Sunset at Uluwatu Temple
Be prepared for sunset delights with the stunning backdrop of the endless sea of Indian Ocean. Located at the very south part of Bali, this ancient temple is without a doubt spectacular with its cliff-top setting at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the waves of the ocean. The serpentine pathway to the temple is fortified by concrete walls on the cliff side. It takes about an hour to get from one end to another, as there are several fenced points along the way to stop. The views from the bottom of the water surging up against the rocks and the ocean horizon are remarkable. A small forest full of furry monkeys jumping around from the sweetly scented Frangipani trees can be something to smile at.
Location: Pecatu Village, Kuta Sub-district, Badung District
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace
If you’re looking to feast your eyes on Bali’s beautiful rice terraces, then look no further than Jatiluwih. These West Bali fields, named after the upland village they surround, are the largest on the island and is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taking up 600 hectares of land that stretches out towards the foot of Mount Batukaru, the Balinese farmers using their traditional ‘subak’ system have carved what can only be described as art into the island’s landscape. Green and jade views as far as the eye can see, vistas perfect for shutterbugs and nature-lovers. Jatiluwih, being roughly 700m above sea level, has a cool highland climate, making it perfect for treks and explorations.
Location: Jatiluwih, Penebel, Tabanan Regency
If you are up for a bit of a climb, Lempuyang Temple offers magnificent mountain views. Standing majestically more than 1000 metres above sea level on the northeast side of Mount Agung, it is one of Bali’s oldest temples and is frequented by pilgrims and avid hikers. It offers the perfect blend of nature and culture. Before you are able to enjoy the views however, you will need to conquer a steep staircase of almost 2,000 steps! On your hike up, you pass other temples and hordes of grey, long-tailed macaques that inhabit the surrounding cool mountain forests. Once you reach the top, all your efforts are paid off. You will be dazzled by the impressive architecture of the temple and it is likely you will see Balinese people bringing food on their head, balancing large baskets to get the blessings of the priest. Apart from that, you can enjoy a beautiful sunrise coming up over the mountain early in the morning. It is magical!
Location: Abang District, Karangasem Regency
Padma Ubud Pool
A 30-minute drive from central Ubud will take you to the peaceful escape of Padma Resort Ubud. Connected to the resort via an enchanting glass top tunnel, you can lounge by the endless infinity pool with its awe-inspiring view of luscious tree plantations and the refreshing mountain air of Ubud. In the mornings, after the early mists have turned to dew, you can see both Mount Batur and Mount Agung standing side by side behind the forests. The pool itself is a thing of beauty, taking the shape of a cascading rice terrace. The water is cool during the day to provide an invigorating oasis on warm afternoons, allowing you to spend countless hours of relaxing moment looking at the enchanting bamboo forests of Payangan.
Blue Lagoon Beach
A 2-hour drive from Kuta, along the seemingly never-ending stretch down Gianyar’s highway, Blue Lagoon Beach lies in wait. This quiet bay, or alcove, is a hidden gem on the east side of Bali, lost behind the hills near PadangbaiHarbour. Famous for its clear and calm waters, enclosed by the surrounding rocks almost like a swimming pool, it is host to an underwater paradise. Really it is the colours beneath the waves that matter the most. Clouds of vibrant coloured fish can be found, some daubed with splashes of luminous orange, followed by shoals of black fish with tails shaped like the head of a spanner, or perhaps cleverly camouflaged creatures hiding in the reef crevices. It is relatively unfrequented, rarely busy despite its beauty. Though be warned there aren’t many amenities here.
Location: Padangbai, Manggis, Karangasem Regency
Enjoy the 18-metre infinity pool with a panoramic view of the rolling hills at MundukModing Plantation Nature Resort and Spa. Tucked away in the middle of the mountains of the Buleleng Regency, you can enjoy spectacular view of picturesque hillsides, covered with jungle, coffee trees and rice fields. On a clear day, amazing panoramas of Java’s coastline can be seen whilst you are relaxing poolside or soaking in the water on a sunny day. The best time to visit is during sunset, when the purple and reddish colors fill in the sky, and the pool mirrors all the colors on the surface. The infinity pool at MundukModing Plantation is one of the top 10 infinity pools of the world.
Located in Bali’s highland area of Bedugul, surrounded by green hills, Tamblingan Lake is a must-visit spot if you are travelling to the north part of Bali. As you make your way to the lake itself you drive along a ridge that borders both Buyan and Tamblingan Lakes. High above them you can enjoy beautiful views, seated on wooden chairs that line the ridge banks that slope down into the verdant valley, thick with forest. The lakes are blanketed with a cool mist, an almost alpine atmosphere that gets even cooler still at night. If you’re there early morning or in the evening, get cozy and put a sweater on and huddle up with family and enjoy the serene setting.
Location: Munduk Village, Banjar District, Buleleng Regency
Mount Agung’s Crater Rim
High above the island – over 3,000 metres high in fact – Bali is almost unrecognisable. Atop Mount Agung, the highly worshipped volcano that stands majestic on the northeast, settled on your rocky seats of the crater, your views extend from the mountain’s rugged terrain down to the vast expanse of Bali’s highlands, rice fields and eventually its curving coastlines. The whole of the neighbouring Nusa islands can be seen, and in the distance to the east, Lombok’s Mount Rinjani, to the west, the mountains of Java. Here above the clouds, the world below is dwarfed and you are struck by a certain sense of awe, it is a view that humbles and inspires – especially if you go for the sunrise experience. It is an arduous trek up, starting from PuraPasarAgung, but well worth every hard step.
Location: Rendang District, Karangasem Regency
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