December 28, 2015 Comments (0) Adventure, Blog, Featured

5 epic road trips not to miss in Bali

Sunrise, Bali, Road trip, Wet season

5 epic road trips

not to miss in Bali

Bali has some of the best roads in Indonesia and with a labyrinth of road networks crossing the island in pretty much every direction, its time to hit the road and discover the best of Bali. There are so many options when choosing where to go and we obviously can’t choose them all so below is our top 5 road trips not to miss the next time you’re in Bali.

 
Balian – Sepang – Palukan – Balian circuit

Few venture to the west of Bali and too many miss out on the natural beauty of this side of the island. The trip starts in the small surfing village of Balian and heads north through the forested hills to the small village of Sepang.

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Sunrise, Bali, Motorbike
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Sunrise over the east of Bali – Photo by Ryan Mazure

 
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From here you take a left hand turn and head back to the beach via the famous Batu Bolong. This amazing tree is so wide that trucks drive through the trunk on their way along the north – south road. Once you get back to the Gilimanuk road take a left and head along the coast back to Balian. There are a lot of beautiful beaches along this stretch and if you are adventurous you can set up your tent and spend the night.

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Batu Bolong, tree
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Batu Bolong tree

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Circumnavigation of Gunung Batur

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The small road leading down from Kintamani bears many turns but the views out over Gunung Batur are ones you’ll remember for a long time. Take to road down to the caldera at Kintamani and at the t-junction take a left and pass through the lava field from the eruption just 15 years ago.

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Lava, Batur, Bali
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Lava Field at Gunung Batur – Photo by Ryan Mazure

 
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aCircumnavigation of Batur

As you go around the base of the volcano you’ll pass by many mining pits and watch out for the trucks as they curse along at break neck speeds. As you cross the northern section lake Batur will come into view and the road will become smooth again. Avoid the small town of Pendakian as many touts patrol this area trying to get you to climb Batur with them for a large fee. Continue along and you’ll arrive back on the main road to take you to your next destination.

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Motorbike, Bali road trip
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Sunrise over the volcanoes from the Kintamani road – Photo by Ryan Mazure

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The Bedugal road
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From Denpasar get on the road to Bedugal and traverse the island from south to north. As you head north the temperature will change and you’ll see why Bedugal is one of the coldest places on the island. From Bedugal you have a lot of choices you can check out the botanical gardens or continue on to Lovina. It is even recommended to spend the night in Bedugal as there is a lot of cool things to do around there.

Denpasar to Lovina

The road leaving Bedugal to the north is very winding and often in the cloud so its best to go here earlier in the day. There are a lot of monkeys along this road and there are plenty of spots to stop off and take a photo as you cross the pass.

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On the way down to Lovina stop in and check out Aling Aling waterfall and enjoy the pools of Secret Garden. They are some of the nicest on the island and you can find more information about them in the post waterfalls of Bali.

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From here its a short drive of 20 minutes to Lovina where you’ll find plenty of cheap accommodation.

aManggiss to Candi Dasa via Pura Pasar Agung
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From Manggiss the road heads sharply up hill and for this ride we recommend a manual bike as the road can be steep at times. There is a lookout along the way where you have amazing views over Padang Bai and out to Nusa Penida.

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Motorbike trip, Bali
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The road down from Pura Pasar Agung

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Continue on and take the road up to Pura Pasar Agung which is the starting point for the Gunung Agung trek but also an amazing viewpoint in its own right. Head back down the hill and get on the main road back to Candi Dasa to complete the circuit and enjoy a cold beer by the beach. The best time for this ride is early morning as the clouds come in early and obscure all the views.

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Manggiss to Candi Dasa

Continue on and take the road up to Pura Pasar Agung which is the starting point for the Gunung Agung trek but also an amazing viewpoint in its own right. Head back down the hill and get on the main road back to Candi Dasa to complete the circuit and enjoy a cold beer by the beach. The best time for this ride is early morning as the clouds come in early and obscure all the views.

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Gunung Agung, Sunrise, Bali
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aGunung Agung at dawn – Photo by Ryan Mazure

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Candi Dasa – Amed – Karangasem
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This side of Bali is very much one that you probably wouldn’t have imagined. This road is a striking contrast from the green luscious rice fields and jungles that you are used to. In the rain shadow of Agung this side of the island is like a desert and on your drive you’ll certainly feel like you’re in a different place.

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Motorbike, Bali, Volcano
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Views of Agung from Kubu field – Photo by Ryan Mazure

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Leave the road heading north from Candi Dasa and cross over bukit Asah with amazing views out over the ocean. From here stop in at the Bali chocolate factory and try out the giant swing hanging from 2 coconut trees.

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Swing, Chocolate factory

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The famous Bali chocolate factory – Photo by Ryan Mazure

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Continue onto the furthest eastern road of the island and cross the very dry and deserted villages along this stretch. Stop for lunch in Amed before crossing the Bukit back to Karangasem. The total trip will take around 3-4 hours depending on how long you stop off along the way.

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 Karangasem to Kubu

Continue onto the furthest eastern road of the island and cross the very dry and deserted villages along this stretch. Stop for lunch in Amed before taking a short side trip to the small village of Kubu. From here the views to Agung are some of the best on the island. Make the crossing of the Bukit back to Karangasem. The total trip will take around 3-4 hours depending on how long you stop off along the way.

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Road trip, Bali, East bali
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aThe very deserted and dry road along the most eastern part of the island

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Ryan Mazure is an adventure seeker, photographer and creator of the Bali Adventure Guide.

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