Set amid tropical jungle ravines, terraced rice paddies and emerald rolling hills, the town of Ubud has long been considered the spiritual and cultural hub of Bali.
A peaceful respite from the livelier Kuta, Ubud is all about kicking back, relaxing and being at one with nature. One of the town’s most famous attractions is the Ubud Monkey Forest – a dense swathe of jungle housing three holy temples and over 600 Balinese long-tailed macaques who delight in roaming the ancient site. Another must-see spot is the UNESCO-listed Tegalalang Rice Terrace, known for its photo opportunities, verdant scenery and the iconic ‘Love Bali’ swing.
The hilltop Campuhan Ridge Walk – the best-known of Ubud’s hiking trails – takes you on a journey through beautiful rice paddies and grasslands, from where you can enjoy sweeping countryside views. Another great lookout spot is the summit of Mount Batur – located about an hour or so north of town. Hikers enjoy climbing this active volcano to be rewarded with spectacular views of the crater and the shimmering Lake Batur.
Ubud is a great place to soak up Balinese culture. From the rock-hewn cave of Goa Gajah to the ancient Hindu temple of Pura Taman Saraswati, there are plenty of cultural gems dotted around this laid-back town. You can also shop for traditional Balinese arts and crafts at the Ubud Art Market, which famously featured in the film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.