Ubud is such a central city in Bali, that it makes perfect sense to plan day trips to other areas in Bali from there. There are plenty of things to do and see in the Ubud area, from stunning waterfalls to magical temples. We have put together a list of ideas and places that you should include in the itinerary of your day trips from Ubud so that you can enjoy all the things Bali and the Ubud area has to offer!
How to plan day trips from Ubud?
This also depends on how much time do you actually spend in Bali. We recommend you check out the map below and read our guide, to decide which places do you want to visit. When you know, you can write down all the places and make a list, after that check the map and you will see which places are close to each other. If you rent a motorbike or scooter, you can visit more places, because you can go in your own rhythm, but if you hire a private driver, you need to take into consideration the time as well. A private driver works up to 8-9 hours, you need to talk with him and tell him your itinerary and what you want to visit in advance. You can also ask him what he suggests, sometimes private drivers even have routes or tours. In 5-6 hours you can visit up to 5 spots., maybe 6 if the spots are close to each other.
In this article, you can find all the places we recommend to visit, all of them are beautiful. We divided the article in 3 sections: North, East, and South of Bali.
Some of the day trips or half-day trips we took:
- Tibumana waterfall – Tegenungan waterfall – Masceti black sand beach
2. Goa Gajah – Tegallalang rice terraces – Tirta Empul – Tukad Cepung waterfall
3. Besakih Temple – Tirta Gangga – Pura Lempuyang
4. Leke Leke waterfall – Pura Ulun Danu Bratan – Handara Gate – Wanagiri Hills – Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Here you can find a map with all the landmarks of the article, feel free to use it in your adventure 🙂
How to get around?
Motorbike or car
The easiest and cheapest way to get around Bali is definitely by motorbike or scooter. However, it’s the most dangerous as well. If you have never driven a motorbike or you don’t have practice, Bali is not the place where you should start to freshen up your scooter or motorbike knowledge. First of all, people drive on the left side of the road (which takes some time to get used to if you’re from Europe or Latin America like us). Second of all, the traffic is crazy, especially in Ubud, and the people aren’t nice on the road. There are no rules, and the roads aren’t in good shape as well. We tried to rent a car, but we have to give it back after some hours, as we were so afraid to drive it! It was a horrible experience, and it’s dangerous if you’re new to the Indonesian traffic.
Unfortunately, there’s no public transport in Bali, only some buses that you can take from some places to another. For example, there’s a bus from Ubud to Kuta, and you can book a seat in some tourism information offices (you will see these little stores all around the city, they have posters of tours all over). So there you can ask if they have buses to the place you would like to go to, and that’s definitely gonna be cheaper than anything else.
If you’re like us and you like to be safe, we recommend you hire a private driver for your day trips, or take a taxi or online taxi.
Online taxi (GoJek) and taxi
The normal taxis that you can get on the street are much more expensive than online taxis. That’s the reason why online taxis are actually hated by the city taxi drivers, and there are lots of signs about that in the city. It’s actually forbidden to use the online taxis in Ubud because there is a kind of taxi mafia thing going on. It’s not forbidden by law, but the taxi drivers can get very mad with the online taxi drivers. So when you order an online taxi, just be super careful that there is no normal taxi around (because they will actually stop your driver…). You can also order an online taxi and ask him if he wants to take you to more places around Ubud because it can get difficult to get online taxi and signal in Bali in some places.
Hiring a driver is especially worth it for groups or families because then it will be cheaper. You can find private drivers on Instagram or recommend by other bloggers. You can also get their cards in your hostel or hotel. A private driver for around 5-6 hours can cost from 40 EUR up to 50 EUR.
Munduk is a great option if you have had enough of too much warmth on the island. The northern part of Bali has cooler weather and the mountains and vegetation give it a very misty and magical feeling. If you have no personal transport like a rented bike or a car, you can always rent a private driver to take you here and enjoy everything that is around. We made a one day visit to the Munduk area and we had the chance to enjoy a lot of places.
Leke Leke Waterfall
The Leke Leke waterfall is a unique, small waterfall. It opens at 7 AM, we arrived right when it opened and we had it for ourselves for about 1 hour.
The ticket price was 30 K IDR/ person (2 EUR)
From Ubud, it takes around 1 hour to get to Leke Leke by car or by motorbike it would be probably a bit less.
To get down to the waterfall, you need to take 15 minutes to hike through the jungle, crossing some bridges. The way back up is harder than it seems, but fortunately, you can take walking sticks at the entrance, that can help you get through the hard part. There are also some heart shapes and nests where you can take photos if you pay some extra fees. There is also a small store where you can buy snacks or drinks.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
If you decide to visit the Munduk area you can take a detour to visit the Jatiluwih rice terraces
The entrance fee to the Jatiluwih rice terraces is 40k IDR (2.50€) and 5k IDR extra for the vehicle. Open from 8.30 till 6 PM. It’s huge, there is a long walkway, so you don’t have to worry about the crowds. It’ very close to Ubud, approximately 1 hour 15 minutes by car or motorbike.
If you have the chance, you can visit the Leke Leke waterfall from there! It is just 35 min. by car. If you want to visit Leke Leke we recommend you to go early so you will get the chance to enjoy the waterfall in deep silence and calm.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
The Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple is located in the Northern part of Bali. You can reach it in 1,5-2 hours from Ubud by car or motorbike.
If you hire a private driver for a day, then you can include lots of attractions around Munduk in your itinerary: Jatiluwih rice terraces, Handara Gate, Wanagiri hidden hills.
The entrance fee is 50k IDR for adults and 25k for kids. It’s absolutely worth a visit, this was actually one of our favourite things to visit in Bali. The water temple is really beautiful and it’s not even that crowded. Of course you need to cover yourself up, as it’s a temple. It’s very unique temple to visit, because the temple is on the water basically. It’s not the only water temple, this area is full of water temples in Bali. You can also rent a boat and go around the lake.
Wanagiri Hidden Hills
The history of the famous Instagram spot, the Wanagiri Hills started with some locals, who thought that building a nest, and having a swing can make tourists take photos with the amazing view. Well, people loved the perfect photo spot and there were more and more nests, swings, hearts born on the hill. As you or your driver will drive up the hill, you will see more “photo spots” around, and you can always stop and ask how much does one cost.
There are several places like this all around the Wanagiri Hills, the prices variate depending on how many attractions they have to take photos with. In our case, we paid 100k IDR (approx. 6.50€) to enter a place with 9 attractions. But there are other ones with big swings where you have to pay more, to actually swing 🙂 The one we are sitting is not for swinging, only for sitting and taking photo with the view in the background. In this one they even have a little store where you can rent dresses so that you look good on your photos. (disclosure: this dress is mine 😀 )
The Handara Gate gets crowded very fast. If you want it for yourself, arrive early at sunrise! Of course, not many people do that, we also arrived at about 11 AM, and we needed to wait a bit to take a photo. The Handara Gate is only the entrance gate of a resort, but it became a tourist attraction because of its beauty. You can’t really do anything else there than just take a photo and go. If that’s worth it for you, you can include it in your itinerary. The entrance fee is 30k IDR, you need to pay and wait up to 1 hour or more before taking the photo in front of it. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella with you, there is no shadow. We took a photo there, because why not 🙂
Mount Batur is an active volcano that offers an incredible aerial sight of the island. The total hiking time to the peek is 2 hours, but you will need to get in contact with a local guide to take you there.
It is a perfect spot to admire the sunrise, and it is also the best moment to hike because the sun is not so strong in the morning. You can check the tours to Mount Batur below!
This region of Bali is boarded by an incredible natural display. Amazing forest and incredible black sand beaches are just some of the destinations you can reach in this part of the island.
The highest volcano of the island is actually located here, so you may be able to take a peek on its presence over the valley. It is an incredible view!
Keramas Black Sand beaches – Pantai Masceti
Keramas and Masceti beaches are about 1-1,5 hour from Ubud by car/bike. You can easily include this beach on a day trip together with the Tibumana and Tegenungan waterfalls, for example.
We were looking for black sand beaches in Bali and we have found a hidden gem: Keramas is perhaps the most remote Bali beaches located in a very quiet part of Gianyar Bali on the east coast. Unlike other beaches in Bali, you won’t find any other foreigners here, it’s pretty much a local place. It’s one of the quietest beaches in Bali and a good location if you want some peace.
This beach is made of black volcanic sand, and it’s also quite painful to walk on. So leave your flipflops at home and bring some other shoes. You can’t swim in the ocean, so just take a long stroll on the beach. According to some of the locals, the black sand is known to possess healing powers, so you can try to bury yourself in the sand.
You can about 10-15 minutes north from Keramas to Pantai Masceti, you will find a long stretch of powdery, shimmering black sand. Masceti is the most unique black sand beach in Bali.
Pantai Masceti (Masceti beach) is a great photo location, with the blue ocean and black sand creating an exotic backdrop. The Keramas beach itself is covered with pebbles and rocks.
Tegenungan/ Blagsinga Waterfall
This waterfall is reachable from two villages, one is called Tegenungan and the other is known as Blangsinga. This waterfall is right next to the Tibumana waterfall (15 minutes), and you can include both of them in one of your day trips from Ubud.
The Tegenungan waterfall has a huge tourist complex with restaurants, resorts, and photo spots, so you can swim, drink and party the whole day if you want to… It’s really big, pools and nests and hearts are all prepared around the waterfall. We didn’t like this part, we just went down to the waterfalls, took photos, looked around and went back to our driver. You will need to go down on and then back up on a lot of stairs, so be prepared.
The entrance ticket is 20k IDR per person (1.40 dollars and 1.20 EUR).
Goa Gajah Temple
One of the most impressive temples in Bali, you may see the famous face carved at the entrance in diverse media. Also known as the Elephant cave, this archeological site has a great display of pools, fountains and a great cave.
Even though Goa Gajah means an Elephant cave, you won’t find any elephant. The name comes from the presence of the Ganesha statues inside of the cave.
This temple is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The entrance fee to the Elephant Cave is around 15,000 IDR, or about $1.15.
The entrance fee is 15K IDR (€1), although in high season it can be 20K IDR.
It’s a 40-minute drive from Ubud by car or by bike. Although the waterfall is very photogenic, it isn’t big or impressive, and there’s not much space to sit down or sunbathe.
It’s perfect for swimming and there are also small changing cabins next to the waterfall.
The Tibumana waterfall is a very popular waterfall in Bali, so when we arrived it was full of people swimming and taking photos – if you want to be alone, arrive early! Even if it’s a bit touristy, we would recommend to include it in the itinerary of one of your day trips, as it’s perfect for swimming, cooling down, and the nature is beautiful.
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Teggalallang rice terraces
Teggalalang rice terraces are about 20 minutes by motorbike or car from Ubud. You can definitely spend 2-3 hours there, exploring all the roads in the rice fields.
If you want to get to the Teggalang rice terraces, you can rent a motorbike and go on your own (if you really know how to ride a motorbike or a scooter, and you really know how to drive on the left side of the road) If you don’t ride the motorbike, get a Grab online taxi from Ubud, and ask the driver to wait for you until you explore, and then he can take you back or take you to your next destination. The Grab driver will ask you some extra cash for waiting for you up to 2-3 hours.
If you hire a private driver for your visit, you can include the Tegallalang rice terraces in your itinerary.
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Another one of the most famous landmarks in Bali, it has to be amongst the best destinations for a day trip from Ubud. This temple is well known for the Sacred pool of purification that has been receiving people for thousands of years. It is said that the God Indra itself was the creator of these springs and that the water has curative properties. It is said that it was created as a consequence of the epic battle between Indra and the king Mayadenawa who could transform himself into everything.
Tirta Empul has a great presence and it is very special for locals, the presidential palace is even built next to it! If you want to have a great purification day, you will need to pay 50k IDR to enter.
The Besakih temple is the biggest and most important temple in Bali. It is a big complex made by 23 buildings with the most important in the middle. It is uncertain when it was built, but some of the stones in the base are dated back 2000 years in the past.
It is a place full of life, and every year this temple host more than 70 festivities. You can be sure that you will be able to visit it during one of them at least.
The small entrance fee is 60,000 IDR per person, which is about 4 dollars or 3.60 EUR. But it’s definitely worth to visit!
One of the most incredible temples in Bali. The most famous instagrammable Balinese door is located here. To arrive to this temple you need to go to the top of Mount Lempuyang. It is a long hike so if you want to visit it, we recommend you to bring comfortable clothes. The entrance fee is 30k IDR so bring enough cash 🙂
You may have seen a lot of photos of this door with a mirror effect. It is indeed a great effect! But you need to know that if you want to take a photo like this, but you need to know that the waiting time is around 3 hours. Don’t forget your hat!
Tirta Gangga is probably one of the most impressive temples in Bali. The temples and the constructions are great, but the best thing about this place is the lake full of giant fishes that you can actually feed!
The entrance fee is just 30k IDR and 5k extra for the fish food in case you want to feed them. The best moment to visit this temple is around 10 am before all the crow arrive. Like this, you will have the whole temple for yourself (and all the fishes for you as well 😉 ). There are also two pools that you can enjoy, so don’t forget your swimsuit.
The south of Bali is full of wonderful beaches and temples as well. You can take more day trips from Ubud to visit all these places, or you can decide what to visit depending on your preferences. You can also move your base to the south to explore more places there. On our last 4 days in Bali, we moved to the Uluwatu region and lived in a homestay to explore all the beaches in the Uluwatu region. We also spent 2 days only in Canggu, just to chill, eat Balinese food, get Balinese massages and drink smoothies.
Tanah lot temple
This incredible temple is built on a natural rock formation that faces the ocean. It is one of the 7 sea temples of Bali and it has a strong presence in the spirituality of the locals. The legend says that a giant snake rests under the base of the temple, protecting it from the evil spirits and taking care of the Balinese inhabitants. In 1980 the Japanese government gave 130 million dollars to the Balinese government in order to restore the temple after years of water erosion caused by the ocean.
The entrance fee is 20k IDR, and it’s one of the most popular sunsets spots. You need to come early if you want to get a good spot to watch the sunset 🙂
Canggu is one of the most popular regions in Bali. It is known for the incredible beaches and rice terraces that can be reached in the area. It is especially popular among young generations because it is a very hipster place. You will be able to visit a lot of vegan cafes and restaurants, find yoga resorts, surfing and other activities connected to a healthier lifestyle.
We spent some days here hosted by the Serenity eco guest house. It was one of our best experiences in Bali. We had the chance to connect with our healthiest version having Yoga lessons in the morning, swimming and eating raw vegan lunch in the evening and finally an authentic Balinese massage for finishing the day.
If you want to read about our experience in the Serenity Eco Guest House click here!
This region of Bali is known for its luxury hotels and resorts, but even if you are traveling on a budget, there are some nice things that you can go to enjoy in this part of the island. Some of the accommodation rates are some of the highest in this part of the island, so we would not recommend it as a convenient accommodation.
If you finish your day here however and you like to party and get to know people, Seminyak might be a good spot for some drinks, chill, and party.
The Uluwatu temple is also a perfect spot to admire the sunset. It is located on a cliff so the view of the ocean and the sunbeams are absolutely incredible. If we have to choose, this was definitely one of our favorite sunsets in Bali!
You can also enjoy the incredible Kecak dance. The entrance tickets run out fast so we recommend you to get them early and save them for the show.
In case that you won’t get tickets on time and you really want to watch the show, you can take a peek from outside of the wall, nobody will tell you anything and you will be able to enjoy the show and the sunset at the same time! The entrance fee is 30k IDR.
Where to stay in Ubud?
We recommend you to stay a little bit outside of the center of Ubud, as it’s full of traffic, it’s very loud and noisy. Of course, if you like a busy place, then the center of Bali is a good choice for you. Otherwise, it might be better to stay in a calm place some kilometers outside of the central area, perhaps near to some rice fields with a view of the Campuhan ridge walk?
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