Venture into Bali's forests and parks for a different perspective of this tropical island. Inland, you’ll find often find huge Banyan trees thriving in villages and temple grounds, tamarind trees in the northern region, and bright red flame trees, acacias and mangroves dominating the south. Bali also has about a dozen species of coconut palms and an even larger variety of bamboo species.

    Bali is a thriving habitat for exotic animals, including monkeys, civets, mousedeer, and barking deer. The Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) is the island’s only indigenous bird, but there are also over 300 species of birds such as wildfowl, sea eagles, sandpipers, and blue kingfishers. Of course, hikers get to enjoy miles of trekking routes, many of which lead to Bali’s volcanic mountains. 

    Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest is a nutmeg forest and temple which serves as a sanctuary for grey long-tailed macaques. Also called Obyek Wisata Alam Alas Kedaton, it’s one of several monkey forests in Bali. A must-see is the Pura Dalem Kahyangan Kedaton Temple, where you can walk on pathways surrounding the mossy temple walls.

    Many choose to explore this forest as an alternative to the more popular Ubud Monkey Forest, especially those on tours to Bali’s western region. Alas Kedaton is quite far from the island’s main tourist destinations, which simply means you’ll usually find fewer crowds on your visit.

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    Location: Jalan Raya Alas Kedaton, Kukuh, Tabanan, Bali 82121, Indonesia

    Open: Daily from 9am to 5pm

    Phone: +62 (0)361 814 155


    The Bali Botanic Gardens offers several scientific services and facilities in support of plant research and conservation, including a herbarium, seed bank, library, glasshouses, nurseries, and plant databases. The giant, rare and extremely smelly Rafflesia kept here has bloomed and wilted several times throughout the years. 

    You can get your adrenaline rush and a day of fun at the Bali Treetop Adventure Park, which includes 6 main circuits stretching from tree to tree, together with nets, Tarzan swings, jumps and bridges.

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    Location: Jalan Kebun Raya, Batunya, Candikuning, Tabanan, Bali 82191, Indonesia

    Open: Daily from 8am to 6pm

    Phone: +62 (0)368 203 3211


    Mount Batur is an active volcano and a very popular trek in Bali. The captivating Bali volcano surrounds the 13-sq-km Batur caldera lake. Those with a penchant for adventure can take a winding road down to the lakeshore, which takes you to Toya Bungkah, Ulun Danu Batur temple, and several hot springs.

    The Kintamani area has 3 main villages – Penelokan, Batur, and Kintamani – and several ancient villages around Batur Lake called Bali Age Village. You can observe the sunrise from the ridges of this Bali volcano on early morning treks.

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    Location: South Batur, Kintamani, Bangli, Bali, Indonesia


    Mount Agung (Gunung Agung) is the highest and most revered mountain in Bali. Treks to its summit usually start well before dawn, with hikers armed with a strong flashlight, waterproof clothing, and snacks. The shortest and most popular route starts from Pasar Agung Temple – you can reach the top of Mount Agung within 4 hours. Be warned that during times of volcanic activity you are not allowed to climb the mountain.

    You can see the entire island from the top of Mount Agung. On a clear day, you might be able to see Mount Rinjani, the tallest peak on the neighbouring island of Lombok.

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    Location: Jungutan, Bebandem, Karangasem, Bali 80853, Indonesia


    Sangeh Monkey Forest is a nature reserve for grey long-tailed macaques in Bali. It covers 60,000 sq m of fertile forestland with primordial, giant nutmeg trees that can grow up to 40 metres in height. Some of the trees here are over 3 centuries old. Check out Bukit Sari Temple, a sanctified temple dating back to the 17th century. 

    Sangeh Monkey Forest is a sacred site, so women on their periods or those in mourning aren’t allowed to enter the forest. Located in Sangeh, the sanctuary is around 25 km north of the island’s capital city of Denpasar.

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    Location: Jalan Brahmana, Sangeh, Badung, Bali 80353, Indonesia

    Open: Daily from 8am to 5pm


    The Ubud Monkey Forest is a natural sanctuary and home to over 700 grey long-tailed macaques. Also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, you can explore on paved pathways through a leafy nutmeg forest. You can see playful primates in their natural habitat, swinging through canopies, and feeding on bananas. 

    There are several ancient temples under dense foliage, including the 14th-century Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal and Pura Prajapati, which is dedicated to village funerals. Banyan tree roots hanging over moss-covered guardian statues make for interesting photo ops. 

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    Location: Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

    Open: Daily from 8.30am to 5.30pm

    Phone: +62 (0)361 971 304


    Uluwatu Monkey Forest surrounds the cliff edges near the famous Uluwatu Temple. Thick hedges of green shrubs and frangipani trees cover most of the Bukit area. Hordes of grey long-tailed macaques often make their way to the shrine, where regular pilgrims often face all sorts of mild mishaps. 

    It’s quite common to see monkeys snatching at fruit offerings at Uluwatu Temple. They usually come out of Uluwatu Monkey Forest in the afternoon and evening. It’s a good idea to visit the forest and temple grounds with a local guide who would know his way with the unpredictable monkeys. 

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    Location: Jalan Pura Uluwatu, Pecatu, Badung, Bali 80362, Indonesia


    West Bali National Park (Taman Nasional Bali Barat) is a forested region that makes up most of central-western Bali. It’s the original habitat of the rare Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), as well as 300 different species of animals and birds. West Bali National Park has open savannahs, dense rainforests, and mangrove swamps.

    Divers often make their way to the waters surrounding Pulau Menjangan (Deer Island), a small island reserve just off the northern coast of Bali. To enter the park’s protected zones, you’ll need to apply for a permit at the park’s information centre. 

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    Location: Jalan Denpasar-Gilimanuk, Cekik, Gilimanuk, Melaya, Jembrana, Bali 82252, Indonesia

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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