The jungle of Ubud resembles a James Cameron movie; green canopies hang from towering trees with streams of golden light bursting through the cracks. Ubud appeals to a person's sense of wilderness and adventure. There are several places to stay depending on one's taste and preference. Many resorts offer a ‘living in nature' theme that allows you to make the most of the jungle, whilst also enjoying a few luxurious comforts like infinity pools overlooking rice fields where herons prance through the paddies in search of their next meal.
Ubud feels both liberating through the endless freedom of the natural world, and safe through the comfort of the local people. Though some residences are tucked away privately in the jungle, getting to the city centre—which was filled with shops, exquisite restaurants and cosy cafes— was only but a twenty-minute drive away.
Activities in Ubud are as rich as the evergreen jungle. Elephant mud baths are offered at the Bali Zoo, where they are noted to practice humane and ethical treatment to their animals. Those choosing to bathe with the gentle giant can feed them, rub mud over them and shower them with water. Essentially, it's an elephant spa day. This excursion lasts close to four hours but is accompanied by a tasty lunch overlooking the elephant's residence.
Visitors can also take on the rivers of Ubud through white water rafting. The river routes that companies take rafters on are a good mix of calm and rough waters making it fitting for both experienced and novice rafters. Rafters are even able to abandon ship and swim through the calmer moments of the river.
Continuing the adrenaline junkie theme, get a fast and furious experience of Ubud by riding an ATV through the jungle. Depending on the ATV company you choose, you'll have the option of four-wheeling through the depths of the jungle or rice paddies or both!