The Indonesian island of Bali is a timeless travel destination that offers enough activities, sightseeing and relaxation to last a lifetime. There are many unique excursions and sights you just won’t find anywhere else. This fascinating island in Indonesia will enchant you– and I think you’ll see why. Check out a list of the top 10 activities to do in Bali, according to a local:
Activity #1: Mount Batur
To experience the spectacular beauty of Bali bright and early in the morning, take a hike up 1,700-meter-high Mount Batur. The easy “Sunrise Trail” is 7 miles to the peak and has amazing views. Indonesia is also well-known for its stunning sunsets, and Bali is no different. A few prime locations to see the best sunsets are Seminyak Beach, Tanah Lot Temple, Uluwatu Temple and El Kabron cliffside restaurant.
Activity #2: Surf, Scuba & Snorkel
Surfing, of course, is the classic Bali activity. The island has beaches that are perfect for every skill level. Kuta Beach and Legian Beach are well-suited for beginners. Batu Bolong Beach, Echo Beach and Padang Padang are also great beaches to visit. Surfing lessons are available at various places, usually in the range of about $26 USD for a two-hour lesson.
Snorkeling and scuba diving around the coasts of Bali are an exciting endeavor too. The island’s unspoiled coral reefs and brilliant schools of fish are quite a sight to behold! Beaches on Bali are very diverse too: some with white sand, some with black, and others with pebbles and lava-formed rocks.
The best swimming spots are on the north coast of Bali, as the south tends to get bigger waves. Some great snorkeling locations are along the eastern coast from Amed to Padang Bay. Snorkeling at Crystal Bay, Gamat Bay and Manta Point is a nice option too. For superb scuba-diving, visit Nusa Lembongan, Amed and Pemuteran. Another thrilling place to dive is Tulamben, site of the USAT Liberty shipwreck.
Activity #3: White-Water Rafting
For an excellent adventure, try out white-water rafting. Rafting along the Ayung River is highly recommended and follows a westerly course starting north of Ubud, which winds through beautiful scenery. This often includes sightings of exotic wildlife like lizards or monkeys! During monsoon season (November to March) there are stronger currents and higher water levels on the Ayung, so be sure to do your research!
Activity #4: Visit the Countryside & Rice Fields
For a chance to take in Bali’s beautiful countryside while getting some exercise, bike through the rice fields around Ubud. The cost of tours are about $29 USD, and involve downhill routes through villages and rice paddies. Tours generally feature stops along the way at villages, coffee farms or craft stands. Don’t like biking? You can tour Bali by Jeep, motorbike, scooter or just go for a walk around the picturesque Jatiluwih rice terraces. Another great site to visit for incredible vistas and traditional rice field views is Tegalang.
Activity #5: Shop the Local Markets
On the more relaxing side, check out local crafts and clothing by shopping around Bali. Seminyak has a number of stores featuring great deals and styles. There are organized arts-and-crafts tours around Ubud too, and prime shopping in Kuta or Monkey Forest Road. Finally, there’s Sukawati with its large market of handcrafts, and Jenggala Keramik with its world-class pottery.
Activity #6: Taste Balinese Cuisine
When visiting Bali, treat your taste buds to a tour as well. Genuine Balinese foods like nasi goreng or ayam betutu are a delicious culinary adventure. For top-notch traditional food on Bali, try the Gabah Restaurant and Bar in Kuta, Warung Classic Restaurant in the village of Munduk, or Kampoeng Bali in Jimbaran. Also, consider booking at the restored 17th-Century Royal Palace at Kerambitan (reservations required), which includes a meal followed by traditional dancing.
Activity #7: Visit a Traditional Healer
Another unique activity on Bali is to visit a traditional Indonesian healer or fortune teller. These shamans are known as dukuns on Bali. They work to heal mental and physical illness by connecting with ancestors and healing spiritual energy. There are tour packages that include visits to traditional healers, participation in Hindu temple cleansing ceremonies, and visits to holy springs.
Activity #8: Make Friends with the Monkeys
In the Balinese town of Ubud, visiting with the local wildlife has become quite a popular activity. Take a walk through the trails at the Monkey Forest, and get up close and personal with some real islanders. While this is of course a prime chance to get some great photos, BEWARE! These monkeys often make off with visitor’s belongings, and they aren’t afraid to hitch a ride on your back or steal your water bottle!
Activity #9: Relax at a Balinese Villa
Indonesia is famous for its gorgeous nature-centric villas, and the appeal they have for guests seeking relaxation. Finding accommodation on Bali offers a range of options. Travelers can choose a traditional, lower-key homestay (like Nick’s Pension in Ubud) or relax in more luxurious resorts and hotels (such as the Jamahal Private Resort and Spa in Jimbaran).
Staying in a villa is another wonderful experience. The accommodations at Ulin Villas in Kuta are a nice option, or the Taman Baru Bali Villas in Canggu. Most have incredible views, infinity pools, and ample opportunity to relax and spend time in nature. Finally, cap off a restful portion of your trip with a visit to one of Bali’s natural hot springs. End your trip by rejuvenating and reflecting on your amazing adventure!
Activity #10: Find Peace at a Hindu Temple
There are an abundance of temples on Bali, each offering something unique. Popular stops include Pura Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu, Goa Gajah, Tampak Siring and Pura Besakih. Visitors are required to cover their legs with a sarong, and are then free to explore and meditate: That’s what Bali is all about!
About The Author: Made Sugita is the proud owner of Taman Baru Bali (which consists of Villa Umah Wa Ke and Villa Nangka), two luxury villas located in the Greater Canggu region of Bali, Indonesia.
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