Bali is known for its green rice terraces, cool dive- and surf spots and its idyllic coastline. But Bali is also known as one of the most tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Not surprising, since the island has a lot to offer. Are you traveling to Bali and are you looking for a destination without thousands or tourists? The Munduk region, in the north of Bali, is the place to be. Even though this area is becoming increasingly popular. You will find spectacular waterfalls, a cooler climate with an average temperature of about 22 degrees and not only rice fields, but many other types of vegetation. The Munduk region is without a doubt our favorite region in Bali.
How to get to Munduk on Bali?
Although it is possible to arrange a day trip to Munduk from popular destinations such as Ubud and Kuta, it is much more fun to stay and spend a few days in the Munduk region. We discovered the Munduk region on our rental motorbike from the coastal town of Lovina, a bit further north. Lovina is mostly known for dolphin spotting and its black beaches. From Lovina it’s less than an hour drive to the main attractions in Munduk Bali. It’s a perfect option to combine both destinations on a day trip.
Public transportation isn’t the best option and therefore it is best to arrange a private driver who will take you to Munduk (or in our case Lovina). Prices vary between 400.000 and 600,000 rupiah from Seminyak / Canggu or Ubud. Another option taking a taxi (always Bluebird!) Or Uber / Grab.
What to do in Munduk
As you travel further into the Munduk region, you start to notice differences to the south of Bali: The temperature drops, vegetation is more diverse and humidity starts to rise. The sky often looks ominous, but no worries, the chance of a full day of rain is limited, even though it rains pretty much every day. The main reason to travel to Munduk is because of the beautiful nature. Below you can find tips for the best places of interest in Munduk, Bali.
Waterfalls in Munduk, Bali
Everyone who loves waterfalls should definitely visit Munduk. The region has a lot of stunning waterfalls of all sizes and heights. It’s possible to visit most waterfalls in a day, but if you want to see all of the main ones it’s advisable to plan two days to see them.
Some stunning waterfalls in the Munduk region are:
- Banyumala Twin Waterfall
- Munduk Waterfall
- GitGit Waterfall
- Sekumpul Waterfall
- AlingAling Waterfall.
Be aware that most waterfalls have an admission.
Renting a motorbike makes it possible to move easily from waterfall to waterfall. Rental places are everywhere and it will cost about 60,000 rupiah per day.
In the middle of the Munduk region you can visit three beautiful lakes, Danau Beratan, Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan, which are called Twin Lakes all together. From the road that runs along the lakes – Jalan Munduk – Wanagiri – you will have a fantastic view over the lakes. Many restaurants along the lakes have created cool viewpoints from where you can take photos such as the famous Bali Swing.
Temples in Munduk: Pura Ulun Danu Bratan vs. Pura Ulun Danu Buyan
One of the most famous temples in Bali is the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan which is built on the Tamblingan lake. Even though the temple truly is amazing, it has become a massive tourist attraction with gates, touring cars and high entrance fees.
An other, lesser known temple is Pura Ulun Danu Buyan on Lake Buyan’s shore. Most of the time you will have the entire temple to yourself. Take your time to make some amazing photos without being poked by selfie sticks.
Instagram: The famous Golf Gate
On the road between the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and the Pura Ulun Danu Buyan you will find the world famous Instagram spot, the Golf Gate, which is the entrance to a golf course. The gate looks super cool and you have probably seen some cool photos on Instagram. When we arrived, however, we were a little disappointed. What a hustle! If you want to make a nice picture, you will have to be really lucky and/or come really early in the morning.
Dolphin spotting in Lovina
Lovina, with its black beaches, is a wonderful place to recover after a long day of sightseeing. With a snack and a drink at the beach and your feet in the black sand. You will find plenty of choice in accommodations in Lovina and you have a great chance to spot dolphins. It’s not without reason Lovina is one of the most popular destinations in North Bali. Every morning as soon as the sun rises dozens of dolphins gather around the coast of Lovina. For around 100,000 rupiah per person, you can take a Balinese boat along the water to spot them while the rising sun illuminates the water.
Where there are dolphins, there are dolphin tours. One morning we went to the beach to see what this dolphin spotting is all about. The idea of doing a dolphin tour quickly disappeared after seeing how many boats are into the dolphin spotting business. Every morning, a swarm of dozens of boats chase the dolphins. Can’t be good for the dolphins, if you ask us.
Although there’s a smaller chance of spotting them, it’s probably a better idea to book a private boat at sunset. Sure, there are less dolphins, but also less boats.
Try Balinese coffee
Just like in other parts of Bali you will find many coffee plantations in the Munduk region where you can try the most delicious – and strangest – coffee. We tried the real Luwak coffee, vanilla coffee, cocoa coffee and the real Balinese coffee. Most coffee plantations are free to visit. You only have to pay for your coffee. They will probably want you to try the Luwak coffee as this is the most expensive. Don’t worry it won’t cost you that much:).
Visit villages in Northern Bali
The north of Bali is stunning, but unfortunately a lot of famous sights aren’t that cheap to visit. Yet it is nice to drive around and stop in different villages. For example, we ate the most delicious satay ever in one of the small villages, Erick played football with local boys next to the beach and we even came to villages – yes, even in Bali it is possible – where we were waved at by all local people. A noticeable difference between north and south Bali is that the north is predominantly Muslim, like the rest of Indonesia. It’s also a nice change to see some beautiful mosques instead of temples. A great village to visit is Bubunan.
What’s your favorite region in Bali? Have you ever been to Munduk?
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