Six Balinese highlights in a row

Dream along along six of the many highlights: from mythical temples to sacred volcanoes. Paradise beaches, dense jungle and finger-licking food. For everyone who dreams of a holiday to this worldly paradise, we have listed six highlights!

Bali is by far the most popular island in Indonesia among travelers. You will find all the ingredients you need for a great holiday. Surfers worship the waves of Kuta and Uluwatu. Artistic types and yoga enthusiasts feel at home in Ubud, and adventurers can have fun in the area around the volcanoes Gunung Agung and Gunung Batur. Nature lovers look for rare tropical animal species in the rainforest of West Bali. The range of trips, excursions and places of interest is so wide Bali, that you can easily lose the overview. That is why we are happy to share our personal favorites so that you do not miss these Balinese highlights during your tour or holiday.

#1 Walking between the rice fields in Bali

The Balinese rice fields are known as the world’s most beautiful. Walking through these breathtaking terraces should not be missed during your visit to Bali. In the vicinity of the famous artists’ village of Ubud you can take beautiful walks such as the Campuhan Ridge Walk. The rice terraces of Tegallalang are also among the best known in Bali. Here you follow a beautiful path along the magical rice terraces with tall palm trees. Rent a scooter and combine your hike through the rice fields with a tour of typical Balinese sights, such as the Pura Tirta Empul (even as a non-Hindu you can bathe in the holy spring water here), the Aloha Ubud Swing, Antugan Hill, Angel Valley and the nice authentic village of Penglipuran. Be surprised along the way by the lush nature, temples that are not overrun by tourists and beautiful waterfalls.

The rice fields of Jatiluwih are also located in the center of the island. This is one place in Bali you don’t want to miss. Here you can walk through the intensely green rice fields, where you can see farmers at work on the land, feel the rice plants brushing your legs and enjoy a peace that you can only experience in the middle of nature. Because of their beauty and size, the rice fields of Jatiluwih are even on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Make use of a guide who can tell you everything about the process of sowing, growing and harvesting, and the irrigation; after such a tour, your next Nasi Goreng will taste twice as good. You can easily combine Jatiluwih with a visit to the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, the temple that is located in the middle of Lake Bratan (rent a boat!), before you drive on to the relaxed coastal town of Lovina.

Read more about being active in the rice fields of Bali

rice ready to be harvested

The rice is almost ready to be harvested

rice harvest bali

Harvesting the white gold

Balinese Highlights - Rice Terraces Ubud

Magical rice terraces with tall palm trees

Balinese Highlights - Jatiluwih Rice Fields

The rice fields of Jatiluwih

rice fields jatiluwih

The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

#2 Snorkeling at Menjangan Island in Bali

Snorkeling is always a fun activity, because Bali has a beautiful underwater world. In many places you can therefore enjoy excellent diving and snorkelling from the beach or after a short boat trip. Padangbai, Amed and Tulamben are not only fantastic for exploring the underwater world, they are also very nice places to stay. The east of the island is by far the most authentic part. On the west coast (at Uluwatu, Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu) there are too many waves to be able to snorkel well.

In the northwest of Bali is the island of Menjangan, part of Bali Barat National Park. Here you will find the most beautiful colorful corals in all of Bali. Between the caves and canyons under water you have the chance to encounter turtles and reef sharks. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area! From Lovina or West Bali, or on the way to Gilimanuk, for those taking the ferry to Java.

lovina boat trip

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lovina dolphins

snorkeling menjangan island

Balinese Highlights: Snorkeling at Menjangan

coral menjangan

#3 Downhill cycling from the volcano Mount Batur

If there’s one thing you can’t ignore in Indonesia besides rice and temples, it’s the volcanoes that gave rise to the many islands. There are also active volcanoes in Bali, which you can not only view from afar, but you can also climb them yourself. The trek to the top of Gunung Batur and Gunung Agung is a popular (and tough) excursion for those who like to experience an unforgettable sunrise. From the temple of Besakih, the largest and most important temple in Bali, climb up to admire the beautiful architecture. All the way to the top of Mount Agung where you can admire the panoramic view of Lombok Island and southern Bali.

An original way to descend the volcano is to jump on a bicycle. On the way from Kintamani you will drive on roads that you would otherwise not come quickly; over the special countryside, past rice fields, authentic villages, temples and bamboo forests. The local children are enthusiastically waving at you, the elderly are happy to chat with you and young and old invite you hospitably. While cycling through green areas with beautiful views, you get to know a different side of Bali and experience Balinese culture at its best!

Cycling with our group of friends in Bali

Cycling with friends and family in Bali

gunung batur and the crater lake

Mount Batur and the Crater Lake

rice fields bali

cycling bali

cocks bali

Cycling in Bali is fun for young and old

Cycling in Bali is fun for young and old

coffee bali

civet cat bali

Please note: behind a cup of kopiluwak there is a lot of animal suffering

#4 Learn to cook Balinese

The way to discover the art of Indonesian specialties is with a delicious cooking class in Bali. This way you learn the secret tricks of the local cuisine in a casual atmosphere. You first buy the fresh ingredients such as vegetables, fruit, fish and herbs yourself at a traditional market. Then you process this in the dishes and the best thing is perhaps to taste everything afterwards. With the recipes in your pocket you can try this again at home and let those who stay at home also enjoy your own typical Balinese dish!

learn to cook balinese

balinese dishes

Make and taste the real Indonesian food

bali satay

#5 Whitewater rafting or tubing in Bali

Are you looking for sporting excitement during your holiday in Bali? Then go rafting on the beautiful Tegala Waja, a rather intense way to experience the river! You can go rafting here with well-trained guides at different levels and that is why this activity is easy to do with, for example, a group of friends or with the whole family!

Want to take it a little easier? Then go canyon tubing! Small children have the choice of going in a boat with the parent or taking a boat themselves. The tour is not extreme, so children can also safely follow the tour in their own tube.

Rafting is one of the Balinese highlights

rafting bali

bali rafting jungle

Rafting is done in the jungle in Bali

balinese highlights: river tubing

bali tubing

bali jeep

#6 Kecak dance at Uluwatu and fish at Jimbaran

When you leave in the afternoon for the Uluwatu temple, on the high rocks in the southwest of Bali, you can attend a Kecak dance, one of the most famous Balinese dances. This ancient dance is a kind of ritual fire dance, performed by bare-chested men with a black and white checkered cloth around their waist. You enjoy this beautiful spectacle as the sun disappears behind the horizon in the background. A unique experience!

The evening ends on Jimbaran Beach, which has become very popular in recent years for its seafood restaurants. After the Kecak dance, you can enjoy a delicious dinner in a romantic atmosphere on Jimbaran Beach.

Kecak dance at Uluwatu

Kecak dance at Uluwatu

Balinese Highlights: Kecak Dance

Kecak dance at Uluwatu

Pura Uluwatu

fish dinner jimbaran

What are your Balinese highlights?

We did all these great excursions, all worthwhile, in the week of our dream wedding in Bali. Whether you are looking for a sporting challenge, the spiritual heart of the island, or rather learn about traditional life, it is all possible. And then we haven’t even mentioned the beautiful trips you can make in the area… from bounty island Penida and Nusa Lembongan to the Gili’s east of Bali, to Kawah Ijen on Java for example! It is best to look for your Balinese highlights before you leave!

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