With Instagram influencers sharing post after post of rice fields in Bali, it’s hard to believe that the island received a mere 45 international tourists in 2021. Luckily for Balinese working in tourism, that’s since changed.
But do Instagrammers’ photoshopped pictures paint the real picture of what Bali’s rice terraces are like?
Not a chance.
And that’s a good thing if you ask me and several other travel bloggers who have visited Bali’s rice fields. Exploring these terraces in person offers an immersive encounter, tapping into senses that you can’t possibly experience through a picture.
I’ve asked fellow travel bloggers to share their favorite rice fields in Bali, and I’ve included some of mine. By the time you finish this article, the only hard part will be deciding which rice paddy to visit first.
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Bali Making It Onto UNESCO’s Radar
UNESCO has included five of Bali’s rice terraces and their corresponding water temples on their “Cultural Heritage of Bali Provence” list.
It’s no small task for an entire region to make it on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
UNESCO chose the rice terraces in Bali not only for their outstanding beauty but because Balinese farmers continue to use the 9th-century subak practice to this day. Subak is a canal system that channels water to the rice fields with the Tri Hita Karana philosophy.
I promise that’s the last new Indonesian phrase I’ll throw at you. But Tri Hita Karana is important to understand because the Balinese believe that finding harmony between god, people, and nature is the path to happiness.
And so, Bali’s rice paddies are tended to with an immense amount of care and traditions passed down by generations. It’s no wonder UNESCO chose it as a cultural heritage site.
Rice Field vs Rice Terrace vs Rice Paddy
You may have noticed that I’ve used the words “field,” “terrace,” and “paddy” when referring to Bali’s rice agriculture.
I’m among the majority; most people use these words interchangeably. But they have some technical nuances, particularly when comparing a rice field versus a terrace.
So, let’s turn to dictionary definitions to understand each of them.
Rice Field: A field where rice is grown. Interestingly, Collins spells it as one word (ricefield), though two words (rice field) is more commonly used among the general public.https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/ricefield
Terrace Farming: A method of farming whereby “steps” known as terraces are built onto the slopes of hills and mountains to be used for crop cultivation.https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-terrace-farming.html
Rice Paddy: A field planted with rice growing in water.https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/rice-paddy
That’s pretty straightforward, wouldn’t you say?
Map of the Best Rice Fields in Bali
Before we dive subak style into talking about the best rice terraces in Bali, below is a map to give you a feel for their locations.
Keep in mind that it’s faster to travel in Bali via scooter than by car.
So, be sure to plan accordingly if you want to spend a day rice field hopping.
9 Best Rice Fields in Bali
Ready to see just how amazing the rice fields in Bali, Indonesia are? Read on to discover our travel bloggers’ top picks.
1. Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Tegallalang is home to the most popular rice terrace in Bali. It embodies the definition of a terrace, with narrow strips of rice paddy stacked down a steeply sloped valley.
There’s no shortage of access points to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, where you can pay private restaurants and shops a small fee to enter their property. It’s best to choose at least two entrances. There’s no need to overdo it, though—they all start looking the same after a while.
In addition to hiking down Tegallalang’s steep terraces, this is among the best places to sign up for a Bali rice fields swing ride. It offers photo ops that mirror the ones you’ve seen on Instagram, but now you’ll know what it’s like to soak in the sights, sounds, and smells of Tegallalang in person.
When you’re ready to refuel, choose from one of many restaurants that hang (sometimes haphazardly) over the edge of the Tegallalang rice field.
Alternatively, you can soak in this stunning Bali rice paddy from an infinity pool at Tis Cafe. Whether you want to buy a coffee or a whole meal, Tis will let you swim in their beautiful swimming pool to your heart’s content.
If you’re searching for stunning rice fields near Ubud, Tegallalang is your best option. It’s only a 20-minute drive away, whereas driving from Kuta will take you around 1 hour and 40 minutes.
2. Jatiluwih Rice Field
While the Tegallalang Rice Terrace has many great qualities, being crowd-free isn’t one of them. So, if you enjoy getting off the beaten path and are interested in seeing one of the biggest rice fields in Bali, look no further than Jatiluwih.
The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces sit in central Bali, about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Ubud and nearly two hours from Kuta. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Agung.
You’ll drive deep into the Balinese countryside to arrive at Jatiluwih, stopping at a ticket booth on the side of the road to pay the nominal entrance fee. You then have the option to stay in your car and drive down the road, sightseeing from there.
Alternatively, there’s a parking lot near Gong Jatiluwih Restaurant, which has a great vegetarian-friendly buffet, and an amazing rice field and mountain view. From there, you can access a paved path that eventually gives way to dirt roads winding through Jatiluwih’s massive rice field.
Jatiluwih is among the best rice field in Bali if you want to see rice agriculture by means other than exploring on foot; they offer the option to ride a bike or scooter down the paths.
Given how far Jatiluwih is from the main tourist hubs in Bali and how much land there is to explore, arranging a homestay with a local rice-farming family is a wonderful option.
3. Fiji Rice Terraces
The Fiji Rice Terraces are located on the way to the Sekumpul Waterfalls, so it’s a great destination for a day trip from Ubud as you get to see two amazing landmarks. These rice fields are lushly green, with palm trees, the Bali sea, and mountains in the background.
One of the best features of this rice field is the Bali swing located on the way to Sekumpul. The swing is quite big, and it feels secure. You can get a feeling of flying over the rice fields when you are in it, and the views are just magical. The workers at the swing also offer to take photos of you so that you get to remember your excitement later.
You should spend at least an hour at the Fiji Rice Terraces if you want to enjoy the swing and other photo spots. If you’re traveling in the high season, count on a higher amount of tourists there. And since you’ve traveled so far, go to the spectacular Sekumpul waterfalls. It’ll take around another two hours to hike there, go for a swim, and take some photos.
The terrain of the path to the rice fields and waterfalls is steep and can be slippery if it’s been raining. The locals offer a service for a fee at the waterfalls, driving you back up to the parking lot on a scooter.
You can get to the Fiji Rice Terraces by hiring a private driver for the day. Your driver might also suggest some other stopping points for the day trip, such as the famous Ulun Danu Beratan Temple.
The travel time to the Fiji Rice Terraces from Ubud is around two hours, and from Kuta, around 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Contributed by Una of Wandernity
4. Pererenan Rice Fields
The neighborhood of Pererenan is located just a quick drive from Canggu and is known for its rice fields and laid-back atmosphere. It’s far less busy than Canggu and a great place to stay during your time in Bali or to visit the Pererenan Rice Fields on a day trip.
There are lots of restaurants and bars to choose from and, of course, beautiful rice fields that look just like Ubud, especially in northern Pererenan.
Head to Jalan Sempol or Jalan Babadan, where there are lots of rice fields where you can walk around and explore. Just make sure always to be respectful to the farmers and ask permission to enter a rice field wherever possible.
The best way to get to Pererenan is either by car or scooter. You can easily hire a Grab or Gojek to take you there. The drive from Kuta will take around 1.5 hours, depending on the traffic, and from Ubud it’ll take around 1 hour.
There are plenty of rice fields in Pererenan, but there is no specific hike. So, you don’t need much more than 30 minutes there. The terrain is mostly flat without stairs but not really suitable for people with limited mobility.
Contributed by Victoria of Guide Your Travel
5. Sidemen Rice Fields
Sidemen Valley sits on the eastern side of the island and is one of the best rice fields in Bali for observing rice farming without a show being put on for tourists. It’s a quiet region, with loose chickens cutting in front of you instead of scooters. Watch your step, for the locals often dry grains of rice on tarps in the road.
There isn’t an entrance fee to visit the Sidemen rice fields. Instead, you can walk down countryside streets and observe the rice fields, many of which hug the road.
Just be careful because sidewalks are few and far between. So, people with limited mobility are better off enjoying views of the Sidemen rice terraces from their vehicles.
If you didn’t know that there are ducks in Bali rice fields, Sidemen Valley will show you this is true—unless your visit falls shortly before harvest. Balinese rice farmers intentionally place ducks in their rice fields because they eat algae and insects that could harm their crops.
Furthermore, duck droppings are an excellent fertilizer for rice terraces. However, farmers have to monitor the ducks carefully to determine when to remove them, for the ducks will make a meal out of the rice once it starts becoming ripe.
To get to this Sidemen rice terrace in Bali, you’ll need to drive about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Ubud and around 1.5 hours from Kuta.
6. Munduk Rice Fields
If you’re wanting to visit the best Bali rice fields, make sure you include Munduk rice terrace. Set amongst a lush tropical jungle and surrounded by rolling hills, the Munduk rice fields are one of the most unique and off-grid locations on the island.
Due to its elevation and microclimate, Munduk boasts much cooler weather, and it’s one of the best locations where to stay in Bali for a break from the hot and humid tropical climate.
Munduk is located in the northern part of the island, a two-hour drive from Kuta and just under two hours from Ubud. You can either hire a car and self-drive here or book private transport for door-to-door service.
Munduk rice fields can be visited as part of a day trip to Munduk. Due to its location, situated in a valley with a steep access road, I recommend leaving your vehicle on one of the main roads and continuing on foot. The hike will take about an hour, and on your way, you will witness the local life.
If you’d rather observe the gorgeous rice terrace and its lush surroundings from the top, stop by Warung Panorama, which offers delicious local food and sweeping views.
Other exciting places to see in the area include the Munduk Waterfall, Pura Ulun Danu Temple, and plantations where you can buy local coffee.
Contributed by Mal & Robin of WhereToStayBali
7. Kajeng Rice Fields
Another magical place to wander through in Bali is the Kajeng Rice Fields in Ubud. Surprisingly, these rice fields are never quite as busy as others, yet they are just as wonderful. On the smaller side to the more popular terraced fields (but never less stunning), they can be comfortably walked in 45 minutes, although slowing down your pace and exploring the side paths is a must!
Give yourself two hours for optimal enjoyment.
There are a couple of ways to start the loop, either from Jalan Raya Ubud (the main street) or at the entrance to Kajeng Village. Both are a stone’s through away from Ubud Market. You’ll need to head down a side alley decorated with customized paving stones with some lovely affirmations before reaching a sign to the left, which will take you into the fields.
The walk is enjoyable and pretty easy, although it’s not accessible by any method other than walking (and the odd scooter) once you reach the fields.
Sometimes you’ll see farmers sowing rice in the grueling heat. It’s back-breaking work, but they’re always smiling!
The main path is lined with coconut palms which offer some shade. You’ll notice the edges of the fields donning more trees, enclosing the area into one magical place disconnected from the rest of Ubud and the world.
Luckily, there are a few restaurants along the main trail which just scream to be stopped by. Most of these are local warungs that serve Indonesian cuisine. One which is much-loved by ex-pats and tourists is Sweet Orange Warung; try their Nasi Champur. These rice fields are truly wonderful and offer an afternoon of pure enjoyment in the heart of Ubud.
Contributed by Abi of Going on an Adventure
8. Tirta Gangga Rice Terraces
Exploring rice terraces is one of the best things to do in Bali. The Tirta Gangga Rice Terraces are scattered in east Bali, and they’re among the most beautiful paddy fields.
Tirta Gangga is a two-hour drive from Kuta and about a 1.5-hour drive from Ubud.
These paddy fields are not as steep as the others in Bali. However, the fields offer unique scenery, covering a huge area between valleys, and reaching the ocean by the coast of east Bali.
Joining a tour is the best way to have a full experience of the Tirta Gangga rice paddies. The leisurely walk will take you on a journey through the green fields, while you can also interact with the locals and learn about rice growing from your tour guide.
Stop for lunch at Puri Sawah Restaurant, where you can enjoy a view of the Tirta Gangga Rice Terraces over delicious Indonesian cuisine. There are a few photo-taking spots in the open area as well.
Your day tour won’t be complete without entering the Tirta Gangga Palace, one of the most visited attractions in Bali. This water palace has stunning decor, as it was previously the vacation house of the Balinese king.
If you want to explore more of east Bali, the Gate of Heaven at Pura Luhur Lempuyang and Mount Agung are excellent choices.
Contributed by Kenny of Knycx Journeying
9. Rendang Rice Field
The Rendang Rice Field is a great option to pair with your visit to Sidemen Valley, for it also sits within the Karangasem Regency. Don’t be surprised if the Rendang rice terraces aren’t the first thing that pops up when you search for it, though—rendang is also a Balinese beef stew.
As with Sidemen Valley, the Rendang rice paddies aren’t a major tourist attraction. So, you’ll get to enjoy a quiet and haggle-free experience as you drive or walk down countryside roads.
Rendang is among the best rice fields in Bali, Indonesia, for having views of Mount Agung (weather permitting). This active volcano is the highest peak in Bali.
Since the Rendang rice fields are off the typical tourist path, it’s best to drive there on your own or hire a private driver. You can also pair your trip with a visit to the nearby Besakih Temple.
Alternatively, if you’re an adventure lover, don’t miss the opportunity to raft down the Telaga Waja River. You’ll want to hang on tight, especially if you travel during monsoon season.
Rice Fields by Season
The best time to visit the rice fields in Bali is August and September. Visiting Bali rice fields in August or September strikes the right balance between the fields being lush and green without it being the rainy season.
February and March are the other ideal months for seeing Bali’s rice paddies when they’re at their greenest. However, these months fall during the rainy season, so bringing an umbrella is a must.
But the reality is that any time of year is a good time to visit Bali’s rice fields.
Traditionally, there are two rice growing seasons per year, with harvesting occurring from April to May and October to November. Visiting Bali at the tail end of these months will result in you seeing yellower rice or brown rice stalks after harvest.
June, July, December, and January are months when the rice seedlings will be in their infancy. So, the fields won’t look as full with long, lush rice leaves.
Nevertheless, regardless of when you visit the best rice paddies in Bali that we discussed here, you can expect to enjoy the beautiful scenery. And if you’re lucky, you’ll even get to witness farmers working in their fields.
Hotels Near Balinese Rice Terraces
If a day visit doesn’t sound like enough to fill your rice terrace desires, you’re in luck—Bali rice field resorts and hotels abound.
You’ll find several accommodation options around many of the rice terraces. For paddies that are off the beaten path, homestays and B&Bs are more common than upscale resorts.
Furthermore, dozens of accommodations sit on private vast rice terraces, offering an even more intimate Balinese rice field experience.
Below are some of the best Bali rice fields hotel and resort options to get you started.
Aksari Resort: A well-known resort having a privileged private location on the Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Kenderan Village.
The Sun of Granary Resort and Villas: Set on a private rice field between Tegallalang and downtown Ubud.
Subak Tabola Villa: Has only 14 rooms and offers views of the Sidemen rice fields and Mount Agung.
FAQ About Rice Fields in Bali
Where are the rice fields in Bali?
You can find Bali rice fields all over the island. Although we covered nine excellent options here, the reality is you can hop on a scooter and drive into the Balinese countryside knowing that you’ll encounter many rice fields.
Are there snakes in Bali rice fields?
Snakes are common in Bali rice fields, but they’re more afraid of you than you are of them. If you’re concerned about encountering snakes in a Bali rice paddy, it’s best to visit one of the more popular rice fields and stay on the main paths.
When is the best time to see rice fields in Bali?
The best time to see rice fields in Bali is any time of year, as the island has two rice-growing seasons, so there’s always something happening agriculture-wise. But if you’re wondering, “When are rice fields green in Bali?” the best time to visit for green fields is in February, March, August, and September.
Can I take a Bali rice fields tour?
Many agencies will be happy to give you a private Bali rice fields tour. Group tours are less common to encounter if you’re a single traveler. However, Get Your Guide is the exception, and they were the agency I used to book my group tours as a solo traveler.
You can check out my guide on Bali group tours for details on the types of group experiences available.
Get Out and Explore
Regardless of the rice fields in Bali that you end up visiting, they’ll leave you in awe. So much so that you might look back at your photos and say to yourself, “The rice fields were even prettier in person!”
Have you visited any Bali rice terraces that aren’t on this list, or do you have a favorite among those we talked about? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
Also, feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about exploring Bali’s rice fields.
P.S.—Rice is a great food if you’re recovering from Bali belly, as eating a bland diet is essential.