Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Travelogue Bali: Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud

Two years ago, when I visited Ubud, I tried to do this Campuhan Ridge trekking, but I could not find the trail head, so I gave up. This year, I bought the much recommended Bali Pathfinder (great for finding that trekking and cycling route, or for the road trip), and determined to conquer the famous trail once and for all.

And I did.

(Okay, conquer is an overstatement. The trail is a total la-la-la, leisure activity. It took me less than two hours for the whole trek, which is about 8-10 km long for the whole loop. There’s a slight elevation, nothing hardcore, but you’ll still sweat a lot)

I woke up early, put on my track suit and running shoe, and armed myself with a bottle of water and some chocolate. I was pretty much alone throughout the hike; my only encounters were a father walking with his two young daughters, a hot-looking runner and an uncle. It was a tranquil walk, and I quietly enjoyed the sounds of insects singing to the world and the beautiful flowers dotting the path.

The trail head was a fifteen minutes west-ward walk along Jalan Raya Ubud from the Ubud market, at the entrance of Ibah Hotel (if you find this hotel, you’ll find the trail). Follow the sign downhill towards the river and cross the bridge.

You’ll find a path paved with these bricks.

Follow it uphill (after a while, the brick path will give way to a dirt path), and you’ll be transported to a world with beautiful tall alang-alang grass swaying to the wind, coconut trees and the gurgling sound of the two rivers that run along, flanking the ridge. Such a romantic place – it would have been a great venue for outdoor photoshoot. The trek is also frequented by mountain bike enthusiast, zooming through the hilly dirt path.

If you are out early enough, you’ll be greeted by the mist, and on a clear day, you’ll get a glimpse of the mighty Gunung Agung.

The ridges are dotted with up-scale hotel, which can cost you USD 300-600 per night. Fancy.

After a while, you’ll hit the village, and from this point on, you’ll get to see a lot more people. Some local artists set up their shops along the route and you can also stop by at a cafĂ© to enjoy a cup of coffee.

You’ll pass through the terraced paddy fields nestled within the village. I’ve never seen a terraced paddy field before, so I find it rather beautiful (sawah padi biasa banyak dah jumpa kat Kedah kan). You’ll get to see friendly villagers working very hard at their field and some elegant birds frolicking around.

At a T-junction near Romi's Art Gallery, you can turn around and retrace your steps to go back to Ubud center. If not, you can turn left at the T-junction towards the main road that will make a huge loop back to Ubud. It was quite a walk, the road is busy with honking cars and bikes, and once you hit the village of Sangingan, there are just too many dogs standing guard in front of their owner’s house and barking at you. But it will give you a good exercise though (especially if you are chased by the dogs, hahaha).


  1. Thanks - great write-up and pictures!

  2. Lost my Lonely Planet guidebook with this info and yours is great! Hope to do the trail maybe today. Cheers! Rob

  3. Did this walk based on your directions - thanks was great and we wouldn't have found it without your help :-)

    1. glad to be of help :) hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Bali.

  4. Just ran this trail yesterday, plus all the way to the main road back to Ubud. Magic. So peaceful, spectacular beauty.
    Here's a tip for the "dogs of Bali" issue. Yes they will growl, bark, and bare their teeth. Just proceed, smile at them, and step around them ONLY if they're lying on the road. Otherwise, maintain your direction and pace. They will defer to you noisily. DO NOT make any gestures towards any dogs. That can invite trouble.

    1. Hi Ian,
      It's quite a pretty trail, right? I hope to visit Ubud again soon, and will definitely do this trail again. About the dogs, so far, I have yet to be chased by any, since true to what you say, they won't actually bother you. But I still find my fragile heart dropped (woosh!) every time one growls or barks at me :) Maintain composure, and walk away.

    2. "dogs of Bali"

      For the most part they are pretty wimpy. Amazingly many actually cry like a baby (literally they sound like a crying baby) as if they are in pain when they feel threatened or scared, even though there is nothing giving them any. They sure do love to bark and put on a show though.

  5. Dear Awesome Blossom,
    Thank you for sharing this "discover nature independently without a guide" info. We will do this little outing next week and won't forget our energy bars + water. Positivemindattitude

  6. Dear Awesome Blossom,
    Thank you for sharing this! Planning to do this walk but totally no idea where to start and i found your blog. Thanks again! My whole family going to Bali tomorrow.