For many the name of Bali alone is enough to create a sense of tropical wonder. But with so many possibilities, what are the best things to do in Bali? How can you make the most of your time on an island surrounded by warm ocean currents and pristine beaches? And with jungle and temples rich in tradition? Discover all you need to know below, and look at hotels in Bali and our tours in Indonesia.
Summit Mount Batur
We can’t deny that Bali has some quite extraordinary beaches. But there’s plenty of adventure to be had on Bali too. For those who want to see the island at its finest, check out our 2 day hiking tour of Batur. You’ll trek along a verdant and winding trail to the summit of Mount Batur. Not only that, but the journey is timed to coincide with sunrise piercing through the misty volcanic landscape. In addition, the first day of this two-day tour in southern Bali includes a trip to Uluwatu Temple. This is followed by an evening of traditional song and dance.
A more sedate way of seeing some of Bali’s heritage sites is with a cultural tour. There are a huge variety of tours to choose from, including Uluwatu Temple, one of the holiest in Bali. Others also include the magnificent Royal Temple at Mengwi. Built in 1634, it has a setting that beautifully pairs its impressive pagodas with still water. The temples in Bali are famous for their incredible architecture and awe-inspiring beauty. While the beaches may be calling your name, the temples have stood for centuries and have a draw all their own.
Right at the heart of Ubud’s busiest streets is its Monkey Forest. Here, wild long-tailed macaques happily play among plant and moss-covered ruins that are slowly being absorbed back into the jungle. With more than a thousand at the last count, it’s by far the surest way of seeing Bali’s monkeys. A visit also helps to ensure their future, at risk due to the growth of the island’s human population. Check out the uninhibited joy of these furry cousins on a half day tour from Ubud!
Take in a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Leave major urban centers such as Ubud behind you, and you’re soon in unspoiled countryside. Much of it has remain largely unchanged for centuries. One such region is that around the village of Jatiluwih. Its terraces of rice paddy have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This perhaps explains the town’s name, which means ‘very, very beautiful’. Spanning 20 square kilometers, the terraces have been maintained since the eleventh century, making them a true wonder.
The beauty of the Ayung River has been an open secret for some time. Many top-end stays locate them on the banks within its lush valley. It would be easy to while away several days just gazing out across its lushness. But for a different perspective, how about a little white water rafting tour? The expertise of knowledgeable team leaders will have you drifting over the multitude of currents on the island’s longest river. You’ll slip under the rainforest canopy, through rock gorges, and beyond tumbling waterfalls too.
Admire Tegenungan Waterfall
Another waterfall that’s not to be missed is that at Tegenungan. And you don’t have to get wet to admire this one either. That said, the pool beneath the narrow shoot of roaring water is a favorite swimming spot for many visitors. You can also follow the stepped rock up to the top of the cascade. Here you’ll find great views of both the river and the surrounding jungle.
Spend the Night With Locals
Bali isn’t short of great accommodation options whatever your budget. However, there can be nothing quite like sharing the lives of locals, if only for a night or two. A homestay experience helps bridge the cultural gap. It will also leave you with an even greater respect for those who live on the island. If that sounds like an excellent addition to your plans for Bali, check out our homestay experience at Bresela village.
Try Your Luck on a Board
Bali’s huge range of beaches makes it a great place to grab a surf board. Whether you’re a total beginner or an experienced boarder seeking out new challenges, there’s somewhere for you here. For gentle waves, head to the surf schools and hire shops around Kuta Beach. For something a little less demanding, these stores also rent out body boards. And while you’re there, don’t forget to stick around for the sunset.
Jump on Four Wheels
You’ll quickly get used to the sound of mopeds after a few hours on Bali. However, we recommend swapping two wheels for four with a quad bike all-terrain vehicle excursion. Using dedicated trackways, they allow visitors to see many of the island’s natural and man-made sights in a unique way. Outside of the bubble of a minibus the whole atmosphere of the island is able to envelop you.
Formed from the warm currents of the Indian Ocean, the waters around Bali are filled with life. Colorful coral reefs play host to a huge number of fish species and other sea creatures. Still more are regular visitors, include various species of sea turtle and sharks among others. But the island’s steep cliffs also offer the possibility of wall and cave diving. Bali is also one of the only places in the world where it’s possible to dive with sunfish (mola mola). This odd-looking creature has a disc-shaped body that can top a meter and weigh 1,000 kilograms.
The Best of Bali
When it comes to Bali, the sky – or maybe the sea – is the limit. It is an island of authentic homestays and much-respected temples. It is an island for white-water rafting, quad biking, and diving. And it is also an island of natural beauty, from the monkeys of Ubud to the slopes of Mount Batur. Let us help you decide where to stay in Bali with our curated guide.