Four years later and I fell in love with Bali again.
Only this time I return as a traveller and ready to spend all the time in the world to explore this beautiful island.
We came here from Java planning to stay for three weeks only but it turned into more like two months bali-ing around. From beaches to temples and onto caves later followed by mountains, here is my little sum up of some best discovered gems of Bali. And I’m not talking Ubud monkey palace or Kuta beach, these ones are long ago revealed in travel books.
In two month span we managed to change over 16 accommodations, four motorbikes and four sim cards all due to moving so much around. I wouldn’t dare saying we’ve seen it all but proud to say we’ve been a lot of places and are able to give approved recommendations. We also tried to reach Nusa Penida but due to on-going ceremonies local ferry was not running.
South Bali Peninsula
Melasti Beach high cliff in Ungasan
To my surprise to this day it’s not a touristy beach but the views from the cliffs are amazing, breathtaking. It is known by beautiful rock formations and stunning high cliffs. You don’t need to pay for the beach and it is a good alternative if you wish to swim in deserter waters.
To get to the beach, you have to descend hundreds of steep concrete steps, before you can sink your feet into the sand. Also beware of monkeys, they’re watching you! The tide can be very high in the morning and water comes all the way to steps, make sure to check online when is the low tide. You have to pay 5,000rp for entry but really worth spending half day, as snorkeling is great and it’s rarely crowded.
Another little beach with beautiful cave has no name, but it’s near the Geger beach, before Mulia resort there is a sign reading to Beach grill. It’s one of my favourite finds as it’s quite small and no one is there apart from fisherman in the sea. Still locals will charge you 2,000Rp for the entry.
Ubud and around
Secret Canyon of Sukawati.
It’s not very touristy and google maps is a bit misleading on finding it but ask around for directions if you’re lost nearby. Entrance is 10,000rp (£0.60/$0.50). When getting here, do be extra careful as you will have to pass several rivers with a sticky muddy floor that looks deep, and you might also have to climb some big slippery rocks. But at the end, you’ll find a hot spring waterfall.
I know it’s known and visited by everyone but it really is a magical place. Make sure you go very early in the morning, advisable 7/8am to avoid tourists. Also do trek around and go deeper into the woods, that’s where you find amazing views. It’s free but many farmers ask a donation to enter their land.
Visited by many tourists these days but still has its charm. Waters are heavy floating and strong so keep safe.
It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of waterfalls and chase them whenever I have a chance. And Bali is great for that, there are so many hidden waterfalls. Sekumpul is one of them. It sits between rocky mountains and requires a serious climbing in order to reach it. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a rainbow there as well.
Even tho, it’s not the easiest place to find, you will agree it was worth the effort. Again it has too many steps to reach it but you can dip into cold waters to refresh. Entry is 10,000rp
Places to stay
Even tho we couchsurfed a bit, we still managed to stay in many places of which most were budget but we loved them so much and decided to recommend.
- Villa in Ungasan (£9/$11/night) with private swimming pool, kitchen and AC was one of our favourite stays. You can find it here.
- Rumah Samba villa in Sanur (£11/$13/night) I booked this for 3 nights via AirBnb on promo rate and it blew my mind away how amazing it was. Only regret that we didn’t book for longer. Find it here.
- Budget room in Bukit Peninsula (£8/$10/night) set on a third floor of a private little house. Can be booked here.
- Super sweet rustic room in Denpasar (£8/$10/night) was super big and cosy. Find and book it here.
- And last but not least our favourite birthday treat staying in Canggu private little villa with outside jungle shower and private pool (£35/$39/night) can be found here.
Our weekly budget:
All prices are based on fact that we paid monthly for many things and here it can cost up to 50% less if you hire long term. Also all prices are for two people.
Accommodation £7x7days=£49/$55 plus I used AirBnb credits sometimes. You can easily find a small flat for £140 or little villa with pool for about £300 monthly, which works out much cheaper. But because we travelled around we had to change places.
Scooter 200,000rp (£11/$14)
Petrol £4/$5 we did use scooter a lot, but you only pay $0.5 per litre
Food is a tricky one, as one day we eat at local warung, next day we treat ourselves with sushi. But more or less I would say £30.
At the moment we don’t drink any alcohol, so it saves a lot as it is expensive here.
Laundry 6,000rp/£0.30/$0.50 per kilo and we do it once a week with 3kg load, so it makes about £1 spending
Totals: £95/$110 per week for two people
Note: If you visit temples add around £2/£3 for each entry. And if you do organised trips like rafting, it’s another £30/$35.
I know many travellers say that day budget should be around $20/25 but we did it in $10pp which proves that with good organising you can travel around Bali on a tight budget. Obviously, there were days when we went to Gili or celebrated birthday in luxury villa and it did boost our budget. But again, it’s a matter of choice.
Have any questions? Get in touch and I will be happy to help!
Otherwise, happy Bali-ing around