North Bali is unspoilt, beautiful and there is much to see and do. The Dutch initially settled in Singaraja, before being expelled by the Balinese. There are still architectural reminders of their influence. The streets are wider, the traffic much quieter and there is no air pollution. North Bali generally appeals to families and older tourists who are seeking the “real” Bali in a stunning landscape. Life is slower and the locals extra friendly in the North.
Only 2.5 hours ( depending on traffic) from Denpasar and a little less from the airport, the North of Bali is easily accessible. Some tourists like to go via the west or east routes which will take longer but offer some amazing sights.
There are many types of accommodation in North Bali and cover all budgets and lifestyles. Many offer Day Spas with massages and reflexology. They even offer training courses.
The Capital of the North. There is excellent shopping and several larger department stores. The prices are very cheap and shopping is varied and extensive. Although there is no mass tourism in North Bali (yet) there is good infrastructure of restaurants, bars, cafes, spas, supermarkets, bakeries, western oriented doctors, hospitals and chemists.
The costs of living in the North is about 30% less than in the South. Bargain prices are the norm. I will wait for you near your favourite stores and take care of your purchases while you continue shopping.
This is the most popular area in the North. Famous for its black volcanic sand beaches, the ocean is protected and always calm. This makes for perfect snorkelling conditions and scuba diving. It is especially safe for children to swim. There are several businesses offering beginners scuba diving and Padi Certificated courses.
Operate daily and the calm waters make this an extra special activity. My uncle also takes tours and these can include snorkelling with dolphins and fish, no reef. Life vests, masks and snorkels provided. Around AU$20 per person. As these are private tours you can leave later than other tours.
Cultual activities can be arranged through Yasasan Budaya den Bukit, which include rice pounding, cooking and dancing.
North Bali doesn’t have the nightlife like the south, but Kalibukbuk does have a few bars which offer live music every night. There are many great restaurants offering foods from every corner of the world, and the prices are cheaper in the North.
Other things to see and do include;
Air Terjun Sambangan Waterfall.
Costs approximately AU$2 per person.
A 35 metres tall and is unique for its twin falls due to the split at the top, leaving two streams that flow at surprisingly different speeds. But what’s the most unique thing about this waterfall that sets it apart from the rest? The water flowing down has slowly created a natural water slide.
Atlas Pearl Farm.
Located in Pemuteran.
Bali National Park Trekking.
Located in north west Bali. A guide is needed and will cost around AU$20
Banjar Hot Springs.
Beautifully set along a river gorge and set amongst lush tropical gardens. The water is 38 degrees and enjoyed by all ages.
Bedugul Lake Bratan and Temple.
Bali’s second largest lake. Approximately AU$3 each.
Located in Singaraja.
Besakih Mother Temple.
The largest holy site in Bali which is 1000 years old. Costs approximately AU$3 a person, and AU$5 donation.
Bio rock reef restoration Pemuteran.
Sponsor coral and have your name immortalised. This is free and you snorkel or dive directly off the beach.
This waterfall is set among clove and coffee farms.
Blimbing Rice Terrace.
Has a breathtaking view of the famous ricefields of Bali, with Mount Batukaru as a backdrop.
Botanic Gardens Bedugul.
Can also drive through these gardens. Cost is approximately AU$3 a head, plus car AU$5.
Brahmavira Buddhist Monastery.
Located in the mountains. Cost is AU$1 per person. (Free sarongs available to wear here.)
Ling Gwan Kiong Chinese Temple, Singaraja. Cost small donation.
Chocolate café and Museum, Lovina.
Yum! Located near the waterpark (see below).
Giant Banyan Tree.
Located near Gessing. Believed to be 700 years old, and at 85-metres tall (!!!), this incredible tree has a maze of roots for you to walk through and explore.
Approximately 10 kms from Singaraja. The largest waterfalls in Bali, they are surrounded by tropical forest and you will see monkeys coming to drink from the pools. There are panoramas of the rice terraces and Buleleng beach. There is also a restaurant and art shop.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
Cost is approximately AU$3 per person.
This is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Bali. It has an active volcano of mount Batur and a beautiful lake. It is a straightforward trek to the summit of the centre crater . The lake Danau Batur is the largest crater lake in Bali and a good source of fish. Watersports of fishing, diving and skiing are available.
About a 15 minute walk from the road, and a 2km easy walk to 40 metre falls. You can swim here, there are monkeys around, although you have to be careful of belongings when swimming.
Mayong Village Trekking.
Putu the guide will take you on horticultural and cultural tour, finishing with a delicious lunch freshly cooked by his wife Ria. Highly recommended. Takes approximately 3-4 hours. Cost is around AU$25.
Travel by boat for about AU$30 and AU$15 for a guide who will also take you snorkelling. (NOTE: Diving also available.) The only wall to snorkel and dive in Bali. Best underwater in Bali. Warm and calm water.
Mount Batur Volcano.
Still an active volcano, Mount Batur constantly smokes. There are 2 beautiful lakes and breathtaking views. Entry about AU$1.10 or 11,000 Rupiah.
Parwathi Spa Pemuteran
Pegagasus Farm, Lovina.
Horses and treks for everyone including pony rides for children. Great views and visit a Balinese village. Organic gardens and free riding for the disabled too. Fresh home made, dairy free snacks and drinks, free with some rides. If you are nervous, a guide will lead you. Costs from around AU$6 to AU$55 (2 hour ride).
A small village with accommodation offered along the beach. From here it is a short drive to Menjangan Island and the beautiful coral reefs.
Ponjok Batu Temple.
Cost, around just an AU$1 donation.
Pura Dalem Temple.
Located in the North East was built in 1100’s and depicts stories of before and after the Dutch invasion of Bali.
Pura Maduwa Garang Temple.
Has beautiful ornate carvings. Cost is around AU$1 a person.
Cost is approximately AU$2 per person.
Singaraja library museum.
Where ancient manuscripts are protected and there are demonstrations of writing and story telling.
Singaraja Royal Palace.
Cost, Small donation.
Taman Rekreasi Bedugul Hotel.
The hotel’s construction was halted after terrorists’ bomb attacks in 2002 – and being half-completed, the place has been left to slowly rot since despite being almost ready for opening day with toilets, beds and more, it has never seen a single customer.
A beautiful lake surrounded by rainforest and is often cool and misty. If you wish, you can even rent boats for fishing, or simply to row around the magnificent lake. It is a place of serenity and stunningly scenic views.
Courses for all ages. Around $22 Adult, family packages
This is an ancient village located on Lake Batur where the villagers live a life very different from other Balinese. Their temple is architecturally very different and they have 3 cemeteries. One for normal deaths, one for abnormal deaths such as falls or some illnesses, and one for children. In the normal cemetery the dead are not buried, but left to the elements. There is no odour, apparently due to the huge Menyan tree shading the bodies. Do not be surprised to see skulls dotting the roads.
The village and Kuban cemetery can be visited by chartered boats from Kedisan. The boat owners will “encourage” you to “donate” to the cemetery or temple so perhaps be ready to outlay a little extra money. It is a fascinating experience. It is also close to the Kintamani Volcano.
The Village of the Deaf.
Bengkala, Kubutambahan, Buleleng. This hidden gem, despite its name, only has less than 50 deaf people in a village of 2,000 people. However, the entire village makes it a point to make their deaf feel the sense of belonging through language. The deaf villagers are given proper education and use a unique sign language, the Kata kolok (deaf talk) to communicate. And Bengkala’s Kata Kolok is distinct from Balinese language and any other sign language in the world.
Cost is around AU$6. The food is not great here so I suggest the Chocolate Café nearby (see above).
West Bali National Park.
Located on the Western tip of Bali and is the most important conservation area of Bali. A guide is needed for hiking and can be arranged the day before at the Cekik headquarters.
A lovely local swimming area on the beach.
There are many other places of interest, including in South Bali. I can travel anywhere on the island, including overnight and longer tours. From one day to one week I can be your personal guide and caring friend.
If your flight home is late I can suggest tours to take on the way back to the airport. If you have children we can make tailored tours to suit the whole family.
I can arrange tours and booking for all of these places of interest and activities for you. Just let me know your preferences and areas of interest and I can customise your itinerary.
For long trips I have DVD players available for your children. Please bring along their favourite DVDs.