Your go-to guide to Bali’s best adventures.
Tropical paradises are few and far between. Then, there’s the crème de la crème; the best of the best. Very few places in the world can claim to be in this upper echelon of tropical wonders. Bali is one of them.
This small Indonesian island is world-renowned for its natural beauty, unique culture, radical surf scene, and a boatload of other compelling characteristics. In fact, it’s hard to find a reason not to visit Bali.
It’s not all pristine beaches and crystalline waters, either. If you want to immerse yourself in the culture of Bali, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. From lush jungle environments to a rich religious history, this tropical island is home to a diverse and fascinating world of adventure, exploration, and enlightenment.
It should come as no surprise, then, that narrowing down what you want to see and do when visiting Bali can be overwhelming. After all, it’s practically impossible to experience everything unless you decide to stay permanently!
So, how do you pare down your list and create a comprehensive plan of what to prioritize while you’re in Bali?
By reading our guide to the top activities and attractions, of course! Below you’ll find the ultimate list of must-try attractions and best adventures Bali has to offer. Choose a handful to immerse yourself in or try to experience them all—it’s up to you!
The Must-Try Attractions in Bali
There are a plethora of activities to enjoy when visiting Bali—so many that it can make your head spin! Whether you’re an adventurous soul in search of world-class surfing or a curious traveler seeking to experience the unique culture of the region, Bali is the destination for you.
To give you a bit of guidance in your quest to formulate the ultimate Bali getaway, we’ve compiled our list of the must-try Bali attractions below. Check them out!
Surfing and Bali Beaches
When it comes to the best surfing spots in the world, Bali is bound to make the list. It is known around the globe for its stellar waves. With entry-level breaks that are perfect for beginners to extreme locations that only seasoned pros dare to take on, Bali’s surfing scene is second to none.
The beaches are nothing to scoff at either. Bali offers something for everyone, including touristy beaches with all of the luxurious modern features you could ever want, secluded beaches largely untouched by humankind, and white sand shores pulled straight from your dreams.
Whether you’re taking a break between surf sessions, simply enjoying the sunshine and good vibes, or taking an evening stroll after your world-class dinner, Bali’s beaches are worth the trip on their own!
Ubud Monkey Forest
Often described as a natural oasis, the Ubud Monkey Forest is home to ancient trees, unbelievable temples, peaceful rivers, and of course, hundreds of monkeys. It functions both as a safe, natural environment for the monkeys and as a place of spiritual importance to locals.
For those seeking adventure, serenity, and a breathtaking experience rooted in nature, the Ubud Monkey Forest is among the most ideal destinations in Bali. The monkeys themselves are well worth the journey, as they playfully make their way through the forest unimpeded by fences. You will probably even see some cute little baby monkeys!
Tanah Lot Temple
Bali is famous for its historic temples full of cultural and spiritual significance. These gorgeous temples dot the island with unique, unmistakable architecture and draw many tourists and spiritual travelers each year.
One of the most popular temples in Bali is known as Tanah Lot Temple. It seems to float in the sea thanks to its construction on a rocky overlook. This dramatic placement makes Tanah Lot Temple extraordinary to visit and photograph.
Not only is Tanah Lot Temple one of the most beautiful sites in all of Bali, but it is also one of the more meaningful. Locals regard the temple as holy, and legends surrounding it abound. If you choose to visit this sacred site, be sure to immerse yourself in its history and significance, as well as the beauty!
Does anything say adventure quite like visiting an active volcano? If you’re the type who likes to seek out the extremes (and doesn’t mind incredible views), a trip to Mount Batur may be the perfect Bali experience for you.
This popular sightseeing destination is known for its spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range, as well as its magnificent caldera lake. So, not only do you get bragging rights to take home—trekking up an active volcano is pretty awesome—you also get the opportunity to capture some unbelievable snapshots and return from your trip with a head full of unforgettable moments!
Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)
One glance at the entrance to this cave, and you know you’re in for a memorable adventure. This archaeological site is not only worth a visit because of its Hindu significance, but also because of its unique—and arguably unnerving—features.
The entrance of the cave has been carved to resemble an otherworldly face into whose mouth you’re about to enter. Inside, you will find a dark narrow passage, and through it, two areas of spiritual consequence. To the left, you will find a statue of the Hindu deity, Ganesh, and to the right is an area of worship.
Ubud Art Market
If ancient temples, meandering monkeys, pristine beaches, and active volcanos aren’t enough to scratch your Bali itch, we have good news—the Ubud Art Market is a great change of pace that will expose you to another aspect of Bali’s diverse culture.
The market is open every day, so you can easily fit a visit into your busy vacation itinerary. If you’re searching for the best deals and want to avoid the crowds, it is best to plan your visit around the opening of the market (9am) or the close (6pm). Buses loaded with tourists tend to flood the market between 1pm and 4pm!
At the Ubud Art Market, you will find clothes, jewelry, handbags, homeware, handmade crafts, souvenirs, and more. If you want something truly special to remember your trip by, we recommend seeking out local artisans and selecting a one-of-a-kind item!
Remember, at the Ubud Art Market, there are no price tags. This will likely be different from the type of shopping you are familiar with, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for prices. You can also feel free to bargain—in fact, it’s expected!
Enjoy browsing the local goods and have fun living the experience to the fullest!
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Indisputably beautiful, the Tagalalang Rice Terrace in Bali is a must-see. While Bali boasts numerous rice terraces, the gem atop the crown is Tegalalang Rice Terrace is the largest and most famous. From simply taking a moment to breathe and appreciate the sight to snapping a few photos for your social media pages, the terrace is no stranger to tourists.
To avoid the inevitable crowds, you’ll have to get up early. While this may be a struggle, especially when you’re on vacation, it will be worth the effort. There will be fewer people, you won’t have to strategically snap your photos to avoid disruption, and the weather will be much cooler (there’s almost no shade in a rice field).
If you’re looking to escape the busy beaches of Bali’s more famous touristy regions, Kintamani should be atop your list. You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to some paradisical wonderland thanks to the backdrop of a soaring volcano, crystalline lake, and gorgeous green landscape.
While you’re exploring Kintamani, be sure to check out Mount Batur and Lake Batur, of course, but don’t overlook the other terrific sights the region offers. For example, no trip to Kintamani is complete without attending the large market that is held or visiting Pura Puncak Penulisan, Bali’s highest temple.
If you enjoy physical activity, you’ll love the hikes that are readily available in the area. After a long day of trails, there’s no better way to unwind and relax than a soak in one of the region’s natural hot springs—a must-try when you’re in Kintamani!
Bonut Bolong in Jembrana
We know what you’re thinking—why would you travel all the way to Bali just to visit a tree. Well, before you write off this unique Bali experience, let us convince you of why the journey is well worth the effort!
This tree has several features that make it a popular attraction in Bali. Not only does it grow directly over the road and sport a hole in its base large enough for two cars to pass through, but it is also sacred to those in the region. In fact, there is a small shrine beside the road dedicated to Dang Hyang Sidhi Mantra, the great sage who passed the area long ago.
A trip to Bonut Bolong is a fantastic way to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s more touristy areas, explore the countryside, and appreciate a natural attraction that has stood for decades. Trust us; this unique tree is exactly the catalyst you need to get out of the city and experience the real Bali!
It can be tempting to spend the majority of your time in Bali indulging in the luxurious modern amenities, soaking in the sun on the beach, and otherwise enjoying the touristy elements Bali now boasts. However, there’s something to be said about getting off the beaten path and immersing yourself in a more authentic aspect of Bali.
Lovina is the idyllic place to do so. It’s a quiet village that will facilitate rest and relaxation, but it certainly isn’t void of adventures to be had. Here, you can see dolphins, snorkel and dive to your heart’s content, and appreciate the slower pace of the region.
Thanks to its mountainous landscape, Munduk features a cooler climate than the rest of Bali. This same altitude also makes Munduk Village one of the best places to catch the spectacular sunrises and sunsets for which Bali is famous.
Surrounded by lush plant life and sporting several lakes, Munduk Village is a popular destination for those who love nature and those who enjoy trekking. As you venture along the various paths that crisscross the area, you’re bound to stumble upon waterfalls that beckon you to stop for a while and enjoy a swim.
As you immerse yourself in the region, you’ll also gain insight into the more traditional Bali way of life. Munduk Village is truly a place to slow down, appreciate the natural beauty of Bali, and reflect on the experience you are in the midst of.
Traveling to Bali During COVID-19: What to Plan For
For many, Bali is the destination of a lifetime. With the emergence of COVID-19, you may be feeling as though your dream is put on hold. With the right research and planning, however, there’s no need to postpone your Bali adventure.
By familiarizing yourself with the current risks, regulations, and travel precautions, you can properly plan your Bali trip and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. In fact, most of your preparation will involve common-sense steps—nothing complicated or outlandish!
So, take some time to poke around the internet. Look up travel precautions related to COVID-19, get familiar with Bali’s specific protocols, and plan accordingly. Then, enjoy your trip to an island paradise!
Plan Your Bali Adventure Today
When you’re ready, Bali is waiting. Those beaches, natural wonders, and cultural experiences are beckoning, and all you have to do is answer!
We hope that this guide gave you some insights into the must-try attractions in Bali and can help guide you as you plan your ultimate Bali getaway!