Things To Do In Bali because Bali is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, it really is. I want to prove that to you in this Bali travel guide. this island in Indonesia is host so many beautiful components beyond its wildly lush tropics and beaches. The local Balinese people are equally as treasurable as the incredible activities on offer in Bali and are one of the reasons that this island feels so familiar every time I step foot back onto it. This post serves as the ultimate Bali, Indonesia travel guide to help you with planning your dream trip from when is best to visit Bali and where to stay in Bali all the way to local guides to Ubud, Canggu and Uluwatu.
What I would say is, if you’re using travel blogs for Bali travel tips, make sure they are up to date. This article guide has been updated for 2021. Note that Bali has been closed for international tourism since the Coronavirus pandemic, but we are all hoping it is safe to open up the borders again soon! Each corner of Bali offers something different. As I’ve been to a fair few corners now, I’m going to go through each one and tell you just what you can expect there.
When should you go to Bali? What’s the weather like?
In Bali, you can expect a tropical warm climate all year round. Rainfall is highest (rainy season) between November and March. The most popular time and drier months to come are from June to August. Of the four times, I’ve explored in Bali, three of them have been between the months of December and March, during the rainy season. Should ‘rainy season’ stop you from coming? Absolutely not. It feels hotter and more tropical for sure but the rain doesn’t ‘ruin’ your holiday. Rainfall is often short, it’s sometimes heavy but it passes. It’s warm rain and the rain is the reason the island is so lush! I love the odd day here in my wooden hut where I’m reading my book to the sound of the rain. I’d say we’ve had 2 full days of rain and 7-8 overcast afternoons and showers in nearly 6 weeks! As I mentioned previously, the island is filled with so many gems beyond the ‘main area’s. So whilst the below travel tips are absolutely valid and can cater for the most beautiful of stays, I highly suggest taking time, if you have it, to explore and go beyond the resorts whilst on the island.
Ubud is known as the cultural hub of Bali with temples, holistic centres, yoga studios and local markets on every corner of the street. With access to locally grown produce of every variety, it is here in Ubud that the vegan and raw dining culture was born. The food and drink options are incredible, as well as the options to explore the famous rice fields, the nearby Mt.Batur and the legendary Monkey Forest.
As a result of the tourism takeover in Seminyak, the lime light seems to have now shifted over to Canggu, or ‘the gu’ as locals call it. Canggu is the younger sibling of Seminyak, located just north of Seminyak on the west coast. Canggu is one of the hottest spots on the island with surfers and if you go you’ll most likely end up with a cocktail or two at Old Man’s as you watch the sun descend beyond the horizon. Don’t forget a visit to Tanah Lot, one of the most popular temples on the island!
Considered one of the sleepier towns and host to many family orientated hotels, Sanur tends to be the underdog with young travelers. I absolutely love it here; it’s the perfect place for a more laid back Balinese experience. Plus, you are right on the gateway to the nearby islands of Nusa Archipelago, Lombok, Flores, Komodo and the Gilis, all of which you can explore in a day trip or two.
Uluwatu is home to some of the best surf breaks in Bali and to some of the most consistent, sought after reef breaks in the world. This surf town is located on the south of the island on the Western cliffs of the Bukit Peninsula. Here you’ll also find the Pura Luhur temple and some of the most exclusive hotels and restaurants on the island.
Seminyak is one of the closest towns to Denpasar airport (the main airport on the island) and home to the likes of W Hotel. There’s only a few seconds per minute where you’ll be without the sound of the taxi horns. It’s busy to say the least but the magic of the sunsets is undeniable. There are some absolutely delicious cafes and beach club vibes here too. I’d suggest only staying a night or two, perhaps to kick start your adventure.
Kuta is a pretty party orientated town. The energy centers around the Sky Garden which is a multi story club serving all-you-can-eat BBQs on the rooftop. I’m sure there are many that this would suit, but considering I had traveled from the other side of the world, I was looking for the magical, laid back island beachy vibes. Rumor has it that Kuta is the ‘Magaluf’ equivalent for Australians. Cheap flights, lots of booze and a nice climate. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Nusa Dua is an area of Bali with luxury 5* resorts that back onto the white sandy beach. The hotels and restaurants are all at Western prices – even the water activities are on the pricey side.
When staying in Nusa Dua, the best sunset is viewed at Jimbaran Beach where the sun sets into the sea (it doesn’t at Nusa as the coast is facing East). Jimbaran is worth a visit in itself. It’s known as the place to get your dose of fresh fish on the island. Kick back in one of the beach front restaurants here for sunset dins.
I haven’t actually explored much of the East, but no doubt at some point I will return to Bali. When I do, a road-trip up the east coast is at the top of my list. There are some gorgeous temples located up the coast alongside rice paddies spilling over the countryside left, right and centre. Go and check them out for me and let me know what’s good.
The first time I ever visited Bali we met a local in Kuta and persuaded him to take us to see some of Bali’s finest offerings. He took us to the very north of Bali, to Lovina. Here we ate at a local warung before waking up at 4am and heading out to watch the dolphins at sunrise. It was magic.
Check out: Banjar hotsprings, Banyumala waterfall, Bedugul, Banjar, and Sekumpul waterfalls.
I recently returned to the north to experience Spa Village Tembok (see my review here) which was just so relaxed. The North is completely untouched when compared to the rest of the island so if you’re looking for a more peaceful secluded experience this could be a good stop off for you.