While we can’t really argue that a trip to Bali isn’t about food, massage and yoga, we can tell you that there is, even more, awaiting your eager travellin’ self.
One of the most striking aspects of visiting this Indonesian Island is the natural landscape itself.
The land is rich with terraced rice fields, dramatic coastal cliffs, tropical valleys, and lush mountains. If you’re staying in a Bali Villa in Seminyak or Canggu, it is easy to access all of these living phenomena. Our favourite way to experience nature is absolutely by foot so you can listen to the sounds of wildlife around and smell the fresh scents of native plants. Not to mention, getting a bit of exercise feels great when you’re enjoying all of the culinary treasures near your Bali Villa. Without further ado, here is a list of our very favourite hikes around the Island.
Roughly two hours drive Northeast of the Canggu and Seminyak area sits a bubbling, active volcano, known to the locals as Gunung Agung, the highest point on the whole island. While the last eruption was as recently as February 2018, tourists are again flocking to the area to get a glimpse and residential evacuees are returning home. The evacuation zone was massively destructive to local businesses and they are eager for visitors to return in safe conditions. If you’re keen to hike Mount Agung, make sure you check updates before you go.
The best times are from July to September but it is off-limits during the religious ceremonies as Gunung Agung is one of the most sacred sites in Bali. If you’re keen to see the stunning sunrise that this hike is famous for, you’ll need to pack some warm overnight clothing and leave the night prior. There are two trails that lead you up the 2,200 metres and both take roughly 6 hours for the way up. We’ll be honest, this hike is steep and it ain’t easy. Book a guide to start your trek around midnight. It will be dark on the way up but you will be rewarded over and again at the top and on the way down you’ll get views of every corner of Bali. Upon your return, your luxurious Bali accommodation will feel better than ever before.
Another famous landmark in Bali, Gunung Batur, can’t be left off any list of best hikes. If you’re staying in a Canggu villa or Seminyak villa then you’ll need to plan around two and a half hours for the 80-kilometre drive to the base. Since this hike also offers glorious sunrise views, it’s not a bad idea to drive up the night before and set off with a guide in the early hours. If you want to be picked up from your villa in Seminyak then you’ll need to be ready before 2 am. Somewhat less strenuous than hiking Mount Agung, this summit is 1,717 metres and can be climbed in as little as two hours, including some breaks for pictures. Some find the hike moderately difficult but if you do regular cardio exercise then you might even find it easy!
The guide will provide you with a flashlight but you should bring along your own waterproof layers as well as a phone or camera to photograph the sunrise. If you like to eat breakfast early in the day you might also consider packing a small meal to carry with you. Give yourself at least an hour at the top to wander around the crater, watch the monkeys climbing around the temple, and sit for meditation as the world around you transitions into a new day.
West Bali National Park
Technically this isn’t a single hike but rather a collection of many hikes sprawling across the 190 square kilometres of jungle and wildlife that is almost entirely surrounded by sea. The park begins roughly a three and a half-hour drive from the Seminyak/Canggu area so be sure to leave early so you can spend most of the day soaking it all in. There are over 170 plant species and almost as many bird species, including some that are rare and endangered like the Bali Starling.
Most of the land is protected for conservation efforts so you’ll have to be mindful not to go stomping around off of the official trails, but you’ll be able to explore nearly everywhere. While trekking you might even have the rare opportunity to catch sight of the banteng or wild Balinese cattle, the Sunda Sumbar deer, or perhaps an ebony langur! While the forest is relatively humid, it can be hotter and drier than you might anticipate so it’s important to bring a few bottles of water and a sun hat. The entry fee is 200,000 rupiah per person but it’s well worth it to experience the stunning mountainous Prapat Agung Peninsula, coral reef coastline, and the acres upon acres of forests, savannas, and mangroves that are teeming with indigenous flora and fauna. For more information visit West Bali National Park.
Munduk is a town that lies roughly 70 kilometres north and slightly west of where your Bali villa might be in Canggu or Seminyak. If you hire a driver to take you up in the very early hours of the morning, you can pick one of the longer routes of the 12 hikes on offer in the area. The hikes range from 2 to 6 hours and vary in difficulty. One of our favourites is the “Loop trek” which begins at Munduk village and takes about two and a half hours winding its way through local towns and plantations as well as the Red Coral and Laangan waterfalls. If you’d like something a bit more strenuous you can opt for the six-hour “Dutch Colonial Trek” which traverses rich coffee and clove plantations and rice terrace villages. Hiring a guide is a great way to support local businesses and learn information about the villages and people of Munduk. If you fall in love with the area you can always come back to try the other hikes!
We know you’ll find at least one trek in this list that makes your stay in Bali that much sweeter. If they ever seem tough, just remember, your luxurious Bali villa is waiting to greet you at the end!