The Best Things to Do in Bali
Collected by Hannah Wijana, AFAR Local Expert
There's no one perfect way to take a trip to Bali. On one visit you might decide to spend more time exploring ways to explore your inner self through yoga or taking a ritual bath at Tirta Empul and while exploring the sacred spaces at Pura Besakih. On another? You might be all about going big mountain biking and photographing the rice paddies and terraces. Or, perhaps, all of the above on every trip? From the beaches of South Bali to the cool hills of Baturiti and the cultural hotspot of Ubud, options abound.
Banjar Patas, Taro, Tegallalang, Taro, Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
A number of organic farms in the region offer cooking classes, but Bali Farm Cooking School is by far the most welcoming, warm, and traditionally Balinese of the lot. If you're a foodie or just want to get out and see a bit of Bali...
Jalan WR. Supratman No. 306, Kesiman Kertalangu, Denpasar Tim., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80237, Indonesia
Batik textiles are one of Indonesia's most distinctive crafts. Using hot wax to block out intricate patterns before dyeing (a technique called resist dyeing), craftspeople create fabrics of an astounding range of designs and colors....
Jl Dasong Banjar Yeh Mas, Banyuning, Pancasari, Sukasada, Buleleng Regency, Bali 81111, Indonesia
The drive to Bali Bike Park is a long and winding journey, but for mountain-biking enthusiasts, it's totally worth it. This part of the island, on the slopes of Mount Bratan, is heaven for adrenaline seekers: twisting trails, jungle tracks,...
Bunutan, Abang, Seraya Bar., Kec. Karangasem, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia
It's quite a hike to Lempuyang temple, which sits at the summit of Mount Lempuyang, 1,058 feet above sea level, but it's worth every one of those thousand(ish) steps. Time your trip to arrive at sunrise, when the view of Mount Agung to the north...
Metra Kaja, Yangapi, Tembuku, Bangli Regency, Bali, Indonesia
On the shoulders of Bali’s most sacred mountain is perched its Mother Temple, Pura Besakih, a complex of 23 sacred buildings. Several times annually, pilgrims flock here from around the island—on the backs of motorbikes, in buses and...
Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Balinese people have taken ritual baths in the waters of Tirta Empul since it was founded in 962. The waters are believed to have healing powers, both physically and spiritually, so people come from all over the island to purify...
Komplek ITDC Nusa Dua, Benoa, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80363, Indonesia
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, catch a performance of Devdan—Treasure of the Archipelago. The 90-minute show, inspired by Indonesia's cultural diversity, is a kind of Balinese Cirque du Soleil. It features a fusion of...
Jl. Raya Sebali, Keliki, Payangan, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
Perched high above the Oos River to the west of Ubud, Junglefish offers a super-stylish yet relaxed space to swim, eat, drink and generally feel spoiled rotten. Comfortable cabanas and loungers with idyllic floaty curtains and cushions make you...
Jl. RSI Markandya 2, Gang Mawar, Banjar Sebali, Desa Keliki, Kecamatan Tegallalang, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
The Balinese have been using herbs and roots to treat most ailments for centuries. Unfortunately, as in many other places in the world, the knowledge of these treatments is being lost as the younger generation turns towards "western" medicine....
Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Kuta Selatan, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80364, Indonesia
There is nothing that compares to an indulgent visit to the Spa on the Rocks at the Ayana Resort in Jimbaran. Any spa experience in the spectacular treatment "room"—an open-sided cabana perched on a rock above the Indian...
Pecatu, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
One of the best places to watch the sun set is from the cliffs of Pura Luhur Uluwatu, or the site of the old Uluwatu Temple on the island of Bali. The dramatic cliffs overlook the ocean, and arriving before sunset allows you to explore before...
Unnamed Road, 82152, Jatiluwih, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82152, Indonesia
Bali's rice terraces are a beautiful sight, and a great place to view them is Jatiluwih in Tabanan. There are pathways cut through the fields for tourists and small stalls at which to sit and have a cold drink, but groups are few and far between,...
Jl. Raya Singakerta No.108, Banjar Dangin Labak, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
The stunning contrast between the modern design of the Ubud Yoga Centre and the lushness of the surrounding landscape makes it a beautiful sight. Whether you want to sit in the open café for a snack or take part in a yoga or Pilates...
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