North Bali – Bedugul and beyond
We have been to Bali so many times, but never really ventured too far out - Uluwatu to the South and Ubud to the North was as far as we had gotten. There is so much to see beyond these areas so this last trip we took a huge day trip up to Bedugul - and it was SO worth it. Bedugul is around a two hour drive from Nusa Dua, with the scenery along the way comprising of strips of the greenest rice terraces and thick lush jungles. It was absolutely stunning and the views as you drive further up into the mountains was just breathtaking. We paid around $50 for the day with our driver in a minivan and he was fantastic, especially with the kids.vHere is a few of the things I recommend seeing around the area.
BALI TREETOP ADVENTURE PARK
Half of the reason we wanted to go up to Bedugul was for the Bali Treetop Adventure Park. I had read some reviews and decided I just HAD to go and see what all the fuss was about. The Park is located at the Botanic Gardens which itself is just stunning. I have never seen so much greenery!
The adventure park is a fantastic activity for kids aged 4 and up, right through to adults which will challenge you in every way (especially those scared of heights!) . It is a treetop activity course with ropes, ziplines, pulleys, swings and tarzan jumps - all with different difficulty levels. I have written a full in depth review of the park which you can read here, but I really can't recommend this place enough, it is so much fun.
The largest botanic garden in Bali at around 157 hectacres and 1300 above sea level, these gardens are defnitley worth a visit. It can get quite cool through the gardens so bring a jacket - there is also a accommodation available for those wanting to spend the night.
LAKE BRATAN AND ULUN DANU TEMPLE
Ulun Danu Temple , or Pura Bratan, is one of the most photographed spots in Bali and it's not hard to see why. The temple is situated on Lake Bratan and is surrounded by beautiful mountains, often hidden amongst the clouds. The temple was built in the 17th century in worship of the main Hindu trinity, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, as well as the lake goddess, Dewi Danu.
It was really busy the day we went, which I thiink would be the case most days but it is defnitley worth a visit. There was little swan boats for hire on the lake, and a few restaurants (not a huge recommendation of mine) and a cute little old fashion playground. I believe there is also parasailing, canoeing, speedboats on offer, aswell as some great hiking trails.
We visited the GitGit Waterfall which was around 30mins from Lake Bratan and again a beautiful drive up the mountain with lots of monkeys hanging around. There are 3 main waterfalls, and all an easy assessible walk. We had a guide take us down (I'm sure we didn't actually need this and spent money when we didnt need to, but knowing it went to the local villagers made it a worthwhile spend).
The waterfall is a beautiful spot to cool off in the natural spring water after the walk down, and there are plenty of little stalls on the way up and down offering snacks, drinks and local souvenirs.
We haven't yet been to this one as I only read about it after our trip, but it is apparently the least visited waterfalls and trickiest to get to. Probably not one I recommend for young families as it involves a lot of slippery trekking and off the beaten track "roads" - but very beautiful nonetheless. Best to find a local guide to take you to this one as its not easy to find.
BALI BUTTERFLY & REPTILE PARK
For those that love Butterflies there's a great Butterfly Park on the way to Bedugul. We chose not to stop as we already had a lot crammed in for the day but a good option for the kids.
CANDI KUNING MARKET
A large market on the way to Lake Bratan selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh flowers to souvenirs.
JATILUWIH RICE TERRACE
Another place I wish I researched before we went as this looks so beautiful and less touristy than Tengalalang in Ubud. The Jatiluwih Terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage site and offer a breathtaking view of the greenest rice fields in Bali. Being close to Mt Batukaru the air is a little cooler than usual, and there are plenty of cafés to stop for a coffee and enjoy the view. A must visit for those in the area.
On the way back if there's time, a stop at the famous Tanah Lot temple to catch the sunset would be perfect. I haven't been there myself as yet as it just got too late on our day trip to Bedugul but definitely something we will add into our itinerary next time.
Next time we would love to venture to the East Coast of Bali and explore the beautiful temples and water palaces around Candi Dasa, and more. But I highly recommend a day trip to the Bedugul region with the family, it's a fantastic day to explore some different areas of Bali.