There is a place in Bali where no one goes… yet. White sand beaches, crystal clear water, and rolling palm tree hills, Sumberkima is Bali’s hidden gem. Sumberkima Bay is relatively untouched. It’s the land tourists never found (not yet, anyway) and so, still remains local to the core…with nature that is pure, raw, and intact. A day trip to Sumberkima feels like a visit to an entire other island – but it’s only a matter of time until the secret is out.
Don’t worry, though. Sumberkima is a destination rooted in sustainable adventure with local ecological and community initiatives led by Sumberkima Hill Retreat, Mangroove Bay Hostel and the local NGO, Metamorfosa. This dynamic team has created sustainable harmony between nature, community, and tourism. Instead of cutting the trees down, they’re planting them. In place of swimming with sea turtles, they’re saving them. And rather than taking opportunities away from the locals, they’re creating them. The goal is that no matter how many tourists come, Sumberkima Hill will look the same in 20 years as it does now – lush, green, and healthy.
No matter your budget, come. Snorkel, kayak, swim, hike, or do absolutely nothing while surrounded by lush island nature and big Balinese smiles. You’re about to be a part of something great when you next visit Bali.
As I write this, I’m sitting on my chaise lounge chair in my private infinity-pool villa overlooking Jurassic-park-style mountains for as far as my eye can see. This is where luxury meets Nat-geo nature. A living room, a kitchen, a yard with a swing, a bathtub with the same spectacular views… this is a once-in-a-lifetime property that you can actually afford.
For villas, you’ve got options with everything from quaint cabins to luxury private pool villas for a variety of budgets – prices change season to season. Sumberkima Hill will arrange all your nature adventures mentioned in this mini Bali travel guide, plus the relaxing stuff like yoga and massages. Just show up and they’ll handle the rest.
Read this whole Bali travel blog for the inside scoop on Sumberkima…but also, you must watch my travel vlog on the most beautiful place in Bali…aka Sumberkima…
If you’re in a social mood, stay at their partner hostel, MANGROOVE BAY HOSTEL
Take the kayak out onto Sumberkima bay and explore. No joke, I spent 5 hours on the water in Sumberkima Bay – visiting an abandoned boat, exploring a Jurassic-park-looking cove, kayaking around the mangroves, and my favorite – splashing around White Sand Island (a small patch of sand in the middle of the bay).
Local NGO, Metamorfosa, is building an underwater art gallery and rebuilding the coral reef in Sum- berkima Bay. When you go with a snorkel guide, he will give you the full underwater tour.
He’ll show you how the baby coral are cleaned and nurtured, take you around the art gallery to show you each masterpiece, and point out sea life along the way. Expect to see more eels, clown fish, and lots of sea urchin.
The rolling hills of Sumberkima are perfect for a sunrise or sunset hike. With 360 vistas, this is the best way to absorb the magnificent scope of the area. With Sumberkima Hill Re- treat, you can hike through mountains and local villages with a guide.
Adopt a Baby Coral or Plant a Tree. Sumberkima Hill Retreat works with the local NGOs to restore the underwater ecosystem and plant more trees in the area. By participating in local community projects you are both contributing to the environment and supporting local jobs! This is a vacation you can feel good about.
Again, working with Sumberkima Hill Retreat or Mangroove Bay Hostel, you can host an English class to teach the local kids, and even the local adults, some new phrases in English.
You don’t know what you don’t know – and the local fisherman don’t all yet know that throwing your trash into the water pollutes the beach- es and hurts the ecosystem. The resorts and hostels in the area are eco-friendly with sustainability on the brain. Ask them when their next beach clean-up is or ask to organize one.
Mangroove Bay has a turtle project that is actually turtle-friendly. Beware of other “turtle sanctuaries” that hatch baby turtles and let them tiresomely swim in a tank to attach tourist dollars. Mangroove Bay does not do this. Instead, you won’t see much more than the turtles hatch, and then they’ll be released. It’s a shooting star…but with baby turtles.
Every morning, there’s a drop in Hatha Yoga class at 7:30 am for IDR
100.000 per person.
From foot reflexology to hot stone massage, the spa at this luxury resort will melt your worries away…and for way cheaper than spas in central Bali (starting at 180k IDR).
Sumberkima Hill Retreat has to coolest infinity pool you’ve ever seen….
There are two restaurants on-site at Sumberkima Hill Retreat. Senja is the “Indonesian kitchen and sunset cocktail bar” that is dimly lit in the middle of the jungle. Order the classics like mie goreng or satay.
Where: Sumberkima Hill Retreat
Sumberkima’s second restaurant with more western selections. Every morning, I ordered the most delicious porridge for breakfast – this is called Monkey Business. For lunch and dinner, I recommend the poke bowl and/or the garlic tuna. This is just easy eatin’.
Where: Sumberkima Hill Retreat
Pop in for a family-style dinner. This is perfect for the solo girl who is tired of eating alone. Fragrant, local dishes made with local ingredients served at a family table where everyone shares!
Where: Mangroove bay
Sumberkima Hill Retreat will serve you breakfast in the pool! That’s it.
Where: Sumberkima Hill Retreat
There are plenty of little roadside minimarts in this area, but still, come prepared.
A deck of cards
As you can see here…
I did NOT bring sunscreen and got the worst sun burn of my life. Bring the damn sunscreen…but make sure it’s eco-friendly sunscreen that is REEF SAFE for the health of the fish!!!
It’s a long drive, no matter where you’re coming from! You want a driver who makes the trip smooth and seamless. To hire a driver, contact either Sumberkima Hill Retreat or Mangroove Bay and they’ll send someone for you. Or find your own private island driver in my Facebook group called Girls in Bali and search “driver driver” for our official driver list.
For Price Reference: My trip from Canggu to Sumberkima Bay cost 800k and took about 3.5 hours.
The road to and from Sumberkima is lined with some of the most Instagrammable spots including Handara Gate, and Wanagiri Hills. Make a day of it.
Watch my YouTube Video for the whole scoop!
Get the Best Bali Guide Book before you come to Bali so that you can discover more non-touristy places like this!
If you want to get off the beaten path, solo or on a girls trip to Bali, this is the place to go. Feel good, do good and look leaving good cause damn, I got such a tan!!
There are a number of Bali travel guides in my travel blog, so don’t miss out for the best tips on visiting Bali.
For more recommendations on where to stay in Bali, read my take on the best hostels in Bali for a solo female traveller.
Want to contribute to the blog? I love to feature the perspective of other solo female travelers.
I'm a bestselling author, hotel reviewer and pickleball player. I teach women how to travel the world solo without going broke or getting kidnapped.
In 2011, I left Seattle with just $200 in my pocket to travel the world solo. Today, I'm the founder and creator of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide, the #1 travel guide book series for women - and the author of The One-Way Ticket Plan.