Hiking in Bali: A Guide

Samuel Clennett
28.02.20
5 minute read

Hiking in Bali can be anything from a stroll through some rice fields to capture that perfect Instagram shot, to a pilgrim route up a tricky mountain. You can also find multi-day hikes in Bali which tackle jungle, volcanoes and more - for those with a real spirit of adventure.

Whether you’re looking for a brief excursion or a serious challenge, you’re going to need a convenient way to access your money while you’re in Bali.

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Hiking in Bali

If you think of Bali you might imagine surfing wild waves, or even taking a yoga class in Ubud, Bali’s spiritual heart. However, the interior of the island presents a great range of options for people who’d rather get out and about and explore on their own two feet¹.

It’s worth noting that the terrain in much of central Bali is challenging. You’ll find jungle and volcanoes, and trails may not be marked. In many cases guides are required for safety - make sure you do enough research about any route you plan to take self-guided to check you can manage it safely and legally.

Best Hiking trails in Bali

Finding the right hiking in Bali will require some research. Many tour operators offer single day trips, and there are also multi-day options which involve staying in local villages. Check any guide you choose is reliable and make sure you take all the equipment required if you’re taking a self guided hike.

  1. Mount Batur

Climbing Mount Batur for sunrise is a classic challenge in Bali. It’s 1717 metres high, and usually climbed overnight to avoid the scorching heat of the day time. Many tour companies operate trips, which provide transport and guides to help with the logistics of climbing in the dark².

  1. Kajeng Rice Fields Ubud³

Looking for Hiking near Ubud? This is a simple, short walk, directly from Ubud town centre. Take a 45 minute stroll around the rice fields, and instantly leave the hustle of the town behind. Just look for the sign pointing to the Magical rice Field to find the circular walk. There’s even a restaurant along the way if you feel the need to stop and refuel.

  1. Tegalalang Rice Terraces

If you don’t fancy Kajeng - or if you've just got a taste for rice fields and want some better photos, try Tegalalang⁴. You can hire a scooter or take a taxi from Ubud easily, and feel free to wander round the fields at leisure.

  1. West Bali National Park

West Bali National Park covers a huge expanse in the North West of Bali, about 100km from Denpasar⁵. There’s a range of different terrain here, from rainforests, scrub and savannah, and montane forests at higher altitude. Park guides can help explain your options for trekking according to your preference and fitness.

  1. Lake Tambingan

This is a popular and beautiful natural spot, where you can take a boat on the lake, as well as going hiking in the nearby jungle⁶. It’s accessible from Ubud, about an hour and a half drive away. You may need to hire a local guide to manage the hikes - don’t head off if you’re unsure of your abilities in the terrain.

  1. Sambangan Secret Garden

You’ll have to hire a local guide on arrival, but you’ll be able to hike, visit waterfalls and have a cooling swim in this lovely spot⁷. Take a trek through the Balinese forests and get some perfect Instagram pictures right after.

  1. Candidasa

If you’re in the area, you can arrange various walks from Candidasa, including simple strolls for all the family around the rice fields, or more challenging treks which aren’t advised for younger kids. Contact a local guide if you want to know more⁸.

  1. Lempuyang Temple⁹

If you want a workout for your legs, head to Lempuyang Temple. This trek goes up over 1,700 steps and takes a couple of hours, but is sure to be a spiritual experience in its own right. You’ll see plenty of locals heading to the temple to make their offerings, as well as tourists taking in the view. Avoid the midday heat.

Guided tours

For all but the shortest and most simple treks, you’ll usually need a guide. This is for convenience - but also for safety, as the terrain can be challenging. Choose a reputable guide who covers the top hiking trails in Bali to make sure you see as much as possible.

One operator with many different guided hiking options is Bali Jungle Trekking¹⁰. If you’re physically very fit and looking for a challenge, why not try the Mount Agung hike, trekking overnight to see sunrise from the highest spot on Bali. This tour is around USD79 - USD89 depending on the route chosen¹¹.

There are many different tour operators, as Bali is a popular destination for hikers as well as tourists looking for a quiet beach break. Try Bali Walking and Hiking¹² for outdoor adventure trips from single days to multi-day trips, or do a little research to find the perfect specialist itinerary for your needs.

Things to watch out for when hiking in Bali

You’ll have a great time in Bali - here are a few more tips to make sure you enjoy your hiking trip.

  • If you’re hiking during the hot day time temperatures, carry enough water with you. You may not be able to stock up if you’re in a more remote area
  • Some areas such as the national parks, may allow tourists entry only when guided - in other destinations, taking a guide is recommended but not mandatory. Check the rules for your location
  • Be wary of the wildlife. Monkeys can attack and steal your valuables, snakes live throughout Bali, and there are leeches in many areas during the rainy season
  • There are active volcanoes on Bali. Be aware and follow local advice if there are any issues or changes to the activity levels

Bali is a dream destination for many people, and adding some trekking is a great way to see and do more while you’re there. Make sure you have the budget to do all you want to. A Transferwise account and multi-currency Mastercard can help you keep your costs down while you explore, so you make the most of your visit.

Sources:

  1. Best Hikes in Bali
  2. Sunrise Hike at Mount Batur
  3. Kajeng Rice Fields Ubud
  4. Teglaland Rice Terraces
  5. West Bali National Park
  6. Lake Tamblingan
  7. Sambangan Secret Garden
  8. Trekking in Bali
  9. Lempuyang Bali
  10. Jungle Trekking Bali
  11. Mount Agung Hiking
  12. Bali Hiking

All sources accurate as of 19 February 2020


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