Bali is one among the 33 provinces in Indonesia and is known for its bustling beaches and party scenes. You can get a taste of the exotic landscapes or behold the breath-taking turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
Besides being a popular destination, Bali is replete with natural wonders. You can lose yourself among its rolling rice terraces, mystical waterfalls, volcanic mountains and, of course, the coral reefs. The choice is yours, the options are many. We have listed some of the rarely visited natural wonders of Bali that you cannot miss.
Sanur beach, which is approximately 11 km from Denpasar airport, is the boarding point from where you can catch a fast boat to this magical island. A two-way ferry would cost around USD 27.10. The last boat from Nusa Penida to Bali leaves at around 4:00 pm. So, it is a good idea to start your day early (9:00 am or earlier) if you want to pack in your day trip to this island with activities. It is also a bird sanctuary.
Nusa Penida is home to the rarest of Indonesian birds, especially the Balinese Starling.
If you are a bird-lover and wish to spend your day amidst nature, here is what you can do:
· Volunteer with Friends of the National Parks Foundation.
· A stay with this welfare organisation involves volunteering services, including teaching local children, planting, cooking meals with the community etc. On your free time, however, you get to explore the island with locals.
· Accommodation for a single occupier in a dormitory room costs USD 16 per night. Other natural attractions at Nusa Penida ideal for a day-trip itinerary includes:
Other natural attractions at Nusa Penida ideal for a day-trip itinerary includes:
Kelingking Beach – It takes an hour from the Nusa Penida port to reach this hilltop beach that opens to the mesmerizing view of the island below. There is a rough, terraced mountain path having a steep descend to the beach below. It takes about 30 minutes to go down this path. Climb down at your own risk.
Pasih Uug – 8.9 km from Kelingking beach is Pasih Uug, also known as the broken beach. The arched rock formation above the cerulean waters of the Indian Ocean makes this place a photographer’s paradise.
Crystal Bay Snorkelling – 17.3 km from Broken Beach lies Crystal Bay, the best snorkelling spot at Nusa Penida. You might love this place if you are looking for a break from the bustling beaches and snorkelling sites in mainland Bali. You can buy snorkelling equipment at USD 10.16. Crystal Bay is one of the few snorkelling sites offering possible sightings of the Mola Mola fish. It is also a great beach to spot the sun go down in case you are spending a night at Nusa Penida.
All the above locations are available on Gmap. You can either rent a scooter to explore the island or book a day tour with one of the providers at the Nusa Penida harbour.
Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon
It is one of the most mysterious natural wonders of Bali, and the best part is it is only half an hour from Denpasar. Beji Guwang is easily detected on the map and you will see a signpost at the entrance. The entrance fee is USD 1.11 and if you decide to go on a guided tour, you will have to pay an extra fee of USD 8.
As the name suggests, a fairytale-like path full of rugged rocks and greenery will take you to a hidden gorge with crystal clear cerulean stream. It is going to be an awe-inspiring experience which you would remember for the rest of your life.
Tenenungan Waterfall is only half an hour from Canggu or Ubud (one of the most popular destinations in Bali), and an hour from Kuta or Seminyak.
The waterfall is not the rarest of gems in Bali because of its easy accessibility. However, if you manage to reach early in the morning, you would surely be able to enjoy the exclusivity you are probably seeking. You can book a ride with a private driver in advance, or you can hire a scooter to Tenenungan. The entrance fees, which include the parking fees and a hike to the top of the waterfall, should not exceed USD 3.
Hiking to the top offers a panoramic view of the green foliage that embodies the Indonesian rain forest. You also get an option to swim in the pool and rejuvenate yourself. We all get hungry after a swim; so, worry not, there is a café right at the entrance to serve your tummy calls.
Padang Bai is a small coastal town in Bali, 37.4 km from the popular destination, Ubud. If you are not looking forward to renting a scooter, or getting a cab, and looking for cheaper options instead, you can get buses to Pandang Bai.
You can book a shuttle bus as well. Currently, the services might be unavailable due to the pandemic. However, once normalcy resumes, you can expect the shuttle rides to connect all the major destinations in Bali. There is a car/two-wheelers’ park at the port. Padang Bai is a perfect place to enjoy the quiet sandy beaches, the beautiful landscape, and underwater activities.
Blue Lagoon Beach – About 1.5 km northeast of the Padang Bai harbour lies the hidden beach made up of volcanic sand and intriguing underwater rock pools. The coral reefs and the lush aquatic life make this a perfect place for snorkelling and diving. You can get your equipment at the beach itself.
Bias Tugel White Sand Beach – 1.9 km northwest of the Padang Bai harbour lies another wonder worth a relaxing day well spent amidst the sand and the sea. The beach that stretches for 120 meters is easily accessible and an endearing summoner to its powdery sand, and turquoise waters.
If you are into some hiking adventures, you must add Mount Batur in your itinerary. This volcanic mountain is located 36.7 km from Ubud and 56.8 km from Denpasar, in the Bangli region. You can either take a private car till the hiking point or, take a local bus from any prime locations in Bali if you are looking for cheaper options. A bus ride should cost between USD 3 and USD 5.
You can also opt for shuttle services at http://kura2bus.com/.
It is almost a 2-hour hike and, you will be 1700 feet above the sea level. So, fitness would matter, and the difficulty level is moderate. The journey ends with you witnessing the panoramic view of the surrounding island and the crater lake just below.
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace
Are you in for losing yourself amidst a rice field that spans for 600 hectares? Then book yourself a ticket to Jatiluweh Rice terrace. It takes one hour and a half to reach the fields from Ubud or Canggu. If you are near Bedugul, it will take an hour to reach. You will find a guard at one of its checkpoints where you must pay an entrance fees of around 3.35 USD including car park. This is an UNESCO site and played a supporting role in the famous Julia Roberts starrer Eat, Pray and Love. A volcano called Bratan overlooks the rice field, meaning you are all in for a mesmerizing photo tour.
You would find self-guided walking tours here of 1.5 and 5 km.
Tamblingan and Buyan Lake
These twin lakes of Bali in the Wanagiri, Singaraja area are basically waterbody formations in the caldera of an extinct volcano named Bendugul. Jungle trekking around these lakes is a top activity. You have to reach Bueleng regency from where you are stationed in Bali to start your exploration of these lakes. We recommend you to hire a private driver.
Tukad Cepung Waterfall
It is one of the rarest tourist attractions in the Bangli regency. The unique feature of the falls is that it falls through the cliff into a cave. The sunlight streaming through the cavern gives the water on the surface a mesmerizing greenish blue glitter. You need to climb down a few steps to be able to witness the waterfall from lower grounds. The Tukad Cepang waterfall is well-connected to the popular locations of Bali, including Kuta, Udub and Canggu. The road to this natural wonder is also stunning. You can take a private car from your hotel to this hidden gem.
The best time to visit Bali is the dry months, between April and October. You can enjoy all the activities hassle-free during these months and witness the beauty of Bali at her finest.