The Ultimate Guide to The Real Ubud, Bali: Authentic Experiences and Hidden Gems

Ubud, Bali is a popular destination for couples seeking a mix of relaxation and adventure. With its stunning views, peaceful retreats, and romantic hideaways, Ubud offers the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. But it’s not all about relaxation – there are plenty of exciting activities to enjoy, from horse riding through the lush jungles to cycling through the picturesque rice fields. Don’t forget to pack your comfortable shoes – the real Ubud is waiting to be explored!

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Spot working rice fields with Happy Cycle Tours
Spot working rice fields with Happy Cycle Tours

See the real Ubud with Happy Bike Tour

Ubud, known for its stunning scenery, is a perfect destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway. One of the best ways to explore the area is by joining Happy Bike Tour, where you can ride through Ubud’s picturesque countryside on the back of a bike. Led by a friendly guide named Made, the tour takes you to a coffee plantation, must-see temples, rice fields, and even to Made’s own home for a delicious lunch prepared by his wife. The tour is suitable for all ages and travels along quiet backroads, so you can enjoy the breathtaking views without any distractions. Happy Bike is a small local company that provides an authentic Ubud experience, with a focus on teaching visitors about Balinese culture and customs. You’ll even stop at a local village and get an understanding of authentic, traditional Balinese life. If you’re looking for a unique and personal way to explore Ubud, Happy Bike Tour is the perfect choice for you. We find ourselves booking time and again with Made and his team!

Horse riding at Munduk Moding Plantation

Just under two hours from Jalan Raya Ubud, Munduk Moding Plantation offers spectacular horse riding experiences through some of the region’s most captivating landscapes. A luxe resort tucked away in a working coffee plantation, this romantic hideaway boasts its own stables and four sweet-faced ‘Bali Ponies’ – don’t be fooled by the name, these beauties are full-grown and take adults. Saddle up and weave your way past mountain lakes, through untouched rainforest and over hills that look out to the Bali Sea. 

 Mt Batur takes in magical views at sunrise
Mt Batur takes in magical views at sunrise

Hike Mt Batur at Sunrise

Want something slightly more challenging? You don’t have to be Bear Grylls to take it on, but hiking Mount Batur is something every Ubud-bound adventure-seeker should do (you can reach the top in around two hours). Join a local group and start your trek at sunrise to be rewarded with breathtaking views of the region at dawn. A sacred mountain and active volcano, Batur also offers incredible glimpses of Lake Batur below and nearby Mount Agung – expect stop-you-in-your-tracks sights along the way. 

Hot-air balloon over the Ubud rainforest

Hot Air Ballon Tanah Gajah Ubud

Experience the stunning beauty of Ubud’s rainforest from a unique perspective with Tanah Gajah Ubud’s hot-air balloon ride. As the first and only hot-air balloon experience on the Island of the Gods, this adventure offers a perfect blend of romance and excitement. Take in the vibrant colors of nature from above, soaring over rice fields and jungle. Available from June to November, the enchanting experience is sure to leave you feeling like a character from a Hollywood epic. Choose from sunrise or sunset flights, with departure times at 6:30 am and 5:30 pm respectively.

Related article: An adventure-seeker’s guide to Bali

Feel like a kid again at Bali Swing

Bali Swing
Bali Swing is definitely worth a visit

Chances are you’ve seen this attraction all over Insta, but don’t be put off by its popularity –Bali Swing (30 minutes from Jalan Raya Ubud) is definitely worth adding to your itinerary. Actually featuring seven swings at varying heights, the site overlooks a dense palm-filled valley and the rushing Agung River, making for a thrilling experience. Our advice? Get here early. There are also two swings at Ubud’s postcard-perfect Tegalalang Rice Terrace, taking in pinch-me-now views of the famed terrace below. 

Related Article: Top 5 Experiences to See The Real Bali

White water rafting on the Ayung River

River Rafting Ubud

Ready for a little white-knuckle action? Suitable for a range of capabilities but still perfect for adrenalin junkies, white water rafting on the Ayung River is something you’ll never forget. After weaving your way through emerald jungle you’ll be treated to a number of exhilarating (but manageable) drops and turns, plus sensational views of Ubud’s countryside. You’ll find a number of local rafting groups just 20 minutes from Ubud’s centre that provide you with the essentials, plus fantastic assistance. 

walk along the Campuhan Ridge Walk
Slow things down with a scenic walk along the Campuhan Ridge Walk

Take in wonderful views on the Campuhan Ridge Walk

If you’re looking to ease into things or just unwind (while still getting the heart-rate up), hit the cherished Campuhan Ridge Walk. Taking roughly two hours to complete, the track showcases some of Ubud’s best scenery – think terraced rice fields and jungle surrounds. Make your way in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the often scorching sun and prepare to be won over by Ubud’s astonishing natural beauty.

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