Kuta EcoStay is pleased to recommend
Whether you come and stay at Kuta EcoStay in order to check out the magnificent Balinese arts and handicrafts, to go shopping for great bargains, to go surfing or diving on the nearby reefs, to go hiking through paddies and over volcanic peaks, to go paragliding at the cliffs near Uluwatu or to visit the many unique cultural and religious sites on this Island of the Gods, there is something for you which should hit the right note.
Below is our list of the top 20 places to visit when staying at Kuta EcoStay. We can provide a roadmap but some of the longer uphill journeys are unsuitable for small engine rented motor bikes. We recommend a car and driver to take the stress out of these trips. Kuta EcoStay can arrange the car/driver package at competitive rates. Stay Green! Stay Safe! Stay Kuta EcoStay!
This cliff top temple isn’t for the faint hearted.
Pura Uluwatu is on a cliff top overlooking the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean in the southwest of the Nusa Dua peninsula. Popular at any time of day, but especially at sunset. Paragliding over the cliffs and reefs near Uluwatu in the dry season can also be arranged. Eating a seafood dinner outdoors on the golden sands at Jimbaran Beach afterwards is also popular if nowadays touristy and a little expensive.
Take the Bypass road south from Kuta to Nusa Dua from the airport junction. Pass the Bali Intercontinental Hotel and keep going to Pecatu crossroads, then past the Nyangnyang (surfing) reef. 45 mins – 1 hour drive from Kuta EcoStay.
A small inhabited island just off the southern end of Sanur beach renowned for its sea turtle hatcheries ( three types of turtle – green, cracked and scaled), but also renowned for one of Bali’s most sacred temples. Turtles are fast becoming the most endangered species so your visit to the island brings attention to the conservation effort and discourages eating turtles as a food delicacy. The fishermen on the island can benefit from the money you spend there and see that there’s an alternative to catching turtles for the food market. Visit the turtle rehabilitation centre too as well as the hatcheries. A good time to visit is during the Kuningan festival when the Sakenan temple festivities on the island are taking place. Remember sea turtles are able to live over 100 years so when you see a full grown sea turtle it may be older than you, and wiser! Protect our vulnerable planet!
Take the Bypass road south from Kuta to Sanur . There is a causeway to drive out to the small island before you reach Sanur beach. Spacious parking and toilets. 45 mins – 1 hour drive from Kuta EcoStay. Of course you could just walk 500 m from Kuta EcoStay down Jln Raya Kuta to the main entrance to Kuta beach where there is a sea turtle hatchery on the left as you go through the main entrance. The hatchlings make an appearance around September when they are released for what ought to be a life lasting a century.
Why is this one of Bali’s most famous temples? Because at low tide you can walk there on a causeway and if timed right, enjoy the amazing ocean sunset too from this spectacular temple. Stop off at Echo (surfing) Beach in the up and coming Canggu area for an outdoor café meal by the surf where the surfing community hang out.
Take Jln Sunset west out of Kuta in direction of Seminyak. Then through Krobokan in the direction of the Nirwana Golf Club. Turn leH at Beraban for the coast and Tanah Lot. Journey time 1 – 1.5 hours drive since mostly slow single lane roads.
The museum used to be the home and studio of the impressionist Belgium painter Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres who arrived in Bali in the 1930’s, around the same time as other famous expatriate artists in Bali such as Spiess and Bonnet . Le Mayeur met and later married the famous legong dancer, Ni Polok, when she was 15. She modelled for many of his paintings that you can see in the museum. The house is set in a garden with beautiful frangipanis, Balinese statues and palm tree.
Museum entrance is along the beach in Sanur between Jln Hang Tuah and the (ugly) high rise Inna Grand Bali Beach hotel. The way in is a traditional Balinese entrance so keep your eyes open. Best go in the morning since on some afternoons it is shut. Theres a small souvenir shop to buy copies of Le Mayeur works.
The Bali Museum set in the beautiful surrounds of the former royal palace in the capital of Denpasar has on display amongst many exhibits theatrical masks, traditional musical instruments, Karangasem sculptures, paintings, textiles and archeological finds of the Bronze Age. Well worth a visit if you happen to be in Denpasar though Denpasar itself is busy, noisy and polluted, and in spite of Denpasar Moon not that noteworthy.
The museum is located on the east side of the central square of Denpasar, Taman Puputan. Journey time 45 mins1 hours drive from Kuta EcoStay since mostly busy roads into Den pasar.
Stress out and have a fun day away from the traffic on the waterslides, of all shapes, sizes and lengths, at Waterbom. Not cheap but all our guests come back exhausted saying it was good value for money! Then up to the bamboo roof top bar at Kuta EcoStay to chill out as the sun sets and let the evening onshore breezes cool you down.
Walking distance from Kuta EcoStay. Turn leH as you step out of Kuta EcoStay, go down our gang 50m to Jln Tegal Wangi, turn right against the one way traffic and when you reach Kuta Art Market (aHer 300m) turn left onto Jln Kartika and its a short distance on the left hand side. 10 – 15 mins walk.
The whole village of Batubulan specialises in carving volcanic stone in various Balinese styles and sizes from small carvings to 3 metre high statues. Hard to carry away but can be freighted. A very unique and talented village! Allow up to 1 hour to get there from Kuta EcoStay.
Along the main road from Sanur to Ubud. Just under halfway from Kuta to Ubud. After Batubulan its not far along the same road to Celuk , then Mas, then Peliatan and then Ubud. All very interesting villages worth stopping at on the way to Ubud, the famous artists colony of Bali.
This village on the way to Ubud from Kuta holds the magical Barong and Kris dances every day of the year starting promptly at 9.30am. Always well frequented by tourists it pays to get in your seats at least 30 minutes early for a good view. The performances are riveting for young and old alike with a nice touch of humour. Not to be missed if a little touristy!
In the centre of Batubulan en route to Ubud. Allow upto 1 hour to get there from Kuta EcoStay plus arrive at least 30 minutes before the Barong show for the best seats. Many large tourist buses take the tourists there and then aHer the show go on to Celuk, Mas, Ubud etc. So best depart from the show before the tourist buses head off.
This village on the way to Ubud from Kuta is famous for silver (and some gold) jewellery, especially the highly detailed filigree silver jewelry. As is common in Bali any tourist guide/ driver that takes you into a shop will get the usual 10% commission on anything you buy. So look and don’t buy; and come back later without the guide/driver to save the 10%!
En route to Ubud from Sanur/Kuta. Allow upto 1 hour to get there from Kuta EcoStay. Afterwards go on to Mas, Ubud etc.
Balinese wood carvers have been influenced for centuries by traditional beliefs, myths and Hinduism. From 1920 – 30 onwards, wood carving developed into new modern styles influenced by expatriate artists such as Rudolf Bonnet, Walter Spies and Le Mayeur European artists who opened the minds of the Balinese artists beyond religious themes to include more freedom of expression and perspective. Bali wood carving is considered to be some of the finest wood carving in the world. It’s deep in Balinese culture, just look at the ornate hand carved wooden doors to any Balinese traditional home. Mas Village has its own unique style of wood carving art, best known for its carvings of female figures, Buddhas, characters from Hindu epic dramas and the traditional topeng (masks). The famous maestro who was born in this village is Ida Bagus Tilem. Tilem’s gallery is well worth stopping at though prices aren’t cheap.
En route to Ubud from Sanur. Allow upto 1.5 hours to get there from Kuta EcoStay . Afterwards go on Ubud etc.
The artists community in the village of Penestanan has been producing its unique detailed watercolour paintings on canvas for almost a century with mentoring in the past from famous expatriate artists from Europe who lived there pre – war such as Rudolf Bonnet and Walter Spies. Prolific choices to select from and easy to take home since canvas using acrylic paints can be rolled up without any damage.
A few kilometres west of Ubud, aHer crossing the bridge at Campuan. Stop off for lunch at Murni’s at Campuan Bridge on the Ubud side. Murni has been serving food there at that spot for over 40 years.
Ubud has always been a centre of Balinese painting and the Arts generally, including traditional Balinese dances. The village of Peliatan just before Ubud when you drive from Kuta EcoStay has one of the most famous dance troupes on the island. The art community has always gravitated to this beautiful part of Bali with its cooler climate in the hills. A lot to see and do in and around Ubud, if a little overcommercialised today. The Ubud Museum is a must to get a feel for how Ubud artist village was before its recent development phase.
The Ubud Museum is in the centre of Ubud just after the main crossroads, on the right hand side if driving north towards Campuan bridge.
Getting to Ubud by car from Kuta EcoStay will take about 1.5 – 2.5 hours direct without stopping. But in reality there are many interesting places on the way to Ubud, so relax and allow the whole day to reach Ubud. Best to stay overnight in Ubud. Kuta EcoStay can arrange a very nice inexpensive homestay on Jln Hanoman in Padangtegal at Jati’s Homestay (go to our Useful Links webpage and click Jati Homestay Bali) where you stay in the family compound of Dewa Nyoman Jati, a good friend and well known artist with his own studio in the compound overlooking the paddy fields. Highly recommended stopover with tariff prices similar to Kuta EcoStay. Make sure you say hi to Jati and visit his gallery of personal artworks in his compound. If you get up early say at 5.30am you’ll get to see him painting.
The best (private) Balinese art collection in magnificent traditional architectural surroundings with many separate gallery buildings. Go to Neka’s to see the best of the best and expect the prices, all in USD, to reflect so. The most valuable paintings on display are not for sale. Neka has a number of paintings by my good friend Dewa Nyoman Jati, but it’s much better value to buy direct from the artists at their studios. Paintings by most artists in Bali are in acrylic watercolours on canvas so easy to roll and carry. Neka’s tourist shop sells lovely art books with photographic quality plates of many of the most famous paintings in the art museum.
The Neka Art Museum is up the hill on the right, after crossing Campuan bridge, heading north out of Ubud. If you wanna bite then Murni’s restaurant overlooking the Campuan ravine, just before Campuan Bridge on the left when driving northwards, does excellent fare. Neka’s is just a few minutes drive uphill after you leave the centre of Ubud and cross Campuan Bridge, past the Campuan Hotel the original hotel in Ubud.
Just don’t buy any food for the monkeys; let the other tourists find out what happens to them! Just stand back and watch the fun when they feed the monkeys. Complete farce! Enjoy! These monkeys are also highly skilled pickpockets so buIon your pockets! This is a sacred monkey forest near the village of Padangtegal in Ubud.
Go down Jln Hanoman which is on the left (when coming from Kuta) as you approach the centre of Ubud. Only a few kilometres away from the centre of Ubud.
Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, is located near Ubud. Built in the 9th century, it served as a hermit sanctuary. At the façade of the cave is a relief of an elephant, hence the name Elephant Cave. This cave is built at the confluence of the Pangkung and Petanu rivers to give it its magical energy.
Located near Ubud heading east to Bedulu in Blah Batuh sub district of the Gianyar Regency. It is about 27 km from Denpasar. From Ubud it’s a 30 minute drive.
A walk to die for, leading to an 11th century Hindu temple complex, hermit caves and 7 metre high shrines (candi) carved into the sheer cliff face near the Pekerisan river . Wear good walking shoes since its an up and down pathway. It will take you 20 – 30 minutes to walk to the site from the parking area.
The monuments are hewn in relief on a solid rock hill. They are shaped like burial towers found all over Central and East Java . One very credible theory suggests the five temples in the main group were built for King Udayana and his eldest son Airlangga who ruled over East Java and over Bali from AD 1050 to 1077.
In the right of the main ensemble of temples is a cloister with five cells carved out of rock. The cloister inmates most likely were caretakers of the temple. There’s a second hermitage near the main cloister, consisting of niches around a central courtyard, which might have served as sleeping quarters for visiting pilgrims.
The temple complex is just outside Tampaksiring, north – east of Ubud. 1 hours drive from Ubud.
Tirtha Empul Temple is a holy water spring temple AD 920 with several bathing pools, in the vicinity of Tampaksiring village not f