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Sports in Bali

Where to Go Cycling in Bali

Mount Batur and Kintamani Highlands

As Bali’s second tallest peak after Mount Agung, Mount Batur is more accessible and favoured by mountain cyclists for its combination of paved roads and exciting off-road terrain of gravelly to ruggedly frozen lava trails. It also offers bits of Balinese culture throughout the village communities of the Kintamani highland, set against a cool climate and natural vistas. From Batur’s famous caldera lake, an ensuing ride downhill leads you to Ubud, passing rice fields, temples and coffee plantations, and the total length normally takes up to 4 hours to complete.

Difficulty: High

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Ubud

Ubud offers cyclists varying terrain. You can go for easy rides along paved roads throughout the town centre with its interconnecting side streets and where most of the temples, palaces and galleries are located. Almost all hotels in Ubud have complimentary-use bicycles available for their guests. Meanwhile, on the outskirts, there’s hilly valley routes and a combination of rice field and tropical jungle trails fit for the more adventurous. Often combined with downhill rides from Kintamani, Ubud lets you cool off and even conclude your ride with lunch overlooking lush green rice fields.

Difficulty: Moderate

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Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Famous for its vast expanses of rice fields at the foot of central Bali’s Batukaru mountain range, the agrarian village of Jatiluwih in the Tabanan regency is a great destination for those looking for wide-open green sceneries for their ride. Guided cycling tours show you the beauty of the region, together with insights into the farming life of the Balinese and the interesting centuries-old ‘subak’ irrigation system. Besides predominantly growing rice, there are also local plantations growing tropical fruits and coffee. You’ll ride through a cultural landscape that has made it to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Difficulty: Moderate

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Putung Village

The farming village of Putung is one of the most scenic places to go cycling in Bali’s east. The rice field landscape here slightly differs from the western Bali region, such as Jatiluwih. With more rugged terrain in a countryside that is less touched by modernism, the moderately downhill trails lead you across views of traditional houses, rice field terraces and at times with glimpses of the Indian Ocean and outlines of Nusa Penida Island on the horizon. Nearing the coast, common trails end at a ‘hidden beach’, known as Pantai Perasi (aka ‘Virgin Beach’).

Difficulty: Moderate

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Sidemen Village

A green gem of a village in the otherwise rugged east Bali region is Sidemen. The village is known for its rice terraces with the silhouette of Bali’s highest peak, Mount Agung, as backdrop. Most tours here feature the island’s ‘mother temple’ of Besakih among the nearby highlights prior to beginning your pedalling journey. Also, the former royal court of justice, Kerta Gosa in neighbouring Klungkung, serves as a cultural landmark stop near the end of your journey, featuring ceilings ornate with classical ‘Kamasan style’ Balinese paintings. Full tours usually take up to nine hours.

Difficulty: Moderate

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Carangsari Village

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Closer to Bali’s more popular southern resort areas, the slightly upland village area of Carangsari features well-paved trails that make for easy pedalling. The region offers a combination of rural village scenes with farming areas and some stretches of rice paddies. Some old traditional houses and temples become highlights along the way, which you can stop over and see from up close their typical architectural details. End routes commonly lead up to Ubud, with brief stops at highlights such as the famous monkey forest, as well as lunch breaks before your transfer back.

Difficulty: Easy

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Bongkasa Village

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The cool area of Bongkasa, roughly just west on the outskirts of Ubud, features village trails peppered with temples and paddies. Most of the terrain is flat and easy, hence it is great for all ages. Most tours are guided, which allows for better understanding and insights on the local traditions, architecture, and know-hows of the farming area. Besides cycling, Bongkasa is also popular for ATV rides and walking treks through its collection of rice fields. The leisurely ride, compared to other mountain bike tours in Bali, lets you stop frequently so don’t forget your camera.

Difficulty: Easy

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Mengwi Village

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Mengwi is a great cycling destination nearer to the island’s provincial capital of Denpasar. The former kingdom is home to Taman Ayun Temple, a central temple complex that is a scenic landmark featuring interestingly Chinese architectural inspirations, towering tiers and a moat. Mostly flat paved roads and with minimum climbs, the route is easy and accessible to all ages.

Difficulty: Easy

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Candidasa and Taman Ujung Water Palace

Most hotels in Candidasa offer their guests bicycles for rent or on complimentary basis, with fairly flat roads along the main coastal area. There are also guest activity packages that often include shuttle transfers from the hotel up to the hills, from where you are then fitted with cycling gear and accompanied by a guide, to ride downhill through village roads, then eventually end up at Taman Ujung Water Palace, a highlight landmark in east Bali. The complex comprises various pools and historic structures set against a backdrop of Mount Agung and the Indian Ocean.

Difficulty: Moderate

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Sanur Beach

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The long eastern coast beach boardwalk of Sanur makes for pleasant walks and cycling. You can rent a bike from any warung roadside stall that has many types of bikes parked in front (usually from IDR 25,000 or USD 2 an hour), and choose a good condition bike that suits your height best. Then, you can cruise easily from Sanur’s northern end of Sindhu Beach, past Segara Ayu Beach, down to the quieter end of Mertasari Beach, and back up again. It’s a pleasant two-kilometre ride accompanied by soothing seascapes.

Difficulty: Easy

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