From untamed volcanoes to rice terraces, human-sized nests, and sacred mountains…it doesn’t take a genius to see that Bali is loaded (and I do mean loaded!) with incredible sights!

With spiritual legends etched right into its towering peaks, the Island of the Gods literally has something for everyone: whether you’d like to party all night long in Kuta, relax on a sandy beach in Seminyak, or sign up for a wellness retreat in Ubud, you’ll definitely find something with your name on it!

Now, it’s no secret that Bali is one of the most social media-friendly destinations in the world, drawing travelers from far and wide. But peek beneath those ridiculously popular areas filled with large gaggles of tourists and you might just uncover some of the most incredible treasures in Indonesia.

So, let’s venture away from the overly trodden touristy trail as we embark on an EPIC adventure across the most beautiful hidden gems in Bali!

a large balinese statue in ubud, Bali
Take the path less traveled.
Photo: @amandaadraper

What’s The Island of Gods Like?

Bali is a sensory dance – one that’s always moving and swaying wherever you go. The Indonesian island is a lot of things. 

Ancient traditions and incense sticks burn on around you. Temples stand among emerald terraces as they do among rapid modern development. 

You’ll find a way of life that is often geared towards tourism yet holding on to a heritage as old as time.  Seemingly unaware of the rising traffic that jams up somewhere between Canggu and Seminyak, it’s more poignant as you jump between both on your $5 scooter rental.

a girl at a fruit shop in Bali, Indonesia holding dragon fruit, a pineapple, and a papaya and picking bananas
To get me to all the fruit!
Photo: @amandaadraper

Bali is all of this, and sometimes none of it. As you move further from the south, the bee swarm sound of motorbikes is replaced by singular engines making their way from A to B along veritable walking paths. Beach clubs and chinking glasses of Island Brewing are replaced by warungs tucked down narrow alleys, whose simple yet generational aromas draw you in.

Main roads run south to north like rivers, often miles apart and little connects them. Each journey is unique. Subtle differences of arts and culture, informed by thousands of years of life, provide Bali with a pulsating magic. And for you, every kind of traveling experience.

Best Hidden Gems in Bali

Beyond its bustling tourist hubs and usual itineraries, Bali can appear remarkably different and offer a completely unexpected travel experience. You can create a unique itinerary that immerses you in Bali’s hidden secrets, and I guarantee you’ll love it.

1. Discover the Magnificent Balinese Countryside

Ubud’s rice fields and Kuta’s beaches pretty much have superiority as far as the top attractions in Bali are concerned. But if you’d like to venture off the beaten track and uncover those beautiful hidden gems in Bali, this activity is definitely worth your time!

Discover the Magnificent Balinese Countryside

You’ll start your day at Tampaksiring, an idyllic area known for its mesmerizing greenery and ancient temple. You’ll be able to interact with the locals and learn more about those Balinese offerings that you might have seen dotted across the streets before.

Oh, and did I mention that you’ll also get to explore a picturesque rice terrace that most tourists don’t really know about? Perfect for avoiding the usual crowds that flock to Tegallalang, don’t you think?

  • Rating: 7/10 – Off the Beaten Track
  • Cost: $30.37
  • Personal Opinion: Well worth the detour for a unique experience.

2. Marvel at the Tukad Cepung Waterfall

visit to Bali isn’t complete without a waterfall adventure. Located in the village of Kemenuh, near Ubud, the Tukad Cepung Waterfall is a magnificent hidden gem in Bali.

Despite its allure, this underrated place is still relatively untouched by mass tourism since it’s well concealed between rocks.

Marvel at the Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Wait until you see rainbows at Tukad Cepung Waterfall.

When the sunlight hits the waterfall at the right angle, the entire place is illuminated by rainbows. If you take a right turn at the riverbed, you’ll be greeted by a second, smaller waterfall that can easily double as a natural shower!

I do need to point out that there’s quite a steep hike to the bottom, so remember to bring your best hiking shoes! Watch out for the last couple of steps, since they’re treacherously large.

  • Rating: 10/10 – Bucket List Essential
  • Cost: $
  • Personal Opinion: Don’t miss it! A must-visit gem of excellence.

3. Escape the Crowds at Nusa Penida

Here’s another destination that totally takes the cake as far as hidden gems in Bali are concerned! Offering the perfect setting for travelers who want to escape the crowds, Nusa Penida Island is relatively untouched.

Escape the Crowds at Nusa Penida
A silent escape.

Don’t let its lack of popularity fool you, though! This island is positively brimming with temples, culture, and some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Bali -Including those iconic Teletubbies Hills!

Divers should feel right at home on Nusa Penida. It’s home to Crystal Bay, known for its rich population of Mola Mola fish, crystalline waters, and brightly-hued coral reefs.

For a rural escape and some incredible views, a treehouse in Bali is the perfect accommodation. It provides a bird’s eye view of the lush green surroundings.

  • Rating: 10/10 – Worth Bragging About                                                       
  • Cost: FREE
  • Personal Opinion: A true hidden gem of incomparable beauty!
Hidden Gems in Bali
Best HotelBest HostelBest Private Stay
Akatara HotelNuansa Penida HostelDiamond Beach Villas

4. Indulge in a Picnic Boat Lunch

Okay, Bali may be known for its beautiful cafes and restaurants, but if you’re in the mood for something different, you can always consider this activity.

Combining delicious eats with an ultra-relaxing experience, this boat ride features a scrumptious picnic lunch that you can enjoy while gliding luxuriously across the water.

Indulge in a Picnic Boat Lunch

Located in a five-star resort, this scenic lagoon is easily one of the best treasures in Bali – so do remember to bring your camera!

You’ll have a choice of two meal options available for your picnic, complete with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

  • Rating: 7/10 – Unforgettable Experience  
  • Cost: $122.70
  • Personal Opinion: A relaxing experience peppered with incredible sights.

5. Spend Time in Sidemen

If there’s one Bali hideaway you really can’t afford to skip, it’s Sidemen!

Picture a verdant green landscape, complete with rice terraces and breathtaking views of Mount Agung, one of Indonesia’s best volcanoes.

Spend Time in Sidemen
The only invitation you can’t resist!

Bali’s notorious traffic is left behind as you reach an area of unparalleled beauty that’s still virtually untouched by mass tourism. Yep – that’s Sidemen for you!

In fact, there’s only one street that cuts across Sidemen Valley – so it’s really as picturesque as it can get. I would recommend staying in Pelangi Villas Sidemen to properly soak up everything the village has to offer.

Whitewater rafting is particularly popular in Sidemen, so thrill-seekers will be more than served in this gorgeous gem of a place!

  • Rating: 9/10 – Worth bragging about!
  • Cost: FREE
  • Personal Opinion: An impressive find you’ll tell friends about.
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6. Check out the UNESCO Recognized Sites

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Bali, I can totally vouch for this authentic cultural walking tour!

This tour is an excellent activity for travelers who want to experience Bali at its most authentic. It takes you through some of the most picturesque UNESCO-recognized sites.

A man walking through some Bali's most beautiful sites
Some spots deserve to be savored slowly!

You’ll begin your day with a drive up to Tampaksiring Village before visiting the Pegulingan Temple, known for its Buddhist and Hindu architecture.

If you want, you can also take a purifying bath at the Tirta Empul Temple before visiting native villages, rice fields, centuries-old places of worship, and rainforest valleys. Oh, and did I mention that you’ll be treated to fresh coconut water?

  • Rating: 6/10 – Worth a Deeper Look
  • Cost: $50
  • Personal Opinion: There’s definitely substance under the surface!

7. Go Wine Tasting

I know, I know. Bali isn’t exactly known for its wine. But hear me out for a quick sec!

While the local wine scene is still relatively new, it’s not without its perks – especially if you’d like to explore lesser-known treasures.

Go Wine Tasting

For starters, Bali’s sun-kissed climate lends itself brilliantly to wine production, so your tastebuds will certainly be in for a treat.

You’ll also be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the winery, so you can learn more about Indonesian wine production before finally sampling some of their best concoctions.

Best of all, a delicious local snack will be provided to help you wash it all down!

  • Rating: 7/10 – Hidden Gem Alert
  • Cost: $50
  • Personal Opinion: Well worth the detour for a unique experience.

8. Relax on Melasti Beach

Here’s one spot that should absolutely top your list of hidden gems in Bali!

A place of unparalleled beauty is located around an hour’s drive from Canggu. Its prime location at the southernmost end of Bali promises glorious ocean views, all tied together by a backdrop of white limestone cliffs.

Relax on Melasti Beach
Popular for a reason!

While you’ll need to pay an entrance fee of 10,000 IDR per person, I would say the cost is more than worth it since it’s one of the best beaches in Bali. Expect restaurants, well-maintained restrooms, surfing lessons, and a hidden gem cafe.

While Melasti Beach has gone up in popularity over the past few years (thank you, social media!), it’s still unknown to many tourists, so here’s your chance to visit it before it becomes yet another overcrowded spot.

  • Rating: 10/10 – Bucket List Essential
  • Cost: FREE
  • Personal Opinion: Don’t miss it! A must-visit gem of excellence.

9. Spend the Day with a Balinese Family

In my opinion, there’s no better way to uncover those delightful Bali hideaways than by staying with locals – which is exactly what you can experience with this activity!

Spend the Day with a Balinese Family
Because the best part of your travels is the locals you meet along the way.

You’ll be taken to small, relatively unknown villages that lie just a short distance from Ubud. Authenticity and serenity greet you as you unveil the secrets of daily Indonesian life alongside a local family.

Walk through a rice plantation and learn how to make that famous Balinese coconut oil that’s so often used in massages. You’ll even be treated to a local dish prepared over a wood fire.

  • Rating: 10/10 – Bucket List Essential                                                                                     
  • Cost: $48.95
  • Personal Opinion: An immersive experience in Balinese life awaits.

10. Learn the Secrets of the Local Cuisine

It won’t take you long to realize that Balinese cuisine is nothing short of legendary! If you’d like to go off the beaten track while picking up plenty of handy tips that’ll help you replicate those amazing dishes back home, then you may wish to consider this activity.

Learn the Secrets of the Local Cuisine
Made with love.

Not only will you enjoy a hands-on immersion into Balinese local food, but you’ll also learn heaps of techniques that you won’t necessarily find in recipe books.

You’ll even get to visit a local market to discover the essential spices and herbs that add that distinct twist to Balinese cuisine. Small groups mean that you’ll each receive individual attention from the chef.

  • Rating: 10/10 – Bucket List Essential                                                                                     
  • Cost: $78.98
  • Personal Opinion: An absolute must-do for foodies!

11. Explore Hidden Volcanoes and Canyons

Nature fans, rejoice! As far as magical places in Bali are concerned, this one’s a real doozy!

Explore Hidden Volcanoes and Canyons

It’s no secret that Bali is brimming with stunning scenery, but did you know that the island is also speckled with an assortment of hidden canyons and volcanoes? Several of them lie away from the usual tourist trails – perfect for those who want to avoid the crowds!

This day-long adventure also features a stop by the Satria Agrowisata, another gem that lies off the beaten track. Specializing in Kopi Luwak (civet coffee), this plantation produces some of the most expensive coffee in the world.

  • Rating: 8/10 – Genuine Delight
  • Cost: $42
  • Personal Opinion: A true hidden gem, sure to make you smile.

12. Surf at Suluban Beach Cave

One of the most magical places in Bali, Suluban Beach Cave is colloquially referred to as ‘Blue Point’ by the locals.

Gorgeously concealed by towering limestone formations, Suluban Beach Cave, is not the kind of beach where you’ll find tourists lounging on sandy shores. Quite the opposite, Suluban’s rough lagoon lends itself super well to surfing.

Surf at Suluban Beach Cave
Catching waves at Suluban Beach Cave.

You’ll need to go down a steep flight of stairs and walk past surfing shacks and cafes before finally reaching the narrow crag that leads to the beach. And if you get lost, just follow the sound of the crashing waves, since they’re loud enough to be heard from a distance!

The best place to experience Bali’s relaxed surf vibe is in a surf hostel. I highly recommend staying at Dreamsea Surf Camp Canggu. It’s a great spot to relax with other surfers, have fun, and learn how to ride the waves if you don’t already know.

After surfing, I would recommend that you take a moment to amble across the beach and explore the mini caves dotted around the area.

  • Rating: 10/10 – Worth Bragging About                                                    
  • Cost: Free
  • Personal Opinion: Definitely don’t skip this one!

13. Camp by the Shores of Lake Tamblingan

Tucked away high in the mountains is one of the secret spots in Bali that lies off the most well-known hiking trails.

Radiating with a sense of calm and tranquility, this mystical space is an absolute dream come true for nature lovers. The lake is surrounded by remote waterfalls and thick, tropical jungles awash with centuries-old trees.

Camp by the Shores of Lake Tamblingan
That spot right there… PERFECT!

If you’ve got some extra time to spare, I would strongly suggest that you bring a tent and set up camp overnight right by the water’s edge. Travelers who are into stargazing may wish to bring along a pair of binoculars or a portable telescope to properly admire the southern skies.

Need the right gear? Check out our ultimate camping checklist before you go.

  • Rating: 8/10 – Genuine Delight                                               
  • Cost: FREE
  • Personal Opinion: There are heaps of substance under the surface.
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14. Learn about Sustainable Living at the Green Village

One of the reasons you’ll find so many magical places in Bali is because the island houses numerous eco-friendly lodges. If you’d like to discover a lesser-known attraction while learning how you can reduce your travel footprint, I highly recommend a visit to the Green Village.

Learn about Sustainable Living at the Green Village
A jungle escape.

Located on the shores of the Ayung River, the Green Village is quite a sight to behold with its uniquely shaped villas made entirely of bamboo.

These structures are a prime example of how it’s possible to create luxurious, yet sustainable abodes made from natural materials – and yes, that includes the stairs, ceilings, walls, and even the railings.

  • Rating: 6/10 – Worth a Deeper Look                                      
  • Cost: FREE
  • Personal Opinion: Well worth a stop if you’re in the area.

15. Wind Down at the Lesser-Known Cafes

Bali is especially known for its super beautiful cafes, which have been making the rounds on social media for a while now. But if flocks of food influencers aren’t exactly your scene, let me assure you that it’s still possible to find other atmospheric cafes that lie off the regular tourist trail.

Coffee shop vibez!

One such hidden gem café in Bali is The Mocca Canggu, a super pretty space known for its bright colors, quirky Al-Fresco seating areas, and extensive assortment of cakes.

Another favorite of mine is Warung Saya in Ubud. While this space is technically more of a restaurant than a café, it’s a pretty unique spot since it literally only has two tables – so be sure to head there early!

  • Rating: 7/10 – Genuine Delight                 
  • Cost: The price of a cup of coffee? And a cheesecake maybe?
  • Personal Opinion: Kodak moments guaranteed!

FAQs about Hidden Gems in Bali

I can talk all day about these magical places in Bali. Here are some common questions:

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Final Thoughts on Hidden Gems in Bali

If you were still on the fence about planning a trip to Bali, I bet you’re all set and ready to go now!

While Bali does draw heaps of influencers whose sole objective is to get that perfect picture for the ‘Gram, the truth is that the island is bursting with plenty of other lesser-known treasures that are bound to captivate your attention – with or without a camera!

So, what are you waiting for? Time to zip up that suitcase because all those hidden gems in Bali are just waiting to be uncovered!

sunset at Uluwatu beach, Bali
Bali was just awesome!
Photo: @amandaadraper
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