The Ultimate Bali Guide

  • Post by Apoorva Shetty
  • Jun 01, 2020
The Ultimate Bali Guide Header Image

The Ultimate Bali Guide

This Guide Contains

Top Places (Detailed)

Time Required

Ticket Links

Cost Breakdown

Interactive Map with Day Plans

Transport Options

What to Eat/Drink?

The Island of Bali is one of the most famous places in Indonesia known for its forests, volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, stunning temples, pristine beaches and beautiful coral reefs. Bali also has several amazing islands nearby (even though it is itself an island) of which one is famous for its party culture. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.

NOTE: This Guide is HUGE as I have included the complete list of all the famous places to visit and activities to do with added hidden gems. This is designed so that you can make informed decisions and to know what Bali has in store for you by keeping your options open.

If you are still confused, and looking for predefined places to visit within a timeline, I would suggest a flexible itinerary to help you decide on that.

I recommend you read through the entire article after which you can inter-relate the places mentioned to plan your itinerary better. I have also included the costs of entrance tickets and timings as well as key information as a highlight section.
Use the Table of Contents to skip to certain sections.

  Table of Contents


General Information

Visa Guidelines

The best thing in Bali is that it doesn’t require a visa if you are planning to travel for less than 30 days. Visitors must show valid return tickets, passport and sufficient funds for expenses during their stay in Indonesia. A visa exemption stamp will be issued on your passport and it is free of charge.

If you are planning to stay for more than 30 days but less than 60 days, you need to get a Visa on Arrival stamped.


Best time to visit

β˜€οΈ Bali has a tropical, warm and humid climate all year through. There are 2 seasons though Rainy and Dry. July-August (summer) & December-January (holidays) are the peak seasons. The best time is around April, May, June and September-November. The cost of activities, food and stay is pretty much consistent all through the year though.


πŸ₯˜ What should I eat?

πŸ› Sate Ayam - Seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce
πŸ› Pepes Ikan - Grilled spicy fish cooked inside a banana leaf

πŸ› Nasi Goreng - Indonesian fried rice with meat and vegetables

πŸ₯ƒ What should I drink?

🍷Arak Bali - Local spirit of Bali

β˜• Kopi Luwak - Civet coffee ( if you haven’t heard of it before - Google it now! You are in for a shock)

🍹Es Doger - Coconut milk-based Indonesian fruit beverage


What to do in Bali?

 Daily Costs: 500,000 IDR   

πŸ“Œ Visit the sexiest sandy shorelines - Surfing and Snorkeling
πŸ“Œ Visit the wild side of Bali - Jungles and Waterfalls
πŸ“Œ Visit the spiritual side - Temples and Culture
πŸ“Œ Have the bomb of a Party - Drinks and Nightlife
πŸ“Œ Visit the mountains and rice terraces - Trekking and Camping
πŸ“Œ Relax at the restaurants with the best food and views - Food and Dining


How much to spend in Bali?

The official currency of Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah. It is recommended to carry cash as cards might not be accepted in most places. The conversion rate is really amusing and you will be blown off at the exchange rate. Here is a quick static currency converter to help you understand.

Note: This is an approximate amount- to be used for quick calculations!

US Dollars ($1 = 14.09K IDR)

Indian Rupees (β‚Ή1 = 186 IDR)


Bali Culture and Language

The people of Bali are called Balinese which is also the name of their language. Balinese people are mostly Hindus and are highly spiritual. Hence you would find a lot of temples when in Bali.

Note that when in Bali, you might sometimes be asked for a really high price. If you like what you are buying, then by all means- haggle. It’s not considered offensive and it is actually part of their daily lives. Keep a smiling face and say the minimum rate you wish and see it probably turn into reality.

Some Helpful Balinese Lingo:

warung/warong - a small restaurant or cafΓ© (small family-owned business)
pura - a Balinese Hindu temple, a place of worship
pantai - beach
air terjun - waterfall
matur suksema - Thank you
inggih / patut - Yes
ten / nenten - No


Famous Cities and Places You Should Know

Knowing these places will help you locate around Bali and would come up in most conversations. So read ‘em, remember ‘em and proceed to understand the article better. Note that I have kept the most famous places in this list and almost all of them are on the southern side of Bali.

  • Denpasar
    The capital city and the main hub of Bali province. Located in South Bali, this is where the Bali Airport is!
  • Ubud
    Located centrally in Bali, the most common destination. Offers temples, forests, rice terraces and lush greenery along with the city feel. Gets crowded and streets might see too much traffic, but a trip to Bali is incomplete without visiting Ubud. No beaches here.
  • Kuta
    On the southern side of Bali, lies Kuta. Famous for its beaches, Kuta is a very popular tourist destination and is divided into:
    • North Kuta: It lies on the western coast and to the northwest of Denpasar.
    • Kuta: Kuta starts from the southern tip of North Kuta and extends down the west coast till Jimbaran Beach. (beaches include Kuta Beach, Seminyak & Legian)
    • South Kuta: While the north is smaller, South Kuta is the entire chunk of the southern coast of Bali. (beaches include Jimbaran, Balangan, Padang Padang, Nyang Nyang, Green Bowl, Pandawa & Nusa Dua)
  • Seminyak
    Located on the west coast of Bali, adjacent to Denpasar, lies Seminyak. This is a resort town and is most frequented by travellers. It falls under Kuta.
  • Jimbaran
    On the southern side of Bali, lies Jimbaran with its famous as well as secluded beaches. It falls under South Kuta.
  • Canggu
    Above North Kuta, on the western coast lies Canggu which is also a famous place. The Tanah Lot temple is nearby to Canggu.
  • Sanur
    On the southern side of Denpasar and eastern coast of Bali, lies Sanur. It is famous for its port, from which the ferries to Nusa Penida depart.
  • Nusa Penida
    45 minutes from Bali, on the southeastern side, lies the island of Nusa Penida. It is a trio of Islands: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan.
  • Gili Islands
    The Gili Trawangan Island (out of the 3 famous Gili Islands) is the party hub a bit far from Bali (they don’t belong to Bali, though). It takes anywhere between 2-5 hrs to reach form the Bali mainland depending on the boat type and speed.

Best Shorelines in Bali

Bali offers some of the most pristine beaches for travellers to enjoy while also indulging in water sports. The best and lesser known but absolutely mind blowing beaches in Bali are:

Before that, let me tell you about the most famous beaches in Bali i.e the crowded ones. These would be the go-to destination if you are coming via a package tour.
πŸ„ Seminyak Beach
πŸ„ Kuta Beach
πŸ„ Jimbaran Beach
πŸ„ Pandawa Beach
πŸ„ Padang Padang Beach

Amed Beach

 πŸ“Œ East Bali | 🚩 Swim, Snorkel, Scuba-dive

This is a little off the touristy places in Bali and is located in the easternmost shoreline. Amed Beach is famous for crystal clear waters and is mostly frequented for snorkeling and scuba diving. This beach is an excellent choice for those who are new to snorkeling due to its calmer nature. There is also a Japanese ship wreck in the nearby waters along with Jemeluk Bay underwater gallery. Ohh and did you know that you can post an underwater postcard here in Amed?

Bingin Beach

 πŸ“Œ South Bali | 🚩 Relax, Swim, Surf  

Nestled between the famous beaches Padang Padang and Dreamland, Bingin beach is a beautiful hidden paradise in Bali. It is quiet as it is away from the Kuta and Seminyak hustle. It is less frequented by tourists and provides a stunning atmosphere with white sand. Close to the famous Jimbaran beach, it lies on the southern side of Bali. Also, hidden from view, over to the left, behind the rocks there are a couple of small caves.

Balangan Beach

 πŸ“Œ South Bali | 🚩 Relax, Watch Sunset

Beautiful low key beach with an iconic cliff in South Bali. The beach is wonderful and remains pristine with some cool shops. However there are plenty of rocks underwater near the shore which can hurt unwary tourists. Pretty good for watching sunsets and relaxing on the beach. This beach can be enjoyed both up from the cliff or down at the beach.

Jimbaran Beach

 πŸ“Œ South Bali | 🚩 Swim, Snorkel, Surf

Long, narrow white-sand swimming & surfing beach with numerous oceanside seafood restaurants. The northern part of the beach hosts a good seafood market. Being pretty close to the airport, you would be able to spot aeroplanes zooming in at low heights over the beach. This is more of a famous beach and you might find the occasional touristy crowd here.

Pantai Tanjung Benoa

 πŸ“Œ South Bali | 🚩 Watersports

If you are looking for a fun and adventurous time, look no further. The Tj Benoa beach is the perfect spot for all adventure activities like parasailing, jet-skiing, scuba-diving, sea-walking, wakeboarding, water-skiing, banana boat, fly fish, sub-wing, and even fly boarding! The calm waves provide the perfect situation for all the activities.
Note: Try to do some prior research about the costs of the watersport activities, otherwise you might end up paying a lot which can be done for far less.

Crystal Bay Nusa Penida

 πŸ“Œ Nusa Penida Island | 🚩 Snorkel, Scuba-dive

Beautiful beach with white sand and amazingly clear and blue water preferred for snorkeling. You can see many fishes and very nice corals and sea snakes. This beach is very busy with a parking lot directly at the beach, along with many shops and cafes. It is recommended to watch the sunset here after a refreshing snorkel or dive.

Gamat Bay

 πŸ“Œ Nusa Penida Island | 🚩 Snorkel, Scuba-dive

Peaceful beach and mildly crowded, specially for snorkeling. The waves are really calm here providing for a good snorkeling experience. The approach to the beach is a little tricky, but experiencing the beauty of this place is worth it!

Pasih Andus (Smoky Beach)

 πŸ“Œ Nusa Penida Island | 🚩 Rocky Cliff

This is not a sandy beach, but a rocky cliff hugging the shoreline. When the water rushes in and hits the rocky outline, it creates a huge block of mist and water. It is a perfect quiet place with generally no visitors and you can stay here for a long time, watching the wave hit the rocky cliff. Get all you ‘gram worthy photos here!

Alternate to the Smoky Beach is the Devil’s Tears. Located in the nearby Nusa Lembongan, Devil’s Tears are more popular and have the same misty effect but attract a lot of crowd too.

Broken Beach (Pasih Uug)

 πŸ“Œ Nusa Penida Island | 🚩 Rocky Cliff

Like the Smoky Beach, this is not a sandy beach to walk on, but it is a perfect place to relax without hitting the water. It is a natural arched tunnel in the cliffs, which allows the ocean to flow into a pool and provides great views of the rugged coastline. This place is breathtaking and there is a lagoon which is really beautiful. Try to go here early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowd.

Angel’s Billabong

 πŸ“Œ Nusa Penida Island | 🚩 Swim, Rocky Cliff

Have you ever been to a natural infinity pool? Well, you get to witness that as well in your Bali trip. With the ocean meeting the lagoon, the water inside is still and calm while the ocean waters make waves outside. The pool may be closed sometimes due to high tide, but you can still enjoy the views from the rocky cliffs.

Kelingking Beach

 πŸ“Œ Nusa Penida Island | 🚩 Rocky Cliff, Trek, Beach

Ever wondered where the most common photo of Bali comes from? This is the place. This little beach sits below a huge rocky cliff from where the views are simply phenomenal. From the top, the view looks like you are staring at the mouth of a Dinosaur and hence it is also called the T-Rex beach. The hike to the beach up and down takes a while and there are not many shops on the beach. Also, the waves are high and not really recommended for swimming. But this wouldn’t be the place where you came for a swim. You came for the view!

Diamond Beach / Atuh Beach

 πŸ“Œ Nusa Penida Island | 🚩 Rocky Cliff and Beach

Diamond beach lies on the eastern side of Nusa Penida and is a well-known tourist destination in Nusa Penida island. The entire view from the top is mesmerizing. The cliff face is white, the sand is white. The water is crystal clear blue. The sight is jaw-dropping and the photographer in you will go click crazy. To get to the beach, you will have to climb down a very steep set of stairs (around 700 steps) which also provide for an amazing photo op.


Best Temples in Bali

Bali is a highly religious island and hence you will find tons of Hindu temples around. Some of them are very popular and huge crowds flock to get a glimpse.

⚠️ As with all temples and religious places in Bali, showing skin is a matter of bad faith and it is considered offensive. It helps to respect their culture and hence it is mandatory to cover up irrespective of gender. Balinese are particular about covering the legs.
Note that Sarongs are wrap-around clothing that are available for free just before you enter the temple. Outside the temple there are shops which sell/rent sarongs as well.

⚠️ Even though these temples are a medium of spiritual devotion, there have been news where the locals try to extort money in various ways from unwary tourists. By seeking donation, by hiking up the guide fees. There are a lot of stories which makes it feel untrustworthy, but this shouldn’t make you change your mind. Just approach with caution and remember nothing comes for free.

Uluwatu Temple

 πŸ’³ 30,000 IDR  | ⌚ 2 hrs  |  πŸ“Œ South Bali |  πŸ•‘ 7am - 7pm

What is it?

It is one of the most famous temples in Bali. Situated on a cliffside, this ancient Hindu Temple features panoramic views of the ocean.

What to expect?

Uluwatu Temple is everything. Beautiful scenery of the ocean. Harmless monkeys everywhere who would walk along with you (just be careful of anything that they can grab from you like glasses, phones or caps/hats). Serene and peaceful temple. And if you stay for the sunset, you will know how beautiful Bali really is.

⚠️ This being one of the most famous temples, gets really crowded and also beware of the monkeys who would lift things off you like sunglasses, wallets etc.

Uluwatu Kecak & Fire Dance: One of the spectacular things you should not miss is the local Kecak dance performed daily with the dramatic sunset as background.

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

 πŸ’³ 50,000 IDR  | ⌚ 1 hr |  πŸ“Œ North Bali |  πŸ•‘ 7am - 7pm  

What is it?

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, or Pura Bratan is a major Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. It is located on Lake Beratan (1200 m above sea level) and is believed to be built in the 17th century. Due to the water surrounding it, it is often called the floating temple. Ulun Danu Bratan Temple consists of 3 shrines. The 11-storey thatched roof shrine is dedicated to God Vishnu while the 7-tiered thatched roof shrine is for God Brahma & the 3-tiered thatched roof shrine is for God Shiva & his consort, Parvathi. There is also a Buddha statue on the temple’s ground.

What to expect?

The temple grounds are spread out with lust green vegetation. There are well laid out pathways leading to the edge areas of the Beratan Lake. The location is scenic and a very good photo spot in Bali. The place has many public facilities like toilets, restrooms, food, shopping and of course parking.

Car Parking: 5,000 IDR

Motorbike Parking: 2,000 IDR

Penataran Lempuyang

 πŸ’³ Free (Donation)  | ⌚ 1 hr |  πŸ“Œ East Bali |  πŸ•” 7am – 5pm

What is it?

It is one of the highly regarded temples in Bali. Located on the slope of Mount Lempuyang, the whole complex is made up of seven different sections, with Pura Lempuyang Temple being the most popular. Sculptures inspired by the epic mythological Hindu stories dot the landscape. On the uppermost level of these is the statue of Krishna, the worldly form of Vishnu, and is considered to be the holiest and most sacred.

What to expect?

There are two sections to the temple, a lower level and an upper level. The latter is worth the climb up the seemingly infinite staircase.

Gateway of Heaven: The most commonly photographed place in all of Bali, the gateway stands tall and opens towards the Agung mountain.
PS: Most photos depict a pool of water near the base of the gate. This is a complete photography trick. So don’t be surprised when you arrive to see no water here!

Parking Fee – 5,000 – 10,000 IDR.

Besakih Temple

 πŸ’³ 60,000 IDR  | ⌚ 2 hrs |  πŸ“Œ East Bali | πŸ•” 8am - 6pm

What is it?

It is the most important, the largest and considered the holiest temple in Bali. It was first used as a place of worship in the 13th century when the first Javanese conquerors settled in Bali. It is made up of 23 temples. The temple withstood the nearby Mount Agung volcanic eruption in 1963 while areas near it perished. This caused a significant stir among locals to declare it a signal from the Gods.

What to expect?

Each year there are at least seventy festivals held at the complex, since almost every shrine celebrates a yearly anniversary. The temple is built on six levels, terraced up the slope.

Tanah Lot

 πŸ’³ 60,000 IDR | ⌚ 1.5 hrs |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali | πŸ•” 7am – 7pm

What is it?

An island temple! Tanah Lot is a temple located on its own island off the western coast of Bali. It is relatively nearer from Denpasar and North Kuta than from Ubud and is a sight to behold.

What to expect?

It is one of the most busiest of temples in Bali. Being located in its own island fascinates many tourists to visit this place. Combined with locals and tourists, it gets pretty crowded if visited during the peak time of the day. The general public do not have permission to enter the main temple, but the temple grounds is worth visiting. Also, there are a lot of shops on the way to reach the temple.

Taman Ayun

 πŸ’³ 20,000 IDR | ⌚ 1.5 hr |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali | πŸ•” 8am – 6pm

What is it?

Taman Ayun Temple is one of six royal temples in Bali making it very important both spiritually and historically. The temple’s name Taman Ayun translates to the β€˜Garden Temple in the Water’. The temple is situated by a big fish pond and admirable gardens. Around the temple is a moat of water, covering 3 sides of it.

What to expect?

This is a lesser touristy and beautiful temple and is known for its calm and quiet setting. The entire temple is surrounded by beautiful gardens, landscapes and water bodies. At the back of the temple, there is an elevated section set up as a viewing gallery that provides a good view of the entire inner temple complex. Walk around the temple and enjoy the peaceful ambiance, although you are not allowed to enter the central part.

Goa Gajah

 πŸ’³ 50,000 IDR | ⌚ 1.5 hrs |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali | πŸ•” 8am – 5pm

What is it?

It is a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Also known as the Elephant Cave, it is very close Ubud and attracts a lot of visitors.

What to expect?

This place is very beautiful and is surrounded by several different types of natural and man-made creations. It has a cave, rocks carved into steps, a man-made temple, pond, century old trees, and a small waterfall.

Saraswati Temple

 πŸ’³ Free  | ⌚ 0.5 hrs |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali

What is it?

It is a centrally located Saraswati temple. Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess of knowledge.

What to expect?

Located in Ubud, in one of the busiest streets, this is a less touristy temple and hence would mostly be free of people trying to sell you things. There are Lotus Ponds on either side of the entrance which makes it really calm and serene.

At night you can get to witness the Balinese dance in the temple with an entry fee of 80,000 IDR.

There is speculation of an underwater temple being found in Bali. Known as Devata Vishnu, it caused quite a stir and is also debated to be a recent man-made structure to lure visitors. It is located in the extreme northwestern side near Pemuteran and is only available via snorkeling or diving.


Best Islands near Bali

Bali is in itself an island. However, there are a number of smaller islands dotting the waters near the mainland. Here is a list of the nearby islands.

Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is the most common island destination, situated near the south-eastern tip of Bali. It is the largest of the nearby islands and makes for a good day trip from the mainland.

🚩 Places to see: Kelingking Beach (Dinosaur/T-rex Beach), Diamond/Atuh Beach, Angel’s Billabong, Pasih Andus (Smoky Beach), Crystal Bay, Gamat Bay, Teletubbies Hill and many many waterfalls. Don’t forget the Manta Point for spotting and snorkeling with Manta Rays.

How to get there?
🚀 45 mins boat ride from Sanur.

πŸ’³ 150k-250k IDR/head/way

How to get around?
Hire a scooter for 50k IDR or have a car pick you up and drive you around. Most of the sites are located on the west coast except a few (like Diamond Beach, Teletubbies hill, and waterfalls)

Nusa Lembongan

Just beside Nusa Penida lies Nusa Lembongan. It is smaller in size than Nusa Penida however it is growing in tourist popularity.

🚩 Places to see: Mushroom Bay Beach, Devil’s Tear, Mangrove Forest on the north end of the island, Dream Beach.

Nusa Ceningan

Attached to Nusa Lembongan via the Yellow Bridge is Nusa Ceningan. It is even smaller than the Lembongan island and lies nestled between Lembongan and Penida. It is calmer, more beautiful, and has less traffic.

🚩 Places to see: Secret Point Beach, Cliff Jumping

How to get there?
🚀 Take the boat to Nusa Lembongan. Then cross over the Yellow Bridge or use the ferries connecting Lembongan and Ceningan

How to get around?
Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are connected via the Yellow Bridge and you should be able to ride a scooter over the bridge.

Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan or simply Gili-T is a part of the 3 most famous Gili Islands (there are other, not so famous Gili islands, but far away). This is the place if you are looking to party. Known as the party hub, you will find a lot of Australian expats here parting from dusk till dawn.

Gili Meno

Gili Meno is a little smaller than Gili Trawangan and lies on the eastern side, very close by. The diving and snorkeling spots are out of the world and this place has clear blue water with amazing underwater statues. Worth a visit!

Gili Air

Gili Air lies towards the eastern side off the coast of Gili Meno. It is very small and the entire island can be done on a bicycle. Actually, there are no motor vehicles allowed on this island. It is a little more laid back than Meno and a lot more laid back than Gili-T. If you want to avoid the party culture without losing the breathtaking views that the Gili Islands have to offer, head over to Gili Air (or Gili Meno)!

⚠️ These islands are actually not part of Bali but part of Lombok which is another Bali sized island east of Bali. But since the Gili Islands are pretty famous, tourists staying in Bali head over to mostly Gili-T to party, and hence it has become synonymous with Bali!

Menjangan Island

Menjangan Island is located in the extreme northwestern side of Bali. This place is a tiny island offering snorkeling and diving spots that have beautiful views. Clear seawater, clean white sand, and underwater scenery filled with beautiful coral reefs. Definitely worth a visit as it is secluded and not many tourists explore the western side of Bali.

Lombok

This is a Bali sized (actually-a-little-lesser-than-Bali-sized) island towards the eastern side. This place deserves its own separate article, but I have included it nonetheless in the below section describing the best it has to offer since most people arrive in Bali and travel to Lombok than the other way round.


Best Rice Terraces in Bali

Bali is home to lush green vegetation and expresses it in the form of Rice Terraces. These are home to farmers who farm on these lands. Some rice terraces have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Jatiluwih Rice Terrace

 πŸ’³ 40,000 IDR  | ⌚ 4 hrs |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali

This is one of the most famous rice terraces in Bali. Being a UNESCO world heritage site, it sure offers some splendid views that will forever be etched in your memories. There are five self-guided walking tracks you can take through the terraces. They range from around 1.5 to 5km. It is a bit off and takes around 1.5 hrs to reach from Ubud. It is huge, so it can easily take some time to wander around. Best time to visit is during the early morning or late afternoon.

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

 πŸ’³ 15,000 IDR  | ⌚ 2 hrs |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali

A more closely located UNESCO World Heritage Site to Ubud, the Tegallalang Rice Terrace offers some stunning views as well. Hiking around is also an option through the open rice fields and provides for a great ‘gram worthy photo op. Don’t miss out on this one. The fields are more compact than its bigger cousin the ‘Jatiluwih Rice Terrace’, but the views are equally impressive.

Campuhan Ridge Walk

 πŸ’³ Free  | ⌚ 2 hrs |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali

Though technically not a rice terrace, it is rather an easy walk (no hiking skills required) on a hill track through lush greenery on both sides. The walk is 2 km long and takes around 30mins-1hr depending on the pace.


Best Waterfalls in Bali

Bali along with its beaches and temples has lush green forests and within them host amazing waterfalls. There are a lot of waterfalls in Bali and here are some of the best.

⚠️ To extract money from unwary tourists, several local guides sometimes set up registration desks and/or inform tourists that they need to hire a guide to head to the waterfalls. Saying that it is mandatory to take a guide, they would charge somewhere between 300k-400k. They would then try to get away with it by saying that it is a recent order by the government. If you really think you need a guide- you can hire one. Else, you could simply ignore them and keep going. You would reach your destination anyways.

Gitgit Waterfall

 πŸ’³ 20,000 IDR | πŸ” 35 mtr |  πŸ“Œ North Bali | πŸ‘™ Pool  

A beautiful waterfall offering amazing views of nature. It is one of the most visited waterfalls in Bali. The falls are not immensely huge in width, although they are fairly tall. Refreshing cold and fresh water, along with picturesque surroundings full of greenery makes it a paradise for photographers. The waterfall is connected with a good road and is easily accessible. Parking for motorbike is available and there are small outlets to buy some snacks and drinks.

Sekumpul Waterfall

 πŸ’³ 20,000 IDR | πŸ” 80 mtr |  πŸ“Œ North Bali | πŸ‘™ Pool  

Referred to as the most beautiful waterfall in Bali, it is a group of seven adjacent waterfalls tucked deep inside the rainforests. The Sekumpul waterfall cascades from a towering height and is one of the most visually mesmerising waterfalls in Bali . To reach it you need to trek a bit (no guide needed).

Tegenungan Waterfall

 πŸ’³ 20,000 IDR | πŸ” 25 mtr |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali | πŸ‘™ Pool  

This is probably the most well-known waterfall in Bali as is the easiest to access. It is not the highest or the most gigantic, but it does offer some good views and combined with the restaurants and stalls offering food.

NungNung Waterfall

 πŸ’³ 20,000 IDR | πŸ” 50 mtr |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali | πŸ‘™ Pool  

It is a bit far from Ubud but still in the central region of Bali. Touted as the highest waterfall in Bali, it is definitely a sight to behold with powerful waters cascading down. The approach to the waterfall is a series of steps which are not hard, but not easy either. But once you come down, the views are absolutely stunning and it will be worth your time. Guaranteed!

Tibumana Waterfall

 πŸ’³ 10,000 IDR | πŸ” 30 mtr |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali | πŸ‘™ Pool  

It is one of the best waterfalls in Bali. it is relatively lesser-known and mostly secluded. It is one of the best waterfalls to swim as well due to its natural pool of water. The cave section of it makes it very photogenic and it is one of the hidden gems of Bali.


Best Zoological Places in Bali

Bali, with its amazing biodiversity, offers shelter to a plethora of creatures, both on the sea and land. On land, however, below are the best places to see what Bali has to offer.

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

 πŸ’³ 40,000 IDR | ⌚ 2 hrs |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali

The Monkey Forest was built to provide a safe sanctuary to the monkeys in Bali. The monkeys are tamed and are well fed to prevent them from exploring other parts of the city. You can hire a guide most of whom know the monkeys well and will make you interact with them by having them sit on you which is fun and provides for a great photo op. The walk through the forest is enchanting with the echo of monkeys all around you.

The Pura Prajapati Temple is located at one end of the forest and is a nice place to visit.

Sangeh Monkey Forest

 πŸ’³ 30,000 IDR | ⌚ 2 hrs |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali

Really nice place to have a walk in the calm park and observe or feed the monkeys. This place is filled with art, even the trash boxes are designed in the form of animals. At the entrance, the local guides would want you to buy some food to feed monkeys. The monkeys are not aggressive at all, the guides are also attentive to that. Visit this place to admire the nice combination of art and nature. The trees are taller and there are less people here which makes it an ideal visit.

Bali Bird Park

 πŸ’³ 385,000 IDR | ⌚ 3-4 hrs |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali |  

The Bird Park houses more than 1.000 birds representing more than 250 species in an enclosed aviary and claims to have the largest and finest collection of Indonesian birds. Most of the birds are able to roam around freely, they are friendly and you could easily pet them, feed them from your hand or let them sit on your arm. The comparatively higher price goes directly into the care of the birds and the park is well maintained with the friendly employees.

Opposite the Bali bird park is the Bali Reptile Park - which is a must-visit place. The reptile park has the Komodo dragon, snakes, crocs, lizards, iguanas, turtles, salamanders and most of which you can touch and feel and interact with. (πŸ’³ 100,000 IDR)


Best Palaces and Monuments in Bali

Bali, with its temples and architectural wonders, also has a lot of monuments and important sites dedicated to its people.

Ubud Palace

 πŸ’³ Free  | ⌚ 1 hr |  πŸ“Œ Central Bali

What is it?

The Ubud Palace, officially Puri Saren Agung, is a historical building complex situated in Ubud, Gianyar Regency of Bali, Indonesia. The palace was the official residence of the royal family of Ubud.

What to expect?

While the palace is a good place to visit and see the royal side of Bali, the most alluring is the dance performance that happens during the evening starting at 7 pm (πŸ’³ Ticket price: 100,000 IDR).

Taman Tirtagangga

 πŸ’³ 40,000 IDR  | ⌚ 1 hr |  πŸ“Œ East Bali | πŸ•” 7am - 6pm

What is it?

Tirta Gangga translating to β€˜water from the Ganges’, is a Water Palace and a maze of pools and fountains and intricate sculptures. The water palace shows a unique mix of Chinese and Balinese cultures. It was a residence of the royal family of Bali and has an inhouse temple as well.

What to expect?

The entire place is surrounded by gardens and statues. There are tons of fish in the pool and is a favourite among kids and adults alike. Fish food is available for sale in the nearby stalls so you can have a good time feeding the fish while clicking some great pictures.

Handara Gate

 πŸ’³ 30,000 IDR | ⌚ 1 hr |  πŸ“Œ North Bali | πŸ•” -

What is it?

The Handara Gate in Bali is a unique attraction in itself. There is nothing much to visit around and is pretty far from the central Ubud. The only attraction seems to be the gate and the backdrop. It is actually an entrance to a golf course.

What to expect?

The Handara Gate in Bali is pretty famous among Instagrammers and photo enthusiasts. The sunrise at the gate provides a unique combination of light and architecture. Combined with the background, you can have a ton of pictures clicked here and yet want more. There is not much to do here and tourists come only to catch the sunrise or the sunset. So make sure you head there at dawn or dusk. Sometimes, the queue gets really long.

Bajra Sandhi Monument

 πŸ’³ 50,000 IDR  | ⌚ 1 hr |  πŸ“Œ South Bali

What is it?

A huge monument dedicated to the Balinese people right near the airport in Denpasar. The monument hosts a park around it where locals go for a relaxing time as well as jogging and running. It is located next to the Governor’s office and is usually used for flag ceremonies.

What to expect?

Good for some spending some time out of crowded beaches and temples. There is a miniature museum in the vicinity.


Fun Activities in Bali

Between serious temples and challenging treks up waterfalls to experiencing the beaches of Bali, there are a lot of activities that one can do to enjoy a fun time. Here is a list of those place where both kids and adults will have an amazing time.

Waterbom Water Park

It is marketed as Asia’s best water park. There are tons of water rides and it is a local favourite. Suitable for all ages, with trees everywhere and clean changing rooms. Also hosts good restaurants in house with friendly staff all around. Is really a hit among people and is worth a visit if you are looking for some water activities that are not part of the ocean. This water park is an environmentally conscious water park.

Dream Museum Zone

If you ever wanted artistic photos with yourself in them, head over to this place. A worthwhile experience to do with family and friends. You will surely have a laugh along the way. Great funny photo opportunities with cool 3D effects make it fun for kids and adults.

Boeing 737-200 PK RII

Have you ever been in a Boeing 737? Do you wish to? Well, here is a quirky tourist attraction in Bali that presents an actual abandoned aeroplane parked in the middle of nowhere. The only gripe is that you cant reach the plane and neither can you get up onto it. You can only look at it from a distance. Odd, but you can skip it if you are not an aviation fan.


Where to stay in Bali?

Ubud is the costliest among stay options. Depending on your itinerary, plan your stays. Note that stays in popular areas are sometimes also cheap and if you are planning on visiting all that Bali has to offer, stay at a cheaper hostel and travel around the day.


How to get around Bali?

✈️ Airport: There is only one International Airport in Bali - Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport (a.k.a. Denpasar International Airport)

🚀 Boats: Use the boat to travel to nearby Islands. The boats depart from Sanur ferry.
Note: The boats come right to the shore, but to get to the boat, you’ll have to walk through knee-deep water. So try to wear shorts and flip-flops if possible.

πŸ›΅ Rent a Scooter!: This is by far the best choice to travel inland and helps you go according to your pace, stopping anywhere. Rent’s around 50,000 IDR /day.

πŸš• Use Public transport: GO-JEK and Grab are the most common app-based public transport systems that let you hire driver-based taxi’s and scooters.
Caution! Read about the policies. Some areas are restrictive to online apps.

🚍 Kura-Kura Buses are sparse and run mostly in-between well-known places and cities.

πŸš† There are no trains on this island.

⚠️ You need to have a valid International Drivers Permit (IDP) to drive a vehicle in Bali.


LOMBOK

Lombok is an island similar to the size of Bali, albeit a bit less, which lies towards the east. It is far less touristy than Bali but provides equally stunning beaches and waterfalls. Here is the list of the top places to visit in Lombok

The Gili Islands

 πŸ“Œ North West Lombok 🚩 Swim, Snorkel, Scuba-dive

Contrary to the popular misguided belief, The Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Meno and Air) are part of Lombok and not Bali. See the above section for more details.

Pandanan Beach

 πŸ“Œ West Lombok 🚩 Swim, Snorkel, Scuba-dive

Not too far from the Gili Islands, on the mainland of Lombok, The Pandanan beach is a treasure trove of white sand, pristine clear blue water, friendly locals with the absence of tourists. It is a highly recommended place for an amazing time.

Bukit Malimbu (Malimbu Hill)

 πŸ“Œ West Lombok 🚩 Viewpoint

Sitting above the Malimbu Beach, is the Malimbu Hill Viewpoint. Crazy good sunsets from here are the highlight of this place.

One cool thing you could do is take a scooter and drive on the roads hugging the shoreline (Sengiggi - Bangsal). It is an incredible drive with panoramic vistas and great roads.

Tiu Kelep Waterfall

 πŸ“Œ North Lombok 🚩 Waterfall

This is one of the best waterfalls around in Bali and Lombok. Not known to many tourists, this place is breathtakingly beautiful.
Note: To enter you might be told that “guides are required” - in reality, you don’t ‘need’ them. The path is visible and you can do it yourself.


Map

πŸ“Œ Use the below interactive map for directions:

βœ” Clicking the top right button opens the map in a new tab showing the different sections. Click on view map legend if browsing on phone
βœ” Save the map in your Google Maps for easy access later: Click the ⭐star button beside the name of the map. You can access the map later from Google Maps > Saved > Maps


Travel Essentials

Power Plugs & Converters: Bali runs on 220V power. Power sockets are round, usually like Europe. Be sure to get a Travel Adapter (you can buy one in Bali too)

Wifi: Wifi in Bali is better and faster in populated areas like Denpasar, Sanur, Kuta, etc and is generally available in all hotels and restaurants.

The ultimate packing list [ . . . ]


Travel Tips

βœ”οΈ Bulk booking for watersports in Bali results in cheaper cost/head.

βœ”οΈ Haggle everywhere. Most places in Bali will turn out cheaper.


Rahajeng memargi! :)
  • architecture and heritage
  • arts and culture
  • party and nightlife
  • romance and honeymoon
  • water and sand
  • south east asia

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