25 Best Hidden Gems in Bali: Non-Touristy Things to Do

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Sunrise over Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, a famous Hindu temple on Bratan Lake

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 Southeast Asia and is undoubtedly one of the closest places on earth to paradise.

With its abundant natural beauty, cascading waterfalls, breathtaking sunsets, and mystical temples, Bali looks like it’s been taken straight out of an artist’s imagination. And as there are countless things to do in Bali, there is 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.

Staying in places where tourists and large crowds dominate can take away from the mystery and magic of the island. If tourist traps and frequently visited sights aren’t your things, fear not! Bali remains a treasure trove of hidden gems, secret hideaways, and untouched natural wonders.

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

You have to head into the unknown 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 dive headfirst to find the real hidden gems of Bali.

Best Hidden Gems in 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 in Bali!

1. See Authentic Local Life at Les Village

Les Village Scenery
ronnie.muhadi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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 of the tiny village away from the main tourist areas.

Mix and mingle with the locals and take in the slow-paced life of 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 protect you and your loved ones.

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 virtually untouched waterfall, making it one of the perfect hidden gems of Bali for adventure seekers and waterfall chasers. Become one with nature as three of the five elements – air, water, and earth – come together.

3. Trek Through the Sacred Sukawati Canyon, Beji Guwang

Beji Guwang Scenery

The sheer magnificence of Beji Guwang cannot be fully explained – and any explanation will surely do it no justice. This hidden canyon is a masterpiece 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 see faces in the rocks? Is there a crying skull in the walls? There’s only one way to find out…

4. Marvel at the Untouched Wonder of Bhuana Sari Waterfall

Bhuana Sari Waterfall Scenery

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 nature’s power as you dip in the shallow pools around the falls.

See Related: Reasons Why Traveling is Important

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

Marigold field, Bali, Indonesia
Credit: Sakeeb Sabakka

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.

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

Bukit Asah Bugbug Skyline and Scenery

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

Tukad Cepung Waterfall Scenery

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

Pinggan Village Aerial View

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.

Do not underestimate the magic of an evening hike. With the glittering lights of the tiny village below and the twinkling stars above, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.

9. Get in Touch with Nature at Kanto Lampo Waterfall

Kanto Lampo Waterfall Scenery

A short trek down the makeshift stairs through the jungles of Bali leads you to the roaring cascades of the Kanto Lampo waterfall. 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, Kanto Lampo 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

Mende Hill Scenery

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

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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 in 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 completely off the beaten track, 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 like 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

Tegel Wangi Beach Aerial Scenery
image by Nick H/TripAdvisor

Ever dreamed of having your private tub on the ocean to watch the spectacular sunset? Visit Tegel Wangi Beach, and you can make this dream 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

Bunut Bolong Banyan 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 drive 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.

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14. Be Mystified at Yeh Leh Mystery Boulder Beach

Yeh Leh Beach Sunset Scenery

Unlike most 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 visit the boulders, 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.

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15. Find Hidden Treasure at Suluban Cave

View from 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.

Suluban Beach Aerial View

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

Waterfall in Sambangan Secret Garden

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, 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

Bayu Beach Resort
Cik Bak / Shutterstock.com

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 beach 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 places of worship in 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

Sangeh Monkey Forest Scenery

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

Around 700 monkeys – long-tail Macaques – live 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 forest’s heart. 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

Melasti Beach Aerial View

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

Munduk Village Aerial View

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 spectacular Melanting and Tanah Barak waterfalls nearby for an Instagram-worthy picture.

23. Hike Around the Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall

Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall
Source: Adobe Stock

Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall, located in the northern region of Munduk, Bali, is a stunning waterfall and a Bali hidden gem. It features four waterfalls cascading over a large rock wall, surrounded by lush vegetation.

The water bursts out of the rock formation into a shallow pool cascading into a creek. If you plan on visiting this waterfall, take the time to explore the trails where you can take in the stunning views and appreciate the beauty of nature.

The waterfall has a long and rich history and culture, making it a great spot to explore and learn about the area. When visiting Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall, it’s important to plan and follow any safety tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

24. Explore Menjangan Island in West Bali National Park

Aerial View of Menjangan Island and Coral Blue Water
Source: Adobe Stock

Menjangan Island, located in West Bali National Park, is a secret paradise that offers an escape from Bali’s typical hustle and bustle.

This small island is known for its spectacular snorkeling and scuba diving spots, where you can witness the beauty of the coral reefs and colorful marine life. Menjangan Island will take your breath away with its white sandy beaches and enchanting underwater environment.

25. Visit the Twin Lakes of Tamblingan Buyan and Asah Gobleg

Twin Lakes of Tamblingan Buyan
Source: Adobe Stock

The Twin Lakes of Tamblingan Buyan and Asah Gobleg are amazing hidden gems in Bali that should be added to your itinerary. Located in the lush rainforests of the north, these two serene, mystical crater lakes are split in the middle by a hilltop offering an incredible view. Trekking is one of the more popular activities here, with the most common hike being to the top of Asah Gobleg.

For those looking for a more private experience, book the private tour with trekking where you can enjoy an air-conditioned vehicle and a professional English-speaking driver. The Twin Lakes offer a unique Balinese experience you won’t miss.

See Related: Complete Packing List for Bali

What is Bali Known For?

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple and Sunset Scenery

Bali is an Indonesian island well-known for its rich culture and history, stunning temples, and beautiful natural scenery. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and its numerous waterfalls are some of the most popular attractions in Bali, as well as its beaches which are perfect for surfing, scuba diving, and other activities.

Bali is also home to many Hindu temples, giving it a spiritual vibe that attracts many tourists looking for a more spiritual experience. Many yoga and meditation retreats are also available for those looking to relax and reflect. When you visit Bali, you can expect to experience stunning beauty, a vibrant culture, and a spiritual atmosphere.

FAQs

What are some off-the-beaten-path things to do in Bali?

If you want non-touristy things to do in Bali, visit the nearby secret waterfalls and hidden black sand beaches. Our favorite places to visit include the Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall and Balian.

Is Bali worth visiting?

Bali is an incredible destination that is worth a visit. The area has recently been a hot tourist destination, given its wide array of activities, amazing climate, and outstanding natural beauty.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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