Discovering the Hidden Gem of the Petulu Heron Colony in Bali
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The Petulu Heron Colony is a hidden gem not to be missed. As the sun sets, the sky comes alive with thousands of herons flying in to roost for the night.
This natural spectacle is a must-see for any nature lover or bird watcher visiting Bali.
Not only is the Petulu Heron Colony a beautiful and unique experience, but it also holds significant cultural and historical importance.
The colony has been a protected site since the 1960s, and the herons are considered sacred by the local Balinese people.
Additionally, the colony is an excellent spot for photography, with opportunities to capture stunning shots of the herons in flight.
Visiting this natural spectacle is an absolute must for any tourist in Bali. Not only does it provide a chance to witness a genuinely breathtaking natural phenomenon, but it also offers a glimpse into the culture and history of the island.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a bird watcher, or just someone looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, the Petulu Heron Colony is sure to leave a lasting impression.
The Petulu Heron Colony is located in the village of Petulu, which is situated in the Ubud district of Bali, Indonesia.
It’s approximately 8 km northwest of the center of Ubud and can be reached by taking the main road from Ubud to Tegalalang Rice Terraces.
The colony is also accessible by taking a traditional Jukung boat from the nearby river.
After visiting this hidden gem, check out Best Things To Do in Ubud.
Distance from Different Parts of Bali
- From Denpasar: The Petulu Heron Colony is located around 30 km southwest of Denpasar, the capital city of Bali. The journey takes around 1 hour by car or scooter, depending on traffic.
- From Kuta: The Petulu Heron Colony is located around 55 km southeast of Kuta, a popular tourist destination known for its nightlife and beaches. The journey takes around 1.5 hours by car or scooter, depending on traffic.
- From Seminyak: The Petulu Heron Colony is located around 45 km southeast of Seminyak, another popular tourist destination known for its luxury resorts and high-end shopping. The journey takes around 1.5 hours by car or scooter, depending on traffic.
- From Nusa Dua: The Petulu Heron Colony is located around 70 km southeast of Nusa Dua, a popular destination for luxury resorts and white-sand beaches. The journey takes around 2 hours by car or scooter, depending on traffic.
It’s important to note that the above distances and estimated travel times are approximate and may vary depending on traffic and road conditions.
You should also check out The Best Cities in Bali that you can visit to make the most out of your Bali trip.
- Renting a scooter or a bicycle: $6.15-$9.85 per day. A convenient and cost-effective option that allows you to explore the area at your own pace.
- Hiring a taxi or private car: $30.77-$43.08 per day. A comfortable and hassle-free way to reach the colony.
- Renting a traditional Jukung boat: $12.31-$18.46 per person. An excellent option for a different perspective of the heron colony, but it can be a bit more expensive.
These costs are approximate and may vary depending on the season and availability.
Best Time to Visit
It’s important to note that the colony is active only in the evening, and the best time to visit is around sunset.
You should also be aware that Petulu is still a residential area, and respecting the local community and their way of life is essential.
What To Bring
When visiting the Petulu Heron Colony, it’s essential to be prepared and bring the necessary items. Here is a list of suggested items to bring:
- Camera: The Petulu Heron Colony is spectacular, and you’ll want to capture the memories.
- Insect repellent: The village of Petulu is situated near rice fields, and you may encounter mosquitoes and other bugs.
- Water: It’s essential to stay hydrated, especially in Bali’s tropical climate.
- Comfortable shoes: As you’ll be doing a lot of walking, it’s important to wear comfortable shoes.
- Cash: It’s a good idea to bring cash if you want to rent a Jukung boat or purchase souvenirs from the local community.
- Sunscreen: The sun can be intense in Bali, so it’s essential to protect your skin.
- A hat or an umbrella: To protect yourself from the sun.
Points to Remember:
- The best time to visit the colony is sunset, so plan accordingly.
- Petulu is a residential area, so respecting the local community and their way of life is essential.
- The colony is active only in the evening, so plan your visit accordingly.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast. If it’s a rainy day, you should avoid visiting.
- Don’t forget to bring a garbage bag and dispose of your trash properly.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid disturbing the herons or the environment.
- Book in advance to ensure availability if you rent a Jukung boat.
- The prices for renting a scooter or a bicycle, a Jukung boat, or a taxi can vary depending on the season and availability.
Experience the Spectacle
The colony is located in the tranquil village of Petulu, in the Ubud district of Bali. I rented a scooter to reach the colony and took the main road from Ubud to Tegalalang.
It was an experience to travel through the rice fields and small villages.
As I reached the village, I could see the herons flying in from all directions, and the sky was filled with their graceful silhouettes.
I was mesmerized by the sight of thousands of herons filling the trees and flying overhead, creating a spectacular sight. I spent hours walking through the village, taking in the serene atmosphere and the natural beauty of the herons.
One of the highlights of my visit was taking a traditional Jukung boat ride on the nearby river. The boat ride gave me a unique perspective of the colony and the herons flying overhead.
It was a peaceful and tranquil experience, and I highly recommend it.
The Petulu Heron Colony is a natural wonder and supports the local community through eco-tourism. The local community benefits from the herons as they help control the pests that can damage the rice fields.
The tourism generated by the herons has also boosted Petulu village’s economy. It’s an opportunity to witness nature while supporting the local community.
The History of the Colony
The Petulu Heron Colony is a hidden gem located in the village of Petulu, Bali. The colony is believed to have formed in the 1960s and has grown in size over the years.
The herons, also known as “kenyalang,” have chosen Petulu as their roosting spot due to the abundance of rice fields and the lack of predators.
Herons have also helped reduce pests in the area’s rice fields, benefiting the local community.
Two legends surround the heron colony. One legend is that the herons are the reincarnation of thousands of Balinese who were slaughtered in a massacre during the Indonesian Communist Party regime in the 60s.
Another legend states that the herons appeared in Petulu precisely one week after a failed attempted communist coup in September 1965.
The villagers say that no herons had been seen in Petulu before then, and the birds have been coming every afternoon since.
Here are some nearby hotels to make the most out of your stay at Petulu:
- The Pari Sudha
- Wijaya Guest House Ubud
- Tirta Arum
If you want more options, check out Where to Stay in Ubud.
Make sure to stop by one of these places to eat near the Petulu Heron Colony:
- Tablespoon Bistro [International, Healthy]
- Aperitif Restaurant & Bar [Bar, International]
- Avocado Warung Ubud [Healthy, Indonesian]
For more mouth-watering options, check out the Best Ubud Restaurants.
You can add other destinations to your Tibumana waterfall trip and visit them as well:
- Nyoman Ada Gallery
- Quelena Spa Ubud
- Bali Life Studio
While you’re exploring Ubud, take some time to visit other fun spots. I have listed The Best Things To Do in Ubud that you should check out.