RICE FIELDS IN BALI
Rice fields are one of the main attractions for the millions of tourists that visit Bali every year and they make the predominant color of the island to be the emerald green. In Bali there are many rice fields, being the most extended cultivation on the island and extremely important for the Balinese since most of their dishes include rice. Rice is also used for daily offerings to the gods.
Many rice fields in Bali are located on mountain slopes and form incredible stepped terraces. The irrigation system of the rice terraces is one of the curiosities of this type of plantation. As they are staggered, only the upper part needs to be irrigated as the water finds its way down and irrigates the other terraces with the necessary amount of water. This irrigation system is called subak and although very old, is still used today because it is the fastest and most efficient way to irrigate vast extensions of rice fields.
The Balinese plant the rice three times a year and the rice fields reach their greatest beauty shortly before each harvest. On this page, we have put together the best rice fields in Bali and the complete information about each one. In addition, if you read until the end, you will find a map with the location of each one of the rice fields on the island.
The rice terraces in Tegallalang are undoubtedly the most famous in Bali and the protagonists of many postcards and travel guide covers. The terraces of Tegallalang are located in the center of the island, in the regency of Gianyar, 15 kilometers north of Ubud. Due to their proximity to Ubud and easy access, these rice terraces receive many visitors every day. To reach Tegallalang rice terraces, you can travel from Ubud by motorcycle, car, or taxi and the trip takes approximately 30 minutes. The rice terraces are located next to the main road and have many entrances through cafes where you can eat or drink a refreshing coconut overlooking the rice fields, but there are also entrances that can be accessed without having to buy a drink.
If you don’t want to stop at one of the roadside cafes, look for the sign that says I ♥ Bali and you can enter without having to spend money.
You can enjoy the views of the rice terraces from above, but it is also possible to go down and walk on the paths available. We recommend going down and walking among the rice fields, but keep in mind that this will take between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours if you want to explore all its corners. It’s also very important to bring sunscreen as there are days when the sun can be very strong in the terraces.
To visit the rice terraces in Tegallalang you do not have to pay an entrance fee, but you will find farmers who will ask you to make a donation for the maintenance of the terraces and the wooden bridges that connect several of them.
On the main road, besides restaurants and cafes, you can find many souvenir and clothing shops with affordable prices and also famous swings where you can take pictures with the rice fields in the background. The price of the swings is usually around 100,000 IDR (about €6) and includes the rental of a maxi dress to give the photos a good look for Instagram.
If you want to enjoy Tegallalang’s terraces without them being crowded, we recommend visiting them early in the morning.
Jatiluwih rice fields are located in the Tabanan Regency, about 40 km northwest of Ubud. These rice terraces were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012 and are undoubtedly the best rice terraces in Bali. The terraces of Jatiluwih, unlike those of Tegallalang, are much more extensive and much further from other tourist attractions, so here you won’t find a lot of tourists and you will be able to enjoy this incredible site more peacefully. To reach the terraces of Jatiluwih, you can travel by motorcycle or car. From Ubud, it takes about an hour and the journey goes through authentic Balinese villages, roads full of palm trees, and besides other rice fields.
If you want to walk between the rice terraces in Jatiluwih, you will have to pay an entrance fee of 40,000 IDR (about €2.5) and you can park on the road around them.
There are several trails for walking and cycling on the rice terraces of Jatiluwih. At the entrance, you will find a map that shows the different trails you can take and the routes vary from 1.5 km to 5.5 km. All the routes within the rice fields are perfectly marked. It is also possible to combine several trails or turn around and exit in the same place you entered if you get tired or if you do not have much time.
We recommend you to spend at least half a day visiting the rice terraces of Jatiluwih as the scenery is spectacular and you will want to stop every now and then to enjoy the views. Also, remember to bring a camera with enough memory and battery as this site is extremely photogenic and you won’t be able to stop taking pictures.
Both inside the rice terraces and on the road around them, there are restaurants with incredible views where you can stop to eat or drink something at the end of the route.
Walking around Jatiluwih’s rice terraces is a must-see in Bali, and even if they are far from other sights, the trip is totally worth it. This is an unforgettable place!
Gunung Kawi rice terraces are located in the center of Bali, in Gianyar Regency. To reach these rice fields you will have to travel about 15 km north from Ubud or about 7 km from the Tegallalang rice terraces by motorbike or car. Gunung Kawi rice terraces are located around the temple with the same name and both Gunung Kawi temple and the rice terraces are a must-see on your visit to Bali.
To access the rice fields you will have to go through the Gunung Kawi temple and pay an entrance fee of 50,000 IDR (about €3).
From the main entrance of the temple, you have to descend some stairs and before reaching the river, you will see on the right side some perfectly maintained rice terraces. If you have enough time for this visit, we recommend you take a walk through the rice fields until you reach a small waterfall and some large shrines carved into the rock.
At the end of the route, we recommend you to cross the river on the stone bridge and enjoy the impressive Gunung Kawi temple.
Tirta Gangga rice fields are located around the Tirta Gangga water palace in the Karangasem regency east of Bali. From Ubud, we recommend you go by car as there are about 60 kilometers away and by motorbike, the journey will take almost 2 hours.
The Tirta Gangga rice fields are not that famous and you will rarely meet tourists as they all visit the water palace and rush off to the next stop.
The best place to see the rice fields in the Tirta Gangga area is Bukit Cinta, 4.5 kilometers east of the water palace. From there you can enjoy breathtaking views of the rice fields with the Agung volcano in the background.
Tenganan is a traditional village surrounded by rice fields in eastern Bali, in the Karangasem regency. Tenganan village is located about 60 kilometers east of Ubud and is worth visiting both the village and the rice fields. In addition to several walking routes through the rice fields, you can also find coffee and tobacco plantations or fields with fruit and vegetables. If you want to experience the authentic rural Bali, Tenganan is the ideal place to connect with the local culture.
Keep in mind that as it is such a traditional place, everything is a little wilder and with less comfort for tourists.
Sidemen rice fields are also located in eastern Bali, in the Karangasem regency. These rice fields extend for miles and miles into the valleys in the south of the Agung volcano. From Ubud, you can reach Sidemen by motorbike or car and it is 35 km away. In Sidemen the rice fields mix with the tropical vegetation creating a beautiful green landscape.
If you plan to visit the Besakih Temple or the Tukad Cepung waterfall, these rice paddies will guide you along the way.
Munduk rice fields are located in northern Bali, in the Buleleng Regency, and close to the famous twin lakes Buyan and Tamblingan. To get to Munduk we recommend going by car since from Ubud there are 65 kilometers that take about two hours. The area of Munduk is very quiet and authentic and its rice fields are also very quiet. Located in an area with thick vegetation covering the mountains, the rice fields of Munduk are an idyllic environment to spend the day in nature and away from the usual tourist circuits.
Pererenan rice fields are located outside Canggu in the Badung Regency. There are not many large rice fields in southern Bali, and these are among the few that can be seen in this area. The Pererenan rice fields can be enjoyed on a walk, riding a motorbike or from one of the nearby cafes. The Pererenan rice fields cannot be compared to the rice terraces of Tegallalang or Jatiluwih, but they are an oasis amidst the hustle and bustle in one of the most visited locations in southern Bali.
CAMPUHAN RIDGE WALK
If you stay in Ubud, you don’t have to go far to see some rice fields. Campuhan Ridge Walk is a trail along the crest of Campuhan Mountain overlooking the jungle and rice fields. Here you will not see large extensions of rice fields, but it is an excellent place to escape into nature. Campuhan Ridge Walk is a 2km route where you can go for an easy walk. Also, this is a great place to enjoy a sunrise or sunset walk overlooking the rice fields.
In the following map you can find all the rice fields we have mentioned in this article. You can use it to organize your routes around Bali. We hope you find it useful.