5 Amazing Places for Yoga in Ubud, Bali

5 Amazing Places for Yoga in Ubud, Bali

Ubud is the heart of Bali, the island of Gods. It is green, fresh and magical. Most of Bali’s rice fields are in Ubud and because of this it is sometimes also called “the Lungs of Bali”.

Ubud has long been known as the ‘Yoga paradise’ in Southeast Asia. The yoga way of life is deeply entrenched in the Balinese culture. Yoga studios are known as ‘Shala’, which means home in Sanskrit. For the yogis, these are the perfect places to rest your body and mind.

If you’re heading to Bali for Yoga, we have handpicked a few amazing Yoga retreats and studios for you. Also, check out these amazing Yoga retreats in Bali that aren’t just limited to Ubud.

Top Places for Yoga in Ubud, Bali

The Yoga Barn

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📅 CLASSES EVERYDAY👌 Reduced Class Hours⠀ Monday 24 DEC 🎈 Christmas Eve | Classes start as usual with last class starting at 4pm. We close at 6pm. ⠀ .⠀ 🎄 Christmas Day⠀ 🌺 Gulungang⠀ 🎉 New Years⠀ .⠀ Holidays are about feeling good and setting yourself up for new beginnings. So please see our special holiday open and close times for yoga classes, Garden Kafe, Juice Bar and Wellness and Healing hours🙏🏽⠀ .⠀ 25 DEC 🎁 Christmas Day | Classes start as usual with last class starting at 4pm. We close at 6pm. ⠀ 26 DEC 🌺 Galungan Day – A beautiful Balinese holiday. The Yoga Barn will open in the afternoon with the first class starting at 2pm.⠀ 31 DEC 🎉 New Years Eve | Classes start as usual with last class starting at 4pm. We close at 6pm.⠀ .⠀ 1 JAN ❤️ New Years Day⠀ Special Donation Classes for AYO! Kita Bicara HIVAIDS.⠀ .⠀ 🧘🏽‍♂️8am to 9:30am | @tanyakapsyoga Pranayama & Hatha Yoga⠀ 🧘🏽‍♂️9am to 10:30am | @teodoyogaguitar Vinyasa Flow⠀ 🧘🏽‍♂️11am to 12:30am | @levi.banner Shamamic Breathwork⠀ .⠀ It will be an Indonesian Public Holiday so all Yoga Barn facilities will be closed with the exception of the Lower Reception in our main Nyoman & Ketut studios off the amphitheater deck. Volunteer staff will help teachers with class registration and donation collection. Arrive 30 mins and find your way to Lower Reception to register. Spaces are limited for visitor comfort.⠀ . 📱Class times are also available on our APP

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The Yoga Barn is the most popular and the largest yoga studio in Ubud. It is conveniently located in central Ubud. Also, it provides much more than an ordinary studio. Other than its seven yoga studios, they have guest accommodation, healthy restaurant, juice bar, and treatment room. You can be sure to find the class suitable for you since they have a huge variety of 15 yoga and meditation classes available.

 

Radiantly Alive

 

 

Radiantly Alive is located in central Ubud as well. They have three studios where they offer a variety of very interesting practices and workshops, including arm balance, sky yoga flow, and roll and release (self-massage using balls). The good place to try all different types of yoga.
 

Ubud Yoga House

 

 

If you prefer a small class and a more personalized experience, then Ubud Yoga House is ideal. It is perfect beginners yogis as this small studio is much friendlier and more relaxed compared to the other studios since teachers can attend to everyone. The yoga studio also has a very good view.

 

Taksu Yoga

 

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Meet Indra, your new Yoga Instructor. . Indra will start this Tuesday, May 22nd and join our current Team of Indonesian Yoga Instructors Astri, Nina and Agung. . Indra's attitude is simple: to reach depth, one does not have to travel far. We already have all the solutions and improvements we seek, but we overlook them because we make ourselves believe that they have to be beyond our reach. . Indra's Yoga poses do not challenge one's limit – they invite one to explore one's self. In his classes, you do less but get more results. . At Taksu, Indra will focus on teaching a class known as "Nuad Boran" in Thai. . This class invites participants to pair up with one another to take turns giving and receiving the massage. . The giver will guide the receiver of the massage into Yoga postures and work on his/her energy lines and pressure points, alleviating the latter’s muscular tension and improving the body’s circulation. . The receiver, whilst laying in relaxation, will achieve Yogic flexibility without doing anything, hence its other name – the lazy man’s Yoga. . Join us each Tuesday from 4.00pm till 5.30pm. Come 15min prior to the class and enrol our Spa Reception. . Drop-in price: Rp 120,000. . Class Cards: 3 classes – Rp 300.000 5 classes – RP 475.000 10 classes – Rp 900.000 15 classes – Rp 1.150.000 20 classes – Rp 1.400.000 . . . . . #yogalover #myyogalife #yogaflow #practicedaily #yogalifestyle #feeltheyogahigh #yogaforlife #yogacommunity #yogatime #yogaclass #yogaforeveryone #healthylifestyle #yogavibes #yogaforeverybody #spreadtheyogalove #yogabali #yogainbali #justbreathe #ubudyoga #mindbodyspirit #liveinspired #lookwithin #ubudbali #ubudlife #ubudhood #thebalibible #balibible #balidaily #thebaliguru #baliadvisor

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Taksu Yoga is located in a jungle temple far away from the traffic noise, all the crowd and souvenir shops. The classes here are very small and personalised as well. It is a very quiet environment that is just what is needed for yoga. They have health workshops, restaurants and spa as well. You just take a whole day and relax here!

 

Intuitive Flow

 

 

This studio is located on the Penestanan Kaja hill, overlooking the Balinese jungle and the volcanic peaks. The view is stunning and it gives off a peaceful and tranquil vibe, that is exactly what is needed for the perfect yoga session. You can discover the unique consciousness-based Yoga Pranala here as well. If you want to avoid the crowd, here would be a better choice.

 

Where to stay in Ubud

After a good yoga workout, we all want to have some time to relax, appreciate the moment, have a nice massage or take a refreshing deep in the pool. There are plenty of Ubud villas where you can enjoy these all together. Guess what? Many villas in Ubud have a yoga area or a large garden for your practice. Check them out below for your inspiration.
 

Villa Kelusa

 

This villa has a huge beautiful garden and two infinity pools with sunbeds provided just beside them. The living and dining space is spacious and comfortable. You can also enjoy the stunning views of the rice fields, jungle and mountains. There are also villa staffs that are very friendly and are willing to help with any you need.

 

Shamballa Moon

 

A romantic getaway for two would be best here. Many couples were here for their honeymoon. The villa has a great view of the Wos River Valley and Mount Agung. Similarly, there is a nice private pool. Very relaxing and luxurious stay.

 

Guide to Ubud Rice Fields [and Around]- the Famous Rice Terraces in Bali, Indonesia

Guide to Ubud Rice Fields [and Around]- the Famous Rice Terraces in Bali, Indonesia

Travelers flock to Bali by the millions, it seems. The island is frequented by tourists at all times of the year, and it’s easy to see why – the tiny area packs in a huge amount of natural beauty and unique culture, enough to keep even the most fatigued traveler entertained for days. 

One of the quieter towns of Bali is Ubud. It is in the middle part of the island and is surrounded by the forest. Ubud is an absolute must-do on most people’s Bali itinerary, and with the range of attractions in the area it’s easy to see why.

Ubud is pure bliss. It is the heart of Bali’s culture and the lungs of the island of Gods. Ubud is the land of spiritual awakenings as per Lonely Planet.

Villages of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Villages of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

From beautiful temples, towering volcanoes, traditional shows, delicious eateries and of course, rice terraces – there’s so much here to enjoy. Yes, there is a lot to do here but the rice fields in Ubud steal all the limelight (and for all the right reasons)!

Information about Rice Fields in Ubud, Bali

Arrival into Ubud can be rather daunting, and it’s difficult to imagine that beautiful rice terraces are just around the corner.

Suggested: 10 Instagram Worthy spots in Bali that are Unbelievably Spectacular 

The crazy traffic and hoards of people everywhere make it near impossible to picture a calm scene of green grass and trees where rice is grown. But they are definitely there – if you know where to find them! We’re going to look at some of the best Ubud rice fields and how to reach them, as well as some top tips for when to go and where to stay to really enjoy the area. 

Ubud Rice Fields, Bali

Ubud Rice Fields, Bali

Ubud Town Centre

There is actually a very pleasant Ubud rice fields walk that you can do around the town centre. The hour and a half walk goes through the fields, which are on either side of the trail, and it even visits a temple on the way. It’s a great way to escape the madness of Ubud town centre for a couple of hours. It’s also relatively non-visited by tourists, making it one of the more unique things to do in Ubud!

Tegalang Rice Terraces

Tegalang Rice Terraces, Bali, Indonesia

Tegalang Rice Terraces, Bali, Indonesia

There are lots of rice terraces around Ubud, but the most famous is Tegalang Rice Terraces. They are the most photographed, that feature in many Ubud tourists’ Instagram feeds, and that have the best potential for exploration. 

The Tegalang Rice Terraces are located 10 kilometres away from Ubud town centre. It’s possible to get there a variety of ways, the most popular two being renting a scooter and taking a taxi. Many people rent scooters for a few days and twin their rice fields trip with seeing temples and other attractions in the Ubud area. Alternatively, others hire a driver for a day who takes them to a few different sites. 

Lovely Rice Terraces of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Lovely Rice Terraces of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – cc0 via Pixabay

The Tegalang Rice Terraces are free to enter. At the stop of the terraces there are a few small shops selling souvenirs, but further down into the terraces, they have a very peaceful atmosphere. The further you walk, the further you get away from the tourists! 

They’re one of the most photographed places in Bali, and for good reason – the lush green of the terraces and the delightful palm trees are an instagrammer’s dream. It’s also the location of the iconic ‘Love Bali’ sign. As well as trekking through the rice terraces – which takes most people 1-2 hours – Pakudui village is worth checking out. Here you can purchase some local art, including carvings and canvas artworks. 

Suggested: Most Beautiful Places to Stay in Bali for every budget 

Where to Stay in Tegalang

Super Green Rice terraces in Bali, Ubud - Indonesia

Super Green Rice terraces in Bali, Ubud – Indonesia – CC0 via Pixabay

Staying in Tegalang is a great option to be out of the hustle and bustle of Ubud town centre and wake up in nature. There are a few great hotel options that will put you in prime position to be near the rice fields each morning. 

Bali Jungle Huts

This accommodation is great for couples and offers free WiFi, a hot spring bath, a restaurant with Asian cuisine (with vegan options available!) and American breakfasts. Click here to read the reviews about this place on Tripadvisor.

Pondok Sebatu Villa

This villa has an outdoor swimming pool and features free WiFi throughout the villa. It is close to Sebatu Temple and overlooks the gorgeous rice fields. It’s a unique place to stay to relax and unwind and be within nature. The villa features a semi-open bathroom with shower facilities and gorgeous Balinese decorated suites. You can read more about Pondok Sebatu Villa on TripAdvisor

Book a Room at Pondok Sebatu Villa

Suarapura Resort and Spa

This four-star resort is a 25 minute drive from Ubud, close to the rice fields. There is an on-site restaurant and guests can enjoy deluxe suites and rooms with WiFi. On site is also the spa which has some relaxing health and beauty treatments. For the ultimate Balinese experience, there is also a yoga and meditation hall! Read what other travelers are saying about Suarapura Resort on TripAdvisor.

Book a Room at Suarapura Resort

Penestanan 

Penestanan Rice Fields of Ubud, Bali

Penestanan Rice Fields of Ubud, Bali – cc0 via pixabay

This village, while growing in popularity, is still relatively unvisited by tourists and has its own rice field walk. It is located about 4 kilometres from Ubud’s centre. It’s a great option for those wishing to see rural Bali that is untrodden by tourists. You’ll get to see workers in the fields going about their day and maybe meet some friendly local children. 

Suggested: Best Things to do in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia  

Don’t worry if you come hungry – there are cafes and restaurants within the village. The walk is pretty short, taking only 30 minutes. Penestanan can also be visited by motorbike or taxi (there is no bus service in Bali). It is also possible to stay in the village. 

Hotels in Penestanan

Ubud rice terrace and Huts - Bali, Indonesia

Ubud rice terrace and Huts – Bali, Indonesia

Nefatari Exclusive Villas 

Featuring an outdoor swimming pool and WiFi, Nefatari is traditional Balinese accommodation with an on-site restaurant. It provides one or two bedroom villas for guests, and they can make use of the outdoor pool and spa and wellness centre. It’s great for couples. Read what other travelers have to say about this hotel

Book a Room at Nefatari Villas

De Munut Balinese Resort

This resort features simple accommodation, each room having a private terrace. The resort has two outdoor pools, a spa and wellness centre, and free WiFi in public areas. Read reviews about De Munut Resort on TripAdvisor.

Book a Room at De Munut Resort

When to visit the Ubud Rice Fields 

Rice fields in bali - Ubud

Rice fields in bali – Ubud – CC0 via Pixabay

Ubud sees tourists year round, but the official high season is April – September. This is when the weather is (mostly!) dry. I’d recommend heading to the Ubud rice fields as early as possible in the morning – they will be less crowded this way. Seeing the sunrise over the rice fields is an especially mesmerizing experience that’s a must-do in Ubud. 

How to Reach Ubud from the Airport

Lovely Ubud Rice Fields [and Around]- the Famous Rice Terraces in Bali, Indonesia

Lovely Ubud Rice Fields [and Around]- the Famous Rice Terraces in Bali, Indonesia

From the airport, it’s easiest to take a taxi to reach Ubud town centre. The journey time ranges from 1-2 hours depending on traffic (there tends to be a lot of it in Bali!) and the taxis cost around 200,000 IDR. 

You could also use the Bluebird App and try to get a Bluebird taxi using it (they won’t always come into the airport though) which is on the meter and cheaper. Grab and Uber are illegal in Bali – and it is especially enforced in Ubud, so taking one of these is not recommended. 

This post has been written by Claire Martin

Claire Martin in Tegalagang Rice Fields, Bali

Claire Martin in Tegalagang Rice Fields, Bali

Claire Martin is a British travel blogger and freelance writer. She blogs about eco-travel and overland adventures on her blog Claire’s Footsteps; she has drove around the entirety of Australia and is currently living in Mexico while plotting her next big overland adventure. 

Where to Stay in Bali for Every Budget – Resorts, Huts, Hostels + More

Where to Stay in Bali for Every Budget – Resorts, Huts, Hostels + More

Just booked your tickets to Bali and wondering where to stay? This post will help you decide because it has some of the best Bali hotels.

Bali – the Island of Gods is the jewel of South East Asia. No, it is not just a “touristy” island, but Bali has so much more! You can feel the Balinese magic as soon as you land at the airport and smell the air.

Bali is massive – most of the tourists just visit Kuta area and leave but hopefully this guide of places to stay in Bali will encourage you to explore other areas. (Click here to read this amazing post about places to avoid in Bali.)

  • Most visited parts of Bali: Kuta and Seminyak are both in South of Bali, hence making this part of the island the most visited one.
  • Less Crowded: The middle part of the island (Ubud and Tebanan) is the cultural heart of Bali and has the famous monkey forest and paddy fields.
  • Least visited parts of Bali: East (Amed), North and West part of Bali are the island’s lesser visited areas. Click here to see information about what to do in Bali. 
Bali Map - Where to stay in Bali

Bali Map – Where to stay in Bali

To make it easy, we have divided this list of places to stay in Bali by areas, which is further sorted by average cost per night. Be sure to read this amazing Bali travel guide before you visit.

Best Places to Stay in Bali

Ubud

Top Things to do in Ubud

Places to Stay in Ubud

01) Chedi Club

Recommended by Rachel and Ruben Arribas Cañamares of Gamin Traveler

Chedi Club - where to stay in Bali

Chedi Club – where to stay in Bali

In our recent trip to Bali, we spent two days in Chedi Club, a luxury villa where we had our own butler. The place was beautiful and relaxing. It has its own swimming pool, good ambiance, and they will spoil you with delectable food and drinks. We loved having breakfast with the view of the rice fields and having tea or cocktails by the pool.

During our stay in Chedi Club, we also encountered our first Kecak, a Balinese dance and musical drama. The performers danced with fire and it was amazing. We took a lot of pictures during our stay in this luxurious villa. You can enjoy Chedi Club like what we did for $600 a night.

02) Mandapa Ritz Carlton

Recommended by Dan Bagby of Honeymoon Always

The Ritz-Carlton is a great place to stay if you are looking for luxury accommodation during your trip to Bali. The hotel is surrounded by the Ayung River, providing amazing beauty and seclusion for guests.

There are 60 villas and suites, with each villa having its own private pool. The Suites share two additional pools. For deeper relaxation, make sure you spend some time in the spa.

Enjoy dinner at the fine dining restaurant, Kubu, where you dine in a private raccoon overlooking the river. Several other options are available throughout the day or the restaurant can easily arrange a meal off the property. Outside the Outside the hotel there is plenty to see and do in Ubud. Prices vary greatly but start out around $550 a night.

03) Awang Awang in Ubud

Stefan Arestis and Sebastien Chaneac of Nomadic Boys

Awang Awang infinity pool, Bali

Awang Awang infinity pool, Bali

Awang Awang is a high-end gay friendly villa retreat in the countryside just outside of Ubud. It’s absolutely gorgeous: it’s like you’re in the middle of the jungle, with a stunning view each morning across the lush green countryside.

Each villa has its own private infinity pool overlooking the surrounding tropical jungle and it is the ideal base for trek in and around the Balinese countryside. The nearby village temple has fun shows worth checking out, in particular the Balinese Kecak monkey dance where the dancers use their own body as percussion along with pieces of bamboo as stamping tubes.

04) Royal Kamuela, Ubud

Recommended by Anne Slater-Brooks of Travel the Globe 4 Less

Kamuela Villas Ubud

Kamuela Villas Ubud

The Kamuela Villas in Ubud are just minutes from the main road, but a cocoon of blissful luxury. A sturdy, ornate wooden doorway leads to your personal oasis where your huge bed is surrounded by glass walls offering panoramic views of the private garden. The bathroom has both a rain shower and soaking tub for two to indulge the romantics, and you can even can step directly from the bathroom into your own private pool.

You can also enjoy breakfast served by your own private butler and your private outdoor dining area. My favorite thing about this property though, is watching monkeys skip around the garden walls every morning at dawn.

05) Alam Shanti, Ubud

Recommended by Lori Sorrentino of Travlinmad

Alam Shanti Ubud

Alam Shanti Ubud

We loved our stay at Alam Shanti in Bali’s cultural centre of Ubud. The property is a mix of small, traditional Balinese-style houses and individual suites, all set within beautiful gardens, koi ponds, and meandering walking paths that reflect the peaceful feeling we felt throughout our stay in Bali.

From the fragrant scent of incense on the breeze each day and the sound of trickling water everywhere, to the soft exchanges of “Selamat Pagi” each morning along the road on our way into town. If you’re planning a trip and wondering where to stay in Ubud, stay here. Alam Shanti is one of the loveliest places to stay in Bali.

06) Suarti Boutique Village

Recommended by Kayla Manoe of Kelana by kayla

Suarti Boutique Village

Suarti Boutique Village

Located in the lush hills of Ubud in the center of Bali is the charming Suarti Boutique Village. A property encompassing a collection of Javanesse joglo’s with an incredible rice fields backdrop bordered by coconut palms. Choose from a private villa or your own free standing Joglo. Designed with an elegance and sophistication with an affordable price!

The best part about Suarti (apart from the wonderful staff) is the free daily activities they put on for their guest. Take part in yoga classes or a hike around ubud. Or relax poolside after a nourishing hour at the in-house spa!

 

07) Devi’s Place

Devi’s Place offers reasonably priced Bungalows in Ubud that are very close to the rice fields. The bungalows are secluded and spacious, hence making them perfect for those who like being close to the nature and away from the crowds. Their bungalows also have a kitchenette inside apart from the bedroom and the bathroom. These bungalows also have a swimming pool and patio area. Check out this post for more information about Devi’s Place in Ubud, Bali.

08) Sharing Bali

Recommended by Rachel and Ruben Arribas Cañamares of Gamin Traveler

Sharing Bali - Places to stay in Bali

Sharing Bali – Places to stay in Bali

Rachel and I felt in love with Ubud in our recent trip to Bali. Although everything here is beautiful, what we loved the most in this place is North Ubud! We stayed in an amazing place, Sharing Bali, where we lived as locals. There are activities that you will love doing here. We enjoyed hiking on the rice fields, drinking fresh coconut water, and even watching and joining local people play volleyball.

We loved our room in Sharing Bali. Its wooden design, all the beautiful details in the room and outdoor bathroom were the things we admired the most. We also tried North Ubud’s healthiest and best local food. We really enjoyed this trip because aside from the fun activities we tried, it didn’t cost us that much. The best thing about North Ubud is that prices here are affordable. You can stay at one night for as low as $70.

09) Saren Indah Hotel, Ubud

Recommended by Dawn Nicholson of 5 Lost Together

Saren Indah Hotel

Saren Indah Hotel

I love how in Bali, you don’t have to spend a lot to get an amazing place to stay. Our go-to place to stay in Ubud is a small little gem located just across Monkey Forest from the centre of Bali. Saren Indah offers incredible value for money with lovely rooms priced at $45-65 USD/night.

The hotel’s picturesque setting in the rice fields are a welcome respite from bustling Ubud. We loved eating breakfast in the outdoor dining area, watching the sneaky monkeys try to steal food. The hotel has a lovely little pool, perfect for cooling down after a day exploring. Best of all, the friendly staff will go out of their way to make your stay perfect.

10) Puji Bungalows in Ubud – Hostel

Recommended by Gokul Raj of Plan Save Travel

Puji Bungalows in Ubud

Puji Bungalows in Ubud

This hostel is located 5 mins away from the Ubud Main Street and 10 mins from the Monkey Forest. The Ubud Market, Museum and the Ubud Palace are all located at walking distance from the hostel. There are also many restaurants nearby to try out the Balinese Cuisine.

They have 6 bed and 10 bed dorms with an avg price of 8USD/night. The best part of staying here is that you can negotiate and get discounts for the Mt Batur and Mt Agung trekking arranged by Puji Trekking Group.

This place is quite and serene, unlike the party hostels. It also has a pool area, which looks over to the rice fields. This place is perfect for travelers who need to take a break from the bustling city life.

Seminyak

Top Things to do in Seminyak

Places to Stay in Seminyak

11) Peppers Seminyak Bali

Recommended by Paula McInerney of Contented Traveller

Peppers Seminyak Bali

Peppers Seminyak Bali

Peppers Seminyak Bali is a luxury resort in Bali, in the very popular Seminyak. It is located down a little road, which means that you avoid any noise, but are close to everything.

There are one, two and three bedroom villas. Each villa is much like a Balinese compound. While we had a three-bedroom villa for two us, which was too much but still beautiful, there are one and two bedroom villas. Any of these villas would be ideal for a group on a Balinese getaway, as each has their own private pools. There is also a common pool area, bars, and restaurants, where you can choose to eat if you want to leave your villa complex. The Day Spa is particularly impressive.

  • Average cost per night: $648 USD (Three-Bedroom Villa with Private Pool) / $577 USD (Two-Bedroom Villa with Private Pool)
  • Read reviews on TripAdvisor 
  • Location: Seminyak

12) Katamama Hotel

Recommended by Clemens Sehi of Travellers Archive 

Katamama Hotel Bali

Katamama Hotel Bali

Katamama is a hotel in the Kerobokan area, close to Seminyak in Bali, Indonesia and it has a very special charm to it. „Welcome home“ is the slogan of the design hotel and the reception is the beginning of a wonderful journey through Balinese art and the unique implementation of hip design and traditional manufacturing methods. And that is in the truest sense of the word: the couch, the bed, the TV table, the carpet and everything else comes from Indonesia.

All things in the hotel room were handmade by Indonesian artists. Even the 1.6 million bricks with which the building was built were made by hand. In addition, the hospitality of the staff is unparalleled. So it actually is true, that Katamama already feels lime home already after a few minutes of your stay.

13) W Bali in Seminyak

Recommended by Marianne Rogerson of Mum on the Move

Peppers Seminyak Bali - where to stay in Bali

Peppers Seminyak Bali – where to stay in Bali

The W Bali is one of Seminyak’s most trendy and swanky hotels. All 237 rooms, suites and villas are super-stylish, with cutting-edge features, such as the state of the art BOSE sound systems that are pre-loaded with Ibiza-esque soundtracks to get you in a holiday mood.

The highlight of the W Hotel is the beautiful tiered swimming pool, surrounded by palm trees and boasting views straight out over the Indian Ocean. The grassy lawn is dotted with four-poster double daybeds, while the poolside terraces see people lounging on chic circular sofas and squashy beanbags.

Woo Bar is where it all happens later on, with stunning sunset views and a revolving line up of international DJs spinning the decks into the small hours.

14) Golden Tulip Devins Seminyak

Our recommendation

Golden Tulip is a five star hotel in Seminyak and is just a few minutes away from the main beach. The hotel is really beautiful and there is a spectacular rooftop pool with a view. There is a bar on the rooftop next to the pool too.

The rooms are super comfortable and some of them even have a Jacuzzi inside. The breakfast in Golden Tulip is everything that I wanted with a lot of fresh fruits, juices, pancakes, waffles, delicious eggs benedict and many other things.

15) Dash Hotel Seminyak

Recommended by Shandos Cleaver of Travelnuity

Dash Hotel Bali

Dash Hotel Bali

Dash Hotel Seminyak is the perfect Bali option for when you want to stay somewhere central and hip in Seminyak, but without splurging on a villa.

The boutique hotel is moderately priced and quirky with a capital Q: from the red-tiled pool in the atrium, to the colourful statues and street art inside rooms. It’s also just a short stroll away from the ever-popular Potato Head Beach Club. Although if you want to take it down a notch, just head upstairs to the rooftop bar at happy hour.

  • Average cost per night: $80 USD, although it’s worthwhile spending about $10 USD extra for a deluxe room or to include breakfast (or both!)
  • Read reviews on TripAdvisor
  • Location: Seminyak

16) Puri Dewa Bharata Hotel and Villas

Recommended by Dan Bagby of Honeymoon Always

Puri Dewa Bharata Hotel and Villas is great for someone looking for a nice place to stay without breaking a budget. It is located in a landscaped tropical garden, whose charm is enhanced by the traditional Balinese design.

At the hotel, there are plenty of typical amenities including a spa, restaurant and swimming pool. Nearby there are plenty stylish boutiques and shops, several fine restaurants, and colorful nightlife entertainment.

15 minutes away from the hotel you can make it to Kuta beach or a quick 5 minutes drive to Double Six beach. The average night at the Puri Dewa Bharata Hotel and Villas starts around $30. 

Kuta

Things to do in Kuta

 

Places to Stay in Kuta

17) Hard Rock Hotel, Bali

Recommended by Ozzy & Jyotsna Ramani of Stayopedia

One of the pioneer beach resorts in Bali, the Hard Rock Hotel, has it all – from fun to relaxation. With a prefect location overlooking the beach there is no dearth of luxury that cannot be found here.

The rooms are which feature Balinese designs with contemporary amenities makes it a wonderful place to get away from the mundanes of daily life. With spectacular sea view rooms to direct pool access, Hard Rock does live it up to it reputation of being affordable as well.

The daily breakfast buffet that is served is enough to keep anyone going through the day ranging from the usual bacon and eggs to the more contemporary local food like nsi goreng, etc.

Lounging by the pool/bar with a good book is all you need to do here if peace and quiet is your thing while there are also a lot of activities such as rock climbing, fitness center, etc. Hard Rock Hotel is highly recommended for anyone visiting Bali.

18) Holiday Inn Baruna

Recommended by Melissa Kiely of Thrifty Family Travels

Holiday Inn Baruna

Holiday Inn Baruna

The Holiday Inn Baruna is located directly on the Beach in Tuban, just south of Kuta. It is a quiet location with only a few shops and restaurants nearby, however it is only a 15-minute walk to the heart of Kuta.

The hotel is set among gorgeous tropical gardens and has a large lagoon style pool, with swim up bar, looking out over the beach. The hotel also has an onsite spa, 2 restaurants, café, ice cream parlour and kids club.

I recommend staying in one of the pool access rooms. These rooms are on the ground floor with access directly from the balcony to the swimming pool only a few metres away.

This hotel suits families or those wanting a quiet location but still within walking distance to Kuta.

 

19) Fashion Hotel, Legian (Love F Hotel Bali by fashiontv)

Recommended by Ferna Mae Fernandez

Love F Hotel Bali by fashiontv

Love F Hotel Bali by fashiontv

Love F hotel is a classy hotel with a diamond shaped designs encrypted with letter F. This is actually a fashion hotel that has a catwalk as you enter their lobby. It’s situated in the center of Legian street, which is only 5 minutes walk to the beach.

Apart from its fashionable interior, the price that has an average range of $40-$60 is inclusive of complimentary bottled water, strong wifi on their room, a coffee, buffet breakfast, the use of their swimming pool and the not-to-missed rooftop Jacuzzi which has the best site for chasing sunset.

If you fancy shopping and feast on good food, this place is surrounded by cheapest stores to buy goods and variety of restaurants to choose from.

 

Nusa Dua

Things to do in Nusa Dua

 

Places to Stay in Nusa Dua

20) The St Regis in Nusa Dua

Stefan Arestis and Sebastien Chaneac of Nomadic Boys

St Regis suite Nusa Dua

St Regis suite Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua is located right on the southern tip of Bali, around 30 minutes taxi ride from Seminyak. This is the place for that ultimate honeymoon retreat, where all the high end luxury hotels of the island are based. We stayed at the St Regis and loved it. You’re blown away from the moment you set foot here. It’s huge – you need a buggy to go from one end to the other. It has its own private beach, large gym, spa and a massive 3,668 squared metres salt-water lagoon pool.

 

21) Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort

Recommended by Vicki Garside of Make Time to See the World

Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua

Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua

The Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua is one of the most luxurious hotels I have ever stayed in and I highly recommend splashing the cash for just a couple of nights to experience it in all it’s glory.

From the beachside location, choice of 2 restaurants and a further 2 bars, in-house spa, beauty clinic, fitness center, library(!) and stunning swimming pool, everything is heavenly – and don’t get me started on the rooms! Plush and private, you can order your pillow from the sleep menu and request a member of staff come and expertly run a bubble, salt or chocolate bath in your own room!

22) Sakala Resort

Recommended by Anthony Jury of Fair Dinkum Traveller

The Sakala

The Sakala

The Sakala Resort in Tajung Benoa, Bali, hits you with paradise upon walking into this luxury resort and into the elegant lobby area, instantly first impressions are great.

The rooms are spacious, with King Size bed, a large bathroom, cable television, real coffee facilities and a large balcony that has a view of the entire resort. Private Villas are also available.

The Sakala Resort comes with added luxuries too, a spacious swimming pool with surrounding tropical gardens, two sophisticated restaurants, a stunning beach club with a swim-up pool bar and a Wellness Spa to escape the Bali heat.

 

Sanur

Things to do in Sanur

Places to Stay in Sanur

23) Swiss-Belresort Watu Jimbar

Recommended by Carole Terwilliger Meyers of Travels With Carole

Swiss-Belresort Watu Jimbar

Swiss-Belresort Watu Jimbar

The pool at the Swiss-Belresort Watu Jimbar in Sanur is such a welcome sight after a day of sightseeing in humid Bali.

All I wanted to do was settle into the interior courtyard pool. But first I ordered up my free welcome cocktail, then I secured a comfy lounge chair sitting right in a shallow-water pool, and then I reclined and covered my face with my sun hat, relaxed, and I really did think I was in paradise. The water was the perfect temperature.

While this was enough to make me want to stay forever, I did also appreciate my room where in the morning I could hear the roosters and barnyard animals residing in an adjacent village home. And as if this wasn’t enough, the included buffet breakfast offered a wonderful French toast with papaya jam.

Canggu

Things to do in Canggu

Places to Stay in Canggu, Bali

24) Hotel Tugu Bali

Recommended by Gordon E Arthur of Short Holidays and Getaways

Hotel Tugu Bali

Hotel Tugu Bali

Hotel Tugu Bali is located on the surfing area of Canggu. The hotel was built to house the collection of artifacts that the owner had collected on his travels around Indonesia. An enormous Garuda stands watch in the foyer, and he found this in the jungles of Sumatra.

The Pur Le Mayeu Villa is 200m2 and is surrounded by a 700m2 lotus pond. This villa was inspired by a love story between Belgian artist Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Pres and Ni Polok a famous Legong Dancer. The villa is spectacular. Hotel Tugu Bali also have Food and Cultural Evenings designed to take you on a journey through the history of Indonesia.

The average cost to stay per night in Pur Le Mayeu Villa is 670USD, though there are other suites like the Dedari Suite with Private Pool, which cost 340USD per night.

 

Uluwatu

Things to do in Uluwatu

Places to Stay in Uluwatu, Bali

25) Jepun Sari, Uluwatu

Recommended by Cal Andrew Wienburg of Singapore N Beyond

Jepun Sari

Jepun Sari

Jepun Sari is one of those places that you find spontaneously and upon arrival fall in love with. While Uluwatu is being built up fast, Jepun Sari is surrounded by greenery. It is isolated yet only about a 5 minute scooter ride to Bingin beach. A few minutes more and you’re at Padang Padang or Uluwatu Temple. As a surfer, this villa was heaven.

The infinity pool and sunken bar are much appreciated after a day at the beach. There are only 12 villas and the owner, who lives on the property, is building a raised honeymoon suite. He is wonderful by the way and will help you with anything you need. I hurt my back on the trip and he took me to a Balinese shaman in Denpasar. An amazing experience.

26) The Inn Possible, Bingin Beach, Uluwatu

Recommended by Ling and Guy of Travel-ling.com

If your idea of paradise is chilled surfer vibes and gorgeous beachfront views whilst enjoying your smoothie bowl, then The Inn Possible will be sure to please! Uluwatu has some of the best beaches in Bali, and Bingin Beach is definitely one of them. The whole vibe along Bingin Beach is super relaxed and you can enjoy uninterrupted views from the common area.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and if you are lucky, you might even get views! Note – you have to walk down A LOT of stairs to get to the beach and then walk across the sand to get to the Inn Possible. We suggest packing light, or paying one of the staff to help with your luggage, but it’s worth it!

Amed

Things to do in Amed

Places to Stay in Amed, Bali

27) Dharma Yoga homestay in Amed

Recommended by Claire Drinkwater of Backpacking Bella

Dharma Yoga homestay in Amed

Dharma Yoga homestay in Amed

If you want to escape the crowds, head for Bali’s laid back Amed region. Here, in the beachside village of Jemeluk is Dharma Yoga, a small yet spacious homestay. The upstairs rooms have a large balcony overlooking the sea, so you can enjoy the glorious sunrises and sunsets – such a treat. The minimal but stylish fan rooms have super comfortable beds and, crucially, a reliable WiFi connection!

Dharma Yoga is run by the delightful manager Ketut, who provides a tasty breakfast of eggs, fruit and coffee. She keeps the rooms immaculate with fresh towels and bedsheets every day. Across the road is an organic cafe, freediving centre, yoga classes and the beautiful black sand beaches of Amed. At just $17 on average per night, this peaceful homestay is fantastic value for money

Tabanan

Things to do in Tabanan

  • Visit Tanha Lot temple and watch the sunrise
  • See Ulun Danu Bratan Temple – Bali’s most famous “picture postcard” temple

Places to Stay in Tabanan, Bali (Near Tanha Lot)

28) Alila Soori

Recommended by Noel Morata of Travel Photo Discovery

Alila Soori Bali

Alila Soori Bali

A visit to Bali is even more special with a luxury stay in mind, if your looking for a relaxed but luxe getaway, check out the stunning Alila Soori in the west coast of the island.

Located close to the gorgeous Tanah Lot temple, the Soori is an island of calm in comparison. Simple lines and organic modern vibes dictate the well appointed villas with their own pools, Jacuzzis and outdoor patios along with very nice rooms and spacious living areas. The resort is plush and private with attentive and friendly wait staff and service aimed to please your every whim. Check out more images and details to this Soori stay here for more information and inspiration.

 

Nusa Lembongan

Things to do in Nusa Lembongan

Places to Stay on Lembongan Island (Nusa Lembongan)

29) Naradas Mushrom Beach on Lembongan Island

Recommended by Michele Legge of LeggingIt

Naradas Mushrom Beach on Lembongan

Naradas Mushrom Beach on Lembongan

One of the gems we discovered in Bali was the Naradas Mushrom Beach on Lembongan Island. Situated a short walk from the beachfront it is a small family run hotel, which offers double rooms for roughly $38 US. There are 8 very clean, nicely decorated rooms situated around a beautiful pool and tropical gardens.

They also have a restaurant where you can enjoy a very cheap, freshly cooked breakfast and other meals It truly offers sanctuary from the daytime craziness on the Mushroom Beach and is close enough where you can wander down to enjoy the beautiful sunsets once the day trippers have gone home.

Have you visited Bali already? Let us know in the comments. Share this post with a friend who is visiting Bali and is wondering where to stay.

(Cover picture photo credit: Make time to see the world)

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

10 Beautiful Spots in Bali that are Instagram Worthy

10 Beautiful Spots in Bali that are Instagram Worthy

Bali, the island of Gods needs no introduction. After all, it is the most visited island in South East. In fact, I had almost written Bali off my travel bucket list assuming that every corner here will be touristy, but I couldn’t help being excited when I received an invitation by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia.

Late one night in November 2016, I landed here after changing two airplanes from Raja Ampat – tired but ready to fall in love with Bali.

You know what’s the best part about Bali? It is jaw dropping gorgeous! My excitement started right from the airport where I saw an elaborate Hindu temple. It continued as soon as I reached my hotel – De Vins Sky Hotel in Seminyak and saw a roof top pool and yet another temple!

As we travelled around the island the next morning, I was happy to notice that the typical Balinese temple like architecture is everywhere, even at the gas stations. (Btw, the name of the hotel was earlier Golden Tulup but has changed to De Vin Sky Hotel Seminyak. If you want to book the same place, you can click here to check the availability and the best deals)

I visited Bali as a social media influencer, so of course Instagram was very high on my list. I did a little bit of research about a few spots to visit and want to share them with you. No doubt there are more than ten beautiful spots in Bali (obviously), but here are ten of our favorites.

UPDATE in 2018:

I recently discovered that there is a very popular “Instagram tour of Bali” that includes some of the best places that I have mentioned here, waterfalls and also the Instagram-famous jungle swing!

This tour includes hotel transfers, entrance fees, water, etc. This tour makes it super easy for you to visit most of the places on this list and a few more. Check it out and make your Bali pictures memorable to rock your Instagram. 

Bali’s most beautiful spots –

01 | “Doors of Heaven” at Pura Lempuyang

Not just in Bali, but this is definitely one of the most beautiful temples of South East Asia. There are total seven temples in this complex, out of which the first one is the biggest and the most beautiful one. They all offer good views but the first one is the most photographed one, for obvious reasons.

All the shots below are pretty similar, but the lighting is different, which causes a dramatic effect. To know more about Pura Lempuyang, you can click here check the details on TripAdvisor.

 

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02 | Penglipuran Village

Penglipuran in North of Bali is a beautifully preserved village which appeared to be unaffected by modernization. For me, this was the most beautiful spot in Bali and I did not want to leave.

It is the perfect place for photos because of the backdrop of little houses that are lined up next to the main street. What makes it even better is that the street is sloped and provides a view till the end.

Out of all the places that I visited, my pictures in Penglipuran Village turned out to be the best ones. Here’s my picture which was clicked by the talented Japanese photographer, Genta. If you ever wonder where to stay in Bali, i’d recommend you pick the North or Ubud area, just so that you’re close to this spot.

 

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Every corner in this village is pretty! Look how cute this picture is –

This village is so pretty, that every corner is instagram-worthy! Look how cute this picture is:

 

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The same background as the first picture, but it’s a portrait.

This is the same spot as the first picture, but a portrait.

 

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03 | Bamboo Forest in Bangli

Don’t you just love the roads that are surrounded by perfectly arched trees resulting in a “tunnel” effect? Well, you can find a few of these streets in the village of Kubu Bangli regency. This forest area is very close to Penglipuran village, so you can do #2 and #3 together on the same day! Planning on visiting? Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor before you go.

The below picture is by one of my favorite photographers, Larissa Dening:

Here’s another one by Hikari – a talented Japanese photographer, who is as beautiful as the pictures she clicks.

 

A post shared by hikari☆。* (@_hikari_____) on

The next one was clicked by Trishita (Overrated Outcast), who’s just 20 but does some serious magic with her GoPro. She’s also a GoPro brand ambassador.

Here’s one by Daniel Tran. I love how all of his pictures have a lot of magic, that they look surreal.

Tip: Don’t miss the Nusa Islands that are off the coast of Bali. Here’s the perfect itinerary for Nusa Islands

04 | Ubud’s Rice Paddies and Cafes with views

You can’t leave out Ubud’s pretty rice paddies when you visit Bali. Some people rent bicycles to explore the paddy fields, while others just find a chic café with a view to enjoy Ubud’s beauty. I recommend Desa Tegalalang or Kampung Café for your dose of Ubud.

To make the most of it, you can also book yourself a room at Kampung Resort. This place is in a stunning location on a height and with an exceptionally breathtaking view of the rice paddies. A room here is usually between 40 − 50 USD. If you’re not staying here, then at lease consider visiting this place for an amazing lunch with a view of the paddy fields. 

Here’s a picture from Kampung Cafe by Jongbeom Lee:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMWTYHzDdEI/?taken-by=picn2k

I love this bird’s eye view of the rice paddies by Will Cho.

Or this green overdose by Michael Turtle:

This shot by Emily makes me want to want to get lost in these rice paddies!

 

 

05 | Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is perhaps the most iconic landmark of Bali. It has been used for years as a cover image for Bali related things such as in flyers, travel articles, picture postcards, etc. This temple is located at the edge of Beratan Lake and you can often catch the reflection of it in the water.

Everything is perfect about this shot, specially the reflection.

 

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Here’s the same temple but from a different angle. Don’t you just love the sky?

 

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06 | Pura Tirta Empul

Yes, you must have guessed it by now that everything that starts with “Pura” is a temple. This temple is famous for its bathing area and a dip in its waters is supposed to cleanse you spiritually. The words “Tirta Empul” stand for holy spring in Balinese language.

If you want to know more about Tirta Empur temple, you can read the discussions on Tripadvisor about this place. Here’s a shot of Tirta Empul Temple’s stunning door.

 

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This is inside the temple, where people bathe inside the water for ritual purification.

 

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07 | Banyumala Twin Waterfalls

What’s better than a waterfall? Two waterfalls together. Banyumala Twin Waterfalls waterfalls are in North Central part of Bali and getting there is definitely not easy. Many people say that these are the best waterfalls in Bali, but why don’t you see the pictures and decide for yourself?

Look how green everything around this waterfall is!

 

A post shared by Agusm Photography (@agusm123) on

How blue is that water!

 

08 | Tanah lot temple

Yes, another temple on the list, but I promise it’s the last one. Visit Tanah Lot temple a little before the sunset and find a nearby café that overlooks the temple for some stunning photos! Doesn’t the ocean backdrop look stunning?

View this post on Instagram

🌅 #Bali

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Low tide at #Tanahlot #Bali. Hello Guys !

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09 | Tibumana Waterfall

This waterfall is in Bangli area and not so far from the Bamboo forest in point 3. Getting here is not as difficult as Banyumala Waterfalls. The trail that leads to the waterfall is small and is a delight in itself.

What makes the Tibuamana waterfall stunning is the jungle around. You will hear the sounds of birds and the water – how cool is that! Tibumana waterfall itself is small but it is the green area around that makes it very special.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYmkDRGl0wH/

 

 

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10 | Ku-De-Ta Lounge and Around

Ku-De-Ta is one of the most famous bars in Bali. The view of the ocean from here is breathtaking, especially around the sunset time. There is a swimming pool inside Ku-De-Ta, which looks very beautiful when the sky turns orange before it gets dark. Not just the bar, but even the beach right outside this place gave us many photo opportunities.

Here’s a picture of the bar and swimming pool inside Ku-De-Ta:

The below three pictures were shot right outside Ku-De-Ta. Look how beautiful this spot looks when sun goes down.

 

A post shared by Genta (@gnta) on

And this!

 

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Where to stay in Bali

I stayed in Golden Tulip Devins, which is in Seminyak. It is a very beautiful hotel with a rooftop pool and bar. The rooftop area is amazing for watching sunsets. Some of the rooms here also feature an outdoor Jacuzzis. My room was very comfortable and had everything that I needed (like a hairdryer). The hotel is less than 5 minutes walk from Seminyak beach and the nearby Petitenget Temple. This temple is right on the beach and I got to watch a colorful prayer ceremony here one morning.

Seminyak is Bali’s hip and upscale area and is famous for its nightlife but thankfully is not as crowded as Kuta. To be honest, I didn’t party much except on just one occasion and we found a very cool nightclub near our hotel. If you’re heading to Bali, I strongly recommend you stay here. If you like big breakfasts (like I do), you will really enjoy their buffet – especially strawberry waffles, eggs Benedict, and coffee.

You can read the reviews about Golden Tulip Devins on TripAdvisor and find the best deal to book a room. Or, you can click here to find deals for Golden Tulip Devins, Seminyak in Bali on Booking.com. I generally prefer Booking.com because of their free cancellation (on most of the hotels) that has saved my life many times. A room at Golden Tulip Devins, Seminyak can cost you anything between $100 to $200 depending on your choice. Or, you can check on Agoda where I usually find prices that are cheaper than the other websites.

Have you ever been to Bali? If so, I would love to know about your favorite photo spots, so please do let me know in the comments.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

Where to go after Bali?

Check out Yogyakarta and Lombok.

Disclaimer: I was paid and invited by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia to their beautiful country on a content creation campaign called “Trip of Wonders”, but as always, all thoughts in this article are mine.

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Raja Ampat, Papua: Travel Guide to Spectacular Remote Islands in Indonesia

Raja Ampat, Papua: Travel Guide to Spectacular Remote Islands in Indonesia

Raja Ampat Travel Guide has been written in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia. A big thanks to them for inviting Drifter Planet for a press trip to their beautiful country.

Two months back I died and I went to heaven. Heaven looks like something like this…

Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Pasir Timbul in Raja Ampat, Indonesia – Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Yes, it’s true that there are countless destinations around the world that are famous for beaches and marine biodiversity, but there is nothing like Raja Ampat. Why? Because Raja Ampat doesn’t get many visitors and it is easy to enjoy the beauty without the crowds. Moreover, it is a part of the famous “Coral Triangle” that every marine enthusiast and scuba diver knows of. The coral triangle is also called the “Amazon of the seas” because it covers only 1.6% of earth’s oceanic area but has more than 76% of all known coral species in the world.

I spent a few days in Raja Ampat and I got to see some of the most beautiful beaches, colorful marine life, remote villages, and spectacular sunsets and met many wonderful people. Wouldn’t you wanna know more about this slice of paradise?

If you’re lazy to read the entire post, then you can just watch this 2 minute video summary that I made of Raja Ampat. Hope you like it.

 

Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Where is Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is in Indonesia. If you look at the map, you will notice that Indonesia is highly spread out. Raja Ampat is the east most part of Indonesia and is a part of the island group of New Guinea. These set of 1500 islands that collectively form Raja Ampat are in Indonesia’s West Papua province.

How to Reach Raja Ampat

Here’s the thing, good things in life are never easy. That’s the case with Raja Ampat because getting there can require a bit of patience and determination. It took me more than a day to reach Raja Ampat from Yogyakarta with a night stay in Makassar.

To get to Raja Ampat, you need to reach Sorong. Flights to Sorong can be taken from Jakarta or Bali or Yogyakarta or even Singapore (Silk air). These flights will most likely stop in either Manado or Makassar. Once you reach Sorong, you will need to get to the main harbor of Sorong for your ferry to Waisai, which is on the island of Waigeo and is the capital of the Raja Ampat. You can take an express ferry or a slow boat, and both leave in the mornings at 9 am or 11 am, depending on the day. The express ferry takes around 2 hours and the slow boat takes around 5 hours. The white and orange Bahari Express ferries are the fast boats and Fajar Mulia is the name of the slow boat. To reach your final destination, you will need to have your hotel (or homestay) send a boat to Waisai to pick you up.

To recap, refer to the below table:

Flight to Sorong -> Taxi to Sorong Harbor -> Bahari Express ferry OR Fajar Mulia ferry to Waisai -> Boat Transfer to be arranged by your Hotel / Homestay.

Here’s an excellent post with detailed information about how to reach Raja Ampat, check it out.

Please understand that Raja Ampat is a remote destination. If you’re looking for an alternative destination in Indonesia that’s easier to reach, check out Komodo Island. Here’s a detailed guide that will help you plan a trip to Komodo Island. You can also read about Kelimutu lakes in Flores

 

Where to Stay in Raja Ampat:

Hotels in Raja Ampat

Massive Chessboard on the beach at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge

Massive Chessboard on the beach at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge

I stayed at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge (see reviews on TripAdvisor) which is on Mansuar Island. Raja Ampat Dive Lodge has a long stretch of private beach right. This white sand beach is right outside this resort’s cute wooden bungalows. If you like to snorkel, you can rent one here and snorkel around the bungalows. The water is crystal clear and I saw a lot of nemos and one lionfish here.

Entry Pier at Raja Ampat Die Lodge - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Entry Pier at Raja Ampat Die Lodge – Raja Ampat Travel Guide

While I was here, I woke up every morning with a smile because I could here birds singing. As soon as I would open my door, the sight of a spectacular beach would greet me. Perhaps it sounds really cliché, but I had to pinch myself to believe if it was real. It was amazing having my own space and my own private white sand beach right outside the door. Pretty often, I would see a cute little family of ducks out for a morning walk on the beach outside my cottage.

My Private Beach at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

A duck family on my Private Beach at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge – Raja Ampat Travel Guide

My bungalow at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge was very big and airy. It had a sitting area outside where I spent a few mornings. I was happy to see a hair dryer in the bathroom because I never carry one. The room also had a little backyard, which I used pretty often to dry my clothes.

Raja Ampat Dive Lodge - Raja Ampat Travel Guide
Raja Ampat Dive Lodge - Raja Ampat Travel Guide
Raja Ampat Dive Lodge - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Raja Ampat Dive Lodge has a dive shop inside, which is one of the most reputed one in the area. Not just dive tours, they can also organize island-hopping tours for you. The restaurant serves very good food, which isn’t as spicy as the rest of Indonesia. My best meal here was an amazing seafood barbecue with massive prawns. Yum!

BBQ Seafod, Prawn Crackers and cheesy potato soup at Raja Ampat Dice Lodge

BBQ Seafod, Prawn Crackers and cheesy potato soup at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge

Honestly, this resort is so pretty that I did not want to leave. They have limited number of cottages, so I highly recommend you book it well in advance before it gets sold out. While we were there, it was sold out and some of us had to share rooms. If you’re visiting Raja Ampat, please do yourself a favor and stay in Raja Ampat Dive Lodge. Click here to find the latest deals on rooms here.

Homestays in Raja Ampat

If you’re visiting Raja Ampat on a budget, then staying in a homestay is perhaps the only way that you can save on your costs. It will be an adventure in itself, considering how remote and beautiful Raja Ampat is. Most of these homestays will arrange to pick you up from Waisai island main pier. The prices for most of these vary between $25 to $29 for one person and $50 – $60 for two – check out the below options:

Things to do in Raja Ampat

01 | Scuba Dive / Snorkel

Raja Ampat's marine life - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Raja Ampat’s marine life – Raja Ampat Travel Guide

The first point is pretty much obvious. The marine life in Raja Ampat looked like it was right out of a documentary. I saw many different kinds of fish, in a lot of and colors and sizes. If you are not a diver, then please at least spend a few hours snorkeling to because here, it is the BEST in the world.

Right outside Raja Ampat Dive Lodge, I got to see clownfish, angelfish, parrotfish, and lionfish. Obviously I saw many more but I’m not so good with fish names. When we went to our first dive site, I was amazed at the density of marine life. Orange, purple, green, blue – I was surrounded by different colors as I snorkeled around.

Sadly, I couldn’t scuba dive here because it was necessary to have finished 20 dives but I had just done just two (Yes, it sucks)! Even then, the snorkeling experience was extraordinary because of the density. I highly recommend you check out this post to see information about Raja Ampat scuba diving liveaboard (+ pics are stunning).

Finding Nemo - Clownfish in Raja Ampat

Finding Nemo – Clownfish in Raja Ampat

As I mentioned before, Raja Ampat is a part of Coral Triangle, which has the most diverse marine life on the planet. It has obviously been mentioned as one of the top scuba diving locations in the world by a lot of travel guides. Oh and btw, we also spotted a walking shark (epaulette) in the mangroves near the pier of our hotel. (Don’t worry, they are harmless)

02 | Visit Pasir Timbul – the Most Beautiful Beach on Earth

Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat - the most beautiful beach I've seen

Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat – the most beautiful beach I’ve seen

If someone asked me to describe paradise, I’d narrate a picture of Pasir Timbul. Any words that I say won’t do any justice to the beauty but I’ll try my best. It is the most beautiful beach that I have ever seen in my life. Too bad, my GoPro lens was foggy and I wasn’t able to get the best shots.

Pasir Timbul is an area in the ocean where the sand emerges out for a few hours a day to form small sand patches. This happens when the tide is low and gradually disappears as the tide moves high. Our boat anchored at a distance of around 500 meters from here because the ocean bed is shallow here.

As the boat stopped, the view made me jump with joy. I’m not exaggerating, so here’s a picture that you can see and judge for yourself.

First View - Pasir Timbul from the boat

First View – Pasir Timbul from the boat

After this point, we had to walk (or swim) in order to reach the beaches. And yes, there was more than one beach because the sand had emerged to form mini islands. There were sandbars that connected these islands and it was fun to walk on them. I will stop describing now because you should read my travel guide for Pasir Timbul if you want to know more. 😉

03 | Climb up to the famous Pianemo Viewpoint of Raja Ampat

Pianemo Viewpoint - Raja Ampat Travel Guide by Drifter Planet

Pianemo Viewpoint – Raja Ampat Travel Guide by Drifter Planet

Pianemo Viewpoint is the most famous viewpoint of Raja Ampat and is usually the cover image of most of the travel guides and magazines about this destination. I’m sure you would have seen a picture of this at some point somewhere. Yes, it is as beautiful as those pictures.

Reaching here took us around 30 minutes on a boat from the hotel. My hangover disappeared as we anchored our boat outside the entry point where the steps began, because it was so goddamn beautiful! Everywhere around us the water was clear greenish-blue.

The steps were many but I was in a hurry to get there so I literally ran up. When I reached up, it was empty and I got some amazing pictures without anyone in them. This kind of reminded me of the amazing viewpoints in Palawaan that I a little less than a year back. Click here if you want to decide which one you like more?

After the viewpoint, we walked back down and jumped into the water for a swim. To be honest, the water was not clear here so we couldn’t see any marine life.

 

04 | Visit Arborek Village Island and Eat with the Lovely Locals

Beautiful children of Arborek village - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Beautiful children of Arborek village – Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Honestly, I knew nothing of Arborek Village and neither was I expecting too much. But I was so happy when I reached here because it was an experience to remember.

There were easily 100 village people waiting for us as our boat reached Arborek Village. Which was surprising because that’s literally half the population of the island. Several smiling children stood outside and were dressed in their traditional attire. We were informed that they had prepared a welcome performance for us.

As we stepped on the pier, those children came forward and started singing and dancing for us. It was the sweetest and the most beautiful welcome that I have ever received in my life and I had to hide a tiny tear at the end of their performance.

We were told not to click any pictures or to make any videos during their performance. For whatever reasons it may be, it was a good thing because everyone saw them through their eyes, instead of the camera screens.

After the welcome, the kids held out hands and led us inside their village. Everyone else followed us, and walked behind us singing. Many of us danced while walking so it felt like we were a part of a parade.

As we walked, we saw a continuous strip of beach on our right. On our left were a few colorful huts and I wish that one was mine. Considering the welcome that we received, I would have still liked this place if it wasn’t pretty but just like everything in Raja Ampat, this was magical. The beach here was actually very beautiful because it was wide, long and shady. As you can see the the picture, the sand was sugary white and the water was very blue. Due to the abundance of trees on the beach, it was possible to find many shady spots.

We must have walked for just 500 meters when the beach became wider. We decided to sit here to enjoy the beach for most of our time in Arborek.

Singing with the locals on the beach at Arborek Village - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Singing with the locals on the beach at Arborek Village – Raja Ampat Travel Guide

The island is very small so it is easy see pretty much everything by walking. We saw a church, a school and a few homestays. After exploring and swimming around, we saw under a tree and listened to the villages sing songs while playing their handmade instruments. After while, it was time to enjoy a delicious lunch that the locals had cooked for us. Obviously there was a lot of fish.

05 | Visit the School Kids at Taman Bacaan Pelangi

Adorable school kids at School Kids at Taman Bacaan Pelangi

Adorable school kids at School Kids at Taman Bacaan Pelangi

Taman Bacaan Pelangi or Rainbow Reading Gardens is a non-profit group that builds libraries for children in remote villages of Indonesia. We visited this place as soon as arrived in Raja Ampat and met 100s of school children.

These children were very excited to meet us and just like the ones in Arborek, they welcomed us by performing. Right after that, we sat with them and read some of their books with them and answered their army of questions.

I knew Bollywood was big in other countries, but I never realized the magnitude till the time I reached Indonesia. I was presently surprised when I saw how the children at Taman Bacaan Pelangi School sang songs from Hindi movies.

I met Nila, the girl whose passion led her to start Taman Bacaan Pelangi. Not just Raja Ampat, but her organization has made 38 more children libraries in remote parts of Indonesia. Aren’t these kids cute? You can help Nila build more such libraries and provide resources for many other children in Indonesia by Raja Ampat Dive Lodge.

06 | Visit Sawinggrai Village (or Sawing Ray Village)

Sawinggrai Village - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Sawinggrai Village – Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Sawing Ray or Sawinggrai Village is a tiny fisherman village in Raja Ampat. It is a typical authentic Papuan village with slow life. There is a lot to see above and below water here. I visited this village twice when I was in Raja Ampat and was surprised to see how the color of the water looks different on both sides of the jetty as the sun moves. Exactly for this, this village’s main pier is an excellent spot for both, sunrise and sunset.

Sawinggrai Village - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

Sawinggrai Village – Raja Ampat Travel Guide

In Sawinggrai Village, there are many colorful huts above the water and small walking paths. Below the water I saw some amazing corals and many colorful fish. I carried some bread with me to feed the fishes near the pier and I was amazed at the density. I don’t know the name if this black and white stripped fish but I saw it all over Palawan too! Do you know the name?

Beautiful Hut in Sawinggrai Village, Raja Ampat - Raja Ampat Travel Guide
Sawinggrai Village - Raja Ampat Travel Guide
Homestay in Sawinggrai Village - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

The best time to come here is late evening to catch the sunset or early morning to see the sunrise or for birdwatching. Yes, birdwatching, which brings me to my next point.

07 | Go for Bird watching to see the Birds of Paradise

Red Bird of Paradise Raja Ampat - Photo by Time Travel Turtle

Red Bird of Paradise Raja Ampat – Photo by Time Travel Turtle

If you’re a fan of Planet Earth series like I am, chances are you have seen the dance of Birds of Paradise. Red bird of Paradise and Cendrawasih (a kind of Bird of Paradise) can be sometimes spotted in Sawinggrai Village. So how do you find these pretty creatures? Pretty much every hotel or homestay can arrange to take you on an early morning tour to the spots inside the forest where these birds perform their famous mating dance.

 

08 | Visit Kabui Bay

My Indonesian Travel Buddies at Kabui Bay - Raja Ampat Travel Guide

My Indonesian Travel Buddies at Kabui Bay – Raja Ampat Travel Guide

While Pianemo Viewpoint is the more famous one, Kabui Bay viewpoint is also quite pretty. You can visit here along with Pasir Timbul, one after another on the same day. Unlike Pianemo Viewpoint, you don’t have to climb really high for the view. There is a little standing platform on one of the limestone rocks that can easily fit 20 people.

Personally, I prefer the view from Pianemo Viewpoint over Kabui Bay because we got a bird eye view. I highly recommend you check the weather forecast beforehand because it doesn’t look very nice when it rains.

Weather in Raja Ampat and When to Visit

In Raja Ampat, there can be massive variations in the weather conditions between different islands. Since it is a tropical destination, Raja Ampat is warm and can be visited throughout the year. It temperature usually remains between 27 – 32° C.  It can rain anytime for short durations. It rained when I visited the Pianemo Viewpoint. The best time to visit Raja Ampat is from the months of October to April. If you’re visiting just to scuba dive, then you need to know that many dive shops don’t operate from July and September due to heavy rains.

Travel Tips for Raja Ampat

I want to share a few travel tips for Raja Ampat based on my experience there. I’m not mentioning the obvious ones like carrying a sunscreen or a waterproof bag, etc., because I assume you know that already.

01 | Travel Expenses and Budgeting

I will be honest – Raja Ampat is not a cheap destination, but is a luxury destination. Not only is the cost of getting there is high but so is the internal boat transport. I wouldn’t have been able to afford visiting a destination like this on my own if the Indonesian government didn’t sponsor me.

Although staying in Raja Ampat can be cheap if you book village homestays, it is the cost of getting there is what makes Raja Ampat an expensive travel destination. I went two months back (November 2016) and it took us two flights, two boats and one bus to reach here. Obviously if you total up all the costs, it’s not cheap.

If you can afford the cost of getting there, that’s amazing because you can find a homestay to make the rest of your holiday affordable. You can reduce your costs further if your homestay is centrally located so that you don’t have to spend a lot on internal boat transfers. Pick one in Arborek Village or Sawinggrai Village so that you’re closer to the places which I have written about.

Normally I don’t like planning things before my trips but Raja Ampat is one such destination where planning is essential if you want to save money. Make sure you speak to your hotel / homestay about boat transfers while booking.

02 | Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat

If you are a newbie diver (like me) and want to travel to Raja Ampat just to scuba dive, I’d recommend you speak to a few dive shops first. Most of the dives sites in Raja Ampat are for advanced divers with at least 20 dives in their logbook. It is because the currents are very strong and can take to the edge of the reef. But don’t be disappointed if you can’t scuba dive there because the snorkeling experience there is something you will remember for life.

03 | Prepare to be in a Remote Area

Raja Ampat is not like Bali or Palawan where you will find shops that sell basic needs. Most of the areas in Raja Ampat are so remote that you won’t find anything apart from your hotel. Pack strategically and carry everything that you may need for the time you’re there. The closest city like area is in Sorong, which will be a few hours boat ride away from your place of staying.

04 | ATMs in Raja Ampat

I’m sure you would have realized by now that Raja Ampat is really remote and yes, there are no ATMs here. A few hotels do accept cards but you need to plan and carry more than enough cash because the card machines may not always be working.

05 | Mosquito Repellent

Like most of the tropical island destinations, the mosquitos in Raja Ampat are vicious. Carry an herbal insect repellent with citronella or coconut so that you don’t cause any damage to the marine life when you swim. Using a coconut oil really helps but you need to reapply it often. 

06 | Time Zone in Raja Ampat

I have never mentioned time zone in any of my travel tips for anywhere, however I think it’s important that you should know. Indonesia has three time zones because it is spread out over many different longitudes. The time zones of Jakarta, Bali and Raja Ampat are all different. Due to low network connectivity, your phone clock may not auto update, so please check with the locals and adjust your clock. It was hilarious how many of us were confused with the time while we were in Raja Ampat because to reach here we had to change three different time zones. If you don’t want to miss your early morning bird watching session or sunrise photography, do keep this point in mind.

Suggested reading: Komodo National Park, Indonesia 

 

Travel Costs for Raja Ampat

To help you get an idea, I have divided the travel costs for Raja Ampat in different sections. You can use this as a ballpark figure to plan your travel expenses. I will try to update these costs on a regular basis but I suggest you do a little bit of your own research as well after reading this article.

  • Flights: Return flights from Jakarta / Bali to Sorong: USD 200 – 250
  • Permit Fee for international visitors: USD 75 (or IDR 1,000,000)
  • Ferry from Sorong to Waisai: USD 10 (or IDR 130,000) for one way.
  • Room: Hotel: USD 150 – 200 per night (usually includes diving) ; Homestay: USD 50 per night
  • Boat Tours: USD 55 – 105 per person (depending on the route)
  • Cost of a beer at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge: USD 5 (or 60,000 IDR)

So are you ready to see some of the most beautiful beaches, corals and marine life that’s on our planet? Plan a trip to Raja Ampat today.

Have you visited Raja Ampat already?

Considering there are 1500 islands in the archipelago of Raja Ampat, I have probably seen just a fraction of this wonderland. If you have been there already then please share your tips and recommendations with me in comments.

Raja Ampat Travel Guide - remote islands in Indonesia
Raja Ampat Travel Guide - Paradise found

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

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Yogyakarta, Indonesia – 13 Things I did here that I had never done before

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Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat – the Most Beautiful Beach I’ve ever seen

Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat – the Most Beautiful Beach I’ve ever seen

In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the sea, there lies a little island that is hidden to many. For a few hours a day, when the tide is low, this little island emerges out of the ocean. This is Pasir Timbul in Raja Ampat, which literally translates into “emerging sands” beach.

Pair Timbal, Raja Ampat - the most beautiful beach I've seen

Pair Timbal, Raja Ampat – the most beautiful beach I’ve seen

I spent around one hour in Pasir Timbul and trust me when I say this – I went a little crazy here when I saw the beauty. It felt like the “travel Gods” rewarded me with this beach to help me with my search of the most beautiful beach in the world.

Where is Pasir Timbul

Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat, Indonesia - my photo by Noah Stammbach (zeebachi)

Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat, Indonesia – my photo by Noah Stammbach (zeebachi)

Pasir Timbul is in Raja Ampat and is a 20-minute boat ride from Arborek village, or 30 minutes from Wisai. Raja Ampat is in West Papua Island in Indonesia.

How to reach Pasir Timbul

The easiest way to reach here is by booking a boat from Arborek village or Wisai, capital of Raja Ampat. You can ask your resort / guesthouse to book it for you. Due to the water levels, the boats can’t reach the sand patches. The point where the boat stops, you need to swim or walk to the sand patches.

First View - Pasir Timbul from the boat

First View – Pasir Timbul from the boat. This is where we jumped into the water to head to the beach

Note: The little islands of Pasir Timbul are only visible for a few hours. Make sure you double check with your tour operator to find out if they are aware of the specific times to visit. You can book a tour now by sending an email here – marketing@pantaisariringgung.com

Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat – the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen

Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat - the most beautiful beach

Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat – the most beautiful beach

You can call it an island or a beach, but these are literally sand patches that emerge out of the ocean when the tide is low.

My friends Val, Hanni and Fikri on a sandbar on Pasir Timbul

My friends Val, Hanni and Fikri on a sandbar on Pasir Timbul

The sand here is sugary white and soft. The water is crystal clear and very blue. It is so clear that it is possible to see the bottom of the sea. You don’t even need to carry a snorkel here because the visibility is amazing. But I do recommend you carry one to see the underwater beauty. These sand banks don’t have any animals or vegetation that is visible.

Just look at that water! - Pasir Timbal, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Just look at that water! – Pasir Timbal, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The time when I visited, there were 3 sand patches, two of which were connected via a sandbar. The biggest sand patch was kidney shaped and the smaller one was triangular. These islands (or sand patches) were perhaps only about 100-150 square meters big. The waves were visible on all the three sides. The shapes of these islands change regularly because they get covered by water and emerge out a little different than before.

Pasir Timbal, Raja Ampat

At this time I went a little crazy with joy – Pasir Timbal, Raja Ampat

Tips for Visiting Pasir Timbul, Raja Ampat

01 | Carry a Waterproof Camera – In all likelihood, you will end up going through waist deep water to reach the sand patches. You should definitely not carry gadgets that aren’t waterproof. Get a GoPro or a waterproof case for your camera because you’re going to make a lot of photos here.

Me with my GoPro when the tide was high on Pasir Timbal beach - photo by Najii

Me with my GoPro when the tide was high on Pasir Timbal beach – photo by Najii

02 | Extra Sun Protection – There is no vegetation on Pasir Timbul beach and hence no shade. Extra sun protection by wearing a lot of sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasss will keep you comfortable.

03 | Clothes and Swimsuit – Don’t wear a lot of clothes because they will weigh you down and make you tired in case you need to swim back to the boat. Wear a comfortable swimsuit.

04 | Drinking Water – There are no cafes on this beach, so carry water and light snacks on your boat.

05 | Waterproof Bag – For those that don’t have waterproof cameras or GoPro cameras, buying a simple waterproof bag can solve all your problems.

Pasir Timbul - Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Najii, Naoko, Hikari and Gnta on Pasir Timbul beach, Raja Ampat
First view of Pasir Timbal, Raja Ampat
Pasir timbul beach, Raja Ampat, Indonesia - the most beautiful beach I've ever seen

Raja Ampat’s Pasir Timbul is the most beautiful beach that I have ever seen.

What about you? Let me know in the comments.

A big thanks to the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia for inviting Drifter Planet to visit their beautiful country. 

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

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