Campuhan Ridge Walk is a free and easy nature trek, popular among repeat visitors to the central highland town of Ubud. The area provides a great retreat from the more hectic southern parts of the island, but this trail presents an even more pristine outback to escape from the contemporary boutique, guesthouse and restaurant-lined Jalan Raya Ubud. While the hike lets you enjoy cool fresh air and probably the most gorgeous hillside vista in the region, it also allows you to shed off some calories too with its nine-kilometre hill track. Your Bali tour driver usually suggest you to come here in the morning around 7am to avoid the heat from the sun.
Getting to the starting point is relatively easy. Those staying at the Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas and Spa have the best starting point to the Campuhan Ridge Walk, as the main access is a concrete path just down from this boutique hotel’s main entrance. Smaller letterings under the signage of the Warwick Ibah, bears “Going to The Hill” with an arrow pointing left, and as soon as you take on this path, the verdant surroundings of the Campuhan Valley immediately come to sight, lined by dense tropical foliage.
A small bridge over the revered Campuhan River leads to the majestic Pura Gunung Lebah temple complex. Signs before the temple clearly show the directions to follow along the route, which borders the eastern walls of the temple. These intricately carved walls and the towering ‘meru’ tiers of the shrines visible from the path provide an exotic and cultural touch to the beginning of this nature walk. You might meet a few fellow trekkers on their way back from their earlier jog, but most of the time you’ll have the path to your own.
A few hundred meters and up the slopes from the temple, the view widens to reveal the vast hills that make up the valley hinterland. The best time to enjoy the Campuhan Ridge Walk is early morning and late afternoon, when the temperature is cool and when the skies show their best hues during sunrise and sunset. Slopes as far as the eye can see are an undulating sea of green, covered in tall reed grass, which at times are harvested by the locals for thatched roofing that is typical in traditional Balinese architecture.
The Campuhan Ridge Walk spans an approximate nine kilometres in total, passing over the lush valley of the River. On clear mornings or afternoons, you can enjoy a breathtaking backdrop of Mount Agung and outlying small village houses girt by rice fields. Continuing north along the ridge the tall grass transforms into the paddies of the small village of Bangkiang Sidem. Karsa Café of the Bali Rice Terrace Villas resides here, providing a convenient pause for refreshments or a quick bite while admiring the view.
Leisure walkers may take the trek back to Ibah, while the more serious and curious trekkers can continue west towards the outskirts of Bangkiang Sidem, down to the Sungai Cerik River then climbing up towards the hills of Payogan in the village of Kedewatan.