3 Perfect Days in Ubud | Sensational Guide to the Bali Jungle

3 Perfect Days in Ubud | Sensational Guide to the Bali Jungle

Ubud in Bali is one of those destinations that you need to explore at least once in your life!  I created this 3 days Ubud itinerary to Help you discover this amazing area of Bali. Ubud is full of incredible lush rainforest, amazing rice terraces, cute but also scary monkeys, amazing food and so much more. And with just 3 days in Ubud, you can only explore so much!

Since Ubud is located up there in the middle of the jungle, it is not really the easiest place to visit if you have only got time for a super short trip to the country. In my 7-day Bali road trip itinerary, I did include a couple of stops in Ubud, but when you are on the road, it is not possible to explore the depths of a location. And since Ubud was probably my most favourite stop during my trip to Bali, I wanted to make sure you would be able to explore everything you should!

Thankfully, you can really pack a lot in with only 3 days in Ubud, including taking some day trips and exploring the town’s main highlights. Buckle up for this detailed itinerary which will explain what to do in Ubud in 3 days, including lots of extra handy information if you are heading to the island for the very first time!

BALI BASICS

Underneath you will find all the basics that you need to know about Bali. What currency do they use, when it the best time to visit, how to stay healthy and more?

Language Balinese, though English is spoken pretty much island-wide.
Time Zone GMT+8
Electricity Flat three-pin plug. Electrical power in Australia runs on a cycle of 50hz, and a voltage of 230 Volt.
Currency The standard in Bali is a two-pin plug for a socket. Voltage: 230 V, Frequency: 50 Hz and Power sockets type C / F
Tipping Tipping in Bali is appreciated but it’s not required. However many service workers in Bali don’t earn very much, so even a small tip really helps

MONEY AND PRICE

The currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah. Currently, the exchange rate sits around:

€1 = 15376 IDR
$1 = 9516 IDR
£1 = 18099 IDR

Bali (Indonesia) is not an expensive country, hence why it is so popular amongst all travellers. Budget holidays to this island can easily be done if you plan your trip out. You’ll find yourself spoilt for choice in Bali with the cost of food and beer being really affordable. If you stick to local spots then you can find Bintangs (A pilsner, clear, bottom-fermented lager beer) for less than $2AU. A filling meal for two cost you around $15AU to $20AU or less. Wander out and try out some of the local cuisines. Tipping in Bali is considered to be a foreign concept. Although it is not mandatory to tip for every service you avail, the tips are nevertheless appreciated.

Cash is still an important form of payment in Bali. So, make sure you carry enough with you to pay for your small shopping, transportation, and food & drinks.

LANGUAGE

Because Bali is quite a touristy island, most people speak basic- to good English.  However, it is always polite to speak a few basic words of the local language. Underneath are some words that could be helpful and polite:

BALINESE PHRASES & USEFUL TRAVEL PHRASES

Underneath you can find some handy Balinese/Indonesian phrases as well as some handy travel phrases that might come in handy during your time in the country.

English Balinese
Hello Halo
How are you? Apa kabar?
Thank you Terima Kashi
Good bye Sampai Jumpa
Sorry Maaf
Good morning Selamat Pagi
Yes Ya
No Tidak
So you speak English? Apakah kamu berbicara bahasa Inggris

BEST TIME TO VISIT BALI

May is the hottest month in Bali with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F) and the coldest is January at 26°C(79°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 9 in April. The wettest month is January with an average of 90mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is in January when the average sea temperature is 29°C (84°F).

VISA REQUIREMENTS

Depending on your passport and citizenship, you have the following options, when your main purpose is to travel to the island as a tourist:

To enter Indonesia, your passport must be valid for at least six more months from the date of entry.  You also must have an onward ticket when arriving in the country.

HOW TO PREVENT BALI BELLY

The tap water in Bali is of uncertain quality and is often pegged as the cause of many cases of the ‘Bali belly’ (I’m sure you know what that means, I am not going to go into details) Go to the local mini-mart and stock up on big bottles of water to help you stay hydrated (Very important because it’s really hot and humid in Bali and you need to drink lots of water).

I, unfortunately, got incredibly sick when I was in Bali, due to food poisoning. I have written my story down in a previous blog post if interested.

GETTING AROUND IN BALI/UBUD?

Getting around in Bali is quite easy and cheap.  If you fancy getting local or you are staying just outside of town, then hiring a motorbike or scooter is a great idea. It’s not too hard to drive in Ubud compared to the main roads in Bali, so it’s a great and very cheap option that will prove to be super convenient and efficient for exploring Ubud and the surrounding areas.

You can hire a scooter for around 60,000IDR a day, which is about $5,- AUD.

You do need an international driving license which you have to apply for in your home country. They are usually only valid together with your “real” driving license, so you need to bring both along. You can get a temporary Balinese driving license (tourist driver’s license) from the police station in Denpasar within a day.

Alternatively, you can hire a car with a private driver for 450,000 IDR who will take you to all the local hot spots.

3 days ubud itinerary. How to get arround in Ubud
3 days Ubud itinerary | Scooters are a great way of getting around in Bali. This is not for everyone though

Do keep in mind that Bali traffic is a real thing, especially around the Ubud area. If you are planning to drive yourself, make sure to drive slow and safe at all times.

Additionally, they have rideshare apps available (Grab and Go-Jek, which are similar to Uber) Unfortunately they do not very work well in Ubud and it’s surroundings. It’s essentially banned in the area, with tons of signs discouraging riders from using Uber, Grab, Go-Jek, etc. The locals argue that these rideshare apps are taking money away from the drivers themselves and have been fighting these apps from the start.  So, you can try them, but at many touristy locations, they will not work.

How to Get to Ubud From the Airport?

Once you land at Denpasar International Airport (DPS) you have to get to your accommodation. Getting to Ubud will take about 1.5 to 2-hour drive. At the airport, there are many taxi’s (legal and illegal ones) available.

Most hotels offer a pickup service from the airport (which will be paid) but this way you don’t have to worry about finding a fair taxi price after a long flight. I would suggest checking with your hotel to see if they can organise this for you.

If they do not have this service, then you can call a Grab or Go-Jek who can drive you to your hotel in Ubud for roughly $25,-.

WHERE TO STAY IN UBUD FOR THREE DAYS?

Speaking of accommodation? Where are the best places to stay in Ubud? Underneath I have listed a couple of great options for you.

  • Ubud Sari | This is a is a health resort where people enhance their physical, emotional and spiritual life through the resources and skills of a highly trained staff in a quiet, beautiful and peaceful setting.
  • Alaya Resort Ubud | This resort is a sanctuary of serenity and sophistication in the culturally charged village of Ubud in the island of Bali.
  • Bisma Eight Hotel | A luxury boutique resort and with a stunning jungle setting! They offer creative food and range of activities make it a great place to stay for a couple of nights.

If you are more after a budget experience, then it is worth checking out Hostels in Ubud. You can stay in a hostel for as little as $3, – a night WHOAH! though most of them lie between £5-8 per person/per night. You can look on booking sites like Hostel Bookers and Hostel World for availability and rates.

Some recommended hostels with decent ratings:

  • Puji Hostel
  • Green View Backpackers Inn
  • New Ubud Hostel
  • RW Downtown hostel
  • Pondok Permata (Homestay)

 Best places to Eat in Ubud?

3 days ubud itinerary. How to get arround in Ubud

Prior to my trip to Bali, I had some health issues and therefore was very careful with what I eat! I heard the stories and read the articles (Plus I have lived in India for a couple of months) so I knew what to eat and what not to eat (Still got sick, for my full story click here)

Underneath are just a couple of places I eat whilst in Bali that had good food and which didn’t make me sick  (yay) There are many many small restaurants and café’s scattered throughout Ubud, so there are many more to choose from.

Hujan Locale offers a fun atmosphere with great ambience, excellent food and cocktails, great service. I ordered some chicken wings stuffed with prawn paste, which was mouth-watering good! If you have a sweet tooth like me, then definitely do not miss the desserts. The open coconut cheesecake I had was simply incredible. This restaurant also has a reasonable number of options for vegetarians too.

Acai Queen offers honestly some of the most incredible açai and smoothies. With lots of fresh exotic fruits, coconut, and home-made granola these bowls are simply “Bali in a bowl”. And because it is sweetened with coconut nectar it makes a delicious, fresh, and healthy start in the day!

WIFI AND HOW TO STAY CONNECTED IN UBUD?

Although you will most likely have wifi at your accommodation,  I would suggest bringing a pocket-sized personal WiFi hotspot with you. The wifi in Bali is not amazing, and it will bring you quite a bit of annoyance when you want to post a pic on Instagram, and you can’t.

WiFi hotspots are a cost-effective option (Especially if you travel often) to ensure you can use GPS apps like Google Maps, check your emails, and catch up with friends and family while away.

3 Days in Ubud | An Itinerary

Underneath you can find how to spend 3 days in Ubud. You can swap days around and even some of the sights, as it won’t make much of a difference. The way I have set it up is the way I would do it if I were to go back to Ubud.

Now let’s finally dive into my comprehensive detailed 3 days Ubud itinerary.

UBUD ITINERARY DAY 1 | RICE TERRACES & MONKEY MADNESS

On your first day at Ubud, we start off the day at probably one of the most famous and most Instagramable spot, the Tegallalan Rice Terraces! The stunning Rice Terrace is part of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprises of lush emerald-green terrace’s still being worked by local rice farmers. You truly have to see it in order to grasp its beauty.

The rice fields are located a short 20-minute drive from Ubud and they are very easy to find. There is a large car park just a couple of minutes’ walk from the fields where you can park your car for a small fee. (I think it was around the 10,000 IDR, but don’t @ me) A taxi from Ubud will cost around the 200,000 IDR and a scooter for around 50,000 IDR.

BALI RICE FIELDS | What to expect

At the entrance of the terraces, they will ask for a ‘donation’ to entre the premises. Technically you do not have to pay to get in, but to give a ‘donation’ you help the locals and you paid to for the upkeep of the terraces. The donation points are located throughout the rice fields, so bring a bunch of smaller notes so you can pay each at each wooden shack. The average donation is usually around 10,000 IDR (which is roughly $1 AUD). Depending on how many donations you’re willing to pay you can decide how far into the rice terraces you want to go.  I think I stopped after the second or third checkpoints since I felt like going further wouldn’t’ offer me a different view.

You will start at the top of the field where you will find signs directing you to stairs for ‘Rice Trekking,’ just follow those and you’ll head down a whole bunch of steps to the bottom of the terraces. Along the way, you can wander around the fields and do your thing. There are several side ‘lanes’ that you can go into to get away from the busy main trek.

Tegallalang rice terrace

Throughout the terraces, you can find shops where you can buy a refreshing drink, some ice cream or a basic lunch, which you definitely need in the humidity that is called Bali. There is also a Bali swing and zipline if you wish to do that. (of course, for a fee) and a couple of souvenir stands at the top of the fields.

Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Bali

Wander around until your heart is content, just make sure to stay hydrated. If you are hungry after this short hike, back at the top of the terrace are some nice restaurants offering some delicious Balinese coffee and smoothie bowls!

After this, it’s time to make your way over to the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest. From the Tegallanan it is only a 20-minute drive.

HELLO MONKEYS | QUICK TIPS & WARNING

I read up quite a lot before going to the sanctuary, as I have dealt with these kinds of monkey’s before in India. All in all, I read horror stories that the monkey’s like to steal things, go into your backpack, grab food from you and steal your sunglasses. On entry, I also got warned by the staff to take care of my belongings. But no monkey dared to touch my belongings.

I did, however, see a monkey steal an iPhone, so yeah, the rumours are true. One of the employees had to bribe the monkey with a sweet potato to get it back, but eventually, the phone was returned to the rightful owner. It was dropped from a tree, so I am not sure if it was still working when she got it back haha.

sacred monkey forest sanctuary

So yes, can you bring a backpack, DLSR camera, sunglasses, etc, but it is on your own risk. If you find a cheeky one who is hungry then you might have some damaged possessions when you leave the forest.

Additionally, while it is always tempting to touch or feed the monkeys, you are advised against it. They are wild animals. Lastly, avoid wearing any loose jewellery because the macaques may easily snatch a necklace if it looks interesting enough to eat.

MONKEY TIME

sacred monkey forest sanctuary

There are five different groups of monkeys within the sanctuary that each lay claim to a different region of the reserve. The monkeys are fed sweet potato three times a day, by staff who keep an eye out constantly. The monkey trust these people and they are the ones that will help you get a selfy with one of these animals if you’d like. They are wild, so they get enticed by some fruit to sit on someone’s shoulder, back, etc. If they don’t want to, then they don’t do it.

I did not get a photo like that, because I saw a monkey bite a girl in her head. So yeah nah for me.

The sanctuary is massive and you can see monkeys pretty much everywhere. But even if you don’t, the jungle itself is stunning and on a warm sunny day, it is nice to be in the shade for a bit.

They are wild and have the freedom to go explore wherever and whenever they want. this place is not a zoo.  A lot of them make is out of the sanctuary and explore the streets over, looking for food.

sacred monkey forest sanctuary
sacred monkey forest sanctuary

I find that the ones without babies were a lot more chilled out than the ones with babies. I always gave them plenty of space (not because I didn’t trust them, nope, totally did) but some people have the need to try to touch them, and they got latched at a couple of times. But that’s not the monkey’s fault, that’s just common sense.

sacred monkey forest sanctuary

After you are done checking out the monkeys, make sure to check out the 3 temples that are located within the monkey sanctuary which were built around around the middle of the 14th century.

And while most of the monkey forest is open to the public several areas and sections of the temples are off-limits to the public as they are considered extremely sacred and only used for praying. So please make sure you respect these sacred grounds.

Finish your evening with a sweaty yoga session, relaxing massage, or simply knock back a few Bintang’s at one of Ubud’s famous nightlife spots!

I would advise you to not make it too crazy on this night because the next item on the itinerary has an extremely early wake-up time! (sorry, I know you are on your holidays, but it is so worth it)

UBUD ITINERARY DAY 2 | SUNRISE MOUNTAIN HIKE & COOKING CLASS

Wake up to some of the best views in the world, when in Ubud. So I recommend you start your day with a sunrise trek to the majestic Mount Batur and its volcanic top, Kintamani.  You will have to get up very early for this, around 2.30 am. A great site to find the perfect your is get your guide. On this site, you can book private tours anywhere in Bali. They are pretty cheap and very reliable.

Again, getting up this earl is pretty much a no-no for a lot of people, especially when on holidays. But this is simply an experience you will never forget. If the weather is nice (You’re in Bali, so the chances are pretty hight)  You will be able to see Mt. Rinjani in the distance on the neighboring islands Lombok and Gili Trawangan.

Then, take a trip to the holy spring waters of Tirta Empul Temple near the mountain if you wish. You might be a bit temple tired after visiting so many temples prior. You also might be exhausted from climbing mount Batur, so this temple is definitely optional.

The next activity of the day is participating in a Balinese Cooking Class. For food lovers alike, this is a must-do experience.  Balinese food is incredible and these cooking classes are so much fun. There are many amazing classes available, underneath I have listed just a couple for your convenience:

  • Travelling Spoon | Traveling Spoon provides travellers with private, authentic food experiences, from homemade meals to cooking classes and market tours, with local hosts in their homes.
    Price: From AU $100.37
    Check out more information, prices, and availability here.

  • Bali Ubud Paon Cooking Class | If you’ve tried Bali’s unique cuisine while travelling to the island and want to be able to recreate it back home, this Balinese cooking class is an ideal activity for you. Visit a local market to shop for fresh ingredients. Learn about the elements and techniques of Balinese food from a professional Balinese cook, then enjoy eating the fruits (and vegetables) of your labour at the end of the class.
    Price: From AU $53.72
    Check out more information, prices, and availability here.

After you have cooked up a storm and have eaten your own creations you can call it a night. After getting up incredibly early, hiking, and cooking up a storm, I don’t think you’d want to explore more of Ubud. If you do, you could simply head out into town to one of the many bars en sip on a cold beer.

UBUD ITINERARY DAY 3 | TEMPLES, PALACES & RIDGE WALKS

Today is your last full day in Ubud (Assuming that you are either travelling on or heading home) But not too worry, today we have many more amazing sight to explore!

I firstly recommend heading to Mount Kawi Temple. This stunning 11th century temple complex (one of the oldest on Bali) is thought to be the burial complex of King Anak Wungsu, his wives and favourite concubines. In total there are 7 imposing shrines (7 meters high) carved out of the rocks. To get to the temple and these shrines you need to climb 371 steps.

Next to the stairs, there are lots of nice souvenir shops and on your way, you have a beautiful view at the surroundings. This temple complex is quite large, located in a jungle environment. Just be aware that you will have to wear a sarong which you can borrow at the entrance.

Next, take a quick 15-20 minute drive to the stunning Tegenungan Waterfall! A super scenic waterfall in a gorgeous lush jungle. It offers some shallow bathing area, and complete with a fun bar with a pool up at the top. You do have to pay a small entrance fee and it is about a 15-minute walk down a relatively steep trail, but I would stay it is worth the “struggles” as its a lovely place to chill and cool down a bit. 

Tegenungan Waterfall

lastly on my Ubud itinerary is the gorgeous and popular Campuhan Ridge Walk. I advise you to do this walk late in the afternoon, so it is more bearable to do!  To get up on the ridge, it is a short, climb (some might say steep). This walk, that takes about 1 hour (Roundtrip)  allows you to admire the stunning Bali views over the few rice fields.

With stunning views, and (hopefully) a beautiful sunset whilst you are doing the walk… I think this will be the perfect ending to your time in Ubud! 

WHERE TO GO AFTER YOUR 3 IN DAYS  IN UBUD? 

If you are looking to travel on after Bali/Ubud, then Underneath I have some amazing destinations that you could check out. Many in Australia, as that is where I live but also a couple in Asia:

  • Perth | An amazing city in Western Australia that is located near Rottnest Island. I would recommend spending 4 days in Perth to explore the city itself as well as its surroundings.
  • Red Centre | Some of the most iconic Australian landmarks, Uluru, can be found in the Red Centre. Together with Stunning national parks, like King Kanyon and Kata Tjuta making this rough outback a must-visit.
  • Cape Hillsborough | The most iconic backdrop for a typical Aussie occurrence. Cape Hillsborough is located in Queensland and is home to the icon beach Kangaroos. They hop on the beach during sunrise, making an epic photo opportunity.
  • Great Barrier Reef | Snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef is simply a must. I had the opportunity to snorkel at two different reefs, Including from Airlie Beach and from Cape Tribulation.
  • Kerala | Exploring the backwaters.
  • Road trip through Southern India | An incredible road trip though Kerala and Tamilnadu. 

PLANNING TO GO TO BALI SOON? THEN CHECK OUT SOME MORE TRAVEL GUIDES HERE:

I know spending just 3 days in Ubud is not going to be enough to experience everything that Ubud has to offer. However, it is plenty of time to see the tops sights and experience why Ubud is so famous. 

If you think  I have missed something important and that needs to be added to this post, feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll sure to get it updated!  

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3 days ubud itinerary

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