Our expectation for Ubud was something along the lines of a hippie filled, mildly chaotic city in the mountains of Bali. That expectation was 100% correct.
Ubud is indeed a city in the jungle. It is not simply a surrounded by green, IT IS IN THE GREEN.
I start this post with accommodations because ours were amazing.
Nate and I had a friend with us for the entire three weeks we spent in Bali. This meant we needed lodging that could accommodate two large men and myself comfortably.
You’ll find that the villas all across Bali are to die for. Ours was down a private road, tucked away, quite literally in jungle. This was our backyard – during the daily 2:30pm thunderstorm.
The villa backed up to a massive green space. It had a huge open layout main living area and kitchen with high exposed ceilings, half indoor/outdoor shower and tub in both the main bath and guest bath, and two separate VERY spacious bedrooms. It honestly made it hard to leave the house.
Here’s another photo from the backyard during a less…wet period of time. Screw the famous and intensely overpriced “Bali Swing” when you have one at your own villa. Nate was a trooper for taking these.
You can find lodging in the middle of the city or further out in the surrounding areas. You’ll want a scooter in Ubud no matter what, so where you stay is more about your desired location and level of privacy.
For budget hostels | hostelworld
Our Villa is linked here. We rented scooters directly from our Villa host. Just another perk of staying here.
I don’t suggest doing this midday. It was freaking hot. Like REALLY hot. But the boys weren’t down to wake up for a sunrise walk on the ridge, so 11am it was.
The walk is short, less than a mile I’d say. It starts by the bridge and ends near a little town. You’ll definitely know when it ends. It is not a loop so you’ll walk down and back.
We were lucky enough to only see four or five people total. Probably due to it being midday.
After you finish your walk, head to the Monkey Forest; another attraction very close by.
This is something you can do right in town. Yes, the Monkey Forest is smack dab in the middle of the city and is very accessible. There was an entry fee, but I don’t remember it being much.
You’ll see beautiful nature, sculptures and of course, monkeys. There are certainly times you forget you’re in a city. I don’t know if the sculptures are always there for if it was because we were there during their holiday.
You’re free to roam at your own pace. You can feed the monkeys as well, but don’t touch them; and keep your bags zipped and close to your body. We saw more than one monkey latch onto someone’s bag and start opening it. They are definitely not shy, or innocent...and may or may not carry disease. So there’s that.
You should visit nonetheless, it’s fun and convenient.
Drive towards the Bali Swing
Like I said – the Bali Swing is overpriced and you’ll likely wait in line for it. But if your heart is set on it, then you do you boo.
Either way, the drive out towards the swing is beautiful and I suggest you drive that direction.
Visit the famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Stop for some poop coffee at Luwak Coffee Plantation
You could likely end your day there.
Then take a separate day to go chasing waterfalls; which you’ll find Ubud has no shortage of.
We chose to visit three, all of which were packed with tourists. No surprise there.
Don’t be fooled. I photoshopped four heads out of the photos at TIBUMANA WATERFALL. (see pics below).
There was quite a little hike down to the actual falls, worth noting.
After waiting our turn for photos at Tibumana, we headed back up the stairs and were off to KANTO LAMPO. It’s worth noting there was an entrance fee to get in!
As that daily 2:30pm thunderstorm rolled in, we raced to TEGENUNGAN WATERFALL. It was packed with people, as you can see. There was a small market as you head toward Tegenugan. If we had more time, I could see this being a fun place to spend an entire day, or half day.
It’s hard to go wrong with restaurants in Ubud. There is a very healthy food culture here, so I’m sure you’ll find something delicious wherever you choose.
Almost every morning I got a latte and avocado toast! It was divine. I highly recommend it.
The city center of Ubud is very walkable and has tons of shops and temples to visit. We literally just drove to the city center, got breakfast and then typed in “temple” to Google maps. From there we chose the closest ones and went inside if they were open. It is appropriate to cover yourself when going inside the temples. I typically wear a long dress or pants and a shirt that covers my shoulders just to be safe.
We wrap it up back at our villa. There might be a lot to do in and around Ubud, but I am willing to bet you’ll want to spend a day or two just chilling at your hotel or villa. Ours had a private pool, and everything we could need for a staycation.
Our villa seemed to have a healthy wildlife population. I assume this is because Ubud is so lush. It was quite normal to have lizards on the walls and butterflies surround the house. We didn’t mind them, and they didn’t seem to mind us.
That concludes our week in Bali. Take what you wish from our suggestions.
After Ubud, it was on to Canggu. Where again, we found ourselves spending a lot of time enjoying our beautiful villa. Stay tuned.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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