Off the beaten track and away from the rush of south Bali, Munduk and its surrounding area are a little gem that is well worth exploring. The views are breath-taking, the climate is cooler and there is so much to explore! If you want a little break from the busiest areas of Bali and the heat, or dream of some quiet time with your loved one, then a detailed travel guide to Munduk is exactly what you need.
Munduk and its lake are located in an area over 1000 meters high, which offers a cooler climate than other parts of Bali (normally, it would be some 4-5 degrees colder than in the rest of Bali). This makes it the perfect weather to explore the area and enjoy the nature and views that this region has to offer! There are so many things to do in Munduk that you can easily spend a couple of days in the area without falling short of distractions, thanks to our travel guide to Munduk.
This part of the island is more rural and traditional than the majority of touristic places on Bali. No doubts, you will find yourself under the charm of the surroundings and will enjoy the peace and serenity of the lake and the village of Munduk.
Here are some of the best things to do in Munduk.
Visit the village of Munduk and explore the route
The village of Munduk sits close to one of the three lakes of north Bali, each of those is located in volcanic calderas. The route to the lake Danau Temblingan, when coming from Ubud, is very scenic and allows for amazing photos along the other lakes, Danau Buyan and Danau Beratan. The easiest way to get to Munduk is to organize a private car with a driver, thus allowing you to take breaks on the way and enjoy the views. On your way, you could even stop to visit the popular Pura Ulun Danu Beratan temple in Bedugul, overlooking the lake Danau Beratan. The area is also famous for growing strawberries and you will find plenty of places to buy some along the side of the road.
Another popular stop around lake Beratan is Bali Botanic Garden, the largest one in Indonesia, where you can walk to see the orchid collection or medicinal plants amongst a lot of others.
Enjoy the views
Arriving on the road above the lake, the opportunities for stunning photos are endless! A lot of little cafés alongside the road have created their own viewpoint with small bamboo lookout structures that will allow you to get amazing shots.
You should try a delicious Balinese coffee while embracing the views. Along this road, you will find some great little restaurants that are well worth a little lunch break! For example, The Terrasse du Lac restaurant offers an amazing spot overlooking the lake and a tasty menu inspired by French and Indonesian cuisine. Another option with a great view is the appropriately called The View Cafe.
Taking a stroll by foot around the lake is beautiful, as it is surrounded by many ancient small Balinese temples and lush green vegetation. From Munduk village itself, you will easily find indications to drive or walk to the lake. You can even ask the local villagers for a tour on one of the little canoe boats that are used on the lake Tamblingan.
Finally, for some great holidays shots, head towards the Wanagiri Hidden Hills spot. Designed especially to take some photos with stunning views, it has a swing, a viewpoint and a few others other spots you can use to take pictures after paying the small entrance fee.
Explore the coffee and the food culture
If you are a coffee lover, you will love Munduk! The area and the climate are auspicious for coffee plantations and you will find several to visit. There you can learn more about growing coffee beans and turning them into the delicious beverage you love. You can try the local coffee and purchase some to take home with you, as well as to see how coffee grows. For instance, The Munduk Moding Plantation grows organic coffee and you can taste and purchase it on site.
Besides, many local hotels and cafes in the area offer cooking classes. You can learn how to make some of the favourite local dishes and then enjoy a delicious meal you will have prepared! This is a great way to learn more about Balinese food culture and to get a chance to use ingredients you might not find at home.
Visit the waterfalls
The waterfalls around Munduk are certainly some of the best in Bali! However, you should be aware that reaching some of them (e.g. the Banuymala waterfall) might be a bit challenging. In any case, you will definitely be rewarded with a beautiful and quiet view once your journey is complete. Other waterfalls in the area include the Munduk waterfall, Melantig waterfall, and many more. The jungle is dense in the area and you will feel like a true explorer on some of those paths!
Trek and immerse yourself in nature
If you would rather enjoy the wildness of the surroundings and the views while walking, there are plenty of trails that can be explored around Munduk. You will easily find some guides to arrange a trek for any length from a couple of hours to a full day. For example, you can enjoy a quiet walk in nature and reach some of the surrounding waterfalls. The variety of plants to observe is great: along with the coffee plants you might also see clove trees which are cultivated in the area or avocado trees. If you love to walk, there are at least a dozen different routes that you can explore in the Munduk area. A lot of the hotels and homestays in the area can also help you find a guide.
Far off Ubud and its traffic, some other villages around Munduk offer gorgeous views on the famous rice fields. A short drive to the village of Bengkel will take you on quiet small roads where you can admire the wild landscape of the area and the beautiful rice fields around the villages.
There are multiple Balinese temples you can visit in the Munduk area, from the smallest ones in the villages to some bigger ones like Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. In any case, the Balinese calendar defines the ceremony dates and there are plenty of them along the year. By asking around you can easily find out if there is a ceremony while you are in the area. The Balinese are welcoming and are usually happy to invite people to join them for those, as well as to explain some of the rituals. Of course, it is necessary to inquire about proper outfit and behavior in order to be respectful.
Close by is also the Brahma Vihara Arama Buddhist monastery, the largest one in Bali. While the majority of the Balinese are Hindu, there is a small community of Buddhist monks living in this monastery. You can enjoy the beautiful and peaceful gardens, as well as the interesting architecture of the buildings, including a small replica of the famous Borobudur temple in Java