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Things to do in Munduk, North Bali!

Bali is arguably the perfect place to go to experience some of the best things the tropics have to offer, but it isn’t all warm temperatures, sunny weather and golden beaches; if you make your way up north through the winding roads of Bali for about an hour and a half from Canggu, you'll find yourself in Munduk, where the weather gets cold, and lush green mountains fill up the landscape!

Munduk is a village hidden in the highlands of Central Bali. Despite the many varying attractions, it is still not as frequented in comparison to the other spots on the island, and this is especially true when you consider the sheer number of tourists that crowd up a lot of destinations in East Bali, for example.

If you’re planning a longer holiday in Bali, we absolutely recommend a 2 or 3-day stay in the upcountry region because it is a very different kind of beautiful and is definitely worth the adventure. Additionally, it’s a brilliant way to continue exploring Bali’s beauty, minus the hectic crowds. Even if you are crunched on time, you can still squeeze in a day trip to Munduk and its highland destinations since it’s only an hour or two away from Canggu and Ubud. This part of Bali also

So, wondering where exactly to go in North Bali? Here are a few recommendations!

Location 1: Banyumala Twin Waterfalls

Entrance fee per adult- IDR 30,000/-

Located near Lake Buyan, the Banyumala Twin Waterfalls are surprisingly a lesser known attraction in Bali. This may, however, be the case as the waterfall is relatively not as accessible thanks to its natural and not-so-easy-to-hike trail.

link to the exploring East Bali vlog or blog post

It takes around 15-20 minutes to trek down to the waterfall down a tricky path of stairs, but the gem of a location awaiting you at the end of the road is so worth it!

Once you arrive, you’ll find yourself awestruck at the sight of the 2 waterfalls that are very close to each other with a large swimming hole at the base, filled with ice-cold water. The whole area is surrounded by foliage of all kinds, which adds to the site’s grandeur. Banyumala is without a doubt magnificent, and easily became one of our favourite waterfalls in Bali.

A few things to keep in mind before visiting Banyumala Twin Waterfalls:

● The stairs aren't the easiest to climb and the trek to the waterfall can get difficult, so those with knee and other joint issues, be warned! It may not be the most suitable for children, either.

● While it is a somewhat popular tourist attraction, it doesn't get super crowded. If you stick around a little bit longer, you might find that you're the only tourists there!

● The best and probably safest time of year to visit would be during the dry season, as it can be harder and more hazardous to navigate your way to the waterfalls during the rainy season.

● Take a pair of water shoes or footwear with good grip along with you. The weather can get really cold very fast. So if you’re not one to brave cold temperatures, take a jacket or cover-up with you as well. Needless to say, since the water can get really cold, you might want to consider wearing a bathing suit that gives you a bit more coverage!

Location 2: Twin Lake Viewpoint

Folks, we’ve got another set of twins here! Unlike the parallel waterfalls at Banyumala, here we’ve got 2 stunning lakes sitting side by side in the Northern valleys of Bali. Funnily enough, they weren’t always separate. Up until the 1800s, the Twin Lakes of Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan were one whole. That all changed when a landslide occurred and formed a land bridge, creating the two crater lakes. They also happen to be located within the caldera of the extinct Bedugul Volcano!

It’s very easy to access sites where you can observe the wonderful view of the Twin Lakes, notably due to the fact that they’re near 4 other tourist landmarks; Munduk Waterfalls, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Wanagiri Hidden Hills, and the Handara Gate.

While there are other locations where you’d have to pay an entrance fee, the Twin Lake Viewpoint is one of the most ideal areas as it’s merely a concrete slab overlooking the lakes; no payment and best of all, no queues!

Additionally, it happens to be an excellent spot to grab lunch, find a table at one of the little huts aligned close to the edge, and enjoy the panoramic view, all whilst digging into some delicious food from the restaurant just across! What could be better than that?

Something to keep in mind before stopping by the Twin Lake Viewpoint:

● It is one of the prime locations to watch a breathtaking sunrise in Northern Bali. Believe us when we say that the view of the sun rising, peeking through the mountains and clouds, reflecting over the still waters of both lakes, is unmatched. If you’re planning to stay for more than a day in this upcountry area, we highly recommend catching the sunrise here!

Location 3: Pura Ulun Danu Beratan

Entrance fee per adult- IDR 50,000/-

On the shores of Lake Bratan (Bali’s second largest lake) in Bedugul, rests the grandiose temple complex, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. This temple is a major Hindu Shaivite temple and was built in adoration of Danu, the Water Goddess. The existence of the complex has been dated back to as early as 1556. It was later rebuilt in 1633, by I Gusti Agung Putu, the King of Mengwi. He incorporated a combination of Hindu and Buddhist architectural styles, which can be seen to this day. At the Ulun Danu Beratan temple, you’ll find complex consists of 4 sacred structures:

  1. Pura Teratai Bang, the main temple.

  2. Linga Pura, a place of worship to Shiva and stands at 3 levels high.

  3. Pura Puncak Mangu, built in dedication to Vishnu and is consort, Parvathi. It is a 11 storied structure.

  4. Pura Dalem Purwa, constructed as a place of worship to Sang Hyang Widhi. This is also a site where those who pray for fertility, prosperity and well-being come by.

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is also known as “The Temple on the Lake” as a nod to the fact that it creates an illusion of it floating on lake Bratan when the water rises. It really is hard to find the right words to describe how immensely beautiful this temple is. It will undoubtedly leave you speechless!

A few things to keep in mind before visiting Ulun Danu Beratan Temple:

● The best time to visit the temple would be in the early hours of the morning, during sunrise. This is not only because it’s a factor that’ll help you avoid the vast flock of tourists that visit the attraction, but also since the temple looks simply stunning at this time of day. After around 9 am, the mountainous area tends to get cloudy, which takes away from the beauty of this place. We were up and ready to go by 5.30 am to catch a sunrise here. Safe to say, we weren't disappointed!

● To enjoy an even more spectacular view, don't miss out on taking a boat ride!

● On our way back from the temple, we thankfully stumbled upon an amazing field filled with hydrangeas, stretching out for quite a distance. Some of the locals informed us that they use these flowers as offerings at the temple.

Location 4: Golden Valley Waterfall

Entrance fee per adult- IDR 10,000

The Golden Valley Waterfall is really tucked away in the greenery of Munduk. Located in close proximity to the more widely known, Munduk Waterfall, it’s hidden and relatively less popular, but that’s the highlight of swinging by! Since it’s unknown among tourists to a certain extent, you will hardly find anyone here, which means you’ll be able to really admire this gem without the distraction of crowds!

It takes about 15 minutes to hike down to the waterfall and you can begin from either side of the river.

The waterfall, unlike most we’ve seen in Bali, doesn’t exactly have a swimmable base pool, but it’s shallow enough to wade into and enjoy the cool water on your feet.

To make things better, not only is this waterfall here, but it is also home to a quaint, picturesque little cafe called Eco Cafe or the Waterfall Cafe. It’s situated right by the waterfall and you can dine on some amazing food and take in the view at the same time!

A few things to keep in mind before visiting Golden Valley Waterfall:

● If you happen to stay at Arya Utama Guest House in Munduk, like we did, this waterfall is actually accessible directly from the property itself! It was just over 600m away from our room.

● The path from the BnB can get quite treacherous as it is steep in certain areas with no proper footing, and can get quite slippery as well. So wearing a pair of water shoes or footwear that has good grip would be the best thing to do. It's a trail you'd definitely classify as "off the beaten path".

Location 5: Nungnung Waterfall

Entrance fee per adult- IDR 20,000

If you were to ask us to recommend just one waterfall to visit in Bali, Nungnung would probably be the one we’d go with!

Towering at a whopping 165 ft., Nungnung Waterfall, or Air Tejun Nungnung, is yet another jewel in Bali’s collection of many waterfalls. However, unlike at the tourist packed Tibumana and Kanto Lampo Waterfalls, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find crowds here. Even if there might be a lot of people, it wouldn’t really feel crowded because the area at Nungnung is just that big!

The 20-minute trek to the waterfall might not be the easiest, but it definitely rewards you with some scenic views of Bali’s highland jungles. Once you reach the waterfall, the majestic waterfall with its extremely powerful water beat into the basin at the bottom, is guaranteed to take your breath away.

Since the journey to Nungnung is just over one and a half hours away from Canggu, you can even opt to visit this giant for the day, instead of having to stay a couple of days upcountry. If you're a waterfall lover and are hoping to visit some waterfalls in Bali, we highly recommend this being at the top of your list!

A few things to keep in mind before visiting Nungnung Waterfall:

● The pathway to the waterfall includes a steep set of stairs which will surely give your legs a good workout. But if you have any knee or joint issues that make it hard for you to climb steps like these, do take note and get clearance from your doctor or wear joint guards at the very least.

● Wear water shoes or sports shoes with a good grip as it does tend to get slippery in certain areas, especially near the waterfall.

● There’s a massive swimming area at the foot of the waterfall, but do take a dip here with caution as the water falling into the base pool does so with tremendous force. It goes without saying that you should probably not venture too close.

● The best time to go by would be in the early morning hours, mainly because you’ll be able to enjoy the place all to yourself, with the exception of maybe a few other people.

● We were really happy to have discovered a radiant field of marigolds just outside the entrance to Nungnung! It’s a wonderful place to literally stop and smell the flowers and makes for a great photo-op!

Can link to the Chasing Waterfalls blog post

Final Thoughts

If you’re on a budget, we’d highly recommend staying at Arya Utama Guest House. For 2 nights, it cost us IDR 105,000 and was well worth it! It may not the most luxurious, but it was affordable and surrounded by lush greenery and a gorgeous view.

There's a local market in Bedugul which is the perfect spot to pick up some souvenirs.

They've also got tons of "Bali bags", the well-known circular shaped rattan shoulder bags in all sorts of colours and designs!

All in all, our stay and adventures in North Bali were perhaps the best days of our time in Bali! There is not much that can hold a candle to the unique experience the highlands have to offer, be it unbeatable views, mysterious jungles, awesome waterfalls and so much more!

If you found this article helpful, head over to our YouTube channel for a more detailed and visual experience of all the things you can do in Bali:

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