Waves of tourists and pages of articles highlighting Bali’s greatest attractions has left some travelers wondering if Bali has lost its charm. Is it no longer adventurous? Have all attractions been featured on travel blogs and celebrity Instagram posts? What’s left on the island that brings the rush of excitement that comes with straying off the beaten track?
Travel startup AllTheRooms is confident that not all the island has been lost to digital nomads and crowds of tourists. There’s still a wild side out there begging to be explored. With that hope in mind, here are a few of the island’s gems yet to be overrun, still maintaining the spark of the island’s older days.
Perched high in the mountains, Munduk feels removed from everything in the best way possible. The air is cooler and crisper and the headache of tourists is nowhere to be found. Replace crowds with hikes through the mountains to hidden waterfalls and views out over the lowlands. The locals here live a more traditional Balinese life and aren’t as concerned with the tourist industry.
It’s funny how so many people go to Bali to get away from it all only to arrive and feel a second wave of “I need to get away from it all”. Nusa Penida is the perfect way to get off the island for a day and breathe a little easier. A boat from the main island gets you to Nusa Penida and once ashore you’re free to hike to find your own private beach where you can jump in the water and snorkel with manta rays. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and although you won’t be alone on the island, you won’t have to deal with the bustle of the mainland. Atuh Beach should be on the list, as well as the natural infinity pool at Billabong.
This one is for the surfers. While it can be cool meeting fellow board-riders from around the globe, it’s not so cool when you have to compete for waves or spots on the beach. Balian Beach is located on the island’s west side near the Balian River and offers some of the island’s best waters. The waves, combined with crowds that are a fraction of the size of those you might see at more famous spots, make the beach one of our favorite spots.
The wonder of Bingin Beach plays a role in making it a little more off the beaten track than other beaches on the island with excellent surf. To get to Bingin you have to descend some pretty steep stone stairs down a cliffside to the water. The sharp cliff makes it harder to reach and all the more beautiful. Accommodations along the beach are cool and are extremely cheap. You can hop out of bed and go straight to the swells.
Mount Batur is one of the island’s most famed attractions and tourists are always looking for the best place to view the volcano. The small village of Pinggan may just have the best view but somehow manages to dodge the heavy crowds. About 30 miles from Ubud, Pinggan isn’t far from the tourist hubs, but it’s not exactly easy to reach as it’s not a common stop for tours. The journey is well worth the views and the village itself is a great way to see a more traditional way of life on the island.
A part of West Bali National Park, this island is home to roaming wild deer and calm water perfect for kayaking or snorkeling. We recommend a hike through the park concluding with kayaking and a hunt for your own private beach. Imagine you and your group paddling through the crystal clear water, winding up at a quiet sandy spot where you can hang out undisturbed all day and into the evening.
Alistair is a journalist by trade currently learning the ropes in Medellin, Colombia. Although the football to futbol transition is off to a rough start, the rest of the equation is balancing out well. If he wasn't an AllTheRooms content writer, he would almost certainly be neck-deep in the Medellin reggaeton scene.