Bali not only has beautiful beaches and waterfalls, but there are also rice terraces that offer outstanding landscapes that can fill entire memory cards with stunning snaps.
They are among the must-sees for visits to the island, giving insights into the local way of life. Rice paddies in Bali are part of the people’s heritage. The centuries-old Bali traditional irrigation system called subak, lives on through such artistry in nature.
If you can spare some time on your visit, these are 7 spots in Bali that offer you impressive green rice terrace views!
1. Tegallalang, Ubud
The craftsmen’s village of Tegallalang is one of the Ubud region’s 3 villages famous for their terraced landscapes, the others being Pejeng to its east and Campuhan to its west. The high roadside outlook at Tegallalang is cool and breezy. Being situated in a small valley which is crowded with palm trees, the scenery here is quite compact and busy.
Numerous restaurants serve coffee and local cuisine with spectacular views, while art kiosks and cafés near the ledge offer all sorts of paintings and carvings at bargain prices.
2. Ubud Neighbouring Villages
Just west of Ubud, Sayan village offers you views of a luscious ravine and manicured terraces that attracted many expats to choose Sayan as their new home. The steps from the rice terraces lead down to a river where you can go for a swim.
Payangan village is also one of Ubud’s neighbouring villages known for its extraordinary rice terraces that step down to the river Ayung just below it.
There are beautiful rice terraces also around Pujung, Penestanan, and Pengosekan villages.
Campuhan Ridge Walk in the village of Campuhan, west of Ubud, is a popular trail taking you past not only plenty of rice terraces but also some jungle and rivers.
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3. Jatiluwih, Tabanan
Jatiluwih is the largest and most picturesque of all of the rice terraces in Bali. The Jatiluwih rice terraces flow down the southern slopes of the Batukaru mountain range in West Bali. Once a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site candidate and listed as one of the world’s important cultural landscapes, the rice terraces cover over 600 hectares, which follow the cascading hillside of the highlands and are well-maintained by the local village’s subak cooperative.
You will get the impressive 180-degree ‘sea of green’ viewpoint just halfway up along the paddy roadside. If you’re in the area, you can visit a neighbouring site in the village of Pupuan, a short distance away.
4. Belimbing, Tabanan
Belimbing is one of the traditional Balinese villages located about 600 meters above sea level in Tabanan regency, on the way towards Jatiluwih. The drive from Kuta could take about an hour to here. The village is surrounded by wonderful natural scenery, including some very beautiful rice terraces. The land is very fertile and has many plantations, such as durian, coffee, clove, and mangosteen.
The splendid scene of the rice terrace with Mount Batukaru as a backdrop has already started to draw tourists to the area. Rice terrace trekking is the main activity in which to indulge in, as it will not just give you a chance to enjoy the beauty of the rice terrace but also the rest of the unspoiled nature. The best time for a rice terrace trek at Belimbing is early morning or late afternoon on a clear day. During the rainy season, the whole village is sometimes covered in fog.
5. Pupuan, Tabanan
If you continue your journey from Belimbing by driving 1 more hour northwards on Antosari Street, you will reach Pupuan village. There each rice paddy has a uniting seam, which both connects and separates them. Over the years the slopes in the area have turned into amazingly magnificent rice terraces, and eventually been joined by coffee plantations and orchards. Off the main road, you can find a tropical forest with waterfalls and even a hidden temple.
The farmers here share an intimate relationship with nature as at harvest time the farmers cut the rice paddies with a piece of traditional equipment called anggapan (a traditional knife). Standing in rows, they sing while they collect the harvest. The rice terraces in Pupuan are best enjoyed on a clear day either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. When it’s rainy, the fog can obscure the whole village.
6. Sidemen, Karangasem
Sidemen Village is located along the Klungkung and Besakih Temple route, roughly a 2-hour drive from Ubud. It’s an excellent spot for viewing beautiful rice paddies in East Bali. Driving along the rural neighbourhood’s roads is quite pleasant, and you can enjoy the soothing views from up close on various paddy trekking tours. Some of the walks over lush hillsides available here cross rivers to different farmlands, where you can learn about the local organic produce.
The village offers great local souvenirs to take home, including traditional dye weavings known as songket and endek. They are praised for their intricate motifs and use of colourful hand-loomed cotton and silk threads. You can purchase these clothes and a large print of the rice paddy landscape as mementoes of your visit to the ‘real’ Bali.
7. Tirta Gangga, Karangasem
Tirta Gangga is a popular side trip from the nearby coastal towns of Amed and Candidasa, and a 2-hour drive from Kuta. The name Tirta Gangga itself literally means “Water of the Ganges”, and the site is extremely respected by the Balinese Hindus. The name actually refers to the Royal water palace but is widely used to refer to the general area surrounding the palace, including some particularly stunning rice terraces. Although the rice terraces are not as steep as in some of the other areas, they are nonetheless magnificent.
The hiking around Tirta Gangga rice terrace is excellent. The treks suit all fitness levels, and it’s easy to take a stroll on your own through any well-beaten track. Alternatively, you can join any of the guided rice terrace tours (guides can be easily arranged at the water palace or your hotel), where you’ll learn more about how rice is grown while admiring the surroundings. The best time to visit the area is early mornings and late afternoons, as especially the area around the water palace gets really crowded during the days.
Those are the 7 rice terraces in Bali that you should definitely visit. Some even feature majestic mountains as backdrops. Due to succession planting, there’s no best season to see the green rice terraces, they look amazing all year!