While Bali, Indonesia rewards visitors with a rich history and culture represented in the many temples and religious sites, the island also features stunning natural landscapes: terraced rice fields, towering volcanoes, and beaches perfect for exploring. And thanks to Bali's tropical climate, nature is easily accessible no matter what time of year you visit. For intrepid travelers, discover the best of the Land of the Gods with your own two feet on one of the islands best hikes.
Tips: Bring lots of water, sunscreen, a hat, and an extra layer of clothing. Most hiking should be done early in the morning to beat the heat and to enjoy the best views. Be respectful of local communities and refrain from hiking during religious ceremonies. Consider bringing Indonesian Rupiah for any purchases you’d like to make along the way.
Overlooking Lake Batur, Mount Batur (or Gunung Batur) is the second highest point in Bail. It's the island's most popular hike, but you should still enlist the help of a reputable guide and check the safety warnings before you head out—it is an active volcano, after all. This hike will take you between two to three hours, depending on your fitness level. Begin your trek while it's still dark to catch a truly awe-inspiring sunrise at the summit. After a blood-pumping morning hike on Mount Batur, you can soak your legs in a nearby hot spring.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
For an experience unlike any other, head to Tegalalang Rice Terrace just north of Ubud. This destination isn't just popular for its beautiful scenery; as you hike around the terraced fields, you'll get a chance to meet the local farmers while they work and learn about irrigation, growing rice, and harvesting.
Tirtagangga is a spectacular hike that will take you through paddy fields, past coconut trees, and around little villages. For the best views overlooking the eastern Bali coast, visit in the early morning just as light breaks. The photography opportunities here are on point. Tirtagangga is best known for its historic water palace, Tirta Gangga. Named after the Ganges River, this is a sacred site for the Hindu Balinese.
West Bali National Park
On the northwest end of the island sits West Bali National Park. A nature and wildlife mecca, there are 160 different species of birds here, including the endangered Bali Starling. The park offers up a mix of terrains: rainforest, dry savannah, mangrove forests, acacia scrub, and a beach.
Tegal Bunder Trail is a two-hour easy trail ideal for birdwatchers, while Teluk Brumbun highlights the savannah landscapes and is good for wildlife viewing. Gunung Klatakan Trail is for those who want a longer and more challenging trail, which will take upwards of eight hours. You’ll need to use a National Park office-recommended guide to hike inside the park as many of the areas are protected and inaccessible.
Munduk has a little bit of everything: waterfalls, river gorges, paddy fields, coffee plantations, small temples, large swaths of green spaces, and Bali's oldest living Banyan tree. Explore the area's well-loved landscape by hiking any one of its 12 different trails. They range in length and difficulty, from easy to challenging.
See the highest waterfall in all of Bali on this hike. Also known as Bali Waterfalls, Sekumpul Waterfall is fairly easy at the beginning—towards the end, however, the terrain can be quite slippery, wet, and jagged. This is one hike that you can do yourself, as the path is well marked and frequented by tourists.
Twin Lakes Jungle
Start in the town of Munduk and hike through a tropical rainforest to get a breathtaking view of the twin lakes of Tamblingan and Buyan. For a jungle experience like no other, hop on a Pedau (a traditional dugout canoe) and paddle around Tamblingan Lake.
Start from the forest at Lake Tamblingan and trek to Mount Lesung, which is part of the Bedugul volcanic area. After a five to six hour hike, you'll reach the top, where you'll have incredible views of Munduk village and Lake Tamblingan. Like most other hikes in Bali, you'll need to book a tour or hire a guide.
Sambangan, or Secret Garden, is as lovely as it sounds. Tucked away in the Sambangan jungle on the northern end of the island, this hike will take you between three to four hours to reach Pucuk, Korya, and Kembar waterfalls. Take your time, however—you’ll pass crop plantations along the way and may want to explore. Don’t forget to toss a swimsuit in your backpack so you can take a dip in the water and cool off.
For a relatively easy nature hike in a hilly area, consider Candidasa. Leave from Tenganan village and take the trail through neighboring Macang and Ngis. You'll wander past many rice fields, with views of towering mountains and palm trees. Like most hikes in Bali, leave early to beat the heat and properly enjoy the area.