For true adventurers in Bali!
In the deluge of Luwak coffee plantations and rice terraces, Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang is a highly unique natural attraction in Bali that is still unknown to tourists. Hidden Canyon is not a casual scenic walk – it’s a proper adventure trek. It is not advisable for seniors, small children and anyone in poor physical condition to do this tour. Doing Hidden Canyon requires a lot of balance and careful footing, not to mention confidence when trekking through dangerous terrain.
How to Get to Hidden Canyon
Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang is in Sukawati, 15km south of Ubud. If you don’t have a scooter, e-hailing apps like Grab or GoJek should easily be able to take you there. I tested the prices on Grab while in Bali. It was around 100K rupiah from Sanur and 350K from Nusa Dua (one-way) to give you an idea of the cost.
There is also an all-inclusive package on Klook that will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. Pick ups are only for the following areas: Ubud, Sanur, Kuta, Nusa Dua, Canggu, and Seminyak. The main downside is that Klook will charge far more if you’re a group of 2. The default price advertised on the page is for a group of 6.
You can do what we did and hire a driver for the day. Hidden Canyon could be one stop in a day that also visits the Bali Zoo, Sababay Winery, or any waterfalls further north. If you want a more relaxed pace, Hidden Canyon can easily be done within a driver’s half-day time block. Drivers cost around 350K for a half day and 700K for a full day on average, assuming you contact a driver based in your area. If you enlist a driver based in Lovina and you’re in Denpasar, expect to pay much more for the driver’s travel time. The TripAdvisor forum is a good place to search for active drivers and their areas.
Admission Price & Opening Hours of Hidden Canyon
The ticket price for Hidden Canyon is 240,000 rupiah per person. The ticket includes the tour (short or long), a private guide, towel, shower access and a meal.
The opening hours at Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This attraction is only open during the high season from May to September. It is closed during the rainy season in Bali, between October and April, due to low visitor counts and dangerous water levels in the canyons.
If your trip is on the cusp of the season and you’re unsure if they’ll be open, Hidden Canyon is on WhatsApp for easy contact: (+62) 813-4729-4219. It’s a good idea to let them know the date and time of your visit, either through WhatsApp or the online reservation form, to avoid disappointment and so they can have a ready guide without waiting.
What To Wear To Hidden Canyon
This is not the place for the flowy beach dresses and stylish floppy hats you see in Instagram photos taken all over Bali. Practicality is key when visiting Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang. Wear your bathing suit under a simple hiking outfit. I wore a tank top and exercise shorts over my swimwear for the tour. It felt obscene to be hiking around in my bikini only in front of our tour guide. Tourists seem to forget that the Balinese are highly conservative people. However, I’m sure the locals are used to the indecency of Westerners, so I doubt they’d complain if you walked around in your swimwear – they’ll just judge you silently.
Water shoes are the best footwear for this activity. If you don’t have those, hiking sandals will work too. Flip-flops are not ideal. Going barefoot would probably be better than wearing flip-flops. The Hidden Canyon tour involves a lot of walking on narrow footholds, slick wet rocks and wading through flowing water.
Tours at Hidden Canyon
Once we paid, we received a 330ml bottle of water and a meal voucher. Our guide, Made, led us through a rice field to the tour starting area. Once at the cabana, change into whatever you want to wear during the canyon trek. Put your clothes and bags into the provided lockers, and use the toilet. Any packs you wear on the tour will get wet, so our guide heavily recommended that we only bring our cameras.
I recommend only bringing your phone and maybe the bottle of water the ticket desk gave you. If you’re visiting as a couple or group and don’t have waterproof bags, only bring one phone – the one with the best camera. Your guide will keep it in their own waterproof sack for safekeeping for most of the tour, and you can share the photos with your group later. Don’t make your guide stand there taking a zillion identical photos on five different phones.
The great thing about Hidden Canyon is that the guides are also photographers. Since Made was carrying our phones in his bag, he would stop occasionally and take them out at photo spots. He would direct us where to stand and take lots of pictures of the two of us. While we hiked, he would take videos of us going along. We needed both hands for stability, so we barely took any pictures ourselves.
Perhaps it’s a good idea to temporarily remove the lock password on your phone to make it easier for your guide. I wouldn’t bring any fancy professional cameras to Hidden Canyon. I doubt the local guides will know how to use it properly.
The short tour at Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang will take about 30 to 45 minutes. It only goes through one canyon that is five minutes from the cabana. The water level starts at knee height and gets as high as my upper thigh.
Eventually, the water became too rocky and deep, so we had to climb onto the rock ledges on the side to make our way through. There were moments when we had to walk sideways, hugging the rock face. Our guide gave us precise footing instructions – our right foot had to go exactly here – otherwise, there was a chance we’d lose our balance and fall. Sometimes the foothold was nothing more than a little groove in the slippery wet rock. If you’re a clumsy, ungainly person not used to advanced hiking, you might want to rethink doing Hidden Canyon.
There’s one scary part where we had to use a boulder in the middle of the river to cross. The boulder is just a bit too far for most legs, so there was an overhand rope to get to it. It’s not like something out of a military obstacle course. Still, a modicum of upper body strength was involved to not immediately drop into the river. Bravery is more of what’s needed. After that point, it was more precarious rock ledges and wading through waist-deep water. The end of the canyon is the end of the short tour at Hidden Canyon.
The first canyon is the most intense. I can see why the guide waits until afterwards to ask if you want the short or long tour. I’m sure some visitors get spooked by what they just had to endure and bow out early. The other two canyons get progressively less frightening to trek through. I think they’re easily doable if you manage the first canyon without issue. Honestly, the only reason not to do the long tour is if the first canyon fatigued or scared you too much.
The long tour visits two additional canyons and takes about 1.5 hours total. There are no extra fees for doing the long tour.
On the way to the second canyon, the water became deep enough to swim for a short adventurer like me. If you can’t swim, don’t fear – you can hold on to the nearby boulders to help you along. It was only about a two or three-second stretch where I swam across.
Made posed us for photos at a short waterfall halfway to the second canyon. The water coming off the falls was remarkably warm. It was another fifteen-minute journey to the beginning of the second canyon.
The edge of the second canyon has a lot of large rocks in the middle of the river that will make for excellent pictures. Made pointed out two different photo spots. Once he took our photos, we had to scale more rock ledges. The second canyon only took us about five minutes to get through.
The end of the canyon has a large rock hill at its edge. After climbing to the top, Made let us rest and get hydrated. He told us that the final canyon was dry, so there was no more water wading after this point.
It was a short, five-minute trek to the third and final canyon. Even though the river was just a trickle, I thought this one looked the coolest with a tangle of falling vines. The rock is already conveniently flattened into an easy path along the edge. The canyon’s length is what you see in the photo. There is a narrow log serving as a bridge between the banks.
There is this weird obsession with swings in Bali, and Hidden Canyon knows its audience. Around the corner from the log bridge is a long dangling swing visitors can sit or stand on. After I climbed on, Made launched me for an exhilarating swing through the gorge to mark the end of our tour.
It’s an easy walk through the village and rice fields back to the cabana. We passed some locals along the twenty-minute journey. The first guy in a lean-to sold coconuts and Bintang beers, but our wallets were back in the lockers. Another group was on their porch doing crafts but were friendly and said hello as we passed. Moments like these are a good reason not to wear just a skimpy bathing suit to do Hidden Canyon.
Once we returned to the cabana, we were free to shower, change clothes and have our included meal. Made hung around but left us alone while we ate. When we were leaving, he walked us to the parking lot. He never asked or hinted at it, but I think an extra little gratuity for the tour guide is well deserved. They take stunning photos on your behalf, and the tour guides work hard, seasonal jobs for half the year that Hidden Canyon is closed. We tipped Made 100,000 rupiah and he seemed very pleased with that. 50,000 – 100,000 rupiah is a reasonable tip for tour guides in Bali.
Food at Hidden Canyon
Every ticket to Hidden Canyon includes a free meal. After the tour, you’ll have a choice of four simple meals. If you’re not hungry, there’s also the option for a large Bintang beer.
We both got the nasi goreng, and it was surprisingly tasty. It was a vegetarian meal, with cabbage, carrots, and egg. The meal voucher also includes another small bottle of water. The little cabana has beers (Bintang and San Miguel) for sale and a small menu with additional dishes. I saw simple finger foods like fries and spring rolls.
There are some warungs just off the parking lot, but they all looked closed during our visit. I wouldn’t count on them being open or any good. It’s best to eat the food that Hidden Canyon provides.
Facilities at Hidden Canyon
There are toilets and lockers next to the ticket desk. Don’t store your things here unless the staff tell you to. It’s roughly a two-minute walk to the tour starting area. The cabana there has more lockers and toilets. There are also shower stalls and tables where you’ll have your meal after the adventure.
The toilets were sitting-style and surprisingly clean. There was toilet paper but no sink in the room. There’s a shower and foot wash tap where I could wash my hands, but no soap. Exit the toilet room and turn right – there is an outdoor sink with soap at the edge of the cabana.
There are four outdoor showers at Hidden Canyon. Don’t expect a relaxing hot shower. The water was only slightly warmer than the river. Each stall has a bottle of basic shampoo/body wash and hooks on the back of the door to hang your clothes. Hidden Canyon will provide a fresh towel, so there’s no need to bring your own.
If you’re an active person used to outdoor activities like hiking or bouldering, you should definitely come to Hidden Canyon. Right now, this is a very under-the-radar attraction. You get a private guide and empty canyons with no other tourists. If this attraction gets big, I can see it becoming much more accessible. Say, with constructed walkways through the gorge, which will take all the challenge and fun out of it.
Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang is the coolest guided hike we’ve ever done. We missed out on visiting during our first trip to Bali because of the rainy season. Since then, Hidden Canyon had become almost a “bucket list” activity and a huge motivation to return to Bali. I’m so glad we finally did it. The experience far exceeded my already high expectations.