If you want to see what makes Ubud so special, you should go take a hike. Seriously, you should get out of the busy downtown full of tourists and go on a walk through the forest and rice fields all around Ubud. It’s easy to do and there are plenty of choices. One of our favorite walks is along the Campuhan Ridge – it’s close to town and within minutes you are surrounded by nature – every trip to Ubud should include it!
The start of the trail is close to downtown Ubud – find the entrance to the Warwick Ibah hotel and follow the path to the left. Look for the little sign in the photo to help! You will first reach a small, beautiful temple on the edge of the ridge and soon after you are surrounded by nature. You are hiking along the narrow, well maintained path, winding up and down and along the ridge, affording you views over the surrounding valleys, forest and fields. It’s so lush and green and you soon hear none of the city noise that surrounded you in Ubud! Despite doing many walks around Ubud, I am still amazed how quickly you can go from busy, noisy town to peaceful nature! It’s one of my favorite things about Ubud, combining the comforts of a well developed tourist destination with the beauty of a nature spot!
After some time, the narrow path becomes a slightly wider road with houses here and there. There are some residences, guesthouses, restaurants and art galleries to keep you entertained – yet there are always fields just behind them. After 2km or about 30 minutes, you reach my favorite cafe and a great spot to take a break from your hike: Karza Kafe (review and photos here). It has a beautiful spot in the rice fields with great views, nice food and drinks and friendly service. You can even get a massage with a view of the rice paddies before you go on your hike back.
If you have some energy left, you can continue your hike along the road. While you might now see some cars, your effort will be rewarded by views of active rice paddies, with farmers working the fields and the sun and cloud reflecting in the water. It makes for great views and photos! If you want to explore the outskirts of Ubud, you can keep going and turn right on Jalan RSI Markandya (best use Google/Apple Maps, so you don’t miss it) and make your way through some neighborhoods to the main road back into town! Or just turn around back to the ridge trail, the much prettier, quieter option!
You haven’t really seen the best of Ubud without a walk like this. So, even if you are on a daytrip to Ubud, make sure to ditch the crowds and go for a walk! You will take some great impressions and photos home!