The Land of Gods, that is Bali. This island is known for its traditional arts, dance, paintings, sculpture, and its rich Balinese Hinduism heritage. Bali is definitely the most visited island in the world and its popular tourist spots are often packed. However, do you know there are several hidden gems in Bali?
In this post, we explore 7 of its hidden gems, the best areas, and hotels to stay, and if Bali is worth visiting. You have landed on the right page if you are looking to know:-
- Where is Bali?
- What are the hidden gems in Bali?
- Which is the best area to stay in Bali?
- Is Bali worth visiting?
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Where is Bali?
Bali is one of Indonesia’s provinces. This province is East of Java and West of Lombok. Bali has three islands which are Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. This island is one of Indonesia’s popular destinations. The Austronesians are the natives of Bali. Although, the people are culturally associated with Indonesia and Malaysia.
Although Indonesia has a majority Muslim population of 87%, Bali’s Hindu population is 83%. Hinduism came to Indonesia in the 1st century through traders, sailors, and priests from India. The Tantu Pageleran is a collection of ancient tales from the Majapahit Empire.
This collection has extensive use of Sanskrit words and stories and emphasizes Indian deities and concepts. An 8th-century Canggal Inscription strengthens the widespread adoption and acceptance of Lord Shiva and other Hindu deities as their Gods.
Balinese Hinduism is a combination of animistic and Indian customs. The belief in the Trimurti of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva is prevalent here. The Balinese also worship non-Hindu Gods such as Sang Hyang Widhi. Sang Hyang Widhi is the Supreme God of Balinese Hinduism and is equivalent to Lord Brahma in Hinduism.
What are the hidden gems in Bali?
Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan
The first in our hidden gems in Bali is Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan. This temple sits on a caldera lake in Buleleng. There are three lakes in this area which are Lake Tamblingan, Lake Buyan, and Lake Bratan.
Another famous temple in Lake Bratan is Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. This particular temple is the archaeological remnants of 10th-century civilization.
The ancient civilization of Tamblingan was the first settlement near the lake. The villages were Munduk, Gobleg, Gesing and Umejero.
A common belief among the villagers was maintaining the sanctity of the Lake Temple. This temple is 44 miles from Denpasar which is a 2-hour drive. The only way to get here is by private vehicle.
Twin Lakes of Bali
The second in our hidden gems in Bali are the twin lakes of Bali. The twin lakes of Bali are Lake Tamblingan and Lake Buyan. The lake on the left is Buyan and the one on the right is Tamblingan.
This lake was previously one lake. However, local stories state that a major landslide divided the lake into two. This lake has been featured on Eleven Myanmar, Padma Resort, Ubud, and Travel Triangle.
These lakes are a 2-hour drive from Denpasar. Pura Tamblingan and the twin lakes can be made as a day trip since these two attractions are in the same area.
Pura Gunung Kawi
The third in our hidden gems in Bali is the funerary complex of Gunung Kawi. Gunung Kawi is Bali’s Valley of the Kings. This funerary complex is in Tampaksiring. This funerary complex is near Tirtha Empul.
Wanagiri Hidden Hills
The fourth in our hidden gems in Bali is the Wanagiri Hidden Hill. Wanagiri Hidden Hill is Indonesia’s Selfie Region. This lookout point is famous for its swing with a view of Lake Buyan. Other lookouts include a huge bird’s nest and a bamboo boat-like structure (Titanic, maybe?). The entrance fee is between IDR 100,000 to 150,000 ($7 to $10).
Campuhan Ridge Walk
This ridge walk is 17 miles from Denpasar which is about an hour’s drive. This walk is in Ubud. The walk passes through paddy fields, small villages, and ends at a cafe where you can enjoy the view. Check out How to Get to Campuhan Ridge Walk and walk away!
There is no entrance fee to visit the ridge. It takes about 1-3 hours to complete the 1.7-kilometer trek. This depends on one’s fitness levels. Campuhan Ridge Walk has been featured on Thrillophilia, Fodor’s Travel, and Coconuts.
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is 16 miles from Denpasar. This forest is home to the Balinese long-tailed macaque. An estimated 1,050 monkeys live here. The sanctuary is in Padantegal and the villagers own the forests and the temples within its ground. The three temples are Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, Pura Beji and Pura Prajapati.
Pura Dalem Agung Padantegal is the main temple and is dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi who is a personification of Lord Shiva. The grounds are based on Tri-Hita Kirana.
Tri-Hita Kirana is a doctrine where 3 harmonious relationships are recognized. The relationships are between humans, between humans and animals, and between humans and their Supreme God.
Pura Lempuyang is on the slope of Mount Lempuyang and is considered a highly sacred temple. This temple is said to represent the “six sanctuaries of the world”. This temple is about 48 miles from Denpasar which is an approximate 2-hour drive.
Before You Go
If you are going because of a photo-op, then you can skip this temple. It was revealed that there is no water element and the stunning reflection is a creative photography trick.
Why You Should Go
This temple is one of the oldest and is on par with Pura Besakih. There are 1,700 steps to reach the top. As this temple is in a remote area, one can experience real life in Bali. A journey to the top is a spiritual experience. This place is on Atlas Obscura, Mirror UK, and Lonely Planet.
Which is the best area to stay in Bali?
Munduk Moding is a resort in the Buleleng district in Indonesia. This resort is located 44 miles from Denpasar which is a 2-hour drive. This resort boasts an infinity pool that blends with the blue skies. The resort is famous for its spectacular views of the Java Sea and the surrounding mountains. There are several accommodation options available to suit your family.
This bamboo house is 30 miles from Denpasar. Veluvana is on the southern flank of Mount Agung. The house is made of locally sourced materials. This place is all about relaxation. One of the activities is a pampering session in the flower pool. These are known as flower baths or the local term, “Mandi Bunga”.
Flower baths are known to have healing properties. The benefits of flower baths include better sleep, soothes aches and pains, and relieving the symptoms of depression. For the adventurous, one can trek the paddy fields. Veluvana has been featured on Tripcanvas.
This hotel is on Seminyak beach. This resort boasts 67 sea-facing suites. Each suite comes with a refreshing welcome drink, breakfast, minibar, afternoon tea, and full access to Wellness by The Legian. If you are looking for swaying palm trees and modern architecture, then this resort is for you.
Wellness By The Legian is on the private stretch on Seminyak Beach. The facilities are Sauna, Steam Room, Hot and Cold Plunge Pools, and a lounge.
For complete privacy, stay at the 14 pool villas at The Club by Legian Seminyak. These pool villas are across the street from The Legian. The Club Villas come with a range of benefits to ensure a memorable stay. This hotel is on The Tatler, Harpers Bazaar Arabia, Telegraph UK, and Euro News.
This hotel is on Bukit Peninsula in Ungasan. The hotel is 15 miles from Denpasar which is an hour’s drive. This exclusive resort has 7 villas each with 5 bedrooms. Some of the attractions nearby are Pura Luhur Uluwatu and Jimbaran Bay. Jimbaran Bay is famous for its fresh seafood.
This resort is perfect for those seeking solace. It is away from the crowds of Kuta and Seminyak. This resort also has one-bedroom villas for couples. The good point of this resort is that all villas come with a view of the Indian Ocean.
Is Bali worth visiting?
Yes! Bali is worth visiting. If you are a first-timer, check out The Mistakes Tourists Make When Visiting Bali to avoid repeating those errors. Bali has a tropical climate, which means loose comfortable items of clothing are a must. Read about what to wear in Bali to know more. Bali has appeared on CEO World Magazine, TTR Weekly, and Fortune Magazine.
To experience life in Bali and its culture, it’s best to step out of the tourist zones and explore the island a little further.
Do you know Indonesia is home to sea gypsies?