The northern part of Bali, is sheltered by the mountains that divide Bali from east to west. Due to this for a long time, the northern region has been isolated from the rest of Bali. This accounts for the fact that North Bali still has its own, typical rites and customs. Also called ‘the other side of Bali’, North Bali is an interesting destination for those who love authentic culture and pristine nature with tranquil, rural surroundings.
Things to do in North-Bali
Diving and snorkeling
The calm and scenic bays on Bali’s north-western coast draws the attention of the world’s diving community being the largest ‘biorock’ reef site on the planet. Dive the internationally-known coral walls at Menjangan Island or snorkel around Lovina beach. Visit the beaches a bit further East and go underwater in one of Bali’s most famous diving spot, Tulamben. Don’t miss the adventure to explore the shipwreck of the USAT Liberty underwater and even if you are not a diver some parts are suited for snorkeling as well.
Boat cruises and dolphin watch
Lovina beach in North Bali got well known because of the hundreds of dolphins that visit the coast every morning around sunrise. To see these wonderful sea mammals play is definitely worth to wake up early. Go out early in the morning with a boat to see the dolphins and explore the underwater life afterwards while snorkeling or join the fishermen and after watching the dolphins try fishing yourself.
Hot springs and waterfalls
North Bali has the most stunning waterfalls, endless views of rice fields,misty mountains and jungles. Go hiking and the jump from the cliff of a waterfall. Sliding and swimming in waterfalls, jumping from cliffs may sound extreme, but make sure you go on a guided tour, where the guides know exactly where and what can be done and insurance is included in the package. For the less adrenaline savvy there are hot springs around Mount Batur, where you can soak and relax after hiking.
Cool mountain tops
Explore the Kintamani region visit the foggy mountains of the region, or climb to the top of Batur volcano during the darkness of the night to enjoy the most spectacular view of your life, when you experience the sun rise at the top of the volcano. Wander around the cool Bedugul region and finish your day with a candlelight dinner on the beach in Lovina.
Our insider tips
Ben’s recommendation
The northern and eastern coast is ideal for diving. One of the most unique experiences for a diver is to dive a shipwreck and even this dream can be fulfilled in Bali. Go to Tulamben and dive the USAT Liberty, which was a United States Army cargo ship torpedoed by Japanese submarine in January 1942. It is also one of the best sunken shipwrecks in the world, where you can still see the guns, toilets, boilers, anchor chain, etc. If you are diving don’t miss this chance!
Lucy’s recommendation
Gitgit and Aling Aling waterfalls are one of my favorites. Those are the ones where you can jump off the cliffs, sliding in the waterfalls and have a lot of fun. Go around and explore North Bali’s jungles and the black sand beaches on the coast and don’t miss to see the dolphins in the early mornings.
Trevor’s recommendation
Instead of the crowded temples in the South visit the legacy of the Mengwi kingdom with the main landmark of Taman Ayun temple, where you can learn about its history while admiring the unique temple complex layout and scenic garden surroundings. Stop by at Ulun Danu Beratan lakeside temple up north in the Bedugul highlands and enjoy a day in fresh, cool atmosphere out in nature.
Good to know

Respect the culture

On temple visits you must wear a sarong, usually with sash (waistband) around your waist. Temples are generally very cheap or free to visit. However, most keepers will show visitors to a 'donation box', or offer sarongs at the entrance (don't worry if you didn't bring one). Always use right hand for gesturing; never left hand or feet.

Respect rules and tradition

There are a few surprising laws and customs in Bali that some foreigners will not be aware of. Public affection is frowned upon and public nudity, including topless sunbathing, is considered unacceptable behaviour. The local culture is very respectful and disrespect against officials or elderly are considered very rude.

Language

We love being able to communicate, even just a little bit, in the local language. And in North Bali is no exception. Whilst the vast majority will speak enough English to communicate with you (albeit sometimes only the basics), even being able to say 'hello', 'thank you', and 'please' will be really appreciated here!