Bali itinerary 10 Days of the Best of Bali Highlights for Nature, Culture, Food and Beach Lovers
If you want to plan your perfect Bali itinerary 10 days or more of the very best of Bali, you need to learn all the essential Bali facts including when to visit, how to get around Bali, visa requirements and more. Besides, if you only have 10 days in Bali, you’d better do your research and decide what to see and what to do in Bali because 10 days is not enough to see everything. Bali is the perfect destination for any kind of traveler and any trip style. You can plan the perfect itinerary for budget, luxury or solo travelers, the perfect romantic holiday or a girls trip. We wrote our Bali itinerary to include a little bit of everything. We’ve included must-see attractions for nature, culture, food and beach lovers, with a healthy mix of popular spots and some hidden gems as well.
Bali, the Island of the Gods, is one of the most stunning places on earth. It’s not just about the endless rice fields, the dreamy beaches, the foodie culture or the historical monuments. It’s the people and the unique culture that make this island one of the most popular tourist destinations on earth. There’s something addictive about Bali; once you have a taste of this Balinese paradise, you’ll keep wanting to come back.
Bali Itinerary 10 Days of Amazing Bali Highlights
Know Your Bali facts
- Bali is an Indonesian island located just east of Java.
- The Island covers an area of 5,780 square km.
- Population: over 4.2 million
- The Bali province also includes the surrounding smaller islands: Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan.
- Although Indonesia is one of the world’s largest Muslim country, the majority of Bali’s residences practice Hinduism.
- Bali’s nickname is the Island of the Gods (Pulau Dewata)
- Bali’s economy relies on tourism (more than 80%).
- Bali is part of the coral triangle which has the highest biodiversity of marine species in the world.
- You’ll meet a lot of people named Wayan, Made, Nyoman, and Ketut. These are the most common names in Bali since the residents name their children according to the order they are born.
Practical Tips for Your 10-Day Bali Itinerary
You’ll need to check the visa requirements for Bali depending on your nationality. Over 160 nationalities can enter Bali without a visa for up to a month for tourism and social purposes (with this option you can’t extend your stay). If you’d like to stay longer or to have the possibility to extend your visa, you’d better choose one of the paid visa routes. If you initially decided that the 30-day free visa is enough for you, and then changed your mind, you can do a Bali visa run. Some nationalities might have a hard time acquiring a visa for Bali. For more information about all the requirements and a list of the countries that are entitled to visa on arrival, check here.
Money in Bali
The currency in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). A lot of the smaller establishments will only take cash. You’ll find plenty of ATM’s in popular cities. Another advice is to exchange money only in the authorized places (with PT. on the sign) that offer logical rate (an exceptionally good rate should be a warning sign). Count the money after the transaction and don’t hand it back once you’ve counted it. Bring 50-100$ bills with you for a better rate.
WiFi and Sim Cards
Generally speaking Wifi speed is quite good, especially in the popular destinations and it’s easily available in hotels and restaurants. However, if you rely on the internet or would like to stay connected most of the time, buy a local sim card. They are cheap and reliable. You can get a sim card at the airport, but it will probably be more expensive than the ones in the towns.
Respect the Balinese Customs
Do make sure to respect cultural and religious practices.
Temples – Whenever you visit a temple, you are required to cover your shoulders and warp a long sarong around your waist. Free sarongs are provided at the entrance to every temple.
Daily offerings – you’ll see the Balinese daily offerings (woven baskets with some rice, flowers, incense and so on) not just in the temples but on the pavements, on motorbikes and basically everywhere you’ll go. Try not to step on them or step over them, but go around them.
Hand gestures and other practices – Do not touch anyone’s head since the Balinese believe it’s the most sacred part of the body. When giving or receiving something, try to always do it with your right hand. Do not point your fingers at anyone, it’s considered bad manners. If you visit a Balinese home, you should take off your shoes.
Best Time to Visit Bali
Bali has a tropical climate year-round, so it’s always hot and quite humid. Temperatures during the day can get as high as 33°C and during the night as low as 22°C. Bali has two distinctive seasons.
The Dry Season – lasts from May to October with less humidity and less rainy days, which makes it the recommended season to explore Bali.
The Wet Season – lasts from November to April during which it rains heavily but usually only a couple of hours a day. The sea conditions are rougher as well. It’s possible to visit Bali even during the wet season, but your plans might change according to the weather.
The high season is usually during July and August and the holidays (Easter, Christmas, New Year). However, the best time to visit Bali is during the shoulder season of April – June, and September – October when the island is not packed with tourists and the weather conditions are pleasant. For more information about Bali’s weather conditions year-round.
How to Get to Bali
By plane – you’ll land at Bali’s international airport, Ngurah Rai, located in the south of the island near Denpasar.
By ferry – You can also take a ferry from one of the neighboring islands such as Java.
How to Get around Bali
Take a Taxi or Hire a Driver
The most convenient way to get around Bali must be to hire a driver or a taxi. You can relax in an air-conditioned car, watch the views and learn about the Balinese culture from your driver. We hired a driver for most of the days since we went on day trips from Ubud and Sidemen.
Tips for hiring a driver: We recommend contacting a couple of driver companies in advance, ask for their itineraries and prices, and compare the schedules/prices and reviews. A good driver can make or break your trip. Usually the drivers might change daily, some know English very well and some could polish their English skills. However, all of our drivers were extremely friendly and attentive, adjusted our schedule daily if asked to and did their best to make out trip memorable. You can check their details here.
Rent a Scooter
Another very popular way to explore Bali is to rent a scooter. It’s very easy to rent a scooter in Bali, and most of the travelers use it for day trips. However, you should be a confident driver and you shouldn’t take unnecessary risks. Anyway, for the longer drives, a taxi would be much more comfortable.
Use Go Jek
Bali’s version of Uber with motorbikes. You can order a motorbike-taxi on their app. Many Balinese may offer you a ride on their bikes when they see you walking down the street. We don’t recommend using their services since there is no fixed price and it’s not regulated so we’d rather use Go Jek.
Take a Shuttle Bus
In recent years there are more and more shuttle buses connecting the most popular destinations in Bali. It’s a good economical solution to get around Bali. Kura Kura Bus company has a few good routes. Check Kura Kura’s routes and schedules.
How to Plan the Perfect Bali Itinerary - 10 days to Discover the Best of Bali Highlights
Enough with the foreplay and let’s start talking about the fun stuff. What to do and where to go in Bali. Depending on your preferences, you need to decide what would you like to see during your 10 days in Bali because the list goes on forever. However, we wanted to have a little taste of everything, so for us,
These were the highlights we wanted to check off our bucket list.
Highlights for your 10 Day Bali Itinerary
- Hike through the famous Balinese rice fields
- Visit Balinese local artists
- Stay at a local village
- Have a taste of the Balinese foodie scene
- Explore the ancient temples
- Learn about the Balinese culture
- Take a stroll through the local markets
- Jump into a local waterfall
- Enjoy a beach day
Our Bali Itinerary 10 Days of the Best of Bali Highlights
We always like to jump right in and start exploring a new destination from the start and for the finale, we like to take it easy at the beach. Therefore, we recommend starting from Northern Bali.
Day 1-3 Explore Munduk and Northern Bali
Rice Fields, Waterfalls, Villages, Black Sand Beaches and Diving/Snorkeling
To save you some driving time later, we suggest going from the airport straight to Munduk village which is located at the Buleleng Regency. Munduk is one of the best places to explore the stunning Balinese countryside. There are dozens of waterfalls, in the area, lots of rice fields, authentic villages, gorgeous viewpoints and it’s pretty close to the North Coast of Bali if you want to take a day trip to do some diving or snorkeling. It’s also a part of the island not many people get to see though we’ve found so many highlights and things to do there.
How long does it take to get to Munduk from Ngurah Rai International Airport? About 2-3 hours by car, depending on the traffic.
What to Do in 3 Days in Munduk?
Go Trekking around Munduk Rice Fields
We were there when it was harvest time, so we got to deepen our knowledge about the rice cycle and learn more about rice production and how much work goes into producing just one cup of rice.
Get to Know the More Authentic Bali
Believe us, you’ll appreciate the peace and quiet after you’ll get to one of the more popular destinations. The best way to learn about Balinese culture and customs is to hike through the local villages. Most villages have a few main streets where you’ll find the traditional market and a few shops or schools, but a lot of the villagers actually live within the rice fields or forests. Get a local guide and spend half a day walking through the area of Munduk and the nearby villages of Kayuputih and Banyuatis. We were invited to a few houses to watch the preparation of the daily offerings and the Balinese sambal (the Balinese relish or condiment that is made from a mixture of spices with lots of chilies). In our eyes, these are the most memorable experiences.
Northern Bali is the best place to see the most magnificent waterfalls in Bali. From the impressive and popular Sekumpul Waterfalls and Banyumala Twin Waterfalls to Aling Aling and the Secret Garden of Sambangan, you can spend a week just chasing waterfalls if this is what you’re looking for.
Sekumpul Waterfalls location: Sekumpul, Lemukih, Sawan, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81171, Indonesia
Aling Aling location: Jl. Raya Desa Sambangan, Sambangan, Kec. Sukasada, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81161, Indonesia
Banyumala Twin Waterfalls locations: Wanagiri, Sukasada, Buleleng Regency, Bali 81161, Indonesia
Visit a Coffee Plantation and Taste the Local Kopi Luwak
The best place to do it is probably Munduk Moding Coffee Plantation. The views are gorgeous, and it is one of the most ethical coffee plantations in Bali where you can be sure the Luwaks (or civet cats) are not abused for your entertainment.
Munduk Moding Plantation location: Jl. Asah Gobleg, Gobleg, Kec. Banjar, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81152, Indonesia
Visit Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and the Twin Lakes
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan must be one of the most photographed temples in Bali. This is going to be your first visit to a Balinese water temple, and the scenery here is simply stunning with the mountains in the background and the view of the lake. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan was built in 1633 and it’s still used for offerings ceremony to the goddess Dewi Danu. The temple complex is huge with groom gardens and places to sit and admire the view. The best time to visit is either in early morning or late afternoon. We arrived at midday when there were many tourists around, but due to the size of the complex, it was still an enjoyable experience, and we didn’t feel too crowded. On the way to/or from the lake, don’t forget to check out the views of the twin lakes where you’ll find plenty of Instagram spots such as swings and huge coffee mugs.
Take a Trip to Lovina and Pemuteran in the North
Lovina is located about an hour away from Munduk. It’s famous for its dolphins and black sand beach. Pemuteran is about an hour and a half by car from Munduk and you’ll find there one of the largest artificial Biorock reefs in the world. It’s a popular place for sunbathing, snorkeling and diving.
Hike through Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
On your way to your next destination, Ubud, make sure to stop at Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. These rice paddies are located halfway between Ubud and Munduk, and they are the perfect example of the famous Balinese Subak irrigation system (recognized by UNESCO). The Subak system is a manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana philosophy which emphasizes the three principals of harmony among men, harmony with nature and harmony with God. To learn more about the importance of the Subak system and why Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are a must-see attraction in Bali, check out our Bali Rice Fields Guide.
Jatiluwih Loaction: Jalan Jatiluwih No Desa, Jatiluwih, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82152, Indonesia
What to Do in Munduk If You Have More Time?
- Go on the Twin Lakes Jungle Trekking Experience – many companies organize a unique trek in the area where you can also visit hidden temples in the jungle and take a canoe boat to explore the lakes.
- Check Out the Hot Springs – There are a few hot springs in northern Bali and after all of the hiking to find the best rice fields and waterfalls, soaking in a hot spring might be a good idea!
Where to Stay in Munduk?
Since Munduk is still an off the beaten path destination, the hotel choices are quite limited. There are two luxury hotels in the area:
- Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort & Spa – A fabulous choice if you can afford it. This boutique hotel has become famous thanks to its fabulous infinity pool which overlooks the scenic views of the area and their own coffee plantation. You can’t go wrong with this choices. You can check the latest prices here.
- Sanak Retreat Bali – We stayed here for a couple of nights and loved this hotel. It’s an upscale ecological hotel with its own spa center. The rooms are spacious and beautiful and the view is breath-taking. You can read more about it in our Munduk Guide. Check out the prices for Sanak Retreat.
- There are several simpler options like homey lodges and home-stays. You can check their prices here.
Day 4-6 Explore Ubud and Central Bali
Rice Fields, Balinese Temples, Waterfalls and Foodie Scene
After getting to know the more authentic part of Bali, you’d probably want to spend a few days in a more populated place with great restaurants and lots of accommodation choices. Ubud might have been a hidden gem in the past, but it is no longer the case. Nevertheless, Ubud is a great place to spend day 4-6 on your Bali itinerary because there are so many interesting attractions around for nature, culture and food lovers. The town itself is surrounded by forests, rice fields and rivers and offers a lively foodie and night scenes.
How long does it take to get from Munduk to Ubud? It takes about 1.5 – 2 hours by car depending on traffic. However, we suggest taking a small detour and stopping at Jatiluwih Rice Terraces on your way from Munduk to Ubud.
What to Do in 3 Days in Ubud?
Explore the nearby Tegalalang Rice Terraces
These rice fields are a stunning sight, especially in the early hours of the day. Although they are probably the most touristy rice paddies in Bali, they are totally worth a visit because of their unique topological structure. Go up and down the narrow paths and take some pictures from every possible angle including from one of the famous Bali swings that overlook these rice terraces. The best time to visit Tegalalang Rice Terraces is in the early morning hours when the light is magical, and there are fewer visitors.
Tegalalang location: Jl. Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kec. Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
Visit the Local Temples: Goa Gajah, Pura Tirta Empul and Saraswati Temple
You’ll find many temples all around Ubud, including one at the center of town. The most famous ones are probably Goa Gajah (the Elephant Cave) and Pura Tirta Empul but there are many others to choose from.
Goa Gajah (the Elephant Cave) – located 6 km from the center of Ubud the roots of this temple date back to the 11th century. You can explore Goa Gajah in a relatively short time since it’s quite small. The main characteristics of this temple are the menacing faces carved into the stone at the entrance to the cave and the impressive carved figurines in the bathing pool.
Pura Tirta Empul – one of the most famous water temples in Bali whose springs are considered sacred and said to have healing powers. Most tourists come to Tirta Empul Temple to bath in its waters. Honestly, this experience can feel a bit touristy and more of an Instagram pose opportunity at times. However, the temple is beautiful, and even if you don’t intend to bath in its holy water, it’s a pleasure to walk around the complex and have a look at the inner courtyard where many times you can have a glimpse of the religious ceremonies that still take place here.
Saraswati Temple – this temple is conveniently located in the center of Ubud and it is dedicated to the goddess Sarasvati. It has a beautiful lotus pond and water gardens and its façade is covered with intricate decorations.
Tip for culture lovers – Always ask the locals about any ceremonies that might take place in the temples because they are truly a marvelous sight. Even if you are not allowed to participate or sit inside the compound, you can watch it from afar and admire the local Balinese worshipers who arrive in their best attire, carrying offerings and fruit baskets.
Take a Dip in the Waterfalls
Ubud has many waterfalls in its vicinity. If you haven’t had enough waterfalls in the North of Bali, you’ll be able to visit some of the waterfalls of central Bali. Two of the best are Tibumana Waterfall and Tukad Cepung where the waterfall is found inside a cave. It’s also a lot of fun to cool yourself in the water in the middle of the day.
Hike Campuhan Ridge
Take this short and easy hike just outside of Ubud during the morning hours. Another great way to start your day in nature and admire the unbelievable views. The beginning of the path starts just next to Warwick IBAH Hotel.
Campuhan Ridge location: Kelusa, Payangan, Jl. Raya Campuan, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Visit Ubud Art Market and Traditional Market
In the early morning hours discover the veggie and fruit stands of the traditional market and later, go shopping around the famous Ubud Art Market. You can find most of the traditional Balinese souvenirs in this market from hats and bags to home decorations and unique statues. Bargaining is a must!
Opening Hours for the traditional market: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
Opening Hours for Ubud’s Art market: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm (some of the stalls might be open only around 9:00)
Ubud’s Markets location: Jalan Raya Ubud No.35
Visit the Monkey Forest in Ubud
One of the most popular attractions in Ubud is visiting the Monkey Forest. This compound is a sanctuary for the Balinese long-tailed monkeys. There are also three Hindu temples in the compound, and from time to time you might see a local ceremony. Meeting the monkeys should be an enjoyable experience so take some time to read the guidelines if you don’t want to get hurt or lose some of your belongings.
Go on a Food Binge
Ubud was one of our favorite places in terms of the food scene. You’ll find here vegan salads and colorful smoothie bowls, traditional Balinese fare and even westernized upscale junk food. There are amazing restaurants, some of which might be a bit expensive but there are also great budget-friendly options. We had a great time in Ubud, searching for the best coffee shops and restaurants. Some of our favorites were Hujan Locale, Herb Library and Nusantara.
Visit the Local Artists or Take Part in a Local Workshop
There are a few villages near Ubud that specialize in silver, wood carvings and pottery. These villages are quite touristy and less authentic than the ones we visited in Yogyakarta in Java. Nevertheless, if you love arts and crafts and you don’t have a chance to visit less touristy spots, make sure to visit them. In Celuk Village you can visit the goldsmiths and silversmiths of Bali, Batuan Village is known for its artwork and paintings, and Mas village is known for its wood sculptors.
What to Do in Ubud If You Have More Time?
Watch a Dance Performance
While in Bali, you need to watch one of the local dance performances. The most recommended one is the Kecak dance performance at Uluwatu, but if you aren’t visiting Uluwatu, make sure to watch the dance performances in Ubud. You can catch a show at Pura Taman Saraswati. For more information check the full performance schedule.
Hike Mount Batur
The Mount Batur hike is pretty popular, especially for watching the sunrise from the top of this active volcano. Many tour agencies offer this hike. Contact them and they will pick you up from your hotel in Ubud. The hike itself is a bit challenging, but it’s not as strenuous as hiking Mount Agung. The hike to the top (1,717 meters above sea level) takes about two hours and the views are spectacular.
Mount Batur Location: South Batur, Kintamani, Bangli Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Visit a Spa
Take a Yoga Class
Ubud is known as the holistic center of Bali and a yogi’s paradise, so take a class if you have enough time.
Buy a Day Pass to One of the Luxury Hotels
Some of the most luxurious hotels in Bali are found in Ubud. We’re talking about world-class spa hotels, with gourmet food and five-star facilities. Not all of these provide a day pass, but some do, especially if you book a spa treatment. In addition, there are some hotels or pool clubs where it’s all about the party atmosphere in the bar and the gorgeous infinity pool. For some options, check out our ‘infinity pool’ section in our Bali Bucket List.
Take a Cooking Class
Where to Stay in Ubud?
Ubud has such a great selection of hotels and apartments for every budget. You can find luxury hotels that cost $ 700 a night or lovely budget hotels for $ 40. When choosing your place of accommodation, take into consideration whether you’d like to stay in the middle of the village on the main streets or at the outskirt of town. We wanted to be close to everything, so we chose a hotel on the main street but in retrospect, we’d rather stay at one of the quieter streets since Ubud’s traffic can get very crazy at certain hours of the day.
Luxury hotels in the center of Ubud:
- Adiwana Resort Jembawan – A great choice if you want to stay in the center because it’s located in a quiet street. We visited it after we’d eaten at the adjacent healthy joint, Herb Library, and made a mental note, it would be a good fit for our next visit. Check the prices for Adiwana Resort Jembawan.
- Bisma Eight – This beautifully designed hotel is surrounded by lush greenery and is located only 10-15 minutes walk from the center. You can even request a free yoga class to start your days. Check the prices for Bisma Eight.
- Tejaprana Bisma – Located on the same street as Bisma Eight, this is another great choice if you’d like to feel like you are staying in the middle of the jungle but within a reasonable walking or driving distance from the center. Check out the prices for Tejaprana Bisma.
- The Kayon Jungle Resort by Pramana – Have a look at the architecture and surrounding of this hotel, you won’t regret it. Located about 10 km from the city center, this is one of the most popular luxury hotels in the area. You can check the prices here.
- COMO Uma Ubud – Another dream hotel in Ubud with stunning view of the area. The hotel is located about 3 km. from Ubud and offers free shuttles to the area as well as free guided morning walks and yoga classes. You can check the prices for Como Uma Ubud here.
- Alila Ubud – One of the most famous luxury hotels with the breathtaking views of Ayung River. It is located 5 km from the center and offers free daily activities such as tai chi sessions, yoga sessions, walking & cycling around the property’s area. They also provide free a shuttle service to the restaurants and nightlife at Ubud. Check prices for Alila Ubud.
Mid-Range/Budget hotels in Ubud:
- Batu Empug Ubud – Located at a quiet street in the center of Ubud, it’s a great choice for a budget hotel. Check prices here.
- Anumana Ubud Hotel – Located at a central location very close to the Monkey Forest, with free bicycle rentals and free parking. Check prices here.
Mid-Range/Budget hotels in the outskirt of Ubud:
- Ananda Ubud Resort – Located in the middle of the rice fields about 4 km from Ubud’s center, this hotel offers several classes and has a restaurant onsite. Check prices here.
Day 7-8 Discover Sidemen and East Bali
Sidemen & East of Bali Highlights
Rice Fields, Hikes, Markets and Unique Temples
Day 7-8 on your itinerary are all about East of Bali, another part of Bali that not many people get to see. Sidemen and East Bali were one of our favorite places on the island. Sidemen village is located in Sidemen Valley, and it’s so magical and has such an authentic atmosphere and breath-taking scenery, we fell in love with it from the start.
Driving time from Ubud – It usually takes about an hour and a half by car, depending on the traffic.
What to Do in 2 Days in Sidemen?
Explore Sidemen Village
There are many rice fields in the area, but you don’t have to hike far to get to them. Strolling around Sidemen village, you’ll see gorgeous rice fields all around you. Other than the rice fields, there are flower fields and agricultural land, local schools and local temples. Exploring the village is one of the best things you can do in Sidemen.
Visit the Traditional Market
We love colorful and authentic markets and we loved the market in Sidemen. If you do wish to visit the market you need to come very early in the morning. Think about the commotion of early morning hours; local residents congregate in the market to buy their daily produce or grab a quick breakfast. It’s probably the busiest time of the day. The market is spread along the main street and inside a covered compound. Our senses were overwhelmed by the sounds, sights and smells, and to our delight, we were (almost) the only tourists there.
Visit the Local Weaving Plants
Sidemen is one of Bali’s weaving centers. There are a couple of weaving workshops in town that specialize in the traditional Endek and Songket weaving techniques. We dropped by one of the smaller workshop and watched the women working diligently on their wooden looms in an almost meditative state while weaving the colorful traditional garments that the man and women wear during religious ceremonies and special occasions. There are three major weaving plants in Sidemen, Pelangi, Arta Nadi and Swastika, located on the main road.
Relax at the Hotel
After exploring Sidemen village, enjoy the magical scenery. Many of the hotels in Sidemen have infinity pools, and though usually they are not as luxurious as the ones in Ubud, the scenery of the rice fields, agricultural land and Mount Agung in the background is stunning. Many of the hotels also offer spa and massage treatments.
Visit Tenganan Ancient Village
Tenganan village is one of the oldest and most special villages in Bali. The people of the village are called Bali Aga, meaning the original Balinese. They have their own unique traditions and rules. The houses of the village are decorated beautifully with intricate ornaments and beautifully carved doors. We hired a guide to teach us about the customs and then guide us through the nearby Kastala hike.
Hike from Tenganan to Kastala
This was one of our favorite hikes in Bali. Just behind Tenganan Ancient Village, there’s a route that will take you through the local forest (or tropical garden as our guide referred to it). You’ll see local houses in this Balinese jungle, and after climbing a steep hill you’ll get to one of the most beautiful rice fields in Bali. It was an extraordinary experience, and we loved the fact that we were the only tourists on this hike. Hiking this route requires a guide otherwise you will probably lose your way, not to mention the fact there are many snakes in the area (which explains the hissing sounds our guide kept making to scare away the snakes)
Discover the Water Garden of Tirta Gangga
This former royal palace was built in 1946, and nowadays it can be seen all over Instagram. The Tirta Gangga complex is very beautiful, and it is a pleasure to walk amongst the ponds, fountains, decorative figurines and groomed gardens for a while. However, a word of warning, if you can’t get to Tirta Gangga early, you’ll encounter hundreds of other tourists, waiting to pose amongst the decorated water ponds. We arrived at noon and what should have been a relaxing and fun walk in the complex, turned into a stressful and hurried stride amongst groups of tourists who were trying to get the perfect Instagram shot (basically it was too crowded to our taste).
Discover Pura Lempuyang Luhur
Lempuyang Temple is another unique temple in East Bali and one of the oldest ones on the island. There are seven temples in this compound and the main temple is located at 1,175 meters above sea level. To get to it, you’ll need to climb 1,700 steps. Most visitors just climb to the famous “gateway to heaven” which is found at one of the first temples, the Dragon Temple. But if you are fit enough and you have the time, hiking to the top temple will reward you with some of the best views in Bali. The total climb to the top and back should take you about 3-4 hours.
We know these are a lot of suggestions, but it can be done. We spent one day in Sidemen area, discovering the village and trekking the local fields and on our second day, we took a driver to the East. It is going to be a very long and tiring day, but it is possible.
What to Do in Sidemen If You Have More Time?
See East Bali's Beaches
Trekking Mount Agung
How does climbing the highest volcano in Bali sound? It’s a very challenging hike up the 3,031-meter-high volcano but it’s a very special experience to see the sunrise from the top of the mountain. Mount Agung is still an active volcano and you can only climb it on certain times of the year. Due to the challenging climbing conditions, hiring a guide or taking a tour is recommended.
Where to Eat in Sidemen?
Sidemen doesn’t have a huge foodie scene. The off the beaten path experience comes with a price. However, there are few excellent warungs in the area such as Warung Deva and a cute little coffee shop named Amrita. For more options check out the 10 best restaurants in Sidemen.
Where to Stay in Sidemen
More and more visitors have discovered Sidemen and east Bali lately. Therefore, there are plenty of accommodation choices to choose from. Generally speaking, the hotels in Sidemen are a bit more homely than the ones in Ubud or west Bali but this what makes them so special. Plus they are cheaper! We stayed at the lovely Alamdhari hotel and we loved the beautiful view, huge rooms and family atmosphere. The staff was wonderful and so welcoming.
Luxury hotels in Sidemen:
- Samanvaya Luxury Resort & Spa – Stay at one of the bungalows with the private balcony which overlooks the stunning rice fields of Sidemen Valley. You can book yourself a spa treatment or a tour of the area. Check the prices for Samanvaya Luxury Resort & Spa.
- Wapa di Ume Sidemen – This hotel has the best pool, stunning views and a fitness center and it offers free bikes as well. Check the prices here.
Mid-Range/Budget hotels in Sidemen:
- Alamdhari Resort and Spa – We stayed here for a few nights and loved the location, the stunning pool and the welcoming staff who remembered our names. Check prices for Alamdhari Resort and Spa.
- Pelangi Villas Sidemen – Located very close to Alamdhari, Pelnagi Villas is situated in the heart of the Balinese countryside, about 15 minutes walk to the main market. The design is lovely and the views are stunning. You can check prices here.
- Cepik Villa Sidemen – Cepik offers Balinese-style villas and an outdoor pool and it’s another great choice for budget accommodation in style. Check prices here.
Day 9-10 Explore the Bukit Peninsula and West Bali
The Bukit Peninsula and West Bali Highlights
Beaches, Surfing, Sea Temples, Shopping and Foodie Scene
Alright, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, you can’t explore the Bukit Peninsula and the West Coast in 2 days (or rather you can but you’ll have no time to enjoy it). So, choose one of the main towns and concentrate on that area or add two more days to your itinerary. The Bukit Peninsula and the West Coast are the most touristy part of Bali, but if you choose wisely, you can still enjoy the highlights of the area without feeling too crowded. Here are some of our recommendations for your itinerary.
Option 1 for Days 9-10 Canggu and Seminyak
These towns are very close to one another, and there are plenty of things to do in the area. Our favorite option is Canggu (pronounced chungoo). It is smaller, more relaxed and less touristy than Semianyak (not to mention Kuta). However, in both of these towns you’ll get to experience an excellent foodie scene, some shopping and a party atmosphere.
Driving time from Sidemen – about 1.5 – 2 hours (depending on the traffic)
What to Do in 2 Days in Canggu and Seminyak?
Relax at the Beach
Everybody dreams about the beaches in Bali and the ones around Canggu and Seminyak are very popular (though not necessarily the most beautiful ones). There are countless beaches all along the coastline so it’s impossible to list them all. Some of the best beaches around Seminyak are Double Six Beach, Batu Beling and Seminyak Beach which is probably the most crowded one with dozens of beach bars, hotels, and activities to choose from. Canguu has much more relaxed vibes and some of the beaches you can find there are Echo Beach, Batu Bolong Beach and Berawa Beach.
Take a Surf Lesson
Unlike the waves around Uluwatu area, you can find beginner-friendly waves around the beaches of Seminyak. Canggu is a bit more challenging, but there are some options for beginners as well. There are a few surf schools that offer lessons, and if you have enough experience, you can just rent a surfing board and hit the beach.
Shop till You Drop
Popular towns, mean lots of great shopping options. You can find plenty of international brands and trendy boutiques in Seminyak and Canggu. There are also plenty of opportunities to buy Balinese souvenirs such as wooden sculpture, hats, sarongs, dresses and more. In Canggu there are also great weekend markets where you can buy organic produce, skincare products, jewelry, sundresses, swimsuits and more.
The main shopping area in Seminyak – Jalan Kaya Aya, Jalan Petitenget and Jalan Laksmana. Seminyak Village is an indoor shopping center.
The main shopping area in Canggu – Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong and the nearby streets. Don’t forget to check some of the weekend markets.
Enjoy the Food Scene
If you thought Ubud was a foodie’s paradise, wait till you get to Seminyak and Canggu. There are plenty of local warungs, but there are also plenty of beautifully decorated coffee shops and restaurants that serve delicious food in a very instagrammable-friendly atmosphere. Check out some of our favorite spots to eat in Seminyak and Canggu:
Motel Mexicola at Jl. Kayu Jati No.9 in Seminyak
Kynd Community at Jalan Petitenget No.12 in Seminyak
Coffee Cartel at Jl Lebak Sari No. 8 in Seminyak
Gypsy Kitchen & Bar at Jalan Pura Batu Mejan, Gg. Munduk Catu No 1 Echo Beach, Canggu.
Copenhagen at Jl. Padang Linjong No.71a, Canggu.
Bali Bowls at Jalan Segara Perancak, Tibubeneng, canggu
Visit One of the Pool Bars or Beach Bars
Relax at one of the infinity pools or beach bars along Bali’s west coast. Some of the beach bars have a constant party atmosphere while others are a bit more laid back. Grab a bite to eat and a cocktail and watch the sunset in style. Some of the best beach and pool bars in the area are:
Eat Dinner at Sunset at Jimbaran Bay
Jimbaran Bay is known for its friendly beaches, gorgeous sunsets, and seafood restaurants. There are many restaurants to choose from and generally speaking, you’ll find the fancier restaurants in the north, and as you make your way to the south of the bay, the restaurants are less expensive with a more simple setting/atmosphere. Spend the afternoon walking on the beach and then eat fresh seafood while watching the sunset at one of the many excellent restaurants.
Visit Pura Tanah Lot
This Balinese temple is one of the best spots along the coast to watch the sunset. It is one of the most beautiful sea temples in Bali thanks to its scenic location. The temple is located on top of a rock formation in the sea so you can access this temple only during low tide because during high tide the water turns it into an island. It is quite touristy, but the stunning scenery is worth the visit.
What to Do in Canggu and Seminyak If You Have More Time?
Where to Stay in Seminyak?
As one of the most popular cities in Bali, Seminyak has a lot of choices for every budget and every taste. You’ll have no problem finding luxury resorts, of course, but very affordable and cool budget accommodation as well.
Luxury hotels in Seminyak:
If it’s luxury you are looking for, you can’t go wrong with any of these hotels. All of them have a great location on the beach and they offer a range of facilities and services. From a fitness center to Spa services. The rooms are beautifully designed and they have lovely swimming pools and excellent restaurants.
Mid-Range and Budget Hotels in Seminyak:
- U Paasha Seminyak Bali – This beautiful 4-star hotels is located about 10-15 minutes walk from the beach. But for a very affordable price tag, you will enjoy its spacious rooms with contemporary design, a modern gym and roof-top swimming pool and you can use their bicycles free of charge.
- Lloyd’s Inn Bali – This cool and beautiful 4-star hotel is located 5 minutes walking distance from the beach. It has a beautiful and clean modern design, a small pool and young and hip vibe. The rooms are quiet small and so is the swimming pool but it’s a great deal for the price.
- Kashantee Village – Located only 200 from Batu Belig Beach, this 3-star hotel offers spacious rooms and a nice pool with a very affordable price tag.
- Ibis Styles Bali Petitenget – This 3-star hotel has an hip and young design and a very affordable price tag. Note that the pool is small and it a 15 minutes walk from the beach but you can use the free shuttle to reach the main points of interests in the Seminyak.
- Grandmas Plus Hotel Seminyak – Last but not least, this hotel has a great location and a small pool. The rooms are simple, but it’s a great choice if you want to be close to the beach. It has great reviews and a very affordable price tag.
Check out all the accommodation choices for Seminyak
Where to Stay in Canggu?
Luxury hotels in Canggu:
- COMO Uma Canggu – The ultimate luxury hotel in Canggu if you can afford it and it’s situated only a few steps from Echo Beach. This is a stunning hotel with a gorgeous pool, beautifully designed rooms and a wellness center.
- THE HAVEN SUITES Bali Berawa – This 5-star hotel is located very close to Batu Bolong Beach. With its Balinese design, spacious rooms and beautiful swimming pool, it’s a great choice for accommodation in Canggu.
Mid-Range and Budget Hotels in Canggu:
- Shore Amora Canggu – This lovely 4-star hotel is located very close to Pererenan Beach. The scenery is beautiful and so is the modern design with Balinese touches. You can also enjoy the small swimming pool. It’s perfect if you are looking for a quiet location that is close enough to the center of Canggu.
- Annupuri Villas Bali – If you are looking for a really quiet location and beautiful scenery, and you don’t mind being far away from the beach, this might be the place for you. The natural design and beautiful surrounding make it the perfect place to escape the crowds. To get to the beach and Canggu center you’ll need to rent a scooter or get a cab.
- Koa D Surfer Hotel – A very cool and young hotel with a central location and within a walking distance from Berawa Beach. It has simple rooms and beach-like rooftop lounge with a swimming pool.
Check out all the accommodation choices for Canguu
Option 2 for Days 9-10 Uluwatu and the Bukit Peninsula
If Ubud is a mecca for yogis, then Uluwatu is a mecca for surfers. There’s no better place to experience the surf culture in Bali than Uluwatu and the west coast of the Bukit Peninsula. There are gorgeous beaches and viewpoints all along the coast and plenty of restaurants and accommodation options.
Driving time from Sidemen – about 2 hours (depending on the traffic and the location in the Bukit Peninsula)
Driving time from Seminyak – about 1 – 1.5 hours (depending on the traffic and location in Bukit Peninsula)
What to Do in 2 Days in Uluwatu and the Bukit Peninsula
Intermediate and pro surfers will have a blast here and they will have many beaches to choose from. Beginners might have a more challenging time to find suitable beaches to surf, but there are a few beach sections where the waves are not as daunting. You can find some surfing schools along the coast that can help you find the right waves for your level.
Explore the Gorgeous Beaches
Bukit Peninsula is known for its pristine beaches. Along the west coast of the peninsula, you’ll find golden sandy beaches with turquoise water and majestic cliffs. The only problem is that the majority of the beaches require climbing up/down quite a few stairs to get to the actual beach. Nevertheless, these are some of the most stunning beaches in Bali with breathtaking scenery. In some beaches you’ll find facilities while others are completely abandoned, just waiting to be found. Here are some of the best beaches in Uluwatu area:
- Padang Padang Beach – where the film Eat Pray Love was filmed. The scenery is stunning but it can get crowded at times.
- Thomas Beach – a beautiful beach that is still relatively chilled without crowds of tourists.
- Balangan Beach – a great choice for surfing and sunbathing (though swimming might be hard).
- Green Bowl Beach – A beautiful beach where you might even see a monkey or two. It’s hard to swim in the water during the low tide, but the scenery is beautiful and it’s great for surfing and sunbathing. When the tide is high there is hardly any sand left to sit on so take this into account.
Visit Pura Luhur Uluwatu and Watch the Kecak Dance Performance
Uluwatu Temple is one of the most stunning sea temples in Bali. Perched on a cliff overlooking the turquoise water and the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean, you can spend an hour here just staring at the amazing scenery that unfolds before your eyes, mesmerized by the hues of turquoise and the sound of the waves. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is actually one of the holiest places of worship on the island and it’s one of the best places to watch the traditional Kecak fire dance. The dance performance takes place during sunset and lasts for about an hour and though it’s somewhat touristy, it’s a magnificent sight that is definitely worth your time and money. Other attractions in the temple’s vicinity include the Macaque monkeys that are found everywhere and like to snatch visitors’ belongings and the nearby Suluban Beach (also known as Uluwatu Beach or Blue Point Beach) which is accessible only through a cave during low tide. The beach is tiny and is mainly for surfers, but the scenery is beautiful.
Buy a Day Pass to One of the Beach Clubs
If you are not staying in one of the luxury hotels, you can still spend a day at the beach in style. There are a few resorts and beach clubs that offer a day pass to their private beach and facilities. Sundays Beach Club in Ungasan and Karma Beach Club in Uluwatu are considered as some of the best in the area.
Watch the Sunset with Cold Bintang Beer
Uluwatu is considered as the best spots to watch sunsets in Bali. You can grab something to drink or a snack and go to one of the many gorgeous viewpoints in the area. Another option is to spend the evening in one of the beach bars and clubs where you’ll usually find a lively party atmosphere accompanied by drinks, food and gorgeous views. El Kabron Cliff Club and Single Fin in Uluwatu are very popular amongst tourists.
What to Do in Uluwatu If You Have More Time?
- Visit Nusa Dua – this famous resort area on the east side of the Bukit Peninsula has some lovely beaches and lots of options for water sports lovers, including underwater sea walking.
- Visit the abandoned plane – you can look for the abandoned aircraft in the Bukit Peninsula, not far away from Nusa Dua’s beaches.
- Eat dinner at sunset at Jimbaran Bay – Jimbaran Bay is located between Uluwatu and Kuta so you can also visit the famous seafood restaurants from wherever you are staying in Uluwatu.
Where to Stay in Uluwatu
Uluwatu area is a famous surfers paradise and therefore you’ll find here several budget-friendly apartments and hostels. There are also great choices for luxury hotels but for mid-range hotels, the choices are limited.
Luxury hotels in Uluwatu:
- Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu – For a great location and beautiful design, stay here. The hotel is very close to several beaches and only 6 km. away from the famous Uluwatu Temple. You can check prices here.
- Six Senses Uluwatu – Perched on a cliff with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, the Six Senses Uluwatu offers elegant design and stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Note that the hotel is located a few kilometers away from the beach. Check the prices here.
- Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa – This 5-star hotel has beautifully decorated rooms, a stunning swimming pool and a fitness center, Again it is located a bit inland but it does offer transportation to Pandawa Beach where you can relax at Roosterfish Beach Club. Check prices here.
Mid-Range/Budget hotels in Uluwatu:
- Adila Bali – A great option for a mid-range hotel. The rooms are beautiful and so is the pool. The property is located a bit in land a few km. from the nearby beaches at the south of the peninsula. Check prices here.
- Padang-Padang Inn – For budget-friendly prices and a great location near Padang Padang beach, this is a great choice. Check prices here.
- The Inn Possible – Situated in Uluwatu, 90 meters from Bingin Beach, this beautiful guesthouse is a great choice for budget accommodation. You can check prices here.
For more accommodation in the area, check out your options here
What Else Can You Add to Your Bali Itinerary 10 days of the Most Amazing Bali Highlights
- Visit the islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembognan – you can take a day trip to one of the Nusa Islands or stay there for a few days.
- Stay a couple of nights in the North – instead of taking a day trip to the North coast, stay there for a few nights. You can visit or stay at Menjangan Island which is part of the Bai Barat National Park.
- Stay in Amed – for some great snorkeling and diving opportunities (including visiting the WWII Japanese shipwreck) stay at Amed which is located in the northeast of Bali.
- Stay at Candidasa or Sanur – Both of these towns which are located in East Bali offer some great accommodation opportunities and an easy access to the attractions in East Bali.
Final Tips, Advice and Notes for your 10-day Bali Itinerary
- Many hotels in Bali ask for the payment in advance which was a surprise to us.
- Traffic in the most popular areas in Bali is horrible, especially during the high season and holidays. The estimated times we’ve given can sometimes be doubled during the busiest seasons.
- Be careful and buy good insurance. Broken sidewalks, storming motorbikes, sharp corals, monkey bites – anything can happen and in Bali’s humid weather conditions wounds can get infected quickly so don’t skimp on your insurance policy.
- For us, the most interesting part about Bali was the Balinese culture. We’ve learned so much just by talking with our drivers, local residents and people who have been living in Bali for a while. It’s a magical island so our advice is to learn as much as you can about the Balinese culture simply by showing interest.
Bali is a magical island and we've tried to list what we feel are the main highlights with some popular tourist attractions as well as off-the-beaten-path ideas. Let us know if you’ve found our 10 days in Bali itinerary helpful. And if you’ve found any more hidden gems we should know about.
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