Booked & Loved: 3 Bali Tours & Day Trips From Ubud With a Private Driver

Dreamy Bali tours, day trips from Ubud, with the comfort of hiring a local driver, are a rare insight into most secluded corners of a Hindu fairyland. Surrounded by the wild-emerald waters of the Indian Ocean, the Island of Gods is a tropical paradise, shattering all barriers for art intricacy and natural wonders.

Exploring Bali on your own, with a rented car or by using the so popular motorbike, can be a freedom and excitement-filled adventure. Especially for the skilled ones. But Bali tours with private drivers are also a genuine and affordable way of understanding the local culture of this  heaven-made Indonesian destination.

Bali tours with private drivers

I traveled around Bali with my husband for almost a month and a half. And in our case, driving a car in Bali was wrapped up in confusion. Mainly due to the steering wheel on the right side. Added to that, motorcycles were even less of an option because I can barely hold balance on a common bicycle. And hugging the scooter boys from Grab didn’t sound so appealing.

So, our way out of being stuck in Ubud without a car or motorcycle was hiring a private driver.

On the streets of Ubud, in wooden gazebos that protect them from sun and heat, lost among stone-walled houses houses or surrounded by jungle rainforest, LOTS of taxi drivers search for tourists to drive them around. The big question is how to choose the driver for the day from so many.

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Bali Private Tour: 9-Hour Long Ubud Sightseeing

Any new place asks for an express, pinpoint sightseeing tour. Just to get accustomed with the surroundings. Ubud, probably more than any other, due to an overwhelming abundance of things to do and see. Ubud gives it all to visiting tourists: from a natural backdrop that provides a fantastic setting for craziest outdoor adventures to centuries old arts and dramatic tribal dances.

Well, I usually take this fast tour by means of a hop-on, hop-off bus. However, while in Ubud, it was a bit weird even to imagine a huge Big Bus on the tiny and overly-crowded streets of Bali’s uplands.

Lack of experience with motorbikes, plus the tricky, British-style driving, on the left side, called at that time for the only option left: hiring a local Balinese driver. And it worked like a charm.

🚖  Bali Driver for a Day: Ketut | host recommended

Ketut was our ride from the airport in our first day in Ubud. He was recommended by our host Tria from Flora Natural Studios. Ketut took us from the airport to the guesthouse with a spacious Toyota. Plus, he carried, on his own, three huge pieces of luggage up the Penestanan roads, to a secluded area, where no car could get in.

Consequently, we were sincerely impressed by his kindness and optimism, and even if his English was not perfect, we still decided to give him a chance for a sightseeing tour in and around Ubud. We had no plan. So, he came up with one. The schedule was really well organized, flexible and without a fixed time limit.

🌴 Real Bali Swing

Most Beautiful Swing in Bali

Bali Swings, Copyright ©

More like playgrounds for nostalgic grown-ups and Instagram photoshoots, Bali’s numerous swings are literally a wild obsession on the island nowadays. That’s why Ketut put this at the very top of the list of things to do for the day, around Ubud.

Moreover, this seems to be the original, the first ever Swings Park in Bali.

Swinging above the dramatic setting of tropical greenery and a beautiful cascade, while hanging on ropes tightly tied on tall palm trees is an adrenaline starter for many tourists. For me, a longing for a black and white era of Tarzan movies.

What’s also extremely charming about this place, is the hidden entrance down the stairs, right through the dream dresses rental shop. Passing through a closet that opens up to the wonderful tropical backdrop literally gives you Narnian chills.

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Dewi Saraswati No.7, Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Admission fee: 450 000 IDR, excluding professional photographer or special dress; 75 000 IDR to visit;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 05:00 pm.

🌴 Monkey Forest Ubud

Monkey sitting on elephant statue in Sanctuary in Ubud Bali

Monkey Forest Temple, Copyright ©

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is an almost magical place inside the tropical rainforest. Unusual statues, intricate temple sculptures and ritual places have become playground and home for the Balinese macaques.

It is true that monkeys can be seen all over the place, even outside the park, on the nearby streets. But I think this experience can be a bit more than watching monkeys jumping around and tightly clinging onto your hair. Or curiously searching through your bag.

Going inside it’s about interacting with them without anyone getting hurt. Altogether, it’s als0 about admiring traditional Balinese art, as well as passing through unbelievable jungle landscapes with suspended bridges and centuries old lianas.

And the entrance cost is not unaffordable.

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571 (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Admission fee: 80 000 IDR / person;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 06:00 pm.

🌴 Seeds Restaurant

Seeds Eatery Indonesian Food Ubud
Ubud Bali Indonesian Restaurant Recommendation

Seeds Restaurant in Central Ubud, Copyright ©

During our Ubud sightseeing tour, we stopped at Seeds Restaurant to have a quick lunch. Our Bali driver for the day, Ketut, recommended a restaurant called Bebek Tebasari Resto. But it was a bit far from our location and we were really hungry.

So, we did our own research. And found this really great eatery minutes away from Monkey Forest Sanctuary, in central part of Ubud village. Ketut was very modest. He refused to have lunch with us and dropped us in front of the restaurant.

We had to wait for 3-4 minutes, because the little Ubud eatery was full. Still, once we got in, the atmosphere is very cozy and the food so delicious.

We tried a spicy tom yam soup, noodles with grilled chicken, and spicy stir fried kailan with roasted pork belly. The last one it was meant to be for sharing. But, in my opinion, the portion was enough for one person only. This really depends on your appetite.

With some extra rice, drinks and a donut, it cost us around 330 000 IDR, service and tax included.

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Raya Pengosekan Ubud, 108, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571 (Google Maps);
  • 💰 Meal costs for 2 people: 330 000 IDR;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 11:00 am – 08:00 pm.

🌴 Goa Gajah Temple

Entrance to Goa Gajah Elephant Temple Hindu Ubud

Goa Gajah Temple, Ubud, Bali, Copyright ©

Goa Gajah is a small, 1000-year old temple complex, source of inspiration for Bali folklore tales and spiritual example, highly praised in old Hindu poems for its ceremonies.

Going down the entrance stairs, the most striking element is the so called Elephant Cave, an ancient sanctuary thought to have been carved in pure, solid rock by the fingernail of the mythological giant Kebo Iwa itself.

In front of it, timeless carvings of monstrous creatures meant to keep away the evil spirits look towards a ritual pool. Inside the bathing spot, nymphs poor purifying water on the heads of the believers.

The place is really nice for a day walk, as it has also open pavilions, lotus ponds, cascades and paved alleys crossing the mighty jungle towards the village.

  • 📌 Address: Bedulu, Blahbatuh, Gianyar Regency, Bali (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Admission fee: 50 000 IDR / person, including sarong;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 05:00 pm.

🌴 Balinese Village Ceremonies

Balinese ceremony Tibumana Waterfall

Balinese Celebration in Bangli Regency, East of Ubud, Copyright ©

On our way to one of the many beautiful waterfalls around Ubud, the driver stopped for us to take some pictures of a Balinese celebration.  Open, kind, happy and proud of their customs, Balinese keep alive centuries old rituals. And they are extremely open to showing to the whole world.

Elegantly dresses and carrying their offerings, people were coming back from the river and going towards the temple for a day long Hindu ceremony. With thousands of Gods and millions of manifestations, even Ketut got confused when we asked him which god they were praying to, during this ceremony.

🌴 Tibumana Waterfall

Tibumana Waterfall Sign in Bali Ubud

Tibumana Waterfall, Copyright ©

In the afternoon, while the sun was still on the sky, Ketut drove us to Tibumana to have a swim in one of the wonderful waterfalls of Bali. He told us in advance, so we were already dressed up in our swimming suits and had extra clothes to change later.

To get to Tibumana waterfall, you pass beautiful rice fields, descend stairs down the hill, through the wilderness and cross bridges made of palm leaves and bamboo towards the lagoon. On the road there, just 10-15 minutes distance from where the driver left us, there was a temple, local stores selling fresh fruits, a beautiful swing over the green void and an all-stone restaurant inside a tiny cave.

The waterfall itself was a dream, surrounded by lush greenery from three sides. The water can be crystal clear. Unless it rains the days before, and it becomes muddy.

There were only two-three people and a drone making memories when we visited.

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Setra Agung, Apuan, Kec. Susut, Bangli, Bali 80661 (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Entrance fee: 15 000 IDR / person, excluding swing (150 000 IDR for 2 people);
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 07:00 am – 06:00 pm.

🌴 Dewa Malen Wood Carving

Wood Carver Bali
Dewa Malen Wood Carver Ubud

Dewa Malen Artisan Workshop in Ubud, Copyright ©

For me, the most impressive thing about Bali stays in its intricate sculptures. From temples to homes, stone and wood carvings are some of the most extraordinary I’ve seen.

Therefore, we asked Ketut to take us to one last place. Preferable, something strongly connected to Balinese art. And Ketut drove us to Dewa Malen Workshop. An idyllic traditional house and a family business in Ubud, where birds that sing along when they hear your voice and skillful hands that magically craft the wood.

It was really nice vibe inside. No one tried to convince us into buying anything, we had our time to take pictures and walk around. After negotiating the price, we got ourselves a beautiful Balinese dancer praying.

They also offer workshops for people trying to get their way around with wood.

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Ir. Sutami, Kemenuh, Kec. Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali 80582 (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Approximate cost for a 40cm tall statue: 1 000 000 IDR; there is no entrance fee;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 07:00 pm.

🌴 Balinese Cultural Workshops

Dewa Malen is just one of the wonderful hidden spots around Bali. And it’s the proof that Bali is so much more than just sightseeing.

The wood carving workshops inside their home and studio take you back hundreds of years of crafting. As the ethnic and cultural footprint of the old Balinese and their customs remains very alive on every street, in every home.

Added to that, Ubud surroundings are bursting with art and  talented people ready to teach you almost any local art manifestation from egg painting to traditional jewelry making or cooking Balinese recipes.

🌴 Ubud Seightseeing Tour Map & Contact

Bali Tour Map-Ubud Sightseeing

Ketut, our first Ubud tour driver was more than patient with us, from 10:00 a.m. to 07:30 pm to in the evening.

He never hurried us and adjusted his schedule in such way that we could enjoy all these fabulous places. At the end of the tour, he even took us to his favorite shopping place in Ubud, the lovely Pepito supermarket, from where we bought our next day breakfast.

  • ☎️ WhatsApp contact: Ketut Sumerta / Penestanan, Ubud – +62.821.

💰 For the one-day private Ubud sightseeing tour, including Balinese driver (600K), souvenirs (1000K), temples & waterfall entrances (450K), only sightseeing at Real Bali Swing (150K), plus lunch (300K), we spent around 2500K IDR as a couple.  It could have went higher with 900K IDR or more, if we would have used the swings.

Bali Private Tour: Bedugul Day Trip

Choosing a second private Bali tour wasn’t hard either.

In this regards, I fell in love since the first moment with the pictures of Ulun Danu Beratan, a temple straight north from Ubud. At a distance of less than 50 km and about 1 – 1.5 hours driving from the town center towards Bedugul district, an enchanting Hindu temple floats above Beratan Lake.

The day trip from Ubud started on the main road through small villages embraced by the jungle. The return path unfolded along the feet of Batukaru mountain, a sleeping volcano, passing Jatiluwih Rice Terrace.

🚖  Bali Driver for a Day: Agung Putra| street shop professional ad

We found our second private driver just minutes away from Ubud center, close to Penestanan stairs. He had a very professional ad in front of his home and we stopped for information regarding the tours he offered.

Prices are more than acceptable for day-long trips around the island and depend on distances and length of the tour. Prices vary between 500 000 -700 000 IDR ($35 – $50) / 7-seats car, for 8 to 10 hours tours.

Contrasting to the bohemian taxi drivers resting in the gazeboes along the roads of Ubud, he inspired more credibility from the first minutes. From the way he professionally marketed his small tourism agency, to the beautiful business cards.

His English was also very good. During the trip, Agung was very prompt, telling us details in advance about every place that we will visit. Plus stories about his life and culture.

🌴 Taman Ayun Temple

Taman Ayun Bali Temple
Taman ayun Royal Temple in Bali

Taman Ayun Temple in Mengwi, Copyright ©

First stop on our Bedugul tour was the charming traditional Balinese Hindu temple of Taman Ayun, the heritage of the royal family and empire of Mengwi.

The 17th century temple is encircled by a huge man-made lake, source of irrigation for the nearby farmlands.

Still, the fascinating element of the temple is represented by the multiple, quite tall, terraced-roof pagodas sitting in a row. All these, together with lovely manicured tropical greenery, exhibition pavilions, peculiar god shrines and natural springs make up a lovely Balinese historical and cultural site.

From the distance, due to the surrounding lake, the entire complex of Taman Ayun looks like floating above the water.

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Ayodya No.10, Mengwi, Mengwi, Kabupaten Badung, Bali (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Admission fee: 30 000 IDR / person;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 06:15 pm.

🌴 Coffee & Tea Plantation Near Ubud

Coffee Tea Plantation in Bali Near Ubud

Subak Bali Agro Bedugul, Copyright ©

Half way on the road from Mengwi Royal Temple to Bedugul Temple, the driver stopped for our coffee break at Subak Bali Agro.

Hidden in the jungle, with an almost invisible entrance covered by lush vegetation and only a sign spelling Luwak coffee, this place is incredibly beautiful. Durian and Jack fruit hanging high above, cocoa fruits ready to become chocolate, pink pineapples bursting out of the ground. A paradise.

I am more a tea person. So, along with the coconut coffee, we tested many, many teas. The magical dust was sitting in cute, tiny jars.

The teas they produce locally, in Bali, have an amazing taste. Ginger, turmeric and rosalia tea flavors (which is made from edible flowers) were, in my opinion, the best. These were already combined with sugar, but there was also a no sugar version available.

  • 📌 Address: Mekarsari, Baturiti, Bedugul, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️Admission fee: free, tasting is also free of charce, except Luwac Coffee – 60 000 IDR;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 07:30 am – 07:00 pm.

🌴 Ulun Danu Beratan Temple / Bedugul Temple

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple Bali
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Bedugul Bali

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Copyright ©

Next stop of our trip with Agung was the temple I was dreaming about: the famous Bedugul temple.

This is one very popular spot in Bali, because it’s not just about one temple. It is in fact a widely-spread park with multiple temples, shrines, flower gardens, lakefront views, colorful statues and lively restaurants. Ideal to spend the whole day outdoors! On top of that, it is surrounded by mountains and hills with a misty appearance.

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple Complex is one of the 9 most important of Bali, known as Kahyangan Jagat Temples, or palaces of Gods. These were built to surround the island, according to eight directions of the wind. And with another being at the center. All aimed to protect against evil from any side it might come.

  • 📌 Address: Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️Admission fee: 75 000 IDR / person;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 07:00 am – 07:00 pm.

🌴 De Danau Lakeview Restaurant

Bedugul Temple Restaurant De Danau

Chicken Teriyaki at De Danau Restaurant, Copyright ©

Even the restaurants inside the temple complex were open and filled with people, we preferred to choose one with a better rating.

And there was De Danau, just across the street. A huge restaurant, with big, big windows open towards the lake. We invited Agung to eat with us, but he refused and remained close to temple parking to wait for us.

Meanwhile, at the top floor, we found a table next to the window so we could enjoy the beautiful panorama over the Beratan lake and the mesmerizing green hills dressed up in fluffy fog.

Food was good. Prices OK.

  • 📌 Address: P5F7+VJV, Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82191 (Google Maps);
  • 💰 Food costs for 2 people: 300 000 IDR , including drinks.

🌴 Jatiluwih Rice Terrace

Rustic Bali Trekking Route at Jatiluwih rice terrace

Rustic Bali Trekking Route at Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, Copyright ©

Spread on the curvy slopes of a sleeping volcano, Jatiluwih terraces are at the core of rice farming in Bali. And nevertheless, the most authentic image you can get of a rural, eco-friendly village. Inhere, the Balinese people maintained their ancient customs and tools for working the lands.

What’s lovely is that local people seemed to do their daily chores without being disturbed by the curious tourists like us. On the contrary, they even invites us to take pictures with their farming tools or practice the farming itself.

There are five trekking routes in Jatiluwih, which can also be traveled by bicycle, rented on the spot. But we chose to walk the red line, the shortest, only 40-minutes long path.

Of a beauty that can mesmerize anyone, the rice fields were scattered, here and there, with small temples and guardian statues, tropical fruit trees such as bananas and coconut, cute grazing cows and tiny shops with local sweets.

Considering these rice terraces are not accessible by public transport, having a driver and with no tight schedule was better than expected.

  • 📌 Address: Jatiluwih Kawan No.Desa, Jatiluwih, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Admission fee: 40 000 IDR / person;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 05:00 pm.

🌴 Bedugul Temple Day Trip Map & Contact

Bedugul Temple Tour from Ubud

When we were almost at the end of the trekking road, rain started. That was the moment when we felt really blessed for having a private driver.

He came and collected us and off we went towards our guesthouse in Ubud. Agung was an amazing choice as a driver. Funny, able to speak with us, well prepared… He even had cold water for us in the trunk of his car, as well as wet towels to refresh ourselves. 

Can’t recommend him enough!

  • ☎️ WhatsApp contact: Agung Putra / Penestanan, Ubud – +62.822.

💰 For the one-day private tour to Bedugul for 2 people, including driver and car (600K IDR), tea and chocolate (600K IDR), temples (210K IDR) & rice field entrance (80K IDR), plus lunch (300K IDR), we spent around 1.800K IDR ($120). About $60 / person. 

Bali Private Tour: Tegallalang & Pura Tirta Empul

The next private tour on the Island of Gods included mainly the Gianyar district located north-east from Ubud, just 15 km from the city center. And about 30 minutes driving. And this time, our Bali day trip was not only about temples and rice fields, but also about the pretty car that took us there.

🚖  Bali Driver for a Day: Agus Krishna | Facebook Bali Group

Following a bunch of Bali themed groups on Facebook, one post really stood out. Wayan Sueta had written, in a very good English, a quite romantic description of a Bali tour around Tegallalang rice terraces and Pura Tirta Empul, tha famous water temple.

However, the catch of his Bali tour ad was the drive-around, convertible car, a lovely 1970’s Volkswagen. I had dreamed about this since I saw the vintage cars on all roads of Ubud. So, the well written ad, plus the car, made it enough to book a tour.

convertible vintage Volkswagen car Bali tour

Volkswaken Safari / Bali Tour Car, Copyright ©

Our driver was Wayan’s son, Agus Krishna.  He is young, enthusiastic, very modest and speaks English very well. He has been helping his father with his travel business for a few years now. And he knows all the worthwhile places in Ubud.

Agus explained and adjusted the itinerary I planned beforehand in such way that we could admire beautiful spots without getting into large tourist crowds and get the most out of our tour.

🌴 Aloha Swings

Aloha swings in Bali Jungle

Aloha Swings, Copyright ©

This stop was a personal request to our Bali driver, because I wanted to compare with what we had already seen.

Swings are very much the same with the ones at Bali Swings Pioneer. But the setting is different. From here, you can see, besides the jungle backdrop, vast rice terraces in the valley below. There is also a butterfly park and a magical-view restaurant at the exit.

  • 📌 Address: Jatiluwih Kawan No.Desa, Jatiluwih, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Admission fee: 400 000 IDR / person to use the swings; 50 000 IDR, if you just want to walk around;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 05:00 pm.

🌴 Tegallalang Rice Terrace

Tegallalang Rice Terrace Bali
Zipline at Tegallalang Rice Terraces Bali Indonesia

Tegallalang Rice Terrace in Bali, Indonesia, Copyright ©

I found Tegallalang smaller than other rice terraces, but very charming in its own way.

It’s unbelievable how simple rice fields can look so amazing, neatly arranged on the hillside. Especially in the morning sun. Some areas of the terraces here have stopped being maintained, and are either covered in grass, or scarce, letting the brownish soil to come out to light.

But still beautiful. Plus the area is packed with fun. Tegallalang has a zipline crossing the valley and swings right at the top. If you’re not here for the adrenaline, there are many restaurants on the perimeter where you can have a drink and dream along with the view.

Tegallalang rice terraces are one heavenly place worth of being included in any of the day trips from Ubud.

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kec. Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Admission fee: 10 000 IDR / person for the entrance, extra activities means extra costs;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 06:00 pm.

🌴 D’Alas Warung Restaurant

Dalas Restaurant Tegallalang Rice Terraces Bali
Dalas Restaurant Tegallalang Nasi Goreng

D’Alas Warung Restaurant, Copyright ©

D’Alas Warung came as a recommendation from our Bali driver, Agus Krishna. And it couldn’t have been more beautiful choice of a traditional Balinese restaurant. Perfectly hidden eatery with a heavenly view over the nearby rice fields.

A smiling lady awaits at the entrance to lead you through a charming, maze-like garden and down the hill to the dining area.

The restaurant, not far from Tegallalang, has several enchanting open-air, wooden pavilions, an infinity pool that mirrors the beauty around and a swing taking you up, to the top of the palm trees. All nicely spread on the slopes of a hill, surrounded by deep-green jungle and breathtaking rice terraces, further away in the valley.

Food was very good, but the view, priceless!

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Raya Pujung Kaja, Sebatu, Kec. Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561 (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Admission fee: 300 000 IDR for 2 people, including drinks;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 10:00 am – 08:00 pm.

🌴 Pura Tirta Empul

Pura Tirta Empul Bali Water Temple Purification place
Pura Tirta Empul Bali Water Spring

Pura Tirta Empul, Copyright ©

Folklore and legends bear the roots of some of the most mind-blowing places and rituals around Bali.

The pretty VW took us this time to Pura Tirta Empul  A Hindu temple which is highly known for the holy water natural spring on the grounds and its special bathing spots for purification.

Though the temple was built in the 8th-century and dedicated to Wisnu, God of Water, the spring inside is much older than that. The story tells that the healing spring came to life from Indra’s wish, in the very ground where the God stuck his magical spear.

Nowadays, surrounded by stone-carved deity creatures protecting the realm, people submerge themselves into the cool and healing mountain spring water, in order to cleanse their mind, body and soul of all bad, both seen and unseen.

The spring can be noticed bubbling up inside the breathtaking basin with sparkling emerald water, behind the ritual pool.

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Kec. Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552 (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️Admission fee: 50 000 IDR / person, free sarong at the entrance;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 06:00 pm.

🌴 Candi Tebing Gunung Kawi

Candi Tebing Gunung Kawi Hindu Temple Bali Ubud

Candi Tebing Gunung Kawi, Copyright ©

Candi Tebing Gunung Kawi temple is a jewel hidden from sight, pretty far down, inside the valley of a small river.

To reach the temple you have to descend a good amount of stairs. Most of the path is packed with souvenir shops, some are quite unique and delicate, handmade on the spot. Like coconut sculptures. But down the valley, the stairs start following along a dreamlike rice terrace. And souvenirs become a distant memory.

The two sides of the river are united by a charming bridge and both feature giant, one-piece stone carvings, sculpted directly into the mountain wall. Water fountains for blessings and birds chirping give this place a heavenly charm. Far behind, usual ritual shrines and monstrous guardians form the central part of the complex.

From above the jungle lets its lazy vegetation hang over the temple complex.

Thing is that going down to see this Balinese splendor is quite easy, while coming back up is one hell of a workout. At least, for me it was.

  • 📌 Address: H8G6+QWG, br penaka, Tampaksiring, Kec. Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️Admission fee: 50 000 IDR / person, free sarong at the entrance;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 08:00 am – 06:00 pm.

🌴 Kanto Lampo Waterfall

Kanto Lampo Hidden Waterfall Bali

Kanto Lampo Waterfall

This was our last stop of the Bali tour with Agus Krishna and his vintage car.

A stunning waterfall just 30 minutes away from our guesthouse in Ubud, on the return way. The waterfall is one of the smallest in Bali, but also one of the most beautiful due to its massive stones hit consequently by the plummeting water.

convertible vintage-Volkswagen safari car for Bali tour

Volkswaken Safari / Bali Tour Car, Copyright ©

Bathing suit put to a good use for a second time that day! After half an hour and some quick selfies, we were back to our car to head home.

  • 📌 Address: Jl. Kaliasem lingk.kelod kangin, Beng, Gianyar, Bali 80513 (Google Maps);
  • 🎟️ Admission fee: 20 000 IDR / person;
  • ⏰ Opening hours: Mon.-Sun.: 07:00 am – 05:00 pm.

🌴 70’s Vintage Volkswagen Bali Day Trip Map & Contact

Bali Tour Map of Tellagalang Rice Terraces and temples

The VW Safari Tour around Bali was fantastic! As well as Agus.

Riding the classic, convertible Volkswagen safari car through the small busy villages and rice fields, from mornings to sunset, with wind blowing into my hair, was one of the most memorable moments of the one month in Bali.

  • ☎️ WhatsApp contact: Agus Krishna / Ubud – +62.821.

💰 For the one-day private tour to Tellagalang Rice Terraces and surrounding temples, for 2 people, including driver and car (700K IDR), temples (200K IDR), rice field entrance (20K IDR), waterfall (40K IDR) and swings (100K IDR), plus lunch (300K IDR), we spent around 1360K IDR ($92). About $46 / person. 

🌴 Other Magical Bali Tours & Day Trips

Real Expenses of a Day Trip in Bali & Bali Private Drivers Costs

The costs of a day tour around Bali start with the cost the driver will give you. Depending on the distance, the medium range is from 500 00o IDR to 700 000 IDR. This includes, most often the driver, the gas, parking or road fees, if any. This is a price per car.

The initial cost does not include:

  • Temple entrance fees which are around 50 000 – 100 000IDR / person / temple;
  • rice field entrance fees, ranging from 10 000 to 40 000 IDR;
  • different experiences such as the famous Bali Swings; these can cost you starting from 100 000 IDR (just a basic swing at Tibumana Waterfall) up to 900 000 IDR in swing parks (including entrance, dress and photographer);
  • lunch which can be around 100 000 IDR – 150 000 IDR / person;
  • souvenirs: a magnet can be 15 000IDR, a local tea bag of 100g, 130 000 IDR while intricate art, an artisan made statue can start around 700 000 IDR and go up to millions. It’s all up to your budget in this case;
  • tips for driver (100 000-200000IDR /day ) or local guides inside temples.

Tips on How to Choose Your Bali Driver

Avoid hiring people directly from the street gazebos. You don’t know their experience, their style of driving, their manners.

Ask a more professional looking tour operator for details. The street is filled with such shops, where you can learn more about their tours, understand prices, grow confidence. Search for transparency.

Ask or follow recommendations on Facebook groups. Many reviews there are backed by pictures and personal experiences. Lots of them positive!

Ask about the car. You should know from the beginning in which conditions you will travel, just to ensure yourself you will avoid breakdowns or hygiene problems.

Check if the driver is English speaker! Being able to communicate with your driver will make your adventure more enjoyable. And he will also be able to understand you if you encounter any problems or if you want to adjust the itinerary.

Advantages of hiring a driver in Bali

A good local driver:

  • give you flexibility around the island if you can’t rent / drive scooters or cars;
  • can keep you away from unpleasant situations;
  • share his knowledge with you and take you to less touristy places;
  • knows when is the best time to visit a place;
  • helps you with your pictures.

Getting ready for you tours in Bali

⭐ Do hire professional local drivers

Local drivers know all the hidden places around Bali island. They can share with you folklore stories and cultural insights, let you know about the way they live and their customs.

But most important, they will often protect you from any unpleasant situations that might arise.

⭐ Take advantage of free sarong

Before entering any temples you will be approached by people wanting to sell you the traditional sarong. Which is a must for any meeting with the Gods.

Still, you do not need to buy, unless you really want a beautiful souvenir. All temples provide a free-to-wear sarong at the entrance. And, of course, you should return it when you leave.

⭐  Do your research before starting your tour.

Bali is filled with magical places and a little planning beforehand, on Google maps, will greatly improve your experience.

If there is anything you would like to add or adjust on the planned Bali itinerary, drivers are pretty flexible. You just have to notify them in advance and they will try to adapt for you.

⭐   Have everything ready to protect yourself from the sun

Sun in Bali can sometimes be merciless. And even if the jungle is almost everywhere, visiting rice fields is mostly open air. Light clothes, sun cream, glasses and a hat are a must!

And get your swimming suit, because most tours include some amazing waterfall!

⭐   As a solo woman traveler avoid being too friendly

In Bali, some customs of the Western world can often be misinterpreted.

One way to avoid problems is to hire professionals, not random people from the street! This was one of the reasons I have never had any issues during organized tours. I hired recommended, hard-working and respectful guides.

Plus, keeping a proper distance and imposing respect, at all times, is recommended. Not only during tours, but also while using services like Grab in Bali.

To wrap up

Lovely thing about all these tours was that getting around Bali with private drivers didn’t stop me from planning my own itineraries or adjusting theirs. If you’re lucky, some Bali private drivers can be very flexible, patient and helpful.

Plus, if they are English speakers, they can give you the so longed-for insights on customs, architecture, rituals.

Other Ubud, Bali Things to Do

If you’ve had a nice experience with a private Bali driver, please leave a comment below. I appreciate honest and elaborate feedbacks. And in this way we help the hard working and beautiful people making a living. I will not accept self advertising and I will personally check the authenticity of the feedback.

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Bali Tours & Day Trips with Private Driver
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