visited June 2016
Although JATILUWIH is supposed to be THE top rice growing area for visitors I'm not too sure.
I thought the terraces were more spectacular around west Bali's BELIMBING, slightly easier to access on arrival and quicker to reach from Kuta at TEGALLALANG a bit further east, the countryside maybe a bit nicer to walk thru at east Bali's SIDEMAN - and of course if you want to walk an attractive rice growing area with quick access from Kuta and a heap of nearby accommodation, the UBUD RICE FIELDS do the job real well- although they can't match the others terrace-wise.
But yeah, JATILUWIH is a pretty good combo of these other places - the terraces look pretty good, they are very easy to access from the village, the whole area is not excessively far from Kuta and the busy south, and the general countryside is attractive. And certainly if walking tracks thru such countryside is your thing, it has more and longer of these than the other places.
Be aware when booking accommodation that a lot of places giving a JATILUWIH location are actually several km outside town - often in neighbouring villages.
TERAS SUBAK was the least expensive place we could find right in town at $aud29 (about $us21 at the time) with breakfast - as a matter of fact it was one of the better value joints in the whole area.
Of course "better value" implies it was an okay place - and indeed it was. One of the better upcountry joints I've stayed at over the years.
The king size bed had a soft mattress. I prefer something fairly firm but I must admit this one was deliciously comfy. The general condition of the room was a bit rough around the edges, but well short of the need to refurbish.
Outside was a nice patio - a good place to sit and watch the passing parade on the main street. Not to mention the rice fields and sunrise.
The free wifi was patchy - mainly because the staff kept forgetting to turn the modem on each morning.
THE SHORT WALK
This is a popular one, because not only does it NOT take up a big chunk of a day-tripper's time (often these dudes have other up-country destinations on their dance card) but also gives a very good exposure to rice growing country - it's all there: the terraces, irrigation and drainage ditches, threshing areas, other produce growing areas, nearby field workers and oxen etc.
My "start" and "finish" points are of course interchangeable - I did them that way because most walkers seemed to be doing the same. I reckon the day-trip guides might like it because their patrons have an excellent elevated (above the road) warung right opposite the finish (BILLY'S TERRACE CAFE). Views are definitely better in this higher southern part of town. However if you are very unfit you will find the opposite direction easier - there is the warung/restaurant of TERAS SUBAK virtually across the road from the finish and an elevated flasher place behind. Note TERAS SUBAK views not as good but food/drink prices a steal.
A short distance behind camera a sign directs SHORT WALK trekkers hard to their right - where the track quickly starts to drop into the gully which parallels the above ridge.
If unfit, it may be better to start here and descend this slope - as said, the climb out of the gully at the other side is a fair bit easier.
THE LONG WALK
No linear scale on this image - straight line distance between "start" and "shortcut" place-markers is 2.6km
The few hundred meters along this section is the steepest of the 7.5km (fits my category of FAIRLY STEEP, which is under my STEEP, VERY STEEP, HEARTBREAKER categories - not to mention DON'T SEND FLOWERS). I also did it the other direction and can say it would force unfit people to have a rest.
Image a bit blurry - I shot this on the move.
Past the bridge the track continues to follow the river. Scenery and activities are similar, in addition to which are several chicken hatcheries and a piggery.
Less than 10 minutes from the bridge you will come to an intersection - the track leading uphill to the right is a SHORTCUT which cuts about 2km off the walk. I found this short section fitted my STEEP category - a real good work-out. Once again less fit people may not be whelmed.
If you don't want to shortcut and to do the full walk, continue alongside the river (I think the track may veer left a bit at the intersection). This continues for another km or so where another sign instructs you to turn hard right, where you begin the slow gradual climb back to JATILUWIH village.
Slightly less than a km on from the turning point you will reach the intersection where the SHORTCUT rejoins. In hindsight I have to say the SHORTCUT makes sense - there is not too much to see on the longer almost 2km loop. I did it because I could say I had done all the sign-posted walks**
**that's not to say that keen trekkers cannot do more - these tracks have branches and extensions which lead to local roads and you can access many neighbouring villages and attractions like temples if you are real keen. TERAS SUBAK'S map has a reverse side which shows many of these in all directions around JATILUWIH - of course a rental moped or your own vehicle would make this much easier.
Finally back to the haripin area of JATILUWIH. That's the nicely positioned BILLY'S TERRACE CAFE at right. I resisted a visit - I scuttled down to TERAS SUBAK near the last roof in image on account Lady Tezza would want reassurance I hadn't been trampled by a water buffalo in my near 3 hour gallop thru the boon docks. Besides, the beer at TERAS SUBAK was likely to be colder than BILLY'S on account of fewer customers.
Interestingly, TERAS SUBAK's map showed a variation - a short track leading off from roughly the "narrows" place-marker and heading left towards the return part of the blue LONG TRACK which terminates at "finish". I couldn't see any evidence of the cross track but it was dead easy to miss these narrower paths if un-signposted. And not being shown on the official map boards, perhaps the locals thought it didn't warrant a sign post.
Note the flattened rice in the pic - there were lots of instances where fairly large sections of a rice field had been smacked down. Locals told me a recent storm with very strong winds was the cause.
From this intersection you can either turn left towards the camera and go back to the village at the TERAS SUBAK end (abt 2km) or turn right and complete the LONG WALK - back to the hairpin area of the village is abt 3.5km via the SHORTCUT or 5.5km via the full route.
THE EAST TRACK
This is the only track on the official tracks board that doesn't start in town. Having done it I can report that it doesn't really show anything new, so if you are a bit bushed maybe this is the one to give a miss. On the other hand if like me you have to do all the tracks and like to see the full area, it is not wasted time.
In a way it is a bit like the DIVERSION - it is another that ends with a haul along a very narrow path and a final climb up to join the LONG WALK track.
To reach the start you need to walk along the main road north-east of JATILUWIH for abt 700m from the TERAS SUBAK end of town. This is thru pleasant countryside although the road (it's not a major arterial route) is quite busy.
The start of the track is well sign-posted. The first few hundred meters similar in appearance to the LONG WALK track. About 250m in you turn hard right and head downhill past a walled religious shrine or similar. Not far past this the track turns left again and continues downhill thru some nice rice growing country. After about 400m the wider track ends...but similar to the DIVERSION, there is a much narrower path which continues a short distance to where it reaches a creek and drainage ditch. Here you should turn left and continue to walk along the concrete top of the drainage ditch. After about 300m......
It's about 1km back to the TERAS SUBAK part of the village on the LONG WALK track.
GETTING THEREEvery driver in the south touting for a fare can take you up here. It is such a popular day trip many can show you pix of the area. Plenty of tour companies run vans and coaches to the area. As said before, many have JATILUWIH as part of a multi-destination tour. It's kinda a natural for people also wanting to see the LAKE BRATAN/BEDEGUL region not too far to the north-east.
We paid 400k for the trip up from Sanur. I thought this a bit high but at the time I was too lazy to go get competitive quotes. We arranged for the same driver to come up at the end of our stay and transfer us back down south. I have found up-country drivers use the "captive market" and less competition things to charge outrageous prices.
Trip took 2h 10mins - it's not very far but the traffic for 70% of the trip is horrendous. Btw - the last 8km or so leaves the main arterial route and takes a side road to JATILUWIH. This is badly broken up and very narrow in parts, esp. through villages. I don't know how those tourist coach drivers do it.
From Kuta time taken should be about the same and prices similar (although if I had the time, I'm sure I could get it down to 300k each way).