Bali is a beautiful island in Indonesia with so much to offer adventurers. Yes, we’ve all seen the tantalising Instagram posts of beautiful beaches to lounge on and Balinese villas to relax in – but what else can you do with your time on this Indonesian island? There’s a rich culture to be explored, read on for our Bali bucket list.
Explore the Temples & Palaces
Bali has a rich and layered history, which you can explore in-depth at the islands many historical sites, temples and palaces. Wherever you’re staying, there’s sure to be some fascinating sites to visit close by.
On the north of the island, at the edge of Lake Baratan, the serene Ulun Danu temple sits calmly in reverence of the gods of the lake. To the east, Besakih the ‘mother temple’ sits at 1,000m on the slopes of mount Agung. This is the largest of Bali’s temples with 18 shrines to various Hindu gods. To the south west, Uluwatu is another temple to the sea gods – this time perched on top of a high cliff. Further inland, the Ubud Palace is a beautifully ornate palace and gardens. The palace hosts evening Balinese dance performances, an amazing experience!
For trekkers of all abilities there is a beautiful route in Bali. Mount Batur, an active volcano standing 1,717m above Bali, is one of the most popular treks on the island. There’s an easy 45 minute route or a 2-3 hour walk, either way you get some staggering views! You can easily hire guides for both routes.
For more experienced trekkers, Bali’s highest mountain – Mount Agung, another volcano – is the islands highest at 3,031m and take around 12 hours to summit. Again, hire a local guide to get you there and back safely.
West Bali National Park on the west coast is home to incredible forests and many rare birds and animals. At the park headquarters you can get permit to walk the parks hiking trails, which includes a guide to help you spot monkeys, deer, wild pigs and birds.
Plunge into Bali’s Waterfalls
If it’s waterfalls you seek, Bali can certainly provide! To the north, SingSing falls tumble into a serene fresh water pool surrounded by rice paddies. It’s a really beautiful, calming spot, which is actually two waterfalls close to each other and both easily accessible.
For a more adrenaline fuelled experience, also in the northern region, Aling-Aling Waterfall near Sambangan after a fairly intensive trek up many steps and through fields & forest. You are handsomely rewarded with a gorgeous teal plunge pool surrounded by lush jungle. There’s a number of other beautiful waterfalls, particularly to the north – do some research and you could put together a few days worth of treks to get immerse yourself in falls and plunge pools!
Try snorkelling & diving the coral reefs
Bali is surrounded by a number of coral reefs teeming with wildlife. It’s really easy to find dive lessons on the islands many beaches if you’re a complete beginner. If you want something a little more relaxing, there’s plenty of places along the beaches where you can buy or rent snorkel equipment. For experienced surfers & divers, Bali is a paradise with ample spots for you to explore.
Immerse Yourself in Balinese Arts & Culture
Bali has a number of great museums housing artifacts from the country’s fascinating culture and history. The country has a full calendar of festivals, check if there’s anything happening while you’re there and you could experience a cultural event like no other. Even on non-special days, you’re sure to be able to find a Balinese dance & Gamalan music performance while you’re visiting. Dancers adorned in elaborate costumes use dance to tell stories and legends. Gamalan is a Balinese style of traditional music, well worth experiencing while you’re in Bali for it’s individual sound and instrumentation.
Extreme sports & adventure
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try any of the many adventure sports on offer. Teams of white water rafters head to the Sungai Ayung rapids near Ubud for a white knuckle river ride. The rainy seasons really amp up the rapids, so head to Bali after the monsoon for if you want to most exhilarating experience!
How about trying your hand at kite surfing? Beaches all around the island have kit for hire and lessons to get you started. For a really special view over Bali, find a reputable paragliding operator and get up in the sky! You’ll also easily find surf instructors who can teach you the basics and get you surfing the islands surf friendly seas. The surf spots are mostly on the islands southern coast, and there’s so many you can plan a few days travelling between them.
Travel Vaccines for Bali
There are a number of vaccinations that are recommended for travel to Bali. To get up to date on all the risks associated with your trip itinerary, book a consultation with a Nomad expert 6-8 weeks before you go and we’ll get you ready for a healthy trip.