I can’t imagine traveling without taking photos. Can you imagine back in the day when cameras weren’t invented yet and people had to rely on their memories to describe and reimagine the beautiful places they went to and the amazing places they saw? Now I’m not saying my memory is terrible, but there’s just something about immortalizing a moment – whether on your phone, on camera, or even actual printed photographs.
I recently visited the island of the gods, also known as Bali in Indonesia, and not only are there countless Instagrammable cafes and restaurants (hey, you know you do it for the ‘gram too!), but the unbelievable scenery and natural landscapes is also every photographer’s dream come true!
So if you’re planning a trip to Bali in the near future and are looking for some great photo-op spots, I’ve got just the list for you!
1. Mount Batur
I joined a sunrise hiking tour with TripGuru during my latest trip to Bali, and the 1 am wake up call and chilly weather at the top of the mountain was worth it. The view from the top, especially once the sun rises over the tops of the surrounding mountains and hills, with a halo of clouds surrounding it, was one of the most picturesque and awe inspiring moments of my trip, hands down! I would definitely recommend enduring the 2-hour hike (one way) for that moment alone.
P.S. – The nice thing about joining a tour is that you have an instant photographer (aka your guide) who knows where the best photo spots are!
2. Nusa Penida
Just a boat ride away from Sanur Beach, Nusa Penida is filled with so many photo opportunities, you’ll probably have your phone or camera out the whole time. Rent a scooter or a motorbike or hire a driver to bring you around to places like Angel’s Billabong, Broken Beach, Crystal Bay, and Kelingking Beach. If you have even more time on your hands, you can also check out the Thousand Island Viewpoint, the Nusa Penida Tree House, Teletubbies Hill, Atuh Beach, and Diamond Beach. Honestly, you can spend a couple of days on the island and not run out of breathtaking photos to capture.
3. Pura Lempuyang
Also known as the Gates of Heaven, this temple’s facade perfectly frames Mt. Agung in the distance, making it an extremely popular spot for photo-ops. I recommend going really early in the morning or late in the afternoon (not just to catch the sunrise or sunset and have amazing photos) but also so you can cut down your waiting time. Sometimes, you can wait in line to take a photo for more than 2 hours! But don’t worry, they have a photographer on standby who will take a whole album of photos for you. Don’t forget to bring a sarong and wrap to cover your legs and arms, leave a tip for the photographer, and have three poses in your back pocket ready!
4. Tegalalang Rice Terraces
If you’re a fan of verdant greens in photos, then a visit to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces is a must. Located in the north of Ubud, this is an easy stop when you’re coming from other nearby tourist attractions such as Goa Gajah, Tegenungan Waterfall, the Ubud Monkey Forest, and Tirta Empul Temple. I joined a tour, which packaged the rice terraces with other amazing spots, and I would highly recommend doing it as well. That way you won’t have to worry about logistics and getting lost.
5. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Besides its striking appearance, this 400-year old water temple is also set amidst a fairly picturesque background. Think mountains and lush greens sprinkled in the background. The temple also has a reputation of being a floating temple – just time your visit during the wet season which is usually from October to April, so as to see the water rise to give the illusion of the temple floating. You can even rent or hire a boat to take pictures from too.
6. Tibumana Waterfall
Bali is known to have a whole menu of amazing waterfalls to visit and take photos of, but I have to say that the jungle background, dramatic drop, and serene pool of the Tibumana Waterfall makes it one of my all time favorite photo-op spots. While one of the lesser-known waterfalls (for now at least), I would still recommend going early in the morning – the waterfall opens at 6 am – for the chance to get some shots with the least amount of people around.
7. Campuhan Ridge Walk
If you’re staying in the Ubud area and are up for some walking, then don’t miss the chance to snap some photos at the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Situated behind some of Ubud’s big hotels, this approximately 2km scenic walkway will give you tranquil views of green rice fields for days. Since this is fast becoming a popular activity and photo spot in the area, I recommend going as early as the sunrise to have the place (mostly, hopefully) to yourselves. Since it’s a public path, there aren’t any opening and closing times, but I would suggest staying only until the sun is up, as the path isn’t well lit at night and can become quite tricky to navigate if you’re not familiar with it.
About Chinny: Chinny is a 20-something writer based in Manila. One of TripGuru’s resident bloggers, she can usually be found buying cheap tickets and planning her next trip to wherever the wind takes her.