Information before you go
Check out our west Bali sight seeing attractions in the least visited region of Bali
For travelers who arrive by ferry from east Java, the first Balinese port of entry is Gilimanuk on the outskirts of West Bali National Park. From here you can continue your journey east to Labuhan Lalang from where you can take a small boat to the amazing underwater world of Menjangan Island. Lovely Pemuteran village is located down the road where you'll find mostly small scale hotels and where you can escape the hordes of tourists.
The other road south from Gilimanuk to Denpasar is 129 km long and one of the busiest on the island because here you'll find mainly trucks with products and building materials. Even though it's a busy road there's still enough to take in such as the astonishing sea views from the black sand beaches, the high waves at Medewi Beach, the beautiful rice terraces with shapes of Bali's second highest mountain, Mount Batukaru (2276 m) in the background.
Characteristic scenes in West Bali
The influence of Javanese people is recognizable in the villages along the west coast with mosques and stalls selling Javanese food. This area is the less populated area on Bali and most of its inhabitants are either fishermen, farmers or work on the many coconut plantations.
The nicest sights in West Bali are:
Pura Agung Pulaki temple
This 16th century temple complex is located just west of Pemuturan and is considered Pemuteran's key temple. This Hindu temple is devoted to the most influential religious leader, Danghyang Nirartha. It's built along and within the black-stone mountain cliffs making it quite beautiful to see especially when the sun sets.
It isn't the most visited temple in Bali but if you happen to be in Pemuturan then it's nice to pop in and have a look. Across the street you'll find another temple called Pura Pabean which is devoted to Nirartha's wife and some fishermen come here to pray for safe journeys.
Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park)
This is Bali's only national park and measures 19000 ha consisting of monsoon forest, virgin tropical forest on the slopes of Mount Klatakan, mangroves and coral reefs at the north-western coast. It is considered the most important conservation area in Bali and was established an Indonesian National Park in 1941 to protect the Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi).
Nowadays it's very hard to find the Bali Starling in the wild but it's still bird watchers paradise. You can do 1-2 hours or 7- hours hikes however you are not allowed to enter the park without a guide. The park’s headquarters are located in Cekik or Labuhan Lalang from where you can arrange permits. If you want to visit some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in Bali then you can get your permit and guide at Labuhan Lalang too. The coral around Menjangan island is full of marine life.
Bunut Bolong Tree
Bolong means 'hole' and when you see this magnificent Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) tree at Manggissari village you can immediately see why. The tree is grown in a way that the Balinese have managed to build a road right through it.
You can find this tree on the small scenic road from Pekutatan towards Pupuan village to along clove plantations and tropical forests.
Buffalo races in Perancak and Negara
At these places you have the opportunity to see the buffalo races along a 4km long race track. It takes place after the rice harvest, which is every second and third Sunday in September and October. The race is always between two clubs and is organized by the local government. The races start early in the morning at 6 am before the buffaloes get lazy from the heat of the sun. Only the best and most beautiful bulls are allowed to participate in the contest.
First there’s a parade for spectators where the bulls and their jockeys show their colorful decorations and outfits. After this the bull’s decorations are removed and the jockey brings his two bulls into position. Every pair of bulls pulls a two-wheeled cart on which the jockey has to find his balance.
To gain speed he twists the buffalo’s tail and hits him with a small whip. The huge and often relaxed looking bulls can accelerate up to 80 km/hour during this race. They are judged by a panel on their beauty, style, color, power and of course speed.
Perancak is home to a small white temple, Pura Gede Perancak located at a lagoon and made out of coral. The temple is dedicated to the priest Danghyang Nirartha, who fled Java after the fall of the Majapahit empire. He is responsible for introducing Hinduism rituals and events and makes Bali the religious mixture what it is today with their beliefs in Hindu gods and animistic spirits.
Pura Rambut Siwi (Temple of the Worshipped Hairs)
Traveling further to the south you find the most important temple of the area, Rambut Siwi temple near Yehembang village. Rambut Siwi means ‘holy hair’ and the Balinese claim that the priest Nirartha cut his hair here and left it in a shrine in 1546.
It is easy to see why Nirartha built a temple here with the magnificent views on the black volcanic sands on one side and the rice paddies on the other side.
I heard it through the grapevine
On the main road between Pemuteran village and Lovina beach against the slopes of mountains you can see the small signs 'Hatten Wines'. This is the only vineyard in Bali since 1994 and here local farmers grow the local Propolinggo Biru, the French table grape Alphonsel-Lavallee and Belgia grapes destined for the tourist market on Bali only. You'll be surprised to find a vineyard on a tropical island but by using the right techniques harvests take place continuously in 120-day cycles.
Balian Beach in West Bali is a perfect place for intermediate surfers who want to loose the crowd. This little village has a relaxing atmosphere. Medewi Beach is also nearby.Read more
The west Bali beaches are probably the most deserted beaches on the island. Mostly visited by surfers but also a perfect place to loose the crowd.Read more
There is a beautiful route that runs between Lovina, pass Antosari to South Bali. It takes you along rice field terraces and you can stop at the famous Tanah Lot Temple.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
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