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How to Plan a Trip to Bali

How to Plan a Trip to Bali

By Mike HoUpdated Sep. 29, 2022

If you are looking for a dream holiday destination, then Bali meets most people’s expectations. From various luxury beach villas with infinity pools, rainforest hotels, and one-eighty cliff-clubs and bars, to the numerous beautiful beaches, rice-terraced fields, and top-class restaurants and food, Bali can fulfill all your holiday dreams.

Bali is also a favorite place for all kinds of water sports, including swimming, diving, surfing, snorkeling, and dolphin watching. As a sacred place of yoga and meditation, which draws people to experience it, Balinese culture was impacted greatly by Hinduism.

The below travel information will help you plan your dream trip to Bali.

Bali’s Travel Policy and Restrictions

plan a trip to Bali

Entry policy: International travelers can visit Bali and the rest of Indonesia now [June 2022], and most travel restrictions have been lifted. Travelers who are fully vaccinated do not need to undergo quarantine and can enter Indonesia without a PCR test before and upon arrival. Read more about Bali travel restrictions.

Visa policy: Nationals of many countries can obtain a visa on arrival (VOA), including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Best Times to Visit Bali

Bali can be visited all year round. The weather of Bali can be divided into two seasons: wet season and dry season. The ideal time to visit Bali during the dry season, which is from April to October. July and August are the busiest times in Bali. So, if you don’t want to join the crowds, just avoid these two months.

The dry season (high season): April to October, with less rainfall, is the best season for surfing, diving, snorkeling, mountain hiking, and bike riding. During this half of the year, there are many local festivals, which are good times to enjoy cultural activities. For example, the Bali Art Festival, held from mid-June to mid-July, is very attractive to visitors.

The wet season (off-season): November to March is the rainy season. Although there is much rainfall, humid air and many mosquitoes, most activities can be carried out except for the volcano hiking. As most of these five months are the off-season for tourism, flight and hotel prices are relatively cheap, and the price of tour products and activities is also be discounted. It is a good time to save money.

During the Christmas and New Year holidays and Chinese New Year, the number of visitors rises sharply. Hotel rooms are easily fully-booked in these two periods, and reservations need to be made 1–3 months in advance. Read more about best time to Bali

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Best Places to Visit in Bali

With over 5,000 square kilometers (over 2,000 square miles), there are many places you can visit in Bali. In general, tourism in Bali can be divided into three regions: southern, northern/eastern, and central.

  • The northern and eastern parts are good for mountain climbing, hiking, volcano adventures, and diving.
  • Central Bali is well-known for its village scenery, terraced rice fields, arts, and cultural towns.
  • Southern Bali has the best places for beach time, sunbathing, surfing, and various water sports.

You can choose which region to visit based on your interests.

Southern Bali (Nusa Duo, Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu)

The south of Bali is the top destination area for most visitors. It has charming sea views and plentiful water activities.

Nosa (Nusa) Dua — Honeymoons, Family/Kids-Friendly, Golf Courses

 

Nusa Dua

Located on Bali’s southern shores, Nusa Dua is well known for its many kinds of beach resorts and clean white sand. There is an 18-hole golf course at Nusa Dua. Compared to other beaches of Bali, Nusa Dua is much quieter and safer for families with kids. The beach has less small coral and less gravel, which makes it a good spot for paddling, bare foot fun, and running.

Another top attraction in Nusa Dua is Pura Gegar temple. This Balinese temple is located on a cliff, and you need to walk up a small path to get to the temple. The temple is surrounded by trunk trees and it is a fantastic view point for overlooking the sea.

Spend a half day to go Shopping at Bali Collections. There are various souvenirs shops at Bali Collections, where you can buy all kinds of local arts and crafts at reasonable prices.

For honeymoon travelers, we recommend you have high tea at St. Regis. It is a gift to yourselves. Having some high afternoon tea and finger food, cakes, and dainty sandwiches in a top-class restaurant in Bali’s most famous high-end resort can be a really romantic memory-making treat.

Seminyak — Beautiful Beach Sunsets, Luxury Resorts

Seminyak Seminyak

Located on Bali’s southern coast, Seminyak is well-known for its beautiful beaches, delicious food, and luxury resorts and villas. The night life of Seminyak is well-known, as there are many high-end clubs, bars, restaurants, and shopping malls. The beach sunset there attracts many photography lovers.

Learning how to surf from Seminyak or Double Six Beach is a rewarding experience. The inviting waves there make it a good spot to learn surfing. Join a class to become a surfer.

Joining a cooking class is another popular activity in Seminyak. Try to make Balinese favorites like satay, gado gado salad, and spicy salads with the local chef. It will be an unforgettable experience on your Bali trip.

To learn more about Indonesian culture and history in Seminyak, you can explore the Palace and Museum, including Puri Agung (the Palace of Amlapura), Budakling Village, Tirta Gangga Royal Water Palace, and Lontar Museum.

 

Bukit Peninsula (Uluwatu) — Snorkeling, Surfing, Rock formations

Uluwatu

Located at the southernmost point of Bali, Bukit Peninsula is also known as Uluwatu, which is actually only part of the Bukit Peninsula. It is well-known for its world-class surf breaks and white sand beaches. On the beach of Uluwatu, you can see a stunning beach with unrivalled views over the Indian Ocean.

Uluwatu is also a good place for surfing and snorkeling lovers. At high tide, the waves can reach heights of 5–8 meters, which offers great conditions for professional surfing. The dramatic cliffs that plunge into the crystal blue waters make it a good place for snorkeling and swimming.

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Canggu — Surfing, Sea Temple, natural scenery

Canggu Canggu Surfing

Canggu used to be a fisherman village, and now it has become one of the most popular destinations in Bali. The laid-back town is surrounded by green rice fields. The picturesque views, various activities, and peaceful vibes are the highlights of Canggu. People come to Canggu for surfing, hiking the active volcano, enjoying the beautiful sunset, and tasting delicious food. Its easy-to-surf waves, and cheaper accommodation prices attract numerous backpackers.

Another must-visit attraction in Canggu is the Pura Tanah Lot Sea Temple. Built on a rocky islet and surrounded by crashing waves, the sea temple looks awesome with its spectacular seaside setting, especially at sunset. It is a one of the most sacred of all the island's sea temples for the Balinese people.

Central Bali (Ubud)

Ubud

The top-visited region in central Bali is Ubud. There is a saying that those who don’t visit Ubud are not really visiting Bali.

Ubud Town Area — Natural Scenery, Culture, History, and Art

Located in the center of Bali Island, Ubud is rich in natural resources and unique culture. The famous film Eat, Pray, Love was set near the rice terraces outside the Ubud Town. Besides the natural scenery, Ubud is also well known for its historical temples, ancient buildings, traditional local dancing, and hand-made arts and crafts.

Spend some hours to explore Sukarno Museum and the Pakerisan River Area to learn more about local culture and historical sites, where three ancient temples and monuments are located. The monuments and temples were recently listed as a World Heritage site.

Visit a Brahman in the house of the pedanda (high priest), where you will see how a large gebogan (flower, fruit, and cake offering) is carried to the temple to be blessed. The ancient village of Mas was a former royal residence. The rice terraced fields around the village are the top must-visit attraction in Ubud. Try to walk the small roads along the paddy fields and experience the quiet life there.

Spend half a day to explore Monkey Forest if you are traveling with kids. It is a funny activity to “explore” using paved pathways through the thick forests of giant banyan and other jungle trees.

Monkey Forest Monkey Forest

The Ubud market is also a must-visit if you are traveling to Bali for the first time. There you can buy leather goods, clothes, handicrafts, musical instruments, local fruits, and many other souvenirs at reasonable prices.

Northern and Eastern Bali

Northern and eastern Bali are well-known for their rich natural attractions including hiking and volcano exploring. The Agung Volcano, the highest peak of Bali Island in the east, and the Jingdamani Volcano in the north are the favorite places for mountaineers who love adventure and excitement.

The most famous beach in the north of Bali is Lovina Beach, where you can have the opportunity to see rare wild dolphins.

How Long to Stay in Bali?

plan a trip to Bali Top destinations in Bali

Different people may have different travel durations in Bali. It really depends on your travel budget, your interests, and your vacation time.

For most tourists coming to Bali, 5–8 days is a good length of stay to visit the highlights of Bali. For honeymoon tourists, such a trip deserves more days to enjoy the relaxed and romantic activities in Bali, which typically need 10–15 days. The following are some of the most popular tour arrangements.

5–8 days: Ubud (3–4 days), Seminyak (2–3 days):

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Ubud: 3 Days

  • Day 1: Explore the town and Monkey Forest
  • Day 2: Trek through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces and visit Tirta Empul Temple
  • Day 3: Join a cooking class and wander the Ubud markets

Seminyak: 2 Days

  • Day 1: Enjoy beach time and learn how to surf at Seminyak or Double Six Beach
  • Day 2: Explore the palaces and museums, including Puri Agung (the Palace of Amlapura), Budakling Village, Tirta Gangga Royal Water Palace, Lontar Museum.

Uluwatu: 2 Days

  • Day 1: Enjoy beach time on Uluwatu Beach and watch a sunset at Uluwatu Temple.
  • Day 2: Surf or snorkel, then join in the Sunday Party at Single Fin.

Canggu: 2 Days

  • Day 1: Relax on the beach and enjoy the nightlife at Old’s Man, the main bar in Canggu.
  • Day 2: Visit the Pura Tanah Lot Sea Temple

9–14 Days: Ubud (3–4 days), Seminyak (2–3 days), Uluwatu (3-4 days)

Recommended Itinerary

Southeast Asia Tour Including Bali

If you are visiting Southeast Asia for the first time, we recommend you cover some of the top destinations in Southeast Asia. 90% of our clients prefer 2 to 3 weeks for their first Southeast Asia trip. The most popular tour itineraries usually include Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket / Koh Samui), Vietnam, and Maynmar. Get some inspiration from our 15-Day Myanmar, Thailand and Bali Honeymoon Tour to Create Memories Together in the Best Honeymoon Destinations

Start to Create Memories Together in This Honeymoon Trip

For a trip of 20–30 days, you can enjoy an in-depth tour of the whole peninsula area (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos). Check our 28-Day Grand Indochina Tour for more info.

The above sample itineraries are just for your information. You are welcomed to contact your own experienced 1:1 tour consultant for a tailor-made itinerary.

How to Get to and around Bali

Getting to Bali

get to bali

The most popular way to get to Bali is by flight. There is only one airport in Bali: Denpasar International Airport, which is also called Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Travelers from the USA are suggested to go Bangkok, Hong Kong, or Doha as stopover places before flying to Bali. It takes about 20–23 hours from NY or LA.

There are no direct flights operating between Bali and the main cities in Europe. Travelers from Europe are suggested to go to Singapore, Dubai, or Kuala Lumpur as stopover places before flying to Bali. For travelers from Australia, there are directs flights from Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney, which take about 3, 6, and 6 hours respectively.

Getting around Bali

Hiring a Private Car and Guide

There is not much public transport on Bali’s islands. Local people rely on their scooters to travel around the island. If you are looking to have a comfortable travel experience, you’d better hire a private car, driver, and guide, who can give you the best travel advice in Bali. Contact us to arrange a private car service in Bali.

By Taxi

Hiring a taxi is the most expensive way to get around Bali. Blue Birds Taxis is the main taxi company in Bali.

By Renting a Scooter

If you are good at scooter riding and don’t have too much luggage, then riding a scooter can be another option. It costs about 4–6 USD to rent a scooter per day. You can drive the scooter to the place you like in Bali.

Start to Create Memories Together in This Honeymoon Trip

Travel Costs for Bali

For most Western visitors, Bali is an affordable and reasonably-priced travel destination, typical of Southeast Asia. The travel costs in Bali greatly depend on personal preferences.

Bali offers everything from low priced homestays to luxury resorts, cheap street food to top-class restaurants. And many beaches and attractions are free to visit in Bali.

For tight budget or backpackers, 25–30 USD per day is a good amount to stay in a hostel, eat local street food, and travel by taxi or rent a scooter.

If you are planning to stay in an air-conditioned private room of a guesthouse, a cheap villa or hotel, and enjoy meals at sit-down Western restaurants, you need to spend 60–100 USD per day. On this budget, you can hire a private car or take a taxi to get around.

If you are going to spend over 100 USD per day, you can stay in hotels, nice resorts, and villas. Bali has some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. You can enjoy most of the top-class activities and services on the island with this budget.

Tour activity costs in Bali range from 10–20 USD. Entry tickets to temples or other historical sites range from 1–5 USD. A yoga class will cost you about 6–10 USD and cooking class will cost about 20 USD. Hiking on Mount Batur will cost about 20 USD.

Travel with Asia Highlights

As one of the leading tour companies in Asia, we have been providing travel services for more than 20 years to thousands of satisfied customers. Let us know your requirements and interests for a tailor-made a tour in Bali to fulfill your holiday dreams. Contact us now.

Why Travel with Asia Highlights During the Pandemic

  • Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
  • Worry-free planning: Your 1:1 travel consultant in Asia will take all the uncertainty out of your planning, helping you navigate any travel restrictions. 
  • No-risk booking: 100% refund policy! (up to 14 days before departure)
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