Famous for its opulent swimming pools, white sand beaches and tumbling waterfalls, Bali offers visitors the chance to hike volcanoes, soak in hibiscus flower baths, shop and shop some more, welcome sunset from breezy beach restaurants and cool off in pristine waters.
We’ve compiled an eclectic list of the best pools, beaches and waterfalls in Bali to help you keep cool on warm tropical afternoons. Ranging from hidden waterfalls in the Sidemen hills to awe-inspiring infinity pools situated atop cliffs to romantic private pool villas guaranteed to take your vacation to the next level, Bali has it all.
Far from the busting southern beaches in Bali, located in the lush, jungled mountains surrounding Sidemen Valley, Gembleng is a hidden waterfall in Bali and the kind of locals only secret every traveler dreams of encountering. As visitors follow a narrow path up a palm-lined mountain, the rush of water pouring down the rocks, children laughing in the shallow bathing area below and the call of birds in the towering trees carries on the breeze.
Although the climb is steep, the reward is worthwhile. At the top of the trail, with expansive views of the surrounding areas, a collection of rock pools invites explorers to take a cool dip. This is a place for locals and tourists alike, and you will find the friendliness of families enjoying the waters as refreshing as the cool pools themselves.
Samanvaya Tip – Entrance to the waterfall is donation based, but we recommend offering between 20 and 50 IDR to help maintain this beautiful space.
Named for its pure, white sand and untouched natural beauty, Virgin Beach provides the beach experience many look for in Bali, but few find. Clear, turquoise water laps at the sands and the waves are gentle enough to allow swimming or simply basking in the sun while sinking your toes into the sand.
Visitors can rent daybeds with umbrellas, allowing for complete relaxation and protection from the tropical sun. There are a collection of small beach warungs, or restaurants, lining the shore, offering fresh seafood, juice, rice dishes and cold beer. This is a great place to spend the day on your way to Amed or a daytrip destination for those staying in Candidasa or Sidemen.
Samanvaya Tip – Spend your afternoon at Seabreeze Warung, a local restaurant that provides delicious food, sunbeds, drinks and welcoming hospitality.
Located in the Kayon Jungle Resort, a luxurious retreat overlooking the Oos River Valley and the lush Ubud jungle, Wanna Jungle Pool is a three-tier infinity pool complex, featuring private cabanas, daybeds, incredible views and delicious food inspired by different areas in Indonesia.
Reminiscent of the “Hanging Gardens of Babylon”, this lush space is ideal for families, friends and couples seeking an escape to paradise. One of Wanna Jungle Pool’s best features is a massive jacuzzi situated within the infinity pool area that is the perfect place to watch day turn to dusk and bats skitter across the dusty pink skies.
Samanvaya Tip – Wanna Jungle Pool offers various pool packages so make sure you pick the best one for your group when you arrive to make the most of your experience.
Nested in the lush, green rice terraces of the famous Tegallalang area, Tis Café is the perfect place to swim, while overlooking the tiered rice fields and views of clouds trailing across the skies. The pool is split into two levels and lined by daybeds as well as beanbags for guests to enjoy. Both children and adults alike will love floating on huge beanbags in the pools, a thoughtful touch the makes Tis Café standout as a truly great place to swim.
Guests can also take walks through the rice terraces in front of the restaurant, enjoy panoramic views of the area from a high swing or simply have a great lunch while dipping their toes in the pool.
Samanvaya Tip – While Tis Cafe is beautiful at anytime of the day, we recommend arriving in time to watch the sunset across the rice terraces.
Designed for privacy and relaxation amid the lush Sidemen countryside, Samanvaya Adults Only Luxury Resort and Spa offers private pool villas with unending views of the nearby rice fields, mountains and even the distant ocean. Joglo Villa, the most spacious and luxurious villa on the property, is inspired by traditional Javanese architecture and includes a private pool tucked among tropical greenery, a rustic stone bathtub and an open-plan living space brightened by natural light.
Guests can also experience Villa Asmara or the Rice Barn, which is a bamboo villa complete with a plunge pool, inviting copper bathtub and panoramic views of the valley. For visitors planning a retreat, wedding or special event, a package can be tailored to fit individual needs. As our resort expands, we will offer more private pool villas, a curated wellness center and an events space guaranteed to make your next occasion memorable.
Samanvaya Tip – For more information about our private pool villas and event planning, please click the following links:
Combining beach shabby chic with the romance of Mediterranean living, Bingin Beach is a favorite among tourists and locals alike, and with good reason. Situated between the famed surfing spots at Dreamland Beach and the Impossibles, in Uluwatu, this secluded stretch of sand is accessible only by climbing down a grueling set of stairs.
However, we promise it’s worth it! During low tide, visitors can swim or simply relax in the massive tidepools that form as the water recedes. As local fisherman clamber across the rocks and through the tidepools looking for their next catch, restaurants set out tables on the sand, inviting guests to watch sunset, while enjoying fresh grilled fish.
Samanvaya Tip – Order ikan bakar, grilled fish, from Lucky Fish and enjoy a traditional meal that comes with rice, sautéed water mimosa and spicy sambals.
Located in the lush region of Bali’s interior, Leke Leke Waterfall looks like something created in a dream or possibly a fairytale. High cliffs covered by mats of ferns, vines and tropical plants serve as the backdrop to a thin yet magnificent waterfall that plunges from high above into a waiting pool below.
The light filters into the small canyon, creating an ethereal glow around the flowing water and illuminating the rich green of the leaves covered in gems of water. While Leke Leke Waterfall isn’t the best place for swimming laps, it’s an ideal spot for basking in the beauty of nature and cooling off on a hot day.
Samanvaya Tip – Near the entrance to the trail that leads to the waterfall, there is a restaurant with expansive views of the surrounding jungle aptly named Leke Leke Bali. We recommend ordering a coconut or juice after your hike and taking in the views.
Perched on the rugged clifftops overlooking the wild waves of Uluwatu, Ulu Cliffhouse combines modern minimalism with the elegant beach style reminiscent of Greek living, offering accommodation, dining and a beach club with one of the best pools in the area.
“Ulu” meaning “lands end” and “watu” meaning “rock” embody the feelings of being at the ends of the earth, while watching sunset from the pool’s relaxing waters or the plush daybeds.
Guests can enjoy tropical cocktails, fresh seafood and other culinary delights. While there is only one pool, it is large enough to have your own space and features areas of varying depths. A curated collection of melodic tunes, live music or featured DJs add to the otherworldly atmosphere of Ulu Cliffhouse in the evenings and lazy afternoons.
Samanvaya Tip – Don’t forget to check Ulu Cliffhouse’s website or Instagram account to see when the latest DJs will be playing.
Although not a singular location, the Sanur Beach area is a throwback to a time of opulence and old money, featuring old-growth trees lining the roads and promenades, established resorts with expansive gardens and large rooms, hotel pools built to last with intricate carvings and stone elements, fresh seafood restaurants with sea views and beaches ideal for swimming.
Unlike other areas of Bali, Sanur’s beaches are sheltered by a distant reef that breaks the incoming waves, leaving a massive, shallow expanse where swimmers, kayakers, fishermen and waders enjoy the warm waters. At low tide visitors can walk hundred of meters towards the distant waves.
Sanur Beach is an excellent choice for families with small children looking for a safe place to swim and couples who want to enjoy a slower pace of beach life than typically found in tourist destinations.
Samanvaya Tip – For those who don’t want to swim in the sea, there are many resorts that offer day passes to use their pool facilities. We recommend spending an afternoon at Andaz Bali, Hyatt Regency Bali or Puri Santrian.
Whether seeking the calm waters of Sanur Beach or the rushing waterfalls in Sidemen, visitors are guaranteed to relish the best pools, waterfalls and beaches in Bali. We hope that you enjoy our recommendations and make the most of your vacation in Bali. We look forward to welcoming you to the “Island of the Gods” and are happy to answer any of your questions.
Sampai Jumpa (until we meet).
For more information about Samanvaya Adults Only Resort and Spa and our private pool villas, please click the following link: Samavaya Resort.
All prices are 000 plus tax/service of 20% and are in Indonesian rupiah (IDR).
BY EVA JOHNSTONE