Every time we travel to Bali we are amazed by the beautiful sights we visit, from white sands beaches, refreshing waterfalls, to the most beautiful temples, Bali truly has something for everyone. And while we are big fans of seeking the most beautiful viewpoints and swimming in the most stunning waterfalls, we also love visiting the Balinese temples, especially those that are as unique as Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu. Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu is a Holy Spring Temple and is home to some beautiful ponds and pools filled with the most clear spring water, a magical sight to see. However, perhaps what we loved most about this temple is the quietness and tranquility as we found ourselves roaming the grounds with only a handful of other people, something that seems to be a rarity in Bali these days. Intrigued? Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about visiting Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu…
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Where is Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu
North of the city of Ubud you will find some of Bali’s most beautiful temples, including Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu, not to be confused with the nearby temple complex of Pura Gunung Kawi. The temple is a rough 30 min ride from Ubud, and can easily be combined with some of the other sights in the neighbourhood, but more on that later. To have a better idea of where Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu is located check out the map below, or scroll down to read our tips on how to get there.
How to get to Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu
One of the easiest ways to get to the Holy Spring Temple is from the city of Ubud, however, with a lack of public transport in Bali you might be wondering what other transportation options you have. Here are our two recommended options on getting to the Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu:
Rent a scooter: Renting a scooter is one of the easiest and most affordable ways of getting around Bali. You can rent a scooter almost everywhere for as little as 3$ a day! Having a scooter will allow you to have a bit more freedom, to visit sights based on your own schedule, and the option to beat the crowds by showing up early. This is our personal preferred option, however, it isn’t for everyone. Traffic in Bali can be quite chaotic, and is therefore not recommended for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable or confident riding a scooter, if this is you, perhaps the next option will suit you better.
Hire a driver: As there are no trains and almost no buses on Bali it has become fairly standard to hire a driver for a half or full day tour. This means your driver will take you to the sights and will wait for you there, so you don’t have to arrange multiple taxis. Expect to pay around IDR 300,000 to 500,000 ($22 – $36) for a half day tour, and double those prices for a full day tour. Hiring a driver for a day is a great option for those who are visiting with family or even with multiple friends as you will be able to split the cost of the car.
Bonus – check out online tour services: As we normally travel around by scooter we don’t really use these services personally, but we know that there are many people out there who would like to book and arrange things before heading to their vacation destination. For those that do we would highly recommend checking out Klook to see if there is a specific tour or activity that might interest you. This way you can read the reviews, see the prices and arrange everything with the click of a button!
Sights near Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu
While you are planning your visit to Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu, be sure to stay in the area a little bit longer and to check out some of the other nearby sights. Here are some of our personal favourite sights near the Sebatu Holi Spring Temple:
Or if you are perhaps considering exploring a bit more of Ubud itself, be sure to check out our complete Ubud guide here, filled with tips, tricks, sights to see, places to eat and more!
Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu –
The Holy Spring Temple
The Temple of Gunung Kawi Sebatu was built during the 11th century and is dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu God of Water. Built on a natural spring this water temple has been used for centuries for purification rituals, and is still being actively used to this day. Upon arriving at the temple you will have a first glance at the beautiful pools and baths from the road above, you’ll be able to see the whole temple complex from here. Continue up the road a bit further to find parking and the ticket booth. After purchasing a ticket head down the stairs to explore the calm oasis of Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu.
When you are walking down the stairs you’ll enter the temple’s courtyard where you will find a beautiful pond filled with koi fish swimming around, a perfect place to just sit and admire the beautiful courtyard. However, some of the most beautiful sights of this temple lies hidden behind the walls, including the stunning bathing pools. You will find the bathing pools on the far right hand side of the complex, simply look for the sign saying “mandi”. And while the area is rather walled off and looks private, we would highly recommend entering as it is a beautiful area. Upon entering the bathing pools you will see that the pools are separated into two sections: wanita (women) on the left, and pria (men) on the right. Don’t make the mistake we made, we didn’t know what the signs meant and walked into the wrong section, oops… luckily no one was taking a bath at that moment!
After admiring the bathing pools head back to the courtyard, where on the left hand side you will find the ritual bathing pools hidden behind two lower walls, on the right hand side of the ritual bathing pools you will be able to pass through the gate that will take you to temple complex of Gunung Kawi Sebatu. The elevated temple complex stretches along the edge of the green covered cliff and is filled with the most intricate shrines. On the right hand side of the temple complex you will find beautiful Balinese wood carvings, statues, and the most exquisite Balinese architecture. However, the highlight of the temple complex is situated on the left hand side of the temple, a shrine surrounded by a pond filled with the bluest and clearest spring water.
With the amount of details, statues, shrines, ponds, bathing pools and animals that wander the ground we recommend spending at least an hour here to admire it all. Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu must be one of the most beautiful temples we have seen in Bali, such a quite and calm oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Ubud, sights like these are the reason we fell in love with Bali in the first place.
Tips for Visiting Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu
Now that you have all info that you need on visiting the Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple, we thought we would quickly share some things you should know before going to the Holy Spring temple. So without further ado:
Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu entrance fee: In January 2020 the entrance fee was IDR 30,000 ($2.20) for adults and IDR 15,000 for children (5 – 11 years old). If the ticket booth hasn’t opened yet, but the temple has, be sure to get a ticket upon leaving the temple or to leave the price of the ticket in the donation box at the ticket booth.
Opening hours of Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu: The temple is open daily from 8am to 4pm. We visited the temple at 8am and we could count the amount of other visitors on two hands. While this temple might not be as popular as nearby temples in Bali, we always recommend going early, not only to beat the crowds but also to avoid the warm midday sun.
Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu Dress Code: Just like any other temple in Bali you will be required to dress modestly before entering the temple. This means to cover your shoulders and to wear a sarong. You will find shops all over Ubud selling sarongs if you prefer to have your own sarong, however, you can also simply rent a sarong for free at the temple.
Where to stay in Ubud
Ubud is one of Bali’s most popular destinations, and as such you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect accommodation for you. We decided to stay in Kapu Kapu Ubud, a beautiful guesthouse, owned by a very kind and welcoming family, only a 10 min scooter ride out of Ubud. We absolutely loved our stay here, and would highly recommend it for travellers on a budget, like us, who have their own transport. If you are a solo backpacker keen on meeting some people then we would highly recommend Puri Garden Hostel, which is centrally located, has a pool and does daily yoga classes, what else do you need right?
And there you have it, everything you need to know about visiting Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu, one of Bali’s most beautiful temples. Before you go though, be sure to check out some of our other Bali guides filled with tips, tricks and sights that you don’t want to leave of your Bali itinerary:
- Bali for first timers: 21 Things to know before you go
- The ultimate Bali bucket list: 80+ Things to do in Bali
- A complete guide to Ubud’s most beautiful rice fields
- The ultimate Bali waterfalls guide – Bali’s best waterfalls
- Bali travel budget: How to travel Bali on 20$ a day