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19 Best Day Trips from Ubud [+ tips and best tours]

Discover the best day trips from Ubud including destinations to the north, south, east and west of the beautiful island of Bali.

If you plan to explore the most beautiful Indonesian island of all, then you need this guide to the best day trips from Ubud, Bali. The number of lovely places to visit in Ubud centre means it’s easy to spend more than one day in Ubud, but you can also head out on some of the best day trips in Bali when you’re based here. 

Following our recent visit to the gorgeous island, this article lists all the top Ubud day trips you might like to include in your own Ubud tour package. So if you’re wondering what to do in Ubud, Bali for 3 days – or even longer, these Bali day trips from Ubud will ensure you never get bored!

Is Ubud worth visiting? Most definitely. This small inland town has an arty vibe that sets it apart from any other resort. It’s one of the best places to shop, eat, explore local culture and spend the day at a spa, and then of course there are all the Bali day tours from Ubud you can take!

If you want to plan some day trips from the Bali town in the uplands, read on to discover 19 of the top day trips from Ubud. Which Bali sightseeing day tours will you be booking? 

If you’d like to customise your own day tour from Ubud, hiring a private guide is surprisingly affordable – we had a fantastic few days out with the same company who did our Bali Airport to Ubu transfer – Bali Airport Shuttles (YES! They also do tours) Click here for more info!

Central Bali

1. Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Best day trips from Ubud include the Tegalalang Rice Terraces as shown in this image.

Cascading rice paddies are an integral part of Bali’s scenery. So what better way to kick off this list than with a day trip from Ubud to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces? The fields are actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and are particularly popular at sunrise and sunset. 

A number of Ubud excursions include the famous rice terraces on the itinerary. You’ll pass plenty while travelling around the island, but getting up close is a different experience altogether. 


2. Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul Temple 2
Tirta Empul Temple 1

According to Bali’s Hindu community, Tirta Empul Temple is a sacred site. This water temple is one of Indonesia’s busiest, and is visited by those who want to cleanse both body and soul.

The pool here is fed by what’s believed to be holy spring water. Witnessing locals undergoing this religious ritual gives you a unique insight into island life. 


3. Taman Ayun Temple

Taman Ayun Temple.
Taman Ayun Temple.

Pura Taman Ayun or Taman Ayun Temple is among Bali’s most famous temples, and it’s also attractively set among glorious gardens. The lush greenery and tinkling water features of the gardens instil a genuine sense of peace. 

If you’re looking for a photogenic and archetypal Balinese temple to visit and capture on camera, this could well be the one. 


4. Tegenungan Waterfall

Tegenungan Waterfall.

Close to town and therefore one of the top picks for an Ubud day trip are Tegenungan Waterfalls in Tegenungan Kemenuh – which is also sometimes referred to as Kemenuh Village. 

This is an incredibly tranquil spot a world away from the tourist crowds, and only around half an hour’s drive from Ubud. Again, it’s a great photo opportunity too. 


5. Coffee plantation

Coffee cups with a tropical background of palm trees.

If you’re the sort who can’t function without a daily caffeine fix, then a coffee plantation is one of the places near Ubud, Bali that you really need to visit. There are several in the area to choose from, including Satria, Luwak, Merta Harum and more. 

Coffee is one of the most common crops grown in the area around Ubud. So if you’re interested in how beans are grown, harvested and made into drinkable stuff, this is a must. For the smell alone, in many cases. 


6. Ubud Monkey Forest

Monkey forest Bali.
They may look sweet but they can bite!

Monkey Forest Road – or Jalan Monkey Forest – is Ubud’s main thoroughfare. At the bottom of this busy street you can enter another world by wandering into the sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Plenty of sightings are guaranteed, and the entrance fee is affordable. 

You can stroll down there while in town, or visit as part of many Bali island day trips. The 12.5 hectare forest is also home to many native species of flora. 


7. Elephant Cave Ubud

Elephant Cave Bali

The Goa Gajah elephant cave is only around ten minutes’ drive from Ubud. While the cavern itself is natural, the elephant head carving giving it the name has been added by humans. The complex it’s found at also includes a Hindu temple, making it another of Bali’s sacred sites. 

Various from-Ubud tours include the Ubud elephant cave, or you can hire a driver locally to get there. It’s a peaceful spot and worth seeing, especially if you’re joining a tour or organising a day out that includes other historic, cultural or natural local attractions. 


Northern Bali

8. Handara Iconic Gate

Handara Sacred Gate Bali

The Handara Gate in Bali is Insta-famous, and thus a phenomenally popular spot among photography and social media fans. This type of gate traditionally symbolises the transition from the outer world into the inner sanctum of the temple. 

Handara Iconic Gate is now the entrance to the Handara Golf Resort near Ubud in Bali. If you’re going there independently, sunrise is the quietest time and it’s also even more photogenic then. Visits to the gate are also included on various Bali tours from Ubud, or you could even book a stay at the golf resort!


9. Ulun Danu Temple

Ulun Danu Temple.

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Ulun Danu Temple or Pura Bratan is a prominent Hindu Shaivite temple by Lake Bratan in the mountainous area near Bedugul and Ubud. The lake was formed by a historic volcanic eruption that occurred around 30,000 years back. 

The temple was built to honour Dewi Danu, the goddess of the lake. There are five shrines at the complex, and it’s among nine Kahyangan Jagat Balinese temples. 


10. Wanagiri Viewpoint

Wanagiri Viewpoint 2
Wanagiri Viewpoint 1
Wanagiri Viewpoint

One of northern Bali’s most camera-friendly spots can be found at Wanagiri Hidden Hills. The site is also close to Handara Iconic Gate. There are various structures and props that can create unique photo opps. 

These include wooden teacups, an oversized bird’s nest, a swing, a boat’s bow, tree houses,  wooden stars, and even an Asian-style Eiffel Tower. The viewpoint also overlooks the lake. 


Eastern Bali

11. Lempuyang Gates of Heaven

Lempuyang Gates of Heaven.

Mount Lempuyang is home to a group of Balinese temples known as the ‘Gates of Heaven’, due to their lofty position close to the clouds. Again, this is one of Bali’s holiest sites. Not to mention being among the most photogenic. 

You can climb the long staircase here for sweeping views over the island too. Lempuyang is one of half a dozen main or Sad Kahyangan Jagad temples thought to form the sacred ‘pillars’ of the island. 


12. Tirta Gangga Water Palace

Tirta Gangga Water Palace.

Tirta Gangga Water Palace in Eastern Bali was once home to Indonesia royalty, but has since been transformed into a garden complex with bathing pools. Its name references local terms for water of the Ganges. 

The site is set among a stunning backdrop of rice paddies, and is dotted with sculptures and fountains as well as the palace and pools. 


13. Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Hidden among the jungle caves of Bali is Tukad Cepung Waterfall. This is a dramatic sight to behold, with water cascading through the mouth of the cave. The fact that it’s illuminated by sunlight adds extra drama. 

You’ll have to ascend a set of steep stone steps to view the waterfall, but it’s so worth it. Seeing and hearing the curtain of water tumbling into the cave is a pretty special experience. 


14. Monkey Bar (+ infinity pool)

Monkey Bar 1
Monkey Bar
Monkey Bar 2

The Bella Kita Mountain Retreat and Spa is home to the Monkey Bar. Here you can sip a drink beneath a stone Buddha that’s four metres tall. 

The Monkey Bar also has an infinity pool set against a jungle backdrop, and there are incredible views over the coconut groves of the valley from here. Good food and drinks are available, and it’s unmissable at sunset. 


15. Virgin Beach

Virgin Beach Bali

Virgin Beach is so-called due to its pristine, unspoiled white sands. Take a one day trip from Ubud here and you’ll feel a million miles from the tourist crowds. Not to mention totally at peace. 

You can rent a sun lounger here, or simply spread out a towel or sarong on the white sand. It’s a lovely place to take a dip, or you can book a boat ride to skin across the surface of the crystal clear water. 


16. Tenganan Village

Tenganan Village.

Tenganan Village is one of the most traditional and beautiful villages on the island. It’s worth taking a detour here when you visit Ubud. The village is so calm, and also incredibly clean and well-kept. 

If you want to see the real island way of life dating back centuries, then paying a visit to Tenganan Village is highly recommended. 


Southern Bali 

17. Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple is a Hindu sea temple on the island of Bali. Take a from-Ubud trip here and you can enjoy the magnificent coastal setting while immersing yourself fully in the local religious culture. 

According to local lore, the powers of the Hindu Trinity merge at this site. These are Brahma, Siva and Vishnu. 


Western Bali

18. Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple.

Tanah Lot Temple or Pura Tanah Lot is probably the most famous of all Balinese temples. It’s located in western Bali. It’s an iconic and dramatic sight, and looks even more incredible at sunset.

Tanah Lot is perched on a tiny island, just out to sea. Many a Bali day tour includes a sighting on the itinerary, and rightly so. The temple was originally constructed to honour the sea God Bhatara Segara.


19. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces UNESCO 

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.

The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are also UNESCO listed and many photographers, hikers and cyclists make a pilgrimage here. This part of eastern Bali is largely rural and unspoiled, so it shows visitors another side of island life. 

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is one of Bali’s most beautiful sites. Positioned about 700 metres above sea level, there’s also sublime views from the area. 


Which day trips from Ubud will you take?

So which are the best tours in Ubud for you? There are plenty of options for anyone seeking a  one day trip in Bali when you’re based in this arty uplands town. 

Bali is such a beautiful island, so really you can head anywhere while you’re here without any chance whatsoever of ending up disappointed! With breathtaking photo ops at every turn, too, what’s not to fall in love with?

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