The Campuhan Ridge Walk was at the very top of my list of places to see while in Ubud, and it certainly did not disappoint. The ridge walk is a beautiful stroll with a stone pathway that reminded me of the Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz (except not yellow of course) and winds through endless fields of beautiful lush tall green grass spoiling you with views of traditional Balinese homes, temples, glimpses of local life, and quaint little rice paddies. The green landscape and palm trees stand out even more against the stark grey of the pathway and is really quite the visual treat. If you want to see the true natural beauty of Bali and successfully capture that green tropical jungle-y goodness then you must check this place out! I truly loved this little hike/stroll and I think it is a staple of the Ubud area. It’s also free, so that is a huge plus (if you read my last post most things are not)! Even if you are not big into exercise, hey, at least you can get some really nice photos 😉 But really, once you see this place in person you will see that it is truly peaceful and a beauty I can’t even put into words, and I don’t think photos can do it justice either. You won’t regret walking this trail.
To get to this place is an adventure in itself. We stayed in Penestanan as my last blog post mentioned, and we were very close to this place. Maybe a 5-10 minute walk. From our villa (which is close to the Yellow Flower Cafe and Bintang Supermarket for reference) we took a left past the supermarket. From there we kept walking straight until we hit a small wooden bridge that you walk across. There are then stairs that lead you down to a forested area with a watering hole. There is a little makeshift bridge that you walk across pictured here.
After that we walked past the exterior walls of Pura Gunung Lebah, a gorgeous temple with tall architecture reaching towards the skies. It made for a great photo op and we took full advantage of it!
You just keep walking straight after that, and you will probably start to see some people headed towards the pathway or coming back from it at that point. We saw a lot of bikers walking up the steep stairs carrying their bikes, and I was very impressed with them! You will see a sign that says “This Way Campuhan Ridge Trekking Karsa Kafe” and you just make your way down those stairs and you have arrived on the path!
A lot of people come from the center of Ubud however, and from what I have read, you want to drive like you are headed towards Bintang Supermarket/Wooden bridge (which our villa was conveniently right by as mentioned earlier, also if you Google search Wooden Bridge Ubud, you’ll see pictures and information about it, which is why I reference it). While driving that direction, keep an eye out for the Ibah Villas sign. From there you would park your scooter (or have your taxi drop you off) and you’ll see a sign that says “Going to the Hill”. Follow the sign and you’ll end up by the walls of Pura Gunung Lebah and the directions should be the same as above from this point on. Again, I didn’t not go this way, so I really hope those directions and reference points will help!
I hear mixed reviews on how long the hike is, but the general consensus is that it’s a little over a mile. For us, this is a piece of cake. Hikes for Joe and I consist of very rugged terrain, 8+ miles, and crazy elevation change…but that’s what you get when you hike Washington state! For us, the hard part about this hike was the muggy heat. As most people say, it is definitely best to begin the walk early morning/sunrise or early evening/sunset. We were there in the beginning of September and started a little later than we had intended (about 10:30 am/11:00 am) and it was already incredibly hot and humid! I feel like that stone path attracts all the heat as well and makes it even more brutal. If you’re used to hot weather then it’ll be no problem. I used to be a pro at island heat, but after living in Washington State in the rain most of the year for 7 years, I can’t hang as well as I used to! Even with the heat we still finished this walk in less than an hour. Most people say it takes about 1-2 hours, depending on your fitness level and also how slow you are taking it (if you stop for photos and what not). Actually come to think of it, every time estimate we read for all the outdoors stuff we always finished well under the time. Maybe we are in better shape than we realize, which was honestly a really great feeling! Those HIIT sessions, stairs, and plyo/conditioning training really does help in the long haul!
Most of the pictures people see of this place are on that first little stretch of the ridge. Once you get past this point you end up walking through what I like to call Real Bali. The stone pathway stops and you are on a rougher dirt road and get to walk past homes and local little mom and pop type shops.
We ran into some kids along the way who were being cheeky and messing around with us, I kind of felt like I was in a movie. We also walked past some sleeping dogs. We gave this little guy water in a coconut shell. I hope he drank it because you could tell he was so tired…As always, please be careful around the dogs and cats in Bali. You never know which one will have rabies or other diseases, but this one was so lethargic :/
We ended up stopping at this little family business called Rare Angon and we were greeted by an incredibly sweet older woman. Her English was almost non-existent, but that didn’t bother me one bit. I kind of like those communication barriers, it’s a learning experience for both parties and a chance to connect in a different way. Plus, I’m in your country and I do NOT expect you to know or learn English. On the contrary, I wish I had learned to speak Indonesian and I am going to try to learn at least an in depth “basics” of the language of each country we visit from here on out. I only learned how to say greetings and thank you in Indonesian. Anyways, we decided to order some fresh coconuts to quench our thirst (I was sweating buckets at this point and extremely parched) and what a deal we received! They were about $2, if that, and I have never seen coconuts so big before. They were filled to the brim with delicious juicy water and tons of fresh coconut meat. I couldn’t even finish the coconut, this was so much better than in Hawaii. We paid $10 in Hawaii and it was a small dinky thing and I saw the guy pick it up across the street on the beach! Ha!
We sat down at these gorgeous green glass tables situated right next to a beautiful rice paddy field. It was the perfect setting and view and we were able to cool down and reflect on the fact of how lucky we were to be able to experience wander and beauty in the world like this together. It was a humbling and amazing experience and I cannot recommend this walk enough. Do yourself a favor and JUST GO!!!
Hope you guys enjoyed reading about this luscious green slice of paradise. Here are some more photos to enjoy!
Until next time,