An aerial view of Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, showcasing the intricate network of rice paddies and the majestic Mount Batukaru in the background.

Complete Guide to Visiting the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Bali

February 7, 2024laurenslighthouse

It’s no secret that Bali has some of the most beautiful cascading rice terraces on the planet. However, while most crowds flock to Ubud for their rice paddy treks and escapes, the beauty of Jatiluwih rice terraces sits in rural serenity.

Situated at the foot of Mount Batukaru in the Tabanan Regency of central Bali, Indonesia, Jatiluwih is one of Bali’s most stunning and largest rice fields. The word Jatiluwih is derived from the words “Jati” meaning “true” or “real” and “Luwih” meaning “good”. A true testament to the crop the fields produce and to its authentic, natural beauty.

The rice terraces of Jatiluwih were developed over half a millennium ago, using the 11th century old Subak irrigation system that Bali is known for. The Subak system is a complex network of waterways and canals that lead the water from the mountains into the rice fields, and is considered sacred and culturally important. It was developed based on Balinese philosophy and Hindu beliefs surrounding harmony and balance between mankind and nature.

Playing a vital role in cultural and ecological sustainability, the Subak system – and thus Jatiluwih – was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. It’s such an important traditional agricultural practice to the island and I was delighted to be a witness to it when we visited Jatiluwih during our month-long stay in Bali.

With that said, I want to ensure you have the best time when you visit Bali’s best rice terraces. There are a few details you’ll want to keep note of to make the most out of your visit. Whether it’s for optimal weather, fewer crowds and things to bring with you, I got you with this ultimate visiting day guide!

How to Get to Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

There are a few ways you can get to Jatiluwih.

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By Scooter

Bali is one of those places that is best explored by scooter, and we did manage to rent one every now and then during our trip. If you’re coming from Ubud, it’s an hour’s drive, which is definitely doable by scooter. I like using Klook for my scooter rentals because of added delivery and pickup, but you can rent one directly in town, or potentially from your accommodation as well. Be sure to have your own physical IDP (International Driving Permit) before you book a scooter rental!

But if you’re coming from further places on the island, a scooter might not be the best choice. Especially considering the time at which I would suggest you get to Jatiluwih – more on that in a bit!

By Car

Grab is Southeast Asia’s top rideshare apps and we used it religiously throughout this region of the world. But, for your day trip to the Bali’s best rice terraces, it’s best to have a private car for the entirety of the day. It’s much more affordable and convenient, especially considering the longer distance if you’re staying in Seminyak or further.

Getting your own car rental is certainly viable as the roads to Jatiluwih from the south are okay to drive on. We recommend having a look on RentalCars if you must, but if you can avoid renting your own car, that would be better. The price, convenience and comfort make much more sense when you hire a private driver instead.

We hired our awesome English-speaking Bali private driver here for 10 hours for only 500k IDR. He picked us up even earlier from Seminyak than the indicated 6am start time (the earliest without a surcharge) and we made it to Jatiluwih with plenty of time to explore in the morning.

By Tour

Another way to visit is by booking a Jatiluwih rice terraces tour. Doing so will give you a more all-encompassing experience of the rice fields, learning more about the history and cultural significance. Some of the tours also tack on more beautiful destinations in this region of the island that we personally loved. Here are some of the best tours that focus on exploring Jatiluwih:

  • Bali UNESCO World Heritage Sites: spend a full day on this affordable small groups tour visiting Bali’s UNESCO sites, including Taman Ayun Temple, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple and sunset over Tanah Lot Temple. Pura Ulun Danu is one of our favourite temples sitting right on the shores of Lake Beratan and there’s no better place to spend sunset than at Tanah Lot!
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terrace Sunrise Trekking with Breakfast: enjoy a bucket list experience of witnessing sunrise over the rice terraces with Mount Batukaru in the background. After trekking around the rice paddies for three hours with no one else in sight, enjoy coffee and breakfast.
  • Jatiluwih 2-Hour E-Bike Cycling Tour: tour the UNESCO-protected rice fields by e-bike, guided from Batukaru Temple and taken through the giant bamboo forests and lush verdant terraces.

Best Time to Visit Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

There’s an ideal time of year and ideal time of day you can visit Jatiluwih.

Best Time of Year

Bali’s rainy season extends from October to March. But if you want to see Jatiluwih’s beautifully manicured terraces in full green bloom, the best season to visit is from February to April.

Red rice is the predominant grain grown in Jatiluwih rice terraces. It’s harvested in June and July and only one crop is sown a year, being planted in December and January. Because of this, the most picturesque time to see Jatiluwih is during one single window of a couple of months.

The time we got to visit was pretty optimal, which was during the first week of March. The crop was vibrantly green and starting to gain height, but wasn’t yellow-tipped just yet.

Important note: weather can be unpredictable in Bali. Make sure you bring both your UV sunglasses and sunscreen as well as a rain poncho in case it rains.

Best Time of Day

On top of having a window in the year with the best conditions, the Jatiluwih green land is also best explored at a certain time of day. With the Bali heat and humidity, it’s much more favourable to escape it by adventuring in the morning if you can. Just after sunrise, the lighting hits the terraces perfectly yet the sun isn’t strong enough to start making you uncomfortable.

As the Jatiluwih rice terraces are located 700m above sea level, it has some altitude which means more sun exposure. It also means more precipitation and cloud coverage, which typically starts in the afternoon. Whether it’s the heat, the rain or the fog obstructing your view, it’s best to come earlier in the morning. From sunrise onwards is most ideal, but the 8am to 10am is next best.

The earlier you visit also means the higher chance you have to evade the crowds. We arrived at 7:40am, and throughout the few hours we spent here, there was no other visitor in sight! Only the field workers and entrance attendants were people we encountered during our entire visit. Morning time is hands down the least busiest time of day to come to Jatiluwih.

Jatiluwih Opening Hours & Entrance Fee

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces covers a total of 632 acres. That’s an extremely vast area of land! Which means it’s open for anyone to visit at all hours of the day. But there’s an official area with defined trails meant for day visitors, which is also where the most beautiful photo spots are located. This area has opening hours of 8am to 6pm daily.

Although parts of the rice fields are free to explore, there is an entrance fee for the official part. It costs 40k IDR per adult which is well worth the cost to come marvel at this awe-inspiring heritage site! With that said, for some reason, we didn’t end up being charged for it. I think because we arrived before opening time and at this gate instead of at the tourist information entrance we didn’t have to pay, even as we exited. Or maybe it was a “your mileage may vary” situation!

If you visit with one of the tours I mention above, your entrance fee will be included, if you pick the option to have it so!

Important note: if you are doing your visit self-guided, or if you opt out of having your entrance fee included when booking your tour, make sure to have cash with you. The Jatiluwih entrance fee can only be paid in cash, solely in IDR. Carry some extra in case you get thirsty or hungry during your trek so you can buy from the various market stalls along the trails.

Trekking Through Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

With such a large footprint and various levels of elevation, Jatiluwih requires some trekking to fully experience it. All the paths are well paved with concrete, and some have stairs. When you reach one of the entrances, you’ll find a well laid out map showing five different routes you can take, defined by different colours. The red line is by far the shortest, and in our opinion, the most beautiful, while the white line is the longest and is best for cycling. If you need a path that is wheelchair or stroller-friendly, the white line would be it!

  • Short Track Red Line: 1.5 km (30-45 minutes)
  • Medium Track Purple Line: 2 km (1-1.5 hours)
  • Medium Track Yellow Line: 2.3 km (1-2 hours)
  • Long Track Blue Line: 3.1 km (1.5-2 hours)
  • Extra Track White Line: 5.5 km (3-4 hours)

Our recommendation is to first do the red line and finish off with the purple line if you have more than two hours to spare. We really took our time exploring and stopping for photos at every direction, so definitely make sure you have enough time for your visit.

Lauren walking along red line path in Jatiluwih rice terraces Bali. The image is taken from above and shows Lauren a little bit smaller, holding her long skirt with the terraced landscape in view and a cloud wrapped volcano in the background.

Important note: even though the paths are made out of concrete, sometimes you might want to stand on the grassy edges of the terraces for some photos! I don’t often recommend wearing flip flops, but in this case, I was glad I wore mine so I didn’t have to be so careful of wet or muddy patches.

Photography Tips for Jatiluwih

There are a few key things to keep in mind when trying to get the perfect captures of the rice fields.

First things first, you’ll want to take advantage of the soft lighting and glow of the early morning hours or late afternoons. Going back to the best time of day to visit, it will have to be morning because the afternoon typically brings in the clouds and rain. Take advantage of golden hour if you can to bring a dreamy touch to your photos, soften the glow of the sky and enhance the golden hues on the terraces.

Next, use the natural leading lines of the terraces as well as the various trekking paths. They create a captivating flow in your photos, drawing the viewer’s eyes deeper into the landscape. It’s like nature’s own composition trick!

Elevate your perspective by trying out different angles. Get low for those dramatic ground level shots or climb a bit for a bird’s eye view. We love getting low for foreground interest, introducing elements and vibrant colours in the foreground to add depth and context. We also managed to fly the drone over parts of the terraces with the owners’ permission, which gave us those aerial view shots of the entire terraces as well as the towering volcanoes in the background.

If you find any overhanging branches or nearby trees, utilize them to frame your shots with foliage. Not only does it add a touch of nature’s framing but it also helps direct attention to the main subject by narrowing the focus. And lastly, think about where the sun is shining from and try to avoid shooting directly at it unless you have an object, such as palm tree leaves, to shield it and create a sun star in your photo!

Jatiluwih vs. Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Jatiluwih was one of four different rice terraces in Bali that we got to visit. The very first rice paddy walk we did was at the neighbouring rice fields of Maya Ubud, a beautiful resort with the most incredible spa experience we’ve ever had. The second one we visited was a short walk from Hoshinoya Bali, which is a stunning Japanese-influenced resort in Ubud as well.

After exploring these rice terraces that were completely off the beaten track, we wanted to see what the most popular rice terrace in Bali was all about. And that was Tegallalang. You’ve probably already heard about this one already. It’s where they’ve got the Insta-famous Bali swings!

Tegallalang is right in the heart of Ubud, only a short drive from the town centre. As such, it’s extremely easy to access, and in turn has the downside of attracting many a crowd. Because of its steep valley and lush greenery, it also makes for an incredibly stunning landscape! The terraces are truly terraces and you can see that from every direction! The rice terraces are so perfectly designed, and there are suspension bridges and walkways that allow you so go from one side of the valley to the other.

The rice terraces of Tegallalang are relatively small and can be easily explored in a couple of hours. But that also makes it a tighter space for the number of visitors who frequent it. With that said, where Jatiluwih costs 40k IDR per person to enter, Tegallalang only costs 25k IDR.

So, which Bali rice terrace takes the cake? Is it the open green fields of Jatiluwih or the picturesque valley of Tegallalang rice paddies? Now, don’t get me wrong, both spots are stunning, however they’ve got their own vibes. But I’ll be real with you: Jatiluwih is my personal favourite. It’s truly the hidden gem of rice terraces – less crowded, more serene and with stunning background landscapes of Bali’s volcanoes.

You’re also not dodging Bali swings left and right like it’s jungle gym, and the locals here aren’t trying to sell you on their cafés and views. The authenticity and peace of Indonesia shines through at Jatiluwih despite it also being a tourist attraction. Yes, it’s more of a hassle to get to, yes the entrance fee is a little higher, but I would take that any day for gorgeous views, few crowds and a genuine nature and culturally immersive experience.

If you do plan on a Tegallalang rendezvous, set that alarm clock early. Sunrise is your golden ticket to beat the crowds and soak in the magic before it turns into a bustling hotspot and borderline theme park. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Where to Stay When Visiting Jatiluwih

Although Jatiluwih rice terraces are found in a remote part of Bali in the Tabanan Regency, you can still find an array of accommodations in the vicinity.

There are very affordable guesthouses located right along the main road of Jl. Jatiluwih Kawan that sits adjacent to the rice terraces. But if you’re looking for something more upscale and private, there are incredible villas and resorts just a short drive away from the Jatiluwih main entrances, like the Villa Togog Terrace Resort.

Some of these stays can offer a nice change of pace and proximity to the rice terraces for ease of getting there for sunrise. But if you’re hoping not to move around too much while in Bali, and prefer to stay in one place for longer, you can opt in to stick with one of these top 10 best areas to stay in Bali. Ubud and Munduk are just 1 hour away from Jatiluwih Rice Terraces!

Bedugul is the next closest town, just north of Jatiluwih about a 30-minute drive. It sits between Munduk and Jatiluwih and offers some of the most scenic landscapes we saw on our entire Bali trip. If you’re thinking of staying somewhere with more accommodation options and better access to dining and other sites, Bedugul might be an optimal choice for you.

Right on the shores of Lake Beratan is the beautiful Ulun Danau Beratan Temple, one of Bali’s most beautiful temples. This is a sight you can’t miss, and it’s part of the Bali UNESCO Sites Tour I added to the tour list above! It’s a perfect add-on to combine with a morning visit to Jatiluwih, which is exactly what we did on our itinerary.

Ulun Danau Beratan Temple sitting on the shores of Lake Beratan on a beautiful morning. The lush mountains of northern Bali stand imposingly in the background, blanketed by soft white clouds on a warm blue sky.


There is so much beauty in Bali, it’s crazy. Because Jatiluwih takes a little bit more time to get to compared to other bucket list spots on the island, it definitely doesn’t get as much hype as it deserves. Where you’ll find crowds and one too many Bali swings in the Tegallalang rice terraces, Jatiluwih rice terraces offers serene tranquility and a much more authentic taste of Balinese life.

Jatiluwih was one of our most memorable experiences during our month in Bali, on top of hiking Mount Batur and swimming with the manta rays in Nusa Penida. Be sure to check out our video below for more footage as we explore this Balinese rice terrace gem!

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