There’s no such thing as a bad time to visit Bali. Every year millions of visitors from all over the world choose Bali for the beaches, wave surfing, yoga retreats, and the mesmerizing eye-opening culture.
Whether its raining season (late December to April) or dry season (May to early December), if Bali is in your list of places to visit, then you should try to make it there. There are always ways to enjoy Bali regardless of the weather.
Trippy user Nick from Cleveland had never been to Bali when he asked:
Going to Bali for the first time tomorrow! What should an able-bodied guy do and see here besides surf? I hear good things about Gili Islands. Looking for specific recommendations as possible.
First-time visitors to Bali have a lot of expectations and probably feeling nervous as well. So, here’s our Bali travel guide with recommendations given by Trippy users.
Things to do
1. Scuba diving
Alvian from Jakarta, Indonesia wrote:
For me, I come to Bali mainly for scuba diving. You can go to Tulamben to have a wreck dive and some spots around there, for more adventurous dives you can head to Nusa Penida.
Here’s a list of clubs to visit:
- Eden Club
- LXXY Bali
- Boshe VVIP Club
- Sky Garden
- La Favela
3. Yoga retreat
Known as “The Islands of Gods,” Bali is the island tourists go for rejuvenation, spiritual awakenings and to learn yoga with the masters. Go to BookRetreats.com for 11 Top Yoga Retreats in Bali recommendations.
Here’s another remark by Alvian:
If you are looking for an escape from those noisy holidays, you can go to Ubud and enjoy the atmosphere (and maybe try yoga or rice paddy tracking).
Trippy user Vivian from Los Angeles suggested these places for yoga:
1. Ubud may seem touristy on the outside but look deeper and stay just a little out of the main roads, and it’s an entirely different world. I love The Yoga Barn and have stayed at their guest house, which is simple but comfortable and quiet.
2. Canggu is up and coming but still pretty quiet. There are yoga classes at Desa Seni Canggu.
4. Visit the temples
Temples (pura) are everywhere in Bali. You can find temples in all shapes and designs in rice fields, neighborhoods, and among a cluster of homes too. Some of the most interesting and that are worth visiting are:
Located on top of a rock on the southwest coast with magnificent views of the Indian Ocean, Tanah Lot can be crowded but the romantic sunset and views but worth a visit. You can walk to the temple during low-tide.
Tirta Empul or Holy Water Temple is where devout Hindus and tourists go for purification. Bring your sarong or rent one at the entrance of the temple before entering this holy place.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
The temple complex of Ulundanu Beratan Temple is peaceful and has cooler temperatures as it’s located in the mountains of central Bali by Lake Beratan.
Perched on a cliff, Uluwatu Temple is another ancient temple where you can catch the sunset and enjoy the ocean view. It’s here that you’ll find the evening traditional Kecak fire dance.
5. Hit the beaches
No matter your preference Bali has ample beaches for you. Trippy user Joseph from Bali recommended Candi Dasa, situated in eastern Bali, a perfect getaway for those who like a quiet place:
There is this place called Candi Dasa, its a relatively quiet seaside town, with few motels that are not very expensive, and beautiful beaches also.
This is a place to go if you want to avoid tourist destination. This place is a destination for snorkeling and diving; it is not a crowded place.
Food is not expensive. But I must warn you this place is laid back, if you are looking for a night scene there might be none. Candidasa is about 90 minutes from Kuta area.
Sabrina from Geneva said:
Jimbaran is a must see because there are the most beautiful beaches. The crowd and places are a little bit more expensive, but it is worth it.
However, Lin from Bali recommended:
Canggu will be a great place to stay at, if you love the beach, and are keen on trying out water sports (surfing, etc.).
If you still have concerns about these places being too “touristy,” you may want to consider heading up towards the North (to places like Lovina or Amed Beach, Bali).
Another Trippy user Robert recommended Nusa Dua:
I recommend the Benoa / Nusa Dua area. Very quiet, a bit resort-y, but that’s the charm of it! The resorts are super expensive, but you don’t need to stay at a resort to enjoy the amenities/pool/beach front..no one checks if you’re staying there or not. A Nusa Dua resort is the ideal place to find a shady tree canopy on the beach, access resort wifi, and write.
6. Surf the waves
Kuta and Canggu are favorite surf places for beginners. And Uluwatu is suitable for intermediate and expert surfers.
7. Explore the rice terraces
When in Bali you must visit at least one of the rice terraces. Over two thousand years ago the Balinese found a way to fill the slopes of the hills and valleys with rice terraces. The Balinese Subak irrigation system was created in the 9th century.
I recommend visiting Jatiluwih and Tegallalang rice terraces.
How many days
If you’re traveling from the US, I recommend at least seven nights in Bali but preferably two weeks stay. Most Trippy users agreed including David. He wrote:
At least 10 days if not two weeks. Not only are there beaches in Bali; the interior of the island is well worth exploring, and you’ll find Bali is rather big. Ubud, a hill village, has many terraced rice paddies (super green) and local art worth seeing. I don’t know the rest of Bali, but I understand there are some gorgeous waterfalls with places to swim.
One week would be too short since the flying to get there takes about 20 hours or so, and you will arrive one day later due to the time difference between LA to Bali is 15 hours now but in the winter is 16 hours. So, I would recommend at least ten days. In Bali, itself, you could go to many beaches, not just one or two.
Where to stay
Wayan from Bali prefers Ubud and Nusa Dua. He wrote:
Ubud and Nusa Dua Beach are two main good towns to stay in. Nusa Dua is good for its beaches and not too touristy. Bulgari Hotels and Resorts is good to stay in. Ubud is lovely for a bit of mountainous area. It is a bit chill in there comparing with Nusa Dua. Viceroy Bali is a good place to stay in Ubud.
Christopher from Melbourne likes Ubud. He said:
Ubud is the best place to go – it may be touristy in the city, but there are heaps of places to stay on the outskirts. One personal recommendation of mine to stay is Lodtunduh Sari, a small group of villas outside of Ubud. Close enough to walk to Ubud (I’d recommend you hire a motorcycle/bike). I did a review of it on my blog a while ago, the place hardly has changed since then, and I go there almost yearly.
I like history and culture, so I chose to stay in Ubud. My family and I stayed at a villa amongst rice fields for a week. The villa was close to Ubud Town Center, so we got to visit Ubud Palace, Ubud Traditional Art Market, checked out the yoga centers, bookstores, restaurants, and museums. If you like luxury hotels, choose the Four Seasons Resort Bali At Sayan in Ubud. Or choose Kamandhani Cottage in Ubud.
David liked Nusa Dua. He said:
There’s an affordable, modern, new boutique hotel that just opened called the Ion Bali Benoa (right across the street from the Grand Mirage resort). We paid $35/night to stay at the Ion and walked across the street to work/play out of the outrageously lovely Grand Mirage. It was a way of getting the resort experience for 10% of the price.
What to eat
Trippy user Veronica recommended seafood. She said:
Eat seafood for sure, eat at Made’s Warung-Fried Rice and authentic Bali food is good there.
Here are seven recommended dishes to try when in Bali:
1. Nasi campur
2. Babi guling
3. Nasi goreng
5. Mee goreng
6. Bebek betutu
Safety tips offered by Trippy users:
1. Don’t go to the sketchy money changer and be careful with your wallet.
2. If you are staying at hostels, make sure you keep your belongings safe.
3. Be aware of pickpockets (including Macaque monkeys).
4. Be careful when crossing the streets, vehicles may not stop even when there’s a stop light.
5. Stay away from the dangerous zone (marked or unmarked by red flags) when swimming.