Bali is considered by many to be lush paradise, complete with unique hiking, rich cultural heritage, stunning temples, and pristine white and black sandy beaches. Something can be found for everyone. See below some of the most popular activities and best things to do on a Bali vacation.
Go to the Beach
Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when one hears the word 'Bali' is the word beach
. The world class surfing, snorkeling, and diving around the coastlines of this tiny island have made it one of the world's favorite beach getaway destinations. Surfers can catch big breaks at Kuta and Legian Beaches and wildlife enthusiasts can spot dolphins at Lovina Beach at sunrise. Snorkelers and swimmers alike can enjoy the restaurants and cafes dotting the laid back Sanur Beach, and beachcombers in search of the perfect sand castle sand will find it at Balanagan Beach near Uluwatu. Read here detailed descriptions about the best Bali Beaches
and decided which ones fit best in your Bali tour.
Dive or Snorkel Bali's Coral Reefs
When you visit Bali, you will find dive and snorkel shops in every beach town that can take you to local snorkeling spots and on full day diving excursions to Bali's famous dive spots. For those wishing to cut down on nausea-inducing boat ride, plan your Bali trip around proximity to your favorite locations. Here are some of the most popular dive sites in Bali:
– Located 5 miles northwest of Bali and inside West Bali National Park, this tiny island has some of the best preserved coral reefs in the area and is a diver and snorkeler’s paradise. If you are up in northwestern Bali, make a day visit here a priority.
Amed & Tulamben
- The smooth black stone coastline attracts beachcombers of all ages, but more particularly for the famous WWII shipwreck, the USAT Liberty
, found just offshore.
Nusa Lembongan -
At just a 45 minute boat ride from Sanur beach, this tiny island offers calmer waters and is teeming with seaweed fishermen. Almost all of its bays are great for snorkeling as the visibility tends to be good year-round.
Nusa Dua Beach and PadangBai Beach -
Both beaches also offer some great off-shore snorkeling. Visibility may be cloudy during shoulder and rainy seasons, and currents may be strong.
Hike West Bali National Park or Climb Mount Batur
Those wanting an active vacation in Bali will not be disappointed. Avid hikers can choose from a variety of landscapes that offer amazing views and wildlife spotting opportunities. The Mount Batur caldera in Kintamani offers breathtaking views of the sunrise. This easy 2 hour hike attracts many visitors as the trail is well-marked and the views are well worth the effort. Hike through the Munduk region to experience traditional villages, waterfalls and views of terraced hills.
Hikers and nature lovers will find that a few days in West Bali National Park (or Bali Barat National Park) are well worth the time. Several habitats can be found in its borders such as primary monsoon forest, mangroves, savannah, coral reefs, and sandy beaches. The park protects over 160 species of birds along with other mammals and many endangered ones. Within the marine confines of the park over 110 coral species have been identified and Menjangan Island is a popular destination for snorkelers and divers. Four volcanoes mark the center of the park, with Mt Agung creating the most convenient access point to the park at its base. Six villages of mixed ethnicity also border the park and offer an intriguing insight into the local cutlure.
Tour Balinese temples
In practically every region of the island a temple or two can be found for those enthusiasts intrigued by the mix of religions found in Indonesia. Here are some of the most well-known and commonly visited ones.
Besakih Temple -
The largest of the Balinese temples (and most heavily visited),this Hindu ‘mother temple’ sits on Mount Agung high above the ocean. Explore the 18 separate sanctuaries created for varying caste members.
Uluwatu Temple (or Pura Luhur)
– Perched on a high limestone cliff over the Indian Ocean, this majestic temple offers amazing views and intriguing history for those traveling to the Bukit Peninsula to see it. Enjoy also a sunset kecak fire dance at night in this area, or the monkey forest bordering the temple grounds.
Pura Tanah Lot
– Using a rock formation as its foundation along the water’s edge in Uruwatu, this iconic temple is known for its serenity and significance in Balinese mythology. Explore the formation during low tide and walk across the rocks to the temple and learn about this important sea temple.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
– This famous temple is located along the water’s edge of Lake Bratan.
This delightful city is considered by many to be the heart of Bali, and the artistic and cultural center for the island. Get a taste of everything the island of Bali has to offer wrapped into one day visit here. Experience nature with a walk in the Ubud Monkey forest and learn about the grey long-tailed macaque and the on-going scientific research in the area. Wander the scenic Tegallang rice terraces here and see the local culture going about its daily routine. Visit temples or museums to learn about the history of Bali. For the more adventurous, outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting can be booked here.