Ubud, an idyllic town on the Indonesian island of Bali, is a nature lover’s paradise. A landscape of layered rice paddies, dramatic hilltop views, and magical forests, this location offers a plethora of attractions and Ubud villas giving access to its ancient and cultural roots. Travel on foot, by boat, bike or car and discover the wonders of the Ubud countryside with our bucket list.
Meet the monkeys
Located in the heart of Padangtegal village is the beautiful Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Characterised by its hidden temples and abundance of wildlife, this nature reserve is the perfect destination to immerse yourself in one of Ubud’s many ecosystems. Wander through 27 acres of dense forest and discover this sacred retreat’s harmony between man and nature. Explore the holy Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal temple, also known as the Hindu Great Temple of Death, and learn the religious cremation traditions of the Balinese. This tranquil sanctuary is home to over 600 long-tailed macaques, along with an abundance of native birds and butterflies and 115 species of tropical trees.
Cycle in the country
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of Ubud’s picturesque countryside is on two wheels. Bali Bintang Bike Tours offer a three hour adventure through the layered landscape of suburban Ubud, featuring dramatic volcano views from the 1,700 metre high peak of Mount Batur, ancient temple ceremonies and an interactive insight into life with rural villagers. The day trip is led by multilingual tour guides, well versed in the natural environment, ensuring an educational and entertaining experience for all.
Farmers for the day
Ubud’s rolling hills and lush rice paddies serve as the perfect setting to experience the secrets behind its natural beauty. More culture driven travellers may appreciate an opportunity to become a rice farmer for a day in the popular northern village of Tegallalang. Accompanied by skilled Balinese locals, you’ll discover the secrets of farmer’s rice-growing traditions. Try your hand at rice planting, terrace building and bullock ploughing, with a mouth watering organic lunch included. Ubud’s rice paddies are sectioned by different farming communities called ‘subaks’, where each group have specific irrigation systems and work together to make important production decisions. Look out for each of the subak’s temples, where the goddess of the rice, Dewi Sri is worshipped. Rice is considered sacred in the Balinese religion, and is often spotted on the foreheads or necks of the locals. The farmers here believe their worship and offerings bring good rice yields year on year.
Ubud’s flourishing collection of plant life is a wonder for the eyes, and its Botanic garden is no exception. Located in Kutuh Kaja village, just over a kilometre from Ubud’s centre, this continually expanding eden boasts over five hectares of unique micro-climates, ranging from natural forest and mesmerising meadows to gentle waterfalls and panoramic lakes. Founded by German writer Stefan Reisner, this tropical haven was created to protect the country’s diverse plant life, and has since become a popular wind down location for locals and travellers alike. Adventure through winding pathways to discover over 20 themed gardens, embellished with exotic trees, home grown vanilla, butterfly showered lotus ponds comforting medicinal plants. Themed areas include The Chocolate Grove, The Fragrant Flowers, The Herbal Garden and The Great Fountain, all designed to emphasise the beauty and medley of Ubud’s conserved flora.
This article was provided by The Chedi Tanah Gajah an Ubud Hotel in Bali.