Looking for all the best things to do in North Bali? We’ve got you covered! In this guide, I share all of the top places to see in the North of Bali. As well as where to stay, how to get around, and all of our top tips!
After visiting the North of Bali and discovering all there is to see, we were left wondering why it’s often left off of the hotlist. We found so many cool things to do in North of Bali!
From chasing waterfalls and climbing volcanoes to cruising along some of the most picturesque landscapes on the island – everything about the North screams adventure.
Not only that, it’s far less crowded than the South of Bali. Which, in our opinion, makes exploring a far more enjoyable experience.
As I say, you won’t be short of things to do. So let’s get into the North Bali itinerary you came here for.
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North Bali Guide - Where to Stay
While the North of Bali isn’t as popular as the South, it’s certainly more built-up than the likes of Amed in Eastern Bali. So regardless of your budget, you won’t struggle for a place to stay.
There are a couple of areas in North Bali that you might want to consider. Here’s a short description to help you decide where you might want to be:
Lovina is the main tourist town in the North of Bali, famous for black sand beaches and dolphin spotting. You’ll find many types of hotels in Lovina, ranging from budget hostels to high-end resorts. We stayed at Hotel Suma and would highly recommend it.
Check rates and availability for accommodation in Lovina here.
If you consider yourself more of a jungle lover than the beach, Munduk is an ideal choice in Northern Bali. Set around 45-minutes South of Lovina, the area is lush, green, and quiet, boasting some of Bali’s most instagrammable hotels. Like the Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort & Spa.
Check rates and availability for accommodation in Munduk here.
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North Bali Itinerary - Things to do in North Bali
Captivating waterfalls, volcanic beaches, and stunning religious sites make up the best things to do in North Bali. Here are 18 ideas to help you plan your trip.
1. Sekumpul Waterfall
When you search for anything to do with waterfalls in Bali, Sekumpul tends to top the list every time. So we’ll start this North Bali guide here.
Many describe this waterfall as the most impressive in Bali, and there’s no doubt that the momentous triple falls are a sight to behold.
With water cascading from an almighty 80-metres high into the lagoon below, and dense green vines adorning the cliff face it feels like a scene straight out of Avatar.
Book your tour here – Sekumpul Waterfall Tour
2. Fiji Waterfall
Just minutes away from Sekumpul Waterfall lay the majestic Fiji Falls. Set in the same lush jungle environment, it’s equally as impressive.
Our only complaint about the Sekumpul and Fiji waterfalls is the steep entrance fees. It’s not so bad if you just visit the viewpoint at 20,000 IDR/pp.
However, a recent regulation (ahem, scam), insists that a guide must accompany visitors who want to trek to the bottom of the waterfalls.
The result: A steep fee of 200,000 IDR/pp and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any way around it.
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3. Gitgit Waterfall
At a tremendous height of 35-metre, Gitgit is one of the tallest and most powerful waterfalls in Bali.
Set in a real jungle paradise environment, Gitgit has all the feels of an off-the-beaten-path adventure. When, in fact, it’s located an easy 15-minute walk from the main road.
Gitgit is the ideal spot to take a dip, chill out, and admire nature. However, we would encourage you to visit early should you want to avoid the crowds.
The entrance fee for Gitgit is 20,000 IDR/pax.
Book your tour here – Gitgit Waterfall Tour
4. Aling Aling Waterfall
If you’re seeking a real adventure in North Bali, you absolutely cannot miss Aling Aling Waterfall.
Famed for its impressive collection of waterfalls, countless natural pools, water slides, and daredevil cliff jumping opportunities, this is one of our favourite things to do in North Bali. With so much to see and do at Aling Aling, it would be easy to kill an entire day here and not get bored.
It’s important to mention that if you want to take part in cliff jumping at Aling Aling and all the other adventurous stuff, you will need to pay for a guide. Unlike Sekumpul & Fiji Waterfalls, it’s an absolute necessity here for your own safety.
Book your tour here – Aling Aling Waterfall Tour
5. Munduk Waterfall
Munduk waterfall is one of the lesser-known waterfalls in North Bali and not ideal for swimming; however, if you’re in the area, it’s worth stopping by all the same.
Located in the mountainous region of Munduk, you can expect an impressive waterfall amid lush jungle conditions. As a result of its unpopularity, it’s highly likely you’ll have the place all to yourself.
It’s an easy trek to reach the falls, and as I say, you can’t swim, so you won’t need much time here at all. Enjoy the leisurely pace and serene conditions before making your way to Banyumala Waterfall, which is next on our list.
6. Banyumala Waterfall
Making quite a name for itself on the North Bali Waterfall route, Banyumala is an impressive set of falls in the mountainous region of Munduk.
This hidden gem is quickly becoming one of the top things to do in North Bali. If you don’t mind the relatively difficult trek to reach Banyumala Falls, your reward will be a striking double waterfall cascading down a vine infested cliff face.
The falls have formed a crystalised natural pool at the bottom, ideal for cooling off after the arduous trek down.
Book your tour here – Banyumala Waterfall Tour
7. Mount Batur for Sunrise
Next up in our North Bali Giude is Mount Batur. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishing something while most people are still in bed. So how about climbing Mount Batur for sunrise – a 1700 metre high active volcano.
I have to admit, getting out of bed to make our way to base camp at 2 am was less than appealing. However, the magical moment of experiencing sunrise atop an active volcano was the ultimate reward.
If you are to drag yourself out of bed for only one sunrise during your time in Bali, I strongly suggest it be this one.
Book your tour here – Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking Tour
8. Dolphin Spotting
Many are surprised to learn that dolphin spotting is one of the popular things to do in North Bali – us included!
When we heard about this activity, we were really excited. I mean, who doesn’t want to see these majestic & playful animals in their own habitat. They’re like the puppies of the sea.
There is a fine line between ethical animal tourism and unethical; so please do your research first.
Book your tour here – Lovina Dolphin Tour
9. Black Sand Beaches
The black sand is said to have originated from Mount Agung – Bali’s most notorious volcano. The volcanic shoreline stretches from Amed, all along the East Coast and up to Seriret in the North.
Lovina is the most popular black sand beach in North Bali. You’ll find various beachside bars and restaurants along this stretch as well as water sports and other activities.
If you prefer somewhere a little quieter, you can head further west towards Seriret. You should also seriously consider heading to Amed in East Bali if you haven’t already.
10. Banjar Hot Springs
There are various ‘natural’ hot springs dotted around Bali; however, most are unauthentic and incredibly touristic.
We found Banjar Hot Springs to be the complete opposite, with mostly locals bathing in the cleansing waters of the holy springs. The 38-degree hot springs are centuries old.
The temperature of the water combined with the sulphuric properties is said to be excellent for your skin and health in general.
Book your tour here – Banjar Hot Springs Tour
11. Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery
One of our favourite hidden gems and unique things to do in North Bali, Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery is the only Buddhist monastery on the island.
Set in the mountains of North Bali, the complex consists of various gardens, meditation rooms, and religious statues, as well as a striking view over the surrounding landscapes. We were also surprised to find a similar design to the Instagram-Famous Gateway to Heaven, only without the crowds!
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the monastery is the replication of Borobudur Temple. Located in Java, Indonesia, Borobudur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest Buddhist Temple in the world.
12. Ulun Danu Water Temple
It may be touristic as hell, but we couldn’t exclude this from our North Bali Guide… there’s no denying the sheer magnificence of the Ulun Danu Water Temple.
The ‘floating’ Hindu temple, built in the middle of Tamblingan Lake is iconic to Bali thanks to Instagram. As a result, it’s one of the first things people want to do when they visit the island.
It’s good to note that rising water levels influence the appearance of the temple. If there hasn’t been a lot of rain, the ‘floating’ effect isn’t as noticeable.
Book your tour here – Ulun Danu Water Temple Tour
13. Wanagiri Hidden Hills
If you’re on Instagram, the likelihood is you’ve come across the Wanagiri Hidden Hills on a few thousand separate occasions.
The infamous Bali Swing and bamboo viewing platforms are the epitomai of gimmicky; however, there’s no denying that the stunning backdrop makes for a spectacular photo.
Even if it’s for the view alone, it’s worth a visit if you’re in the area. Go on, do it for the ‘gram.
Book your tour here – Wanagiri Hidden Hills Tour
14. Immerse in Local Culture
One of the things we loved most about the North of Bali is being in the heart of traditional Balinese culture.
Particularly driving around the areas surrounding Munduk and Seriret, you often find yourself passing quaint local villages who rarely see tourists.
We love stopping off in these places and buying a drink or a bite to eat, as you always end up getting way more from the exchange than just a refreshment. One of the most soul nourishing things to do in North Bali.
It’s part and parcel of the Balinese culture to be accepting and welcoming, so don’t be shy of starting a conversation. You’ll likely end up with friends for life.
15. Snorkelling & Scuba Diving
Some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving sites are in North Bali. Menjangan Island which is famous for its drop-off and coral garden, and Tulamben wreck.
A diving day trip to Menjangan Island is quite a popular activity from the North of Bali. Alternatively you could stay in the National Park for a night or 2; there are some beautiful resorts around, such as Menjangan Dynasty Resort and NusaBay Menjangan, as well as various homestays.
Book your tour here – Snorkelling in Bali Tour
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16. Bali Coffee Plantations
Due to cooler climates in the mountainous region of North Bali, it’s the ideal conditions for growing all kinds of fresh produce.
Most of the island’s fruit and vegetables are grown in these areas, as well as the delicious Balinese coffee. As a matter of fact, coffee plantations take up an unbelievably vast amount of space in the Munduk area.
The biggest and most-popular plantation is the Munduk Moding Coffee Plantation.
17. Stay at Munduk Moding Plantation
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While we are on the subject of Munduk Moding Plantation, it’s worth mentioning (again), the incredible hotel resort they have here.
The pinnacle of the mountain top property is the infinity pool overlooking the landscapes of North Bali. Rolling green hills and rice paddies stretch as far as the eye can see.
Oh, and if you rise & shine early, you’re in for one of the best sunrise views in Bali.
Check rates and availability for Munduk Moding Plantation here.
18. Handara Gate
Last up in our North Bali itinerary is another spot that owes thanks for its popularity to Instagram is Handara Gate.
The landmark is often mistaken for a religious site or historical point of interest. When in fact, the picture-perfect gate is actually just the entrance to a luxury golf course in Munduk.
Nowadays, entrepreneurial locals make a business from the gate alone, charging tourists 30,000 IDR for the ‘selfie’ ticket.
This gets you a spot in the often hours-long queue, where groups of people scramble for the same perfect shot. It’s madness really, but again, a beautiful place to take a photo.
Book your tour here – Handara Gate Tour
Save Time and Book a Tour
For a more local experience, we recommend checking out the guided tours on Get Your Guide:
How to Get to North Bali
Getting around in Bali can be an expensive ordeal. There is little to no public transport, and tourist buses are unheard of. Consequently, taxis, hiring drivers, or renting a car in Bali is often your only option.
If you can drive a scooter, this will be the cheapest and most convenient way to get around. Renting a scooter in Bali will set you back around 60,000 IDR per day.
Thankfully, the roads in Bali are for the most part in good condition and offer some scenic drives. The journey to North Bali, in particular, is incredibly picturesque as you pass through the heart of the Balinese jungle.
Top Tips for North Bali
Here are some useful tips that I hope will enhance your travel experience in North Bali.
How Long to Stay in North Bali
We stayed in North Bali for almost a week. It isn’t necessary to be there that long, but we extended our visa at the Singaraja office, which meant we had to stay locally.
You could probably cover most of the highlights over 2-3 days. But if you wanted to take your time, 4-5 days would be perfect.
Extending your Visa in North Bali
In our experience, the Singaraja Immigration Office in North Bali is the fastest place on the island to extend your visa. If you purchased a visa on arrival when arriving at Bali airport, you are eligible to extend for up to 30-days. For more information, check out our article on getting a visa extension in Bali.
Best Time to Visit North Bali
The best time to visit Bali will be in the dry season, which runs from April to late September. While there is always a chance of an odd rainy day, you generally see warm and dry conditions during this time.
Having said that, the best time to visit the waterfalls in North Bali is usually between March and May just as the wet season is drawing to a close.
That’s because all the rainfall causes the rivers to overflow, resulting in some pretty damn ferocious waterfalls. Of course, they are still well-worth visiting in the dry season; however, this is just our personal preference.
It’s also worth mentioning that July and August are considered the high season in Bali, and consequently, prices are higher, and everything is busier.
Getting Around in North Bali
Unless you are confident on a scooter, getting around North Bali could prove a little tricky.
With no public transportation, and from what we could tell no Grab or GoJek, your only option is to hire a driver.
This offer for a Private Car or Minibus Charter is highly competitive relative to local transport companies. Click the link to read thousands of positive reviews, check the latest prices, and to make a booking.
Enjoy These North Bali Attractions!
So there we have it, 18 unmissable things you should do when visiting the North of Bali. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to reach out to us in the comments.
I hope you found this guide for North Bali helpful. We wish you an incredible trip!
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.