Activities and sights in Negara, Bali aren’t on the list of many a visitor to the popular island. But you can take advantage of the lack of mass tourism here and fully dive into a more traditional Bali.
After all, West Bali isn’t a hugely popular destination for Bali tourists, so you can take advantage of a much slower pace and emptier beaches here.
While not a big cities, there still are historic houses, impressive temples, wonderful beaches and other curious attractions near Negara to check out.
Not sure what to include in your itinerary? Here are hand-picked suggestions on what to see and do in Negara and surrounds.
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1. Drop by at the West Bali National Park
The nature lover in you will surely appreciate this national park, which extends up to 77,000 hectares and currently houses thousands of plant and animal species, some which are only found exclusively in the area.
See animals like the Bali starling, Java sparrow and the leopard cat in their natural habitats.
If you are particularly lucky, you can even spot wild deer and the black Java monkeys. It’s possible to walk from the entrance to the first stretches of beaches.
However, be prepared with water and comfortable hiking shoes. Don’t try to drive a Scooby into the park. They aren’t cut out for the paths and you don’t want my West Bali travel mishap happen to you.
2. Go on a day tour to nearby Java
Another activity you need to include in your “Negara Bali things to do” list is a day trip. The sea port Gilimanuk is just a ride away and this area connects Bali to the island of Java, another exciting place that you need to see and experience.
Have a go at a day tour around the island and drop by famed places like the Borobudur Temple Compounds, the Ullen Sentalu Museum to learn about authentic Javanese art and culture and visit the Yogyakarta Kraton (aka the Royal Palace), which is the official dwelling of the Javanese monarchy.
A popular little destination with lots of fascinating adventures and natural attractions is Banyuwangi on Java. This is the spot where the volcano shoots blue flames. You’ll pretty much have the beaches to yourself too.
3. Get into thrilling water sports in the Menjangan Island
Negara, Bali tourism often includes a visit to the serene island settings of Menjangan. Menjangan island is referred to by the locals as Pulau Menjangan.
While technically the island is a part of the Buleleng Regency, the West Bali National Park oversees it. The unspoiled, clear waters of the island is the reason why diving and snorkelling are two of the primary activities the island offers.
Currently, the area is rife with dive operators and boat charter businesses operating there.
4. Go back to beach basics in Medewi Beach
Eager to get away from tourist-ridden spots in Bali? Then try Medewi Beach, which is another laid back attraction near Negara. The area is found around 75 kilometres west off of Denpasar, along the central southern coastal roads.
It’s a place often frequented by avid surfers particularly during the months of July and August, when the biggest breaks happen. Get away from the maddening crowds in Bali’s tourist magnets and stay in a place pretty much like the old Bali, before a massive promotion for tourism was pushed by the government.
5. Watch a sunset at Lovina Beach
When it comes to amazing beach experiences, head from Negara to Lovina Beach. The beach stands out from the usual white sand shorelines of Bali with its black and grey volcanic sands. You can get there by way of West Bali’s Gilimanuk route.
Activities here include snorkelling, diving and for that unique thrill, get into the coast before the sun hits for a glimpse of the beach’s friendly, curious bottle-nose dolphins.
But please don’t swim with the dolphins here. There are no certified animal friendly expeditions and fishing boats go out galore to chase them. Major stress for the dolphins!
6. See the unique Bugis houses
Negara, Bali has more noteworthy things to do that you can include in your travel list, particularly if you’re an architecture buff. Drop by in the capital’s Loloan Timur area and you will find old-fashioned Bugis houses.
These unique houses are a legacy of the country’s Bugis people. The creation of a Bugis house is very interesting as a fact since building one does not require the use of nails, but rather pegs and wood materials only.
Another interesting fact about its construction is that it’s not fixed in just one spot; it can be taken away or raised up, usually accompanied by a rite or ceremony.
7. Do some beach hopping
Apart from Mengwi beach, there are a few beautiful, dark beaches along West Bali. They aren’t necessarily too close to Negara but if you want to enjoy some scooter cruising between the coastline and lush rice fields, it’s a great opporturnity.
8. Discover an Abandoned Airplane
Did you know that there are a few abandoned airplanes all over Bali? Some of them are being turned into restaurants and attractions. The lost airplane north of Negara is located on an area that is being built on. But the airplane itself is still abandoned and makes for quite the unique sight.
Just wear proper footwear when you approach it because the grass here cut easily and the ground is a bit uneven. Also, be careful when close the airplane.
It’s not entirely secure, of course, and I spotted a wasps nests under the wings, where you can poke your head in. Be mindful of what you touch and where you tread. It wasn’t possible to get inside.
9. Stay at a Treehouse
Unleash your inner child and book a stay at your own exclusive treehouse stay in Bali! You will have your very own villa located by Balian Beach and access to a pool.
Surrounded by quiet and lush tropical gardens and with the ocean breeze caressing your nose, you will fancy yourself in paradise. Balian Beach is only an hour scooter ride away from Negara.
The treehouse in Balian is suited for up to two people and features one bed. From the veranda you can watch the sun rise over your breakfast. It’s typically booked, so you have to be quick reserving your spot on airbnb here*.
10. Marvel at buffalo races
Every year starting in May until August, the Makepung, also known as the buffalo race, takes place in Delod Berawa which is located around 9 kilometres east of Negara.
This is a tradition that’s a colourful and much-awaited part of harvest celebrations in the capital. Carts are decorated with eye-catching details and strong, able buffaloes along with their owners race to the finish to cop the top prize.
While I do not endorse animal tourism, this buffalo race takes place irregardless of tourism and is a long-standing tradition. Please do your own research before considering to visit to make up your own mind.
Travel Tips Negara
Where is Negara?
Negara is located in West Bali and the capital of the Jembrana Regency.
How do I get to Negara?
On a trip around Bali, there are many things to consider to really make your holiday as smooth as possible. It’s good to know about transport options in advance – i.e. should you drive a scooter, get a taxi or join a tour?
For Negara in Bali, there are no tours as far as I know. So you will either have to drive yourself (be warned of the truck trains along the main roads). Or you need to arrange a taxi trip.
Negotiate a rate with a local taxi driver, who can also make it a day rate with multiple stops along the way included. If you aren’t staying in an area that has banned travel apps, book a ride via Go-Jek.
Taxis should be booked via BlueBird and not hailed off the streets to avoid scammers.
What do I need to bring to a Negara trip?
Negara isn’t remote, there are warungs (local restaurants), kiosks and mini markets when it comes to food. But on any trip, don’t forget to bring sunscreen (it’s expensive in Bali).
You can download and check out my full and free Bali packing list, which applies for Negara as well.
Can I do day trips from Negara Bali?
Since it’s a rather small town in West Bali, you’ll mostly be visiting its surroundings. And there are many different options for doing shorter or longer Negara day trips, some of which are listed below.
If you feel like checking out Java too, why not visit Banyuwangi and its blue flame volcano?
Do I need travel insurance?
On any trip abroad, you really do need to insure yourself. When with the best of health, you never know if accidents strike or you fall victim to the infamous Bali belly. Or if your luggage gets damaged, lost or stolen. This isn’t Bali typical, it’s a travel thing.
With GlobalNomads, you get both an insurance of your valuables and your person/health. It’s made for travellers and includes a lot of activities. Check more detailed information and rates here*.
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