These adventurous things to do in Bali can add more thrills to your holiday in Bali, particularly if you prefer the great outdoors over the confines of a hotel. There's a great variety of landscapes just waiting to be discovered: lush mountain valleys and scenic lakes, challenging whitewater rapids, and remote villages where ancient traditions thrive.

    We’ve handpicked some activities that show you the beauty of Bali’s less-travelled areas, mostly well off the beaten tracks. Longer excursions allow you to enjoy the island’s natural beauty, from rice field treks for a closer view of Bali’s agricultural heritage to climbing some of the island’s taller peaks in time for the dramatic first light of day.


    Full-day private Trunyan expedition

    Trunyan is one of Bali’s earliest inhabited places and the lakeside village can evoke awe and wonder through its unique rituals and customs. The village is located on the eastern side of Lake Batur.

    One of Trunyan’s most interesting features is its burial rites – deceased villagers are wrapped and brought by boat to a dedicated burial ground and laid out around a large old fragrant tree that is believed to only grow here. The tree’s fragrance miraculously neutralises any odour from the decomposing bodies. It's a truly unique (and macabre) spectacle but a totally adventurous site to explore! The tour takes about 8.5 hours.


    Whitewater rafting

    You can enjoy challenging whitewater rafting on the Ayung River near Ubud. The river has Bali’s longest and largest rapids. The action and thrills start as soon as you board your rafts and start working together on paddling and steering through the Grade 2 and Grade 3 course. A team of professional rafting guides assist you and provide the necessary equipment.

    Vortexes of swirling foamy water, natural ramps, cool waterfalls and sudden drops are all part of this rollercoaster of nature. After the wet joyride, you can then dry off and replenish with a delicious gourmet buffet lunch. Allow up to 5 hours to enjoy this adventure.


    Antungan Village rice field trekking and Blangsinga waterfall tour

    Both adventurous and accessible, this great Bali excursion packs a guided market tour, a nature trek and waterfall tour into a fun day out in central Bali. The tour takes place around the lush Balinese village of Blahbatuh in the Gianyar regency, with walks through the picturesque expanses of rice paddies in Antungan where you can refresh mid-journey with a fresh young coconut and a tasty local lunch.

    The ensuing ascent up a narrow forest trail leads you to the waterfalls of Blangsinga for a cool dip while admiring the views. The excursion includes a stop at Kemenuh Butterfly Park where you can see a small sample of Bali's magnificent winged specimens. Allow up to 8 hours to enjoy this tour.


    Private sunrise volcano hike with hot spring bath and kopi luwak coffee

    A climb up Mount Batur allows you to fully take in the magical sunrise over the vast caldera lake. At the peak, enjoy a unique breakfast: egg and banana cooked over the hot steam emitted from the volcano itself. Your hike down the slope traverses local plantations where you'll see fresh local produce and taste many different coffee brews available, including the world-famous civet-cat coffee, known as kopi luwak.

    Then, take a soothing dip in a hot spring at the western side of the lake, where the 40°C water makes for a warming respite to rejuvenate tired muscles. Allow up to 10 hours to enjoy the full adventure.


    Jatiluwih and Batukaru Mountain full-day tour

    The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are often nicknamed Bali’s ‘sea of green’. This calm and cool highland countryside offers one of the most scenic panoramas on the island, thanks to its expanses of deep emerald rice terraces. The region offers a combination of plantations and rice fields, alongside thick tropical forests around the slopes of Mount Batukaru.

    The mountain is also home to the ancient Batukaru Temple, which is included as a stop on this tour. The whole journey to this western part of the island takes up to 8 hours.


    Tenganan native Balinese village trekking

    The village of Tenganan Pegringsingan in East Bali is one of Bali’s oldest civilisations. It’s where ancient traditions and ways of life still live on to this day. The village is also famous for some of the world’s rarest tie-dye cloths, known as gringsing, which give the village its name.

    This tour takes you to the heritage site where villagers uphold their ancient traditions. Besides admiring the ancient fabrics, you can also taste locally produced palm wine and admire masterfully handcrafted items. This full-day adventure ends on the golden sands of Virgin Beach in the coastal village of Perasi. Allow up to 8 hours to enjoy the tour.


    Quad or buggy driving adventure and tubing excursion

    This adventure is great for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies visiting Bali. You’ll zip through a highland forest and along plantation trails around the village of Payangan in the central highlands, north of Ubud. You'll be riding ATVs (quad bikes) or specially designed dirt buggies.

    The action-packed ride concludes with a unique thrill to cool down – cruising along the Siap River rapids in large inflatable tubes. Wetsuits, helmets, lifejackets and safety harnesses, as well as a delicious Balinese lunch, are all included. The thrill ride and river adventure takes up to 7 hours.


    WakaLand 4x4 island tour

    Journey into Bali’s rugged interior on a 4x4 ride and enjoy a wealth of sights ranging from rice paddies and ancient quarries to high mountain peaks. One thing for certain is that you’ll get a feel for the character of Bali’s central heartland and its spectacular landscapes.

    The trip starts in the morning with a stopover at an old Balinese village with an ancient sandstone quarry where life-size masterpieces are carved by skilled artisans. You can trek through lush rice fields and learn to make Balinese flower offerings or canang sari before going up into the mountains via the rice fields of Jatiluwih. Lunch with Balinese delights and coffees is served as part of the trip. Allow up to 8.5 hours to enjoy the tour.


    Hidden rice terraces small-group tour

    For a short and simple tour to experience Bali’s green countryside, this tour is just right. Located close to the popular southern resort areas of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, you can tour the green rice paddies of the Kerobokan area where expanses of green and verdant farmland can still be found, providing an off-the-beaten-track experience.

    The guided trek through rice fields reveals plenty of insights and includes a detour to an eclectic warehouse packed with unusual antiques, as well as a stopover at a local traditional market. The short tour requires only 3 hours.


    Fishing Boat Trips

    Exciting Bali Marine Adventures

    Fishing boat trips in Bali are a great way to have fun around the island’s beautiful coasts, all while admiring the views of the island from a different perspective. Fishing tours and charters are provided by various marine adventure and water sports companies in Bali and are usually an available option complementing dive tours. The boat captain and crew take you out on a half-day cruise to wonderful locations, with fishing rods at the stern and lures and lines in tow.

    The waters around Bali’s coasts are teeming with big-game fish. The boat ride is often part of the thrill – all topped with your successful strike as you reel in your prized mahi-mahi, wahoo, barracuda, or even blue marlin!

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    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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