Off the Beaten Track Experience in Bali: 5 Hidden Gems You Need to Know

Shell in the Beach

Obsessed with Bali? ​The feeling’s mutual. No matter how many times you go to Bali, there always seems to be new places waiting for you to explore. Surfing in some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, delving into its incredibly rich culture, getting a taste of its spiritual values, enjoying its geographical wonders, and savoring its scrumptious food – these are all the things that make Bali the island we all love.

You’ve probably heard a lot about the luxury resorts in Seminyak, the never-ending nightlife in Kuta, and the off-shore landmarks in Tanah Lot. But have you heard about Trunyan Cemetery, Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang, or Tukad Cepung Waterfall? If you’re thinking about getting away from the hustle-bustle of Denpasar or seeking the less-visited spots, these 5 hidden gems can be your go-to for your next trip to Bali!

Trunyan Cemetery

What’s so special about a cemetery, you ask. Well, the cemetery in this particular village is unlike the others. In Trunyan, bodies weren’t buried. Instead, they were placed in bamboo cages and left under the taru menyan tree which means “nice smelling tree”. The scents from the tree would neutralize the smell of the decaying bodies. 

After the bodies decayed and only the skeletons remain, the skulls are placed in a stone platform which can only be reached by boat. When a body is being carried to the cemetery, the women are not allowed to go there. This rooted in the belief that if a woman does so, a disaster will happen to the village.  

You can reach Trunyan by renting a car. The village is 3 hours away from Denpasar while the site can only be reached by boat. Crossing the lake takes between 20 to 30 minutes.

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Natural Pool at Tembeling Beach

source: wanderersandwarriors.com

Nusa Penida has a lot to offer. One of them is a natural pool in Tembeling Forest & Beach. This is not just any other beach. On this beach, hides two natural pools with crystal clear water too tempting not to take a dip. The bigger pool is for men and the smaller one is for women.

After enjoying the clear blue water, walk down to the very end you’ll find a beautiful rocky beach. The walk will take you around 5 minutes. Hundreds of rocks and strong waves make it impossible for you to swim in the beach. However, there’s a chance that you’re the only one there so you can have the most relaxing time in the world.

The pool can only be reached by motorcycle and foot. Walking takes 30 minutes while hopping on the back of a motorbike takes just 10 minutes. The path down is very steep so we don’t recommend you to drive by yourself. From the bike stopping point, an easy 5-minute walk down the stairs will take you to the secret pool.

Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang

source: balitoursclub.net

Seeking daring adventures? This one’s for you. There’s a sacred and secret canyon hidden near Pura Beji Guwang in Sukawati. Formed from erosion of river water, the canyon has deep and narrow valleys.

Most of those who have stepped their feet on the canyon said that the path to get there is rough and challenging so it is not recommended for kids or elders. Climbing, jumping, and walking in chest height water is part of the trek, which takes around 1 to 2 hours. The out-of-this-world spectacular view of the canyon worth the difficult journey, though.

Mind that this canyon is not just hidden, but also sacred. Its water is often used for religious ceremonies in the surrounding temples. That’s why you should dress appropriately and be mindful when entering the site.

30 minutes from Ubud, you can rent a scooter to get to the canyon. The best time to visit this hidden canyon is in summer to avoid heavy river flows. We suggest using a local guide so you don’t get lost. If you come in the morning, you may be able to explore all three canyons.

Menjangan Island

source: palm-living.com

Moving to the west side of Bali, there’s an untouched beauty called Menjangan Island. It is part of the West Bali National Park and home to white sandy beaches, a collection of shrines, and colorful coral gardens.

The calm waters are perfect for snorkeling and diving. The pristine nature will give you an immersive relaxing experience. You can even find deers roaming around the island. A roughly 3-hour drive from Kuta would allow you to get a taste of heaven.

Tukad Cepung Waterfall

source: dailytravelpill.com

This majestic waterfall is located just outside of Ubud. Only a few have heard, Tukad Cepung Waterfall remains almost unexplored by tourists. Walk the lush trail leading up to it and once there, don’t forget to look up and basked yourself with sun rays that beam through the cliffs with water flowing from above.

The good news is the waterfall is family-friendly with only a 15-minute walk to reach. Remember to check the weather app though as the water levels can rapidly rise during rain.

As these places are pretty hidden, your trip would be easier if you understand some basic Indonesian words and phrases so you can ask the locals about the places and how to get there. This would also make your journey more enjoyable as you can chat with your guide. No need to come in advance just to learn the language because now you can learn the Indonesian language in Cakap. Learn from your home country, anytime and anywhere. Be it your home, a nearby café, or your favorite malls, learning made easy with Cakap.

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