Bali is a haven for photographers and it can offer personal and touching memories of a journey through a great collection of landscapes, seascapes and iconic landmarks. The monsoonal climate also offers great photo-taking opportunities year-round, with daily blue skies mid-year and dramatic cloud-streaked scarlet sunsets in between.

    Stunning photo opportunities in and around Bali include famous spots such as the iconic sea temple of Tanah Lot and the flowing rice terraces of the island’s mid-western region. Most panoramas are provided by the island’s natural features like in the Kintamani highlands, with its scenic volcano caldera lake, or the Campuhan Ridge in Ubud. Discover the stunning backdrops through this compilation of picture-postcard spots in Bali and surrounding areas.

    A must-visit and must-shoot for Bali visitors, the Tanah Lot sea temple is unmistakably a Bali icon. It's as impressive during the daytime as it is at sunset. The sunsets and panoramic views are one thing, while the many cultural offerings add much more to your temple shots. Pilgrimages and parades of devotees during the temple’s anniversary add even more stunning feature to the exotic background.

    Don’t be tempted to go too near the rocks as the crashing waves pose a great hazard. Even so, low tides allow for a striking foreground. Almost anywhere along the cliff offers great vantage points, including the cluster of bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a cold beer while waiting for the perfect moment to shoot.

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    Location: Jalan Raya Tanah Lot, Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan, Bali 82121, Indonesia

    Open: Daily from 7am to 7pm


    The Jatiluwih rice terraces in the rice-producing Tabanan regency offer one of Bali’s most scenic panoramas. Like a ‘flowing sea of green’, the paddies cover the slopes of Mount Batukaru and down for as far as the eyes can see over the village of Wangaya. You’ll be able to take in the largest and most picturesque expanse of paddies in Bali and perhaps the whole of Indonesia here.

    Some of the locally run restaurants nearby offer great spots to enjoy the views and take photos. Most have terraces where you can sip a hot cup of Bali coffee while you plan your next frames to shoot.

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    Location: Jalan Jatiluwih, Penebel, Tabanan, Bali 82152, Indonesia

    Open: Daily from 8.30am to 6pm


    Ulun Danu Beratan is one of Bali’s most iconic temple landmarks, on par with Tanah Lot in terms of exotic appeal. The temple sits on the side of Beratan Lake, up in the central highlands of Bedugul. When water levels are high, the smooth reflective surface submerges most of the temple’s base, creating a dramatic illusion of a floating temple. Occasional thick mists descend from the nearby hills, adding to the magical view.

    Although the small temple is the most photographed attraction, the name Ulun Danu Beratan actually applies to the larger temple complex nearby. You can get closer to the ‘floating temple’ when water levels are low and paved footpaths make it easier to set up tripods.

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    Location: Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan, Bali 82191, Indonesia

    Open: Daily from 8am to 6pm


    Jimbaran beaches

    Jimbaran Bay has one of Bali’s most gorgeous and accessible seascapes – especially the main stretch of sand known locally as Muaya Beach. The bay is renowned for its collection of local grilled seafood restaurants that have table setups spread out on the sand, overlooking the sunsets.

    Further south from Jimbaran Bay is Tegalwangi Beach, where you can get great angles of the cliff from both the base on the sand and high up on top. Balangan and Dreamland are also beaches worth discovering while you're in the area. The more south you get from the bay, the more ‘hidden’ the beaches are, with each bordered by cliffs that are great for taking high-angle photos.

    Location: Jimbaran, South Kuta, Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia


    While Bali’s western coasts such as Jimbaran offer great sunsets, Amed is the scenic viewpoint in East Bali where you enjoy breathtaking sunrises. The seascape features the curving bay lined with colourful traditional outrigger boats and the outline of Mount Agung in the immediate background. In the mornings and during certain times of the day, fishing boats and sailing cruises speckle the seascape.

    There are several hilly vantage points around the coast of Amed that provide you with the best angles over the curving bay, with Mount Agung clear in the background. One of the spots most frequented by photographers is just minutes south of Jemeluk Bay.

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    Location: Pantai Amed, Bali, Indonesia


    Seminyak’s main beach, Petitenget, features a wonderful stretch of white sand that's level and wide. During calmer low tides, the surf reaches far in over the flat sand, leaving a mirror-like effect to its seascape. The scene is stunning with the blue sea, sky and white clouds during the day and golden with silhouettes with the setting sun at dusk. Petitenget is more secluded compared to its neighbouring beaches, making it great for cleaner shots.

    Go to the bridge past Petitenget Temple, which leads you right onto the sand. From here, you can roam freely for your best angles. Sunset draws most of the crowd but you can often frame a clear shot with ease.

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    Location: Seminyak, Kuta, Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia


    Campuhan Ridge is one of the best spots for taking panoramic green valley shots up in Ubud. Getting there involves a free and easy nature trek, with the majestic Gunung Lebah Temple welcoming you before the main pathways. Midway along the 9-km hill track, you can find vast views where you can easily snap away from the savannah-esque hills. Being on the peak of the ridge provides you with 360-degree possibilities for the perfect panoramic shot.

    Halfway up the length of the route and facing north, the uniquely hilly terrain and lone palms along the track add great features to your shots.

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    Location: Jalan Raya Campuhan, Sayan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia


    photo by Jnzl's Photos (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Munduk is a scenic yet remote village that’s worth reaching for the prize views of its panoramic ridge that runs down from the northern edge of the Bedugul highlands. The ridge overlooks 2 sides of a valley covered with verdant rice paddies and plantations. The sun setting over the distant hills also provides magical moments to frame your shots.

    Besides scenic hill vistas that you can take from most spots, Munduk also has a waterfall that's surrounded by lush greenery, which is also a frequent pre-wedding shoot location. You shouldn’t pass a chance for a refreshing dip in the rock pools when you’re done taking photos.

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    Location: Munduk, Banjar, Buleleng, Bali 81152, Indonesia


    photo by Aaron Rentfrew (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Uluwatu Temple forms part of the collection of Bali’s sea temples set in stunning locations. From the edge of the main temple complex, sheer ocean views are topped with the outline of tiered shrines. Just south, an open amphitheatre is great for photo opportunities as Kecak fire dancers perform regularly as the sun sets over the horizon in the background. Grey long-tailed macaques roam freely around the complex, volunteering as photo models as well.

    Great cliff shots are achieved from the temple’s wall near its exit, and you can book your seat at the amphitheatre – secure your position on a higher spot in the middle for the best angle with dancers in the foreground and the setting sun behind.

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    Location: Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Pecatu, Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

    Open: Daily from 9am to 6pm


    Bali’s offshore Nusa islands of Penida, Lembongan and Ceningan lie south-east of the mainland and offer wonderful seascapes with shallow coasts and crystal-clear waters. Limestone cliffs provide vantage points over these dramatic views. Lembongan, the most popular among the islands, features exotic beaches like Mushroom Bay, Jungut Batu, Crystal Bay and the aptly named Sunset Point, which provides unobstructed views over the sun setting into the ocean.

    Lembongan’s Jungut Batu is a hilly area on the northwest coast where you have blue waters dotted with watercraft and traditional jukung outriggers in the foreground, and the outline of the Bali mainland with Mount Agung on the horizon.

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    Location: Nusa Penida, Klungkung Regency, Bali, Indonesia

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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