Bali, more specifically Ubud jungle paradise has been a special trip to us for many reasons. Firstly, we have been wanting to visit here for 5 years and finally our dream came true. What made it even more special is that we knew this will be the last by the two us, our so called Babymoon. Luckily my pregnancy is a blessing and I could visit Bali without any problem on the 29th and 30th week of my pregnancy. Bali has so much to see and it wasn’t easy to decide an itinerary when you only have 8 full days. Exploring Ubud jungle paradise has been the highest on my bucket list.
Arriving to Bali
If you travel from Israel to Bali, Indonesia it will take you a long long time. Since there is no direct flight, we flew to Moscow first which took us 4 hours and after a short stopover we embarked for a 12 and a half hours long haul fight. Finally, it took another one hour to arrive to Ubud from the airport. We arrived late night and in the morning we woke up in Ubud jungle paradise. If you travel from Europe, it might take you around 20 hours to reach this beautiful island. We chose the last week of September and the beginning of October which is considered to be a shoulder season. Luckily we didn’t see rain in Ubud jungle paradise during our holiday.
We spent 4 full days in Ubud and honestly it was not too much, I wish we had more time here! Ubud jungle paradise felt to us as an authentic place in Bali, we have seen daily local life here. Surprisingly, in October there weren’t as many tourists as we expected even-tough it is an Instagram hotspot. Let me share with you below what are my favorite places to see, eat and stay in.
What to see
1. Get lost 🙂
One of our favorite thing to do was riding a motorcycle. The roads are good in Ubud (compared to other places in Bali) and it is the best way to see the local life. It costs around $3-4 a day to rent a great scooter and we found ourselves driving around without a destination in the area. Chances are high that if you just keep driving, you will pass through small villages with beautiful jungle views and rice terraces.
My tip: try to rent the most expensive scooter they have in the shop. It might cost only $2 more but it is much easier and safer to drive.
2. Goa Rang Reng Waterfall, hidden canyon
Bali is famous for its waterfalls which spread across Bali, but luckily we also found an amazing spot in Ubud. It is quite tricky to get to the hidden canyon behind Goa Rang Rang waterfall, but totally worth it! You have to get a guide on spot who will walk you through a river. It is highly recommend to wear watersport/surfing shoes as the stones are sharp. Also, be prepared that after crossing the river you will have to leave your backpack and all valuable items behind, hanging on the tree in the middle of the forest. After this point, the water will get deeper, up until your neck for a few minutes. The guide will be happy to take your phone with him so you can have some pictures. Within a few minutes of walking in the deeper water, you will reach a beautiful canyon which was 3 waterfalls and even a small swing inside, all to our selves! Depending on your speed, this can take you 1-2 hours with the guide whom you should tip at the end.
My tip: do not bring valuable belongings or an expensive camera here, because you cannot use it anyways in the most stunning canyon. We had to leave our passports, money, jewelry in the middle of the forest (hanging on a tree) which wasn’t very comforting, but luckily it didn’t disappear.
3. Meditation, yoga
Whether or not you are a spiritual person, it is easy to get close to nature in Ubud jungle paradise. We had Yoga in our hotel, but I also wanted to try meditation. The Yoga Barn offers daily yoga classes for all levels and I can personally recommend their Gong Bath Meditation. Since I am pregnant and a lot of things are about to change in our lives, this one hour of Gong Bath was an amazing experience for me. The instructor was professional, and we all got into the mood within minutes. This Yoga complex is huge and very popular, so make sure to book classes in advance. If I had the time, I would have loved to join for a week of mindfulness program, who knows, maybe next time 🙂
4.Tegalang Rice Terrace + Swing
It is a popular instagram spot, but it is definitely not overrated! As I mentioned before, you can find beautiful rice fields randomly if you drive around with a motorcycle, but this one is by far the most special. We arrived here before 8 am, we saw only a handful of other people in the whole rice terrace. They have built coffee places and restaurants conveniently by the entrance so you can enjoy a cup of coffee before descending to the ricefield. It is absolutely free to walk through different paths, but do not cause damage by walking on areas with rice planted in it. Luckily they also built here a few swings. This is not the most famous swing in Ubud, but as we arrived early, we were the first and only people here. The locals were in a great mood, they love taking pictures of you here. They even have long skirts prepared to take that perfect Instagram shot! 🙂
5. Tirta Empul Water Temple
Other than nature, there are also a lot of temples near Ubud. One of the most famous one is Tirta Empul which is truly a unique temple in all Asia. In Balinese traditions, it has been built upon a sacred spring holding water that has spiritual and healing properties. Local people have been coming here for thousands of years to experience this holy water. Before entering this sacred area, you are given so-called sarongs which is a colorful scarf covering your legs. Upon entering the purification area, there was three bigger pools with a few locals and tourists praying in front of the fountains. Traditionally, you need to pray in front of each and every small fountain to grant your wishes. You need to bow and put your head below the holy water fountain while praying. It has been a really special experience, a must do in Ubud jungle paradise.
My tip: We arrived an hour before closing time therefore the place was quite empty, I guess this is a great time for visiting!
6. Monkey Forest
Who doesn’t love monkeys?! There are a lot of opportunities to see animals around Ubud, but I believe this sacred monkey temple area is absolutely cruelty friendly. The monkeys are friendly, but be cautious as they might jump on you. Generally, they just play around by themselves and it’s so much fun to watch it! I really loved this area because the setting, the forest itself is gorgeous. Be aware that there are some holy temples where tourists are not allowed to enter, only religious locals. You will see a lot of tourists here, therefore I recommend coming as early as possible.
7. Campuhan Ridge Walk
It is quite easy to find this location, it is located near the city center. This scenic walk has one of the most stunning and green lush views of Ubud. It showcases what Ubud jungle paradise is all about: the trees, hills and rice terraces that surround Ubud. As the weather can be very hot and this whole walk is exposed to the sun, it is great to visit it right before sunset. This spot is quite popular, you can see locals and foreigners as well. It takes around 45 minutes one way on easy surface. At the end of the walk you can find Karsa Kafe, which is a beautiful spot to chill.
8. SARASWATI TEMPLE& Ubud city center
Walking into this Balinese Hindu temple feels like entering a whole new world. The temple is dedicated to the Saraswati who is known as the Goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning. The temple is quite small, but it has water with lotus on both side as you walk through. The city center of Ubud on contrast is quite laud, there are many shops and restaurants, it feels very western. What felt quite unique is that you can find a lot of beautiful shops with furnitures and decorations for your home. I wish I had more space in my suitcase… I really loved that half of the western restaurants were serving healthy juices, smoothies and bowls, it is so easy to eat well in Ubud!
My tip: if you love to buy souvenirs, make sure to have enough place in your suitcase. You can find unique, cheap and beautiful home decoration items.
9. Sang Spa
If you walk around Ubud city center, you can find cheap massages (around $6 an hour) on every corner. I love regular massages, but since we had the time, we wanted to try a whole spa experience. As you enter, the atmosphere makes you immediately feel relaxed. Here they have all kind of treatments a lady can dream of. In addition to 20 types of massages, there are facials, hair treatments, flower bath and more. I read great recommendations about Sang Spa from other blogs and it matched my expectations. The stuff was lovely, we got a room together with my husband, we could even take a flower bath at the end of the treatment.
My tip: Choose a great spa instead of your hotel’s spa. We have tried spa in our five star hotel which was amazing as well, but it costs nearly triple than Sang Spa and there was no difference in the level of professionalism.
We have stayed in 2 nights in 2 different hotels in Ubud and we also bought a daily entrance to another hotel which caught my attention.
Located in the middle of the nature, Natya Resort was our favorite hotel in Bali. Each and every villa is built next to a river, you can hear the sounds of water as you walk through the resort. They have carefully chosen all materials and built the resort itself in a way that it blends into the rainforest. The infinity pool is a dream, having a floating breakfast here is a must.
The villa was spacious, with two floors. The master bedroom had one of the most comfortable bed we ever slept in and the view was breathtaking as well. They had indoor and outdoor bathroom, we loved both. The spa experience and the stuff was excellent as well. We spontaneously decided to do a pregnancy photoshoot here since the resort felt as the perfect place. The hotel arranged a great photographer for us, we received 10 beautiful pictures for about $70. Can’t recommend it enough!
11 on Kajeng boutique hotel
After spending 2 nights in Natya Resort, we moved to 11 on Kajeng boutique, vintage design hotel in the heart of the city. We chose the sunset private pool villa, which also included a small garden. The villa was spacious and it had indoor toilet and outdoor bathroom area. The vintage design was stunning. The stuff was helpful and gave us tips where to go, what to do in the city center. This hotel is located on a small and narrow street, within 5 minutes walk from the busy city center, but it still feels as if it was in the nature. Since it’s a boutique hotel, it does not have facilities as a resort, therefore I would not stay here for longer than 2 nights.
Since we only had 4 nights in Ubud and I already booked 2 hotels, we couldn’t stay here. However, after seeing on Facebook by accident the Wanna Jungle Pool I knew we had to come here. Luckily you can also buy a daily entrance. This hotel has a 3 levels infinity pool in the middle of the rice field, the view is simply unbelievable. It is no doubt one of the most amazing swimming pool I ever saw in my life. I was a little bit worried that there will be too many people. To guarantee that we will have a spacious couple sun-bed I bought the most expensive entrance ticket, which costs $150 for a couple. This would not have been necessary, as there was only a handful of other people in the whole pool area. However, you can consume half of the entrance fee in their bar and restaurant. The food and drinks were amazing, we each had 4 cocktails (no alcohol for me) and a lot of food and we still could not finish the credit. I checked the prices as well. Staying in Kayon Jungle Resort in October costs around $550 per night, which is nearly double than what we paid in the previous two hotels.
If you come to Bali, you must have a floating breakfast! 🙂 Most hotels and villas have an option for it, you can order it one day in advance. We absolutely loved the floating breakfast from Natya Resort. We started our holiday with it, first thing in the first morning and it was a dream come true in Ubud jungle paradise!
Ubud Coffee Roastery
Bali is famous for great coffee places. There are so many amazing coffee shops, but if I have to name one, this was our favorite. They have a coffee tasting options where you can try 5 coffees and they also regularly organize workshops. Not only the drinks, but the avocado sandwich was delicious as well. Across the coffee place, they also have a small store. We also bought a few packages of coffee that we brought home with us, our guests love it! I think coffee is a great souvenir from Ubud jungle paradise.
Bali is famous for having fine dining options for great prices. We are not much of a gourmet, but Bridges is on the boarder of fine cuisine and that suited our taste the most. The restaurant is fancy, but not too fancy and the waitresses were knowledgable when they offered great wines and cocktails. The food is fusion, French cuisine combined with local favorites in a tasteful and visually appealing way. They pay attention to every small detail and it is a great place for celebration. I made a reservation and we got a lovely seat on the balcony with great view.
This restaurant is located in the middle of the rice field, the view is stunning. You can also see the chickens and gooses running around on the nearby fields. It takes about 20 minutes to drive here from the city center and can be a little tricky to find it, but absolutely worth it. The restaurant prides itself for using organic ingredients and the food was delicious too. It is also a great place for working and admiring the quiet nature.
Clear Cafe Ubud
This spot is a popular Instagram spot for a good reason! The quality of the food is fantastic, but it also has beautiful, instagrammable meals. As you enter through a turning gate, you will find yourself in a chilled, cool atmosphered restaurant, where you can also sit on the floor. Small gold fish pods surround the wooden area, feels like being in a forest. Many foreigners work from here, I wish my office would be like this! We have tried their smoothies, vegetarian sushi and a super healthy buddha bowl. They also have a spa area with massages on the upper floor.
I hope this post will help you in planning your trip to Ubud or inspire you to visit here!