Best Places In And Around Ubud
Paddy fields that add a touch of green everywhere, long, winding mountain roads, gushing water below bridges, unique cafes & bars on every street, the hustle and bustle of tourists enjoying themselves, streets full of amazing things to shop and gorgeous, quiet sunsets. This is Ubud.
It’s full of life, heart and beautiful places to see. We stayed in Ubud for 4 nights and 5 days and yet we felt it wasn’t enough. Time stands still when you wake up to the sound of roosters giving their morning greetings, surrounded by lush, green paddy fields. Followed by a wholesome Balinese breakfast and the smiles of the locals who are so full of warmth. And then, no matter how much you roam the town, just admiring the view or sitting in cafes that are full of delicious food and unique concepts, or maybe shopping in the Ubud Market or offering your prayers in those stunning temples, you don’t get enough of the magic. You want more.
Another reason why we absolutely fell in love with Ubud is because it’s location is amazing and is in close proximity to many beautiful places that are a must visit! Unfortunately though, we couldn’t visit a couple of them because I fell seriously sick and just couldn’t recover. But I’m almost 75% sure that I’m going back to Bali so it’s cool 😉
Here are some really amazing places in and around Ubud that you should definitely visit:
- Ubud Market – This is absolutely THE place to test your bargaining skills! If you can haggle, trust me, you can get some really cool stuff for really cheap prices. You can take your pick from quirky home decor, wooden utensils, pretty beach clothes, bags and accessories, silver jewellery, crochet items and so much more. We picked up some quirky stuff for our new house and a few pretty dresses for me 😉
- Tegenungan Waterfall – Quite a delightful waterfall is Tegenungan, where you can enjoy the majestic view of the gushing water or get in for a quick dip. The water is cold, fresh and feels amazing. Plus, it isn’t too deep. There’s a mini waterfall as well, along with some places to just sit and enjoy the water spraying on your face. If you trek a little above, you’ll find the source of the waterfall, like a small river, where you can swim or just sunbathe on the bank. The area above is a little isolated and perfect if you’re looking for some quiet.
We ended our visit with lunch at a cafe, from where we could see a bird’s eye view of the river and the water. We loved our visit to this place.Entrance: Nominal (Around Rs. 50 per person). Plus you’ll have to pay money to visit the upper level (Rs. 75 per person) and to take pictures on the swing (Rs.250 for two people)Distance from Ubud: 10 kms. It will take you round 20-30 minutes to reach.
- Campuhan Ridge Walk – This is a hidden walking trail that not many tourists know about. It’s a beautiful walk with stunning views everywhere. It’s just SO green: Paddy fields, trees, shrubs! The whole thing takes around 2 hours to cover and I suggest you go early in the morning or around 4 PM. Unfortunately, we were unaware that it takes so long.We were expecting more of a leisurely stroll (Lame tourists alert) and hence landed up there around 6 PM, where the sun was already disappearing behind the clouds. We couldn’t complete the walk but we did get a good feel of it. It was like a mini jungle in the middle of the damn town. Really Ubud, how, I mean how, could you be so damn amazing?!
Distance from Ubud: It’s in the heart of Ubud. You’ll find it near the Warwick Ibah Hotel.
4. Hidden Canyon – This place left me stunned and speechless. It may not be really ‘’hidden’’ anymore due to the outpouring of tourists, but oh boy, it’s a must visit for everyone who’s young and fit. This actually is a canyon located on the outskirts of Ubud. There are huge rocks, a gushing river that cuts through the canyon and some poisonous snakes too (Joking. Not.) The canyon is split into three. The first one takes around 50 minutes and the other two together take around 2 hours.To traverse it, you’ll have to literally trek through the canyon. There’s no walking. It’s a ridiculously scary and thrilling combination of jumping from rock to rock and wading through the not-very-shallow, fast flowing water that threatens to carry you away at points.
The rocks are slippery and sometime, quite far from one another (which proves to be a MAJOR challenge for short people like me. I’m 5 feet 2, btw). There were literally some points where I was hanging in mid-air, with the guide holding me on side and my husband holding me on the other, trying to parcel me from one rock to another! You’re absolutely not allowed to visit without a guide (you can’t also, you’ll probably get injured). The guide has a waterproof bag for your belongings, a sling for your footwear, is a friendly expert on how to navigate and an enthusiastic photographer for your pictures. Honestly, it was only the guide’s expertise that kept me going.
However, once we reached the end of Canyon 1, we just sat down there on the rock with our feet in the water. There was nobody there except the three of us and it was beautiful. The light filtering in through the trees, the rhythmic sound of the water, the feeling that you’re literally somewhere out of the world. Wow.
I did this with 100 degrees fever and I don’t regret it one bit. I’m so glad my husband forced me to take the plunge as it’s been one of the most memorable experiences for both of us. Guys, my description does no justice to the experience. If you’re fit and young, DO THIS!Entrance: Plus you’ll have to pay money to visit the upper level (Rs. 75 per person) and to take pictures on the swing (Rs.250 for two people)
Distance from Ubud: 15 kms. It will take you around 30-45 minutes to reach.
5. Couple Spa + Flower Bath: After a HELL LOT of adventure, lets move on to some relaxation and romance, shall we? Bali is so known for Indonesian massages, spas and detox. The very best part is that spas here are so damn cheap, not at all an exuberant affair the way it is in India. From foot massages starting at Rs. 200 to the most luxurious of spas, there’s everything. Ubud happens to be the spa capital of Bali and we just knew we had to try it out.We were looking for a mid-segment spa and finally after a lot of research, we found the right one, located right next to the paddy fields. If you’re lucky, your massage room will open up right to those views of green.
We opted for a couple massage with a flower bath and our experience was just perfect.The massage room was partly outdoor with soothing music and the gentle sway of the wind. After a thoroughly relaxing 45 minute massage, it was time for our flower bath. A tub was filled with hot water and sweet smelling flowers and as we got in, they served us some soothing lemongrass tea and watermelon as well. We felt so peaceful, calm and totally rejuvenated.Here comes the best part: The whole package cost us just Rs. 2200 for two! Shocking, right? I cannot imagine this being any lesser than Rs. 8,000 in India.Since it’s reasonable & wonderful, you have no excuses to miss this experience.
6. Tegallang Rice Terraces: I think I’ve mentioned ‘’Paddy fields’’ enough number of times for you’ll to understand that harvesting is a major deal here. There’s a popular hotspot a little outside Ubud called Tegallang that’s basically acres and acres of plantations on slopes. It’s quite a sight to see as it’s just so green. It looks like the place is encased with a gorgeous green carpet.
However, we didn’t really get to see the whole beauty of it as it wasn’t peak harvest season when we visited. Yes, there was green, but it was mixed with a lot of brown. Hence, if you want to visit this place, do a bit of research and understand whether it’s the right time. Because, if it is, its definitely worth a visit. And you’ll get some amazing photos too!
Entrance: Free. However, there’s a very cute ”Love Bali” signboard there which is very photo-worthy. If you want to get clicked there, you’ll have to pay around Rs.100-200.
Distance from Ubud: 10 kms. It will take you around 15-20 minutes to reach
7. Bali swing: CAUTION- DO NOT GO HERE. I repeat. Do not go here. Bali swing is a major waste of time. We thought we’d get our adrenaline pumping with their off the ledge swings but we were so damn disappointed. There was nothing here except tons of Chinese girls in dresses trying to take an Instagram worthy photo. If that is your goal too, please go get clicked but if your intention is to do something valuable with your time, just skip it. It was so crowded and each girl took so long on each swing, that we just wanted to give up.Unfortunately, we even paid a whopping amount of Rs. 5000 for two for crappy swings and the worst lunch ever. I would say this was the worst place we visited in the whole of Bali.
There are three more things we missed out on due to my poor health:
- Tepad Cepung waterfall that’s inside a cave
- River tubing on the River Ayung
- A morning visit to Tibumana waterfall
These are supposed to be amazing too so if you have the time, do visit ☺
Here is some more information about Ubud:
Where to stay: You’ll find a plethora of options for stay in Ubud. If you’re going for a leisurely vacation, stay in a luxury resort. However, if you want to get out and explore, AirBnB is the best. They’re beautiful, unique and frikkin’ reasonable. Check out the images below. We stayed in two of them:
- A resort-ish one, right next to the paddy fields. (3,000Rs/night)
- A villa with a PRIVATE POOL! (4,000 Rs/night)
How many days: I would suggest a minimum of 3 nights in Ubud. It really does take that much time to explore in and around.
Food to try: Gelato ice cream (especially the dragon fruit flavour), local Indonesian food and unique themed cafe food that serve continental.
Mode of transport: Two wheelers are the best option, as it’s cheap and helps you navigate traffic. You can rent one for just around 250-500 Rs a day.
I really hope this blog post on best places in and around Ubud is helpful! I have lot more posts on Bali coming up, including food to try, 12 day itinerary and more, so do stay tuned.
Also, I covered my Bali trip extensively on Instagram, so do take a look at my highlights here.
If you need any more information on Ubud or Bali, feel free to reach out to me.