Hi guys, thank you for watching my part 6 of my Bali journey. Today I will explore with you the North of this super beautiful island. If you google, you will see that Bali is very large and when you go to Bali, you will usually focus on the central areas of Denpasar and Jimbaran, Ubud but forget that the North of the island has many beautiful attractions, really worth visiting. Partly because you often go for a short time, so you don’t have time to explore them all, so I will summarize for you the places I discovered in this article. So, is North Bali worth visiting, what to do in Northern Bali (what to do in North Bali) and how to plan a perfect budget trip to Northern Bali for the first-time? Let’s check out our Australia travel blog (Australia blog) with the fullest North Bali travel guide from how to visit North Bali, how to get there, where to stay, best places to visit, what to eat and top things to do in Northern Bali (things to do in North Bali) to help you make a perfect itinerary!
- Bali center guide — The guide to Center Bali & explore top central Bali attractions
- Ubud travel blog — The ultimate Ubud travel guide & what to do in Ubud for first-timers
- Ubud bali travel guide — 5 activities you should not miss while visiting Ubud, Bali
- Bali trip blog — The super Bali travel guide blog for a budget trip to Bali for the first-timers
- What to know before going to Bali? — 8 top things to know before traveling to Bali & things to know before going to Bali
North Bali travel guide: How to go to the Northern Bali?
As mentioned above to you, the North is quite far and to get here, you can take a taxi or grab for a rather expensive price. Or rent a motorbike for a few days to explore and backpack properly because the road has many sections with winding passes for the backpackers to “ride”.
However, always be careful if you ride a motorbike because in Bali, the means of transport will go in the left hand direction, if you don’t get used to driving, it is very dangerous, unfamiliar roads are also a big obstacle. You also have to go through many steep passes, so remember to rent a manual motorcycle, not a scooter. The day I went, my driver say that a week before I came, there was an Indian family who rented a scooter and lost the brake when going down the hill, so the whole family fell down the cliff to death, a tragic accident, so sad. So this is an economical plan but I do not recommend.
In my opinion, if you plan to explore the North, you should spend 2~3 days at least and there are many beautiful stops along the way, so rent a 7-seater car per day (common service in Bali), if you go in a group of 7 or 8 people, sharing is not expensive.
During my trip, I hired it from my friend Awan (FB: https://www.facebook.com/imade.rudiawan) who drive all the full day trips in Bali. The deal was quoted by him for 700,000 IDR/day for the trip to the North including fuel and parking fees. If you tell the drivers in advance, they are not allowed to take you to shopping stores or force to eat at the place they choose, because many drivers with cheap prices and they will force you go to shop or eat.
Normally, if you go around the center of Bali, the price is about 550,000/day, but because the way to the north is far, the road is zigzag, so they ask for 700,000 IDR to go. I asked a lot of drivers for the price to choose the cheapest Mr. Awan, you can just inbox and talk – he’s quite enthusiastic and good-natured.
North bali blog: What to do in Northern Bali & things to do in Northern Bali
The north part of the island is very large and I traveled along from the northwest to the northeast, and the west side, I have not been to yet – heard there is a diving spot with a temple under the sea.
And because it’s not possible to go through this route in 1 day, I have to stop at several spots, so regarding the section “where to stay”, I will put it near the end of the article.
And now I will list the destinations you can visit on the way to the North.
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali. Located deep in the forest, the road to Nungnung waterfall is very green with abundant trees and plants. If Tegenungan waterfall is majestic, Nungnung waterfall is full of mystery in the deep forest, magically beautiful. It’s quite a long walk from the parking lot, but it’s not as far and tiring as going to Tegenungan waterfall.
And the ticket price per person is: 10,000 IDR.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple – also known as the water temple.
Address: Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82191, Indonesia
One of the four most sacred and famous Hindu temples in Bali, the Ulun Danu water temple is located on the shores of Danau Beratan lake, the whole area is like a big park, but the shrine / temple is also small, including the worship tower in the middle of the lake. To reach it, you have to row a boat. I found here that boats are rented with oarsmen to bring you near the temple to see, but you can’t allow to access it.
The scenery here is beautiful, the air is fresh and cool, very pleasant.
The price to enter the temple is: IDR 40,000 without having to wrap Sarong.
The iconic virtual living gate of Bali at Handara Golf & Resort
Surely everyone who learns about Bali will often see photos taken at this famous gate, and it is located very far from the center, so fortunately there are not TOO MUCH of tourists coming to take pictures, otherwise I don’t know how much time you have to spend to queue in line.
This “divine” gate is about 10 minutes drive from the water temple, very close.
Coming here to take photos, you will have to buy a ticket of IDR 30,000/person. And you have to wait in long lines to take your turn to take pictures, each person can only take about 5 minutes, more than 10 minutes will be kicked out.
All have to queue and wait for their turn to take pictures, that’s why so many people come but the photo is never “sticked” by others.
Bali is like that, civilized so that everyone has beautiful photos to post on Instagram. If you go in the tourist season, and unfortunately, you come after a Chinese group on a 50-seat car, then you should stop waiting in line for 2 hours to wait for your turn, and pay attention if it get dark, you will have to return to the hotel, waste efforts but got nothing.
Lovina and the Waterfall – another waterfall
With this route, after taking pictures at the divine gate, it is already late afternoon, so the next stop to rest is probably the beautiful little town of Lovina, which is known as the dolphin city because this is the only place in Bali to watch dolphins – lots of dolphins. And I have a separate article about Lovina for you to read here.
On the way back to Lovina, I passed a few more waterfalls, but not too special, so you can skip if you your time is tight.
Things to do in north Bali: Mount Batur
On the way to the Northeast of the island, we will pass through Mount Batur area with Batur Natural hot spring and some spots with beautiful lake views. I had to skip this spot due to lack of time, so I don’t have much experience to share with you, but this area is quite suitable for those who want to come and have time for trekking.
What to do in north Bali: Cepung Waterfall
Address: Central parkir waterfall tukad cepung, Jl. Tembuku, Tembuku, Kec. Tembuku, Kabupaten Bangli, Bali 80671, Indonesia
This waterfall is actually located in the middle Ubud and the north, so I included both here. This waterfall looks like a mysterious and magical because it’s located in a cave, it’s also very mystical to take pictures. And the important thing is that to reach it you don’t need to climb with steep slopes, so it’s less tiring. Remember to wear sports shoes because there are many sharp rocky streams.
Cepung ticket price is 15,000 IDR/person.
Address: Jl. Gunung Mas No.Ds, Besakih, Kec. Rendang, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80863, Indonesia
The largest of the four most famous and sacred temples in Bali (Besakih, Uluwatu, Tanah Lot and to the water temple of Ulun Danu). Besakih Temple is also known as the mother temple – the mother of temples in Bali, so you understand how sacred this place is.
Besakih Temple is located at the foot of the largest volcano in Bali, Mount Agung is still active (less than 48 hours after I visited here, Mount Agung had a small eruption =)))). History says that Mount Agung often erupts, but never once has the mother temple been affected in the past thousand years (more than 2000 years for sure). Even the most violent eruption in 1963, the lava flows down were only a few meters from the mother temple, but there were many people who say that the temple was actually destroyed quite a lot by lava and was later rebuilt.
Besakih Temple has a strange beauty unlike other temples, the stones, bricks here and even the palm thatch roofs have a mysterious black color of lava.
Besakih Temple is very large, including many other 21 small temples, and tourists who come here can only walk around and see, but only Hindus can enter to pray.
Note that after arriving Besakih temple, parking the car, you will buy a ticket to the temple, the ticket includes a sarong, a motorbike to take to the temple gate one way and a guide for the group to wait at the gate. When the tour guide ends, it’s okay to tip them.
Entrance fee to the temple: 60,000 IDR/person
Taman Tirta Gangga Temple
Address: Jalan Raya Abang Desa Adat, Ababi, Kec. Abang, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia
The journey to the North involves visiting quite a few temples, and Taman Tirta Gangga is also a VERY BEAUTIFUL temple and should be visited. Entering the temples, you will see how the architecture of the temples here is different from our own Buddhism, they have worshiping towering towers and god statues, but not many halls and shrines like ours.
Taman Tirta gangga Temple is famous for its beautiful impressive pond that has a lot of fish and the bricks to go in the middle of the pond that is stunning setting for spectacular photos.
But because it’s beautiful, so it’s crowded with tourists, but this place doesn’t require line up, so everyone always stick your pictures.
Price to enter the temple: 40,000 IDR/person
Address: Jl. Pura Telaga Mas Lempuyang, Tri Buana, Kec. Abang, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia
This is also a very sacred temple but is mainly popular with Balinese Hindus. This temple is very high, to explore it all, you have to climb more than 1700 steps and pass other small temples. Even on holidays such as the full moon, non-Hindu people can only go to the first gate, not to explore further.
But don’t worry because most tourists come here just for the first gate – the Gate of Heaven.
Actually, I think the heaven gate here is much more beautiful than the gate at Handara resort, but it really started to be known by a Russian tourist who discovered and checked in on his Instagram, and from then everyone flocking here a lot.
You must have also been very jealous of the surreal photos here with the flat lake water reflecting the shimmering and beautiful gate.
But in fact, there is no flat lake here… if there is a big storm, it will be flooded =))))
Honestly, coming here to take photos also has to be in a very long line like at Handara resort and there will be a local guy to help you to take surreal photos in an extremely professional and industrial way.
The simple process is that when it’s your turn, you come and give him the phone you want to take and then run to the gate to pose after him shouting, everyone is the same, the last shot always ends with the slogan “Jump”. And the lake you see on that photo is actually just an effect from a glass he place under the phone camera :))))
Lempuyang temple entrance price is arbitrary, minimum IDR 10,000 including sarong. The price for him to take pictures is also arbitrary, he never complain about the specific fee.
The most beautiful and crowded time to take photos here is the golden hour at sunrise and sunset. When the sun goes down, the sun will gradually disappear behind Mount Agung, creating a surreal picture of nature and you should watch the time to come here around 3pm, 4pm to queue until…. 6pm is nice.
And at dawn, you will admire the scene of the sunrise from behind and the light shining on the red Mount Agung. In the morning, start going at 5am to occupy the nice spot because around 6am, people flock together with a large number.
I went to in both timeframes to admire both of these wonderful moments.
I didn’t come here, but if you have time you can visit. Amed Beach is the beach located on the opposite side of Besakih Mother Temple. And for some reason, most of Mount Agung erupts in this direction, so there are no trees in this direction of Mount Agung, and due to many eruptions, Amed beach here is famous for being a beach with a black sand, so beautiful, but unfortunately I didn’t come to see it.
As mentioned above, Mount Agung is the largest volcano on the island and is also very sacred. This is also a destination for trekking to catch the sunrise because trekkers have super good physical strength due to the mountains are very high, steep.
But when I came, all trekking activities here were banned due to volcanic activity, only when the authorities deemed it safe to do trekking.
Mount Agung trekking time is said to be 6~8 hours and you have to leave the peak of the mountain before 7am if you don’t want to absorb the temperature of more than 40 degrees Celsius here.
That’s what I heard, but I don’t understand it, so I have to do night trekking?
My journey ends at Taman Tirta Gangga, and from here I can return to Ubud or go along the northeastern coast of Bali to return to conveniently explore. Along this way, I canceled to return to Ubud, but before that, I also found out that this route will have a beautiful Blue Lagoon beach for swimming and snorkeling, but in general, the Northeast area does not have many beautiful spots to explore.
North Bali travel guide: Where to stay in the North Bali?
Here are some of the hotels we stayed in for you refer to:
Tirtagangga: Puri Sawah Bungalows & Restaurant: It is very close to Tirtagangga temple and not too far from Heaven gate, but surrounded by forests and fields. I was afraid to go out at night.
Tanah Lot: Dewi Sinta Hotel and Restaurant (Agoda, Booking): Affordable price, you can walking to Tanah Lot, at night, there is nothing around at night including restaurants, so if you want to eat, you have to go very far.
What to eat?
Balinese cuisine in general and the Northern Bali in particular are no different, so please read this article.
My family Northern Bali itinerary 3 days
Day 1: Denpasar – Nungnung waterfall – lunch break, buffet at Mentari Restoran next to Danau Beratan lake – Ulun Danu water temple – Hadara resort gate – Lovina.
Day 2: Lovina early morning to watch dolphins – going to Besahkih temple – Taman Tirtagangga temple – Lempuyang temple to watch the sunset.
Day 3: Early in the morning, go up to Lempuyang to watch the sunrise – go to Cepung waterfall then follow this direction to the terraced fields, Ubud.
Note when making itinerary, remember to time it by referring to the route, the suggested time from google map and +30 minutes estimated.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to North Bali you can refer to
- North Bali Sunrise, Handara Gate and Ulun Danu Bratan Tour
- Seven Wonder Waterfalls Trekking Day Tour In North Bali
- North Bali Waterfalls and Rice Field Trekking Day Tour
- North Bali and Munduk Environmental Trekking Private Day Tour
- Gili Putih Island Tour in North Bali
- North Bali and Singaraja Private Day Tour
- 3G/4G Prepaid SIM Card (DPS Airport Pick Up) for Bali
- 4G Portable WiFi for Bali
- 4G LTE WiFi (MNL Delivery) for Asia
Are you looking for more Bali travel guide and top things to do in Bali: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Bali itinerary 8 days — How to spend 8 days in Bali (8 days 7 nights in Bali) pefectly? And more here.