Sure, there are some things you absolutely must experience in Bali. Like visiting the stunning Tegalalang Rice Terraces, staying in a hotel with an infinity jungle pool, relaxing at a trendy beach club, or checking out Ubud’s vibrant food scene. And you must plan to visit Bali for at least two weeks to tick everything off your Bucket List!
But unfortunately, with the explosion of tourism on this tiny island paradise, the popular Bali destinations have become notoriously hectic. This has left a lot of visitors wanting to seek out the more unique non-touristy things to do in Bali.
From off the beaten track waterfalls to beautiful rice fields and hidden beaches, plus the most quirky and unique places to see in Bali. Use this guide to discover some of Bali’s hidden gems and must-see places that most people don’t know about yet.
Read on to learn more about 15 off the beaten path Bali Secret Spots that are yet to be discovered!
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In This Post:
Bali Secret Spots & Hidden Gems – At A Glance
There are actually thousands of hidden places in Bali that are just waiting to be discovered. To help you see the best of Bali off the beaten track, here we reveal the location of these amazing secret spots in Bali:
- Pinggan Village Sunrise Viewpoint
- Balai Gili Water Palace
- Taman Festival Abandoned Theme Park
- Gembleng Waterfall
- Lahangan Sweet Viewpoint
- Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets
- Sideman Valley Rice Fields
- Underwater Temple in Amed
- Candidasa Lotus Lagoon
- Abandoned Boeing 737
- Lake Tamblingan
- Pemuteran’s Biorock
- Tukad Cepung Waterfall
- Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls
Top 15 Hidden Gems in Bali
#1 | Pinggan Village Sunrise Viewpoint
When it comes to hidden gems in Bali, the Pinggan Village sunrise viewpoints has to be one of Bali’s best kept secrets!
Frequented mostly by local teens and some tourists in the know, the view from this hill is among the best on the island. Every morning as the sun rises and the sky turns orange, a thick layer of fog lifts, revealing a quaint village below. It’s a mesmerizing experience.
Pinggan Village is located about one and a half hours north of Ubud, in the foothills of Mount Batur. If you’re staying in the popular tourist hubs south on the island, you’ll need to hit the road in the middle of the night to get there for sunrise. If this doesn’t sound like fun, then check out Pinggan Sunrise Camping or check into one of these hotels nearby.
Lacking both parking space and streetlights, the viewpoints, all located along the same road, can be hard to find in the dark. So, hiring a driver that knows where to go is your best bet, especially if you aren’t comfortable with the risks involved with driving a motorbike in Bali.
The viewpoints are best visited at the end of the rainy season when the fog is still thick, and you’re more likely to experience a clear day. Remember to check the exact time of sunrise so can get there at least one hour early. And don’t forget to bring your camera, a tripod and a headlamp if you’ve got one.
Location: Sukawana, Kintamani, Bangli Regency
Where to Stay:
Read Next: 6 Common Tourist Traps to Avoid in Bali
#2 | Lahangan Sweet Viewpoint
Lahangan Sweet is an epic view of the mighty Mount Agung volcano and is one of the most beautiful places in Bali. The viewpoint is located in the lush, up-and-coming Karangasem region of East Bali atop a spectacular ridge. To the left, you will find the famous Mount Agung, and on the right, the sweeping Bali coastline and mountain range.
Lahangan Sweet Bali can be hard to get to but is most definitely worth the time and energy. Since the viewpoint is a lesser-known attraction, the infrastructure has not yet been put in place to make this an easily reachable place. But this is all part of its charm.
The ridgeline can be visited on a scooter up a steep and winding roadway, just make sure to follow the directions on Google Maps carefully. Park your vehicle at the bottom of the ascending dirt path by the warung (restaurant) and venture up on foot. Please note that the small warung is the only access to food and drink you will have, so it’s best to bring your own snacks and reusable water bottle.
The Lahangan Sweet viewpoint is best visited at sunrise or sunset when you get to experience the most beautiful golden light framing Mount Agung.
Where to Stay:
#3 | Balai Gili Water Palace
Tucked in the Karangasem Regency of Eastern Bali, there is a water palace that teems with charming beauty and fascinating history. Ujung Water Palace, which was known as Waterpaleis during the Dutch East Indies era, is a beautiful Bali secret spot often overlooked by foreign tourists.
Here, you can find three large pools, where the main building, Balai Gili, sits right in the middle. Cross the bridge covered in gorgeous bougainvillea as you behold a piece of history left from the colonial times. The Dutch architecture is not the only showstopper, but the surrounding gardens and water features, all of which are meticulously cared for.
Balai Gili is a relaxing place to enjoy a picnic or stroll around. One might even say it holds a certain romantic allure too! The entrance fee is only Rp 15.000 per person, which considering the tranquility of the area, is a bargain. It only takes around 1 hour 50 minutes to drive there from popular areas like Canggu and Seminyak.
Unlike the more touristy water palaces on the island, this one is also home to plenty of little fishes. Indeed, there can be nothing more invigorating than a nice afternoon here, with the cooling breeze brushing against your skin.
Where to Stay:
#4 | Taman Festival Abandoned Theme Park
Bali is full of uber-popular Instagrammable hotspots and tourist traps, so finding unique places in Bali is not always easy. If you enjoy urban exploring abandoned places you need to check out this abandoned theme park in Sanur.
Located just a quick scooter ride from the main harbour the theme park is called Taman Festival and was once Bali’s most popular tourist attraction. However, it was never fully completed and only opened briefly before being abandoned permanently.
Today, most of the structures still remain untouched but are slowly being taken back by nature. Visitors can see the park for a small fee charged by locals. The area of the park is quite large so its easy to spend at least an hour or two exploring, maybe more if you venture further into the jungle. Some of the buildings are very overgrown so make sure to wear good footwear and be careful when walking around.
Taman Festival is a fantastic spot for taking photos so packing your camera is highly recommended. This Bali secret spot is well worth a visit if lost places are something you enjoy seeing and photographing.
Location: Kesiman, East Denpasar, Denpasar City
Where to Stay:
#5 | Gembleng Waterfall
Another interesting place in Bali, Gembleng Waterfall, is a relatively new natural formation where you won’t find crowds or have to queue to take photos. Most likely, you will have this stunning place entirely to yourself and feel like an explorer! But get there fast, before others find out about this gem!
The waterfall is situated in a southeastern region of Bali called Sidemen. It is over an hour drive from Ubud and about 2 hours drive from Seminyak and Kuta. For this reason, its best to stay in Sidemen for at least one night. You can reach Gembleng Waterfall on a scooter or hire a private driver.
Gembleng is a cascading waterfall with a few natural pools where you can take a refreshing dip which is highly recommended. It is surrounded by lush jungle, and because the waterfall is elevated, you be treated to a spectacular view of the Sidemen countryside!
To find the waterfall, just type its name in Google (or click the link below). When you arrive, there is a small entry fee paid to locals and a short hike up to the waterfall. Wear some water shoes or hiking sandals, because part of the path will be through a small stream with slippery rocks.
Where to Stay:
#6 | Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets
If you’re looking for one of the most unique things to do in Bali, aside from basking in the sun and visiting beautiful Balinese temples, head to Setia Darma House of Masks & Puppets in Mas Village.
Located just 15 minutes away from Ubud city center, this museum is an absolute treasure house of marionettes and masks from all over the Indonesian archipelago as well as other parts of the world. It is also home to Wayang Kulit, the famous shadow puppets of Indonesia.
Listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, the slender leather/paper puppets of Wayang Kulit form an inseparable part of Balinese culture.
At Setia Darma House, you will find more than 7000 masks and puppets neatly displayed in traditional Javanese wooden houses known as Joglo. Each room contains detailed descriptions (in English), so it’s easy to do a self-guided tour of the museum.
The museum is open every day between 8am – 4pm. Admission is free, but a donation is highly recommended. There is also a lush tropical Balinese garden onsite as well as a local coffee shop.
Where to Stay:
Read Next: 40 Best Places to Eat & Drink in Ubud
#7 | Sideman Valley Rice Fields
One of the most unique things to see in Bali are the incredible rice terraces. Rice farming is a big part of the Balinese culture. In fact, rice is the most important crop in Bali because it creates a lot of jobs and food on the table for many Balinese people.
The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are very popular, but if you’re looking for a true hidden gem in Bali, then the rice fields in the Sidemen Valley, are one of the most beautiful. The scenery in Sidemen is extra special because the majestic Mount Agung can be seen from many parts of the valley.
Sidemen is still very underdeveloped and off the beaten path, so you won’t come across many other tourists in the area. It’s safe to say that compared to other popular and touristic rice fields in Bali, Sidemen is still very authentic.
You can easily find a local guide who’s more than happy to give you a personalised tour. This is highly recommended if you’re interested in learning more about rice, the local community, and the ways of living in Bali. Apart from rice, you’ll also find cocoa, peanuts, snake fruit, and many other interesting plants that grow on Bali.
Since there is no public transportation in Sidemen, you need to pay a taxi to take you there or hire a private car for the day. If you want to stay in Sidemen for a couple of nights, then there are several options for accommodation, most of which has incredible views over the valley.
Where to Stay:
#8 | Pantai Jemeluk Underwater Temple
Amed on the east coast is one of the most underrated destinations in Bali, thanks to its laid-back atmosphere, black sand beaches, great view of Mount Agung, and excellent snorkelling and diving.
If that is not enough, there is a truly hidden gem in Amed that you can’t even see – unless you look under water. There is a small underwater temple, a short swim away from Jemeluk Beach called Pantai Jemeluk.
It’s not easy to find if you’re not in know, but if you ask one of the warung (restaurant) workers on Jemeluk Beach, they’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction. There should also be a buoy marking the location.
Jemeluk Beach is one of the best places for snorkelling in Amed, and the underwater temple is a favourite spot amongst snorkelers and free-divers. The temple is quite small, but makes for interesting photos, and the marine life around the temple is outstanding.
The temple is also known as the underwater post office, since you can mail postcards (zipped in a plastic bag of course) from here, which are collected once a day and taken to a real post office.
A few meters behind the temple, you can also find some underwater sculptures and statues that were placed here as living sculptures that create new marine habitats.
Where to Stay:
Read Next: The Perfect Itinerary for 2 Weeks in Bali
#9 | Candidasa Lotus Lagoon
Candida Lotus Lagoon is a large lake or lagoon, covered almost entirely with beautiful pale pink lotus flowers, making it one of the most beautiful places to see in Bali – especially at sunrise or sunset.
The lake is located in the northeastern part of the island, right on the side of the main road Jl. Raya Candidasa, across the street from the temple with the same name, Pura Candidasa.
The size of the lagoon is quite impressive, with almost 1000 square meters. You can visit the lagoon full of lotus flowers for free and at any time. It is a place little known by tourists and an excellent opportunity to take beautiful pictures for Instagram.
The distance from the airport to the lagoon is about 65 km. Depending on the traffic, you can get here in an hour and a half or even two. Alternatively, there are plenty of great accommodation options along the coast in Candidasa.
Although it is pretty far from the more famous tourist hotspots on the island, Candidasa is well worth a visit since it’s a yet to be discovered secret spot in Bali.
Location: Sengkidu, Manggis, Karangasem Regency
Where to Stay:
Read Next: 30 Bucket List Things to See in Bali
#10 | Mandala’s Abandoned Aircraft
For some reason, Bali seems to be covered in abandoned planes. There are at least five scattered around the island although it’s more than likely that you’ll find even more somewhere in the lesser-known parts of Bali. These planes aren’t small either. Most of them are literal passenger jets and there is even a Boeing 737 among them.
Stories on how the planes ended up in Bali vary. Most seem to be failed business ventures of some kind. A few were supposed to be transformed into restaurants or Airbnbs while others were bought for different projects that simply never happened.
One of the easiest planes to visit in Bali is the Boeing 737 in South Kuta known as Mandala’s Abandoned Aircraft. It’s on the way to Uluwatu so the perfect stop to add to a day-trip itinerary to Bali’s south.
This plane is literally located right next to the highway and very easy to access. It sits on an empty lot next to a Dunkin Donuts and seems very out of place in the busy centre of town.
Walking around and taking pictures is free and there is usually no one else there. You used to be able to go inside as well but in the past years, that doesn’t seem to be possible anymore, unfortunately.
Location: Kutuh, South Kuta, Badung Regency
Where to Stay:
#11 | Lake Tamblingan
Located in Munduk, Lake Tamblingan is a picturesque hidden gem that not many people know about. Well, Munduk in North Bali itself is a less-visited hilly region that offers amazing vistas and plenty of unique things to do.
Surrounded by hills and forests along with ancient temples, Lake Tamblingan is somewhere you should add to your must see places in Bali list!
Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan temple is the most well-known temple around the lake because of its close proximity. The lake and the temples around are considered holy by the locals hence there is no development in the area.
The area surrounding the lake is maintained by local Balinese people and an entrance fee of 10,000 IDR per person contributes towards the sustainability of the lake. There are also canoes on the lake, available to rent.
The lake is super popular for pre-wedding shoots because of its serenity and beauty so don’t be surprised if you see a lot of Bride and Grooms here.
To reach Lake Tamblingan, it’s better to rent a scooter or a private car with driver and follow google maps. There are many tours in the area that offer jungle trekking that takes you to Lake Tamblingan and the other 2 lakes in the Munduk region.
Location: Munduk, Banjar, Buleleng Regency
Where to Stay:
- Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort & Spa
- AltaVista Mountain Villa Bali
- Munduk Luxury Heaven Villas
Read Next: COMO UMA Ubud: A Luxury Resort in Bali
#12 | Pemuteran’s Biorock
Bali’s southern coastline gets most of the attention when it comes to tourism, but if you venture north to Pemuteran you’ll find a chilled-out beach town that offers tan sand beaches, seaside cafes, prime hiking trails, and quiet temples.
Just a short swim from the shoreline is Pemuteran’s Biorock, the largest Biorock artificial reef project in the world. The goal of the Biorock project is to bring back reef life that was once damaged through dynamite fishing.
Steel structures are placed on the seabed, attracting coral polyps and small fish who will use the structure as their shelter. Over time, the steel turns to limestone and the corals build upon themselves, creating a natural reef.
Snorkelers and scuba divers at the Biorock project will discover an abundance of coral and anemones, surrounded by reef fish. Occasionally, sea turtles and reef sharks cruise through the project, easily seen from the surface. Standout statues include a Hindu deity sitting in a lotus, a bicycle, a crab, and an octopus.
Location: Pemuteran, Gerokgak, Buleleng Regency
Where to Stay:
Read Next: The Ultimate Bali Itinerary for First Timers
#13 | Tukad Cepung Waterfall
There are many spectacular waterfalls in Bali such as the well-known Tibumana Waterfall or Tegenungan Waterfall. However, many of these famous waterfalls are often crowded with tourists, and nothing diminishes their beauty more than getting smacked in the face by selfie sticks.
There are also many hidden waterfalls in Bali that are not so flooded by tourists. One such place is the quiet and unique Tukad Cepung.
The Tukad Cepung Waterfall is located 45 minutes by car from the popular city of Ubud and is one of the best things to do around Ubud. Because of how secret the waterfall is, it is often difficult to find tours or willing taxi drivers to go there. That is why it is recommended to hire a driver or rent a motorbike to get there.
What differentiates Tukad Cepung Waterfall from the other waterfalls in Bali is the journey to get there. Once you have arrived at the parking lot, visitors must make an interesting trek to the bottom of the falls. Tukad Cepung is located at the bottom of a narrow canyon, where you will find small rivers and pools.
The final part of the hike involves wading through waist-deep waters and crawling underneath cave-like spots. However, the reward at the end is worth it, as you get to see the beautiful Tukad Cepung Waterfall along with the magnificent light rays that seep into the canyon! This is one place you must add you your Bali Bucket List!
Location: Jalan Tembuku, Tembuku, Kabupaten Bangli
Where to Stay:
Read Next: The Best Hotels & Places to Stay in Bali
#14 | Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls
The four Banyu Wana Amertha waterfalls are located in the North of Bali near Bedugul and within one kilometer of the popular Banyumala Twin Waterfalls.
Unlike the other waterfalls in the area, the Banyu Wana Amertha waterfalls are not overrun by tourists and are a real hidden gem in Bali. Depending on when you arrive there, you might even have one of the waterfalls for yourself!
All four Banyu Wana Amertha waterfalls are in located together in one valley. Visitors must walk down a path through plantations to reach them. To get to the waterfalls, you’ll need to rent a scooter or hire a private driver. The driving time from Canggu is approximately 2 hours, or 1.5 hours from Ubud, unless you plan to find accommodation nearby.
While all four waterfalls of the valley are beautiful, the Spray Waterfall and Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall are the most picturesque. Both are a very serene environment where water cascades down mossy rocks. While Banyu Wana Amertha waterfall has a shallow pool at the foot of the falls, it is possible to swim at the Spray Waterfall.
Location: Wanagiri, Sukasada, Buleleng Regency
Where to Stay:
Feeling inspired? Here are 10 amazing destinations you must add to your Travel Bucket List!
Looking for More Hidden Places in Bali?
There are literally thousands of hidden gems and secret spots in Bali. It would take years to discover them all.
From hidden beaches to secret waterfalls, and off the beaten path rice fields (which are actually dotted all over Bali) – the number of hidden places in Bali that are waiting to be discovered are simply endless.
If you’re intent on planning your perfect itinerary around the countless undiscovered Bali gems, why not try Googling these other off the beaten path Bali hotspots:
- Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon
- Sangeh Monkey Forest
- Jutiluwih Rice Terraces
- Leke Leke Waterfall
- Bali Green Village
- Bandung Waterfall
- Mende Hill
- Bukit Asah Bugbug
- Nyang Nyang Beach
- Suluban Cave
- Karang Boma Clifftop
- Gili Putih Island
- Jimbaran Panorama Point
- Desa Temukus Marigold Fields
- Sambangan Secret Gardens
- Gunung Kawi Water Temple
- Golden Valley of Waterfalls
- Wisata Alam Rice Fields
- Green Bowl Beach
- Bukit Cinta
- Bhuana Sari Waterfall
- Tengal Wangi Beach Rock Pools
- Kanto Lampo Waterfall
- Melasti Beach
Have we missed a spot? Can you recommend any other great Bali Secret Spots for other visitors to check out, let us know in the comments below!
Ready to Book Your Next Trip to Bali?
We hope this article has helped you to uncover some unique places in Bali to discover on your next vacation. To make the most of your trip, be sure to check out our other Bali articles. After visiting many times we have a ton of great Bali resources.
- 6 Common Tourist Traps to Avoid in Bali
- Top 10 Things to do in Ubud, Bali
- The Best Hotels and Places to Stay in Bali
- The Ultimate Two Week Bali Itinerary
- 30 Bucket List Experiences Not to Miss in Bali
- A Guide to Visiting Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud
- Bali Food Guide: 40 Places to Eat & Drink in Ubud
- 15+ Bali Hidden Gems & Secret Spots Revealed!
Have a great time discovering Bali’s Hidden Gems!
Planning a trip soon? Here’s a list of the websites we use for booking our trips:
- Skyscanner for the best flight deals
- Booking.com for the best rates on hotels
- HomeAway for the best price on apartment and home rentals
- Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals
- Luxury Escapes | Expedia for luxury package holiday deals and tours
- Get Your Guide | Klook | Viator for booking day tours and attraction tickets
- Tourradar for a wide selection of multi-day tours
- Safety Wing for the most comprehensive worldwide travel insurance
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About the Author:
Amanda Twine is the founder and creator of Bucket List Seekers – a luxury travel blog sharing informative travel guides, food guides, hotel reviews, itineraries, and tips about how to make luxury travel more affordable.