The magical Indonesian island of Bali is well-known for its exotic landscapes, ancient vibe, and rich cultural history. There are dozens of temples, landmarks, and attractions spread out across the island’s 8 regencies, offering a mashup of majestic native art and architecture that’s almost too surreal to describe.
Combine the colors of the Bali sunset with the area’s uniquely shaped buildings and vibrant plant life and you have a scene that looks to be straight out of a video game in the adventure genre. With enough time, you’ll eventually discover all the gems the island has to offer, but if you’re in a rush to see the best spots first, you may want to start with the following 6 remarkably beautiful places in Bali.
1. Uluwatu Temple
Despite its small size and humble look, the Uluwatu Temple is considered one of the key temples in Bali. Situated along the edge of a 250-foot high seaside cliff that plunges into the Indian Ocean, the temple provides incredible views of the sunset and the nearby amphitheater plays hosts to evening Kecak fire dances.
Once you get tired of roaming the temple grounds and amphitheater, you can check out the small forest that lies at the front of the temple, where you’ll find a massive population of monkeys. This is one place that you’ll want to have scheduled early on your itinerary.
Related read: Best of Uluwatu
2. Ubud Monkey Forest
Although there are lots of monkey forests throughout Bali, the one in Ubud is by far the most renowned due to its geographical size and specimen population. This forest is also called the Sacred Monkey Forest of the Padangtegal and is definitely one of the more interesting spots in Bali thanks to the amount of culture and community that always surrounds the area.
The forest is inhabited by the grey long-tailed macaque monkey – a small-to-medium-sized species that is very agile and entertaining to watch.
3. Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot Temple is fascinating not only because of its insanely dreamy appearance on the surface but also because of the intriguing legend behind the location.
After exploring the temple and learning about its history, you can take a magical walk to the Batu Bolong rock formation, passing tropical gardens while still enjoying the convenience of having merchants selling snacks and souvenirs nearby; or check out the nearby surf town of Canggu. Most of the shops of this Bali point of interest are near the parking lot of the temple. A commonly sold snack is jaja kelepon – a favorite local dessert that contains palm sugar and coconut.
4. Besakih Temple
Besakih Temple, commonly referred to as the “mother temple of Bali,” is the biggest of all the temples on the island by far. This amazing temple consists of 18 sanctuaries that surround three other main temples dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma. Altogether the complex contains a total of more than 86 separate temple structures.
It’s easy to see why an ancient ruler would select this as a site for such a grand temple complex, as anyone is sure to be impressed by the surrounding scenery of lush hills, mountains, streams, valleys, rivers, and majestic rice paddies.
5. Tegallagang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
There are lots of rice paddies in Bali. In fact, they’re just about everywhere you look, but the sites with the best views and most intriguing designs are probably the series of paddies in Jatiluwih and those that lie along Tegallagang road.
Of course, there’s more than just green grass to look at – there’s a diverse range of street vendors, restaurants, and art shops along the way, which is another reason why these paddies are more noteworthy than others in Bali.
6. Goa Gajah
Goa Gajah is an enchanting piece of Balinese history that takes you on a trip back in time with its fascinating relics and statues.
The ancient courtyard gives way to a meditation cave, intricate wall carvings, native art, and a series of pools and fountains.
Tour Guides are Always Helpful
Visiting all of the above places by yourself can be fun, but you’re bound to learn so many more fun things to do in Bali with the guidance of a knowledgeable tour guide. Likewise, it’s helpful to have a travel agent that can help you make the necessary hospitality and accommodation arrangements before your departure.
Attempting to navigate these issues independently upon your arrival will only result in wasted time and potential disappointments, especially if you’re operating under time constraints as most vacationers are.
Which other beautiful places in Bali would you add?