Best Things to Do in Northern Bali for 1-3 Days

Out of all the areas I visited in Bali I found the northern part to be the quietest and close to what I imagined the island to be. There are still tourists here, but it’s not quite as busy, so it’s a good location to visit if you want to escape the crowds and see a different side of Bali.

In this post, I will list some of the best places to visit if you plan to spend from 1 up to 3 days in Northern Bali (personally, I stayed for 3 nights). Honestly, you could do every activity on the list in 2 days too, but it will take some effort mainly because of the hikes.

If you only have a day at your disposal, I’d suggest visiting Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Banyumala Waterfall and/or Bayu Wana Amertha, and Wanagiri Hidden Hills.

You’ll be left with a bit less than half a day to enjoy the amazing infinity pools at Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort if you start your day early in the morning.

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Things to do in Northern Bali

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Hike the Munduk Waterfall Trail

The Munduk area in Bali is known for its beautiful waterfalls and one of the most popular trekking paths is the Munduk Waterfall Trail.

munduk waterfalls trek

This trail takes around 3-4 hours to complete and connects 4 waterfalls: Melanting Waterfall, Labuhan Kebo, Red Coral (also known as Munduk Waterfall), and Golden Valley Waterfall. Three of them require a fee to visit:

  • Melanting Waterfall: 20,000 IDR
  • Labuhan Kebo Waterfall: 20,000 IDR
  • Red Coral Waterfall: 20,000 IDR (though I read some complaints from people mentioning they had to pay 45,000 IDR)
  • Golden Valley Waterfall: Free entry, but donations are encouraged

The trek begins near Waterfall Restaurant & Coffeeshop Munduk and I highly recommend you use MAPS.ME app to guide yourself because Google Maps doesn’t seem to have the positioning right for everything, nor are the small paths marked on it.

However, I did my best to trace the trail on the map above so that you’d have a rough idea of how it looks.

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan

Visit Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan was probably one of my favorite temples in Bali due to its shrines (merus) with pagoda-style thatched roofs, some of which were located in the water so it looked like they were floating.

The temple is quite vast compared to others and you can expect to spend about half an hour exploring it. The entry ticket was 75,000 IDR in September 2022.

Hike to Banyumala Twin Waterfall

Banyumala is one of the most known waterfalls in Northern Bali, so don’t expect to be the only one visiting. It’s called the Twin Waterfall because if you look closely you’ll notice there are 2 separate streams of water flowing side by side.

You can take a refreshing swim in its pool (expect the water to be fairly cold though) and it costs 50,000 IDR to visit.

Banyu Wana Amertha waterfall in Northern Bali
One of the Banyu Wana Amertha waterfalls

Hike to Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall

Banyu Wana Amertha actually refers to 4 different waterfalls and I feel like it’s still a bit of a hidden gem in Northern Bali.

When we visited there was nobody else around and to be totally honest even we weren’t supposed to be there since we were trying to go to Bayumala that day.

Banyu Wana Amertha waterfall in Bali
Another Banyu Wana Amertha waterfall

You see Bayumala.. Bayu Wana sounds and reads almost the same so we didn’t realize our mistake even after we bought the entry ticket (it was 30,000 IDR in 2022).

However, it ended up being a serene (albeit a bit strenuous due to the humidity) hike and I loved the waterfalls, so you can say it was quite a happy mistake.

Take photos at Wanagiri Hidden Hills

Wanagiri Hidden Hills is simply put, a stunning viewpoint over Buyan Lake and the surrounding mountains, where they also installed some nests to make it even more photo-worthy. Expect to pay at least 100,000 per person.

I visited early in the morning, near the sunrise and there wasn’t anyone around, not when the staff (someone crossed the street from a nearby house to let us in).

swing at Wanagiri Hidden Hills

One thing I want to note is don’t forget to apply your mosquito repellent before your visit, especially if you plan to go early in the morning. There were a LOT of flying insects there which I’m still not sure if they were or weren’t mosquitos.

Hike to Sekumpul Waterfall

Sekumpul seems to be one of the most popular waterfalls on the entire island, not just in northern Bali. For this reason, it’s more expensive to see and in the past, some locals would insist that you needed a guide even though this wasn’t true.

Since then, however, the ticketing options have become clearer:

  • View-Only (you can only view the waterfalls from a viewpoint above): 20,000 IDR
  • Medium-Trekking (includes a visit to both Sekumpul and Hidden Waterfall): 150,000 IDR
  • Long-Trekking (includes a visit to Fiji waterfall in addition to Sekumpul and Hidden Waterfall): 250,000 IDR
Munduk Moding Plantation Resort and Spa: Infinity Pool
The lower infinity Pool at Munduk Moding Plantation Resort

Stay at Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort

If I say that Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort is the most sought-after accommodation in Northern Bali, I don’t think I’d be wrong.

And the reason behind this is actually twofold, more precisely the hotel has 2 incredible infinity pools (and a hot tub) with amazing views over the surrounding valley. And when it’s clear, you can even see the ocean.

Price-wise, it’s not extremely expensive, though it’s not cheap either. However, the relaxing atmosphere, the views, and the pool are totally worth the money in my opinion.

My recommendation would be to set aside at least an afternoon to enjoy the resort and the pools, but more is better. Just know that afternoons are often foggy, so if you want to take pictures at the pools, it’s best to do it in the morning.

Munduk Moding Plantation Resort and Spa Infinity Pool

And I assure you won’t get bored either as the hotel has an array of activities to offer from free (coffee plantation and tasting tour, bird watching, offerings workshop, etc) to paid (cooking class, shared transport to different attractions in the area).

My fiance did the cooking class and together we also joined the coffee plantation tour. At the end of it, we were given different types to try including the famous Kopi Luwak.

The Luwak (or Asian Pal Civet) is a small animal that supposedly eats only the best cherries. The enzymes in its digestive tract then alter the coffee cherries, resulting in one of the most expensive coffees in the world.

How do you get it? Well, you simply wait for the Luwak to eliminate the cherries.

Coffee cherries eliminated by a Luwak
Old coffee cherries eliminated by a Luwak

Traditionally, people would walk around the coffee plantations in the morning (luwaks are nocturnal animals) and collect their feces. And at Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort they told us they still use this method.

Sadly, as you can imagine, this method has been replaced in too many places by intensive farming, in which the poor animals are kept in cages (often in precarious conditions) and are forced to eat the coffee cherries.

Personally, I didn’t taste anything special about this coffee, but if you really want to try it, please do your research and pick a place where they still use the traditional method of collecting feces from wild Luwaks.

Most places you see on the edge of the road advertising Luwak coffee (even if they use the word “wild”) are likely not.

Handara Gate

Take pics at Handara Gate

Honestly, I was debating whether to include Handara Gate on this list or not. In the end, I chose to let you decide for yourself.

Handara Gate is the main entrance to a golf course and has risen to fame as an Instagrammable spot in Bali. While I’d admit it looks nice, I think there are so many photo-worthy spots on the island, that it wouldn’t really matter if you miss this one.

However, if you want to visit you should know that you need to pay a fee and wait in line until your turn comes which I found a bit weird. I paid 60,000 IDR for 2 people in 2022, but now several people said it’s 50,000 IDR per person.

We got there pretty early, however, there were already a few people waiting in line, so I imagine that later in the day it gets worse. Also, if you visit in the morning, the light is not really favorable, as you can see from the hard shadows in my pic above.

You can take photos from the other way (which is what we did), but the view is not as pretty.


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