Bali is well known for its beaches, waterfalls and incredible rice paddies. However, the mountain is often explored but only few people stay there for a night. We wanted to explore the Balinese countryside and its beauty by spending a weekend in Munduk.
Day 1 — Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Handara Gates and Munduk Trekking
Authentic Indonesia suggested us to leave early in the morning to enjoy as much as possible our first day. First of all, the driver picked us up at our hotel in Canggu at 8:30 am and drove us for one hour and a half to Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, one of the most known temples in Bali.
This incredible temple is located on the Bratan Lake which creates a super picturesque scenery.
More than a beautiful site surrounded by water, this temple is definitely one of the most beautiful temple in Bali with the cloudy mountains in the background.
By arriving early there, we avoided the tourists’ mass which arrived by busses just when we were leaving this charming place.
Our next step was the Handara Gates. It took us very few minutes to go there as it is very close to the Bratan Lake.
Once arrived, we had to queue for 20 minutes to access to the gate and be off the hook to take the iconic picture between the gates. In fact, these gates are the entry of the Handara Golf Resort.
They are so nice as they are very tall and the green scenery behind is so lush!
Here again, it is better to arrive early as this place becomes so crazily popular as a must have Bali photo.
After this stop at Handara Gate, we headed to Munduk.
On the road, you can stop at so many viewpoints over the twin lakes, Buyan and Tamblingan Lakes that you won’t be able to see all of them. Forty minutes after this quick stop to enjoy the beautiful view, we arrived to our hotel for the night. We chose a cute Homestay for its location and its great view over the mountains.
During the afternoon, we did a trekking, the most famous activity in the Munduk area, to discover waterfalls.
Overall, it took us almost three hours to do the entire trekking and enjoy the three waterfalls. We particularly enjoyed the second one where there was nobody except us. We took our time to enjoy and bathe despite the fresh temperature of the water.
This waterfall is very nice with the lush canyon.
We finally came back to the hotel to get a hot shower after this quite cold swim.
For the evening, we went to Warung Classic, not so far from the hotel, where we enjoyed local specialities like “Nasi Campur” or “Sate” while watching the incredible thunderstorm over the mountains !
Then we went back to the hotel for the overnight to be ready for the next day…
Day 2 — Tamblingan Lake, Sekumpul Waterfall and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
For the second day, we woke up at 5:00 am. It’s quite early for a Sunday morning but it’s worth it! After having packed our bags, we left at 6:00 am towards Tamblingan Lake. After 30 minutes drive with Sumadi, our driver, we arrived to watch the sunrise over the lake. The setting looked so mysterious with a lot of fog and clouds surrounding the lake. Finally, a ray of sunlight appeared and the sky became clearer. We took amazing shot on the bamboo pontoon with the wooden barks. This moment was amazing, out of time!
After that, our driver took us to Sekumpul Waterfall, the highlight of this weekend. We saw incredible photos about this waterfall on the internet, but what we experienced there, was much more! It was outstanding!
We arrived around 9:00 am in Sekumpul. There, a guide booked with Authentic Indonesia agency conducted us down to the waterfall, across the jungle.
On the way down, he made us taste plenty of local fruits, like mangosteens, cacao beans, coffee beans, passion fruits, bananas… It was the best fruits I ate during my stray in Bali as the guide directly collected them from the trees.
During the way down to the waterfall, we’ve walked alongside a water channel which is used to irrigate the plantations. After this, we finally arrived at a great viewpoint over the waterfall. The view over the waterfall and the lush jungle was so impressive! We realized why Sekumpul is considered as the highest waterfall in Bali.
From this place, we had to descend around 300 steps. To descend them was not so hard, let’s talk about the climbing later. Once arrived down, we still had to cross the river to finally reach this gigantic waterfall. It was so massive, impressive and high. Just wow! The guide was very delightful and helped us to walk on the slippery rocks to access to the waterfall.
There was so much spray created by the power of the waterfall that even meters away from it, we were literally soaked. So… we had nothing to do else than enjoying this magnificent place and swim in the fresh water! Of course, the waterfall is so much powerful that you cannot go under it. Even the spray whipped us so hard that we had to turn our backs.
After this unforgettable moment, our local guide offered us some passion fruits and bananas to be ready to face the huge stairs to go up. Seriously, these stairs were very high, like my knee’s height. Just imagine, 300 steps, until the top. It took us a lot of time to climb all of them. But the moment we’ve just lived downstairs was so amazing that it’s worth it!
Once arrived at the top of the stairs, our guide stopped us to proceed a coffee and tea tasting. Here we’ve tried different types like ginger coffee and rose tea. It was little comfort after this effort. Then, we continue our way to the top and the car park.
After this, we went to Bedugul, a local fruit and vegetable market. Here, you can find a plethora of fruits and vegetables, from from basic potatoes to cauliflower, with colorful dragon fruits and sweet bananas. It is particularly great because every merchant makes you try one fruit. Here, we experienced bargaining! Even if it is funny to ask for the lower price, make sure that the price is fair for both parties. We had lunch at the market, in a small “warung”.
To end our weekend in the Balinese countryside, Sumadi drove us to the famous Jatiluwih Rice Terrace.
These terraces, appointed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage, are the most beautiful we saw during our trip in Bali. Here, our guide explained us the traditional Balinese irrigation system named the Subak System.
The place is so vast that you can walk alongside the rice fields for hours and hours!
After this visit, we headed back to our hotel in Canggu with the felling of having discovered hidden gems of Bali into the jungle and ones of the best-known places in Bali. Sincere thanks to our local travel agency, Authentic Indonesia, for this exceptional weekend!