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Bali Culture & history

Our most recommended Bali Culture & history

Ubud: Waterfall, Rice Terraces & Monkey Forest Private Tour

1. Ubud: Waterfall, Rice Terraces & Monkey Forest Private Tour

Explore the top attractions of Ubud on this tour with hotel transfers from selected locations in Bali. Visit sights like the Tegenungan waterfall, Mas Village, and the King's Palace. Pick from a basic tour, a tour that includes lunch, and a tour with lunch and a Jungle Swing experience. After a pick-up from your hotel, this is your itinerary: Tegenungan Waterfall This area is on the south side of Ubud and a really nice place to enjoy your cup of tea and see the wonderful waterfall. You can get close to it and feel the fresh spray of the natural water. Mas Village  This is a village specializing in woodcarvings. Most of the prominent woodcarvers of Bali live in Mas village, producing elaborate and fine wood carvings and teaching the young generation to carve. Ubud Monkey Forest The home of more than 600 long-tailed macaques, Ubud Monkey Forest is a tropical green forest close to the center of Ubud. Inside the forest, you can see a sacred temple sanctuary guarded by the monkeys. Ubud Traditional Market Here is where you can find an Ubud community gathering in the market to sell all of the produce from around the area: cheap souvenirs, handicrafts, fruit, and much more. Ubud King Palace In the center of Ubud, you will see the palace from the road. Entering the area you can walk around to take pictures of the traditional Balinese architecture complex and see daily traditional Balinese dance. Tegalalang Rice Terrace Here you can see a typical scene in Bali: a rice terrace positioned in a beautiful rice field with green coconut plants. This makes it the best sight of the Balinese countryside.  Coffee Plantation Visit the coffee plantation where you'll see, among other things, the most expensive coffee in the world, called Luwak Coffee. This is a coffee made by an animal that eats the bean and digests it in its stomach.  In the morning, the coffee will still be intact in the animal's feces and collected to be processed to make the coffee. Enjoying this coffee in front of the Rice Terrace view will be an unforgettable experience. 

Bali: Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance Show Entry Ticket

2. Bali: Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance Show Entry Ticket

Witness a unique cultural experience with a Kecak fire and dance performance on the grounds of Uluwatu Temple. Watch native Balinese dancers perform a breathtaking show of traditional Hindu dance whilst the sun sets in the background. Kecak is a Balinese dance and rhythmic chant depicting the battle from the Hindu epic Ramayana in which Rama fights the demonic King Ravana with the help of the monkey god Hanuman. Let yourself be hypnotized by the swirling flames combined with vibrant traditional attire as the performers take you on a journey through Balinese Hinduism. The show is timed to coincide with the sunset, so you can be sure of good views during your time in Uluwatu.

Bali: Besakih Temple & Lempuyang Temple Gates of Heaven Tour

3. Bali: Besakih Temple & Lempuyang Temple Gates of Heaven Tour

Join a guided day trip to the eastern part of Bali to visit the mother temple of Bali, Pura Besakih, along with Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang temple and its iconic Gate of Heaven. Enjoy convenient hotel transfers and a lunch stop overlooking Mount Agung. Following a pickup from your hotel, head to the majestic Lempuyang Temple in the eastern part of Bali. Along the way, pass long stretches of beautiful and pristine rice paddies, travel along winding roads, and marvel at breathtaking mountains. Be awed by the magical views of Mount Agung behind the temple. Your own private guide will not only snap cool shots for you but will also explain the history of the ancient temple as well as the Balinese people and their culture. Next, visit Tirta Gangga, known as the most beautiful former royal water palace in Eastern Bali. Explore the water palace's tiered fountains, gardens, and stone sculptures of mythical creatures spouting water into pools.  Outside the palace, soak up views of the lush rice paddies of northeastern Bali. After visiting the water palace, savor a scrumptious buffet lunch (with optional add-on) overlooking Mount Agung, Telaga Waja river, and the rice fields. When you are finished, make your way to the biggest temple in Bali, Pura Besakih.  Join this tour of Pura Besakih with your guide and learn why it is the most important, the largest, and the holiest temple of Hindu religion in Bali, and one of a series of Balinese temples. The temple miraculously survived the catastrophic volcanic eruption of 1963. Leverage and customize your experience with add-ons from professional, coffee tasting to traditional massage. (some add-ons are only available for private tours). Select the private tour options to enjoy the highest degree of flexibility, intimacy and customized experiences, or join the small group tour to enjoy the tour in an affordable way.

Bali: Full-Day Instagram Highlights Tour

4. Bali: Full-Day Instagram Highlights Tour

Make your Instagram followers envious as you explore Bali on a customizable day trip to its most recognizable hotspots.  All entry fees are included, as well as an expert local tour guide, who will share gems about Balinese history and culture along the way. Your first stop is the Hindu Lempuyang Temple. Famous for its split gate, the Gates of Heaven, you’ll be able to take that very same photo you’ve seen so many times on Instagram.  You’ll then be whisked to Tirta Gangga, a former royal palace famous for its holy (and incredibly photogenic) water features and gardens.  Next up is Tukad Cepung, a cave containing an amazing natural waterfall, where you’ll even get to have a dip.  After that is rural Ubud, home to many beautiful lush green rice fields. And last but not least, you’ll get to try out one of Bali’s famous jungle swings.   Choose the exact experience that you want — from private tours with hotel pickup to small-group tours where you can meet other adventurous travelers. Pick the lunch add-on for a delicious buffet lunch, or take home ten polaroids to remember your trip. Select the premium or private options for additional add-ons. Enrich your Instagram with photos taken and edited by a photographer, watch yourself from above with 3-4 minutes of drone footage sent to you 24 hours after your tour, or simply unwind with a relaxing massage.

Bali: Sacred Temples and Sunset Private Tour

5. Bali: Sacred Temples and Sunset Private Tour

Begin your full day tour with a private vehicle pick-up from your hotel at 9:00 AM and depart for Goa Gajah Temple, also called the Elephant Cave Temple, where you can admire its unique stone structure and layout. Visit Gunung Kawi Sebatu temple, an 11th century temple and funerary complex spread across either side of the Pakerisan River. Afterwards, visit the Tirta Empul Temple or Holy Spring Temple, where you can receive a holy blessing for purification. You will be provided with a Sarong to enter the temple and for receiving the blessing. The next stop is Taman Ayun Temple, the Royal Family Temple, located in Mengwi. Learn about how this temple was built in 1634 by the king of the Mengwi dynasty on  small island surrounded by a handmade lake. At the end of the tour, you will discover Bali's most photographed temple; Tanah Lot. Situated on a little rocky islet that is not accessable during high tides, the temple is usually where people can experience the most dramatic sunsets in Bali. After this amazing finish, be dropped off back at your hotel. 

Balinese Mystic and Rituals Tour with Kehen Temple

6. Balinese Mystic and Rituals Tour with Kehen Temple

Be collected at your accommodation and hop in a comfortable air-conditioned car. Admire the scenic road of the volcano and learn about the fascinating Balinese culture from your guide along the way. You will discover two of the most mysterious and ancient villages on the island and meet a Bali priest or healer to learn about Bali Sekala and Niskala. Your first stop will be at Truyan Village. The locals in this village live a very traditional life that is vastly different from the rest of Bali. The Trunyanese do not cremate their dead. After a cleansing ritual, the dead body is placed in a bamboo cage, locally known as ancak saji, which is placed under the Taru Menyan tree. Taru Menyan means nice smelling tree and it emanates a scent that neutralizes the smell of rotting bodies. It is from this tree that the name Trunyan is derived. It is only the bodies of married people that are placed in bamboo cages.  Continue your tour and visit another ancient village called Bayung Gede, which is believed to be the parent of all of the ancient villages in Bali. Many people come here to see the hanging newborn placentas that are unique to Bayung Gede. In Trunyan, bodies of the dead are laid on the ground unburied but here it is the placenta that is unburied. This is the only village in Indonesia that does this. Your journey will not be completed without a visit to Kehen Temple, which is a significant Hindu Temple in Bali. It is located on the slope of Bukit Bangli, which is believed to be the mother temple of Bangli. Admire the beauty of its stunning steps to heaven and its unique wooden bell hanging on its very old and secret banyan tree. Customize your experience with add-ons, such as a buffet lunch, polaroid camera photographs, traditional massages, a Luwak coffee tasting, jungle swings, rafting, ATVing, a hot springs visit, coffee tasting, or a German-speaking guide (some add-ons are only available for some options).

Bali Sunset: Uluwatu Temple, Kecak Dance and Jimbaran Bay

7. Bali Sunset: Uluwatu Temple, Kecak Dance and Jimbaran Bay

Experience the best sundown spot in Bali on a visit to Uluwatu Temple, a Balinese temple to the sea gods with a commanding view of the Indian Ocean. Part of a series of temples built to protect the island from evil spirits, today its cliffside location is home to a family of friendly monkeys. Once night falls and you have seen the colors of the sunset, experience one of the island's most famous cultural performances at a "kecak" fire dance. Watch the locals act out a scene from the Ramayana with a mesmerizing trance chant, exciting performances of fire dances, and intricate costumes. Then, get the option to enjoy dinner at a seafood restaurant serving delicious barbecue food in Jimbaran Bay. Sink your feet in the sand as you dine and relax at the end of an unforgettable day!

Bali Eat Pray Love Private Tour

8. Bali Eat Pray Love Private Tour

Bali has a deep-seated and singular sense of spirituality that is instantly palpable to all who arrive here. On this special adventure, experience Bali from the eyes of Elizabeth Gilbert, who came to the island at the end of a year-long journey to search for balance and love in her life. Your journey starts with a walk through some of Ubud's tranquil and scenic rice paddy fields with your tour guide. This walk will let you enjoy the cool fresh air and the most gorgeous hillside views in the region. Then visit Intuitive Flow, one of the most beautiful yoga studios with a breathtaking view of the mountains and trees, here take a 1.5-hour yoga class. See the sun rising above Mt Agung in the morning classes and feeling it burn while saluting it, is pure magic. The class is also limited to a small group of 20 participants, giving you a more relaxing and peaceful feeling. Visit one of Bali's most sacred spots and bathe in the holy waters at Tirta Empul. Here, be guided through a spiritual cleansing ceremony by your experienced guide. After finishing the cleansing ritual, visit one of the most famous Ubud-based fortune tellers to complete your spiritual experience and have your life's questions answered. Your journey will not be complete without experiencing the wonderful life of plant-based wonders. There is no better place to have all this healthy, hearty and simply delicious raw and vegan comfort food in Bali. If you happen to take this tour on Sunday, you will also have a chance to visit Ubud Organic Market where you can meet the organic farmers that showcase their finest products ranging from vegetables, fruits jams, soy milks, nuts and chemical free beauty products. Leverage and customize your experience with add-ons, such as polaroid camera photographs, massages, Luwak coffee tasting, jungle swings, rafting, ATV rentals, and a buffet.

Bali: Skip-the-line Uluwatu Temple and Kecak Fire Dance Tour

9. Bali: Skip-the-line Uluwatu Temple and Kecak Fire Dance Tour

Get whisked away on this evening tour of Uluwatu. Prepare yourself for jaw-dropping sunset views on the cliffs.  At 70 meters above sea level, Uluwatu Temple is a must-see for history and architecture lovers. Learn about the how the site is considered one of the six key temples in Bali and a spiritual pillar of the island. Your local guide will teach you about its historical and religious significance. Wander the grounds and snap photos of the temple’s scenic surroundings.  Before leaving the sacred temple site, head to the open-air amphitheater to catch the Kecak and Fire Dance. The well-loved cultural performance revolves around traditional Balinese song, dance, and storytelling accompanied by a choir. Watch talented performers with the majestic sunset as the backdrop.

Bali: Ubud Rice Terraces, Temples and Volcano Day Trip

10. Bali: Ubud Rice Terraces, Temples and Volcano Day Trip

Venture into the picturesque landscapes of central Bali on a full-day tour of the rice terraces, temples, and active volcano of the island’s scenic center. Enjoy an Indonesian lunch, and more. Following a pickup from your hotel by a driver who will provide outstanding satisfaction, transfer by an air-conditioned car to Batubulan village to see the center of handmade Batik weaving. Continue to the village of Celuk to see gold and silversmiths at work. Next, go to the home of Bali’s wood carving crafts at Mas, and learn how to recognize and work with good wood. Next, transfer to the artists' village of Batuan Ubud, before admiring the wood carvings at Batuan Trinity Temple. Proceed to the holy temple of Sebatu and the holy spring water temple of Gunung Kawi. Enjoy lunch in Kintamani, with panoramic views of Mt. Batur and its lake. Then, visit Tegalalang village to taste some Balinese Luwak coffee and ginger tea. Marvel at the spice gardens and rice terraces before afternoon tea. Finally, go to the Sacred Monkey Forest which serves to protect the Balinese long-tail monkey (aka crab-eating macaques). Wander around the market at Ubud, and see the King’s (Royal) Palace.

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What people are saying about Bali

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 3,802 reviews

Amazing day! Review of Hire Bali Driver Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile we had an amazing day on this trip! Our tour guide was Gede and he was the best!!! He picked us up from our hotel and on the way to Ubud he told us about the plan for the day and asked if there was anything else that we’d like to do additionally. He took us to a jewellery village where I got myself a beautiful, handmade silver ring. Wherever we went throughout the day, he was always very knowledgeable, was telling us a lot about the history of the places and always had answers to our questions. He had a great sense of humour, was telling jokes and kept us entertained even when we were getting tired. He took loads of amazing pictures of us in the best spots! We felt like travelling with a friend, not a guide - we were always taken care of and supported. I would recommend this trip with Gede to anybody, whether a solo traveller, a family or a group of friends! Thank you Gede!

Excellent day out. Picked up early from Ubud as it was about a 2 hour drive to the waterfalls. Arriving early meant we were the only ones there and had the waterfalls to ourselves. More people were arriving as we were leaving but by no means busy. The waterfalls were some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. We got the option to enter from the front and see 2 waterfalls or from the back and see 3 waterfalls. You have to pay for entry to the falls we entered from the so we could swim. The back way also meant paying twice due to ownership being divided between 2 separate villages. Swimming under the hidden waterfall near Sekumpbal was an amazing experience. The water temple was beautiful. We were lucky enough to see a procession as it was close to the Balinese day of celebration. We had a driver called Widi who was fantastic, spoke good English, very helpful and led us through the whole day.

I really recommend this trip! You will see the most highlights of Ubud, just in one day! Also our tour guide was so lovely, he called me the day before just to confirm the pickup place and time. And he showed us a lot! So a big thanks to Putu Sandie!

Denny was a great host. Thank you for taking us around!

Comfortable air conditioned car with very good guide.