Top 5 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Bali
If you're looking for Bali's hidden gems, here are some of our favourites! We promise no Bali swing
Most people know Bali for its IG-famous Bali swing and crowded beach bars, but there's so much more heart to Bali than that.
If you're looking for something a bit more authentic than the usual jam packed tourist hotspots, try out some of Bali’s less touristed experiences. Here, you can discover Bali like it was before over-tourism, and see Bali's authentic heart.
Here are our top 5 non-touristy suggestions!
✨ See Mt Batur, BUT via an alternative route! The usual Batur route has 300-600 hikers a day so it gets a bit jammed. Instead, try the alternative non-touristed caldera route for a gorgeous sunrise over Mt Batur, plus you'll get to take a fun boat ride across the Batur caldera lake!
✨ Paraglide over Bali's coastline. This sounds adventurous, but it's actually really chilled as it's a tandem ride so you'll have someone there with you while you coast over amazing views.
✨ Go waterfall canyoning! This is like a water playground at the waterfall. You slip, you slide, and you fully immerse in nature without needing to do a long hike to get to a waterfall! It's incredibly fun, and is one of our fave things to do in Bali. Try it!
✨ Visit an eco-coffee farm. Most of the coffee farm visits in Bali are pretty unsustainable as they visit Luwak (civet cat) coffee farms where the wild Luwaks are kept inhumanely in small cages. Instead, visit this rare, community-owned coffee farm (without luwaks!) to see traditional coffee farming methods, and learn how they produce great coffee while benefitting the local villages.
✨ Head to Munduk for a jungle trek adventure! Here you will be able to break away from the crowds and enjoy some cooler weather as you trek through the jungle to find waterfalls, Tarzan swings and finish off the day with a peaceful canoe ride across Tamblingan Lake.
☄️ Bonus Tip 1: It's not in the video, but one of our favourite local things to do in Bali is the traditional Melukat (purification) ceremony. The Melukat is something that local Balinese people do as often as once a month, and also at every important occasion. The ceremony usually takes place around waterfalls as water is believed to be able to cleanse your energy. We loved doing the ceremony at Taman Beji Griya waterfall, an incredibly spiritual and locally revered place about an hour from Ubud. You can hire a driver to take you there for the day to do the ceremony.
☄️ Bonus Tip 2: Another favourite thing to do is go on a hunt for the best Babi Guling in town! For the foodies out there, Babi Guling is the most well-known local Balinese street food. Fun fact: Wealthy families in Bali with large home compounds sometimes have warungs (small restaurants) within those compounds, and the best Babi Guling spots are often hidden within those. Our favourite spot for yummy Babi Guling in Bali is Warung Jero Kawan - they make incredibly flavourful pork cooked five ways. It's about forty minutes from Canggu/Jimbaran and you can hire a driver, or Gojek to take you there.
Try these out and let us know what you think!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you love hiking, we would highly recommend doing the Batur caldera trek instead of the usual Batur summit trek, as it's far less touristed with a similar panoramic view plus you'll get to take a cool boat ride across the Batur caldera lake. If you're super fit and looking for a challenging hike, definitely try hiking Mt Agung which is far less crowded and a more challenging and interesting hike. Agung requires 8-10 hours of hiking vs Batur's 1-2 hours - so it's not for the faint hearted! If you have an extra day or two, you should definitely do an overnight trip to Mt Ijen, the volcano with otherworldly blue flames that you can hike on an overnight trip from Bali (guides can provide transport from Bali). To really understand Balinese culture we would highly recommend doing a purification ceremony (which the Balinese do once every month, and at every important occasion) which is believed to help with the cleansing of negative energy in the body with water in sacred parts of Bali. The other thing that's awesome to try is Balinese martial arts which really helps you understand the role of community and tradition in the local villages. If you're a foodie, you should definitely try a cooking class that includes a local market visit so that you can really get to see how the food is sourced and produced - which is a really big part of the local culture. Also, if you're based in the Canggu/Kuta area you should definitely go for cheese tasting, and visit the winery - it's fascinating to see how the Balinese have adapted modern food production methods and made them Balinese. Also do go on a Babi Guling hunt for the best Babi Guling - it's the most famous local Balinese street food and the best versions of Babi Guling are actually in a local's house - ask us if you'd like recommendations! If you're looking for an adventure, definitely try waterfall canyoning! It's super fun as it is basically an outdoor playground in nature, where you can get to slip, slide and play in the great outdoors. There's canyoning for every level from beginners to advanced. We would also highly recommend (tandem) paragliding as you'll get to see Bali from a totally different viewpoint and it's surprisingly zen!