Bali is one of the 17,500 Indonesia Island, it is a fantastic destination for both the adventurer and for relaxing. With its varied landscape of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, lush rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides all providing a picturesque backdrop to its colourful, deeply spiritual and unique culture, stakes a serious claim to be paradise on earth. Check out the 7 wonders of Bali, Indonesia.
#1 Uluwatu Temple
Located at the South-western tip of Bali, Uluwatu is not just about the temple. The enviably magnificent location of the temple and its premises which is located on a cliff dropping vertically at a depth of 250 meters into the sea below. The long walkway along the edge of the cliff that extends across the entire length temple premises, provides undeniably one of the best views in Bali. Just choose any spot and watch the waves below from the emerald waters of the Indian Ocean crash against the rocky shores. Once you cross the small forest and avoid getting mugged by the monkeys, this place is a delight to one and all. Try and catch the sunsets which for obvious reasons of the wonderful location, are awe-inspiring.
Useful information: The journey to Uluwatu takes roughly 40 minutes from Kuta/Seminyak and hiring a taxi/car/tour or riding a motorbike is the only means to get here. Entrance fee is 20,000 IDR and an extra 100,000 IDR if you want to watch the traditional Kecak dance. You will need to wear a sarong to enter the premises. Hide your phones, sunglasses or any valuables while crossing the forest to save yourself the embarrassment of getting mugged by monkeys.
#2 Tanah Lot temple
Tanah Lot – means Land in the Sea in Balinese – is a huge offshore rock formation with a temple built on the very top of it. The rock is being shaped continuously over the years by the crashing waves. Located approximately 20 kilometres West of Denpasar, this place is of considerable significance to Balinese culture and mythology. The location and the picturesque views of the sea make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bali. There is a big market prior to the entrance which has small shops selling various stuff and also a few restaurants. Although you need to pay to enter the place, the stunning views – quiet and calm environment with the strong waves crashing against the rocks – is worth every penny.
Useful information: Tanah Lot is located along the north-western coast of Bali and it takes approximately 40 – 50 minutes to reach here from Kuta/Seminyak. Entrance fees 30,000 IDR and 15,000 IDR for adults and kids respectively. You will need to wear a sarong to enter the main temple else you could just admire the surroundings from around the rock.
#3 Mount Batur Volcano
Located almost 60 km to the North-East of Denpasar, this active volcano perched in the midst of Kintamani area boasts of majestic dizzying views and fresh mountain air. Along with the presence of the huge crater lake – Danau Batur and the surrounding mountainous terrain, the entire region offers a picturesque sight. Get seated at one of the many cafes at Penelokan while enjoying the views or take an early morning trek to the peak of Mount Batur to catch those amazing sunrises from the top of the world. Explore the villages at the base of the volcano while traversing across the terrain filled with remains of the lava field from the 1968 eruption.
Useful information: It would take around 60-75 minutes to reach here from Denpasar. The best views around the place are seen during the dry season. Be wary of the vendors trying to sell stuff if you are not interested. Try and take a dip in one of the few hot spring pools down at the village where a couple of resort spas have been built around the natural hot springs.
#4 Sekumpul Waterfall
Sekumpul is one of Bali’s most beautiful waterfalls but it gets overshadowed by the more popular Gitgit waterfall. An extremely scenic piece of landscape, Sekumpul is actually made up of seven cascading streams located at the centre of a lush green valley. Take either of the two treks to reach the waterfall depending on whether you want to relax at a gazebo or soak your feet in the pristine cold water at the base of the waterfall. Located in Sekumpul village in North Bali, this is one natural attraction that fills you with awe with its beauty.
Useful information: Join a tour group rather than hiring a taxi as it would be much cheaper. The drive to North Bali from Denpasar will take almost 90 minutes. Reaching the waterfall involves a bit of light trekking with having to climb/descend stairs, crossing small streams and walking through the forest.
#5 Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Ubud is considered to be the heart of Balinese culture and community. Various Temples and art markets are spread over this town. However, the most popular and beautiful aspect of Ubud are the rice paddies of Tegallalang. Following the traditional Balinese irrigation system – subak, these rice fields form an amazingly scenic terraced landscape along the slopes of the valley. Be it the quaint hue of green all around or the cool fresh air, this place has always been one of the most visited attractions in Bali for nature lovers.
Useful information: Ubud is located at a driving distance of 45-75 minutes from Denpasar. Try and visit the place if you are wary of large numbers of tourists or if you want the place all to yourself (well, almost).
#6 Seminyak Beach
Want to avoid the over-crowded stretch of Kuta beach? Then head to Seminyak beach for a much sober experience. Without calling names such as dirty or trashy to Kuta beach (every place is supposed to have its own character, that is the point of diversity), I definitely found the Seminyak beach having a much more polished vibe. The ambience is peaceful, the patrons are relaxed and the vibes are chilled out. Sip on a cocktail at one of the several popular beach clubs while enjoying the beautiful sunsets to the sounds of those big strong waves.
Useful information: Head to the popular Ku-De-Ta beach club during the late afternoon and get a front seat to those sunsets. The waves are sometimes too strong for a swim but this is a surfer’s delight too.
#7 Uluwatu Beach Cave
Located right under the cliff of Uluwatu temple, this cosy little cove opens to a beautiful beach surrounded by limestone cliffs. There is a fascinating network of small caves along the beach which have been carved out by the strong waves over ages. Exploring these caves in the midst of the ebbs and flows of the crashing tides is an exciting experience. The beach itself being small and sort of hidden is void of large crowds yet. Professional surfers come here to test their skills on the strong waves. This is by far the best beach I personally have seen in Bali.
Useful information: To get to the beach, you will need to climb down some 100 steps while coming across small cafes and souvenir shops along the way.
The 7 Wonders of Bali is written by Tamshuk. Tamshuk quit his high paying corporate job at 30 to travel the world and to help others. Follow Tamshuk at Tam Explores, Facebook and Twitter.
Have you visited Bali? What are the places that you have visited in Bali that you feel should make into the list of 7 wonders?