Bali had been a popular holiday destination for a while now. It’s very affordable and nature is simply stunning if you know the best spots to check out. This is why I have gathered some of the top travel influences to tell you the top 10 best things to do in Bali right now.
1. Witnessing sunrise at Sanur Beach
Suggested by A World to Travel
Sanur is a seaside town in the southeast of the island. It offers shallow waters where jukung fishing boats rest, and a paved cycling path.
Whether you are a morning person or not (like me), it will be well worth it to suffer an early rise to admire sunrise at this spot, one of our favorites in Indonesia.
Usually quiet at this time, and definitely quieter than other beaches like Kuta or Padang Padang, if you head to Sanur at sunrise you’ll have all the beach to yourself plus a few other locals and sunrise fanatics. If you get lucky, you could spot something like the picture above.
2. Snorkeling in Pemuteran
Suggested by Survive Travel
Whenever people ask me for recommendations in Bali I always say to go snorkeling in Pemuteran. It is not overcrowded and there are two good snorkeling sites right off the beach. Both sites are free to use and there are lots of places to rent snorkeling gear. It is better to go off the main beach area to get a cheaper rental price.
Of the two beach snorkeling sites, one is a natural reef and the other is man-made. They both have colorful corals and a variety of fish.
There are more sites for snorkeling and diving which are accessible by boat.
If you are not into snorkeling or diving, there are other things to in Pemuteran. The beach is very clean and calm which makes it great for swimming. There are also some nice hiking areas and a “monkey temple” nearby.
3. Mount Batur Sunrise Hiking
Suggested by Love and Road
No doubt, climbing Mount Batur and watch the sunrise from the top of the volcano is one of the top things to do in Bali. The adventure starts around 3 am and depending on your fitness level you can hike to the summit in 2 to 3 hours. It’s pitch black and you can only see the line of torches going from the foot to the top of the mountain. It’s not an easy adventure and during high season you will find a lot of people there what makes the ascend a bit more difficult.
Before starting the hike don’t forget to check out the sunrise time, I’m sure you don’t want to be in the middle of the way when the sun starts shining. Even if you feel tired, don’t stop at the first viewpoint, catch your breath and keep going. The crater is 1,717m above sea level and the views from there are marvelous. Bring a jacket and a hat, the wind is freezing cold, grab a sit and order a Bali coffee and boiled eggs [yes, there are people at the top selling them] and wait for the stunning spectacle. The sky will turn light blue, orange and yellow, a magnificent ballet of colors and clouds.
4. Explore the Rice Fields
Suggested by Finding Beyond
When in Ubud, one of the best things to do to escape the crowded streets in this popular town is to take a walk among the area’s stunning green rice fields. There are two main rice field walks to take from Ubud town. You can either hire a local guide to show you the way or check out this Ubud rice fields walk guide and do it yourself. In just a few minutes walk from Ubud town centre, you can be walking past local farmers attending to their crops, admiring rice terraces graced with young green shoots of rice, find your own patch of rice field to watch the sunset and the best bit – find an awesome remote coffee shop with views to die for. If you want a walk further away from Ubud town then check out some of the nearby villages which are surrounded by rice fields and offer the chance to walk amongst them. Penestanan village is a great example of this.
5. Go on a Volkswagen Safari
Suggested by Lemonicks
When I was told, we were to go on a ‘VolksWagen Safari’ tour in Bali, it didn’t make any sense to me. Safari in a city overloaded with temples, dances and art & culture? How does that sound? To be honest, I was wondering what or how would be this experience.
Soon we were driving through the roads in Bali. Blue, green, red, yellow dominated over sober shades of browns and khakis. We drove past many big shops, boutique stores, massage parlors and some temples along the route.
We made a pit stop at one of the paddy fields where we also saw a man made waterfall. Another place that we stopped at before moving to the river rafting site was, the Bukit Sari Temple, located within the Monkey Forest. The forest is a quiet place to spend your time. Be careful of the monkeys though.
These vintage VW convertibles are definitely an exciting way to have a feel of Bali.
6. Ride a Motor Bike and Get Off the Beaten Path
Suggested by Fox in the Forest
A taste of local life can be hard to find in Bali. The tiny island off the coast of eastern Java is swarming with bussed tours, flashing cameras and obnoxious tourists. Get off the beaten path and rent a motorbike. Join the throngs of locals who use this adventurous mode of transport each and every day. You can plan an itinerary to go to a specific location or you can simply opt to drive down the road less travelled. My vote is for the second option. That’s how I found a gorgeous, deserted black sand beach and an endless sea of rice paddy fields without the crowds.
7. Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest
Suggested by Getting Stamped
We first visited Bali on our honeymoon and have since been back as we fell in love with the island. There are tons of things to do and great places to stay but one of the funniest & cutest memories we have is from the Ubud monkey forest. After hiking in the morning we planned an afternoon visiting the monkeys. We remember our driving telling us don’t buy the bananas…but what did we do? We bought bananas and before we knew we had monkeys literally crawling up our legs robbing us of our bananas. Thankfully we were able to snap a few pictures of the whole ordeal. Definitely, put visiting the monkey forest on your Bali trip itinerary but be careful the monkeys sometimes steal sunglasses & phones!
8. Head to Potato Head Beach Club
Suggested by Foodie Flashpacker
Spending a day at the Potato Head Beach Club should be at the top of your list when planning a visit to Bali. The beach club, located in Seminyak, is home to two restaurants, three bars and an infinity pool that all overlook the Indian Ocean. Potato Head also hosts some of the best parties in Bali, frequently having world renowned DJ’s playing onsite. Spend the day relaxing by the pool, sipping cocktails and sampling the menu before taking in some of the best sunsets on the island. Potato Head was my favorite experience in Bali and the first thing I hope to do when I return.
9. Visit Gigit Waterfall
Suggested by Singapore n Beyond
If you want to explore the best nature that the Island of the Gods has to offer, you must visit the North. By far my most spiritual experience in an island surrounded by all things spiritual was at Gitgit waterfall. Your driver will stop at the small cafe opposite the entrance where you can take in the view of North Bali and get a snack. Then cross the road and start descending. Note that there are a lot of vendors all selling basically the same trinkets like Bintan t-shirts. Take some cash if you’d like to support them. After about 20 minutes of steep stair climbing you’ll arrive at the most beautiful site. A singular stream, about 35m high, rushing down among lush nature, with a small shrine, burning incense and locals just taking in the beauty. Jump in for a refreshing dip. I would recommend not taking the “guides” that offer their services, the walk is pretty sstraightforward so you will not need to be guided. There is a small fee of about $1 at the bottom, don’t be scammed into paying more up top. Note: the roads, like the rest of Bali, are windy and small, so if you easily get car sick, you should stock up on some nausea tablets.
10. Visit Penglipuran Village
Suggested by The Crowded Planet
Penglipuran village is one of my favourite places to visit in Bali from Seminyak. It’s a traditional Balinese village, full of really cool architecture, with traditional buildings and carved archways. There’s also a little bamboo forest, like a small version of the famous one in Japan!
If you don’t have time to head to Ubud and the interiors of Bali, Penglipuran village is a great alternative to explore the island’s traditional culture and escape the commercial, touristy atmosphere of the coast. The village is just super photogenic and immaculately clean, and if you happen to be visiting at the time of village festivities like Galungan (between May and June) don’t miss visiting Penglipuran to see the village all decorated and locals in traditional costume taking offerings to temples.
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