Bursting with creativity and steeped in spirituality – the perfect place to slow down
Bali’s rice terraces, secluded beaches, perfect waves, colourful marine life, towering volcanoes, fascinating Hindu culture and modern tourist buzz mean it offers something for just about everyone.
Soak up the sun or ride the swell off the beaches of Canggu, Nusa Dua or Uluwatu. Breathe deeply and connect with your inner self while doing Vrksasana yoga poses in Ubud or plunge into the hot spring at the foot of Batur Mountain in Kintamani. Go diving and be amazed at the corals, sea turtles and even pelagic fish around Tulamben, Nusa Penida or Menjangan Island. And, of course, don’t miss the chance to catch a magical sunset while sipping cocktails on the beach in Kuta or Seminyak.
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Things to do
Have a rice day
Take a short drive from Ubud to enjoy lunch while gazing out upon the Tegalalang rice terraces. Then head to Kintamani to take a dip in the Batur Natural Hotsprings opens in new window next to Batur Lake and enjoy the breathtaking sight of Batur Volcano.
Give meditation a try or do a bit of yoga in the rice fields of Ubud. Dragonfly Village opens in new window offers various retreat packages at a facility that’s equipped with a saltwater pool and a sauna.
The deep end
Take the speedboat from Sanur Beach to Nusa Lembongan; the island (along with neighbouring Nusa Ceningan) with the clearest turquoise waters you’re likely to find. Relax on a sun lounger at Dreamland Beach or dive into the waters of Blue Lagoon at Nusa Ceningan. You can also scuba dive around neighbouring Nusa Penida, known for sightings of mola-mola (ocean sunfish) from about July to September.
The meal thing
Head over to Kedonganan Beach in Jimbaran, where you’ll find rows of restaurants with seaside dining areas. Choose your own fish, crab or prawns and have it prepared the way you like. Feel the cool breezes, marvel at the sound of crashing waves and take in a Balinese dance performance while you dine.
Town of plenty
Take a trip to eastern Bali and visit Tirta Gangga opens in new window, an age-old water garden. Drop in at nearby Tenganan Village opens in new window, where you can experience what kampong life was like in the era before Hinduism took hold here. Watch the annual Mekare-kare (pandan-leaf war), held every year during the fifth month according to the Balinese calendar, and learn more about the painstaking process of making Gringsing woven cloth, which can take years to produce.
Ngurah Rai International Airport opens in new window (Denpasar; DPS)
Distance to Denpasar city centre 13km
Taxi A taxi to Denpasar city centre takes around 30 minutes and costs IDR 70,000-90,000. There is a pre-paid taxi counter outside arrivals with fixed prices to destinations around the south of the island.
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When to go
Located on the equator, Bali enjoys sunshine just about all year round, especially in the coastal areas. The rainy season from October to March means it tends to rain for just a few hours a day, though cloudy skies may last longer. Temperatures dip as you head towards the mountains of central Bali.
The annual Kite Festival takes place in July. And all year long, you’re likely to stumble on Balinese Hindu religious ceremonies, held to celebrate almost every aspect of life – if you’re lucky, you might even witness the famed Ngaben/Pelebon cremation ceremony, which tends to involve thousands of people.Back to top
Aside from slow private buses and several privately owned shuttle buses, there’s no reliable public transportation in Bali. The most convenient way to get around is by taxi – be sure to use the reliable Blue Bird opens in new window brand, who will use their meter. Watch out for fakes.
For longer trips, hire a private car and driver, the fee for which is charged by the day (8-10 hours) – you'll need to negotiate. You can also rent a scooter and motor around like a true local for around IDR 50,000 per day.Back to top