9 gorgeous places in Bali away from the tourist-filled South

If you have time while you’re in Bali, you really should see the amazing sights the island has to offer away from the tourist-centric Kuta, Legian, and Nusa Dua strips. You’ll be amazed at the beauty, tranquility, and history you’ll find!

Although Bali is known for its beautiful beach spots and vibrant nightlife, there are plenty of less explored, non-touristy areas. If you don’t like the idea of heading to crowded beaches or going shopping along Kuta or Seminyak’s famed shopping strips, you’ll find that these less explored spots in Bali are well worth the journey. 

1. Banjar

Imagine immersing yourself in a soothing pool of therapeutic water surrounded by dense forests with birds chirping as the only sound you hear. There are several hot springs scattered all over the island, perfect for soothing tired muscles and refreshing the mind, but we especially love the tranquility at Banjar Hot Springs.

Banjar Air Panas
Photo: Flickr

The large stone pools of these hot springs offer a delightful soak in waters prized for their health benefits. You’ll find these hot springs about five kilometers from Lovina on the quiet north coast of the island.


2. Jatiluwih

Set on the foot of Mt. Batukaru, Jatiluwih is a beautiful area known for its verdant terraced rice paddies designated as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. The name Jatiluwih literally translates to “really good” and that perfectly describes the tranquil landscape of the region. This is a great spot to get away from the crowd, enjoy the view, and get some fresh air.

Photo: Flickr

The main road can get crowded with tour buses in the high season, but take one of the paths into the paddies and you’ll suddenly be in the heartland of Bali. Walk in the countryside, get to know the locals, and even learn about the village’s ingenious irrigation system known as the subak.

3. Padangbai

Padangbai is located on the east coast of Bali. This sleepy town isn’t crowded because it is mostly known as a transit point for trips to Lombok and the Gili islands. However, exploring this coastal village reveals hidden spots and stunning landscapes where you might find yourself to be the only foreigner.

Photo: Flickr

The Padangbai coast features sublime beaches, unspoiled and far from the crowd. The calm waters make it a perfect spot for swimming with the kids, diving, and snorkeling. And if you feel like spending a couple of days in Padangbai, there are plenty of small hotels, guesthouses, and villas to choose from. 

4. Lovina

Lovina is a low-key coastal town on the northern part of Bali. Free from crowds and busy city noise, Lovina is a great place to unwind, enjoy the clear waters, and sample the local cuisine! The waters at Lovina’s black sand beach are calm, perfect for swimming with the kiddos.


Lovina is also the only place in Bali where you can see dolphins in their natural habitat. Tours are available every day before sunrise when the dolphins are most active. And if you love hot springs, we recommend heading to Air Panas Banjar for a relaxing soak at the local hot spring.


5. Munduk

If you love getting close to nature then all roads lead to Munduk. Munduk is a remote town located in the mountains of Bali. It features the ridge of the Bedugul caldera surrounded by green paddies and spice plantations. Thanks to its remote location, the local culture is well preserved.

Photo: Flickr

Visitors can book tours to trek in the mountains or go hiking around the local villages. Remarkable views of the mountains, forests, waterfalls, rice fields, and a gigantic banyan tree can be seen around the Munduk region.


6. Sukasada Village

So, what is there to see in Sukasada village at the northern coast of Bali? The stunning twin lakes, Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan of course!

Lake Tamblingan
Lake Tamblingan. Photo: Flickr

Located in the heart of Bali’s central highlands, Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan are crater lakes located within the caldera of the extinct Bedugul volcano. The lake was one massive body of water during the 1800s but separated after a landslide. Both lakes are teeming with fish that’s why most of the villagers earn their livelihood by fishing, farming, and ferrying tourists. Beyond the lakes are acres of coffee plantations, vegetable fields, rice paddies, and stunning waterfalls.


7. Balian

Located in the west of Bali is a mesmerizing beach beloved by seasoned surfers. This isn’t a great beach for swimming, but it is fun to explore and watch local fishermen casting their nets near the mouth of the river. There is also a yoga retreat nearby in case you want to treat the whole family to a relaxing sesh!

Photo: Flickr

Balian also features one of the lesser known temples in Bali, the Pura Rambat Siwi. The temple is located between Negara and Medewi Beach. It is one of the largest temples on the whole island.


8. Amed

Yet another gem that’s perfect for getting away from the crowd, Amed is a coastal region with beach-lined coves! The Amed shores are dotted with small fishing villages and dozens of boutique resorts too. Keeping with the laid-back vibe of the beach, the resorts blend into the surrounding areas.




A photo posted by Issei_bali (@issei_bali) on


Amed is a great place for relaxing, getting close to nature and discovering its rich waters. That’s why Amed is renowned for its diving and snorkeling spots. Several hiking trails transverse through the hilly region of Amed, perfect for those who want to get out and see some Bali wilderness.


9. Candidasa

Candidasa’s beautiful beaches and coral reefs may be long gone due to erosion, but it remains a great place for sightseeing and nature trips. Candidasa features several villages. Each one offers unique sights and attractions to tourists.

Candidasa lagoon
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tenangan Balinese village is a great place for a total cultural immersion. The villagers, called Bali Aga, observe traditions and local beliefs that are different from the ones observed in developed Bali. They have retained an ancient pre-Majapahit Balinese culture that is very much different from the rest of Bali. The villagers stick to a strict adherence to animist beliefs, worship, and cosmology. The Bali Aga village is closed to outsiders after dark.

About 15 minutes east of Candidasa is a beautiful beach called Pasir Putih. This beach paradise features sun-kissed sand and crystal clear waters with plenty of space for the tourists who do make the trek down the bumpy road.


This article was originally published by Bali Kids Guide, a total guide forBali with kids, holiday tips, reviews, currency & visa info, and more. 

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