Bali, a tropical paradise widely known for its stunning beaches, colorful culture, and exquisite temples, offers visitors more than just seaside attractions. Nestled in the cool highland town of Ubud, the Campuhan Ridge Walk is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This easy and enjoyable walk will take you on a journey through lush landscapes, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustling town center. With the opportunity to bask in the picturesque scenery of rice fields, paved paths and tall grass swaying in the cool breeze, it’s no wonder this place is among the favorite walks in Ubud.
Journey’s Beginning: The Trailhead at Warwick Ibah Villas
The meeting point or trailhead for the Campuhan Ridge Walk is the Warwick Ibah Villas. As the path begins near the small village of Bangkiang Sidem, it’s a short walk past these villas and across the bridge over the sacred Campuhan River to the start of the ridge walk. Just type ‘Campuhan Ridge Walk’ into Google Maps and you’ll be guided to the right spot.
The Path Unfolds: Discovering the Charm of the Ridge Walk
The walk begins with a flight of stairs leading you to a beautiful path enveloped by lush greenery. Here you’ll find yourself in the company of tall grass, tropical plants, and occasionally, a small shop where you can buy drinks to quench your thirst. During your walk, you may encounter locals as well as fellow tourists enjoying the beautiful walk, especially during the early morning when the sun is just peeking out.
The ridge walk is an easy trail, perfect for individuals of all fitness levels. As you walk on the paved path, you’ll see the spectacular views of the central Ubud town on one side and a panoramic view of the rice fields on the other. This view is particularly stunning at the end of the ridge, where you’ll find vast expanses of rice terraces showcasing the quintessential rural Bali landscape.
On your journey, make sure you have a water bottle and insect repellent handy. Though the tall grass looks picturesque, it’s also a home to various insects, especially during the wet season.
The End and Beyond: The Trek to Karsa Cafe
Just as you feel the warmth of the sun growing and your walk reaching its final stages, the trail reveals a delightful surprise. Tucked away at the south end of the ridge walk is the Karsa Cafe, a tranquil spot to rest and refresh yourself after the walk. This cafe is surrounded by more lush greenery and calming fish ponds, adding to the overall serenity of the place.
But the journey doesn’t have to end here. For those with extra energy and a keen spirit for adventure, there’s a continued path beyond Karsa Cafe, leading further into the countryside. This course extends your journey into the heart of the nature, where you can take in even more of the peaceful surroundings and maybe even catch a glimpse of local wildlife.
Embracing the Bali Culture: Visiting Pura Gunung Lebah
After your rewarding hike along the Campuhan Ridge Walk, take a short walking distance to Pura Gunung Lebah. This temple, situated at the confluence of two rivers – the East Wos River and the West Wos River – holds deep spiritual significance for the locals. While the temple is small compared to other famous Balinese temples, its unique location and historical importance make it a must-visit. Remember to dress respectfully when you visit, covering shoulders and knees as is customary when visiting Balinese temples.
Serenity and Luxury: Warwick Ibah Villas & Spa
If you wish to stay close to the Campuhan Ridge Walk, consider booking a room at Warwick Ibah Villas. The villas are not only close to the ridge walk, but also offer an ambiance of serenity and luxury. The resort is immersed in Bali’s rich cultural history and is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. After your walk, you can enjoy a pampering session at the resort’s Karsa Spa. Choose from a range of traditional Balinese treatments that will help you unwind and rejuvenate.
Taste of Ubud: Local Culinary Delights
One can’t visit Ubud without indulging in its vibrant culinary scene. Several excellent cafes and restaurants in the vicinity of the ridge walk offer a variety of local and international cuisines. You can cool down with a refreshing drink at the Karsa Cafe or indulge in a hearty meal at the Bridges Bali. If you’re in the mood for healthy, organic options, the Clear Cafe is a must-visit. For lovers of Italian food, Uma Cucina offers a range of authentic Italian flavors that won’t disappoint.
Art and Culture: Ubud’s Art Galleries
Being the cultural heart of Bali, Ubud has a rich art scene. A short distance away from the Campuhan Ridge Walk are the Neka Art Museum and the Agung Rai Museum of Art. These museums house extensive collections of Balinese artworks, showcasing the evolution of painting styles in Bali from classical to contemporary.
The Neka Art Museum offers a profound insight into the unique culture and lifestyle of Bali, as depicted through its art. The Agung Rai Museum of Art not only hosts a collection of fine art but also offers performances of traditional Balinese dance and music. It’s a must-visit for anyone keen on understanding Bali’s artistic and cultural heritage.
Exploring Ubud’s Wildlife: The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
A few kilometers from the Campuhan Ridge Walk is one of Ubud’s most famous attractions – the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Home to over 700 grey long-tailed macaques, this nature reserve provides a unique opportunity to observe these creatures up close. While it’s always entertaining to watch their antics, remember to keep a safe distance and avoid feeding them.
The sanctuary is also home to three ancient temples, further enriching your visit with a dose of Balinese history and culture. It’s a great place to combine nature and culture in one visit.
Unwind and Relax: Experience Yoga Barn
Beyond the typical tourist destinations, Ubud is also known as the yoga hub of Bali. A short distance from the Campuhan Ridge Walk, you’ll find the world-renowned Yoga Barn. Offering over 15 classes a day, ranging from traditional Yoga styles to Dance, Meditation, and Ayurveda, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a curious beginner.
In addition to the variety of classes, Yoga Barn also hosts regular workshops, teacher trainings, and healing group retreats. It’s not just a yoga studio; it’s a vibrant spiritual community. After an early morning ridge walk, a yoga class is an excellent way to keep the positive vibes flowing.
Exploring Ubud Market: A Shopaholic’s Paradise
No trip to Ubud would be complete without a visit to the Ubud Art Market, also known as Pasar Seni Ubud. Located in the heart of the town, it’s a bustling, vibrant maze of stalls brimming with handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and even antiques.
Every item in the market tells a story of the island’s rich cultural heritage and meticulous craftsmanship. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir, traditional artwork, or simply a colorful sarong, you’re sure to find it in this market. Remember to practice your haggling skills; it’s a part of the shopping experience!
The Charm of Ubud Palace
Situated in downtown Ubud is the royal palace, known as Puri Saren Agung. The palace, a significant landmark, offers a glimpse into the royal past with its well-preserved Balinese architecture and charming garden settings.
While the front section of the palace is open to the public, the rear part remains the residence of the royal family. In the evenings, traditional dance performances are held in the courtyard, offering a delightful cultural experience. The palace, being in the center of Ubud, is an easy addition to your day in the area.
A Culinary Adventure: Traditional Balinese Cooking Classes
For those who’ve fallen in love with the flavors of Bali, why not learn to create these dishes at home? Several cooking schools in Ubud offer classes where you can learn about Balinese spices and techniques and create a range of local dishes.
Paon Bali Cooking Class and Casa Luna Cooking School are among the favorites. Classes usually include a visit to the local market to learn about local ingredients, a hands-on cooking session, and, of course, the opportunity to savor your creations. It’s a delightful and interactive way to learn about Bali’s culinary culture.
A Tranquil Retreat: Visit the Tegallalang Rice Terraces
A trip to Ubud is incomplete without a visit to the famous Tegallalang Rice Terraces. While they are a bit further out, located about 9km north of Ubud Centre, their beauty is worth the extra effort. These iconic terraces, with their traditional Balinese irrigation system known as ‘subak,’ are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Walking through the rice terraces gives you another level of appreciation for the stunning landscapes that Bali has to offer. The rice terraces are most picturesque in the early morning and late afternoon when the lighting is perfect for those postcard-perfect shots.
Ubud is truly a place that keeps on giving. Beyond the Campuhan Ridge Walk, the town offers a plethora of experiences, from exploring art and culture to tasting culinary delights, experiencing spiritual practices, and shopping for traditional crafts. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Ubud remains a favorite destination for travelers
The Balinese Lifestyle: Experiencing a Homestay
To immerse yourself completely in the Balinese culture, consider booking a homestay during your visit to Ubud. Not only do you get a taste of the traditional Balinese lifestyle, but you also have the opportunity to interact with locals and learn more about their day-to-day lives. The village of Penestanan, located near Campuhan Ridge Walk, is an excellent place for this. Here, you’ll find numerous traditional homestays run by welcoming local families. It’s a truly enriching and authentic experience.
An Unforgettable Journey: Cycling Through the Countryside
While walking is a great way to explore Ubud, cycling can be an equally captivating experience. Many tour operators offer guided bike tours that take you through small villages, lush rice fields, and alongside stunning river valleys. The ride, often starting from the top of the Kintamani Volcano, includes several downhill sections, making it enjoyable even for casual cyclists.
On these trips, you’ll pass through rural landscapes, explore local temples, and even stop by a coffee plantation where you can taste the world-famous Kopi Luwak. It’s a delightful way to experience the scenic beauty of Bali and its culture.
Indulge in the Traditional Balinese Massage
After a day full of exploration, treat yourself to a traditional Balinese massage. Ubud is dotted with spas offering a wide range of wellness treatments, but the Balinese massage remains a favorite choice for many.
This centuries-old therapy combines techniques of acupressure, reflexology, and aromatherapy with the use of organic essential oils. It is believed to stimulate the flow of blood, oxygen, and energy throughout your body, providing a sense of relaxation and overall wellness.
Dance with the Locals: Witnessing Traditional Balinese Dance Performances
Another cultural treat that Ubud has to offer is its traditional dance performances. Visit the Ubud Palace in the evening to witness these spectacles. The most popular dances include the Legong Dance, the Kecak Fire Dance, and the Barong Dance. Each dance tells a different story from ancient Hindu epics, enchanting you with the grace of the dancers, vibrant costumes, and dramatic expressions.
Gourmet Paradise: Experience the Best of Ubud’s Restaurants
Beyond small cafes and local markets, Ubud’s dining scene is full of gourmet restaurants. Places like Locavore, Mozaic, and Bridges Bali offer innovative dishes that are a mix of local flavors and modern techniques. These places are perfect for celebrating a special occasion or for when you’re in the mood to treat yourself to a lavish meal.
There you have it – an insider’s guide to making the most of your time in and around the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Ubud is a place of endless discoveries, offering a perfect blend of culture, nature, spirituality, and gastronomy. Whether you’re a solo traveler or with family, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque town in Bali. So lace up your comfortable shoes, fill up your water bottle, apply your insect repellent, and embark on an unforgettable journey.
/Immerse in Art: Visiting the Blanco Renaissance Museum
In the hills of Campuhan lies the Blanco Renaissance Museum, the residence and studio of the late Don Antonio Blanco, a celebrated Spanish artist. This museum is a must-visit for art lovers, showcasing a vast collection of works ranging from collages, lithographs, and surrealistic paintings.
Each room of the museum reveals a new facet of the artist’s world. From his dramatic works to the opulent studio and beautifully landscaped gardens, every part of the Blanco Renaissance Museum is a testament to Blanco’s flamboyant life and love for Bali.
Experience the Sacred: Visit Pura Gunung Lebah
At the south end of the Campuhan Ridge Walk is the ancient temple Pura Gunung Lebah. Despite being smaller than Ubud’s more famous temples, it carries a unique charm and spiritual significance. Nestled at the confluence of two rivers, the temple’s name translates to “Mountain Honey Temple”.
Here, you’ll see locals coming in for prayers, offering a glimpse of Bali’s spiritual side. It’s an oasis of peace and tranquility, and visiting it provides a lovely closure to the Campuhan Ridge Walk.
Uncover Hidden Gems: Go Off the Beaten Path
While the main attractions of Ubud and its surroundings are undoubtedly fascinating, don’t forget to explore off the beaten path. Wander through the small alleys, browse through hidden shops, or simply sit down at a local warung (small family-owned business) for a meal. These simple, unplanned experiences often turn out to be the most memorable ones.
Unleash the Adventurer Within: Whitewater Rafting in the Ayung River
Just a short drive from Ubud Centre, the Ayung River offers a thrilling whitewater rafting experience. As you navigate the exciting rapids, you’ll also marvel at the lush jungle, towering gorges, and stunning waterfalls. It’s an adrenaline-pumping adventure that combines the excitement of the sport with the beauty of Bali’s nature.
Stay in Luxury: Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas & Spa
To end your day of exploration, consider a stay at the Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas & Spa. This resort offers luxurious accommodations nestled amidst a lush, tropical landscape. With its natural stone private pools, antique furnishings, and spectacular views of the Campuhan River valley, it’s a perfect haven of tranquility and luxury.
Conclusion: Endless Discoveries in Ubud
In the heart of Bali lies Ubud, a town that encapsulates the island’s soul. The Campuhan Ridge Walk is only a slice of the beautiful tapestry that Ubud weaves for its visitors. With its verdant landscapes, sacred temples, vibrant markets, tantalizing cuisine, traditional performances, and luxurious stays, there’s never a dull moment in this cultural and spiritual epicenter.
Ubud invites you to experience Bali beyond its scenic beauty. It’s an invitation to explore, learn, and grow. Whether you choose to trail the Campuhan Ridge, delve into the local arts, participate in a cooking class, or simply enjoy a nice walk through the lush greenery, each moment spent in Ubud is an adventure of a lifetime. So, step out and embark on your Ubud journey, because in Bali, every path leads to a new discovery.