River trekking through the hidden canyons of Beji Guwang was the perfect way to escape Bali’s oft unbearable heat. We semi-swam and rope-swung our way through this fun route, writes Trip Guru’s resident blogger, Yeni R* of Morena Travels
Editor’s Note: The writer of this review did not book the services of Trip Guru for the Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon Tour
I first heard about the Hidden Canyons of Beji Guwang through my sister, who had done the tour with another friend. However – to give you readers the benefit of full disclosure – the group I was with decided to hire an independent driver as they thought it would save on costs for the 3-4 day trip overall. We were a total of seven (7) in number, all on a Bachelorette Weekend.
RANT: What happens when you hire your own driver outside of the travel industry
Booking our own ride may have seemed like a great deal at the start, but I’m not sure if that was ultimately the best choice, as the driver clearly did not know what the f* he was doing!! The first time we met him, he was almost TWO hours late because he went to the wrong part of Bali – Canggu – while we were in Ubud. He thought our Day 2 drop off point was our Day 1 pick up point…
Second problem: our driver had no WhatsApp or Google Maps. Hence we were lost for a significant part of our 2-3 day trip, and when he was lost, almost impossible to contact. Oh how wonderful it is to waste so much precious holiday time when you’ve gone to Bali in high season for the long weekend…!
Third problem: At the end of the day, the driver asked for more money than originally agreed, and was negotiating it with us in the car.
Yep, those are the realities of travelling in Asia and booking things last minute. Our experience was totally different from that of my sister and Miklos, who had the benefit of Trip Guru’s experienced travel operators who were on top of things.
Anyway, after a lovely breakfast at our villa, and waiting quite a bit, our driver finally got there. Fourth problem: He was from maybe Denpasar and had no idea where the Hidden Canyon or what Beji Guwang was. So there we were, already noon, trying to navigate a local in his own turf…
FINALLY, after so many hiccups, we reached Beji Guwang’s Hidden Canyons! That’s the good news. The bad news: the whole country was celebrating Eid al-Fitr, and everyone from Jakarta seemed to be in the hidden canyon when we went that Saturday. Perhaps we could have avoided them if we had gone earlier, but you know how that story went.
I will thus mostly post photos of my sister’s pre-booked tour, as they arrived early in the morning on a weekday, and practically had the canyons all to themselves.
Without the crowds, journeying through the canyons should be a wondrous experience. It’s a totally different vibe from the rest of Bali; no beach loungers or surfers in sight here. You have the option to go through all 6 or so canyons, or make an early exit after the third canyon. We opted for the full experience – after all, we were there already!
In the latter part, we were rewarded with much less people who didn’t have the grit to see the whole thing through. We also got the bonus of even more breathtaking landscapes. Light reflected off the water and cast a glow on the rocks – we would have moments just admiring how magical it all was. And then lots more scrambling, wading, paddling and climbing.
Do you need to be extremely fit to do this?
No. There were children and what seemed like grandparents doing this as well. The guides will help you and hold your hand every step of the way, if need be. And for many parts of it, you will definitely need it! Swimming skills would certainly come in handy, though, especially if it recently rained and waters are high. If you don’t swim, well, you would just have to jump and trust blindly that someone on the other side will catch you and drag you to the next foothold 😀
How long with it take?
This depends on how crowded it is and how fast you are. They kept telling us we would be there at least three hours because there were so many people… but if you’re in good shape, it shouldn’t take that long! As well, the whole pipeline was getting held up because everyone kept taking millions of photos. Most of the guides played the role of happy photographer, it even got to a point where we were getting too many photos taken of us!
What should you wear?
If you have rubber sandals with ankle straps, that would be perfect. Also, a rashguard and boardshorts, or a one-piece swimming suit / maillot for girls. I didn’t feel too comfortable doing the whole thing in a bikini as there were so many fully clothed people around. As well, your bikini might come loose in the current, or while you’re doing some tricky maneuver!
Another word of warning: Some of the guides may take liberties with girls as there’s so much pushing, pulling, catching, and dragging around. Their hands might be placed ever so slightly on the wrong side of appropriate. That is NOT cool. Make sure you express that you are not happy with that, and be firm about it!
After the whole thing, we were STARVING, and asked our driver to take us to the famous Sari Organik in Ubud, near the Campuhan Ridge Walk. It took a while to get there, but the late afternoon walk through the majestic rice terraces was worth it. We were reminded how in the Island of the Gods, you can really find magic in every corner.
If you want to pack more Ubud wonders into your schedule, the tour my sister and Miklos took brought them to other must-sees in the area:
- Guwang Hidden Canyon
- Tegenungan Waterfall
- Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) Temple
- Gunung Kawi Temple
For a full list of Bali adventures, just click here!
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Have you been to Bali’s Hidden Canyon? Was your experience any different? Could you recommend any other adventures for our readers? Let us know in the comments!
*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are entirely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Trip Guru