You’re on the right track by landing here: Visiting rice terraces is one of the top things to do in Bali. And of the many rice paddies on the island, Tegallalang is among the most famous. Yet you’ve clearly heard some chatter about Jatiluwih.
So, what’s the difference between Jatiluwih vs Tegallalang?
Jatiluwih and Tegallalang offer completely different experiences, with Jatiluwih being a good fit for travelers looking for a quieter experience and Tegallalang for those wanting the classic photos they’ve seen on Instagram.
I visited both the Tegallalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces and will share their most significant differences so you can pick the best fit for your situation.
Accessibility Note: Jatiluwih offers better wheelchair accessibility than Tegallalang.
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An Overview of Jatiluwih vs Tegallalang
I’m a fan of charts. So, I’ve put together the chart below highlighting some of the biggest differences between Jatiluwih and Tegallalang.
|Large with gently sloping terraces
|Small with steep terraces
|Paved and dirt
|Types of rice
|White, red, black
This table gives you a glimpse of where Jatiluwih and Tegallalang diverge. But read on for more details and other factors worth considering when choosing between the two.
Jatiluwih vs Tegallalang: 14 Differences
Tegallalang and Jatiluwih share more differences than similarities. So, let’s explore what you can expect from each. At the end of this post, I’ll reveal four characteristics that these rice terraces share.
1. Jatiluwih Is Bigger
No one who visits Tegallalang and Jatiluwih will walk away claiming they’re similar in size.
My tour guide told me that Jatiluwih is 50 times bigger than Tegallalang before chuckling and saying he really didn’t know how much bigger it is. I figured he was exaggerating.
But it wasn’t until I arrived at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces that I realized he could be spot-on.
We know that the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is over 600 hectares. Unfortunately, such data doesn’t seem to exist for Tegallalang (please correct me if I’m wrong).
So, for lack of better data, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is a lot bigger than the Tegallalang Rice Terraces.
2. Tegallalang Has Steeper Terraces
When comparing Tegallalang vs Jatiluwih, there’s a noticeable difference in gradient.
Tegallalang sits in a narrow valley, with its rice terraces seated in tight, steep quarters as the land plunges from the top of the valley to the base of a river.
By standing at the top of one side of Tegallalang’s valley, you can look over and clearly see the terraces on the other side.
In contrast, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces sit on land without as much of an incline.
These rice fields still aren’t flat-flat, as anyone who walks its paths can attest to. But the farmers have a lot more and flatter land to work with.
As a result, you’ll be able to look out over the Jatiluwih terraces and see rice fields in the distance. But they’ll be so far away that you won’t be able to see them in detail, unlike at Tegallalang (weather permitting).
Psst! If you love a climb, check out my guide on Uluwatu’s beaches for details on the ideal places for hiking oceanfront cliffs.
3. Jatiluwih Is Less Crowded
Everyone who visits Bali has heard of the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Or, at least, so it seems when you arrive at its crowded streets and people waiting in line for swing photography.
Tegallalang’s proximity to Ubud (20 minutes), its picturesque steep rice terraces, and the swings that take you over them make these rice fields a Bali must-see by many tourists’ standards.
Although Jatiluwih is the clear rice terrace winner in my mind, I understand Tegallalang’s draw.
But if you’re debating between Jatiluwih and Tegallalang and don’t want to deal with crowds, choose Jatiluwih.
You can visit the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces at any time of day without worrying about too many people being there. I arrived at 12:45 pm, and it was the equivalent of being in Tegallalang before 10:00 am (which I recommend if you want to go when there are fewer tourists).
4. The Swings Are in Tegallalang
If you’re looking forward to swinging over rice fields, Jatiluwih will disappoint; the absence of swings in Jatiluwih is one of the most noticeable differences when comparing Jatiluwih vs Tegallalang.
You’ll find little more than a heart-shaped chair at Gong Jatiuwih Restaurant, overlooking the rice fields from a distance.
But in Tegallalang, swings and other staged photo opportunities abound.
Many of the entrances to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces have swings. Be sure to shop around for prices and views—I was quoted from 100,000 to 200,000 IDR.
Most swing operators at Tegallalang include a flowy dress that you can borrow free of charge if you choose.
5. Better Paths at Jatiluwih
If you have limited mobility or stamina and are trying to decide between Jatiluwih or Tegallalang, Jatiluwih will allow you to see more for less effort.
Despite the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces receiving such few tourists, they have several marked and well-defined paths. The locals use these paths for their scooters and vehicles, but only sporadically, so it’s a comfortable place to walk.
Furthermore, you don’t have to climb any steps at the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
Instead, the path starts as a paved road that leads down through the fields. The path is rather steep at the start, so keep that in mind when deciding how far you want to go.
In contrast, you can view the Tegallalang Rice Terraces from the road, which is flat. But unlike the views of the Jatiluwih terraces from the road, it’s hard to see the Tegallalang rice paddies well.
So, the best views of Tegallalang come from within the rice fields.
You’ll need to prepare for mud steps (and slippery steps if it’s been raining), though. Furthermore, these steps are steep, given that the terrain drops sharply towards the river.
6. Restaurants With Views Abound in Tegallalang
Tegallalang and Jatiluwih both offer restaurant options. But the Tegallalang Rice Terraces have many more choices than Jatiluwih.
And its views are better.
In Jatiluwih, the handful of restaurants within the paid area is across the road from the rice terraces. I had a delicious vegetarian buffet from the Gong Jatiluwih restaurant I mentioned earlier, which sits across from the main entrance to Jatiluwih.
I could see the rice fields and volcanos from Gong Jatiluwih. It was stunning.
But when strictly talking rice terrace views, it wasn’t the same “wow’ factor as the restaurants that Tegallalang offers.
That’s because the restaurants in Tegallalang hover over the top of the rice fields. And the restaurants have tables and chairs lining the edge so you can soak in the views while you eat.
7. Volcano Views Are at Jatiluwih
When comparing Tegallalang vs Jatiluwih in terms of volcano views, there’s no competition—Jatiluwih offers volcano views and Tegallalang doesn’t.
By visiting Jatiluwih, you’ll have the opportunity to see five volcanos surrounding the rice fields.
It’s even possible to see Mount Agung, which is the tallest volcano in Bali. You’ll have to hope for clear weather, though, given that it’s off in the distance.
Even on the rainy and cloudy day I visited, Mount Agung made a brief silhouette appearance. And I could see the other volcanos much more clearly between breaks in the clouds.
Keep in mind that Jatiluwih sits at about 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level. So, it’s common for clouds to pass through even when it’s sunny elsewhere in Bali.
8. You (Might) Need More Cash at Tegallalang
The Jatiluwih Rice Terrace entrance fee is only 40,000 IDR. It’s a one-and-done kind of charge—you’ll pay it at a street stand on the road leading to the terraces, and no one will ask you for another entrance fee again.
In contrast, various families and businesses operate several different entrances to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces.
And each one charges a fee.
Most of the time, the fee is 10,000 IDR, although I paid as much as 15,000 IDR to enter the Abian Desa portion of Tegallalang. There are also more upscale private resorts with an even higher entrance fee for day use of their facilities.
Needless to say, when choosing between Tegallalang or Jatiluwih, having lots of smaller bills for Tegallalang is more important than at Jatiluwih (although small bills are always smart to have anywhere in Bali).
However, you can get away with spending less money at Tegallalang Rice Terraces than at Jatiluwih. For Jatiluwih’s 40,000 IDR fee, you could, in theory, visit four different sections of Tegallalang.
Bust since Tegallalang is so much smaller than Jatiluwih, four different entrances could feel like overkill.
9. Jatiluwih Is Better for Overnight Stays
If you love the thought of staying by a rice terrace and are comparing Jatiluwih vs Tegallalang, I recommend Jatiluwih.
That’s because there’s more to explore at Jatiluwih. Plus, cloud coverage is common there.
So, spending the night by the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces will give you more opportunities for the clouds to clear so that you can see the volcanos.
There are a few higher-end hotels you can stay at near Jatiluwih. But smaller B&Bs and homestays are more common accommodation arrangements.
You can also stay at a hotel in Tegallalang, with the Kuwarasan being a popular luxury choice.
10. Tegallalang Requires Less Time
Tegallalang is smaller, so it naturally requires less time to explore.
Depending on your chosen entrance, you can comfortably visit a paid portion of the Tegallalang Rice Terraces in 15 – 30 minutes.
Add to that another 45 minutes or so for a meal overlooking the terraces, and you’ve got yourself a nice little side trip from Ubud.
So, if you’re trying to choose between Tegallalang or Jatiluwih and your time is limited, the Tegallalang Rice Terraces is best.
Not only are the Tegallalang rice fields faster to explore, but Tegallalang is also closer to where most tourists stay compared to Jatiluwih.
11. It’s Easier to Park in Jatiluwih
Jatiluwih and Tegallalang vary drastically in their ease of parking, with Jatiluwih being the easier of the two.
You’ll encounter a large parking lot beside Gong Tatiluwih, across the road from the entrance to the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. The fee is 5,000 IDR, and you won’t have to worry about squeezing in among dozens of other scooters and cars.
In contrast, parking at the Tegallalang Rice Terraces doesn’t do the word “challenging” justice if you arrive after 10:00 am.
Parking lots near the rice terraces are sparse, and they sit on steeper hills than I’d ever care to navigate on a scooter.
Whereas Jatiluwih has plenty of space to pull off on the side of the road, few roadside opportunities exist at the Tegallalang rice fields.
12. Scootering to Tegallalang Is Safer
If you’re new to scootering and decide to drive to a rice terrace, you’re better off choosing Tegallalang over Jatiluwih. Especially if you’re coming from Ubud.
The scooter ride from Ubud to Tegallalang is along a single countryside road. It has significantly less traffic than downtown Ubud and zero intersections. And I would know after a tipping-over incident in the middle of an intersection while driving a scooter.
In classic Bali fashion, the road to Tegallalang is narrow and winding.
But it’s nothing like the road to Jatiluwih.
Driving a scooter to Jatiluwih involves going uphill (and then downhill on your return) more than 2,000 feet. There are lots of turns, traffic, and intersections.
In other words, when comparing Tegallalang vs Jatiluwih, the road to Tegallalang is a much better fit for newbie scooter drivers than the ones leading to Jatiluwih.
13. More Rice Varieties at Jatiluwih
Did you know that more than one type of rice grows in Bali?
You can find three kinds of rice in Jatiluwih: White, red, and black.
In contrast, you’ll only encounter white rice growing at the Tegallalang rice fields. There are positives and negatives to this.
White rice is a shorter-growing variety. So, it offers a more classic rice terrace look you’ve seen in photos, without the extra “legginess” of exceptionally long blades of rice leaves.
But having the opportunity to see red rice growing is fascinating too. I saw the red rice in Jatiluwih shortly before it was ready for harvest, and I didn’t find its legginess a disappointment like some people have commented.
Black rice is apparently hard to spot in Jatiluwih. According to my guide, it grows in the ever-so-rare outskirts of fields with some trees.
Nevertheless, if you’re debating between Jatiluwih or Tegallalang and want the same photos you see on Instagram, head to Tegallalang.
14. Multiple Ways to Explore Jatiluwih
The only way to get around the Tagallalang Rice Terraces is by walking. And it’s a vigorous walk at that, given you’ll have to climb steep mud stairs.
But you have the following options for exploring the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces:
There’s even a special bicycle path, which makes up one of six formal paths at the Jatiluwih rice fields.
These paths won’t get you quite as close to the rice paddies as the paths at Tagallalang. But if you veer off on foot, you can walk within the fields and be just as close to the rice as you would be in Tagallalang.
If you don’t want to get out of your vehicle at all, driving through Sidemen Valley is a wonderful way to view rice terraces. Of course, you can get out and walk there too.
4 Similarities Between Jatiluwih and Tegallalang
Now that we’ve covered Tegallalang vs Jatiluwih in terms of their differences, below are the ways that these rice fields are similar.
1. Great for Day Trips
Whether you visit Tegallalang or Jatiluwih, both rice terraces are excellent to incorporate as part of a day trip visiting other destinations in Bali.
On the day of my Jatiluwih Rice Terrace visit, I also stopped at:
- Pura Taman Ayun
- Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
- Tanah Lot for sunset
In contrast, Tegallang’s proximity to Ubud means that it’s easy to stop there in addition to sites such as:
- Elephant Cave
- Batuan Temple
- Ubud Monkey Forest
- Tegenungan Waterfall
- A coffee plantation that makes Luwak coffee (Luwak is the animal that poops coffee beans)
Given that Bali’s tour providers specialize in custom tours with a private driver, you can mix and match the destinations that most interest you.
Furthermore, you can visit both the Tegallalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces on the same day. These destinations are only about a 1 hour and 45-minute drive from each other.
2. Similar Growing Seasons
The rice farms at Tegallalang and Jatiluwih plant their crops twice per year. They typically do so in January or February and then again in July or August.
As a result, you can expect to see rice growing at the Jatiluwih and Tegallalang Rice Terraces in some form year-round.
Balinese farmers usually only let the soil rest between plantings for a few weeks at most. And given that different families own the various rice terraces in Tegallalang and Jatiluwih, you don’t have to worry about those few weeks falling at a time when all of the soil is in an unplanted state.
That said, if you want to see the rice as green as possible, the best time to do so is in March, April, September, and October.
During these months, the rice leaves are full and green. Once the farmers harvest the plants, they turn a yellowish-brown color.
Trust me, it’s still beautiful. It’s just different from what you usually see on Instagram.
3. Can’t Arrive by Public Bus
When comparing Jatiluwih vs Tegallalang, both share the characteristic that public buses don’t pass by them.
I’m a huge fan of taking public transportation, but I found the public transportation system in Ubud confusing at best. So, I did as many tourists do and opted to travel to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces by scooter.
That was a fail, as the woman who helped me off the ground in the middle of an intersection could tell you.
But if, like the now wiser me, you decide that driving a scooter isn’t the right fit for you, you can ride a scooter there via Gojek or Grab (the Ubers of Southeast Asia).
A public bus would be cheaper, but Gojek and Grab are way more economical than hiring a private tour to take you to the Tegallalang or Jatiluwih rice terraces.
4. Flexible Entrance Times
When comparing Jatiluwih vs Tegallalang, they’re both formally open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
But if you arrive at either rice terrace outside these hours, there won’t be anyone managing the entrance, or a gate or “do not enter” sign. So, you can technically enter the rice terraces without paying a fee.
Doing so is most common at Tegallalang, where people travel from Ubud to watch the sunrise.
But if you choose to enter these terraces fee-free, please spend money at the restaurants or shops once they open. You’ll be on family/community property, and they deserve your economic support.
Psst! Bali has too many beautiful rice paddies to make Tegallalang or Jatiluwih your only stop. Check out my guide on the best rice fields in Bali for rice terrace hopping ideas.
Jatiluwih vs Tegallalang: What’s Your Preference?
It’s no secret that between Jatiluwih and Tegallalang, Jatiluwih is my favorite. I love that the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces have an idyllic Balinese countryside vibe without lines of people waiting for swing rides.
That said, I’m glad I visited Tegallalang. I’d do it again, and I recommend to anyone debating whether to visit Tegallalang or Jatiluwih to visit both of them.
So, I’m curious: What rice field are you leaning towards visiting? And if you’ve already been, what were your takeaways?
Feel free to also leave a comment with any questions you have about Jatiluwih or Tegallalang.
P.S.—Check out my article on 17 tips for visiting the Tegallalang Rice Terraces and 16 tips on Jatiluwih, should you still be on the fence about which to visit. Also, consider taking the self-guided Campuhan Ridge Walk if you stay in Ubud.