Urban ricefields: the Campuhan Ridge in Ubud, Bali
When I first arrived in Ubud it was late at night. All I saw were city lights, taxis, scooters and a lot of tourists. This was most definitely not the Ubud I hoped to see but as I just arrived from Europe a few hours earlier, I was too tired to really think about that. The next few days I spent traveling around Ubud. I climbed Batur volcano, cycled through the rice fields north of the city and went to the Bali Swing. After a week I left Ubud behind and took off for new adventures on Gili Air and I climbed Mount Rinjani in Lombok. However upon return to Bali I realized I wanted to head back to Ubud. I’d still not seen and done everything I wanted to do there and hiking the Campuhan Ridge Walk was one of those things.
Although you may not expect it when entering Ubud, you can actually walk to some really nice rice fields right from the heart of the city. Heck, you can even have lunch in the middle of the city and with rice terrace view (tip: go to Three Monkeys Café). Some hotels I stayed at such as Hotel Pertiwi Bisma II and Anini Raka Resort & Spa were located right in the middle of the rice fields.
I found out about Campuhan Ridge Walk through Lonely Planet but learned soon enough you don’t really need that one as your guide. Plus the description and number of kilometers didn’t really match with what I walked so unless I went completely wrong and my Suunto GPS watch is way off, I wouldn’t entirely trust their description.
About the Campuhan Ridge Walk
The Campuhan Ridge Walk is an easy hiking trail leading you on a paved trail above the Ubud ricefields that are located west of the city. On either side of the ridge you will find a deep gorge with a river rushing through. The ridge itself is just about 1.5 kilometers long and a very popular place for a workout. From the ridge you have amazing views into the valleys below. At the end of the ridge walk you will arrive into the town of Bangkian Sidem.
How to get to Camphuhan Ridge Walk
The walk Lonely Planet described starts in the center of Ubud, yet I was staying in the other side of town. The trail officially starts at the entrance of the Warwick Ibah Villas. Upon entering their driveway stick to the left, it’s signposted as ‘going to the hill.’ Follow the concrete trail downhill, cross the river and then walk steeply up. You have now arrived at Campuhan Ridge.
Hiking Campuhan Ridge Walk
As I mentioned earlier, the ridge itself is just about 1 kilometer long, at least the pretty part where there are no shops and other buildings. Once you have climbed up, you will have a 360 degree panoramic view over the whole Ubud area. I was told that on a clear day you can even see Gunung Agung from here, but unfortunately it’s not very common to have a clear day around Ubud. However once on the ridge you will definitely be surprised by the beauty. The trail is paved and easy to follow. After about 1 kilometer you will arrive at the first buildings, starting with some cafes and warungs and eventually leading you to the village of Bangkian Sidem. From here you may opt to walk the same way back or continue the trail through the village.
After the Campuhan Ridge Walk
If you decide to turn around at the Karsa Cafe, where the ridge basically ends and the road will become fully paved again, your return walk will be some 4 kilometers from the entrance at Warwick Ibah Villas. If you decide to make a lap out of it and return via Bangkiam Sidem, it will be a total of 8 kilometers from the entrance. If you’d like to do this, then follow the road after Karsa Cafe and turn left on the first road you will encounter. This road will lead you all the way down to the river and steeply back up again. Then turn left at the Ubud Traditional Spa and follow that road (veering left and right several times) until you get to Jl. Raya Lungsakian. Turn left here and at the end, turn right onto Jl. Raya Sanggingan. This one will eventually lead you all the way back to the Ibah Villas and eventually back into the heart of Ubud.
When to hike Campuhan Ridge Walk
Well since it’s usually quite warm and humid in Ubud, I’d definitely recommend to do this hike as early as possible. I arrived at the Campuhan Ridge Walk by 07.00 am and it was already quite hot and very humid, so I was sweating like crazy when hiking up. There is almost no shade on the ridge so bring lots of water and a hat. The trail is easy and you don’t particularly need special hiking boots. If you’re comfortable walking longer distances on flip flops, do it!
Food & drinks on the Campuhan Ridge Walk
The Karsa Cafe smartly advertises their presence from the start of the walk way and thus I thought this was the only option. However, it turned out that after the first kilometer or so, there are plenty of cafes and Warungs to cool down and grab something to drink or even breakfast. I took a break at Karsa Cafe and even though the view is awesome from their upper level, I wasn’t too impressed by the service nor the menu. So definitely look around and find whatever fits your needs. But as I said and as you can see in the pictures below, the views were incredibly stunning. At the start of the Campuhan Ridge Walk you will find Warung Widi where I had a really good coffee during my most recent visit to the Campuhan Ridge Walk.
Other things to know about Campuhan Ridge Walk
As I said, walk it as early as possible. Not just to avoid the heat but also to escape the crowds. I was here early morning and had most of the trail to myself. I saw many locals using it for their morning exercise, but there definitely were not herds of people as I’d have expected. At about three quarters of the walk you will run into a really nice swing on your right. Go for it, it’s a lot of fun! Looking back at hiking the Campuhan Ridge Walk, I didn’t find the walk through the urban part that interesting. There was quite a bit of traffic and for me, it didn’t add anything to the experience. So if I’d do the Campuhan Ridge Walk again, I’d definitely just take the same way back, also because it offers completely different views.
Update November 2018
I have just returned from Bali and have once again hiked the Campuhan Ridge Walk. It was still as gorgeous as last year, however a bit more busier. Also, the swing which you can see on the picture and in the movie had been removed unfortunately. I hiked the Campuhan Ridge Walk with a friend and her family this year. They brought a stroller for their one year old and as I received questions about this before, I thought to let you know you can do this walk with a stroller. There are quite a few steps though and I suggest you take a cab to Karsa Cafe (100.000 RHP from central Ubud) and then walk back to the city.
Any questions left? Leave them below or shoot me a message on any of my social media channels. I hope this blog was helpful and that you will enjoy hiking the Campuhan Ridge Walk as much as I did!
Planning your Bali trip:
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Want to read more? You may also enjoy the following posts:
– The best hotels in Ubud, Bali
– Bike tour in Ubud through the rice fields
– Climbing Mount Rinjani: from hell to heaven and back again
– The Bali Swing in Ubud: a playground for adults
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Thanks for sharing!