Central Bali Travel Guide

Despite being a striking land of mountains, jungle, terraced crop plantations and temples, Central Bali is often overlooked by tourists. The island’s interior has some of the most delectable scenery in the country and is within a short drive of any coastal city.

The town of Ubud, just north of Denpasar, is the most visited Central Bali town, famed for its many temples within a cool mountain setting. Ubud, about an hour from the capital, is home to the Balinese royal family and many high profile temples and is very arty.

Mount Agung is another popular Central Bali highlight, with its Mother Temple of Besakih and challenging strato volcano trekking. Those interested in nature and animals could check out the Desa Taro jungle and the associated Bali Elephant Safari Park. This area is also a nice spot for trekking. For spas and hot springs, Air Panjar (Lovina) has geothermal waters and is hard to beat.

Other Central Bali highlights include the western region of Negara where the cliff top Rambutsiwi Temple resides. Situated in the interior of the western part of the island, this temple is spectacular in its structure and setting. Payangan (Flower Mountain) in the center of the island is also worth visiting, as are the many resorts of Temnuku.

Bedugul, to the south, is known for its botanical gardens and its world famous Bali Handara Kosaido Golf and Country Club.

Although the best time to visit is May through October, during the dry season, those who arrive in March/April may witness Nyepi, or Hindu New Year, when the island completely shuts down for a day as residents take a vow of silence.

Getting There & Away

Three main highways cut across Central Bali from south to north linking the main southern shores to the interior and more remote northern coast. Buses and local transport provide regular transport from Denpasar to Ubud and beyond. Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport is outside Denpasar and is a major air hub, with flights from Jakarta (two hours) connecting from the USA and Europe. Flights come in direct from Australia.