Beratan and makes the ideal place for a stop, or a wedding. It’s actually used for events of all sorts but now also offers the chance of a typical picnic.
The food ranges from Vietnamese, and Balinese to Western-style fries and Spanish churros. We tried the full picnic package for two and it was very filling and beautifully presented.
Entry: 265.000 IDR for a Picnic Lunch for 2
The traditional Hindu gate symbolises the entrance from the outer world to the temple, or the local Golf Course in this case. This place became particularly popular with the rise of Instagram, that to the point that people queue for a photo. When you buy a ticket you are allowed a short time slot to shoot.
Price: 50.000 IDR (3 USD)
Twin Lakes Viewpoint
Next up is a fantastic viewpoint of the Twin Lakes, Buyan and Tamlingan. The two crater lay on almost 4000 feet, right in the heart of Bali’s farming area. To reach the Twin Lakes Viewpoint you make a left-turn from the main road towards Munduk. On the way up you’ll pass lots of monkeys on the side of the road, and can spot coffee plantations and vegetable fields on the slopes.
There are multiple viewpoints on your left, lined by restaurant terraces and huts to take a rest or dine. Towards the end of the stretch is the best view of both lakes in my opinion.
If you are lucky, the clouds pass, revealing a spectacular view of both of the lakes!
North Bali: Bedugul Where To Stay
If you’re looking for a nice place in the town of Bedugul, I’d go for Giriwood Hotel & Villa. It’s a fantastic hotel with pool which sits right by the waterfalls and the Twin Lakes.
North Bali: Munduk (1 Day)
The mountainous and lush region of Munduk is still rather unexplored by most tourists who come to the island. However, with its hidden waterfalls, coffee plantations and scenic volcano views it’s a gem not to miss!
Banyumala Twin Waterfall
Banyumala Twin Waterfall is one of Bali’s waterfalls that are rather easy to visit. Nestled just off the main street, it makes a great stop when you are in Munduk. Banyumala Twin Waterfalls are made up of two amazing waterfalls that eventually create a huge swimming hole. It’s such a great place to go for a swim.
As with most waterfalls in Bali, it pays off the go early or late afternoon!
Entry: Waterfall ticket 30.000 IDR + 2000 IDR parking fee
If you are short on time I recommend the Best of Bali Waterfall tour to tick off all three waterfalls in one day!
Temblingan Lake and Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan Temple are one of these offbeat places. Frequently visited by locals who love to rent boats, its lesser visited by foreign tourists, yet so worth making the detour! Situated high in the Munduk mountains, it’s a great spot to visit when you visit North Bali and the Munduk region.
Tip: Go visit for sunrise as the light is amazing!
North Bali: Munduk Where To Stay
Budget Option: $ Ekommunity Bali is a great budget option for all nature lovers and fans of organically grown food and veggie/vegan options!
Luxury Option: $$$ Munduk Cabins is a unique boutique hotel in Bali that’s the perfect combination of luxury meets mountain cabins.
For All Other Places to Stay in Munduk, Search on Booking.com
Keen to know more about Munduk and what to see & do? Have a look at my 2-Day Munduk Bali Guide
North Bali: Buleleng (1 Full Day)
The majestic Sekumpul Waterfall is an absolute highlight of every visit to Bali. To truly experience it, you should allow at least half a day to it, especially as there are two other waterfalls to visit. The two 80-metre streams that pour down from the lush jungle cliffs are just an unforgettable sight to be seen!
In recent years, it seemed to be mandatory to pay a fee for a guide in order to visit the falls. To avoid any hassle and such costs, I’d recommend you stay in the area. If you spend the night at one of the guesthouses near the waterfall, your entrance fee is waived because of your night’s stay. The guesthouse will provide you with a ticket card which you can show as proof.
The walk to the falls leads you down a staircase for about 30 minutes. Keep heading east and cross a few small streams and you’ll be at the waterfall’s foot.
If you keep heading right of the waterfall you will eventually make it to the more offbeat Grombong Waterfall.
If you could only visit one waterfall in Bali I’d highly suggest a doing full-day trip to Sekumpul Waterfall – it’s truly one of the most spectacular places I’ve been to!
North Bali: Sekumpul Where To Stay
If you want to stay right by the Sekumpul Waterfall, then Sugi Gede Guesthouse is your best option! The welcoming Balinese hotel includes the admission fee in your nightly stay of 250.000 IDR (14 US). A wonderful place with a great restaurant nearby!
Authentic Balinese Villages
As Bali becomes more and more touristy, it’s hard to find some truly local and authentic villages, but not up north. Go on your bike and just drive around, it will not be long before you stumble upon a ceremony, friendly locals going by their day and fantastic sceneries.
North Bali: Lovina (1-2 Days)
By now you have reached North Bali! Lovina is a quiet little beach town, famous for dolphins, coral reefs and black sand beaches. You can find obligatory tourist bars, beach shacks, lots of fishing boats and a range of beachfront hotels.
What makes Lovina most attractive is its quietness, fewer people and especially black sands. You can enjoy quiet beach walks, come past fishermen who are keen to show you their catch and let the days go by. Due to its sheltered location, there are no big waves and its perfect for swimming!
Dolphin Watching Tour
Lovina is a prime spot in Bali to go Dolphin Watching. We sat out to sea at around 6 am and it didn’t take long until our guide Putu pointed out the first pod jumping out of the water. We saw so many so close to us and even heard their sounds when we were underwater – just a priceless experience.
Although I had mixed feelings about the tour, I was glad to see that none of the guides attracted dolphins with food nor did the boats come too close to any of the pods. All dolphins were wild and any encounter that happened was because the dolphins allowed it to happen.
During high season, there are unquestionably too many boats out there and regulations are so needed, but that’s a different story.
The tour costs 100.000 IDR per person and our guide took us out for four hours, including a snorkel stop. If you’d like to support the locals directly head to the harbour or pre-book a Dolphin Watching Tour plus nearby hikes here.
North Bali: Lovina Where To Stay
Mid-range Option: $$ Nugraha Lovina Seaview Hotel & Spa is a Balinese hotel close to the ocean, with a wonderful big garden and tropical plants.
Luxury Option: $$ Stunning Villa Lily is a gorgeous villa right by the sea and ideal to host a group of friends in a luxurious space!
North-West Bali (1-2 Day)
Gili Putih Sumberkima
Only an hour’s drive from Lovina lies the little fishing village of Pemuteran. It’s proximity to Menjangan Island makes it especially popular for everyone who loves diving, snorkelling and pristine beaches.
Make the most out of your trip to Menjangan Island and book a full-day snorkeling boat tour.
Just off the coast of Pemuteran is this little stretch of paradise, Gili Putih. With not more than two small shady huts, it’s offering some of Bali’s best views of the mountain range and Java’s volcanos in the distance.
How to get there? By kayak! From the shore it’s a leisurely 45 minutes paddle to the island, passing by stilt houses, sand banks, and coral reefs!
Fee: Kayaking for 2 ppl: 200.000 IDR
Once in Pemuteran you can also take out a SUP, have a romantic dinner, visit the turtle hatchery and support the coral garden by Metamorfosa.
Yes there are wineries in North Bali! Founded in 1994, Hatten Wines has an award-winning range of 10 wines, 100% grown and made in Bali. You can’t really go wrong with strolling through the vineyards, let the guide explain some history of the place and try a few grapes right off the vine!
After the visit of the vineyard, you’ll go back to the tasting room. Finally, its time to taste two of their white wines, delicious!
Admission: 50.000 IDR (3 USD) for a tour and tasting of two wines.
North Bali: Pemuteran Where To Stay
Midrange Option: $$ Sumberkima Hill Retreat is the best place you can stay in North Bali. With its volcano views, sustainable efforts and incredible interior it’s a gem!
Things To Know Before Going to Bali
The following are things you need to keep in mind and to make your trip to North Bali worth it!
Bali has one international airport called Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) located near Denpasar. Most travelers coming to Bali will likely need to take a connecting flight to although flight durations vary depending on the departure location, with flights from major cities in Asia typically taking around 4 to 5 hours.
Airlines such as Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and Qantas offer flights to Bali.
Consider booking flights in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure the best deals!
Currency and Money Exchange:
The currency in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). It’s advisable to exchange some cash upon arrival or withdraw money from ATMs, which are widely available. Be aware of the current exchange rates and choose reputable money exchange services.
You can also pay with Visa or Mastercard in the majority of restaurants, hotels and shops.
If you haven’t already, I’d suggest getting a travel card from Wise which makes withdrawing money from ATM’s and paying for things in different countries a breeze!
Balinese Culture and Etiquette
Bali has a unique culture with strong Hindu influences. It’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting temples or attending ceremonies, and be mindful of appropriate behavior in religious sites.
Sim Card and Internet
Purchase a local sim card upon arrival at the airport to stay connected during your stay in Bali. Multiple providers offer affordable data plans, allowing you to access the internet and navigate the island conveniently.
Alternatively, I’d suggest purchasing an eSim to never have to be without internet. This is especially handy if you ever arrive late at night at a new destination!
Best Time to Visit Bali
Bali has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the dry season (April to September) and the wet season (October to March). Pack appropriate clothing and be prepared for occasional rainfall, especially during the wet season.
Transportation and Traffic
Bali’s traffic can be congested, particularly in popular tourist areas like Seminyak, Ubud or Canggu. Consider hiring a local driver or using ride-hailing services like Gojek or Grab to navigate the island.
Renting a scooter is also a common mode of transportation, but exercise caution and ensure you have the necessary licenses and insurance.
There is so much to explore in Bali and North Bali should definitely deserve a place on your itinerary. If you have questions please get in touch on here or on my Instagram – I love to connect with you!
Have you read my other Bali articles?
One of the best trips for divers to take from Bali : Budget Scuba Diving in Komodo – What You Need To Know
My favorite beaches to visit in Uluwatu: Bali Uluwatu – Whats The Best Beach To Visit
The top things to photograph in Amed: Amed Bali – 3 Day Photography Trip
My Top Experience To Do in Bali: Mount Batur Sunrise Hike
When in Bali you should also visit its neighboring island Sumba: Sumba, The 20 Most Amazing Places to See
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article may contain affiliate links. If you purchase using these links, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend services and tools I know and trust myself.
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