CAMPUHAN RIDGE WALK
Bali has two major natural offerings – beaches and greenery. While the former are best experienced at Kuta and Nusa Dua, the latter is present in superlative measures at Ubud. And in Ubud, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place than Campuhan Ridge walk for the same.
What it is: A walk across the rice paddies, Balinese traditional villages, taking in a few art galleries, culture and cafes along the way. Soak in the sights. They’re gorgeous. There are many art cafes with some lovely little paintings you can pick up (bargain!). A great walk for fitness, views or viewing the local artists. Takes about 90 minutes at a brisk pace or hours if viewing all the art on display. Miles and miles of rice fields. You’ll see their unique irrigation and step farming as well as tons of trees.
Anyway, so here are the directions to Campuhan ridge walk:
Let’s use the Ubud market as our starting point. Walk West (or as you exit the market onto the main road, Jalan Ubud Raya, you go left) towards Penestanan/the bridge/Bintang supermarket.
Before the bridge, on your right, you will see a sign for IBAH Hotel. This will be before the clinic and after the turning to Sari Organic if you know where that is.
Turn right at that sign as if you’re going to the hotel (North of the main road if your looking at the map). To the left you will see a road that goes downhill. Drive down and park 50m down at the school, can’t go any further with a moped.
Now take the road going right, DOWN the stairs (not over the bridge, but under it). The stairs will go up a little and for the next few metres the road will be a little uneven. Don’t worry, soon enough it will even out into a nice paved road.
Congratulations, you’ve found the path!
For the next 2/3km, enjoy the scenery, it really is beautiful up there. The road slightly tilts uphill all the way, but it’s not hard, plus it makes the way back much nicer if you’re tired! However, even though it’s an easy trek, you will still get super sweaty from the heat, so wear something that won’t show those wet patches!
I would recommend going off-path wherever you like, there are some great places that aren’t on the main road – good for photoshoots in tall grass! Like I went up a steep hill off-path and had a lovely meditation overlooking the gorgeous fields (ok so I was a little afraid of snakes but I trusted that Mother Earth wouldn’t let anything happen to me)
After a while, you will reach a built up area with several art shops, the road will become unpaved but still quite even. Keep going another 500 metres.
The typical “rest point” up there is a cafe called Karsa Kafe, you will easily recognise it by the 3 bali’s to the left of the road. Great place with a gorgeous view for a bathroom break and some watermelon juice. The menu isn’t huge, and for raw vegans there’s only the choice of a simple salad or a fruit plate. They also have free wifi and I actually wished I had brought my iPad with me to start writing this blog!
This is Karsa Kafe – easy to spot
This is where I sat for my brunch, lovely peaceful setting to cool off after the hot walk
And this is the view from Karsa Kafe
My brunch at Karsa Kafe the pineapple was AMAZING!
The way up there took me about 1.5 hours but I was stopping literally every 3 metres to take photos, plus I had a meditation up on the hill, so it could probably be done in half the time if you’re a determined walker. The way back, downhill, took me about 40 mins from the cafe to my moped.
Also, you are likely to see some wild, wonderful and weird creatures, so don’t forget your camera!!
Oh and if you REALLY don’t want to walk all the way back, there is transport available in the village – I saw a sign at Karsa Kafe for transport for 50k.
Distance from Ibah Hotel to Karsa Kafe and back: about 4-6km (just by the school it says its 2km to the cafe, but at the cafe it says 3km to Ubud…perhaps they mean central Ubud…people here aren’t amazing at distances, when you ask someone how far away something is, they will always say 500m!)
Don’t forget: your camera, a bottle of water (the closest shop is about 1.5-2km from the start) sunglasses and sunscreen, and a hat could come in useful too. Take some money also if you’d like to buy some art or some food at the cafe.
Best time to go: early morning, around 7:30. I went at 9am and that was a bit too hot. It’s June now, so the sun rises at around 6am, so anytime after that is great.
Here are some more photos of the walk: