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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
Where to Stay in Tegalang
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
When to visit the Ubud Rice Fields
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 AirportFrom 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 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.