Authentic Things to do in Bali: Beyond the Tourist Traps

Bali; the island’s name is synonymous with sunkissed beaches, historic temples and beautiful volcanoes. It never fails to surprise its visitors as there is always something new and exciting to explore – but, although most visitors to the island often end up visiting only the well-worn tourist areas, there is a lot more to Bali. What makes the tourists fall for Bali is the epic natural scenery and the flavorful and healthy cuisine; but there is a lot more authentic things to do in Bali than those well-trodden lanes and spots.

Apart from the common touristy activities such as banana boat rides, exotic food or surfing a curling wave, you can certainly find a lot more hidden beauty awaiting you on the tropical island. Read on to learn about some of the out-of-the-way spots and off -beaten activities to explore during your vacation to Bali.


Off-the-beaten-path experiences in Bali

It is time to wander away from those crowds and experience the Indonesian island for what it really is with these authentic things to do in Bali.


  • The huge swing over the treetops at Zen Hideaway, about 30 minutes from Ubud, is thrilling and challenging as you go right over the treetops and the Lake Buyan. This whimsical swing will make you feel incredibly adventurous; at the top of the world!
  • Head towards Bukit Guungan Candidasa in East Bali for snorkeling in the clear waters as well as to enjoy lush green views across the sand and sea. ‘Guungan Hill’ – its name in English – allows you to catch sight of the other lush green hills next to Bukit Guungan. The beautiful tropical scene has unique farming topography and is enclosed by coconut trees.
  • Bukit Putung in east Bali another secret point made of lush greenery and the crashing waves. The small Balinese-style pavilion is indeed the most iconic part of Bukit Putung, and you will doubtless fall in love with the canopy that adorns its surrounding beauty.
  • Keramas Aero Park is an abandoned plane, right in the middle of the paddy fields. It has been transformed into a restaurant and is not far from the Keramas Beach on the south east coast of Bali. The color of the plane has changed to blue, and dining within the park is a fascinating experience.
  • Seganing Waterfall is considered to be the most extreme waterfall in Bali because of the colossal effort required to reach it. But once you’ve crossed the treacherous route to the water’s edge you will be rewarded by magnificent views of the ocean waves crashing on the cliffs.
  • Discover your inner daredevil at the extreme location of Tukad Melangit in Banjar Antugan. Any Instagram junkies will love this spot; it is a perfect place for you if looking for spectacular panoramic views. From the viewpoint, you will be able to see the beautiful green hills from the edge of the 300-meter cliff.
  • Catch a Balinese shadow puppet show – this fascinating performance has been used to tell stories for thousands of years and authentic shows are available for tourists to watch.


Free and Authentic things to do in Bali

If you are tired of overpriced tourist experiences, don’t fret; Bali has the capacity to keep you entertained for free. You can swim in the gorgeous sea or soak yourself in a hot spring or gaze across paddy fields at sunset…. The choices of free and authentic things to do in Bali are endless.

  • Nusa Penida is a gorgeous island which isn’t too trampled by tourists. Visit the broken sea, also known as Pasih Uwug, which is an exceptional attraction on the island. Without a doubt, you will be fascinated by the cool geological marvel; it is known as the broken sea because of the natural arch made of the rock cliffs. Take a dip in the gorgeous natural pool in Pasih-Uwug-by-Manbutur-Fluidr, where the floor of the cave has collapsed.
  • Another of secret getaways in Nusa Penida is the marvelous natural infinity pool, Angel’s Billabong. Swim in its emerald shades and crystalline clear waters, and you are sure to get stunned by green floors that actually feel like walking on a carpet.
  • Snorkeling in crystal-clear waters at Nusa Penida will make you forget about the Maldives; you will fall in love with the idyllic waters and white sand beach that look like a slice of paradise. Many divers come here to see the giant oceanic Sunfish, a spectacular fish that can be spotted between June and October.
  • Uluwatu’s Suluban Beach is well famous as a surfers’ paradise, but very few are aware of the hidden treasure of Suluban Cave. Both mysterious and magical, the cave will lead you up to the beach near Uluwatu Temple and is well worth a visit.
  • A jacuzzi on the Tegal Wangi Beach is another wonder of nature and will pleasantly surprise you because of its gorgeous escape into an amazing view of the ocean. Enjoy a comfortable soak in your very own beachy jacuzzi filled with seawater fresh from the ocean.
  • If you are looking for a spot for a romantic date, Tegalwangi Hole in the sea by Ivan Marky is just the right place, a perfect place to catch the sunset with a special loved one.
  • Anand Ashram in Ubud  is one of the most authentic things to do in Bali, offering peace and spiritual energy. This is a chance to experience indescribable tranquility amidst the lulling strains of birdsong and the sonorous chime of bells.
  • Unique Water Palace of Dreams – this attraction offers a majestic and unique experience as you walk down the bridge across the expansive lotus ponds. Do not miss out on the statues and architecture around as you explore this masterpiece.agriculture-1822443_640

Although it can sometimes feel hard to escape touristy Bali, there are still lots of spots well worth visiting while on the Indonesian island; from rice paddies to forgotten temples to deserted beaches, with just a little effort you’ll no doubt find some form of inner zen away from the crowds while exploring Bali.

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Are there any authentic things to do in Bali? It seems like everywhere is completely overrun with tourists nowadays. Luckily, there are still some hidden delights on the Indonesian island; here's the best things to do in Bali off the beaten track.

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