Ubud has been growing as an artistic centre since the late 19th century.
Ubud is located in the centre of the island but within easy access of the beach and the capital city Denpasar. It is an ideally located town from which to base yourself if you are planning on exploring all that Bali has to offer.
History and culture of Ubud
Many Western artists and intellectuals began visiting the area in the 1930's and aided in the expansion of the local Balinese arts and crafts. Ubud is now Bali’s cultural nexus, rich with stone and woodcarving, temples and ceremonies, art galleries, dancing, silversmiths and amazing cuisine.
We will either base you in a hotel in the centre of the town, amid this colourful activity, or in the countryside, surrounded by terraced paddy fields, quiet and atmospheric rural retreats that are still within easy walking distance of markets, traditional handicrafts shops and restaurants.
Some of Bali’s most ancient monuments and relics are found around Ubud, especially to the east and north.
Pura Samuan Tiga temple and Goa Gajah (or Elephant Cave)
Yeh Pulu is a 25 metre long carved cliff face that is believed to date back to the late 14th century, when it was used as a hermitage. Pura Samuan Tiga temple is close by and Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, dates back to the 11th century. For each of these places you need to be prepared to wear a sarong (men and women) as they are all considered to be holy sites. Celuk is a metalwork centre located just south of Ubud, where numerous jewellers sell gold and silver works.
Volcano of Gunung Batur
The volcanic cone of Gunung Batur, north of Ubud, stands at a height of 1,717 metres and there are some spectacular drives in the area with wonderful views of the surrounding rice paddies and terraces as well as of the volcano itself. Due west of here is the stunning Lake Bratan, home to the temple of Pura Ulun Danau Bratan framed by the dramatic backdrop of the Gunung Catur volcano.
East and southwest of Ubud
East of Ubud is the less visited area of Sideman and Iseh, with towering views of the sacred Gunung Agung. This area is also well known for its rural character and terraced paddy fields. Located to the southwest of Ubud is the secluded coast of Yeh Gangga, 17th century architecture at Kerambitan and Bali’s most famous and photographed temple: Pura Tanah Lot.
TARO Elephant Safari Park
Also in the vicinity of Ubud is the TARO Elephant Safari Park that looks after 27 Sumatran elephants, made homeless by deforestation. Funds raised by the centre are used for the continued rescue, care and upkeep of this rare and endangered species. At the centre you can feed, ride, observe and learn about these gentle giants. Other activities are also possible including white water rafting, kayaking and trekking.
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