Most people planning a trip to Bali—and especially Ubud—have heard of the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. But the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is a more off-the-radar rice paddy that’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Property.
In my opinion, Jatiluwih offers a more fulfilling experience than Tegallalang.
I visited the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in November at the start of Bali’s monsoon season. I was tickled pink (or should I say green?) with my Jatiluwih visit and will share my takeaways with you.
Accessibility Note: The Jatiluwih Rice Terrace is wheelchair accessible. Scroll to the bottom of this post for more details.
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Jatiluwih Rice Terraces Quick Facts
The Jatiuwih Rice Terraces cover over 600 acres in the Batukaru Mountain region. A lot of work goes into keeping them pristine. And, like most rice terraces in Bali, the temple-driven subak system is how locals maintain them.
If you need to make a decision ASAP about visiting the Jatiluwih rice fields or elsewhere, the chart below will give you an overview of what to expect.
|Time to arrive at Jatiuwih Rice Terraces||Ubud: 1 hour, 15 minutes; Seminyak region: 1.5 hours|
|Hours of operation||8:00 am - 6:00 pm|
|Entrance fee||40,000 IDR per person|
|Exploration options||Foot, scooter, bicycle|
|Types of Rice||White, red, black|
Now that you have a feel for the basics, let’s talk more about exploring the Jatiluwih rice fields.
How To Get to the Jatiluwih Rice Terrace
There aren’t any public buses that will get you to the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. So, the only ways to arrive there are via:
You can expect it to take around 1 hour and 15 minutes from Ubud to Jatiluwih and about 1.5 hours from Seminyak. Of course, these times will vary depending on traffic and your starting point from within the town.
But the bottom line is that even though Jatiluwih sits in the center of Bali, the island is so small that arriving there is fast (and scenic).
To my chagrin as a solo traveler, hiring private drivers to visit different sites is the most popular way to explore Bali. So, if you’re a solo traveler that doesn’t want to shell out several hundreds of rupiahs for a private ride, consider taking a scooter.
Just be sure you’re comfortable driving one and have an international license. I tipped over twice the first time I rented a scooter and vowed to get proper training before trying it again.
And that circles us (me) back to a tour.
Private tours typically go in conjunction with hiring a private vehicle, where the driver serves as your “guide.”
I put “guide” in quotation marks because, from my experience, most locals in Ubud have an intermediate command of English. So, it’s easy to get around for everyday life but more challenging to have a complex tour-level conversation.
After many failed attempts to find a group tour to the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces on the streets of Ubud, I turned to the Internet.
And with a stroke of luck, I booked a group tour and had an excellent experience. More on that soon.
Tips for Visiting the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Are you ready to see why the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces make UNESCO‘s list? Read on for tips on how to prepare for your visit.
Tip #1: Crowds Aren’t a Thing
Avoiding crowds at popular tourist spots in Bali usually requires getting up at the crack of dawn or arriving shortly before a site closes.
But you can arrive at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces any time without worrying about encountering loads of tourists.
If you don’t believe me, I got to Jatiluwih at 12:45 pm. There were a handful of people around, but as you can see from my photos, it was a far cry from the massive crowds at places like Tanah Lot summon.
Tip #2: Choose Your Mode of Visit
Jatiluwih trekking—or walking, depending on your pace and the path you choose—is the most popular way to explore the rice terraces.
But it isn’t the only way.
You can also wander the Jatiluwih rice fields by bicycle. A paved road runs through the main part of the rice fields, with well-defined dirt paths that jut out from there.
So, if you’re looking for a unique thing to do in Bali, exploring the rice terraces at Jatiluwih on a bike could fit the bill.
You can also drive a scooter through the terraces, but I don’t recommend it. Going at a slower pace is the best way to soak in the scenery.
Tip #3: Pay on the Street
If you’ve been to or read about the Tegallalang terraces, you know there are many entrances, with locals charging for each one. But the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces have a one-and-done entrance fee policy.
The Jatiluwih rice terrace entrance fee is 40,000 IDR per adult and 30k IDR per child.
It’s impossible to miss the payment stand; you’ll pass it when driving on the road to the terraces. Once you pay, you won’t encounter rows of vendors trying to sell you touristy things.
Instead, you’ll continue to drive through scenic Balinese countryside on a narrow, winding road. Eventually, you’ll arrive at Gong Jatiluwih Restaurant and the parking lot beside it. They sit across from the main entrance to the rice terraces.
Tip #4: Parking Isn’t an Issue
Parking is a major issue in tourist areas of Bali, with places like the Campuhan Ridge Walk and, yes, the Tegallalang Rice Terraces offering little in the way for scooters to park, let alone a full-sized vehicle.
But you’ll have your choice of parking spaces at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
Even though Jatiluwih isn’t as popular of a tourist spot, they still charge a (nominal) parking fee. You’ll need to give the parking lot attendants 5,000 IDR to park your car or scooter.
That said, the Gong Jatiluwih restaurant has parking spaces available. If you eat there, you can leave your vehicle for free, exploring the terraces after your meal.
Tip #5: The Routes Are Well-labeled
After the chaos of visiting the Tegallalang Rice Terraces the week prior, I was shocked to encounter well-marked routes at the Jatiluwih rice fields. Tegallalang could learn some lessons from it.
The main entrance to the Jatiluwih terraces has a map showing the following six routes you can choose from, their trekking distance, and trekking time:
- Red route (short trek): 1.5 kilometers; 45 – 60 minutes
- Purple route (medium trek): 2 kilometers; 60 – 90 minutes
- Yellow route (medium trek): 2.3 kilometers; 1 – 2 hours
- Orange route (medium trek): 2.6 kilometers; 1.5 – 2 hours
- Blue route (long trek): 3.4 kilometers; 1.5 – 2 hours
- White route (“extra” trek for a combination of hiking and biking): 5.5 kilometers; 3.5 – 4 hours
Wooden signs sit at forks in the paths. So, getting lost at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is essentially impossible.
Tip #6: Don’t (Totally) Fear the Clouds
It’s always a hold-your-breath situation when taking a tour during monsoon season in Bali. And that proved to be the case during my entire Jatiluwih Rice Terrace visit.
It rained. It stopped raining. There were glimpses of the sun through (thinner) clouds. It rained again. And, oh my, were there clouds.
The Jatiluwih rice fields have stand-alone beauty. But when the clouds cooperate, you can see two volcanos and three mountain peaks in the backdrop.
There were moments during my Jatiluwih visit when I couldn’t see a single thing beyond the terraces, and there were times when I saw one volcano and three mountains all at once.
I even got lucky enough to see the faint outline of Bali’s largest volcano, Mount Agung:
The bottom line of this monologue is this: I was only at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces for a couple of hours and had a combination of good and terrible views during that time.
So, don’t get discouraged if there are clouds on the day of your Jatiluwih visit. It’s possible they’ll clear so you can appreciate the volcanos and mountains surrounding the rice fields.
Tip #7: Prepare For the Sun and Rain
I didn’t have full-on sun during my time at the Jatiluwih rice fields. In hindsight, that was helpful.
There isn’t shade on the Jatiluwih terrace paths. And given that there’s some uphill climbing you need to do if you explore beyond the area by the street, clouds can be a Hindu godsend to heat-adverse travelers.
But you’ll be in a mountainous region of Bali, adding to the island’s already notorious ways for changing its weather patterns at the drop of a Balinese rice hat.
So, whether it looks sunny or rainy when you hop off your scooter or get out of your vehicle, bring the opposite weather gear with you if you plan on trekking for a while.
Your future self might thank you for having the foresight to bring that sunscreen or umbrella.
Tip #8: Look for Different Rice Varieties
Farmers grow three kinds of rice at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces:
- White rice
- Red rice
- Black rice
According to my guide, the farmers tend to plant black rice near trees that line the outskirts of the rice fields (far from the path you’ll be walking).
In contrast, you’ll see lots of white and red rice growing. It’s easy to tell the difference between them—red rice grows significantly taller than white rice.
If you visit Jatiluwih early in the planting season (there are typically two planting seasons per year, so you’ll always see rice growing in some capacity), look at the soil.
White rice requires more water than red rice. So, if you see flooded paddies, you’re likely looking at white rice plants.
Tip #9: Occasional Snack Opportunities
Unlike Tegallalang, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are mercifully free of warungs (family-owned restaurants) and shops packed side by side with vendors insisting they have the best offerings.
Instead, you’ll come across the occasionally sleepy shop in the rice fields.
Someone might offer you a sample of their rice cookies (more on those soon) if they’re not mid-snooze.
But for the most part, Jatiluwih offers a quiet experience for exploring, with the occasional opportunity to stop for a snack or drink if you need a pick-me-up during your explorations.
Tip #10: Restaurants Are Spread Out
Yet again, the restaurant situation is where the Jatiluwih rice fields differ from many touristy areas in Bali. If you’re the kind of person that likes to have multiple restaurant options before deciding on where to eat, you’re better off doing so by vehicle than on foot.
There are a couple of restaurants at the main entrance of Jatiluwih, with Gong Jatiluwih Restaurant offering a mostly vegetarian-friendly buffet with stunning views (seen in the photo above).
And when it comes down to it, even driving will reveal only a few Jatiluwih rice terrace restaurant options.
You can barely call this area a town; it’s primarily countryside, with a restaurant here and there to satisfy the hungry passerby.
Tip #11: You Don’t Have to Hold It
There are several places where you can use the restroom at the Jatiluwih rice fields.
A bathroom option is by the parking area, plus at the Gong Jatiluwih Restaurant, should you choose to eat there.
The occasional restroom also exists at the terraces, off the main path. So, if you’re out on the trail and mother nature calls, forego giving the rice paddies some extra water.
Instead, keep your eyes peeled for restroom signs, which are usually with the standard trail path signs.
Tip #12: Try Rice Cookies
Rice cookies are a must-try food at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. Every shop you pass will have them (remember, shops are few and far between, so don’t miss the opportunity if you’re relatively close to an exit).
The Balinese make rice cookies with red and white rice flour.
You can see the different layers of these rice types in the cookie, which they shape like a Balinese rice hat. That’s pretty much as touristy as it gets in Jatiluwih.
Rice cookies have a mild flavor with only a hint of sweet taste.
If you decide that rice cookies aren’t your thing, try buying a package of dried bananas or beetroot to keep you going during your trek.
Psst! Check out my article on Bali belly symptoms and prevention to reduce the chances of becoming ill during your time in Indonesia.
Tip #13: Walk Through the Fields (But Be Mindful)
Visitors can veer off the paved path and enter the rice fields at Jatiluwih.
Doing so is an excellent way to get views of the rice terraces that you otherwise wouldn’t have had. Take, for instance, the photo above that I snapped of the fields above the river.
Please be respectful if you wander into the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
Growing rice is how the farmers make their living. So, stay in the grassy areas between the rice paddies and don’t touch the plants.
Tip #14: Be Careful of the River
If you’re adventurous, you might make your way to the river at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. It’s a bit of a downward climb, but the views along the way will be rewarding.
That said, this isn’t the kind of river for taking a dip on a hot day.
The current is strong, especially during the rainy season. But danger can arise even during Bali’s dry season; if it happens to be raining in the mountains, flash flooding can occur.
Tip #15: Spend the Night
If When I visit the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces again, I’ll make it a priority to spend the night.
You’ll encounter a few resort-like hotels in relatively close vicinity. But you can also book a homestay, which offers a more intimate way to learn about life on a Bali rice farm.
Spending the night also allows more opportunities for the clouds to cooperate.
So, you’ll have a higher chance of seeing the volcanos and mountains surrounding the Jatiluwih rice fields, making an already beautiful area all the more stunning.
Tip #16: Combine Your Visit With Other Sites
I know, I know; this tip is counterintuitive to the one above. But if you’re short on time, visiting the Jatiluwih Rice Terrace as part of a half or full-day tour can be an excellent way to fit more sightseeing into your Bali itinerary.
I booked my group Jatiluwih tour with GetYourGuide.
It was my first time using GetYourGuide, and it was a pleasant change to the mediocre “tour” (aka driver) that I booked at a tourist stand in Ubud. My guide was proficient enough in English and, equally important, had a genuine passion for teaching me about the sites and his culture.
You’ll pay a little more for a GetYourGuide tour than what you’ll encounter in downtown Ubud.
But for me, spending a few extra dollars for local guides who get 5-star ratings is worth it. This was the exact tour I booked if you’re interested.
A trip to Jatiluwih pairs well with a visit to Ubud, including the Ubud Monkey Forest.
Alternatively, you can venture further out to sites like Pura Taman Ayun (the Royal Water Temple) and Lake Bratan.
Wheelchair Accessibility at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
The Jatiluwih rice fields offer decent accessibility for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.
Wheelchair users can see Jatiluwih from their vehicle or get out and explore the paved path.
Because the road sits above the rice terraces, you’ll have decent views of the fields from your vehicle. But parking and taking a stroll is also an option.
There isn’t a wheelchair accessible parking space at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. But since there aren’t marked parking spaces of any kind and so much parking is available, it should be easy to find space to get into and out of your vehicle.
You’ll then need to head over the dirt and gravel driveway and across the road to arrive at the paved path.
The immediate area at the start of the Jatiluwih terrace path is flat. From there, a steep paved slope leads further down into the terraces.
It’s hard to showcase the true grade of inclines in a photo.
But if you’re a manual wheelchair user, you’ll likely need someone to help with pushing to return to the road.
The paved path at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces starts out smooth. It gets a little rough in some areas the further you follow it, eventually turning into a dirt path.
Unfortunately, I didn’t encounter wheelchair accessible restrooms at Jatiluwih.
FAQ: Jatiluwih Rice Terrace
Do you still have questions about visiting the Jatiluwih rice fields? I’ve answered some common inquiries below, but let me know in the comments section if I missed yours.
What time does the Jatiluwih Rice Terrace open?
The Jatiluwih Rice Terrace opens at 8:00 am Monday – Sunday, year-round.
What time does the Jatiluwih Rice Terrace close?
The Jatiluwih Rice Terrace closes daily at 6:00 pm.
When is the best time to visit the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces?
The best time to visit the Jatiluwih rice terraces is March, April, September, and October. These are the months when most of the rice is close to being ready for harvest, so it’ll be tall and green.
That said, farmers at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are always planting, harvesting, or letting rice grow. So, you’ll see rice in some form regardless of the time of year you visit.
What’s the loud noise I hear at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces?
If you hear a loud buzzing noise at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, it’s likely a grasshopper-like insect. A store owner pointed one out to me during my walk, and I was amazed that such a small insect could make so much noise.
What Are You Waiting For?
Okay, it’s confession time: Visiting the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces was my favorite thing to do in Bali.
I loved how peaceful they were, and the clouds and rain added to the mystical feeling of the experience (though I’m sure I would have felt differently had I not seen the volcanos).
If you have questions about visiting the Jatiluwih rice fields, leave a question and I’ll do my best to help.
I’d also love to hear your takeaways after your visit. Was Jatiluwih what you expected? What’s your favorite rice terrace in Bali?
Laura has been wandering the globe for over a decade. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.