Bali is one of those places everyone dreams of visiting! However, the dream of secluded beaches, secret waterfalls in a lush forest, and quiet vacation time is not always met with reality. Rather, a Bali getaway might include sharing all of these amazing places with thousands of other tourists and travelers. Far away from a quiet and relaxing experience. Despite its popularity, there are still some Bali hidden gems and secret places where you can enjoy the beauty of the island in peace!
This blog post reveals 10 Bali hidden gems which are still undiscovered, and which allow you to experience the true Bali without having to fight for the best views. And if you are spending more time in Indonesia, make sure to visit the not so secret but still fun chocolate factory and the Peluang Car Temple in Nusa Penida.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post and we had the privilege of working with other amazing bloggers to put this post together. Each contributor is mentioned at the end of their blurb so you can check out their blogs as well.
Map of 10 Bali Hidden Gems
These 10 Bali hidden gems are dispersed all over the island. Use the below map to plan your Bali itinerary and plan which of the secret places you would like to see on your next Bali vacation.
Since public transportation on the island is pretty sparse, your best way to travel between your favorite Bali hidden gems is renting a car or hiring a driver with a car. You can also explore the island with a scooter but make sure you buy additional insurance as scooter accidents are extremely common.
10 Bali Hidden Gems
If you are looking to explore the true beauty of the island and are excited to travel off the beaten path, you cannot miss these 10 Bali hidden gems. From waterfalls and secluded beaches, to rice fields and volcano views, we are sharing the best hidden gems and secret places in Bali to make your experience unforgettable.
Dusun Kuning Waterfall
With a number of awe-inspiring waterfalls dotted all around Bali, you’ll often find a few of them featured on the bucket lists of adventurers everywhere, and more often than not, a large number of other people exploring them on any given day. Dusun Kuning, however, remains relatively off the beaten track, steeped in stunning natural beauty and no less awe-inspiring than any of the more popular options!
Located roughly 12 miles (20 km) and 45 minutes outside of Ubud, it can be reached on scooter, or combined with a couple of the other waterfalls in the area such as Dedari, Tibumana or Tegenungan as part of a half or full-day tour.
Dusun Kuning Waterfall is one of the best waterfalls near Ubud and a hidden gem in Bali. The water supposedly flows all year round and falls 82 feet (25 meters) into a pool below that makes for great paddling and swimming to cool off from the tropical temperatures.
The hike down to the waterfall through the lush, green jungle only takes about 15 minutes, but it does involve a lot of steep, slippery steps, so a level of care and appropriate footwear is required. Furthermore, you’ll need 20,000 IDR ($1.30 USD) for the entrance fee, some food and water as there are few facilities, and of course your camera!
Contributed by: bythecompass.com
Tucked away in West Bali is one of the best places to stay in Bali: Sumberkima Village. West Bali is dominated by the West Bali National Park and as such is mostly uninhabited jungle. The area is so secluded that most tourists have never heard of it and not even locals venture this far west which is why it is one of the true Bali hidden gems and the perfect secret place to get away from mass tourism.
Sumberkima is the remote, lush green, and serene paradise everyone thinks of when thinking of Bali. If you are looking to spend your time in Bali shopping and dining at Instagrammable restaurants and cafes, Sumberkima is not the place for you as you will find empty beaches, a lot of lush nature, and far fewer other travelers. After a few days of relaxation and exploring nature here, you won’t want to leave.
The best way to get to Sumberkima from Denpasar is by car. It is a 4-hour drive and you can either drive along the west coast or via Munduk. If you are not sure where to stay while in West Bali, the Sumberkima Hill Retreat will provide you with the most incredible views and the ultimate relaxation experience. Very much like the rest of the area, the retreat is all about providing a getaway from mass tourism. You will have your own villa with a private pool and can enjoy your own amenities without having to share them with others.
Contributed by: thenexttrip.xyz
Not far from Sumberkima is Pemuteran, a coastal village in North Bali. It is home to Pemuteran beach which is known for its calm water surface and a phenomenal underwater temple.
Pemuteran beach is an excellent choice for anyone who is looking to spend a relaxing day on the beach and is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Pemuteran beach is also known for having the largest artificial Biorock reef in the world, a perfect getaway for anyone who likes a great holiday story and to explore life under water.
The easiest way to get to Pemuteran beach is by car. The drive from Denpasar is about 4 hours and leads through the gorgeous lush hills of Munduk.
Contributed by: theholidaystory.com
Leke Leke Waterfall
Bali is known for its incredible waterfalls and no trip to the island would be complete without visiting at least a few. Leke Leke waterfall is one of the most impressive waterfalls and due to its location, you will likely have the entire waterfall to yourself.
While you can choose to visit Leke Leke waterfall early in the day, this is probably the only place in Bali that doesn’t get crowded even in the peak of the afternoon, making it another of my favorite Bali hidden gems to add to your itinerary! The trail to the waterfall is open from 7am to 5pm daily and the best lighting to take photos at Leke Leke Waterfall is between 12pm - 1pm.
The walk down to the waterfall is an easy 10-15 minutes with a couple of bamboo bridges to cross. The path is very well marked, making Leke Leke one of the easiest waterfalls to reach around Bali. At the entrance, you will be given a walking “stick” to help you hike down to the waterfall through the muddy areas. The walking stick will really prove useful, especially after one of Bali's famous thunderstorms. Although it’s only a short hike, Leke Leke is located in the thick and humid jungle, so make sure to bring lots of water!
In addition to being an incredible sight, Leke Leke waterfall is also perfect for swimming and allows you to cool off after your hike in to the waterfall. Make sure you bring a bathing suit so you can enjoy a swim.
Leke Leke waterfall is approximately an hour away from Ubud/ Canggu. As is the case for most attractions around Bali — there are two main options to get here — either with a scooter or by private car. The entrance to this waterfall is easy to locate and has a fee of 50,000 IDR ($3.50 USD) per person that includes the parking fee. Although this is one of the more “expensive” waterfalls to visit in Bali, the site is incredibly well maintained and innumerable “selfie nests” are placed around for great photo opportunities at no extra cost.
Contributed by: Globetrottingsu
Sidemen is everything you dreamed rural Bali would be like. Expect a quiet town set in nature, surrounded by lush green rice fields with the massive Mt. Agung in the background. On top of that, Sidemen is home to some of the friendliest locals you can find on Bali. If you’re looking for the authentic side of Bali, Sidemen is the place to be.
One of the best things to do in Sidemen is to walk along the edge of the rice fields. It’s recommended to take a guided tour around the area where you can learn about and taste the herbs, plants and fruits local to the island.
Sidemen is the kind of place where you are welcomed by the locals. It’s not unusual to get invited to a family dinner. The hospitality in Sidemen is incredible, and the scenery in the area is stunning. Make sure to put Sidemen on your next travel itinerary if you want to discover the real authentic Bali.
The best way to get to Sidemen is by car/taxi. A taxi from Denpasar Airport takes about 1-2 hours and costs between 500,000 – 800,000 IDR ($35 – 55 USD). You can ask your hotel to arrange transfer for you as they might have discounted transportation available.
Contributed by: wowiwalkers.com
Kanto Lampo Waterfall
While Bali has plenty of incredible waterfalls, most waterfalls are absolutely overrun by tourists, and the odds that you will get a great photo or be able to enjoy the waterfalls in peace and quiet are slim. Visiting these overcrowded waterfalls easily goes on the list of what not to do in Bali.
The Kanto Lampo Waterfall is an exceptional example of a waterfall that has remained natural and secluded from tourists. The Kanto Lampo Waterfall is massive in both width and height, yet very unique as the falls seem to cascade down the face of a cliff in two places, bouncing off rocks all the way down.
You get to the waterfall by walking down a set of stairs which look like they lead to nowhere. Once the stairs begin to turn, they suddenly end at a small waterfall. You will need to climb down some rocks to reach a small river. Then you will have to swim down the shallow river to reach Kanto Lampo Waterfall, one of the top Bali hidden gems.
The surrounding area is equally as beautiful as the falls themselves. There is lush greenery all around the banks of the river, and there isn’t a single view of roads, cars, or buildings. Due to the significant elevation change from the roads to the river, you won’t be able to hear any road or city noise but can enjoy the sounds of nature to the fullest.
While you won’t come across many tourists here, there might be some locals who offer to take photos for you while you are enjoying the waterfall.
Contributed by: thebratpackergals.com
Aling Aling Waterfall
Another hidden gem in Bali is the group of Aling Aling waterfalls located in North Bali. The falls are actually a series of cascading waterfalls and the perfect getaway place for the adventurous traveler. The waterfalls are not only stunning to look at, but feature a 52 foot (16 meter) cliff one can jump off, as well as a natural rock slide to slide down.
While there are tour providers organizing tours to Aling Aling and nearby waterfalls, it is still relatively secluded, and you will be able to thoroughly enjoy its beauty. Getting to the waterfall requires some hiking, climbing over rocks, and jumping in water. Make sure you bring water shoes and a towel to dry off afterwards.
The entrance fee to Aling Aling is 10,000 IDR ($0.70 USD) to view the falls only. If you are looking to jump off the cliff and swim through the falls, you are required to hire a private guide which costs between 125,000 IDR ($8.60 USD) for the short trek to 375,000 IDR ($25.70) for the long trek. You need to be at least a party of 2 to book a guided trekking tour.
Getting to Aling Aling waterfalls is relatively easy by car and a 10-minute drive from Susaji Village, or a 2-3 hour drive from Denpasar.
Contributed by: dreambigtravelfarblog.com
As one of the tallest waterfalls in Bali, Nungnung waterfall is an impressive natural wonder, and another hidden gem in Bali. Nestled in the dense jungle of Bali, the Nungnung Waterfall is located 75 minutes away by car or motorbike from Ubud. There are rarely any tours to this waterfall which is why it is a great addition to add to your Bali hidden gems itinerary!
Getting to the entrance of the waterfall can be quite a struggle as there is a ~500-step descent to reach the bottom of the falls. The steps can be quite high at times and the path is often slippery due to the rain, making it dangerous, especially for older or less fit travelers and children.
Once you reach the bottom of the waterfall, you will truly understand the meaning of nature’s wrath. The gushing waterfall crashes relentlessly at the bottom, and visitors are engulfed with waves of mist. Combined with the lush surroundings, Nungnung Waterfall is a picture-perfect place and a must on any Indonesia trip!
Contributed by: livingoutlau.com
Pura Gunung Kawi
There are numerous temple sites situated all over this lush tropical vacation island. These religious monuments are not only great tourist attractions, but also offer a glimpse into Balinese culture like none of the other sites on the island do. The most famous temples are often the busiest too.
Pura Gunung Kawi temple, however, is away from the usual tourist trail and well worth the time and effort required to visit. Believed to have been built as far back as the 11th century, it serves the purpose as a memorial to members of the Balinese Royalty of the time, as a house of worship, as well as a social place for the locals to gather and meet.
It is located in Tampaksiring and can be reached by motorbike, minibus, or taxi from Ubud or from anywhere on the island. The entrance fee for Pura Gunung Kawi is around 15,000 IDR per person ($1.01 USD).
Once at the entrance, it is quite the walk to reach the main temple site located in the valley below and despite being physically demanding, it should not deter you in any way. This unique archaeological site, carved into rocks and set within a lush forest, is one of the most ancient sites on the island almost guaranteed to make your temple hopping experience a memorable one, and another true Bali hidden gem.
Contributed by: araioflight.com
Lake Tamblingan is a caldera lake situated high in the mountains of North Bali, untouched by tourism and maintained by locals. It's a very pristine, serene place that is rich in beauty and has a very positive atmosphere. It is the perfect place to visit if you are thinking of exploring the Munduk Bali area as it is relatively close by. It is highly encouraged to visit this Bali hidden gem early in the morning away from Bali crowds to see its real beauty that reflects true Bali.
Depending on the time of the year, you will find the lake water at different levels which can lead to the temples being partially under water, offering some incredibly beautiful views. Depending on the rainfall received, the area can be swampy.
The best way to enjoy lake Tamblingan is to take a canoe ride along the lake, preferably early morning. Since this place is maintained by locals, it is highly encouraged to put forward some donations.
Depending on whether you are already staying in North Bali or coming from another region, it is easy to get to Lake Tamblingan. You can choose to rent a motorbike if you wish to explore on your own, hire a driver or book a tour. The entrance to Lake Tamblingan leads through a forest and you will easily know when you arrive at the lake as the temple is large and not surrounded by any trees.
Contributed by: suvarnaarora.com
Bali Destinations which are not Hidden but Worth a Visit
There are many more incredible places to visit than these 10 Bali hidden gems while you're on the island! While they are not necessarily hidden gems, they are still relatively unknown and definitely worth a visit.
The Chocolate Factory in Karangasem: Charly’s Chocolate
If you are looking for more limitless secrets in Bali and love chocolate and swings, then you will love the Chocolate factory! While it is not one of the typical Bali hidden gems, it is far from touristy and certainly worth a visit. Charly’s Chocolate is located at the south of the right tip of the island of Bali, in the area of Karangasem.
As its name suggests, you can find chocolate at the chocolate factory! This place is composed of a few wooden huts with a funny shape that look like they are coming straight out of a fairy tale! It’s quite mystical! They sell some chocolate products to go (chocolate spread, chocolate nibs) but you can also eat and drink here as they serve hot and cold chocolate, fresh coconuts, pancakes, and French fries.
The Chocolate Factory is located right close by the beach. It’s not the kind of beach where you can lie down, but the view is very nice! You will find another wooden hut built in a shape of a boat facing the sea which might be particularly appealing to kids.
There are a few palm trees aligned in front of the beach and three swings are hanging from them, providing for the perfect photo opportunity with the beach in the background. As this place is not touristy, you won’t have to wait for the crowds to disperse to have this place all to yourself.
Contributed by: limitless-secrets.com
Paluang Car Temple, Nusa Penida
If you are planning to venture outside of Bali and visit Nusa Penida, the Paluang Car Temple is a must see. The name is exactly what is suggests: a temple where the main shrine features fancy and colorful sculptures of cars. Also known as Pura Paluang, the temple is located near Bunga Mekar in the Klungkung regency of Nusa Penida.
The temple is situated in the western area of Nusa Penida in Karang Dawa village, only 2,300 feet (700 meters) away from the popular Kelingking Beach. To get to this secret temple, you can take a ferry from Sanur or the picturesque Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Penida port. From there, it takes 40-minutes by car to reach the temple.
Pura Paluang is a sacred Hindu temple where the main shrine is constructed in the form of a house between two cars - a Jeep and a Volkswagen Beetle. As the holy shrine involves sculpturing a mode of transport (in this case cars). The temple is also known as 'Pura Mobil' or the 'Car Temple'. It is the unique selling point of the temple that makes it worth-visiting.
You also get to enjoy stunning views of the Indian Ocean and green limestone cliffs from the temple. What makes the place especially interesting is that many locals say that the temple existed before there were any cars in Indonesia. Wearing a sarong is a must when entering the temple, as a mark of respect for Bali's Hindu tradition and culture.
Contributed by: thewanderingvegetable.com
What Are Your Favorite Hidden Gems in Bali?
Bali is a dream destination for many and there are so many great places to explore on the island. I hope this list of Bali hidden gems will help you plan your next trip!
I would love to hear about your experience! Have you ever been to Bali? Let me know what you think of this list in the comments and if I am missing your favorite hidden gems in Bali. I would love to go back and explore more secret places in Bali nobody has heard of.
Make sure you pin this post to your Bali hidden gems Pinterest board for when you plan your next trip to Indonesia!