Anyone who’s ever been to Bali knows (and will happily tell you) that the best things to do in Bali are all pretty much found outdoors. The best parties – outdoors. The best restaurants – outdoors. The best beaches (you guessed it) – outdoors. Even the temples are open airs and outdoors. In fact, some of the most impressive (man-made and indeed, natural) sights can be found going on some of the best hikes in Bali!
With that, we call you to strap on your walking shoes, grab yourself a couple of bottles of water (trust me, you’ll need it), pick up your camera and head of the following 9 best hikes in Bali.
1.) Sekumpul Waterfalls
While there is certainly no shortage of spectacular waterfalls in Bali (see case in point here – then here, oh and here too!), this hike in Bali is by far one of the most impressive ways to experience Bali amazing natural beauty!
The Sekumpul hike is ideal in that it brings you past not one, but seven spectacular falls in a relatively small area. While you would be well advised to hire a professional guide for the majority of Bali hikes, this is one path that is extremely well-marked and quite safe, so you can easily go it on your own.
The initial descent down the stone staircases can grow challenging, yet once you reach the bottom, you have the option to take one trail which will lead you to a collection of four waterfalls, or you can choose to go right for the gusto and take the alternate path, which leads to the famously gorgeous Sekumpul Falls for which the hike is named.
Suffice to say, Sekumpul Waterfalls is widely considered one of the most beautiful places in the entire country, so be sure to set aside a fair bit of time to soak it all in.
Oh, also this is quite a popular spot for bathing and the entire area can get quite crowded in peak tourist season, so try to go fairly early in the day if you want to have it to yourself sans the crowd. By the way, you will most definitely get your feet wet on this walk, so invest in appropriate footwear beforehand!
Major sidebar: Almost every beautiful waterfall in Bali worth seeing will involved some level of trekking so it’s best to arrive in Bali armed with that knowledge.
2.) Mount Batur
Mount Batur is perhaps the most popular and definitely one of the best hikes in Bali, and it is certainly easy to see why! The second highest peak on the island is gorgeous even from far away in the nearby town of Kintamani. The summit of Mount Batur is a staggering 1,717 meters above sea level and is home to some absolutely spectacular views of Caldera Lake and Mount Rinjani.
To hike Mount Batur means to hike on an active volcano, which I guess is always something cool to say you’ve done later on. 😀
For the ultimate experience, be sure to book a guided sunrise trek, which entails a two-hour climb to the summit, where the vivid colours and seemingly sudden transition from night to day will be one that will make you’ll be grateful you brought your camera with you for the ride! 📸
3.) Mount Lesung
This moderately paced hike is one of the most iconic rainforest day hikes available anywhere in the world and undoubtedly one of the best hikes in Bali!
You begin your journey on the western side of Tamblingan Lake where you begin your steady yet relatively minimally inclined ascent to the mountain’s summit, all the while surrounded by the beautiful, lush rainforest.
Once you arrive at the top, you’ll be rewarded with a breathing view of the volcano’s crater, as well as the Munduk Valley below!
For an absolutely spectacular experience, be sure to book an overnight hike, where you will be able to see some of the most incredible displays of stars before falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle!
4.) The Old Nature Cave Trek
This is one of the best hikes in Bali for anyone looking to combine wildlife with breathtaking scenery.
This strenuous trek begins in the infamous Sangeh Monkey Forest and provides the perfect opportunity to check out these cheeky fascinating creatures in their natural habitat, before moving on to the iconic cave for which the hike is named.
Here in the cave, you can sit and enjoy the jungle scenery while dipping your feet in the cool waters before completing the journey with a pretty walk along the Penet River Valley.
5.) The Red Coral Waterfall Trek
A fairly easy hike located in Munduk, you begin your adventure by traversing through massive fields of local crops, including coffee, avocados and vanilla before reaching the breathtaking Red Coral Waterfalls themselves.
The falls make for quite an amazing sight, framed against the thick jungle vegetation covering the cliffs nearby. Be sure to make some time to stop for lunch and relax before making your way back.
This is a moderate paced hike that takes anywhere from five to seven hours to complete.
The incredible views and ample opportunities to splash around in the water make each and every step well worth the journey! Here, you will walk past no less than four spectacular waterfalls as well as an ethereally scenic blue lagoon!
Along the way, there are ample opportunities to escape from the heat by swimming in one of the many pools, and in some locations, you may even find a natural slide to zip down into the cool, refreshing waters below, making it not just one of the best hikes in Bali but also one of the more ‘balanced’ hikes.
7.) The Twin Lake Hike
For this hike, it makes sense to book yourself a reputable guide before heading out on one of the best hikes in Bali you will ever experience!
Here, you will get views of two of Bali’s most scenic lakes – Tamblingan Lake and Buyan Lake, both of which are widely renowned for their spectacular beauty, as well as the opportunity to hike through a proper jungle, complete with all of the lush vegetation and plethora of wildlife that one would expect to find here.
One of the most memorable moments in this hike is the pristinely maintained temple hidden deep within the woods, a reminder of the sacred energy the land is said to hold.
8.) West Bali National Park
In order to hike here, you must first obtain a permit and a guide, as independent treks are not allowed here.
Once you have booked a trek, however, you are in for a tremendous treat, as the West Bali National Park is pretty unparalleled in when it comes to the plants and animals on show here.
Here, you will have the chance to walk underneath vivid green canopies, through ancient mangrove forests and even stop for a rest on the beach while keeping an eye out for leaf monkeys, barking deer and the critically endangered Bali Starling!
For those who crave a little underwater adventure, there are multiple opportunities for snorkelling and scuba diving at the marine park so arrive here, prepared for many amazing experiences in Bali’s natural playground.
9.) Mount Agung
MAJOR NOTE: In 2018, this volcano erupted and the situation is still on-going so hiking here is neither allowed nor recommended at this present time. Be sure to check with the official Bali tourism board before planning a hike here.
At just over 3,000 meters above sea level, Mount Agung is not only the highest point in Bali, but it is also a spot of enormous spiritual significance. To the Balinese, Mount Agung is a sacred area, so be sure to exercise proper respect and reverence for the area as you climb!
This is one of the most popular and best hikes in Bali to greet the sunrise, which begins with a four hour long, extremely strenuous hike throughout the darkest hours of the early morning. Once you power through the rather treacherous scramble at the end, you can sit and relax while enjoying one of the most spectacular displays of colour you will get to see on the island!
Be sure to book your guide through your hotel’s concierge or some sort of other reputable agency, as it is very important to take this journey with someone who is well experienced with the land.
10.) Mount Rinjani
This amazing hike is one that had to be mention even though it’s not actually on Bali bit instead on the nearby island of Lombok. At nearly 4,000 meters above sea level, this volcano is the second highest in all of Indonesia.
This strenuous hike can take anywhere from four to seven days to complete, depending on your level of fitness and the pace sustained. This is definitely not a trail you will want to rush through, however, as you will come face to face with panoramic views of the Senaru crater rim as well as the gorgeous Segara Lake!
There are also some natural hot springs located on the latter end of the trek, providing you with a much-welcome opportunity to soak your tired bones and rejuvenate before tackling the last leg of the journey!
The view from the summit is unlike anything else you have ever seen in your life – absolutely amazing and as you’re above the cloud level, this is one viewpoint that looks and feels very much unlike any other you’ve experienced before.
These two below are essential honourable mentions to the best hikes in Bali as they are great ways to spend some outdoorsy time in Bali but are at best, nice little trails than a hike. Don’t get that put you off though, these are some pretty beautiful sights worth adding to your travel itinerary when you’re in Bali! (You can always do them before or after your hikes above).
11.) The Tegallalang Rice Terraces
With all of the natural beauty Bali has to offer, it may seem strange to the uninitiated to plan on spending a morning/afternoon exploring rice fields, but a walk through these beautiful rice terraces is an experience you will never forget!
Located in the village of Tegallalang, there is no real charge to wander through the groves of coconut palms and thriving rice fields, though you will get asked to donate or tip the locals who maintain the fields.
Be sure to carry some smaller bills for this purpose (though it should be noted that the donation is technically discretionary and you are within your rights to say no, even if it doesn’t feel quite like you can).
12.) The Tirtagangga Rice Paddies
Although the Tegallalang rice terraces above are one of the most popular places to visit in Bali, the Tirtagangga rice paddies are without a doubt one of the most beautiful (despite its relative lack of popularity compared to Tegallalang).
You really would never believe that rice paddy terraces could be so sublimely beautiful until you visit the village of Tirtagangga.
The walk through these terraces is very easy (as I said, it’s more trail/gentle stroll than a hike) and mostly level, complete with staggering views of the nearby hills and pristine streams.
After you have completed your walk, be sure to stop by The Water Palace, which is a collection of spring-fed pools teeming with koi fish, gorgeous sculptures and fountains! Here, you will find a number of fantastic restaurants, as well as shops and boutiques just waiting for you to pick up your Balinese souvenirs.