Bali is blessed with abundant natural beauty and unique fauna. The Bali Safari and Marine Park is one of the most-visited wildlife sanctuaries on the island and should feature in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
The park houses over 100 species of animals and promises a fun-filled outdoor experience. The sanctuary is home to wildlife from Indonesia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. A conservation centre and shelter for endangered species like the Komodo dragon and Bali mynah, the local government has made notable efforts to protect the area.
Located in Gianyar Regency, the Bali Safari and Marine Park is easily accessible by road. You can use shuttles that connect popular tourist spots around Bali. The safari is an ideal experience for people of all ages, so if you are travelling with children, we highly recommend including it in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
A safari is the most popular way of exploring the park but you may need to wait in a long queue for your turn. There are a number of safari packages to choose from that guarantee an unforgettable experience and we recommend booking them in advance. The jungle hopper and elephant-back safaris are two of the most popular highlights in things to do in Bali packages. During the safari, keep a lookout for tigers, lions, rhinos, African hippos, Himalayan bears and the Indian white tiger.
The park is also home to a water park and fun zone with several rides that are ideal for little ones. If the underwater world fascinates you, we suggest including a tour of the freshwater aquarium in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
One can also enjoy Bali's cultural and traditional heritage at the Bali Theater which hosts several shows including puppet skits, music performances and dance shows. If a day is not enough for you to explore the park, you can also book a two-day stay in one of the luxury resorts located inside the park. Offering an experience amidst natural beauty and wildlife, this is a must-include in your things to do in Bali itinerary, if your budget allows it.
Cost: Enjoying a day out at the Bali Safari and Marine Park will cost you between Rs.4000 and Rs.10,000 depending on the number of people in your group.
An opportunity to explore an active volcano, mesmerising views and an unforgettable sunrise – Mount Batur offers a bundle of wonderful experiences which can be included in your things to do in Bali itinerary. Standing tall at over 5,000 feet, Mount Batur is a paradise for nature lovers. On a trek to Mount Batur, you can enjoy views of lush green mountains, the enchanting Lake Batur and hot water springs. Mount Batur is located at Kintamani, a region that holds the distinction of being one of the top producers of fruits, vegetables and bamboo on the island.
Mount Batur last erupted in the year 2000 and one can still see smoke and molten lava around the mountain. Since it’s an active volcano, it is always advisable to check with local authorities before embarking on the trek.
Daytime temperatures are usually high here and trekking excursions can take place only during early morning hours. Early morning trekking also allows you to witness the mesmerising sunrise from the top. The trekking expeditions are organised by various tour agencies and can be easily added to your things to do in Bali itinerary.
The trek is organised by different tour operators and most take a different route for the trek. Depending on your expertise, you can choose between easy and challenges routes. It is advisable to hire a trekking guide since the routes are confusing, especially if this your first time here. The six-km-long uphill-and-downhill trek takes anywhere from one to two and a half hours to complete. The base point of the trek is around an hour and a half's drive from Ubud.
Apart from the action-packed trek, you can also include a visit to Lake Batur in your things to do in Bali itinerary. At the same time, if you want to learn more about the local way of life, you can visit the neighbouring village of Toya Bungkah which is famous for its hot water springs. The pre-monsoon season between May and June is the best time to enjoy the Mount Batur trek.
Cost: Including a trek to Mount Batur in your things to do in Bali itinerary will cost you between Rs.1000 and Rs.2500.
Trekkers and hikers often say that walking is the best way to explore a new place. And we couldn’t agree more. This is the reason that a hiking tour of Sidemen should make it to your list of things to do in Bali. A beautiful village in east Bali, Sidemen is dotted with rice fields, bamboo forests and coffee plantations. Offering you a glimpse into the local village life in the country, the trekking tour in Sidemen is quite a popular activity to partake in.
If you want to include the Sidemen trekking tour in your things to do in Bali itinerary, we suggest keeping the first half of your day free. If you book the trek through local operators, you will also be treated to lunch at the end of your three-hour trek. One of the highlights of the entire experience, the lunch gives you an opportunity to meet the locals and acquaint yourself with the way of life in the village.
The trek is not difficult and is ideal for new trekkers. Taking you across rice fields and testing your river-crossing skills, the trek can be challenging in parts. An enticing aspect about trekking in Sidemen is that it can be enjoyed by all kinds of travellers. Whether you are a solo traveller or are travelling in a large group – the trek should feature in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
Cost: Adding a trekking tour in your things to do in Bali itinerary will cost you between Rs.3500 and Rs.5000. This cost will vary according to the number of people and the inclusions you opt for.
Shopping is the highlight of many things to do in Bali itineraries. And there isn’t a better place to experience the bliss of shopping in Bali than Ubud. The centre of tradition, heritage and culture on the island, shopping in Ubud should definitely feature in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
There are several shopping options in Bali including street markets, high-end boutiques and flea bazaars. Among the most popular markets which should be part of your things to do in Bali itinerary, Ubud Art Market is a favourite with art lovers. You can see the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism in the artefacts being sold here including Buddha statues, incense sticks, handmade diaries, home decor, handmade perfumes, handmade bags and handicrafts.
Sukawati Art Market and Guwang Art Market are among other popular markets which should also be part of your things to do in Bali itinerary. Sukawati Market is one of the oldest markets in Bali and is home to several craftsmen and artists. If you want to learn more about the local arts and craft industry, then this is the place to be. This is where you will find handicrafts, paintings and home decor items at a steal. Shopkeepers here are extremely knowledgeable and interested in sharing information about the various arts and crafts of Bali so it’s a great opportunity for those interested in art.
If you don’t enjoy chaotic shopping experiences, then we recommend heading to the Jalan Monkey Forest area where there are many boutiques. Unlike the bazaars, the prices are fixed at boutiques. Here you will find apparel by world-renowned designers as well as local designers who are looking to make a mark. To truly enjoy the boutique experience, we recommend keeping aside sufficient time in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
Cost: Shopping enthusiasts can expect to spend anywhere between Rs.1000 and Rs.10,000 if shopping is part of your things to do in Bali itinerary.
Surfing is a high-adrenaline sport that attracts anyone with an affinity for the sea. From pro-surfers to novices, surfing at Bali's beaches is one of the most thrilling experiences to include in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
There's no dearth of ideal surfing spots along the beaches of Bali, making sure that there's no shortage of waves for beginners, intermediates and experienced surfers. In fact, surfing is one of the most popular things to do in Bali, because it offers the perfect barreling left-hand and right-hand reef breaks a surfer can ask for.
There are a number of great surfing spots in Bali and the most famous are Padang Padang, Uluwatu, Dreamland, Kuta, Canggu and Medewi. April to October is considered as the dry season and is ideal for surfing. The other months, or the wet season, has spells of rain and inconsistent waves. However, if you are not afraid of facing the rain, then you can start learning during this season as well.
If you are a beginner, you can include a visit to Kuta, Legian and Canggu beaches in your things to do in Bali itinerary for your first session. While for professionals and experienced surfers, Uluwatu, Balangan and Padang Padang beaches are best suited.
All beaches have numerous surf schools that help you with all that's needed for you to ride the waves. However, you must ensure that the surf school you are registering with is recognised by the International Surfing Association. Surfing enthusiasts, especially novices, should check the ISA website for the equipment needed for surfing and make sure your school provides it to you.
Cost: If you want to include surfing in your things to do in Bali itinerary, you must keep aside between Rs.5000 and Rs.20,000 in your budget.
Nusa Penida is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous places in Bali. Complete with picture-perfect sunsets, untouched beaches, pristine diving spots and hidden gems, Nusa Penida should feature in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
A short 30-minute ferry ride will take you to the small island and you can enjoy a day tour. If you wish to include a two-day tour in your things to do in Bali itinerary, you can include a tour of Lembongan, Ceningan islands as well.
The island is divided into two parts and depending on your interests and the duration of the trip, you can explore all parts of the island. Among the top highlights that can be included in your things to do in Bali itinerary is Tembeling Forest. Home to a natural pool and a beach, the tourist attraction will keep you occupied for hours.
Kelingking Beach is another highlight which should feature in your things to do in Bali itinerary, especially if you’re a beach bum. The viewpoint offers mesmerising views of azure waters, cragged rocks and the white-sand beach. In fact, the panorama from the viewing point at Kelingking Beach is so mesmerising that it’s one of the most photographed places in Bali. The 200-meter drop resembles the shape of a T-rex’s head and it's a sight to behold.
While you can walk down to the beach, remember that the trek down is quite difficult and can take up to an hour. If you are travelling with children, we suggest steering away from this challenging trek.
The island is part of an archipelago of three islands and if you have sufficient time in your things to do in Bali itinerary, we strongly recommend the three-day tour of the entire area.
Cost: A trip to Nusa Penida in your things to do in Bali itinerary will set you back by Rs.10,000.
The temples in Bali represent the island’s vibrant culture and heritage. They’re symbolic of the island’s intriguing history and importance of religion in everyday life, and a tour of the temples would make for a memorable highlight in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
Your things to do in Bali itinerary will depend largely on the places you visit and the duration of your trip. Mind you, there are a few temples where foreigners are not allowed in the inner sanctum. You can only take a tour of the outside area and admire the architectural brilliance and of course, the awe-inspiring views of the surrounding beauty.
Uluwatu Temple is counted among the most popular temples in Bali and should feature in your things to do in Bali itinerary. Also known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu, the temple is nestled on a cliff and offers spiritual seekers breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. There are Kecak dance performances here which take place every day and should certainly be a part of your things to do in Bali itinerary.
The Tanah Lot temples are also a must-include when you are preparing your things to do in Bali itinerary. Situated amidst picturesque natural beauty, the sea temple is part of all things to do in Bali packages, especially if you are exploring the western region. We recommend planning your trip in the evening since the views of the setting sun are truly breathtaking. Numerous dance performances take place here every day and if you have the time, you must not miss it.
Among other noteworthy temples in the region, we recommend visiting Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Besakih Temple, Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Taman Ayun, Tirta Empul and Pura Luhur Lempuyang if time permits.
There is a small entry fee for most temples in Bali and one needs to adhere to the guidelines for apparel. Everyone entering the temple needs to wear a sarong which needs to be returned after your visit. It’s also recommended to carry cash since some of the temples may not accept card payments.
Cost: A tour of the temples in your things to do in Bali itinerary will cost you between Rs.1000 and Rs.4000.
The Monkey Forest is unlike any other forest and is one of the most popular things to see in Bali. If you are an animal lover and enjoy spending time amidst nature, we suggest adding this to your things to do in Bali itinerary. A fascinating tourist attraction, the forest holds religious value for locals and the government has made notable efforts to make the forest a safe haven for monkeys. In fact, the forest is the top suggestion if you ask locals information about what to do in Bali.
There are more than 700 Balinese long-tailed monkeys in the forest and tourists from across the world come for a few hours of interaction. The forest is also home to a huge variety of flora with more than 150 species of trees.
If you want to learn more about the local flora and the monkeys, we recommend including a guided tour in your things to do in Bali itinerary. The guides are well-informed and ensure all travellers have a great time exploring the forest. You will also learn more about the historical and cultural importance of the forest and the temples situated here.
Another highlight in your things to do in Bali itinerary will be a tour of the temples. Offering brilliant architecture, most of the temples date back to the 14th century. Dalem Agung Padangtegal Temple is one of the most important temples in the sanctuary and is dedicated to Hyang Widhi. In Hindu mythology, this means a personification of Lord Shiva. The temple is surrounded by numerous Banyan trees and you’ll be astounded by the serenity here, despite the huge number of tourists. Your things to do in Bali itinerary should also include a visit to Prajapati Temple and Holy Spring Temple.
There are no restrictions on your interaction with the monkeys, but it’s advised to maintain distance and refrain from teasing the animals. Monkeys also tend to take away bags and phones, so we recommend keeping your belongings close to you. In case you are scratched or nibbed, you can head to the first-aid centre within the premises. All the monkeys in the forest are rabies-free and pose no health risks.
Cost: A tour of the Monkey Forest in Ubud in your things to do in Bali itinerary will cost you between Rs.1000 and Rs.2500, depending on the number of people.
Padang Bai is noted for its beautiful diving sites and most adventure enthusiasts include a visit here. An idyllic village, it’s where you can experience the joys of simple living while enjoying a tryst with adventure. If you are a new diver and are planning your first diving trip, we highly recommend including a dive in Padang Bai in your things to do in Bali itinerary.
There are three well-known diving sites in Padang Bai and depending on your interests and budget, you can choose any one. To ease your planning worries, we suggest booking a tour through local operators.
Padang Bai is a welcoming site for beginners since there are basic learning courses which make the experience more fulfilling. At the same time, experienced divers can hope to enjoy some of the most breathtaking dives in Bali. Offering a tête-à-tête with reef sharks, pelagic fish, leaf scorpionfish, ghost pipefish, rare nudibranchs and numerous varieties of rays, the diving sites are a delight to explore.
For an incredible experience, we recommend adding a visit to Blue Lagoon in your things to do in Bali. The shallow waters make for an ideal site for both snorkelling and diving. For expert divers, the diving site which is towards the north is as deep as 30 meters and offers views of corals and hanging feather stars.
Another dive site included in things to do in Bali itineraries for most divers is Pura Kecil. Considered to be one of the most attractive diving sites in Bali, it offers a glimpse into the lives of tip reef sharks. The underwater volcanic rock formations and a combination of soft and hard coral make for a breathtaking sight, no matter how many dives you’ve been on! A highlight on your things to do in Bali itinerary, the dive in Pura Kecil takes you through coral bommies and tunnels as well. While this might be unnerving for new divers, it’s absolutely breathtaking for experienced divers.
You can hope to spot jackfish, bannerfish, cuttlefish and napoleons during your dive. As is with all diving experiences, we recommend keeping aside sufficient time in your things to do in Bali itinerary to get the best out of your experience.
Cost: If you want to include diving in your things to do in Bali itinerary, we suggest keeping aside between Rs.5000 and Rs.25,000 in your budget.
Written by Kirat Sodhi. She is a proud mom of three cats and lives for lemon tea, a good book and spontaneous travel plans.