Filled with lush greenery, hidden waterfalls, and rushing rivers, Sideman is where you will see the beauty of Bali in its most natural form.

It’s a part of the island that has remained relatively untouched, where you can escape tourism and experience life as it is for the locals.

Sideman is the place you didn’t know you needed to visit, but once you get there you won’t want to leave! In our Sidemen travel guide, we'll tell you everything you need to know for your visit.

Best Time to Visit Sidemen, Bali

The temperatures in Sideman are high year-round, but if you’re chasing sunshine it’s best to go sometime between May and October.

There will be less rainfall during these months, which means sunnier skies, and clearer oceans, and you won’t have to worry about the tropical monsoon season.

Fortunately, Sideman doesn’t attract as many visitors, so it never feels too overrun with tourists.

Even if you’re planning a trip here during peak season, between the months of June and August, you won’t be overwhelmed with the same crowds you will find in other parts of the island.

How Many Days Do You Need to Explore Sidemen?

There are so many things to do in Sideman, I’d recommend spending at least 3 days exploring this area.

It’s the perfect place to slow things down, take a walk in the countryside, and experience a lesser-developed part of Bali. It’s here you will find everyone feels extra friendly, and the world feels a little bit lighter.

You will see farmers working in the rice fields, children running around in their school uniforms, and there’s an unparalleled sense of peace walking around the villages.

You won’t want to rush through your time here, so allow yourself enough days to settle into Sideman and soak it all in!

Getting to Sidemen

Sideman is located in the Karangasem regency on the eastern side of Bali and takes about 2 hours to get here if you’re travelling here from popular areas such as Kuta, Canggu, Ubud, or the airport. It should be a 1-hour drive, but with traffic, it almost always takes 2!

Using Google maps, the directions to Sideman are pretty straightforward where you will most likely drive through Klungklung.

Unless you feel confident driving a scooter while navigating, I recommend hiring a private driver.

A private driver for the day starts around 500,000 IDR (about US $33), and it’s a great option to be able to just sit back and enjoy the ride! Book your driver here

Best Places to Eat in Sidemen

Radha Warung: This is a great option if you’re looking for a local warung with delicious Indonesian food in a beautiful garden setting. It’s also a good place to try a cocktail with locally produced Arak!

Asri Dining by Samanvaya: This is a more upscale dining option where the restaurant is located in the Samanvaya hotel. They focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients serving an extensive range of international cuisines and cocktails. You may need to consider booking in advance if you want to eat here!

Warung Tirta Unda: Known to be one of the best warungs in Bali, Warung Tirta Unda is a hidden gem you should be sure to try when you’re in Sideman! It’s a family-owned authentic Balinese restaurant, with rice terrace views, and plenty of delicious local foods and juices to try.

Sleeping Gajah Kitchen & Lounge: This is a pricier dining option located at the Wapa Di Ume Resort, which offers stunning views over the swimming pool and rice terraces. Even if you’re not staying at the resort, you’re welcome to dine here and enjoy the ambience and amazing food.

Where to Do Yoga in Sidemen Bali

Sideman Yoga Center

Located in Cepak Villa among the mountains, rivers, and rice paddies, you’ll find Sideman Yoga Center.

They’ve created the perfect atmosphere in this beautiful environment to enhance your yoga practice, focusing on the holistic journey to blending the mind, body, and soul.

There’s a variety of classes including Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga, Therapy Yoga, Power Yoga, and Deep Meditation Class by Balinese Monks.

Nirarta for Living Awareness

At Nirarta their aim is to support deep transformation in individuals leading to inner awakening, and allowing them to make changes, learn, and grow.

The location of this holistic site is on a lush river valley where they provide accommodations for those looking to partake in one of their various retreat options.

Here you can practise yoga, and meditation, bathe in the river, and eat clean, whole, delicious meals!

Book your stay at Nirarta

Nirarta Center For Living Awareness

Yoga Retreats in Sidemen

Sidemen is a fantastic place to book a yoga retreat or do a yoga teacher training as many spiritual experiences are available.

Here are a few we recommend checking out:

Inner Goddess Retreat: 4 Day Yoga, Meditation, Balinese Healing

8 Day Spiritual Cacao Retreat in Bali

24 Day 200-Hour Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training

Where to Stay in Sidemen

Wapa di Ume Sidemen

You will feel like you’re in a true Bali paradise at this beautiful Sideman resort.

You can expect every convenience from a fitness centre and spa facilities to a hairdresser onsite.

Beyond that, there’s also a restaurant, swimming pool, and even free bikes to use to explore the area!

Wapa di Ume Sidemen

Only a short 5-minute walk from Kikian River are the lush Sidemen Bali villas of Patal Kikian.

Rooms are air-conditioned and there are no TVs in rooms here, so you can fully immerse yourself in the beautiful nature that surrounds you.

The infinity pool with volcano views is enough reason alone to book a stay at one of these villas!

Patal Kikian Villa Bali

The affordable massages, spacious bathtubs, and delicious banana pancakes are just a few of the things that make staying at Villa Karma Loka so memorable!

You will be surrounded by rolling fields of rice paddies while you relax in the ground's swimming pool, soaking in the views.

It’s great value for money in Sideman if you’re looking for a simple, tranquil getaway.

Villa Karma Loka

Just an hour's drive from Ubud, Samanvaya Resort offers one of the more luxurious experiences Sideman has to offer.

It’s an adults-only resort with bungalows fitted with a minibar, mosquito nets, and a rain shower.

It is the perfect place for a romantic getaway where you will find yourself lost in a part of Sideman you never want to leave!

Samanvaya Luxury Resort and Spa Bali

This Sideman Bali hotel, Cepik Villa, offers guests accommodation in a quiet Balinese village where they can enjoy the simple pleasures the area has to offer.

But if you’re looking to do more than lay back and relax, the staff here will help you arrange additional activities including cooking classes, trekking, massages, and day tours!

However, there are also plenty of local restaurants and treks to do within a walking distance of this property.

Cepik Villa Sidemen

This is a great option for those who are looking for modern-day comforts while keeping their getaway within a reasonable budget.

It’s a cosy, clean, welcoming, family-run hotel where you will be provided traditional accommodation with a stunning indoor/outdoor bathroom.

Griya Valud is the place to stay if you want to feel right at home when you arrive!

Griya Valud Bali

Top 10 Things to Do in & Around Sidemen

There are so many things to see and do around this area, you could spend well over a week exploring!

Whether you’re interested in being active at one of Sideman’s hiking spots or having a more cultural experience visiting Sideman’s villages, I assure you will fall in love with this part of Bali.

Here are some things I’d recommend adding to your Sideman itinerary for your next trip.

Swim at Gembleng Falls

Unlike other waterfalls, you’ll find the main attraction of this Sideman waterfall is actually at the top of the waterfall!

Here you will find a magical, completely natural infinity pool. It’s a short steep walk to get to the top, but well worth it when you can cool down with your own small plunge pool overlooking some pretty incredible views!

Trip to Lahangan Sweet Viewpoint

Lahangan Sweet is probably the most epic viewpoint on the whole island! If you’re wondering what to do or where to go in East Bali, I would put this at the top of your list.

I’d recommend going at sunrise or sunset, and make sure you’re taking a car or scooter that will be able to handle the drive!

It’s a pretty steep incline, and I had some issues making it to the top with 2 people on 1 scooter. But once you arrive, the views of Mount Agung will take your breath away!

Tirta Gangga Water Palace

Tirta Gangga has gained popularity through social media over the past years, where people travel to visit the lavish water gardens and feed beautiful koi fish.

It’s a unique mix of Chinese and Balinese architecture featuring fountains, gardens, and stone sculptures.

There is no dress code here, but you should be prepared to pay 50,000 RP (about $4.50 USD) for entry.

Tukad Cepung Waterfall

This is one of the must-see waterfalls in Bali!

Tukad Cepung is unique in that it’s hidden in a cave, where rays of sunlight shine through the top making it one of the more photogenic waterfalls on the island.

There’s a well-maintained trail making it fairly easy to get to, but because of this, it can be quite crowded at times. I’d recommend getting there before 9 am when it will be less busy!

Visit Virgin Beach

There are a few different names for this beach including Virgin Beach, White-sand beach, or Pantai Persasi, but all 3 of them will take you to this slice of heaven!

Here you will find a slower, more laid-back version of Bali, a beach without crowds that has crystal clear waters.

It’s the perfect place for those in search of peace as it’s tucked away in a bay, surrounded by coconut-filled palm trees.

Trek Through the Rice Fields

Despite which accommodation you choose to book in Sideman, you will likely be surrounded by stretching fields of rice paddies.

One of the best things to do in Sidemen Bali will be right in your backyard! There are local guides who will be happy to take you trekking, otherwise, you are welcome to explore on your own.

It may not be as popular as other rice terraces in Bali, but the views with Mount Agung as the backdrop are unbeatable!

Jagasatru Waterfall

Most people have never even heard of this 40-metre-tall waterfall hiding in a small village of the Karangasem regency.

Head to Pateh village and ask a local for directions to get to this waterfall. It’s not the easiest to get to, but it will be rewarding when you get there and have it all to yourself!

Visit the Popular Besakih Temple

Often referred to as Bali’s “mother temple”, Besakih is considered to be one of the biggest and holiest temples on the island.

It is known to be surrounded by breathtaking scenery, as it’s located high up in the hillside of Eastern Bali.

The size of this place is impressive with 23 ancient temples making up the complex, where tourists are welcome to walk around and observe.

Bukit Cinta

There’s no better way to start the day than heading to Bukit Cinta viewpoint early in the morning to watch an incredible sunrise over Mount Agung.

Bukit Cinta translates to “hill of love” in Bahasa, and it’s one of the best views of Mount Agung you will find.

It’s worth it to get here in the early morning when the skies are clear, and the earth feels still, it’s a truly magical moment to have.

Whitewater Rafting

Take a trip down the Telaga Waja River on a whitewater rafting excursion in Sideman!

The rapids here aren’t too hectic, but the perfect way to get your adrenaline pumping and spend an adventurous afternoon. You’ll have to book a tour for this and can expect to pay around 600,000 IDR (about $40 USD).

Between the temples, beaches and waterfalls, you will never find yourself wondering what to do in Sideman Bali– the list here is endless!

And some of the best things to do are as easy as stopping by the local markets or trekking through the nature that surrounds you.

These are the things that make Sideman so special, it truly is authentic Bali where life’s simplest pleasures are at your fingertips to enjoy.

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