Get away from the crowds with these secret Bali hidden gems
No trip to Bali would be complete without stopping at iconic Kuta Beach, wellness haven Ubud or surfers paradise Uluwatu. But located within the dense jungle, amongst the rice terraces and along Bali’s spectacular coastline are Bali’s hidden gems.
Discover our round-up of unmissable temples, beaches, villages and waterfalls off the beaten track.
Goa Lawah Temple
Located in the village of Pesinggahan Dawan and away from the tourist hubs is Goa Lawah Temple. Roughly translated as “Bat Cave”, the temple’s impressive complex is constructed around a cave filled with fruit bats. Legend has it there is a secret cave passage that leads all the way to Mount Agung, although this has never been confirmed.
The temple, established by one of the early priests who laid the foundation of Hinduism in Bali, dates back to the 11th Century and features a number of ancient shrines. For visitors, the best time to visit is in the morning when local villagers head to the temple for their daily prayers. Dusk also provides a unique photo opportunity as hundreds of bats fly out of their cave for the night.
Nyang Nyang Beach
Nyang Nyang Beach is one of Bali’s best and hardest-to-reach beaches. Located in Uluwatu at the southernmost tip of the island, the 1.5km stretch of white sandy beach is surrounded by cliffs and accessed via nearly 600 steps cut into the rugged cliff-side. The secluded location and challenging trek mean far smaller crowds, offering a little peace away from the beaches up north.
Nyang Nyang is a favourite spot amongst locals and perfect for experienced surfers looking to catch some of the biggest waves in Bali. Whether a fitness enthusiast or avid sunseeker, Nyang Nyang provides the ideal day trip in Bali.
Hidden in the lush northern highlands of Bali is Munduk, a charming mountain village and a true taste of rural Bali. Travelling further afield through the rice terraces and jungle and into the hills is definitely worth the nearly 2-hour journey from Ubud.
The area is known for its incredible waterfalls, including Munduk Waterfall and Banyumala Waterfall, with a scattering of secret water holes to take a midday dip, including Sambangan’s Blue Lagoon, located a little further north. Watch the sunrise at Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bali’s famous water temple, walk amongst the Banyan trees at Bali Botanic Gardens or take a hike through the local rice paddies and coffee plantations. Munduk is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Bali’s southern regencies.
Located on Nusa Penida, a small island southeast of Bali, Atuh Beach is one of the most breathtaking on the island. The beach, found on the island’s eastern side, is accessed by moped or taxi with a short hike down to the beach.
Known by locals as Pantai Atuh, this secluded beach provides a unique taste of paradise, surrounded by sandstone cliffs and lush vegetation with tranquil turquoise waters. The rocky islets and formations in the waters surrounding Atuh Beach make this an excellent spot for photographers looking to capture an epic sunrise or sunset.
Known as the largest and most holy of Hindu temples in Bali, Besakih Temple dates back thousands of years. Bali’s Mother Temple sits on the south-western slopes of Mount Agung and is one for the bucket list with its extensive complex featuring 23 temples split across six levels, the most prominent being Pura Penataran Agung.
The ancient temple is located 1.5 hours from Ubud, providing the perfect pitstop for both culture and nature lovers with its spectacular mountain and rice terrace views. Visit early morning or evening to avoid the crowds and soak up the tranquillity of this iconic temple.
Pemuteran Beach is located off the beaten track on the northwest coast of Bali. The beach is found in a small fishing village on the outskirts of West Bali National Park, offering a rustic feel away from Bali’s more popular beaches. The volcanic sand beach is the perfect location for a lazy day of sunbathing, relaxing and enjoying a cold Bintang.
Pemuteran is also home to the world’s largest artificial Biorock reef project, making it a dream destination for snorkellers and divers. Explore the nearby underwater scenes or take a day trip to famous Menjangan Island, located just 40 minutes by boat from Pemuteran.
Kanto Lampo Waterfall
Only a short 30-minute drive from Ubud is another Bali hidden gem, Kanto Lampo Waterfall. Located in the lush jungles of Gianyar village, Kanto Lampo is a picture-perfect spot with a unique stepped rock formation caused by an avalanche years ago.
The waterfall is easily accessible, just 10 minutes from the car park, and offers an ideal spot to picnic, take a dip and capture the perfect waterfall shot.