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21+ Hidden Gems of Bali: Find Undiscovered Locations to Explore

21+ Hidden Gems of Bali: Find Undiscovered Locations to Explore

Bali has plenty of culture, picturesque moments and things to do. However, there are a few hidden gems of Bali that no one has heard of. Here is a list of the unknown things to do in Bali.

Bali is one of the best-known gems of South East Asia and is undoubtedly one of the closest places on earth to paradise.

With its abundant natural beauty, spectacular waterfalls, breath-taking sunsets and mystical temples, Bali looks as though it’s been taken straight out of an artist’s imagination.

And as there are countless things to do in Bali, you have no shortage of places to explore.

Food is always a great option with many healthy organic options in Bali. This makes Indonesia one of the best places to travel solo in Southeast Asia.

But with so much attention on the tiny island, more and more tourists and travelers come to visit, seeking the adventure and magic that Bali promises like amazing food and black sand beaches surrounding Bali.

And staying in places where tourists and large crowds dominate can take away from the mystery and magic that of the island.

If tourist traps and frequently visited sights aren’t your thing, fear not! Bali remains a treasure trove of hidden gems, secret hideaways and untouched natural wonders.

There are a plethora of undiscovered locations still waiting to be found on the island. Ones that aren’t in the Top 10 lists or travel guidebooks.

For unique photo opportunities, once in a lifetime experiences and a genuine adventure that’s different from all those who have been here before, you have to head into the unknown.

You have to dive headfirst into undiscovered Bali.

List of the Best Kept Secrets of Bali

If you want to get away from the crowds, step off the beaten track and do some serious exploring for yourself, check out this guide to some of the best hidden gems of Bali!

1. See Authentic Local Life at Les Village

Explore the secluded coastal village of Les in the north of the island to get a feel for authentic Balinese daily life.

With its black stone beach, fishing and salt farming, you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the tiny village away from the main tourist areas.

Mix and mingle with the locals and take in the slow-paced life that comes with living in such a beautiful location.

Go snorkeling to explore the colorful fish and rich sea life or take part in various coral reef preservation projects in the village.

Ensure you get scuba or snorkeling insurance before you go. Use World Nomads to find the best scuba and snorkeling insurance policy to keep you and your loved ones protected.

See Related: Most Beautiful Destinations in the World

2. Be Amazed by the Beauty of Yeh Mampeh

Yeh Mampeh, Bali, Indonesia
© CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

A waterfall that was given as a gift from the Gods?

Sounds like something from a fairy-tale!

This 30-meter tall waterfall is believed to be a gift to the people of Les village from the Goddess of Batur Lake.

Yeh Mampeh (meaning flying water in Balinese) is a waterfall that is virtually untouched, making one of the perfect hidden gems of Bali for adventure seekers and waterfall chasers.

Become one with nature as you see three of the five elements – air, water and earth – come together.

3. Trek Through the Sacred Sukawati Canyon, Beji Guwang

The sheer magnificence of Beji Guwang cannot be fully explained – and any explanation will surely do it no justice.

This masterpiece of a canyon in a feast for the eyes and rivals any other natural wonder on this list (or beyond!).

The undulating rocks of the canyon are passed by a shimmering river which you can wade into to get the best views.

Visit this mysterious canyon to uncover the secrets and local legends that shroud it in mystery.

Can you really see faces in the rocks? Is there really a crying skull in the walls?

There’s only one way to find out…

4. Marvel at the Untouched Wonder of Bhuana Sari Waterfall

Hidden deep inside the lush forests of Northern Bali, tucked away from the public lies Bhuana Sari Waterfall.

One of the best waterfalls in Bali, this wonder of nature has been flying under the radar. It is rarely visited by anyone, save for the birds and animals in the trees surrounding it.

Watch as the water bursts from the rocks and gushes down the cliffs into the tiny creek below. Marvel at its beauty and feel the power of nature as you take a dip in the shallow pools around the falls.

See Related: 13 Reasons Why Traveling is Important

5. Swim in a Sea of Yellow at Desa Temukus Marigold Fields

The marigold is often used in Balinese religious rituals, and there is no better place to see whole fields of them than at Desa Temukus.

Make sure to ask permission from locals before entering the field and be sure to take a camera with you.

Marigold field, Bali, Indonesia
Credit: Sakeeb Sabakka

The sea of yellow-orange flowers is an uplifting and inspiring one, and a significant part of Balinese life.

6. Have a Picnic with Sweeping Ocean Vistas at Bukit Asah Bugbug

At this hilltop paradise overlooking the vast ocean, you’ll feel like you’re on top of (or on the edge of) the world.

The slanted hillside gives you incredible panoramic views of the deep blue Indian Ocean and is perfect for watching the sunrise or having a picnic (almost) in the air.

7. Watch Water Burst from the Cliffs at Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Another one of Bali’s majestic waterfalls, Tukad Cepung is unique as it is surrounded almost entirely by cliffs. Walk down the flights of steps to the base of the waterfall and look up to see the flowing water coming down through the cliffs from the river above.

Be careful though to keep an eye on the water levels – flooding is not uncommon, and the water tables can rise rapidly after periods of rain.

There can be a ton during the rainy season of Bali.

8. Get the Best Views of Mount Batur Sunrise at Pinggan Village

One of the first things you’ll read about when visiting Bali is the early morning hike up Mount Batur to see the sunrise.

What they won’t tell you, however, is that the best views are really from the isolated mountaintop village of Pinggan, high above the clouds.

Here, you can avoid the hordes and take in the majestic volcano in a more meditative, zen setting.

Hiking up here for sunrise and watching the changing colors of the dawn is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

However, do not underestimate the magic of an evening hike.

With the glittering lights of the tiny village below and the twinkling stars in above, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.

9. Get in Touch with Nature at Kanto Lampo Waterfall

A short trek down the makeshift stairs through the jungles of Bali leads you to the roaring cascades of Kanto Lampo. Imagine white curtains of water rushing down into a pool of greenish blue.

With the dappled sunlight shining through the leaves above, you can clamber over the boulders along the river and admire the carvings in the rocks.

Just a short stretch from the yogi-haven town of Ubud, this waterfall is a must-visit.

Want to see other things in Ubud?

Use this Ubud guide to see and do the essentials in the area.

10. Hike Across a Dinosaur’s Backbone at Mende Hill

The hike up Mende Hill is not a difficult one but is one of the least known hikes on the island. Reaching the top of the hike you’ll be able to take in the scenic views over the hills and valleys below, while feeling like you’re standing on a dinosaur’s backbone.

Be careful though with the steep drops either side as you’re nearing the peak – it’s a long way down!

See Related: Best Travel Backpacks

11. Find Undisturbed Bliss at the Little Green Grotto and Cliffs of Undisan Bangli

The Little Green Grotto is one of the best hidden gems of Bali, mainly because it is a little complicated to get to.

But the hardest journeys often lead to the most beautiful destinations – and reaching this hidden gem most definitely pays off.

Make your way through miles of dense forest and you’ll find yourself surrounded by towering cliffs covered in thick green moss.

Follow these cliffs up until they merge, and you’ll come to a place that looks as though it’s been taken straight out of a fairy-tale – the Little Green Grotto of Undisan Bangli.

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12. Watch the Sunset from Your Private “Jacuzzi” at Tegel Wangi Beach

Ever dreamed of having your own private tub on the ocean to watch the spectacular sunset?

Visit Tegel Wangi Beach and you can turn this dream into a reality!

The beach is dotted with tub-like holes you can soak in with your beloved, making for a romantic escape.

Visit at sunset for an extra special experience, watching the sun dip below the horizon over the vast expanse of ocean in front of you.

For photographers, artists and anyone who wants to be wowed by nature, this place is a must-visit.

13. Drive (or Don’t!) Through the Bunut Bolong Tree

Visit the village of Manggissari in western Bali and you’ll come across a pretty impressive tree. With gnarled roots forming a kind of archway, many are tempted to take the road and drive through the tree.

However, if you’re visiting Bali on your honeymoon, be warned – the tree is said to possess supernatural powers.

Legend has it that newlyweds who drives through the hole will inevitably end up separated.

Fortunately, another road has been built next to the tree to protect believers from the tree’s dark powers.

See Related: Best Travel Yoga Mats

14. Be Mystified at Yeh Leh Mystery Boulder Beach

Unlike most of the beaches in Bali, Yeh Leh is not a white sand blue water beach. But this does not make it any less spectacular.

The mysterious beach of Yeh Leh is littered with countless unusual boulders along its shoreline. Stories have it that they’ve been around for hundreds of years – but no-one even knows how they got there!

For decades, this place has been one of Bali’s best kept secrets. Now though, more and more people are visiting as the beach gains attention through the incredible photos posted on the internet.

If you want to pay the boulders a visit, you’d better go sooner rather than later, before it becomes one of Bali’s top attractions.

Consider these other awesome surfing spots in Bali.

See Related: Best Credit Cards for Overseas Travel

15. Find Hidden Treasure at Suluban Cave

Suluban Cave located under the surfer’s paradise of Uluwatu looks like something from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Adventure through the limestone cave and explore the little tide pools and towering cliff faces nearby.

Follow the cave and you’ll find yourself on Uluwatu Beach, nicknamed “blue point” for its unmatched blue waters.

From here, you’ll be able to see the sea temple of Uluwatu, perched high on the rock, or surfers riding waves out in the water.

16. Dive into Rural Bali at Sidemen Village

Rural Bali Indonesia

Lush green forests, picturesque rice paddies and gently flowing rivers make Sidemen Village the essence of rural Bali. With every path you take leading to nature, you can trek through the vibrant jungles to discover old wooden bridges, ancient ruins and a landscape dominated by greenery.

Located in the east of the island underneath the majestic Mount Agung, the village is rarely visited by tourists. The local culture here is as authentic as it was before tourism took over.

For nature lovers and serenity seekers, Sidemen may well be the new Ubud – just make sure to visit before the village becomes too popular!

17. Meditate and Find Inner Peace at Sambangan Secret Gardens

High in the mountains of northern Bali and hidden deep in the jungle is the Sambangan Secret Garden. A lush jungle garden surrounded by rice paddies, gushing waterfalls and tall, green-covered cliffs, this perfect piece of paradise has been kept a secret from modern-day tourists.

Venture into the gentle river running through the ravine and you’ll come to the Blue Lagoon, a mystical pool of deep blue surrounded by green rocks. Follow the river to the end of the ravine and you’ll come to Aling Aling, a 35-meter tall, striking waterfall – one of many in the area.

For arguably the prettiest waterfall, make sure to visit Kroya, a waterfall with a natural waterside in the rock.

Perfect for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies. Book your tour of the secret gardens now.

18. Watch Spectacular Sunsets at Bayu Beach

Located 1km north of Amed Beach lies the mystical, hidden Bayu Beach. With black sand, towering palms and the silhouettes of the mountains in the background, this tiny beach is a rare find.

Swim or snorkel in the clear waters, stroll across the volcanic black sand or take a moment to appreciate the serenity and seclusion of the beach.

The sunsets from Bayu Beach are not to be missed either, with the occasional Melasti ceremony – Balinese beach cremation – taking place at dusk.

19. Take Part in a Balinese Worship Ritual at Gunung Kawi Water Temple

Kawi Water Temple

The sacred bathing temple of Gunung Kawi is one of the only ones in Bali where you can actually take part in the worship ritual. The lush green gardens and flowing water make Gunung Kawi one of the most places of worship in all of Bali.

Learn about the power of the water at this temple before donning the traditional green robes and immersing yourself in the icy waters.

With tranquil fountains, lily pads and carp ponds, you’ll feel spiritually renewed after a visit to this temple.

Bali - Pura Tirta Empul temple (sacred water)
Credit: BMR & MAM

20. Interact with Monkeys at Sangeh Monkey Forest

This is the lesser-known monkey forest which is often overshadowed by its more popular twin in Ubud. But lesser-known also means fewer crowds and a more authentic experience.

There are around 700 monkeys – long-tail Macaques – living in the trees and the surrounding area of Sangeh Monkey Forest.

Uluwatu Monkey Forest in Bali
Credit: Jorge Franganillo

One of the best things to see here is the elaborate 17th century Balinese temple, deep in the heart of the forest.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of local newlyweds who come here to take photos dressed in magnificent ceremonial clothing.

21. Check out the High Cliff at Melasti Beach

A stunning beach on the south coast of the island is one of the places that remains largely undiscovered by tourists.

Melasti Beach is framed by giant, towering cliffs with incredible rock formations, and is definitely worth a visit especially during one of those iconic Bali sunsets.

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22. Chase Waterfalls at Munduk Village

If you’re looking for a piece of authentic Balinese culture without the hordes of tourists, Munduk Village should be on your list!

With only a handful of small guesthouses, this mountaintop retreat offers the peace and serenity you just can’t get anywhere else on the island.

Bali Waterfall
Credit: Dion Hinchcliffe

Be sure to stop by the nearby Melanting and Tanah Barak Waterfalls for an Instagram-worthy picture!

Have you visited Bali yet?

What did you think about this guide to the best and most captivating hidden gems of Bali?

Are there any places on the list that you’re dying to tick off? Where are you going to go first on your Bali adventure?

Maybe you’ve even visited some of these natural wonders for yourself? Or have some to add that we missed off on this list? What is your favorite hidden gems of Bali?

Either way, we’d love to hear from you!

Let us know about your Bali adventures, questions and thoughts in the comment section below! 

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