The quieter region of North Bali is home to spectacular scenery, the famous dolphins of Lovina Beach, the islands best waterfall trail and is fast becoming an adventure lovers playground.
Nature lovers, photographers and adventurers head North to experience a slower pace, mountain vistas and fresh air. With temples, beaches and highlands to discover - North Bali still has a low key natural vibe that feels off the beaten track.
Here are some of our top picks:
The super scenic highlands are a nature lover and landscape photographers dream. With three lakes, ridge drives, hair-raising bends to navigate and misty vistas - this area is a must do. Of the lakes, Lake Beratan is the most developed - while Buyan and Tamblingan are protected areas but welcome campers and hikers.
The main road that connects the North and the South of Bali is hair raising in the wet season as mists can make it unpassable. But on a fine day the views are hard to beat. On your way visit the neighbouring strawberry farms of Bedugul or stock up on snacks and spices at Candi Kuning market. Do what the locals do and stop for a roadside bakso while taking in the views.
Photo Credit: Wanderers and Warriors
The north is also home to some of Bali’s most popular waterfalls all a short drive from Lovina or two and half hours from Kuta. The famous but crowded Gitgit offers easy access, a forest walk across a gorge and natural pools. Les Waterfall (Yeh Mampeh) is remote but great if you are up for an adventure and want to dodge the hordes. A 20-minute trek from the main village road, takes you to the falls that pour into a plunge pool. Munduk and Melanting Waterfalls are in the green highlands of Munduk - lesser known and located deep within the forested hills. Take in the jungle sounds as you make the easy 300m walk from the main road through the forest. At over 80 m Sekumpul Waterfall in the village of Sawan is a bit of a challenge to access with over a hundred steps, stream crossings and dirt tracks to navigate but it is one of Bali’s most impressive waterfalls. Lesser known and in the forests of Cempaga village is the remote Pejaan Waterfall. Take the 1.5 hour walk through the monkey-filled forest or visit nearby Singsing Waterfall and discover a tranquil oasis with rock pools and lava stone streams.
Banyualit Beach is the main port for local fishing boats in Lovina. The sea temple - Pura Segara Banyualit - is also nearby and worth a visit. Quieter than nearby Lovina Beach - visitors flock here for low key vibes, sunset beers and swims.
Only 20 minutes from Lovina and a drive past Bali’s vineyards is the islands largest Buddhist monastery Brahmavihara-Arama. A tranquil retreat with meditation rooms and a library all set in tropical gardens.
Nearby Tabanan has the UNESCO Jatiluwih Rice Terraces but the North has equally stunning picture perfect scenery. The traditional farming village of Busungbiu is just a half-hour drive south from Lovina Beach and is a green terraced wonder. This is the real rural Bali.
If you are a keen mountain biker head over to the Bali Bike Park - with its great views this purpose-built set up in the village of Pancasari offers Cross-country, Downhill and Enduro trails. Finish off with a swim at the beach.
Finally, after all the hikes and adventures finish your trip North with a visit to the centuries-old Banjar Hot Springs (Air Panas) a 15-minute drive southwest from Lovina Beach. Set in tropical gardens - the hot springs spout mineral rich jets of water that are said to be healing and medicinal.
Written By: Fotini E Douglas