Bucket List Worthy
Just setting foot on the island of Bali may change your life forever. The towering palm trees, pristine beaches, gorgeous temples and warm culture offer a feeling of peace and serenity that can’t be found in many other places around the world. And although the number of sites to see and adventures to dive into are pretty much infinite, these 21 things to do in Bali are enough to get you completely addicted to this tropical paradise.
Admire the gorgeous Uluwatu Temple, 61-meter-tall cliffs and breathtaking views, but don’t let the sneaky (and sometimes obnoxious) monkeys steal any of your personal items.
Immerse yourself in the native trees and flowers of the incredible island of Bali at the 154-hectare Bali Botanical Gardens. Be sure to explore the park at least once via the ropes, nets and winches of the Bali Treetop Adventure Park.
Bali is one of the best surfing destinations in the world, and Kuta offers a sandy bottom beach break that’s perfect for learning to surf in an unforgettable setting.
If you’re confident with your scooter or motorbike skills, you’ll want to get around the island like the locals do. Rent a motorbike for a full day for less than a $5 bill.
Time your visit to the Tanah Lot Temple at sunset, and you may never want to leave. And although the non-Balinese are not allowed inside, you can walk up to the temple and be blessed by the monks at low tide. It takes some research to catch the temple on low tide with a setting sun, but it is definitely worth the effort.
All levels of snorkelers and divers will be blown away by the underwater wonderland at Menjangan Island. And life above water isn’t too bad either — because this remote island is three hours south of Bali, its more pristine and less crowded than other Balinese beaches.
The lake isn’t necessarily the highlight of this destination, but the Shivaite water temple on its shores is a must-visit. And don’t forget your camera for snapping photos of the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple with a breathtaking backdrop of Balinese mountains.
Ubud’s maze of vibrant green rice terraces is a magical site that your camera may not be able to describe, but take plenty of photos anyway. Don’t forget to stop by the village of Pakudui, where you’ll find local handicrafts and carvings.
The conniving monkeys may get a little old by the end of your trip to Bali, but no matter how upset you are about one stealing your lunch, you’ve got to pay a visit to the famous Ubud Monkey Forest. This sacred place features over 100 species of trees, several temples and tons of monkeys, so hold onto your belongings tight.
Suckling pig, also known as Babi Guling, has become one of the most popular main dishes in Bali. Anthony Bourdain raved about the Ibu Oka eatery in the heart of Ubud, and with meals running around $2.50 a plate, we think you’ll agree.
Kuta may seem like a bit of a tourist trap, but you can’t beat the prices on Bintang shirts, knock-off sunglasses, surf gear and bootlegged DVDs. Accommodations and food are dirt cheap in Kuta as well, so it’s a great place to visit when your wallet’s running dry.
Hop aboard a boat and escape to the island paradise of Nusa Lembongan, where the hustle and bustle of south Bali feels light years away.
The Ubud Traditional Art Market is the best place in Bali to buy local handicrafts, carvings, sarongs, wind chimes, bags and just about any Balinese souvenir you could be seeking. The market is open daily from about 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., so there’s always plenty of time to buy.
The Green Village in Sibang is a carefully designed community of hand-constructed bamboo homes that blend harmoniously into their natural surroundings. Take a full-day tour through the sustainable Green Village, Green School and bamboo workshop or dive into a bamboo house building or coconut treasures class.
Goa Gajah, also known as the Elephant Cave, is one of the most significant Hindu sites in all of Bali. Discover the cave, ancient bathing pools, relics and lush green garden at this UNESCO World Heritage Site just 10 minutes from Ubud.
Whether you’re seeking surf, sunbathing or sightseeing, the Bukit Peninsula is the perfect place to take in all of Bali’s best qualities at once. With breathtaking beaches, local markets, temples, spas, surfing and snorkeling, you’re bound to leave the Bukit Peninsula with a big smile and a little bit of sunburn.
This “Mother Temple of Bali” is the island’s biggest Hindu site with over 18 shrines and sacred sites. And the backdrop of the gorgeous Bali countryside makes it even more majestic.
Bali is known as one the most relaxing islands in the world based on its beauty alone, but visitors can reach complete bliss at one of the island’s numerous world-class spas and massage parlors.
Bali is more than just beaches and palm trees, Kintamani — located about 50 kilometers from Denpasar — is known for its gorgeous lake and active volcano. Hike up Mount Batur and snap photos of the breathtaking views that your camera won’t quite be able to describe.
Trying to escape the heat in Bali can be tough, but that’s all the more reason to head to the island’s thrilling water park — Waterbom. The twelve water rides range from a terrifying drop to a relaxing lazy river, so if you’re looking to cool down after multiple days of exploring, it’s the perfect family-friendly option.
If you’re visiting Bali in mid-June to mid-July, visit the Taman Wedhi Budaya arts centre for the famous Bali Arts Festival. The ballets, parades, music and variety of other performances will give you a glimpse into traditional Balinese culture that many tourists don’t get to see.