4 Best Alternatives Area to Ubud in Bali

Best Alternatives Area to Ubud in Bali

Ubud, often referred to as the cultural and spiritual epicenter of Bali, holds an undeniable allure. Its picturesque landscapes adorned with lush, emerald rice terraces have enchanted countless travelers.

The vibrant arts scene, featuring traditional Balinese dances and intricate wood carvings, provides a fascinating window into the island’s rich heritage.

Moreover, Ubud’s profound spiritual connection is evident through its multitude of temples and yoga retreats, where seekers of inner peace and self-discovery converge.

Nestled amidst cooler highlands, Ubud provides a refreshing escape from the warmer coastal climates of Seminyak and other beach destinations, offering a comfortable retreat into Bali’s serene nature.

Yet, even in the midst of this enchanting destination, there comes a time when you may yearn for a change of pace, a shift from the rhythmic drumming of Ubud’s heart.

Perhaps you’ve wandered the sacred Monkey Forest one time too many, or the serene yoga studios have become more of a comfort zone than a spiritual journey.

While Ubud offers a serene escape into culture and nature, Seminyak shines with its lively beaches and dynamic nightlife, presenting a contrasting charm for those seeking a vibrant beach experience.

Can’t decide between the cultural richness of Ubud, the beach vibes of Seminyak, or the luxury of Nusa Dua? Our comparison article Ubud, Seminyak, or Nusa Dua might help you choose the perfect spot.

For those with a curiosity for adventure and a desire to explore Bali’s lesser-trodden paths, the island has an array of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Before diving into the alternatives, it’s worth noting the comparisons with other well-known destinations:

Unlike Nusa Dua’s polished, resort-focused atmosphere, our journey takes us to places like Amed, where the rustic charm and tranquil beaches offer a more authentic Balinese experience.

For those drawn to the surf and lively scenes, Kuta’s energetic beaches and nightlife contrast sharply with Ubud’s tranquil cultural retreats, offering a different facet of Bali’s diverse beauty.

If you’re visiting Bali for the first time and looking beyond Ubud’s charm, make sure to check out our guide on the best area to stay in Bali for first-timers for essential tips and advice.

So, let’s start on a playful exploration of some of the best alternative destinations that Bali has to offer, beyond the Ubud bubble.


Amed Bali
Amed Bali

If you find yourself yearning for a refreshing escape from the dense jungles of Ubud, the coastal paradise of Amed beckons with its serene allure.

Situated on the eastern coast of Bali, Amed is celebrated for its unique black sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs, making it a sanctuary for underwater enthusiasts.

What sets Amed apart from Ubud is its laid-back, village-like ambiance that feels like a world away from the bustling streets of the cultural heart of Bali.

Picture yourself waking up to the gentle melody of waves lapping the shore, the salty breeze in your hair, and the anticipation of an underwater adventure ahead.

Within minutes, you can find yourself submerged in a mesmerizing world of colorful fish, vibrant coral gardens, and intriguing marine life. The underwater landscape of Amed offers a captivating contrast to the lush greenery of Ubud.

Here, you can dive into history by exploring the USS Liberty shipwreck, an underwater relic of World War II, or snorkel along the Japanese shipwreck, each offering an extraordinary marine adventure that reveals the secrets of the deep.

Amed is a place where the sea beckons your soul, and the underwater wonders dance with your imagination, making it an irresistible alternative to the Ubud experience.



In the majestic shadow of Mount Agung lies Sidemen, a hidden gem offering tranquility amidst Bali’s verdant landscapes. This serene escape captivates those seeking a deep connection with nature, contrasting sharply with the lively beach scenes found in destinations like Canggu. Here, the tranquility of Sidemen’s emerald terraces and rural charm offers a profound counterpoint to Canggu’s surf waves and vibrant digital nomad community, appealing to those who cherish peace over the bustling beach life.

The terraced rice paddies here rival the splendor of Ubud’s rice terraces but with a distinct advantage—far fewer tourists. Sidemen welcomes you to let your worries slip away as you immerse yourself in the harmonious blend of nature and Balinese culture.

Strolling along the quiet trails of Sidemen, you might chance upon local farmers working in the emerald fields, their labor framed by the awe-inspiring backdrop of Mount Agung.

Here, the pace of life slows down, inviting you to savor the moment and find the inner peace that often eludes us in the hustle and bustle of daily existence.

Sidemen also offers an opportunity to savor authentic Indonesian dishes in traditional warungs, where the flavors of Bali come alive in each bite.

Whether you’re seeking a place to relax, meditate, or simply take in the exquisite beauty of Bali’s landscapes, Sidemen is where tranquility meets terraced beauty, providing a serene alternative to the vibrant energy of Ubud.

Planning a family adventure in Bali? Discover the best area to stay in Bali with family to ensure a memorable and comfortable stay for everyone.


Dolphins in the Lovina Sea
Dolphins in the Lovina Sea

Beyond the cultural immersion of Ubud lies Lovina, a serene haven on Bali’s northern coast. Here, the allure of adventure shifts from the dense jungle to the open sea, offering a tranquil retreat away from Ubud’s bustling streets.

Unlike the dramatic cliffs and surf spots of Uluwatu, Lovina captivates with its gentle marine life and laid-back atmosphere, making it a distinct alternative for those seeking peace and spirituality by the ocean’s edge.

Here, you can set your sights on a different kind of playful creature—the dolphins!

Lovina offers a unique and enchanting opportunity to spot dolphins as they gracefully dance in the calm waters of the Bali Sea.

The adventure begins at the break of dawn, as you board a traditional outrigger boat and venture out to witness these majestic marine creatures in their natural habitat.

The sight of dolphins leaping in and out of the water as the sun rises is nothing short of magical and is sure to ignite your sense of wonder and awe.

Lovina, in addition to its dolphin experiences, boasts black sand beaches that invite you to relax and unwind by the sea, while hot springs provide soothing respite for your body and soul.

The atmosphere in Lovina is a marked departure from the bustling streets of Ubud, offering a laid-back, seaside escape where the pace of life mirrors the gentle lapping of the waves along the shore. It’s the perfect alternative for those who crave the sea’s serenity and a change of scenery from the Ubud jungle.


Munduk Waterfall
Munduk Waterfall

Ascending from the coast to the heart of Bali’s highlands, Munduk presents a refreshing retreat from the island’s tropical heat. Here, the cool, misty air envelops you, offering a soothing respite amidst lush forests and cascading waterfalls.

This enchanting mountain village contrasts with the sunny beaches of Sanur, providing a tranquil sanctuary for those seeking solitude and natural beauty.

Munduk’s allure lies in its mystical atmosphere and breathtaking natural sights, offering a different kind of Bali experience compared to the serene beaches and affordable luxuries of Sanur. For those drawn to the spiritual and artistic depths of Balinese culture, Munduk, like Ubud, offers a deeper exploration into the island’s rich heritage, set against the backdrop of stunning highland scenery.

Nestled in the North Bali mountains, Munduk is a hidden gem surrounded by lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and fragrant coffee plantations, providing an altogether more mystical experience.

One of the undeniable highlights of Munduk is the eponymous Munduk Waterfall, a hidden gem deep within the forest.

As you approach, the soothing sounds of nature accompany you on your journey, building anticipation with each step.

When you finally arrive, you’re greeted by the breathtaking sight of the waterfall, its cascading waters creating a serene oasis where you can bask in the natural beauty of Bali.

It’s the perfect place for trekkers and nature enthusiasts to explore the mountainous terrain and breathe in the rejuvenating, crisp mountain air.

Munduk offers a fantastic escape for those who crave the cool embrace of the highlands and a chance to unwind in a mystical setting.

Ubud is a magical destination, but Bali has so much more to offer than the Monkey Forest and yoga retreats.

Explore the diverse beauty of the island by venturing to these alternative destinations.

Whether you’re craving underwater adventures, mountain mystique, island escapes, or a taste of cosmopolitan Bali, these places provide the perfect antidote to the Ubud bubble.

Before you start on your Balinese escapade, remember to enhance your experience by securing the best accommodations through trusted property management services like Alterstay.

With an easy booking service and a wide selection of properties suited for your every need, we’ve got you covered.

So, pack your bags, embrace the playful spirit of Bali, and let your adventure begin! Bali is a treasure chest of wonders, waiting for you to explore beyond the beaten path.

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