Instagramable places in Bali – Is it worth it?

What’s the first thing that comes to everybody’s mind when thinking about Bali? “All those instagramable places I’m going to visit and all those nice photos I’m going to take.” But is it actually worth it? I’m not going to lie to you, but most of these places are actually less than they might seem online.

Bali is much more than that. Bali is about getting on your bike and discovering your own path. Otherwise, you might be disappointed with what you’ll find. I also followed Instagram but to a certain point. There are places that I did not want to visit because I knew they were tourist traps. Other areas attracted me more because they were made by nature and so I wanted to see them.

Also, before coming to Bali, I had the same must-see list as probably most of you. But I ended up seeing only some of them and avoiding others after doing some research and meeting people who already went. Keep in mind that I’m also traveling on a budget, so I’m not that eager to pay a lot of money just to take a nice photo. If something’s really worth it, I don’t have any problem to pay, but otherwise, I feel it’s superficial to do it “just for the gram”.

Don’t forget to also check these two must-read guides before arriving in Bali:

10 Things To Know Before Going To Bali

6 Things To Know Before Going To Nusa Penida

So, let’s dig in the most instagramable places in Bali and find out if they’re worth it.

Tegalalang Rice Field

The famous rice terraces located near Ubud were quite up on my list of instagramable places in Bali to visit because I’ve never seen a rice terrace. I’ve seen rice fields, but not terraces. I did not actually see the green rice that I was expecting, but either muddy areas. Overall it didn’t really matter because the view was beautiful and I felt like I was seeing something unique. At the entrance, there are various places to take photos. You can pose in the famous Bali nests without paying a fortune. To be honest, there was no one around and each place had a donation box in front. I paid 5.000 IDR (0.30€) for the one you see below just because I really liked the fact that I could get my photo without crowds and being ripped off. You also have plenty of swings to choose from.

Tip: I don’t know if the thing with “go at 7 am” still works. We went there around 14:30 and there were very few people around. We stopped for a glass of water and the locals told us how you can get a better price for the swings at this time because there are no tourists. He also said that most people come before noon and by 15:00 there’s barely anyone left.

Price: Free (or at least at that time it was. I saw plenty of signs with the price for certain areas of the rice terraces, but there was no one around to ask for the money)

Conclusion: WORTH IT

Kanto Lampo Waterfall

Kanto Lampo Waterfall Bali

It’s definitely a different kind of waterfall. The view is incredible and you can even climb it up for a photo or to enjoy the water massage on your back and neck. Again, we went there around 14:00 and there were few people around. We didn’t have to wait a long time for photos, as there were around 15-20 people in the area. The vibe was relaxed, a lot of people were just sitting on the rocks or taking photos. There were no queues at the time I went. This might have changed as I’ve recently seen a photo on social media and it didn’t look too good.

Price: 20.000 IDR (1,20) and free parking

Conclusion: WORTH IT

Tegenungan waterfall

Tegenunang Waterfall instagramable places in Bali

The only reason we went to this waterfall was that we were in the area. Nothing more than that. It was such chaos that I just took a moment to stare at that bad fair atmosphere. The music was so loud and bad, a kind of a bar next to the waterfall and queues to take a photo with the waterfall behind. Besides that, I didn’t find the waterfall that impressive and I don’t understand why would someone come all the way there just for that.

Price: 15.000 IDR (0,90) and free parking

Conclusion: NOT WORTH IT

Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Tukad Cepung Waterfall instagramable places in Bali

One of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen! It was so beautiful that I would go there again at any time. Again, you can probably guess by now, we went there around 14-15:00. There were some people around, more than at Kanto Lampo, but it wasn’t a problem. There are multiple corners from where you can take a nice photo or just enjoy the view.

Price: 15.000 IDR (0,90) and free parking

Conclusion: WORTH IT

Lempuyang Temple (also known as The Gate to Heaven)

I don’t even know how to describe this place, there’re a lot of mixed feelings. First of all, the view is incredible. You get to see Mount Agung surrounded by clouds and it’s priceless. Secondly, the Lempuyang Temple itself is also very interesting and the details are crazy. Thirdly, taking the famous photo from The Gate to Heaven is something almost embarrassing. I’m using this word because that’s how I felt when I was being rushed into the photo. The only reasons I took it were because we drove for many hours in the area and the queue was not that big.

Price: 10.000 IDR (0,60) to rent a sarong + donation (up to you how much)

Conclusion: NOT WORTH IT

Handara Gate

I have just one question: WHY?

Why do people actually go to the entrance of a golf club and wait in line for at least half an hour to take a photo? There’s nothing there, no monument, no temple, no history, just the entrance to some fancy golf resort. Maybe you don’t know it before going to Bali, but that’s the actual traditional Balinese gate. You find it everywhere and in every size. Some people have it at the entrance of their houses as well as all temples. We found so many similar gates while we were wandering around the island that is simply incomprehensive for me to queue and PAY(!) to take a photo there. This is definitely an example of instagramable places in Bali that are famous only because someone took a nice photo there.

Price: 30.000 IDR (1,90)

Conclusion: NOT WORTH IT

Balinese Temple

The Abandoned Planes

Abandoned plane instagramable places in Bali

After doing some research, we found about various abandoned planes around Bali. Some of them you’ll see while driving in Denpasar, but there’s one particular plane hidden behind a few containers in the very southern tip of the island. To be more specific, it’s here.

Luckily, we didn’t drive all the way there only to see this, because it would have been a hell of a disappointment. There’s a plane in someone’s private yard. That’s it! You’re not allowed to go inside the yard, you can only see it from outside. I would seriously not even mention this place as part of the things to see in Bali.

Price: Free

Conclusion: NOT WORTH IT

Bali Swing

This place was on top of my list before going to Bali and ended up out of the list after reading about it and getting to explore what the island actually represents. I order to take an Instagram photo like the hundreds we’ve seen on the platform, you have to buy a package. This includes, depending on the price you pay, different spots like the swing, the nest, the egg, and so on.

But let me be honest about this: it’s expensive* and has nothing authentic in it.

*expensive: I want to clarify my use of this term. Even if you’re on holiday and want to make everything out of it, you should also consider the country you’re visiting. In this case, for example, the price of the packages varies between 10-50$. You might think that 10$ for some cool photos is cheap. But for Indonesia, it’s not quite the case. Even if you’re a tourist, try to do your homework beforehand and to know the actual costs.

Bali Swing at Tegalalang Rice Terrace - Instagramable places in Bali

Tip: If you really want that photo in the swing, you can find plenty of swings like the one above at Tegalalang Rice Terrace and the price for one is around 150.000 IDR (~10€), but you can get a discount if you go around 2-3 PM and it’s not crowded.

Price: 10-50

Conclusion: NOT WORTH IT

Uluwatu Caves (or Suluban Beach Cave)

This place can be considered a hidden gem, especially if you’re going there during low tide. Even before reaching the caves, you’ll be enchanted by the little cliff village with narrow streets and a lot of bars with a great view (even though they’re quite overpriced).

Also, if you’re a pro surfer, this is a great place for you to catch some crazy waves (but bring your own board as rentals charge 3 x times the actual price).

Price: 5.000 IDR for parking

Kopi Luwak farms

Kopi Luwak, or Civet Coffee, is known as the most expensive coffee in the world. The coffee is produced after a civet eats and excretes the coffee bean.

The problem appeared when its popularity and demand increased. Nowadays, civets are being traded in, held in small cages and farmed. If many years ago this coffee was a delicacy because producers had to find the beans (same as with truffles), now they simply keep the animals in terrible conditions and force them to produce their supply all over again, for their entire life.

Basically, these civets live in small cages (and btw, they’re nocturnal mammals, the daylight is not doing them any good) where they only eat coffee beans given by the farmers. This is not natural and definitely not normal.

I’m asking you to please be an informed and responsible tourist and to avoid making choices that might affect a living being.

I’ll keep my list of instagramable places in Bali updated with new places as soon as I’ll be back exploring it.

Keep in touch,

A.

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