Looking to ditch the tourist clichés and dive into the hidden gems of Bali? Forget about Kuta’s crowded beaches, Ubud’s over-photographed rice terraces, and Canggu’s party scene. It’s time to head north, where the real magic happens and the best-kept secrets await.

Drone Shot of Aling-Aling Waterfall in North Bali

A 3-hour drive away from Denpasar, the north of Bali is a secret paradise that often gets overlooked due to its remote location.

But picture yourself standing in front of secret waterfalls, feeling the cool mist on your face as you discover nature’s hidden masterpiece, or catching a glimpse of playful dolphins dancing in the sparkling waves — trust us, this is where the real magic lies.

Man cliff jumping at Kroya Waterfall in North Bali

Whether you’re a seasoned Bali enthusiast or a first-time visitor, here’s an off-the-beaten-path journey through nine incredible experiences that’ll make North Bali your new favourite playground.

Getting to and around North Bali

Bali Airport Transfer - Bali Itinerary

From the airport: Taxi or private hires like Gojek and Grab are available but taxis tend to overcharge, and the closest pick-up point for Gojek and Grab is 1km away at HARRIS Hotel Kuta Tuban.

Opt for a pre-booked airport transfer (~S$50 for a five-seater) instead — in fact, it turned out to be a tad cheaper than Gojek/Grab, which was about ~S$55 for the 3-hour journey to Lovina.

Travellers boarding a private car charter in Nusa Penida Bali - Ubud Travel Guide

Travelling around North Bali: If you’re visiting four or more spots in a day, consider booking a private car charter. You can customise the route, and have a driver who’s always ready to go!

1) Explore Hidden Waterfalls Around Aling-Aling Waterfall

Aling-Aling Waterfall in North Bali

If you’re into exploring hidden waterfalls and jumping off cliffs, you’ve got to add the Aling-Aling Waterfall Trekking and Jumping tour to your list of must-dos in North Bali.

The tour began with a hike to the 35m-tall Aling-Aling Waterfall. Swimming isn’t allowed here but just standing 30m away still left us completely drenched😅

Woman jumping off Kroya Waterfall - Bali Itinerary

Thrill seekers will love the next stop — cliff jumping and sliding down a natural waterslide at the nearby Kroya, Kembar and Pucuk Waterfalls!

Start with a beginner-friendly 5m cliff jump opposite Kroya, then progress to the 10m leap at Kembar. If you’re up for the ultimate challenge (unlike us), try the 15m jump at Pucuk!

Man sliding off Kroya Waterfall Natural Waterslide - Bali Itinerary

But the “highlight” of the tour was definitely sliding down the top of Kroya. The sheer force of the 10m-plunge was so powerful that I lost a contact lens 🥲

*Note: Swimming, cliff jumping and rock sliding are prohibited without a guide.

Aling Aling Waterfall Trekking and Jumping in Sambangan Bali
Cost: From ~S$10/pax for a ~2hr experience (guide included)
Timing: 9AM
Meeting point: R4G3+XR Sambangan, Buleleng Regency, Bali, Indonesia

2) Spot Adorable Dolphins at Lovina Beach

Skip the long journey to New Zealand or Australia for a glimpse of dolphins — Lovina has you covered with a popular sunrise dolphin-watching experience!

We were lucky to spot a few dolphins since sightings weren’t guaranteed. But even if you don’t see any, the sunrise alone makes the experience worthwhile (at least in my opinion)!

Sunrise during Lovina Dolphin Watching Sunrise - Bali Itinerary

If spotting dolphins alone doesn’t sound exciting enough, there’s an option to add snorkelling to your package too!

Lovina Dolphin Watching and Snorkelling
Cost: From ~S$6.20/pax for a ~2hr experience
Tour timing: 
Meeting point:
 V23V+F9 Anturan, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali, Indonesia

3) Conquer an Active Volcano on Mount Batur

Friends at the peak of Mount Batur

Mount Batur is an active volcano known for its beautiful sunrise views, making it one of the most popular hikes in Bali. But after squeezing with 500 hikers to watch the sunrise last time out, we decided to try a sunset hike on our recent trip to Bali.


I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t a single soul around and watching the sunset without a crowd brought a profound sense of tranquillity 😌

pic sunset on Mount Batur - Things to do in Batur

The 1,717m ascent took about 1.5 hours but it was pretty easy since we hired a local guide and didn’t have to navigate.

Upon reaching the summit, our guide also prepared some snacks like banana bread and hard-boiled eggs for us to munch on while taking in the incredible sunset!

Refreshments for Mount Batur Sunset Hike - Bali Itinerary

It was pitched dark by the time we were descending, so I was really glad that we hired a local guide even though it wasn’t necessary.

*Pro-tip: Pack a windbreaker as temperatures may go as low as 12°C at the peak.

Mount Batur Sunset Trekking Experience
Cost: From ~S$55/pax for a ~4hr experience
How to get there:
 Accommodation pick-up and drop-off included

4) Dip in Batur Natural Hot Spring

Man chilling at Batur Natural Hot Spring - Things to do in Batur

You don’t need to travel all the way to Japan for hot springs, there’s one right here in North Bali! At Batur Natural Hot Spring, choose from 10 different pools ranging between 30°C to 40°C to relax your mind, body and soul 😌

Friends playing children slide at Batur Natural Hot Spring - Things to do in Batur

The 40°C water was way too hot for us, so we took a quick plunge into the 30°C therapy pool before playing on the children’s slide. And if you’re up for a swim, there’s also an adult swimming pool where you can put in some laps!

Entrance fee: ~S$9/pax via Klook (includes welcome drink)
Opening hours: 
7AM – 7PM
 PCX2+G4 Songan B, Bangli Regency, Bali, Indonesia

5) Go Canyoning at Gitgit Canyon

Man repelling down waterfall in North Bali

Photo credit: Klook

Bali isn’t known for canyoning like the Philippines or Switzerland, but to our surprise, opportunities to try this extreme sport do exist in North Bali!

One of the best places for canyoning here is Gitgit Canyon — jump into pools, slide down natural waterslides and rappel down waterfalls while taking in the natural beauty of its rock formations.

Friends canyoning in North Bali

Photo credit: Klook

While canyoning looks fun, attempting the activity without a guide is extremely dangerous. So we recommend joining a guided canyoning tour whereby the guide will provide the necessary equipment and guidance to ensure your safety.

Canyoning Experience in North Bali
Cost: From ~S$147.80/pax for a ~6hr experience
How to get there: 
Accommodation pick-up and drop-off included

6) Snap IG-worthy Photos at Handara Gate

Handara Gate - Lesser-Known Bali Itinerary

Capture stunning shots at the Instagram-famous Handara Gates, known for its iconic traditional Balinese architecture set against a backdrop of lush green hills!

Fun fact: Handara Gates also serves as the entrance to Handara Golf & Resort. While here, take a leisurely stroll around the golf resort or test your skills on the only golf course in the northern part of the island!

Entrance fee: Rp30,000/pax (~S$2.70)
Opening hours: 24 hours
Address: P5W5+Q8 Pancasari, Buleleng Regency, Bali, Indonesia

7) Take in Beautiful Views of Bali Twin Lake

Photo credit: Klook

Nestled amidst the lush landscapes of Munduk, Bali Twin Lakes is made up of Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan.

Man seating at viewpoint of Bali Twin Lake

Photo credit: Klook

There are several viewpoints and photo spots where you can take in a panoramic view of both lakes, but we asked our Gojek driver and he suggested heading to this specific point for unobstructed views!

Unfortunately, our route there was blocked by a local event and we didn’t go as it’d be dark by the time we arrive. But let us know if our Gojek driver was right!

*Pro-tip: Check the weather conditions and allocate buffer time to reach the lake before visiting as there may be unforeseen circumstances!

Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: 24 hours
Address: Q432+73 Gobleg, Buleleng Regency, Bali, Indonesia

8) Explore the Abandoned Hotel Pondok Indah Bedugul

Exterior of Abandoned Hotel Pondok Indah Bedugul

Photo credit: Daily Mail Online

If you’re up for a spooky adventure, head to the abandoned Hotel Pondok Indah Bedugul 👻

Interior of the Abandoned Hotel Pondok Indah Bedugul

Photo credit: Daily Mail Online

A bunch of theories have emerged about the hotel’s abandonment — including one suggesting a curse was placed on the businessman behind it, leading to his bankruptcy and the project’s ultimate failure. Pretty wild, right?

Locals have also shared sinister tales about how the hotel is haunted by construction workers who lost their lives while building the ill-fated structure, but that hasn’t stopped adventurous tourists from exploring it over the years… will you be next? 👀

Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: 24 hours
Address: P52G+QV6, Batunya, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali, Indonesia

9) Visit Bali’s Tallest Waterfall, Sekumpul Waterfall

Sekumpul Waterfall in North Bali

Photo credit: Klook

At 80m high, Sekumpul Waterfall is the tallest waterfall on the island! The waterfall has gained popularity through social media over the years, but it remains blissfully uncrowded thanks to its remote location in the northern part of Bali.

Man hiking to Sekumpul Waterfall

Photo credit: Klook

Sekumpul Waterfall is a little off the beaten path, so you’ll have to hike about 30 minutes through the forest to arrive at the base of the falls.

*Pro-tip: Join a guided tour so you don’t get lost! Plus, this tour takes you to the renowned Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple and an agrotourism coffee plantation too.

Sekumpul Waterfall Private Day Tour
Cost: From ~S$28.60/pax for a ~8hr experience (guide included)
Timing: 8AM
How to get there: Accommodation pick-up and drop-off included

Discover a Lesser-known Side of Bali

Man at the peak of Mount Batur

The highlight of my North Bali adventures was the 10m cliff jump at Kember Waterfall, not only for its thrill but for the personal triumph of overcoming my fear of heights. That moment of absolute freedom, when I took the leap, will forever be a core memory.

Sometimes the best experiences are found when we take the road less travelled, so share this article with your friends and encourage them to explore this lesser-known side of Bali on their next visit!

Planning a trip to Bali? Check out our other guides and itineraries:
5D Bali Itinerary: The Best of Bali For The Adventurous — Ubud, Seminyak, Nusa Dua
4D3N Bali Itinerary — The Ultimate Ubud Getaway Guide
The Ultimate Bali Food Guide: 21 Things To Eat in Seminyak, Ubud and Nusa Dua
5D Bali Itinerary Under S$500 incl. Nusa Penida and Lesser Known Things to Do

Did we miss out on any fun things to do in North Bali? Let us know in the comments!

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