Bali is almost synonymous with pearly beaches and jungle-covered volcanic mountains.
But that’s not all, the island is also packed to the brim with sprawling landscapes punctuated by layers of rice paddies that offer visual treats that captivate even the most apathetic traveler.
Nestled in the verdant valleys of Bali, Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the most popular attractions in Ubud thanks to its photogenic ambiance.
Although the iconic rice paddies are a top tourist destination, Tegalalang gives a glimpse into the traditional Balinese irrigation system that support the livelihood of the locals to this very day.
Read on for a comprehensive travel guide to Tegalalang Rice Terrace.
Tegalalang is known as one of the most popular rice fields in Ubud and deeply entrenched around a popular Balinese traditional mode of irrigation named Subak, dating back to the 9th century.
The system embodies the Tri Hita Karana philosophy on life and like many other Bali’s rice terraces, Tegalalang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The weather at Tegalalang Rice Terrace is pleasantly warm throughout the year and with Bali being approximately 890 km from the equator, it’s easy to see why.
Bali province boasts two seasons; a wet and a dry season. The temperatures are mild (averaging 26°C / 79°F), so there’s no need for jackets even during the coldest month of the year (January).
Be sure to stay hydrated and pack some sunscreen if you’re traveling in May, it’s the warmest month with an average temperature of 26°C / 82°F.
One of the perks of a temperate climate is that you can visit during the wet season and still fall in love with the tranquillity.
However, if it rains in Bali, it pours so get those raincoats and umbrellas ready! If you’re visiting during the wet season you should expect the weather to change in an instant – quick spews of rain and sunbeams in between.
Technically, Tegalalang is open 24 hours, however, it makes sense to visit in the daytime to truly appreciate the allure.
Anytime between 8 AM and 6 PM (official opening time) would be ideal, especially if you want to take a bite at the on-site restaurant overlooking the rice paddies.
If you want to see Tegalalang Rice Fields at its greenest, be sure to visit in March, August, or September.
As the rice approaches the harvesting period (April and October) the fields adopt a yellow hue.
December and February are the rainiest months in Bali. The terraces are beautifully green at this time of the year, but the walkways are muddy and slippery. If you’re visiting at this time be sure to bring shoes with good grip.
Most tour groups from Ubud visit between mid and late mornings. If you’re doing a solo visit and not with a tour group, the best time to visit would be in the early morning hours.
You’ll experience smaller crowds and also be rewarded with a mild escape from the mid-day humidity and scorching heat.
Alternatively, stop by in the late afternoon (between 3 PM and 5:30 PM) when the crowd has trailed off and the temperatures are relatively lower.
Located barely 20 minutes north of Ubud, the Tegalalang Rice Fields are easily accessible with either a taxi or a rented bike/scooter. The terraces are hard to miss as they’re right beside the Ubud – Kintamani road.
The most budget-friendly option would be to rent a scooter – costing roughly 60,000 IDR ($5 CAD / $4 USD) per day.
You can also rent a car if you’re familiar with the twisty, narrow, and busy Indonesian roads. Otherwise, a taxi would be the next best option.
Alternatively, you can hire a driver which is a perfect choice if you’re planning to explore other sites at a leisurely pace. This will cost you approximately 500,000 IDR ($42 CAD / $35 USD for 8 hours).
Although you can easily visit Tegalalang Rice Terrace with no need for a guide, time is always limited when it comes to traveling so it’s only natural that you’d want to cram as much as possible in one day!
In this case, tours are worth a shot and you’ll find tons of options.
The guided day tours usually combine a visit to Tegalalang Rice Fields along with a stop at Ubud Palace, Kintamani volcano, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Bali Swings, Sekumpul Waterfall, and a handful of Balinese temples.
If you opt for a day tour you can expect to pay between $42 – 60 CAD / $35 – $50 USD based on the number of attractions you’ll see alongside the terraces.
There’s a ticketing booth located right next to the terraces viewpoint, close to the parking lot, and also at either end of the road where you’ll be required to pay 15,000 IDR (about a dollar).
However, this fee doesn’t guarantee you full access to the fields, as most walkways lead to privately owned areas.
If you want to walk and further explore the terraces, you’ll come across several booths where you’ll be required to offer mandatory donations. There’s no set minimum amount donation but expect to pay between 5000 IDR – 10000 IDR.
If you drove your own vehicle, parking fees range between 2000 – 5000 IDR.
Obviously, rice terraces trekking is an unmissable thing to do at Tegalalang. Wind through the walkways as you take in the splendid scenery, and breathe in the crisp air of the Balinese countryside.
What you might not know is that the rice fields at Tegalalang are active working farms. You’ll come across farmers going about their usual daily activities; plowing the wet paddies, preparing the seedlings, or harvesting rice.
Have a peek at the Balinese humble lifestyle, characterized by hard work plus unwavering dedication and learn first-hand about the traditional Subak irrigation system which has been in use for thousands of years.
After hiking and walking down the steep rice terrace hills under Bali’s blazing heat, nothing beats sipping a glass of freshly squeezed juice or Bintang to cool you off.
There are many restaurants overlooking Tegalalang Rice Fields where you can stop to refuel as you enjoy the staggering green scenery.
If you’re a landscape and photograph enthusiast, you’ll be glad to know that Tegalalang Rice Terrace offers some of the most astounding backdrops for that enviable social media post.
To capture those dreamy shots of sun rays shining through the wavering palm trees, be sure to arrive early (preferably an hour after sunrise).
Get the best views of the rice terrace from the Tegalalang swing! Don’t try this if you’re afraid of heights.
Channel your inner bird and take a photo inside a giant nest! One of the most Instagrammable spots at Tegalalang Rice Terrace.
The island of the gods isn’t just all about beaches and Bintangs. At the heart of Bali lies its lush green rice fields and tranquil scenery.
Don’t miss out on your chance to cross the most famous Ubud rice fields off your bucket list! It’s really easy to get lost, fall in love with your surroundings, and never leave.
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