Bali is quickly becoming an Instagrammers mecca with so many places that have gone viral in the last couple of years. You can tell how popular it has become as copycat versions of Insta-favourites such as the Bali Swing have started popping up all over the island.
It's not surprising as Bali is one of the most photogenic islands in the world. The mix of stunning landscape, ornate temples and brooding volcanoes make Bali a photographer's paradise.
The most Instagrammable places in Bali
It might be fairly busy in many areas but if you follow this guide we can tell how to get to the most Instagrammable spots in Bali without the crowds.
Instagrammable places Around Ubud
Despite being a lot busier than our previous visit, we still love Ubud. The setting is stunning and the laid back vibe is right up our street. If you're spending a bit of time here, then check out these amazing things to do in Ubud.
The whole area is pretty Instagrammable but here are our faves around Ubud. We'll start with probably the most popular shot...
The Bali Swing
The original Bali Swing (just outside Ubud) set off a trend that led to hundreds of swings being created at every viewpoint across Bali.
The original spot overlooks a beautiful palm fringed valley, with epic jungle vibes.
Arrive at opening time, 8am, if you want to take your time and not worry about queues forming behind you.
By half 8 there will be a few others around, but by 9am it will be heaving. For the full low down check out our guide to the Bali Swing.
Getting there: The Bali Swing is around a 15-20 minute drive from Ubud.
Read next: Sidemen Bali - the island’s hidden gem
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Tegalalang Rice Terrace is a beautiful spot and it is no surprise that it is a favourite with photographers.
In the early morning, these rice terraces are bathed in a stunning golden light and the whole area looks lush and exotic.
Try to arrive at sunrise as Tegalalang becomes very busy with day trippers in the middle of the day. Here are our top tips for visiting Tegalalang Rice Terrace at sunrise.
Getting there: Tegalalang Rice Terrace is 15-20 minutes outside of Ubud, and can be reached by either car or motorbike.
Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Tukad Cepung has become incredibly popular on Instagram for two reasons: 1) it's a waterfall in a cave, and 2) it creates incredible shafts of light early in the morning.
You can create a dreamy shot without needing photoshop simply by just turning up at the right time!
Here's everything you need to know to get the shot at one of the most unusual waterfalls in Bali.
Getting there - Tukad Cepung is 1.5 hour drive from Ubud and can be reached by motorbike or car.
Just a short walk out of Ubud, you’ll find the Campuhan Ridge which takes you along a stunning path which feels like miles away from the bustling centre of Ubud.
This ridge is famous for its stunning panoramic views and the two beautiful palms by the side of the trail. It makes for a beautiful photo, especially when the light is soft at dawn or dusk.
Just be warned, this place is NEVER quiet. We visited at 6am and found about 20 people camped in this spot and many others continuously walking through. You’ll want to polish your clone stamp skills in Photoshop to get the empty photo you’re looking for!
Getting to Campuhan Ridge
Campuhan is just a 10 minute walk from the centre of Ubud. Make sure you find the right path as it can be easy to miss! See the map below for the entry point.
Ubud is just the beginning of the Instagrammable spots in Bali. Some of the best lie in the highlands up north.
Where to stay in Ubud
Our Pick - Eden Guesthouse
We've spent a fair bit of time in Ubud and stayed in four different hotels, as well as visiting friends in theirs. We were so glad when on our last few days in Ubud we found our favourite little guesthouse. Eden Guesthouse is a small boutique home stay tucked away in the rice paddies, but just a few minutes from the Ubud Palace. For $40 USD per night in Ubud, it is incredible value.
The rooms are really large and spotlessly clean with gorgeous bathrooms with tubs. We loved the local carvings on the doors and the breakfast on the roof terrace overlooking the rice paddies was the best we had in Bali. Banana and coconut pancakes with palm sugar - definitely the way forwards!
Luxury - Kamandalu
If we had a bigger budget, we would have visited Kamandalu. This place is luxurious and very instagrammable, offering pool views and swings over the jungle. Situated in the Balinese countryside, it is very stylish and picturesque, stays in Ubud don't get much better.
On a budget - Gusti Kaler
On our first visit to Ubud we stumbled upon Gusti Kaler, a beautiful homestay that's a stones throw from the centre of town. The bungalows are a really good size, comfortable and quiet at a very decent price. You are served home made breakfasts every morning (a relief from the buffets you can have) by the lovely owners and we found it be to one of the best budget places we stayed in Asia.
Munduk and the North
Munduk is one of our favourite areas in Bali, much of it is a lot quieter than say Ubud or Seminyak. Hire a scooter and get exploring one of the most beautiful areas in Bali.
The setting of the Handara Gate couldn't be any better.
Set in front of huge lush green mountains, the gate to Handara looks so incredibly dramatic, you can hardly believe it is the entrance to a golf course!
It showcases the beautiful and exotic architecture of Bali against the stunning natural landscape.
We advise going early, we came at sunset and quickly left due to crowds. At sunrise we had the entire place to ourselves.
Getting there: The Handara Gate is just outside of Bedugul, which is 1.5 hours from Ubud and around 30 minutes from Munduk.
Nung Nung Waterfall
Nung Nung waterfall was one of our favourites in Bali.
Even before you see the waterfall, you hear it roar! It is a beautiful spot and has a lot of vantage points from which to take in the view. Just make sure you bring a wide angle lens to get it all in!
Getting there: Nung Nung is an hour outside of Ubud and is a great stop on the way to Munduk.
Pura Ulun Danu Temple
The lake temple of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is one of the most beautiful temples in the whole of Bali. Situated in a lake surrounded by huge mountains, it is an incredibly picturesque spot for a temple.
It is another sunrise spot as you get the clearer skies (it clouds over by midday) and avoid the tour buses coming in. Sunrise also creates beautiful colours that reflect in the water. Here are more details on one of Bali's most beautiful temples.
Getting there: Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is situated in Bedugul which is 1.5 hours away from Ubud and roughly 30 minutes from Munduk.
Wanagiri Hidden Hills
One of the better alternatives to the original Bali swing, Wanagiri offers huge views over the Danau Brayan Lake. I was initially a bit nervous as you swing out really far over a huge drop but soon the views were all I could think about. It's a truly beautiful place.
If you go in the morning you will get a beautiful soft light behind you, ensuring you don't get any nasty shadows or contrasts.
Getting there: Wanagiri is about 20 minutes outside of Bedugul or Munduk. We hired a scooter and got there comfortably as the roads in this area were quiet.
Banyumala Waterfall is an absolute beauty. There are so many angles to shoot from, but we particularly liked this one. The owners have created the perfect bamboo bridge to give some interest in the foreground and perspective on the size of the falls.
Banyumala was a bit trickier to get to than other waterfalls but all the details are here.
Getting there: Banyumala is a half hour drive from Bedugul and close to Munduk. The worst part is the road down to the waterfall from the main road. It is shocking, so give yourself time.
Leke Leke Waterfall
We only found out about Leke Leke on the last minute advice of our driver and it was a great recommend! With no one there and a huge, wild waterfall all to ourselves.
Hopefully they've repaired the bridge that snapped when I was on it! The bruises were there for weeks!
Getting there: Leke Leke is about an hour to an hour and a half (depending on traffic) from Ubud and half hour from Bedugul, making a good stop between the two.
Just a stone's throw from the main road, Munduk Waterfall is both easy to get to and beautiful. It was pretty quiet when we visited and we even had it to ourselves for part of the time (we visited late afternoon).
You don't really need to worry about what time of day you visit as from our experience people don't stay long, you can just wait them out : )
Getting there: Munduk Waterfall (in Munduk itself) is a 30 minute scooter rider from Bedugul but it is easy to miss the turnoff. We've written a blog all about how to find it.
Getting to Sekumpul takes the most effort of all these spots, but it is well worth it.
Out of all the waterfalls in Bali, this looks the most wild; it could be the movie set for the Lost World.
However, it is also the waterfall we messed up on, and the only one where people tried to scam us. Here's what to watch out for.
Getting there: We've created a detailed blog all about how to get to Sekumpul above, it is a fairly long way away from anywhere! Allow a half day to visit as it took about 1.5 hours each way from Bedugul. Make sure you ignore all the fake entrance signs as well!
Read more - 8 amazing things to do around Munduk
Where to stay in Munduk
Budget(ish) - CLV Villas
We chose to stay in Bedugul as this seemed to be fairly central to all the things we wanted to do in Munduk. There aren't too many options here, but we chose to stay at CLV Villas. The accommodation is a set of faded villas that had grand ideas but didn't really follow through.
It is an ok place to stay for a couple of days, but it is rough round the edges and could do with a really thorough clean. However, its location is great and the food is incredibly cheap. It's also less than 1km from the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple and just over 1km from Handara Golf Course, both of which we wanted to visit at sunrise. We weren't overly confident about scootering too far in the dark so the location was key.
Luxury - Munduk Moding Plantation
If we were on a shorter trip (with a bigger budget) we would definitely have chosen too stay in the Munduk Moding Plantation which looks absolutely incredible and has an amazing infinity pool. Next time!
The East - Sidemen & Tirta Gangga
Tirta Gangga Water Palace
The water palace is a really pretty spot with huge koi filled ponds and lots of stepping stones you can use to walk along the water. The Instagrammable spot is on the large stepping stone in the middle of the water which you’ll see within seconds of entering the grounds.
As with so many spots in Bali this place is wildly popular. The best time to come would be at opening or just before as sometimes you can get in early. We chose to visit at sunset and found it was virtually impossible to get a shot without anyone in it. There will always be some people on one section of stepping stones so unless you get really lucky you will need to brush up on your photoshop skills.
Entrance to the Water Palace is 40,000 rupiah (approx US $3).
The Camaya is probably one of the most Instagrammable accommodations on the planet at the moment and for good reason. The bungalows are absolutely breathtaking as are the views.
The most famous spot is at the Bamboo House which has the netted area on the second level overlooking the rice terraces and if you’re lucky Mount Agung.
The best time for photos is sunrise when the light is beautiful and you have the best chance of clear skies to get Mount Agung in the shot. It’s photogenic at any time of day though, our photo is taken at midday.
Remember that this is a private property, so you will have to either book a stay here or speak to the hotel in advance. Don’t just turn up as this is not a public area.
You can check prices for Camaya here.
The South - Uluwatu, Djimbaran & around
This beach has an amazing cave which you can use to frame a shot of the beach and that’s what we originally wanted to see. However when we arrived we realised it was high tide and you couldn’t get there.
Luckily the very first beach you come to that is accessible at high tide (most of the time) was gorgeous too and has a wonderful view directly to the sunset.
The area I’m standing on did get covered in waves at points so even on this first beach you do need to be mindful of the waves.
The beach is just a short walk along a flat path and then down a few stairs before you come to the rocks in this photo. The beach with the cave is several beaches along and safely accessible only at low tide.
Karang Boma Cliff
This cliff jutting out 100m above the roaring ocean is pretty incredible! This was one of our favourite spots in the Uluwatu area. You can drive a scooter to within a 40m walk of the cliff which is signposted. Once you get there you’ll see the cliff is way less intimidating than it looks in photos.
Yes it’s high but it’s also very wide, you don’t have to go anywhere near the edge to get a cool shot. Before visiting we thought photos we’d seen were from drones but you actually don’t really need one.
We chose to shoot handheld instead because there is now an 100,000 rupiah (approximately US $7) fee to use your drone. We didn’t think it was worth it.
The best time to visit is sunset and happily it wasn’t very busy. There were quite a few groups of locals having dinner over various fires but only a handful of people were taking photos at the cliff so it was all very relaxed. The sun sets directly into the ocean which is really beautiful. We stayed for a couple of hours and loved it.
Entrance to this area is 10,000 rupiah (approx US 71c). They charged us this amount for two people but if you come alone I think they’d still charge the 10k.
The beautiful Balangan Beach is just south of Kuta and is the best place to be at sunset.
The huge cliffs beside the beach make it feel pretty wild, even though the reality id you won't be here alone.
It is also quite fun watching all the couples who queue up at the top of the cliff to get wedding photos!
Getting there: We hired a scooter and drove for about 20 minutes from Jimberan. You should add on another 15-20 minutes if you go from Kuta.
Read more - An epic 7 day Bali itinerary for Instagrammers
Our Camera Gear
Our brand of choice for camera gear has been Canon for many years and we love their L-Series lenses. Whilst they are heavier than some other brands, the image results are worth the additional weight. We’ve also used a few drones in our time (check out our guide to which drone to buy here) but currently own a DJI Mavic Pro.
You can check out the full description of our favourite travel camera and all our gear by clicking on this link.
Here’s the camera gear we use the most:
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Are you planning a trip to Bali? Are there any Instagrammable spots you're eager to go to? Let us know in the comments below!