Dreaming about blue skies, warm weather and cocktails by the pool? Well you’re in the right place! Located 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali is the island retreat you’ve been looking for! Even in the rainy season (October to March) you will still be able to work on that tan! So leave the hoodies behind, pack at least 3 pairs of swimmers and head on over to paradise.
Before we get started on things to do and see, lets first address the issue of when to go. Unlike the rest of the world, Bali only has 2 seasons – wet and dry. The wet season typically runs from October through to March and the dry from April through September. These are rough guides and you can still have the odd rainy day in the dry season or a string of cloudless skies in the wet. Either way the temperature is always a balmy 25 degrees or above, so regardless of when you go, you can still enjoy yourself by the pool. Rainfall in the wet season usually lasts 20mins and then returns to it beautiful self, with slightly more vibrant colours and fresher air. Waterfalls are also particularly spectacular this time of year, however if you seriously aren’t a fan of the rain (who is really?) then stick to June/July/August and you’ll be guaranteed those hot summer days you’re dreaming of!
So what’s next? Now you’ve decided when to book your flight, let’s get onto the good stuff! Here are my favourite things to do when visiting Bali, whether your there for a week or a month, you will leave wanting more!
Shopping in Kuta
Kuta Beach is perhaps the most well known part of Bali, with its close proximity to the airport, multitudes of hotels and restaurants to choose from and its beachside position, it’s easy to see why. Although I wouldn’t suggest staying directly in Kuta (there are plenty of hotels, air bnbs and hostels to choose from in neighbouring areas that are within walking distance and much quieter!) it is one of the best places to nab a bargain! With so much competition around, its a relatively easy place to practice your negotiation skills. I usually spend a night or two here at the end of my trip to stock up on sarongs, dresses, sandals and probably an extra luggage bag or two! Click here for tips to shop like a local (or at least look like you are!)
While your there, be sure to check out the treehouse cafe in poppies lane! This is my absolute favourite cafe in the whole of Bali! Super cheap, super flavourful, super satisfying!
Tanah Lot Temple
Located 45mins north west of Kuta, Tanah Lot is a Hindu temple built on a rock formation on the edge of the Indian ocean. It is included in most tours, you can ask the front desk of your hotel for recommendations. If your like me and prefer to do things in your own time, you can hire scooters in Bali for 60,000IDR ($6) a day. Entry fees to the temple are 60,000 ($6) per adult 30,000 ($3) for a child, cars are 5000IDR (50cents) and scooters 2000IDR (20cents). The area is open from 7am to 7pm, though it is most popular during sunset hours. It is worth the views during this time but if you’re not a fan of fighting the crowds, I’d suggest heading there earlier in the day and finding another beachside restaurant to watch the sun go down.
There are markets, shops and food stalls heading down to the temple where you can buy souvenirs or snacks, just make sure you BARGAIN BARGAIN BARGAIN!
Just to the north of the temple sits another shrine, Batu Bolong, which is equally spectacular and lesser known. Follow the path along and you will find steps down to a beach, where you can swim with the rock formations in the background. There are also vendors down here selling trinkets and art, if you’re looking to purchase art while you’re in Bali, I’d suggest getting something from these ladies, it’s far cheaper than trying to bargain prices down in Kuta.
Check out my post on ULUWATU for another iconic not to miss temple!
There’s 2 water parks to choose from in Bali. The waterbom park is widely advertised and by far the most popular choice, with 13 thrilling slides to choose from plus a double flow rider, it’s easy to see why! As well as the slides and water attractions there are reflexology treatments, a fish spa, nails, hair braiding, gazebos to hire and more. If your thinking of heading to the waterbom park you should definitely aim to be spending the entire day here. They’re open from 9am – 6pm and entry fees are 520,000IDR ($52). If you’ve hired a car or a scooter there’s parking onsite, but if not don’t worry its close enough to town that a taxi should only cost $5.
For those of you travelling on a budget, there’s no need to miss out on the action, Nusa Dua Surf n Turf also has all the goods to keep you entertained all day and at a fraction of the cost. For just 120,000IDR ($12) you gain entry and unlimited use of the 2 waterslides and spacebowl. You can hire canoes, bikes, and there is also a wave rider. There are lounges over-looking the beach and a pool where you can laze with a cocktail in hand. If that’s not enough to keep you occupied, head for a walk down the beach and over the hill to the Nusa Dua Blowhole.
This well known fishing village should absolutely make its way onto your to do list! From 6am-9am the local fish markets are on the north end of the beach, here you can buy fish while the fisherman are literally still pulling their catch in from the boats. Spend the day soaking up the sun, swimming in the tranquil waters and being pampered with a massage. At sunset head to Rock Bar at Ayana Resort, its touristy but spectacular! At dinner time head to the south end of the beach and enjoy some of the local cuisine at one of the restaurants on the sand.
* Ubud seems to be the top of everyone’s wish list when they head to Bali, I haven’t been there yet, but from what i’ve heard from others, it’s definitely worth budgeting at least a day or two to explore. The north shore also looks particularly beautiful, far away from the chaos of Kuta, there’s barely a tourist in site, the beaches are untouched and the locals super friendly. I’d recommend hiring a driver to take you up there.
If you have a little more time you have to take a trip over to the Gili Islands! They are the definition of paradise. It is possible to take a fast boat over first thing in the morning and return that afternoon but you will miss out on all the islands have to offer, it best to spend at least a weekend over there!
Happy Holidaying! X