Incorporating a bit of adventure into your Bali holiday is easy. With choices for the relaxed experience seeker through to the certified adrenaline junkie. Are water sports or dry land fun your Indonesia adventure of choice? We have created the perfect guide to please your more adventurous side. In the second of our Bali adventure guide series, we look at the best land-based activities Bali has to offer.
Indonesia has the most volcanoes of any country in the world. It goes without saying that hiking at least one of them should be on your adventure lovers travel list. We break down the top volcanoes to hike in Bali, from easy to advanced.
Batur Caldera is an easy volcano hike. Part of Mount Batur but you only climb as high as the caldera. With the ocean on one side and a lake on the other, this hike is one of the most beautiful and is perfect for beginners. On a clear day, you can also see Mount Rinjani and the Gili Islands in Lombok. Like all volcano hikes, we recommend a sunrise climb for cooler conditions and beautiful photos.
For those a little more fit and adventurous, why not do the complete Mount Batur climb? Located a 2-hour drive from Seminyak, it will be an early start, but well worth it. It doesn’t have a well-marked path, so we suggest doing it with a guide. You can summit Mount Batur in around 2 hours depending on your pace. But you will spend some time at the top enjoying the changing sunrise colours.
Running shoes are fine but make sure to wear layers as it will be cold when you start and as the sun starts rising.
Top Tip: do a 2D/1N Batur camping trip so you get to experience sunset and sunrise!
Mount Batukaru is the second-highest mountain in Bali after Mount Agung. It may be a 4-hour walk to the summit yet the surrounding landscape makes up for it. With lush rainforest that will shade you from the sun, the four hours won’t seem so bad. Once at the top you will be welcomed with stunning views over north and south Bali, Java to the west and Lombok. You will also experience some Balinese culture on this trek with a visit to Pura Luhur Batukaru, a temple sitting on the mountain slope.
Located to the east of Lake Batur, you will find Mount Abang. Many years ago, Mount Abang was part of Mount Batur until an eruption split the volcano in two. Mount Abang is not actually a volcano but that doesn’t matter as you can see Mount Batur and Mount Agung from the top. More of a rainforest hike than a volcano hike, you will meander through pine and wet forests. A paved track with several signs means you can trek this mountain without a guide.
Top Tip: Stop at Kintamani to enjoy the sunrise over Mount Agung before you start your Mount Abang trek.
Mount Catur has some of the best flora and fauna of all the mountains in the list. Coffee, orange and passionfruit plantations as well as rich jungle untouched by society. There are also three lakes that will you see from different vantage points. You can reach the top in around three hours, though it can be challenging so not recommended for beginner hikers.
Top tip: Choose a tour that includes a picnic lunch in the forest.
Since the eruption last year, Mount Agung still has an exclusion zone in place so it is not available for hiking. You can still view this incredible volcano from other volcanoes listed above. Or from Amed, Sidemen, or our favourite viewpoint, Bukit Cinta!
Horse riding anywhere in the world is an amazing experience and one of our top picks for adventure lovers of all levels. All stables will match horses to the riders experience making it suitable for beginner riders through to advanced.
Do you want a beach canter or a rice field ride? We have the top picks for every option.
Encompassing a ride through rice fields, local villages and along the beach, Kuda P Stables is our top pick for an all-inclusive experience. Located in Canggu so accessible to people staying in the south Bali tourist towns, the rides generally last around two hours. One thing we love, they also offer therapeutic rides for the disabled and ponies for children under six.
Located on the other side of the island at Saba Bay is Bali Horse Riding. Riding along the beach here will give you views of Nusa Penida and Mount Agung.
Ubud Horse Stables is 16km north of the town centre and will get you riding through the famous Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Beginner rides include the rice fields, rivers and jungle. The advanced ride will have you exploring coffee plantations and secret waterfalls.
Ziplining is the adventure of sliding along suspended cables, generally through trees or between cliffs and over water. Suitable for beginners as full safety briefings and instructions are given, though not for the faint-hearted or those scared of heights.
Our top pick for ziplining has to be Bali Treetop Adventure Park, located three hours north of Ubud. Set in a botanical garden, there are 7 adventure circuits, 72 challenges and 12 flying foxes. Catering to guests 4 years old to 70+, this park has something for adventure lovers of all ages. With 7 circuit levels available including circuits for 4-8 year olds, right up to an adrenaline black circuit for the “big thrills” and “breathtaking jumps” up to 20 metres high.
Looking for an overwater experience? You need to check out Abyss Zipline on the island of Nusa Ceningan. The Nusa islands are famous for their cliffs and crashing oceans, so what better way to discover them than by ziplining across them!
Nusa Lembongan is a 30-minute fast boat ride from mainland Bali and connects to Nusa Ceningan by a bridge. This makes it an easy adventure even if you are staying in South Bali.
Ever imagined flying down the side of a volcano on a bicycle? It’s not exactly what you might think, but is catering to the more advanced adventure lovers.
Infinity Mountain Biking has created a broad list of options for all cycling levels. But seeing as this is a Bali adventure lovers guide, let’s begin with the most heart-pumping. You will start in a forest with 5-7km enduro tracks. You will experience some technical single tracks and some steep downhill thrills.
There is a shuttle to take you back up the mountain. After lunch, you will head to a new trail centre in Jatiluwih, of the famed rice terraces. Rated advanced with red and black sections, this one is for the pro enduro cycling enthusiast.
For the intermediate rider, why not try their Jatiluwih to the Sea trail? This experience starts at the foot of Mount Batukaru for your bike fitting. Then you will be off riding through some of the most famed rice terraces in Bali, Jatiluwih. You will cycle a distance of approx 50km, mostly downhill, to the coastal town of Canggu in South Bali.
Previous mountain biking experience is required. This ride is rated green with some blue sections.
Looking for a different kind of bike thrill? Why not experience the black lava of Kintamani by dirt bike? Riding on the black volcanic landscape of Mount Batur is a one of a kind experience. Tours here range between 4-8 hours.
They are tailored to both beginner and advanced adventure seekers. Being an off road experience, a driver’s licence is not needed. They even have a beginner package for those with no riding experience. Don’t get too excited, beginners won’t be summiting Batur with their new skills.
Heart Pumping Swings
You wouldn’t generally imagine a swing being featured in an adventure lovers guide. But when the swing is metres above ground and swings over rice terraces you might change your mind. With so many swings now found around Bali, we have focused on what we think are the top two!
Let’s start with the most famous swing found at the beautiful Tegallalang Rice Terraces. There are actually 3 swings found in this area. The first you will find when you enter the village and is the easiest to experience if you are on limited time. There are two more swings on the other side of the valley located on a steeper section of the terraces.
You need to hike down the slope and through the terraces to reach them, but we recommend doing this if you have time. Nearby, you can also find the Terrace River Swing if you want to snap some swinging over water.
Wanagiri Hidden Hills has incredible views across Lake Danau Buyan. They also have many viewing platforms, swings and bird nests for photo opportunities. These swings are in north Bali near Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. We recommend combining the two if you are already in the area.
Bali has come a long way in terms of activities available for visitors. We hope you enjoyed our Bali adventure lovers series. We’d love to know what your favourite Bali adventures have been!
Written by: Angela Rogers