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East Bali Destinations Guide: Temples, Beaches, Adventure & More

Updated 28 Apr 2024

While South Bali pulsates with an infectious energy, East Bali offers a serene counterpoint, ideal for those seeking a more relaxed and authentic Balinese experience. Here, tranquility reigns supreme, with far fewer crowds and a landscape that embodies the island’s true essence.

Imagine lush greenery blanketing the countryside, leading to pristine beaches with soft sand. Crystal-clear turquoise waters beckon for swimming, snorkeling, or simply soaking up the sun. Towering above it all, Mount Agung, a volcano of immense cultural significance to the Balinese people, casts a majestic silhouette on the horizon.

East Bali caters to diverse interests. Nature enthusiasts will find solace amidst cascading waterfalls hidden within verdant jungles, or lose themselves in the emerald embrace of terraced rice paddies, a testament to generations of agricultural heritage. History buffs can delve into ancient temples like Besakih, the revered “Mother Temple” of Bali, or explore the remnants of bygone kingdoms at sites like Taman Ujung Water Palace. Divers will be enthralled by the vibrant coral reefs and fascinating shipwrecks, while surfers can conquer the exhilarating waves at renowned breaks like Keramas.

Whether you crave an escape into nature’s embrace, a journey through time amidst ancient wonders, or an adrenaline-pumping adventure beneath the waves, East Bali promises an unforgettable experience. It’s a destination not just to visit, but to truly discover the soul of Bali.

7 Must-See Destinations in East Bali

1. Pura Besakih

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Your exploration of east bali can begin at Pura Besakih, also known as the “Mother Temple” – the holiest (and the largest) temple complex on the island. Nicknamed for its significance, Pura Besakih is a collection of 23 distinct temples nestled on the slopes of Mount Agung, a sacred pilgrimage site for Balinese Hindus.

The origins of this architectural marvel remain shrouded in time, but estimates place its founding between the 7th and 10th centuries. Over the centuries, the temple complex has endured the wrath of Mount Agung’s eruptions, a testament to its enduring spiritual significance. Marvel at the distinct Balinese architectural style, featuring tiered pagodas called merus, each temple within the complex catering to a specific deity or aspect of Hinduism.

2. Klungkung Palace

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Venturing further east, the historical town of Klungkung awaits. Here, the well-preserved klungkung palace, once the seat of the remnant royals of Gelgel Dynasty (16th-19th centuries), offers a glimpse into Bali’s rich history and cultural heritage. This former royal palace showcases traditional Balinese architecture with its intricate courtyards, fountains, and ornately carved stone gateways (karangans). A short distance away, the Semarajapura Museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, whispering tales of the past through historical wayang puppets, bronze sculptures, and traditional Balinese paintings.

3. Amed & Tulamben

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East Bali’s coastline takes a dramatic turn in Amed and Tulamben, where volcanic activity has painted the beaches a unique black sand. This creates a striking contrast to the usual white sand beaches of Bali and offers a dramatic backdrop for relaxation under the sun. But the true magic lies beneath the waves. Amed and Tulamben boast vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful marine life, making them a haven for snorkelers and scuba divers. The world-famous wreck of the USAT Liberty, a World War II US Army cargo ship, now rests underwater in Tulamben, transformed into a thriving artificial reef teeming with life. And for those seeking something a little different, the nearby Japanese Shipwreck point offers beautiful snorkeling opportunities just a short distance from the shore. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a curious snorkeler, Amed and Tulamben offer an unforgettable underwater adventure.

Read also : 6 Alternatives to Ubud You Should Consider Visiting in Bali

4. Mount Agung


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Towering over East Bali, Mount Agung, the island’s highest peak and an active volcano, dominates the landscape. This majestic mountain, reaching over 10,000 feet, holds deep spiritual significance for the Balinese people. For breathtaking panoramic views, embark on a challenging trek to the summit, rewarded by a spectacular sunrise. Alternatively, opt for a scenic drive and capture the mountain’s grandeur in photographs.

5. Tirta Gangga Water Palace

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East Bali’s charm extends beyond its natural wonders. Immerse yourself in tranquility at Tirta Gangga, meaning “holy water” in Balinese. This former royal retreat, built in the 1940s, features a beautiful complex of water gardens, lotus ponds, fountains, and pools, perfect for a leisurely stroll and a moment of reflection.

6. Tukad Cepung Waterfall

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Imagine this: You’re trekking through the East Bali jungle, surrounded by towering trees and lush greenery. Suddenly, you hear the roar of rushing water. Stumbling through a hidden entrance, you’re greeted by a magical sight – Tukad Cepung Waterfall!. Forget giant, open waterfalls. Tukad Cepung is like a secret hangout spot in the jungle. Sunlight peeks through the leaves, creating a cool light show on the cascading water. The rocks around the falls form a kind of circle, making it feel super cozy and almost hidden from the world. The sound of the water crashing down is like nature’s white noise machine, super refreshing after your jungle trek.

And the magic doesn’t stop there! On a lucky day, sunlight might pierce through the canopy, creating a mesmerizing play of light on the cascading water. This transforms the scene into a photographer’s paradise. The cool water itself is a welcome reward after your trek, perfect for a refreshing dip. Just remember, the path can be a bit uneven and slippery, so sturdy shoes are a must.

7. Candidasa

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For a unique experience, explore the Candidasa Lotus Lagoon. Glide through the tranquil waters amidst a sea of vibrant lotus flowers. End your exploration with a visit to Bukit Guungan for the best view lookout on the area. This scenic viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramas of balinese eastern coast, perfect for capturing postcard-worthy photographs or simply soaking in the beauty of East Bali.

Planning Your Trip to East Bali

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East Bali waits you with its untouched beauty, but planning your adventure ensures a smooth and unforgettable experience. Here’s a quick guide to get you started:

Best Time to Visit : Weather and Crowds

Aim for the dry season, typically April to September. Clear skies and sunshine dominate, making it ideal for outdoor activities. While July and August offer the driest weather, they also see an increase in tourist crowds. Consider shoulder seasons (April-May, September-October) for a good balance of weather and fewer people.

Getting Around East Bali

  • Rental Cars: Explore East Bali at your own pace with a rental car. This offers maximum flexibility, especially if you’re traveling with a group or have a specific itinerary. However, driving in Bali can be a bit chaotic, so ensure you’re comfortable navigating unfamiliar roads.
  • Scooters: Scooters are a popular, budget-friendly option for solo travelers or couples. They’re perfect for navigating the scenic coastal roads and smaller villages. Just remember, international driving permits are required, and wearing helmets is mandatory.
  • Organized Tours: Let a local guide lead the way with an organized tour. This is a fantastic option if you’re short on time or want a hassle-free experience. Tours typically include transportation, entrance fees, and insightful commentary on the region’s history and culture.

Another additional tip to enhance your experience on the eastern coast of Bali is to research local festivals and events happening during your visit. Immersing yourself in Balinese culture will add another layer of magic to your East Bali adventure!

East Bali promises an unforgettable experience. From the thrilling depths of its coral reefs to the spiritual majesty of Mount Agung, each corner offers a unique encounter. Immerse yourself in ancient temples, unwind in serene water gardens, or challenge yourself on a volcanic trek. So pack your sense of adventure and get ready to be captivated.

Read more : 7 Places Near Bali You Should Definitely Visit

As your East Bali adventure concludes, treat yourself to a taste of paradise at WOODS Bali, nestled in the heart of Pererenan. Delight in exquisite Mediterranean cuisine crafted with the freshest local ingredients, the perfect way to unwind and reflect on your unforgettable journey. Our regular Live jazz music performance will set the mood for a truly enchanting evening, the cherry on top of your adventure in the Island of the Gods. Visit WOODS Bali and let us serve you – you deserve it.



Journeying through life with a camera in hand, Rifka Setia Arianti is a passionate explorer of the world's diverse landscapes. Currently settled in Bali as a web designer, her lens captures the essence of her travels, weaving together a tapestry of stories that encapsulate her love for both photography and adventure.

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