There are a number of tour options available. On a walk around the centre of Ubud you will stumble across a number of tour operators who are all selling the same types of tours. Don’t be afraid to haggle on the price!
We booked our tour through our hotel, even though it was a little bit more expensive, but we really liked our driver.
Top 3 Sites to Visit:
Goa Gajah – Elephant Caves
This site is located just 10 minutes outside of Ubud and it is a significant Hindu archaeological site. It’s known as the Elephant Cave because of its close proximity to the Elephant River.
So what’s to see here? Well the cave is the main attraction. The stone carvings are impressive and you can have a quick look inside but there’s not much to see.
There are ancient bathing pools next to it and a scenic garden that is very Instagram-able!
We ventured up through the garden and followed the path to a small temple where we got a blessing.
30min is loads of time to get in and out of here.
Top Tip – Bring a sarong with you as you must wear one to enter the grounds. They have them at the entrance that they will allow you to borrow but it’s nicer to have your own.
The Gunung Kawi Temple
The good news, the temple here is very impressive. The bad news, to get to it you have to descend 371 stone steps! That’s not too bad on your way down, but after exploring it for 30/40min you’re hot and tired on your way back out!
The entrance in leads you through a beautiful Balinese rice fields and across the Pakerisan river. Four shrines are located on the west side of the river and there are five on the east side. The tenth is located in the south.
The shrines stand in 7-metre-high (23 ft) sheltered niches carved into the cliff face. The monuments are dedicated to King Anak Wungsu of the Udayana dynasty and his favorite queens.
There are beautiful walk ways through this site, waterfalls to explore and incredible green scenic views.
This site is considered as one of the oldest temples in Bali, with it’s origins dating to the times before the kingdom of Majapahit. That alone makes it a must see when you are in the area.
- Again you will need your sarong to enter so come prepared.
- Bring a bottle of water with you. You’ll need it on the way back!
- Break up the trek out of the temple with a look at some of the stalls. A great excuse to catch your breath and save face!
- If you have time there is a little cafe on the right as you are making your way back up the steps. Amazing views of the site and an ice cold beer here would be the most refreshing beer you’ve ever had! We hadn’t allowed enough time to do this but envied everyone that had!
It’s easy to get to when you arrive. There’s a relaxed walk in through the gardens and statues.Then, behind the temple gate you will see the pools and all the people lining up to have their ritual.
From watching the rituals, it seemed like everyone started at one fountain and had to make their way through each one.
If you don’t fancy getting wet (which we didn’t) you can just observe.
Woman are reminded that they are not allowed into the pools if they are on their period so tampons at the ready ladies… I doubt they’ll check! 🙂
Yes you guessed it… A sarong is needed here too!