Parks and Gardens
Every traveller to the Pacific islands will expect to be one with nature and the peaceful environment. After all, everyone needs a break from the hustle and bustle the busy city life even if it is in Bali itself. While the island has grown to have a large city centre, a large part of its environment still resides in a splendour of beaches, vast forests, water parks, ancient temples and monumental locations. What you need in Bali is more than just a fun time, it an experiance.
Whether you are coming alone, with a partner or with a group of friends or family, you will undoubtedly enjoy the tranquil environment that is essential to every Balinese vacation. Continue on this list of parks and natural locations and see for yourself the beauty that Bali has to offer.
Bali Botanic Garden
Bali Botanic Gardens is a great escape to enjoy not only the beautiful highlands but also the mesmerizing flora. The garden is particularly popular among locals and visitors who love the green scenery, together with the rare tropical flowering plants and specimens in its vast collection. A trip to the gardens goes hand in hand with recreational activities at Beratan Lake, where you’ll also find the iconic Ulun Danu Beratan Temple.
Besides the vast collection of tropical plants and wildlife in their natural habitat, inside the Bali botanic gardens you can partake in various fun activities at the Bali Treetop Adventure Park, which includes six main circuits stretching from tree to tree, together with nets, Tarzan swings, jumps and bridges. This would be an especially good chance to prove your adventurous attitude.
The garden itself is the bread and butter in this part of your travel. It is known locally as ‘Kebun Raya Eka Karya Bedugul’. The garden is a great place for recreation for you and your family. Furthermore, the place is a great facility for botanical research, conservation and education. Yet let’s not forget the primary function, it provides families with a vast cool place to relax in beautiful natural surroundings while at the same time providing learning about the numerous uses of tropical plants in the garden.
The Bali Botanic Gardens offers a number of scientific services and facilities in support of plant research and conservation. The services and facilities at the garden include but not limited to a herbarium, seed bank, library, glasshouses, nurseries and plant databases. The particularly rare plant called Rafflesia blooms in this garden, one among other rare plants that inhabit this amazing garden.
Puputan Badung Park
This next park has quite a historical impact on Bali. Bali, because of their rich and beautiful natural resources, was a target by Western colonizers looking to profit from their property. Despite its rich pre-colonial history, Bali was not spared from the effects that the steady globalization was experiencing at that time. You could say that the first experience of Bali with foreigners was not predominantly pleasant in this chapter of Balinese history.
Long story short – rather than suffer at the hands' of conquerors, the residents took their own lives. Such bravery is an icon in the eyes of the Balinese people, a symbol of the unwavering determination of their people and culture.
Taman Puputan Badung (Badung suicide/war square) is so named in remembrance of the “battle” that took place on September 20th, 1906 between the King of Badung with his Balinese court and the invading Dutch army. The loyal Balinese people, dressed in full regalia walked into the line of fire of the Dutch army rather than surrender to the Dutch army. The date of this event is commemorated every year and Taman Puputan Monument has been erected in the northern part of Taman Puputan Badung.
Taman Puputan refers to the Puputan Park in the local dialect. The park is actually very popular both with the locals and the tourists. The park is home to a bronze statue that was erected to honour the memory of the valiant soldiers who fought for the islands freedom against colonial rule by the Dutch masters. Many local people visit this square every afternoon for recreational purposes and every Sunday special activities are organized for children.
Sangeh Monkey Forest
The Sangeh Monkey Forest or also locally known as the ‘Obyek Wisata Bukit Sari Sangeh’ is a sanctuary of grey long-tailed macaques in the village of the same name. The monkey forest boasts six hectares of fertile forestland and the primordial, giant nutmeg trees which commonly grow to a height of 40m. The sanctuary is considered sacred among the local community, where the macaques have inhabited both the woods and the ancient temple located deep within the greens.
Among the many monkey forests scattered across the island, Sangeh can be considered best known among locals as the first to open as an attraction to the tourists. Sangeh Monkey Forest is open to visitors both local and foreign daily, and the forest has been developed over decades to welcome local and foreign sightseers alike. Right now, there are various stalls and facilities that provide common amenities such as its parking areas, toilet facilities, art and souvenir shops, food and beverage stalls and visitor trails.
Not surprisingly, the forest is also a natural reserve and both the village and the local government have sworn to uphold protection over their species. The grey macaques that inhabit the massive forest trees each have a ringleader – and just like the ancient kingdoms of old, there is one highest ruler or ‘king', who dwells in the largest area where a sanctified temple is also found, namely the Bukit Sari Temple. You could also say that this temple is the castle of the monkey king so to speak.
The temple located in the forest of Sangeh is the largest of four temples of the area; the others are Pura Melanting, Pura Tirta and Pura Anyar. It was once a ruin of the previous inhabitants until the Mengwi kingdom ordered for its restoration and the eventual expansion of the temple. It was named Bukit Sari or "essence of the hill" and due to the people's attitude of worship, the sanctity of the temple led to its grounds and the whole forest, thus preservation of the area and the monkey temple was guaranteed to its whole perimeter. All in all, the Sangeh Monkey Forest is a natural preserve dedicated as a sanctuary to the monkeys.
The Secret Gardens of Sambangan
There lies an untouched sanctuary in North Bali, Sambangan village; it is known as The Secret Garden Village, only about 15 minutes driving from Singaraja city. The beautiful views of Sambangan village will offer you natural wildlife scenery and varieties of topography that you can choose from. The village terrain on the northern part of the village is relatively flat so there would be less trekking involved if you are less interested in that. Additionally, the neighbouring village of Wanagiri in some areas has a height of 1,350 meters above sea level.
Due to the gorgeous natural landscape, Sambangan village trekking is recommended as an outdoor activity, especially for those who love outdoor adventures - the village is simply a good place to walk into. It is not surprising, however, that there are in fact many foreign tourists doing Bali trekking tours at Sambangan village. There is also a nearby jungle in the Sambangan village which is likewise a really good spot to have a walk. This village has waterfalls that are still well preserved despite economic development. Take note that there's not just one but more than seven waterfalls located in the village gardens.
The Secret Gardens of Sambangan are an adventurers dream in the jungle of North Bali. The Gardens are actually a series of waterfalls and pools that cascade and bubble through the bottom of a ravine lined by lush trees, vines and flowers. The place is a perfect spot not only among those who want to take a photo session but also those who wish to meditate among the relaxing peaceful scenery.
The first waterfall is the largest; water comes crashing down from a height of 75 meters. The next three waterfalls are much smaller in comparison to the first one but they have pleasant pools for swimming. Each of these falls in the garden has a spot for cliff jumping with the jump getting increasingly higher at each pool. The first one is 5 meters, then 10 and then 15 meters. The natural slides and the cliff jumps are definitely a must-try if you are the adventurous type. Even if you’re more of just a walk and rest type, the Gardens of Sambangan are a great place to hang out and cool off in the various beautiful falls.
Sambangan, Sukasada, Buleleng Regency, Bali 81161, Indonesia
USD$11/Person (with minimum 2 person)
Short Trek costs 125,000 rupiah per person and includes a stop at Aling Aling Waterfall, Kroya Waterfall, Kembar Waterfall and Pucuk Waterfall
Medium Trek costs 250,000 rupiah per person and takes between three and four hours
Long Trek costs 500,000 rupiah per person and includes stop at Aling Aling Waterfall, Kroya Waterfall, Kembar Waterfall, Pucuk Waterfall,Cemara Waterfall, Dedari Waterfall and Canging Waterfall.
Monday - Sunday: 8AM - 5PM
Bali Bird Park
The Bali Bird & Reptile Park is a unique and educational park fit for groups of family and friends. Over two hectares of fine tropical gardens offer a leisurely experience with the various variants of birds. The Bali Bird Park is located in the village of Batubulan, Gianyar Regency. What they offer is a fun and attractive playground for bird lovers and a convenient stopover for those on day tours. The place is also famous for those who are en route to the central regions such as Ubud, where you can have a stopover with the birds.
There are hundreds of different bird species that can be found throughout the park grounds in the various aviaries and individual enclosures. Several groups of these bird varieties inhabit and roam free on the open tree perches and in the interweaving ponds throughout the park grounds. Additionally, the adjoining Reptile Park offers an extensive display of reptile and amphibian specimens among the horticultural gardens. The display includes the elusive giant Komodo dragon with other specimens including variants of pythons, lizards, geckos, toads, frogs, turtles, tortoises and crocodiles.
Inside both the Bird and Reptile Park is various food and snacks, drinks and ice cream kiosks which you may want to peruse if you need to have a short break. There is also a photoshop that creates digital photo prints on T-shirts that you could personally provide as you take photos around the Bird Park. The Bali Bird gift shop also sells souvenirs and merchandise, unique traditional Balinese textiles as well as various curios and tidbits.
Bali Bird Park is a good place when you need a place to unwind. The place isn't just a destination in itself, it can be a stopover on your afternoon trip. What the park provides is an educational and fun experience. If you are in store for avian culture, be sure to stop by at the Bali Bird Park as soon as possible, there is no place in Bali like it.
The Taman Ujung ‘water palace’ is located in the village of Seraya in Karangasem regency, which just like the name suggests was a former home of royalty. It is the sister site of the water palace Tirta Gangga, also built by the late Raja of Karangasem. The complex consists of various large pools and historic structures set against a backdrop of Mount Agung and the eastern shoreline. This aquatic garden is one among the natural pools that you shouldn’t miss out on.
The name ‘Ujung', means ‘extremity' in Indonesian and it often makes it easy for locals to describe its location as being one of the island's largest historical landmarks and places of interest in the easternmost part of the island. Though the land was a former site of royalty, the site was seized by the invasion of the Dutch army and the place was re-opened as a public park. The re-opening was met with little success however as the locals have primarily kept the place as sacred ground. It did not help that the place saw little traffic among the visiting tourists.
The site suffered near devastation by showers of hot ash following the eruption of nearby Mount Agung in 1963 and also weathered an earthquake in 1979. Restoration efforts throughout the decades made way to its current splendour, and it continues to appeal to both locals and visitors. Nowadays, the water palace has become a peaceful site of scenery. Because the site isn’t exactly popular among the common tourists, there is quite less traffic here in comparison to the other water palaces.
The Taman Ujung complex has a combination of Balinese and European architecture throughout three large ponds connected by long elegant bridges and pathways. The physical features of the water palace and superb mountainous backdrop to its north, and sea to its southwest, make it a favourite location for pre-wedding and artistic photographers. Furthermore, because there is little to no tourists there is plenty of room to play around.
Jl. Kebun Raya Eka Karya No.2, Candikuning, Baturiti, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82191, Indonesia
Domestic visitors: Rp. 11,000 / person
Foreign visitors: Rp. 20,000 / person
Car entry to Garden: Rp. 12,000 / vehicle
Monday - Sunday: 7AM - 6PM
Stasiun Banyuwangi Baru
Elephant Safari Park
A tour of Bali would never be complete without a visit to an Elephant sanctuary. The Bali Elephant Safari Park provides Bali with the most popular as well as the most exciting tour of the region; an Elephant Safari at The Elephant Safari Park. Furthermore, this Bali Elephant Safari Park is operated by Mason Adventure (also previously known as Bali Adventure Tours), the best adventure companies in Bali. The location of this Bali elephant safari park is in the Village of Taro north of Ubud.
The park offers you a great experience, a leisurely stroll through the Elephant Park and surrounding forest on the back of a gentle Sumatran Elephant. The Elephant Safari Park takes pride in its status as Bali ‘s largest herd of 27 Elephants as well as 2 baby elephants. The elephants are well trained and can be hand-fed with the help of the tour guide. You may also sit back and relax as you make your way to the Bali Elephant Safari Park in the air-conditioned buses.
The Elephant Safari Park does not tolerate brutal or cruel training methods, as all training is by repetition, reward and patience. Elephant rides are on specially-designed light teak wood seats that are heavily padded to cause no discomfort or injury to the elephant's back. Riding an elephant actually helps by providing necessary exercise for its muscles, bone density, foot health and general wellbeing. In addition to their own regulations, they actively support other like-minded global charities that support the livelihood of elephants as a whole.
Their park follows the ‘5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare' established in Great Britain in 1965 and in their 20 years of operation, the Mason Elephant Park & Lodge has been recognized by the international community and numerous animal welfare organizations such as the National Geographic Society as a Welfare Supporter and the World Wildlife Foundation as a Partner in Conservation. Elephant safaris have always taken quite a backlash among animal rights activists, but the Elephant Safari in Bali does it well and responsibly – more than enough concrete reason to have the park as your next stop.
Jalan Elephant Safari Park Banjar Desa Taro Tegallalang, Taro, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
Elephant Safari Ride Tour (Morning)
IDR 900.000 - 1.330.000
Click here for more ticket packages.
Elephant Safari Ride Tour (Afternoon)
IDR 900.000 - 1.330.000
Monday - Sunday: 8AM - 6PM
The Natural Bamboo Forest should always be in your itinerary, with beautiful nature and the nearby classic temples, waterfalls and unique houses in the village of the eastern part of Bali and of course the bamboo forest itself. This includes a view of the beautiful mountains, visiting coffee plantations and natural spring water. To sum it up, the bamboo forest acts as a median to all of the famous destinations in Bali.
The vast forest is about 7 hectares in size, the bamboo trees have been growing here for a long time ago and the site is very well guarded by the surrounding community. The reason as to why is quite simple, it is for the preservation of the bamboo forest and its wildlife from unkept industrialization. The care that they put into it becomes quite self-evident when entering into the fresh cool air that the bamboo forest provides. Inside it is best to take your time to relax while taking pictures.
We should also remember that the bamboo forest is also a gateway to a lot of nearby attractions on the island. Nearby the bamboo forest is the Penglipuran village, quite well known as the most beautiful village in the region. Also located nearby the bamboo forest is numerous hectares of rice paddies and terraces, all of which are kept in working condition by generations of farmers. There are also sites of waterfalls scattered around, some of which have been discussed in our articles.
On the way, you also can see the creation of the various painting, wood carving and silver jewellery. Since the bamboo forest is maintained by a community of artisans, it is only proper that the place is quite maintained in a way to avoid overgrowth. Additionally, the site is well protected with the constant vigilance of the community so as to avoid any damage that may be caused by natural disasters and man-made negligence. The Bamboo forest is definitely a great place to unwind and relax among the gentle swaying of the bamboo grass.
Kemenuh Butterfly Park
There doesn't seem to be a shortage when it comes to wildlife parks in Bali. The Kemenuh Butterfly Park is Bali’s latest attraction that lets you freely roam throughout the flowering garden enclosures to admire nature’s artistry which is the beautiful butterflies. The park opened at the turn of 2016, becoming Bali’s second butterfly park after the Bali Butterfly Park in Tabanan. The park is an excellent stopover on your tour itinerary to the Sukawati area, with its art market, the Tegenungan Waterfall and the Celuk and Mas silver and goldsmith villages all within a moment’s notice.
The Kemenuh Butterfly Park offers an educational and recreational tour for all of its visitors. Paved pathways stroll through expansive flowering garden enclosures that are covered by netted shelters. Inside the butterfly park, over 500 butterfly specimens flutter with ease, all which are syphoning nectar from flower to flower. Local businessman, owner and nature lover, Ida Bagus Witara, found an affinity in butterflies and set out to create Kemenuh Butterfly Park. It now stands as the largest conservation park of its kind on the island.
Tickets to the park are IDR 100,000 (around USD 7.60) for adults and half the price for kids, which already include a welcome drink upon arrival. You can learn about butterflies and their relatively short life stages through large diagrams on the walls in the lobby. Inside, among the most prominent species, you'll see include the vivid Papilio peranthus, the bright orange Common Cruiser and the giant Atticus Atlas moth. Mini nurseries also show pearlescent cocoons of various species.
The Tirta Gangga royal water garden is a favourite retreat in the regency of Karangasem, East Bali. The lavish water gardens owned by the royal Karangasem family feature 1.2ha of pools, ponds and fountains surrounded by beautifully cut lawns decorated with stepping stones, ornate statues and tropical flora. It was built in 1946 during the reign of King Karangasem. Tirta Gangga saw a series of restorations following the destructive hot showers of volcanic ash from the 1963 Mount Agung eruption.
Tirta Gangga is located in the village of Ababi, an approximate 75km east of Denpasar. The site itself is a cool retreat in the eastern highlands of Bali, perched on the south-eastern slope of the island’s highest mountain, Mount Agung. The Tirta Gangga complex was built around the same time as the Taman Ujung, another beautiful royal water garden. Tirta Gangga, like its sister royal bathing complex, was created to impress visiting dignitaries to Bali. Its modern function hasn’t changed that much as it is welcoming to visitors from all around the world.
It is a favourite retreat both for locals and foreign visitors. Some weekends might even seem a bit crowded, especially in the pools. Besides the many small sarong stalls outside of the main site and around the parking area, Tirta Gangga also boasts accommodation facilities and a restaurant. If you are looking for a place to spend the night, the Tirta Ayu Hotel & Restaurant is located just behind the main fountain.
Tirta Gangga is a convenient stopover along tour itineraries to Bali’s eastern region. The waterpark itself was created to be conspicuous. The main entrance of Tirta Gangga and the large parking area of the park are easily spotted from the main Amlapura Road. It is definitely a must-stop off when you are in the area. After all, the site is open to the public and a small entrance fee applies which goes towards maintenance.
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