Ubud was one of our favourite spots during our two-week trip to Bali. Compared to places in Bali like Denpasar, Ubud is more of what you call ‘authentic and traditional’ Bali. Yes, Ubud is becoming more touristy and westernised but some how; Ubud has managed to keep so many of the traditional roots. Ubud is known as the spiritual home of the island with iconic, stunning landscapes perfect for a relaxing getaway.
How to get around Ubud
If you’re staying in central Ubud, you won’t really need to sort out transport as exploring the town can be done easily in one day by walking. However, if you plan on adventuring outside of Ubud to the rice terraces, famous temples or Mount Batur, you’ll need transport of some sort. The cheapest way of getting around is hiring a motorbike/scooter, which costs about 60,000IDR (about £3) per day. If you’ve never ridden a motorbike before, Ubud town can get very busy so I would recommend hiring a private driver. You can hire your own driver to either do a tour that they’ve planned or you can pay a little extra to choose your own places to visit. We gave our driver a list of places we wanted to go to and he drove us around from about 9am to 7pm.
Private driver (your choice) – 10 hours = 550,000IDR (about £29)
Private driver (Ubud Tour) – 10 hours = 500,000IDR (about £26)
This is what we did in 10 hours with a private driver:
- Elephant Cave
Located in a small courtyard in Bedulu Village with rock carvings, a meditational cave, bathing pools and fountains. Make sure you take your own sarong or borrow one for free from the entrance. Don’t buy one from the locals waiting by the car park, as they are very expensive. The entrance fee is 15,000IDR (about 80p).
- Teganungan Waterfall
Hidden in Tegenungan Village lies the beautiful Tegenungan Waterfall. The entrance fee costs about 15,000IDR (80p), which helps with conservation. To get down to the waterfall, you have to walk down a lot of steps but it’s worth it at the bottom. The waterfall is really impressive and you can even walk up to the top of it where you’ll see the river leading up to the waterfall. It costs an extra 10,000IDR (50p) to get up to the top.
- Tukad Cepung Waterfall
This waterfall is hidden in a cave/small canyon and has only recently started to become known to tourists. Once you’ve reached the car park, head down the path into the valley. The first part of the path is quite steep and once you reach the steps near the bottom, they are quite steep as well. Once you get down to the small river, follow the water upstream and you’ll find a beautiful spot with vines hanging from the top of the cave and light rays breaking through the ceiling. If you carry on around the corner, you’ll see the beautiful waterfall. The entrance fee is 15,000IDR (80p), which you pay at the top before you head down the path.
- Pemerintah Kabupaten Bangli Village
This village wasn’t on our list but the driver took us to see this beautiful, traditional village. It’s definitely worth visiting. It costs 30,000IDR (£1.50). It was nice to see all the local children playing about and doing their homework together in groups.
We then stopped for lunch in between at a beautiful restaurant in the terraces!
- Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul is one of the largest and busiest water temples in Indonesia. As soon as you’ve paid the entrance fee, you can explore all four parts of the temple. It costs 15,000IDR (80p) and you can use one of their sarongs. However, if you want to get in the water, you won’t be able to take the borrowed sarongs in the water. The main part of the temple contains two purification pools, which the Balinese use to purify themselves. It’s an interesting experience!
- Tegallalang Rice Terraces
This was our last but favourite stop of the day! The entrance fee is 10,000IDR (50p) but make sure you have a lot of smaller cash with you as the locals wait at each section of the terraces asking for donations before you enter. If you don’t give them any money, they’ll either not let you past or they’ll get grumpy at you! The actual terraces are stunning and you can walk for ages around them! We would definitely recommend going here just before sunset or at sunrise so it’s quieter.
Other activities to do in Ubud
Other than the places we mentioned above, Ubud is a hub of activity and adventure. Here are a few more activities we would suggest doing while you stay in Ubud.
Monkey Forest is the home to around 700 long tailed macaque monkeys. The admission fee is about 30,000IDR (£1.50) and once you’ve paid that, you’re free to explore the whole sanctuary. You can explore the ancient temples as well as watching the monkeys in their own habitat.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
The Campuhan Ridge Walk is definitely at the top of our list of walks in Ubud. It’s a beautiful walk along a stunning landscape. The path is paved along the ridge, which has the scenery of a jungle/forest. The walk is best at sunrise or sunset as it is a lot cooler and less busy. We went at about 11am and it wasn’t too busy but it was very hot!
Climbing Mount Batur
Climbing up the volcano at sunrise was a great experience for the both of us! So if you are planning on hiking up the volcano, we would recommend doing the sunrise trek! We got picked up from our guesthouse in Ubud at 2:30am and got up to the top of the volcano for sunrise. Unfortunately for us, the weather was bad so all we could see was mist but our tour guide showed us what it should usually look like and it looks very worth the early morning climb! We booked our tour with Bali Sunrise Tours, who were great!
We hope this helps and that you love Ubud just as much as we did!
~ Megan and Rowan ~