Located among lush greenery, Ubud is often described as the cultural heart of Bali. Due to its high popularity, there is no shortage of accommodation and delicious meals ranging from vegan to authentic Indonesian food, all of this at an extremely affordable cost! In addition, this idyllic town has so much to offer including Balinese temples to rice terraces and much more.
Most travelers tend to focus on the Ubud center and end up only scratching the surface. However, beyond that, you will stumble upon tropical forest and impressive waterfalls, some of them located in secluded spots.
Bali is home to some of the most spectacular waterfalls with breathtaking sights! The good news is that at least eight of them are located fairly close to Ubud, making it the perfect base for any day trip around the island. I created this itinerary to guide you through your waterfall hunting adventures while optimizing your time to get the most out of your day.
Located about 50 minutes from Ubud, Tukad Cepung waterfall is very unique in the sense that it is found right inside a cave. Being very popular among locals as well as travelers, it is best to come early in the morning to enjoy the peace and quiet without having to wait your turn for the perfect Instagram shot.
The 20-minute hike takes you down the concrete stairs and through the ankle-deep river. You will be greeted by light rays coming from above the waterfall, providing a magical, almost heavenly feel to the surroundings. The force of the waterfall is very strong, so avoid wandering directly underneath. On the way down there is a Warung, which is a small family-owned business, where you can grab some drinks and snacks if you forget to bring your own.
Next head over to Dusun Kuning, also known as Yellow Waterfall (type in “Air Terjun Kuning” on google maps to find the exact location). There is a rice field at the entrance where you can witness locals attending to the land and experience the authentic Balinese lifestyle.
The hike takes approximately 15 minutes through the lush vegetation and you will come across several smaller waterfalls streaming out of the rock wall. The huge and majestic waterfall is not very well-known, providing an escape from the tourist hordes and a sensation of being in your own little world.
GOA RANG RENG
A mere 30 minutes ride away is Goa Rang Reng. Unlike other waterfalls that flow straight down, Goa Rang Reng cascades at a gentle angle. You can either explore the sacred cave, which is only possible with a guide, or head over to the top of the waterfall with the help of ropes attached to the rocks. Here you will find pools where you can soak in, but please watch your steps as it is very slippery. Make sure you also check out on the intricate details of the temple found at the entrance.
Tucked away in the jungle, Tibumana is a great spot for a cool dip, perfect for those hot summer days. Follow the winding path for about 15 minutes until you hear the sound of water crashing down. During the rainy season, the waterfall actually splits into two! Don’t forget to take a picture at this iconic spot and add to the cairn collections left behind by previous visitors.
Since water is considered to be sacred in the Balinese culture, you will usually stumble upon small shrines at the entrance of waterfalls where locals leave their offerings to the Gods. If you explore further, you will find a small Balinese temple and a stream which are less crowded.
End the day at Pengibul Waterfall, found within the same region as Tibumana. It is definitely a hidden gem since it was completely deserted when I visited at around 4 p.m. The path is well-maintained with a long flight of stairs leading to the waterfall. Unfortunately, swimming is not possible due to the shallow water, but it is a great place to relax and unwind after a long day.
WHERE TO STAY IN UBUD
I highly recommend staying at Tanggal Merah Guest House, which costs only about USD $18 a night. Located right in the center of Ubud but tucked away on a little back road, the modest and clean guesthouse provides a quiet night’s sleep and a breakfast to die for! Some luxury options in Ubud include The Kayon, The Udaya, and The Mandapa.
Although Bali is a small island, don’t underestimate the time to get around. Due to heavy traffic around Ubud and the small winding roads, try to allocate enough time when planning your itinerary.
Uber, Go-Jek and Grab are to somewhat banned in most parts of Ubud, so your best bet is to rent a motorbike or taxi. Motorbike rentals cost around IDR 50-60k, while a full-day tour with a private driver/guide costs about IDR 550k. Don’t forget to haggle to get the best price!
- Start the day as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
- Wear appropriate hiking shoes and brace yourself for the hundreds of stairs! But it will be worth every sore muscle after jumping into the invigorating waters.
- Explore around and you will be rewarded by other smaller waterfalls which others tend to skip through.
- Entrance fee is IDR 15k for all waterfalls except for Tibumana which is IDR 10k, while Pengibul was free.
- Bring some snacks as restaurants are quite rare in the Bangli and Gianyar regions. I had lunch at Warung Babi Guling which is located in the middle of rice fields, about 15 minutes away from Tibumana. The food was good but they had limited options on their menu.
For more information about Bali activities, be sure to check out the other articles here on We Are Travel Girls!
This is just a glimpse of the many waterfalls that Bali has to offer. Kanto Lampo, Bangkiang Djaran and Tegenungan waterfalls are also located near Ubud, although the latter is very popular and gets pretty crowded. But, feel free to add those to your itinerary if you have time.
Finally, I hope that this guide will inspire you to explore the lesser-known regions of Bali and ignite your adventurous souls!
Have you ever been to Bali? If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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Our Top Places To Stay In Ubud, Indonesia
- The Kayon
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- The Mandapa
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We Are Travel Girls Contributor Stephanie Ferry
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