One of the most popular jungle escapes on the paradise island that is Bali is the ever-expanding region of Ubud. Sitting right in the heart of Bali, surrounded by cascading waterfalls, tranquil rice fields and filled with delicious restaurants, cafes and warungs to feast at, Ubud is the ultimate base camp for adventure travellers. Whether you are using it as a base to explore the further reaches of North Bali or simply exploring the surrounding jungles, this itinerary for Ubud will highlight all of the best sights in and around the city.
This is the ultimate itinerary for Ubud, including three days of must-see sights, how to get to them, all of the costs involved, and even where to stay in Ubud.
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Here is a quick summary of this Ubud itinerary, all of which will be discussed in greater detail below.
Kick off your epic Ubud adventure with a day around the town, soaking up the local beauty and tourist treats.
- Sunrise walk at the Campuhan Ridgewalk
- Shop at the Ubud Clothing Market
- Explore the Sacred Monkey Forest
- Relax with some Ubud yoga or a massage
It’s time to escape the city of Ubud and explore the epic natural beauty that Bali has to behold. Let’s go and see the best of Bali’s waterfalls and rice fields.
- Explore the Tegalalang Rice Fields
- Check out the powerful Teganungan waterfall.
- Enjoy serenity at the caverned Tukad Cepung waterfall.
- Become a model at the photogenic Kanto Lampo waterfall.
Let’s end the trip on a high by exploring one of the most beautiful cultures in the world. Spend some time getting to know what life on the Island of the Gods is really like.
- Start the day off at the busy and bustling Ubud food markets
- Learn about the Balinese way of life with a tour of a Balinese house compound
- Visit the places of worship where Balinese go to cleanse and pray.
Where to Eat in Ubud
- Kedai D’Sawah (Cheap, delicious, Asian food with a beautiful view)
- Tropical Bali (The best smoothie bowl in Ubud)
- Warung Citta Ovest Pizza and Pasta (Fantastic pizza and beer deals)
- Sen San Warung (A classic warung with a cosy, family feel)
- Biah Biah (The perfect Balinese Tapas menu to the best food)
- Atu Warung (Another cosy warung with cheap, delicious foods)
The Ultimate Itinerary for Ubud – Three Days in the Jungle
Ubud Itinerary for Three Days
Day One – Arriving in Ubud
It’s your first full day in the bustling city of Ubud, so let’s kick off the day with a view you will not forget. Sitting just a 20-minute walk from the city centre of Ubud is the famous Campuhan Ridgewalk, taking you on a short cut through the jungle, high above the chirping birds and dense jungle below.
Sunrise over the Campuhan Ridgewalk
A sunrise walk over the Campuhan Ridgewalk delivers one of the best views in the area, with most of the walk to yourself and the morning mists still sitting on the jungle around you. Set an early alarm and make your way to the ridgewalk for around 6.30 am to truly appreciate the beauty of Bali, before the masses of other tourists arrive.
In order to reach the Campuhan Ridge Walk, you want to head towards Ubud’s neighbouring village known as Penestanan, which lies to the north-west of Ubud. Follow the road JL Raya Ubud and turn down the road to your right just before you reach a Mini Mart. You will need to park up your scooter soon as the actual ridge walk is only reachable by foot.
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At the other end of the ridge walk, you will find a whole swathe of small warungs overlooking the tranquil rice fields all around you. This is the perfect spot to grab some food before heading back to the city for your next stop, the Ubud clothing markets.
The Ubud Clothing Markets
Normally, the Ubud markets begin the day as a local food market, where the locals all stock up on the fresh ingredients required for the restaurants and warungs, as well as personal life. The bustling atmosphere and chatter of local colloquy is a truly beautiful sound to hear, however this will be for another day. This food market switches from selling fresh produce to selling one of the largest collections of tourist trinkets, beautiful clothing and other souvenir items in Bali.
At around 10am, the food stalls switch to selling a huge range of fashion items, souvenirs and other handmade Balinese figures. This is the perfect place to come to buy gifts for family or just memorabilia for yourself to take home. The earlier you arrive at the Ubud clothing markets the better, as prices tend to be cheaper in the morning.
The locals running the markets around Bali believe that if they make a sale early in the day for a good price, it will bring good luck for the rest of the day. This where the term “morning price” comes from. Arrive early and barter well to get the best prices for all of the souvenirs you want.
Another way to ensure you get the best value for money is to head to the quieter sections of the market, ie. not the downstairs area filled with tourists. The best value items are all located upstairs where less tourists head to. Find a set of stairs in the market and browse the stalls up the stairs, where you will most likely find the exact same items as the stalls are selling downstairs.
Once you have spent your share at the markets and have all of your presents for family and friends sorted, it is time for the next sight in the centre of Ubud. You will definitely want to drop any shiny items you just purchased back home before you visit this net stop.
Sacred Ubud Monkey Forest
Sitting in the centre of the chaotic Ubud streets is perhaps one of the most famous things to do in Bali, the Sacred Monkey Forest. This area of jungle is home to the native monkey species of Bali. With mankind ever encroaching on nature in this area of Bali, this jungle area is protected from further development due to its fascinating history and the culture associated with it.
The temple in the jungle of Ubud dates back to before the country of Indonesia existed, with evidence suggesting is construction happening as early as the 14th century. The three temples in this area are all dedicated to a different God of the Hindu culture.
Tourists are allowed to roam freely in this area of jungle, learning and admiring the beautiful history that surrounds the fascinating place. Watch out for monkeys when you are here, however, as they have been known to steal shiny items such as keys, sunglasses and even phones.
Time to Relax
With such a busy first day in Ubud, it is now time to appreciate the other side to life that this region is so very famous for: Yoga and Massages. Take your pick of whether you would like to enjoy one of the many forms of Yoga class around the city, stretching out those tired muscles and relaxing your mind.
If this is not you, then there are plenty of amazing massage parlours to choose from, all for a very reasonable price. Finish off your first day of this Ubud itinerary with a relaxing, full body massage for as little as £10.
Day Two – Chasing Waterfalls and Exploring Rice Fields
For day two of your Ubud itinerary, it is time to explore a little further from the city centre. Start off your day at either sunrise (or a little later if you don’t fancy another early one) at the incredible Tegalalang rice terraces.
Exploring the Tegalalang Rice Fields
Located just half an hour north of Ubud, these rice fields are perhaps the most famous in Bali, if not the world. In order to beat the crowds, we recommend getting here as early as possible to enjoy the serenity inwhich the views bring. Built into a small valley, the rice terraces step up and down in a beautiful pattern. The early lighting before sunrise is the perfect opportunity to take some incredible, golden hour pictures.
The Tegalalang entrance fee is broken down into 3 parts, depending on where you want to go in the rice fields. The first fee is about £1 (20k IDR) and is paid at the entrance to the field. The next payment is at a station just as you reach the bottom of the valley and begin to climb to the more photogenic side. This is a donation, however people usually pay another £1 (20kIDR).
The third payment is much further into the rice terraces at the famous sunrise spot. Here the farmer will charge you around £3 (50k IDR) and will allow you to walk through their field to take a picture.
Chasing Ubud’s Best Waterfalls
Once you have seen the sunrise and explored all there is to see at the Tegalalang rice terraces, it is time to explore the other side to Bali’s beautiful nature: Waterfalls. With more than a hundred known waterfalls across the island, and more being discovered every year, waterfalls are another thing Bali does very, very well.
There are a number of waterfalls in close proximity to Ubud, the most famous of which being Teganungan, Kanto Lampo and Tukad Cepung waterfalls. Why choose one when you can visit all three? First off, let’s head to the most powerful of the three, Teganungan waterfall.
The entrance fee to Teganungan is around £1 (20k IDR) including parking. To get to the waterfall from the car park, the pathway is a very pleasant, paved staircase, which takes around 15 minutes to get to the waterfall. During the rainy season, Teganungan is extremely impressive, due to the volume of water and the height from which it falls. There are toilets and cafes at the entrance to the waterfall for customers to use.
Next up is Tukad Cepung waterfall, which actually doubles as two different falls. The main waterfall sits in a secluded cave, which requires a little bit of clambering over and under rocks, as well as through rivers to get to. Make sure you pack sandals or shoes that can get wet for this trip. The entrance fee to Tukad Cepung is about £0.70 (15k IDR) including parking.
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Lastly, we have the Kanto Lampo waterfall. This is one of the best waterfalls for photos, as we will discuss in just a moment. The entrance fee to Kanto Lampo waterfall is about £0.70 (15k IDR) including parking. In order to get from the car park to the waterfall, there is a paved path, however it is not in as good condition as the one at Teganungan. At the bottom of this path, there is about a 5m clamber over rocks to get to the pool at the bottom.
Kanto Lampo waterfall is the best waterfall to go to for photographs due to a kind local who acts as a personal photographer at this waterfall. For a small tip (roughly £3 or 50k IDR), he will take around 50 photos of you in different poses, which he will instruct for you. This is the best place to go as a solo traveller who wants some memories to take home.
Day Three – The Amazing Balinese Culture
Its the final day in Ubud and it is time to check out the amazing culture that Bali is most famous for. What better way to start this day off than at the aforementioned local food market, buzzing with atmosphere and a melting pot of cultures.
Meet the Locals at the Ubud Food Market
Head to the markets for around 6am to arrive in time to see the beautiful act of locals bartering for deals, chatting with friends and trading their wares. Remember that it is respectful to dress modestly in Bali as it is a very religious place, and wear clothing that covers majority of your skin before attending the locals market.
If you are hungry, pick up some breakfast at the market in the shape of the delicious dragon fruit, the local bananas or some sweet treats being sold here. Just remember to barter the prices, as nothing is traditionally sold at first price.
Experience the Balinese Way of Life with a Homestay Tour
Perhaps the most unique insight into the Balinese way of life, it is possible to experience a full tour of a Balinese house compound. This tour will tell you all about the traditional way of life of Balinese people, including the logic behind the seperate buildings, the community spirit that exists in Bali and how these houses are passed down through families.
Learn All About the Local Religion in the Water Temples
The first temple you can explore is situated in the city centre of Ubud, the Pura Taman Sarawasti Temple. This temple is famous for its traditional Balinese architecture and the beautiful foyer with a pond filled with pink lotus flowers. Entry into this particular temple is free and as with any temple in Bali, a sarong or sash will be required to respectfully cover skin.
The next temple sits further outside the city, but is one of the most significant temples in all of Bali. For a thousand years, the Balinese people have come to this temple to purify, cleanse their souls and give worship to the gods that protect the island. The Tirta Empul Holy Water Temple draws Hindu worshippers from all over the island to bathe in the scared spring water, which is believed to have curative properties.
Visitors to this temple can bathe in the water themselves, following the ritual of washing under the 30 water spouts. Entrance fee to the Tirta Empul Holy Water Temple is about £3 (50k IDR), and once again you will need to wear a sarong, which can be rented for a small donation of roughly £0.50 (10k IDR). It is recommended that you spend about 1hour in this temple and springs so as to truly appreciate the beauty of the area and the history behind it.
Where to Eat in Ubud
Located just 5 minutes from the hectic, city centre of Ubud lies the tranquil paradise of Kedai D’Sawah. Overlooking a rice field, away from the chaos of city life, this restaurant serves a wide range of delicious asian cuisines for very cheap prices.
The best breakfast spot in the city centre, Tropical Bali serves an amazing range of brunch options. The smoothie bowl from here, served alongside a pastry and coffee, is the best way to start the day.
Warung Citta Ovest Pizza and Pasta
If you are looking for an Italian fix in the heart of Ubud, then look no further than Warung Citta Ovest. This tiny pizzeria serves delicious, stone-baked pizzas with a roadside view of Ubud.
Sen San Warung
A cheap warung with a homely feel, Sen San Warung is a family run restaurant with a basic but warming feel to it. Sitting right in the city centre of Ubud, this is the best Tempeh Kari you will get for this price.
Biah Biah Warung
Perhaps the most unique restaurant in Bali, the line out the door of Biah Biah Warung speaks for itself. The huge menu of Tapas style asian foods is the perfect place to try and taste the best of the traditional Balinese foods.
Before You Leave for Ubud
Whether you are arriving into Ubud itself or travelling to Ubud from a different area of Bali, there are a number of things you will need to sort out to ensure a smooth trip. These are including where to stay in Ubud, what travel insurance is best and what to pack for Ubud. All of these are discussed below.
How to Get an Indonesian Visa
As for the Indonesian visa itself, getting a visa for Bali is relatively straight forward if you come from one of the listed Visa on Arrival countries. If your country is on this list, all you have to do is turn up at the airport with a valid passport and you will automatically be granted 30 days in the country.
If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you will need to buy a Visa on Arrival Extension before you pass through immigration. This costs around $35USD and can be done right before you pass through immigration. Once you are in the country, you will then need to extend your visa a further 30 days either by yourself, or by paying a visa agent to do so for you.
What is the Best Travel Insurance for Bali
When it comes to backpacking, one of the least enjoyable purchases you can make is travel insurance. That being said, it is without a doubt the most important part of preparing for a trip, with extortionate medical bills and ruined holidays being the result of not being covered.
In order to ensure a stress-free journey, we make sure we get our travel insurance through World Nomad’s Travel Insurance. These guys offer low cost travel insurance made for backpackers, with good coverage and excellent overseas customer support.
What to Pack for Ubud
Given the climate of Bali in general, packing for this trip is relatively straight forward. In the southern lowlands of Bali it is hot and humid most of the time, however if you venture into the northern highlands the temperature will drop with altitude.
When it comes to the weather, Bali is a tropical country meaning it has two seasons: wet season and dry season. During your visit to Bali, it will most likely rain, and if you happen to visit during the wet season, it will rain a lot. Make sure you pack a waterproof or a poncho for your days out adventuring to avoid getting too drenched.
As a general rule for packing for Bali, it is best to think “layers”. Pack a few light layers of clothing, including a jumper and a waterproof, and wear as many layers as you want according to the weather.
Being one of the most photogenic places in the world, it goes without saying that you need to have a camera with you in Bali. The scenery that will lie before you is jaw dropping and you will want to capture every minute of it. During our trips, we always pack our Canon 1300d, GoPro Hero 7 Black and DJI Spark drone.
Where to Stay in Ubud
When it comes to accommodation in Bali, the range of choice is simply unbelievable. You can stay in sweaty shared dorms, converted traditional homes, jungle treehouses or private villas. No matter what your budget it, you are bound to find the perfect place in Bali.
For your stay in Ubud, we have narrowed the best places to stay down to three levels of budget.
Luxury – Escape the craziness of Ubud city centre and spend your nights in the tranquility of the jungle. Sandat Glamping Tents sit only 15 minutes from the bustling Ubud markets, however you will feel like you are in another world. Spend your day relaxing by the pool and use the free shuttle to explore Ubud by night.
Mid-Range – Situated right in the centre of Ubud is the basic, yet very comfortable hotel, Nyuh Gading. This quiet hotel has excellent AC and fan options, balconies views and even offers cheap food and drink.
Budget – For barebones accommodation just minutes from the Ubud markets, Ojek’s Homestay is the place for you. This converted, traditional Balinese house compound offers rooms with and without AC, has a kitchen, showers and even offers laundry service for a reasonable price.
If hostels are more your social scene, there are a huge range of hostels to choose from in and around Ubud. Book your stay for Ubud right here.
How to Get Around Ubud
With so much to see and do around Ubud, it begs the question of how you should plan to get between all of these activities. When in Bali, you really have two options to get around: self-drive scooter or hiring a taxi driver.
Renting a Scooter in Bali
By far the cheaper and better option to get around the island, renting a scooter in Bali is the easiest way to see as much of this island as you can. Renting a scooter can cost as little as £3/day, with the cheaper rates being offered for long term rentals.
You can rent a scooter from your hotel or homestay itself, or you can rent a scooter from a number of shops around Ubud.
Hiring a Driver in Bali
An easier and much more relaxing way of exploring around Ubud is to hire a personal driver to chauffeur you between the sights. You can either book a tour online with a detailed itinerary and a set price for the sights you want to see, hire a driver from around the streets of Ubud and barter a price, or book a driver for a day from an online taxi app, like GoJek or Grab.
The cheapest of the above options is definitely with the online taxi apps, who have a set price and do not overcharge for these services. If you want to enjoy a slightly more upmarket experience, booking a a day tour experience will give you a bit more for your money.
So there you have it, the ultimate 3 day itinerary for Ubud, with all of the best waterfalls, rice terraces and temples Ubud has to offer. If you have been to Bali recently, let us know how you found it in the comments below. What were your favourite sights? What did you think of the culture? Where was your favourite area? Let us know in the comments below.
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