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Ulun Danu Beratan Tour – The Floating Temple

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The Floating Temple, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan in Balinese, is one of the iconic images of Bali. The temple sits on the western shore of Lake Beratan in the mountains near Bedugul, and its position in the lake can give the illusion of floating on the water. It takes a full day to get there as the temple is located around 57 km from Seminyak, making it ideal to combine with other attractions along the way.

The departure time is completely up to you, but I recommend heading off as early as possible because the roads leading to the temple can be quite busy by late morning. I’ve designed these itineraries to make the most of your time and tick of the different attractions in a logical order.

Remember, you can modify the destinations you want to visit on the day, so if there is somewhere you want to stay longer or skip an attraction in favour of another, my drivers are flexible and it’s entirely up to you.

Itinerary 1: Danu Beratan + Bedugul

Itinerary 2: Danu Beratan + Tanah Lot

Itinerary 3: Danu Beratan + Gitgit Waterfall

Itinerary 4: Danu Beratan + Treetop Adventure


Ulun Danu Beratan

The Floating Temple, Pura Ulan Danu Beratan in Balinese, is one of the iconic images of Bali. The temple sits on the western shore of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul, and its position in the lake can give the illusion of floating on the water. It takes a full day to get there as the temple is located around 57 km from Seminyak, making it ideal to combine with other attractions along the way.

Ulun Danu Beratan - Bali Holiday Secrets
Ulun Danu Beratan

Constructed in 1633, the temple is devoted to the goddess of the lake, Ida Batara Dewi Ulun Danu in Balinese. Located 1200m above sea level, it has a cooler tropical climate than the coastal areas. 

Entrance Fee: Rp 50,000
Location: Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Tabanan Regency
Opening Hours:


Secret Garden Village

Secret Garden Village is located roughly half-way between Ubud and Ulun Danu Beretan and makes an excellent stop while on tour from Southern Bali (Kuta, Canggu, Seminyak) on the way to the attractions in Bedugul (Handarah Gate, Floating Temple, Wanagiri Hidden Hills) and the more spectacular waterfalls in Northern Bali (Gitgit, Aling-Aling, Sekumpul).

It’s an educational-tourism operation with extensive grounds with curated rice fields, a wedding chapel, a boutique cosmetics factory and restaurant, but most importantly a cafe with excellent coffee, meals and snacks and is perfect for a toilet stop.

Secret Garden Village - Bali Holiday Secrets
Photo: @michelleyaputri

Entrance Fee: Free
Location: Jl. Raya Denpasar Bedugul km. 36, Tabanan
Opening Hours: 09:00 am – 20:00 pm Mon-Sun


Handarah Golf Course Gates

Stone gates are an important architectural tradition in Balinese culture. You will see them literally everywhere, from entrance ways to villages, temples and places of cultural significance.

At the entrance to Handarah Golf Course are the famous Handarah Gates. This is a photographers dream location with the lush mountains making a stunning backdrop behind the huge stone gates that are an excellent example of Balinese architecture.

Handarah Gates - Best Tourist Attractions in Bali
Handarah Gates – Best Tourist Attractions in Bali

Entrance Fee: Free
Location: Handarah Golf Course
Opening Hours: 24 hours


Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

An incredibly beautiful area of verdant terraced rice paddies located in the shadow of Mount Batukaru. Running from the mountains to the coast, Jatiluwih Green Land as it is commonly known was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007. Jati means ‘really’ and Luwih means ‘special’, and it’s easy to see why. There are a number of cafes with stunning views in the area, making it an excellent place to stop for a while.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces - Best Attractions in Bali
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces – Best Attractions in Bali

Entrance Fee: Rp 40,000
Location: Jl Jatiluwih No No.Desa, Jatiluwih, Penebel
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:30-18:00


Gitgit Waterfall

Easily accessible by road, Gitgit Waterfall is one of the most popular in Bali. It’s around 35m high surrounded by lush jungle. Home to a local troop of monkeys, you might see some of them drinking downstream or in the trees around the falls.

There’s a decent-sized carpark with public toilets available for a small fee and the walk down to the foot of the falls is around 500m. There are plenty of locals looking to be your guide, which generally cost around IDR100k per person and is useful if you might need some help, but it’s not mandatory and you can walk yourself.

It’s important to get here as early as possible, because even though it is a long way, it’s becoming increasingly popular, and in the afternoons can be become crowded. The entrance fee is IDR 25.000 at time of writing, and it isn’t mandatory to hire a local guide to show you down the path to the valley floor and the foot of the waterfall.

It’s around a 15-20 minute walk from the carpark down to the foot of the falls and isn’t too difficult (Sekumpul Waterfall for contrast is much harder). If you are on tour with one of my drivers, he will go down to the foot of falls with you, or if you want help to hire a local guide.

Gitgit Waterfall Tour- Best Waterfalls in Bali
Gitgit Waterfall

The falls flow all year, but the best time is November to February when rainfall is highest. It’s 75km from Seminyak and the drive will take between 2.5 – 3 hours depending on traffic. Best bet is to get up early and leave around 6 – 7 am when the traffic is minimal and you miss the buses heading to Danu Beratan.

Entrance Fee: IDR 25.000
Address: Jalan Raya Bedugul – Singaraja, Gitgit, Kabupaten Buleleng
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00–17:00


Wanagiri Hidden Hills Swings

As Bali swings became incredibly popular, the locals at Wanagiri Hidden Hills decided to get in on the action too, with several swings, nests and overlooks being built with a stunningly beautiful view across Lake Danau Buyan.

Wanagiri Hidden Hills Swings - Bali Holiday Secrets
Photo credit: @liviajando

You can’t miss the platforms made from bamboo and the often very artistic swings along the left-hand side of the main road that comes from Bedugul.

There’s a fair bit of competition among the locals to lure you into their swings and platforms, but you must admire their ability to adapt to a quickly evolving tourism trend and create the swings, nests and platforms that clearly attract tourists and provide an income for the enterprising locals.

My advice is to look for a turn off the main road with a huge sign saying “1 km this way”. This leads to the largest park in the Wanagiri Hidden Hills area with several swings (including the largest in the area), nests, platforms and zip-lines.

Pricing is variable, usually asking for 150,000 IDR per swing or viewpoint, although this can be negotiated lower. I managed to get three activities for just IDR50,000.

Entry fee: From IDR50,000 (varies from place to place)
Location: Jalan Munduk – Wanagiri, Sukasada Kabupaten Buleleng
Open hours: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm (variable)


Bedugul Market (Pasar Candi Kuning)

The Candi Kuning Market referred to as ‘Pasar Bedugul’ by the locals is a great place to stop and stock up on snacks and drinks during a tour. It’s one of the main markets in the area for flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables – mangosteen, bananas, tamarillos, tangerines and strawberries – and an excellent place to buy a wide selection of spices.

Because of its location a few minutes from Pura Ulun Danu Beratan there are a large number of souvenir shops with a huge range of handicrafts.

Bedugul Markets - Bali Holiday Secrets

Bali Treetop Adventure Park

Located just 2.4km from Danu Beratan Temple, Treetop Adventure Park is an open-air platform circuit course set in Bedugul Botanical Gardens.

They have 7 adventure circuits from one tree to another of varying heights between 2 – 20 meters. The park is suitable for all ages and has suspended bridges, spider nets, Tarzan jumps, swings and a 160m flying fox.

Entry fee: USD$22.00 – 28.00
Location: Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan
Open hours: Mon-Sun 8:30am – 6:00pm


Leke Leke Waterfall

Leke Leke Waterfall makes a great stop either to or from a tour to Danu Beretan and the other attractions in the Bedugul area. It a pleasant 15-minute walk through the jungle on well-maintained tracks and bamboo bridges crossing the river. It’s also quite close to Secret Garden Village.

The best time for photography is between 12-1 pm when the sun is highest, as the waterfall is situated in a narrow gorge with high walls that block out a lot of the sunlight.

Leke Leke Waterfall - Bali Holiday Secrets

The owners have also installed a rope chair swing between two massive trees. They were asking IDR250.000 which is a bit excessive, and considering the variety and safety of the other established swing operations, I’d be inclined to give this one a miss.

Entry fee: IDR30.000
Location: Antapan, Baturiti, Tabanan
Open hours: Mon-Sun 7:00am – 5:00pm


Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot Temple is a must-visit for anyone holidaying in Bali. Tanah Lot, which means “Land in the Sea” in Balinese, is the most visited tourist attraction in Bali for a reason. It really is one of the most iconic images of Bali and makes for a spectacular day tour.

The surrounding carparks, markets and parks make it quite a large area, with the main attraction being a path leading down to the rocks where you can walk out to the temple itself during low tide. When the tide is coming in the local guides sometimes have to convince swathes of tourists to get off the rocks, which can be covered by water quite quickly.

Along the way, there is a large market where some of the best souvenir shopping and deals can be had on the island. Surprisingly, perhaps because of the competition and the sheer number of tourists visiting, the prices can be much better than other markets in the tourist enclaves of Kuta, Seminyak and Nusa Dua, so I recommend taking the time to go shopping instead of rushing through the complex.

As you approach the gates leading to the temple, I recommend taking a right turn around the parks surrounding the oceanfront to get a look at Tanah Lot from a higher perspective. From there you can also get a decent view of the rocks and check the tide before venturing down.

The incoming tide can catch unwary visitors on the rocks between the land and the temple.

Looking at the temple from the land there is a pathway up to the left which provides spectacular views of the temple, especially at sunset. There are around a dozen cafes with outside seating overlooking the temple, with the best views towards the top.

I recommend doing the right side first, then down to the rocks, tide permitting, before going up the pathway for another view of Tanah Lot, which is stunning at sunset.

Tanah Lot at Sunset - Bali Holiday Secrets
Photo by Harry Kessell on Unsplash

Entrance Fee: IDR 60.000
Location: Beraban, Kediri, Kabupaten Tabanan
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 07:00-19:00


Epic day…made our holiday!

What an outstanding day. Thank you Michael for putting this outstanding guide together and to Putu the Driver for a magic day. We got some amazing photos in the hills overlooking the lake (highly recommended) and LOVED the treetops advernture. The floating temple was always on our list but there is so much more to see. Go early like we did and get in front of the traffic - and make sure you have a great driver!! Epic day...made our holiday!

Included:

  • Toyota Avanza/Xenia or similar 6-seater SUV w/ air-con.
  • English speaking driver.
  • Up to 10 hours of driving time.
  • The driver waits at all attractions for you.
  • Flexible itinerary – make changes during the day.

Not Included:

  • Entrance fees or event tickets.
  • Meals and refreshments at own cost.

Pick- up & Drop-off

  • We provide pick-up and drop-off to Canggu, Jimbaran, Kuta, Legian, Sanur, Seminyak, Nusa Dua, Ubud and Uluwatu.
  • Drop-off may be different from pick-up as long as it’s within the above areas.

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