Bali is one of the most popular destinations in Indonesia, and there is a good reason why. Simply put, it’s amazing. If it had better internet, I would live there in a heartbeat! The countryside is beautiful, the beaches (outside of Kuta) are picture perfect, there is great hiking, friendly locals, world-class dining, and it’s inexpensive. Bali is the total package. There’s a reason why so many people go here and never leave. I spent a month exploring this island and would happily go back and explore it again. If you are considering going here, just pull the trigger and go — you won’t regret it. And once you leave the touristy southeast corner of the island, you won’t be bothered with crowds of tourist who never venture past their bars and spas in Ubud and Kuta! This guide will show you how to make the most of your visit.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Bali
1. Dip into some hot springs
2. Visit a Hindu temple
3. Take a trip to Nusa Lembongan
4. Learn about Balinese Culture in Ubud
5. Hike Mount Batur
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Try some adventure sports
There are tons of adventurous activities to do. You can go bungee jumping, paragliding, hiking, mountain cycling, horseback riding, jungle trekking, and even treetop zip-lining. Prices will vary, though they are all quite affordable. Bungee jumping, for example, is just under 1,000,000 IDR while a tandem paraglide is around 1,300,000 IDR.
2. Scuba diving and snorkeling
While snorkeling is always an option here, Bali is most popular for its phenomenal dive spots. The reefs here are beautiful and there is an amazing variety of fish to see. The wreck of a US cargo ship, Liberty, is a highly recommended spot. Prices will vary, but expect to pay at least 2,000,000 IDR for a two-tank dive.
3. Visit the spa
Bali is the perfect place to re-energize, by pampering yourself and releasing bottled up stress and tension. Balinese massage is one of the most relaxing in the world, and there are a number of Balinese spa treatments which involve the use of various herbs and spices. Prices vary depending on what you purchase but expect to pay at least 275,000 IDR for a treatment.
4. Party in Kuta
Kuta is kind of like the Tijuana of Bali. The streets are narrow here and there are hundreds of stalls selling faux-brand ripoffs and novelty souvenirs. There are plenty of hostels and lots of bars that cater to the younger, backpacker set. If you’re looking to party, this is the best spot on the island to do so. Personally, I hate Kuta and think there are a lot of better places on the island.
5. Go dolphin watching
There are various companies that offer sunrise boat trips — and you are likely to hear about them at every hotel you stay in. It’s about a two-hour excursion and it’s best to get a ticket the day before. Expect to pay around 800,000 IDR for adults and 560,000 IDR for kids.
6. Watch the monkeys
In Ubud, you can also visit the Ubud Monkey Forest, a nature reserve and sacred area with temples. It’s very touristy, and a lot of people break the rules and feed the monkeys, which teaches them bad habits so don’t do that! Still, it’s exciting to watch all of the long-tailed macaques running around and playing with each other. Admission is 40,000 IDR for adults.
7. Watch a Buffalo Race
Chances are, after a few days in Bali, you will have seen the water buffalo working in the various fields. In Negara, locals riding chariots race buffaloes every second Sunday from July to October. Negara is a bit out of the way and the races take place at 7am, so you probably should arrange accommodation for the night before.
8. Visit the Mother Temple
Pura Besakih is a temple located on the sacred Mount Agung, an active volcano. The climb will take several hours, and most people arrange this as a tour since you need a vehicle to reach the trailhead. Prices start around 400,000 IDR per person. Since it is a holy mountain, climbing can be off limits during certain times of the year.
9. Stretch it out
There are tons of world-class yoga retreat centers all around Bali, offering both single classes and multi-day retreats. If you need to relax, destress, and stay healthy this is a great place to do it!