If you have ever been to Bali, you will definitely agree… 

Part of the Indonesian Archipelago with over 17,000 islands, Bali is an enchanting paradise island that has gotten a special place in the hearts of many travelers, ecotourists, digital nomads, wellness junkies and lots of people on a self-discovering journey. The biodiversity on Bali is unbeatable, with landscapes that are just as diverse as beautiful, a culture with the most humble and welcoming people, Bali will never cease to surprise you.  

It is no wonder that Elisabeth Gilbert, author from the bestseller book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ fell in love (in and) with Bali… The island of Bali is a must to include on your bucket-list. 

While there is so much to see and do on Bali so that it is quite impossible to list all of them down, read further for our list of 10 best things to do in Bali. 

Make the most out of your holidays with this shortlist of the 10 best things to do in Bali, from temple hopping, swimming with turtles, to relaxing with a traditional Balinese massage. Make sure to include Bali on your bucket-list!

1. Go on a hiking trail

Bali has it all. Best known for its beautiful beaches and tropical island vibe, Bali has a lot more to offer with the most breathtaking landscapes, volcanoes, waterfalls, and immense cliffs. If you are a nature seeker, you can eat your heart out in Bali. For fitness enthusiasts, hiking is an awesome way to really explore the beauty of Balinese nature. There are many great hiking trails, some good for every average hiker, some hikes take about 12 hours. 

For example, the islands highest mountain ‘Mount Agung’ which is considered Bali’s most sacred volcano, is particularly challenging but give a rewarding spectacular view once you’ve reached the top. Or rise up early in the morning around 4 AM to hike up the mountain of Batur (Gunung Batur), an active volcano by the lake of Batur on Bali, to see a beautiful sunrise, and combine this with a visit to a natural hot spring on the southeast side of mountain Batur afterwards. 

2. Get around on a scooter for the ultimate freedom experience

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.If you want to move around in the quickest and adventurous way, the best way to move around on Bali, is on a scooter. 

You can rent a scooter from 4 euro per day and travel to the best hidden spots on Bali. Travellers need to purchase insurance and have an international driving licence and keep that with you as you drive. Don’t forget this as the fines can be high.  

Another great and inexpensive way to get around on the island, is on a bike. Many villages have options to rent a bike for a day. Be aware, the roads can be a bit chaotic and there are some steep hills, so this is for the fit and sporty types!

3. Go Temple hopping

Bali is famous for its temples; it is often called ‘the island of a thousand temples’. You cannot pass by Bali without exploring the many temples Bali has to offer. Religion is a huge part of the Balinese living. You can see religious spots in every street corner with many spiritual practices and offerings. Naturally, temples play a big role on the island and are definitely a must-see while you are in Bali. 

While you cannot explore all of them – unless you create your own temple-challenge to get to visit as many temples as you can! – you should not miss the Uluwatu temple that lies on the edge of a 70-meter-high cliff above the oceans. This is one of the most popular temples and it is easy to see why. When the sun begins to set, you will be mesmerized by more than fifty shades of yellow, pink and orange with one of the finest sunset landscapes as you can imagine. 

Another temple that you cannot skip, is the Ulun Danu Beratan, located on the Lake Bratan in the northeast of Bali. Admire the reflections of the temple in the lake surrounding it and feel at ease in the most tranquil environment that gives you an escape from the hot tropical climate. It is a bit chillier here compared to other parts of Bali. 

Tanah Lot is just another example of a temple that is located by the water giving it a photogenic place to visit. If you have become a temple-challenge enthusiast that want to explore as many temples as you can, read more about Balinese temples here [ hyperlink ].

4. Relax in a hot spring

After all that travel, you will absolutely enjoy a relaxing day visiting one of Bali’s hot springs. You will find Bali’s hot springs and natural springs throughout the island, some of them holy water springs with Balinese hindu temples surrounding these springs. Other hot springs are home to a wellness center, and you will find therapeutic mineral rich waters that will rejuvenate your body and soul. 

A hot spring day is one of the best things to do in Bali. And to make the most out of your relaxing day, combine a day in the hot spring with a famous relaxing Balinese massage. Hmmmm… when can we go?

5. Go rock-climbing, surfing and other kick-ass activities

Bali is not short of active activities you could do, and no one looks back on their life remembering the nights they had plenty of sleep. 

So, let’s get your ass moving with one of the many fun activities you can do while you are on Bali. From swimming with turtles in the ocean, exploring the ocean-life by snorkeling or taking a dive, flowing on the waves with your surfboard, to rolling out your yoga mat to stretch that lower back and legs. 

For the most adventurous (not suitable for the faint-hearted), go rock-climbing on one of the cliffs and rocks on Bali. Great options for rock-climbing are the Songan Village (Crag A or B), located nearby Batur Volcano, and Padang Padang Beach where you can take a swim after your climb and cool down. You may want to take a few indoor rock-climbing lessons first in to ‘get the hang of it’, it is absolutely worth your efforts. 

6. Get a traditional Balinese massage

After a few days moving your ass with all activities Bali has to offer, you probably feel your muscles hurting a bit. Don’t forget to take some time off from your travels to seek a Balinese massagist or healer for an amazing massage. 

A Balinese massage is a full-body, deep-tissue, holistic treatment that offers a combination of gentle stretches, reflexology, acupressure, and aromatherapy to stimulate the blood flow, oxygen and life energy (“qi”) around your body, giving you a sense of deep calm and relaxation and wellbeing. 

You never need an excuse to book a Balinese massage! 

7. Soak up in Balinese culture

Balinese people are among the most welcoming positive people in the world, and the culture is worth immersing yourself in. The Balinese culture is a mix between Hindu-Dharma and local customs, the Balinese honor their ancestors and the spirit world and perform many religious rituals based on the ancient Balinese calendar. Traditional music (Gamelan) and local dances are of the most important elements for the Balinese to connect with their Gods and ancestors. 

Part of Bali’s charm is the traditional dance Kecak, a traditional Balinese dance that is performed by more than a dozen male dancers, wearing Balinese sarongs with bare chests, sitting around bamboo torches set aflame. In the midst at the same time are other male dancers dancing. The Kecak Dance has a deeper meaning that is related to religion, beauty and morality. 

8. Eat like a local

Local traditional food is generally cheap in Bali, at least from a Western perspective, a meal costing you less than 3 dollars. The Balinese cuisine includes a variety of spices blended with fresh vegetables, meat and fish. There are good vegan and vegetarian options on Bali too, but the Balinese in general eat a lot of meat and fish. 

What better way is there to best explore a local culture than by tasting its local food, you must try out the famous traditional Balinese food such as Gado Gado, Mie Goreng, Sate (satay), Nasi Campur, Pisang Goreng, Sayur urap (coconut veggies!) and lots of other delicious Balinese foods. Eating locally is done best by getting street food from food stands or from local warungs (small retail, eatery or café).

9. Enjoy picture-perfect sunsets

The best locations to watch the sunset in Bali are mostly the beaches along the western side coastline, some of which including hot-spots with ancient temples that add a stunning silhouette to your pictures. 

High on our list of best sunset watching spots, is the Tanah Lot Temple that is based very close to the water. Or go to Tegal Wangi Beach, one of the hidden beaches where you can pick a spot near the edge of beautiful cliffs with the ocean down below. To enjoy a sunset with a cocktail in your hand, go to the Rock Bar, located very near Tegal Wangi Beach for a high-end sunset experience. The bar is set on a rock formation and gives you a great view on the cliff and far-stretching ocean.

If surfing is your thing, Echo beach, Canggu or Kuta Beach are good options too. After a day riding the waves, find a place at one of the cafes, order a cold drink and some sea food and end the day soaking up the sunset with your feet in the sand.  

10. Go Island hopping

The islands of Indonesia, also known as the ‘Indonesian Archipelago’ or ‘Nusantara’, comprise of over 17,000 islands. There are few regions in the world that are more perfectly suited to go island hopping than the region around Bali. 

The biodiversity of landscape, culture and nature with numerous perfect diving spots, volcanoes, tropical beaches, jungles and wildlife, island hopping around Bali is absolutely a must during your Bali trip. Although the exact number of islands is not known, Indonesia is by far the world’s largest island country. 

Near Bali are numerous beautiful islands to explore, with Menjangan Island, Nusa Lembonga, or Nusa Penida, Gili Trawangan are just a boat ride away. Located a bit further away, Kuta Lombok or the hidden gem Sumba Island are only 1 hour flight away. Find out our top-picked islands near Bali (hyperlink) for your island-hopping adventure. 

Vacation mood on.. Sunglasses ready. Next destination: Bali, Indonesia. 

Happy holidays!

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