People believe that Bali is a beach paradise, but the island has much more to offer and to be honest the neighbor island has better beaches. So, if you would like to enjoy beaches go to Lombok. On the other hand, if you would like to see amazing waterfalls surrounded by jungles and treks through rice terraces leading to them, visit north of Bali.
The island has amazing mountain area which is still unspoiled. Most of the tourist would actually stay on the south west of Bali where you mainly see clubs, McDonald's and KFC. Visitors who don't want such experience should just go north and never look back :). Ubud, which was once quiet, small place, is becoming more and more popular, but it is still a nice place to stay. The town can be used as a starting point for one-day trips to the closest waterfalls. To the waterfalls on north-west you can also go for one day trip, but from Ubud, it could take two hours of driving (one way), so probably it will make sense to stay close by in that area. The more north you go the nicer people you will meet. So sleeping there is actually not a bad idea.
A public transportation in Bali almost doesn't exist. The best way to get around is renting a scooter. It's not expensive for about 4-5 euros a day you can rent the vehicle and a full tank will cost you less than a lunch about 2-3 euros. The other way of transportation is to use the private taxis which are everywhere. It will make sense if you are a bigger group. Otherwise, it could be quite expensive and you will be supporting the local taxi mafia. Those guys are depriving all other transportation services which in their opinion offer "too reasonable" prices for the tourist. If you don't want to stand by this kind of behavior, just try to avoid them. There are also tours that can take you to the waterfalls but if it is not kind of a private tour they are likely to make you rush through the places. So, just rent a scooter or if not possible look around there is plenty of people on scooters who would like to be taken to amazing waterfalls :).
Waterfalls close to Ubud (one day trip):
Tegenungan waterfall – you can bath in this one, and jump, and generally have fun :).
Tibumana Waterfall – also a place where you can swim. Basically, all the waterfalls require swimming suit. You can either get inside of the water or you will get wet while getting pictures, so be prepared.
Kanto Lampo – it’s rather an unpopular waterfall, but it is beautiful and the people working there are super kind. They are constantly swiping the stones so they are not slippery. The staff will also make your pictures, including entering the water themselves. You can get exactly in front of the waterfall and climb the stone there. Beautiful short walk covered with colorful umbrellas will get you there. There is an entrance fee, as for most of the other waterfalls, but it’s usually less than 1 euro.
Waterfalls close to the lake Bratan (sleep somewhere in the area):
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is the temple that you see on every advertisement of Bali. Although it’s a nice place I wouldn’t say that it is more impressive than the close by Sekumpul waterfalls. In my opinion, those are the most beautiful waterfalls on the island. There are treks you can do, that will cover all of them, but if you don’t have the whole day you can go to two different starting points and see 3 of them on the first spot and then drive a little bit more and see another 2. The way to get to them is also amazing and you will enjoy your ride coming from the lake. Make sure your scooter is powerful enough as you will be driving in a mountain area. The trek to the waterfalls is as beautiful as they are. You get to see nice rice terraces which don’t have 100 tourists walking on them so your picture will look beautiful. There is also a swing which is not ridiculously priced, so if you ever dreamed of having pictured on one, make your dream happen there. Tip – visit the waterfalls in the afternoon if you would like to see the rainbow. It’s magical.
Except all of the waterfalls above, there are plenty more. Some of them you can find on the map, some are hidden and still not popular. That doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve attention. You can spend easily two weeks in the north of Bali exploring only waterfalls. If you have the time do it and I promise you won’t be disappointed :). For the best weather conditions visit the island in June and August. Enjoy your trip, enjoy Bali.
Need more tips and tricks how to have the best trip ever? Check my other posts:
Thank you for reading and upvoting. Let me know if you need more information for the places. Cheers, Eva :)