If your visions of a Bali vacation include chasing waterfalls, wandering through lush jungles, and sampling delicious coffee, you will want to visit Munduk, Bali! This is the place of incredible mountain views, the famous Bali swing, and the iconic infinity pool.
Munduk is located in the mountains of central Bali. Some people say this is where the true beauty of the island is hidden. Given its higher elevation, Munduk is a couple degrees cooler than the rest of the island and is incredibly green. It is known for its lush forests, hills, culture, temples, lakes and waterfalls. Munduk, Bali is highly distinct from South Bali and is perfect to get away from the sun, learn more about the Balinese culture, and explore the outdoors. If you're looking to get away from tourists completely, you would love spending time in the tranquil West Bali!
How to get to Munduk, Bali
The most common way to get to Bali is by flying into Denpasar Airport. If you're looking for tips on how to book cheap flights to Bali, check out our 5-step guide here. Once you get to the airport, the easiest way to get to Munduk, Bali is by car. You can either rent a car or rent a car with driver. Estimate at least 2 hours get from Denpasar to Munduk without traffic. We left right during the evening traffic and it took us almost double the amount of time. The roads in central Bali are winding and narrow, but incredibly scenic. If you're driving during the day, you're in luck! Every corner you turn is a new incredible viewpoint.
If you decide to drive by yourself, make sure your travel insurance covers you in case of accidents. We have heard about quite a few people getting into scooter accidents because of the way the roads are designed and how bad traffic is. Accidents are never fun but without the proper coverage, things can get worse quickly.
Where to stay in Munduk, Bali
The ultimate Munduk experience is not complete without staying at a hotel in the middle of the jungle with the most iconic infinity pool! We stayed at the Munduk Moding Plantation which is a gorgeous hotel consisting of private villas, situated in its very own coffee plantation. The hotel is known for its incredible infinity pool views blending in with the surrounding hills.
The villas feature indoor and outdoor showers, as well as private relaxing areas. Depending on which villa you’re staying at, you will also have your very own pool.
The main hotel area includes two infinity pools with incredible views as well as a Jacuzzi. Even though the hotel was relatively booked, we had plenty of alone time at the pool and were able to fully relax and take in the views.
Munduk Moding Plantation also offers a variety of daily activities on the property such as a coffee plantation tour, where you learn everything about growing coffee to making coffee, trekking tours, as well as mountain biking tours.
They even have four Bali ponies which can be booked for horse back riding trips.
Disclaimer: We were hosted by Munduk Moding Plantation and had a wonderful time! We are excited to share our trip with you here. As always, all of the opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!
What to see around Munduk, Bali
Munduk and Central Bali is the culturally richest area in Bali and if you like visiting temples, you can easily fill 3-4 days. However, a visit would not be complete without seeing some of the most impressive waterfalls on the island and taking a picture with the famous Bali Swing!
Banyumala Twin Waterfalls (Wanagiri)
The Banyumala Twin Waterfalls are located at the north end of central Bali and are relatively lesser known than other waterfalls. They are only a 30 min drive from Munduk itself. The waterfalls are absolutely worth a visit! The falls can be accessed by car, followed by a relatively steep decline. Make sure you wear good footwear, especially if it has been raining, as the path might be slippery.
Once you get to the falls, you are rewarded with the most amazing views of multiple waterfalls ending in the same basin. The basin itself is not overly deep but great to swim in.
Banyumala Twin Waterfall Tips
Location: North/Central Bali
When to go: mornings are least busy, but it’s not overly touristy so you can also go in the afternoon.
Cost: IDR 50,000 (roughly 3.50 USD)
What to pack: Make sure you bring good shoes to walk to the falls and bring a swimsuit if you can brave the cold water.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a major Hindu Shaivite water temple on Bali. It’s actually a temple complex and consists of five compounds of temples. During rainy season or at the end of the rainy season, you will understand why it is called a water temple as the main temple appears to be “floating.”
During dry season, the temples are not floating but the complex is just as beautiful.
The temple is very popular among tourists and can get quite busy. We were there early in the afternoon and it was very busy. We’d recommend going earlier in the day, preferably in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple Tips
Location: Central Bali at the Beratan lake
When to go: the earlier in the day the better. Opening hours are 7am – 7pm.
Cost: tickets to enter the temple grounds are IDR 100,000 (roughly 7 USD).
What to pack: Make sure you bring water. It can be very hot there and as with every tourist destination, buying water there is more expensive than bringing it.
Lake Tamblingan and Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan
Lake Tamblingan is a quiet lake at the foot of Mount Lesung in central Bali. It’s relatively unknown and the perfect getaway if you’re looking to escape the tourists. The lake is home to the Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan, a spectacular floating temple. You may have seen some incredible photos on Instagram showing the temple and the lake during the rainy season. During the dry season, the water levels at Lake Tamblingan are low which makes is perfect to walk around the temple grounds but takes away the “floating” temple views.
If you visit during, or at the end of the rainy season, you can rent a canoe to get all the way to the temple and snap some beautiful photos.
Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan Tips
Location: Central Bali at Tamblingan Lake
When to go: The lake is very quiet and the perfect escape from mass tourism. Any time of the day would be great to visit.
Cost: Park entrance is IDR 10,000 (roughly 0.7 USD). You can rent canoes starting at IDR 200,000 (roughly USD 14).
What to pack: Since you’re right at the lake, make sure you pack insect repellent and sun screen. Even though the temperatures are mild compared to other places in Bali, the sun is just as intense.
The Famous Bali Swing & Hidden Hills Wanagiri
While this is not a Bali-native attraction but mostly created for Instagram, it has become a very popular attraction and is just as stunning as other sights. If you don’t believe in taking a photo with the Bali Swing and feeding the hype, no hard feelings. Feel free to skip this paragraph and jump to our 5 travel tips for Munduk, Bali.
Wanagiri Hidden Hills & the Bali Swing have gained huge traction with tourism around the globe in the recent years. It’s a photo area in central Bali, set up to take staged photos with an incredible backdrop of Lake Buyan and surrounding mountains. There are several different places along Jl. Raya Pancasari road to take these types of photos and each of them has a slightly different set-up. Every stand is equipped with some dress rentals, a changing room, and the locals are super friendly and help you take the perfect photo. They even have a reflector to create the perfect lighting for you.
It’s a very popular destination to stop at and if you don’t like to be rushed, we recommend going early in the morning. We paid IDR 100,000 (roughly 7 USD) as entrance fee but heard that the price is going up over the years.
Bali Swing and Hidden Hills Wanagiri Tips
Location: Jl. Raya Wanagiri in Central Bali, if you're going there with a driver, show them a photo and they will know exactly where you want to go. If you're driving yourself, look for little huts/stands on the lake side of the street. Upon getting closer, you will notice the photo ops set-up.
When to go: The Hidden Hills Wanagiri are extremely popular so expect to wait in line to take your photo. The earlier in the morning you arrive, the less people will be there. We were there around 10am and once we left, it got very busy.
Cost: We paid IDR 100,000 (roughly 7 USD) to access the park area but heard that prices are on the upswing. Also, getting access to the big Bali swing costs extra.
What to pack: There are quite a few different photo spots. If you want additional variety in your pictures, make sure you bring some clothes to change into. They have a changing room so you can easily switch between outfits. If you don't have any outfits you like, the operators provide long and flowy dresses there which you can borrow/rent.
Note that the famous Bali gate is very close to the Wanagiri Hidden Hills. We wanted to take some photos there also. However, as we drove past, we saw that the wait was already at least 1 hour. Bali has so much to offer that we didn’t think it would worth waiting in line.
Overall, Munduk is a beautiful area to explore and you can easily fill 3-4 days visiting temples and waterfalls. It is not as busy as South Bali and a few degrees cooler, making it a great getaway! If you have more time on the island, make sure to also visit Ubud and check out some of these best hotels in Bali.
The Next Trip Top 5 Travel Tips for Munduk
1) Rent a car or have a driver.
Getting to and from Munduk, and getting around Munduk is difficult without a vehicle. We recommend renting a car or hiring a driver for the days when you're exploring. Talk to your hotel if they can recommend a driver for you.
2) Make sure you bring cash!
Bali is very cash-centric and doesn’t accept cards everywhere. Most of the sights/attractions in Munduk are paid attractions and require you to pay cash. There are some ATMs around Munduk but they generally don't let you withdraw more than 1,000,000 IDR (about 74 USD). We found this maximum to be the case in South Bali also. We paid our driver 680,000 IDR (about 50 USD) for the drive from Denpasar Airport to Munduk. For a day driving around Munduk, we paid our driver around 400,000 IDR (around 30 USD).
3) Bring Mosquito Repellent
Being located in the jungle with regular rain fall, there can be a lot of mosquitoes in Munduk. Make sure to bring mosquito repellent to protect yourself.
4) Bring Sunscreen
This is true for almost every outdoor destination. Even though it's a few degrees cooler than on the beach, the sun is just as intense in Munduk. Usually, higher elevation destinations require more sun protection.
5) Eat all the Fresh Fruit
There are a ton of fruit stands in Munduk on the side of the road. I am usually not a fruit person, but we sampled almost everything and had the best fruit I have ever tasted! I can highly recommend the passion fruit which are just picked from the trees.
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