The Jatiluwih rice terraces in the namesake upland village in West Bali are most famous for their dramatic and exotic landscapes. The cool highlands and the breathtaking scenery of this village at the foot of Mount Batukaru makes for wonderful photo opportunities, and serves as a soothing retreat away from the island’s crowded south.

Once a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site candidate, the Jatiluwih rice terraces comprise over 600 hectares of rice fields that follow the flowing topography of the Batukaru mountain range. These are maintained by a traditional water management cooperative known as subak, which dates back to the 9th century. The cooperative itself eventually won recognition as a dominant factor in Bali’s ‘cultural landscape’ entry on the heritage list.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali - one of the highlights of 8 Best Bali Rice Terraces and 10 Places in Bali to Escape the Crowds (Read all about Bali here)

An overview of the Jatiluwih rice terraces

Located about 700 metres above sea level in the Penebel district of the Tabanan regency, the drive up to the highlands of Jatiluwih from the island’s south takes about 2 hours. Full-day tour itineraries usually include Jatiluwih as the main attraction alongside other prominent highlights within the region. These include Batukaru Temple and the Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest nearby, together with the picturesque Tanah Lot sea temple near the end of the day, in time for the striking sunset backdrops and dinner shows.

You will find the largest and most picturesque expanse of paddies in Bali, and probably in the whole of Indonesia, here. Another sister area with similar views is the village of Pupuan, also in Tabanan. Lush green views will already come into view upon approaching the region, while the main vantage point lies further up in the village. Entrance to the main area requires a fee that goes to the local village cooperative fund, and which is usually covered by tour operators. Halfway up, the view is truly impressive, with 180 degrees of gently sloping terraces as far as the eye can see.

Dining with a view at Jatiluwih

Several restaurants serving international and local cuisine line the small road overlooking the Jatiluwih rice terraces. Most tour itineraries stop here for lunch. One of the restaurants offering the best vantage point is Billy’s Terrace Café, which serves local selections and buffets, and Warung Jatiluwih 259 further down the slope.

While most travellers on tailored tours normally enjoy the scenery by day, the rice fields are equally impressive at sundown, complete with fireflies and the sound of nature that emerge and become more apparent into the evening.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali

Location: Jalan Jatiluwih, Penebel, Tabanan, Bali 82152, Indonesia

Open: Daily from 8.30am to 6pm

Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller