Bali Bucket List - Where to Go and What to Do to Experience the Best of Bali
So many people around the world are fascinated with Bali, the Island of the Gods. We’ve been dreaming for years about beautiful Bali and its green rice terraces, stunning waterfalls, breathtaking views, colorful smoothie bowls and most of all, the Balinese culture. We love exploring new cultures from the food and art to local beliefs; this is what sparks our wanderlust. When we travel, we also love to mix things up with a variety of experiences and adventures in our itinerary. Our ultimate Bali bucket list is a concoction of the best experiences in Bali for every taste, from nature and beach bums to cultural and food-related highlights. If you are wondering where to go in Bali to have the best vacation of your life, here’s the perfect bucket list to make sure you won’t miss a thing!
Best of Bali Bucket List for Nature Lovers
What to Do in Bali to Discover Bali’s Natural Beauty and Hidden Gems
Best Waterfalls for your Bucket List
Bali is a heaven for nature lovers, and there are so many waterfalls to choose from, especially in central and northern Bali. From a single cascade to multiple ones, secluded hidden waterfalls that require quite a hike or easy to reach cascades, you can spend your whole vacation just chasing waterfalls if this is what you are looking for.
Waterfalls in North of Bali
1. Sekumpul Waterfalls (Air Terjun Sekumpul) – Considered as one of the most famous and beautiful waterfalls in Bali. Sekumpul Waterfalls’ 6-7 cascades will surely take your breath away. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy trail and recently the entrance fees have increased significantly. In fact, according to the new regulations, you can either pay a fee to only watch the waterfall from above or hire a guide to get to Sekumpul waterfalls. The hike is quite steep and a bit challenging, but the sight of the cascading waterfalls is totally worth it. Location: Sekumpul, Lemukih, Sawan, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81171, Indonesia
2. Banyumala Twin Waterfalls – another beautiful waterfall to visit in northern Bali is Banyumala Twin Waterfalls. The road to this one is in a poor state and in the rainy season, it might be impossible to get to it. However, if you have good weather, after a short but slippery hike, you’ll be rewarded with the breathtaking view of the twin waterfalls. Location: Wanagiri, Sukasada, Buleleng Regency, Bali 81161, Indonesia
3. Banyuatis\Pesiraman waterfall – Located just near Munduk, at Banyuatis Village, this is a hidden gem that not many people have heard of. For more information, check our guide to Munduk and the nearby area.
Waterfalls near Ubud
5. Kanto Lampo waterfalls – located about 30 minutes from Ubud (not far from Tibumana Waterfall) this waterfall is a photographer’s dream. Though not as high as some of the waterfalls in the north, the several cascading falls are beautiful to look at. Be careful if you attempt to get close to them since it might be a bit dangerous. Location: Beng, Kec. Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80581
6. Tukad Cepung – One of the most special waterfalls in Bali. Located about an hour from Ubud, you’ll find this waterfall inside a cave. At the right time of day with the illuminating rays of light, it can be a magnificent sight. Location: Jl. Tembuku, Dusun Penida Kelod, Tembuku, Kabupaten Bangli, Bali 80671, Indonesia
General tips for visiting Bali’s waterfalls:
- Bring water with you.
- There might be a fee and, in some places, you’ll be required to hire a guide.
- The waterfalls’ conditions can change, depending on the season, and sometimes they might be impossible to reach. So ask the locals about the conditions prior to your arrival.
- It’s always best to come in the early morning or in the afternoon to escape the organized tours. For Tukad Cepung – you’ll need to consider the position of the sun to watch the ray of lights inside the cave.
- Additional locations of the best waterfalls in Bali
Where to Go in Bali to Explore the Best Rice Fields
Bali is the uncrowned queen of rice fields in Asia and thanks to the Subak irrigation system, you can catch a green rice field at any time of the year. We recommend visiting a few rice fields because their topography varies and when you visit these rice fields during harvest time, you might not have the perfect green shot, however, you will gain an extensive knowledge of the rice life cycle and how much effort it takes to produce one cup of rice.
Rice Fields in the North for your Best of Bali Bucket List
7. Munduk Rice Fields – The area around Munduk is all about waterfalls and rice fields. You’ll find many opportunities to trek through the local rice fields here. When we visited Munduk, it was harvest time, which turned out to be a great opportunity to deepen our knowledge about rice production in Bali. Location: Munduk, Banjar, Buleleng Regency, Bali 81161, Indonesia
Rice Fields in Central Bali
8. Tegalalang Rice Terraces – Probably the most famous Balinese rice terraces. The unique topography of these rice terraces and the proximity to Ubud make them one of the most popular attractions in Bali, so if you want to avoid the crowds come very early in the morning. Location: Jl. Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
9. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces – Located halfway between Ubud and Munduk, the size of the Jatiluwih rice fields provides plenty of opportunities to take selfies without any people around. There are marked routes (some of which are suitable for bicycles) and you can spend here anywhere from an hour to 5 hours, getting lost among the dreamy rice fields. Location: Jalan Jatiluwih No No.Desa, Jatiluwih, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82152, Indonesia
Rice Fields in the East
10. Sidemen Rice Fields – We actually stayed here for a few days and had the time of our lives. The beautiful rice fields in Sidemen valley are easy to reach, and they are still a bit of a hidden gem. Location: Jalan Sidemen – Sangkan Gunung, Sidemen, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80864, Indonesia
11. Kastala/Tenganan Rice Fields – These were probably among our favorite rice fields in Bali. You’ll need to hike for 1-2 hours to get to them, but the sight of these rice fields is breathtaking and the hike to get to them was very interesting, though challenging at times. Location: Unnamed Road, Bebandem, Karangasem Regency, Bali 80861, Indonesia
Rice Fields in the West
Where to Go to Discover Bali’s Hidden Canyons and Pools
13. Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang – For a unique and challenging experience, trek this beautiful hidden canyon. It is located just half an hour from Denpasar. Due to its recent popularity, many companies can organize a tour through this gorgeous natural treasure. The trek takes a few hours and since it can be dangerous at times, we’d recommend hiring a guide (which is mandatory for first-time visitors). Don’t forget to check the weather conditions, since, during rainy days, it is closed. Even though you are going to get wet, it’s recommended to do this trek with shorts and a t-shirt rather than a swimsuit since the hidden canyon is sacred to the local community. Location: Jalan Sahadewa, Banjar Wangbung, Guwang, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
14. Visit the Secret Garden of Sambangan – The Secret Garden is located near Singaraja city in the north of Bali. You can spend your day here, trekking through the jungle and rice fields to hidden water pools and waterfalls, including the famous Aling Aling waterfall. If you only wish to see Aling Aling, you can just buy the entrance ticket but to trek through the other parts of the Secret Garden and be allowed to get into the water, you’d need to buy a trekking ticket with a guide. There are three treks to choose from, ranging from 1.5 hours to 6 hours. Location: Sambangan, Sukasada, Buleleng Regency, Bali 81161, Indonesia
Where to Go to in Bali to Climb a Volcano
Have you ever climbed an active volcano? If you’ve always dreamed about it, this is your chance. The ideal time to climb one of Bali’s volcanoes is sunrise when the temperature is lower, and you are rewarded with magnificent views at the end of the climb.
15. Climb Mount Agung – Mount Agung is the highest volcano in Bali (3,031 meters), and it still erupts occasionally. This hike is the most challenging one on the island, and it can take you 4-6 hours to climb to the summit, depending on your starting point and fitness level. Don’t forget the climb to the summit is done in the dark, so you’d be able to admire the sunrise from the top of the mountain. This hike is suitable for fit hikers only and should definitely be done with a guide. Location: Jungutan, Bebandem, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia
16. Climb Mount Batur – Climbing Mount Batur (another active volcano) might be strenuous but the view from the top is so rewarding, especially when you do it during sunrise. The hike to the top (1,717 meters above sea level) in pitch darkness, takes about two hours and you’d need to be fit to complete it. Once the first rays of light come out and you see stunning views, you forget all about the steep climb, at least until you feel your muscles ache the next morning. Location: South Batur, Kintamani, Bangli Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Where to Go to in Bali for the Best Hikes
There are various hikes all over Bali and it’s impossible to list them all but here are some hiking experiences that are well worth your time.
17. Twin Lakes Jungle Trek in the north– Many companies offer this popular trek that combines jungle trekking, visiting a unique temple in the jungle, canoeing and more.
18. Trekking Sidemen Valley in the east – There are many trekking trails all over Sidemen Valley, you don’t have to hire a guide to do them, but if you have a bad sense of direction or if you are visiting during the rainy season, a guide is recommended. If you want to hike the 6-hour long Sidemen to Padang Bai trek, a guide is a must.
19. Trekking Tirta Gangga Rice Fields in the east – There are many trails to choose from; anything between an easy 1-hour long hike to the 6-hour hike from Tirta Gangga water temple through the villages of Lempuyang, Bukit Kusambi and Budakeling. You don’t need a guide to hike the shorter trails, but for the longer ones, a guide is recommended.
20. Kastala/Tenganan hike in the east – A hike through the tropical forest, the local villages and the gorgeous views of the local rice fields. Check out our Bali Rice Field Guide for more information.
21. Campuhan Ridge in Ubud – When you visit Ubud, make sure you hike the Campuhan Ridge during sunrise or sunset. It’s an easy hike with beautiful views of the area.
Best of Bali - Watch the Sunrise
There’s nothing like the classic shot of the magical ray of lights of early morning coloring some beautiful landscape in golden hues. There are many spots all over Bali to catch a glorious Balinese sunrise, but here are some options for your Bali bucket list:
22. Lake Beratan – To get the famous shot of the magnificent Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, arrive before sunrise and watch the scenery comes to life as the first rays of sun hit the lake and the temple. Location: Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82191, Indonesia
23. Watching the sunrise from the top of Mount Agung and Mount Batur.
24. Pinggan Village – Other than watching the sunrise from Mount Batur itself, how about watching the sun rises over Mount Batur in Pinggan Village. If you arrive for sunrise, you’ll get to see the valley covered with mystical thin foggy layer as the first rays of light illuminate the valley and the majestic Mount Batur. Location: Gg. Kunti, Pinggan, Kintamani, Kabupaten Bangli, Bali 80652, Indonesia
25. Amed Beach – Amed beach is known for having spectacular sunrises.
Where to Go in Bali to Catch a Beautiful Sunset in Nature
26. Yeh Leh in Jambrana (Boulder Beach) – About 2 hours from Seminyak by car, you’ll find the perfect place for sunset watching, especially for photographers. The beach is covered with thousands of boulders and during sunset, it’s a spectacular sight. Location: Jl. Raya Denpasar – Gilimanuk, Pengeragoan, Pekutatan, Kabupaten Jembrana, Bali, Indonesia
27. Tegal Wangi Beach – One of the best places to watch the sunset on the Bukit Peninsula. This beautiful beach offers rugged coastline with dramatic cliffs, numerous rock pools, and even a cave. All of these make it the perfect spot in Bali for sunset and photography lovers. Location: Jl. Tegal Wangi, Jimbaran, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
28. Karang Boma Cliff – Located in Uluwatu area not far from the famous Pura Luhur Uluwatu, the Karang Boma Cliff is one of the most perfect spots to watch the sunset. The picturesque sight of the rocky cliffs and the crashing waves of the ocean below combined with the golden hues of the sunset, guarantee a perfect sunset shot. Location: Pecatu, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
29. Another option is to go and watch the sunset at the beautiful Pura Luhur Uluwatu and Pura Tanah Lot – see our temple section.
Best of Bali Bucket List for Beach Lovers
What to Do in Bali for Beach Bums?
For many visitors, the highlight of their Balinese vacation is the beaches. Whether you prefer sunbathing and people watching or surfing and diving, you’ll have plenty to do on Bali’s best beaches.
Where to Go to in Bali to Find the Best Beaches
Beaches in the Bukit Peninsula
30. Nusa Dua Area – One of the best resort areas in Bali is located very close to Denpasar and Ngurah Rai International Airport. This picture-perfect tropical beach is blessed with soft sand, crystal-clear water and lots of things to do. Don’t forget to:
- Relax at one of the many beaches in the area such as Samuh Beach and Geger Beach.
- Visit the local water blow.
- Engage in Water Sports – from jet skiing to paragliding and even flyboarding – there are many options for adrenaline junkies.
- Go snorkeling and diving.
- Try Underwater Sea Walking – If you’re not much of a diver but still want to enjoy the underwater world, with the special helmet you’ll get a close look at the local coral reef and sea creatures
31. Uluwatu Area – This surfers paradise is located at the western part of the peninsula. The limestone cliffs that plunge into the turquoise water create a very dramatic sight (which also means, many times you’ll need to climb down/up many stairs to get to the beach). Although it’s mainly known as a mecca for surfers, any beach lover can find plenty of things to do in the area. Don’t forget to:
- Soak in the gorgeous views at Padang Padang Beach where the film Eat Pray Love was filmed. It can get crowded so come in the early morning and be aware you’ll need to climb down some stairs to get to the beach.
- Relax at one of the most beautiful and quieter beaches, Thomas Beach. It’s a beautiful beach with some simple warungs but you’ll need to climb down about 180 stairs to get to this little piece of heaven (not to mention to climb them back up).
- Discover the (not) so secret cave at Suluban Beach Uluwatu (try and come during low tide, check out the tide schedule).
- To surf and relax in a quiet atmosphere, visit Balangan Beach.
32. Jimbaran Bay – Here you’ll find great places for families with kids. Unlike most of the beaches in the southwest, there are no stairs to climb and there are lots of restaurants, bars and water sports to choose from.
Best of Bali - Beaches in the West
In the west of Bali, you’ll find some of Bali’s most popular beach towns such as Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu. But there are also smaller villages and secluded beaches if you want to go off the beaten path.
33. Kuta and Seminyak – These two are probably the most touristy towns in Bali. If you’re looking for wide and sandy beaches with lots of restaurants, bars, shopping and parties, you’ll have a blast here. There are many beaches and things to do and other than relaxing on the beach you can also:
- Take surfing lessons since this area is much better suited for beginners than Uluwatu area.
- Visit the famous waterpark Waterbom.
- Go shopping for sundresses and swimsuits in the trendy boutiques and markets.
34. Canggu – If you’re looking for a place with lots of cool restaurants and trendy bars, great beaches but with less of a non-stop party atmosphere, Canggu is your best bet. Location: Canggu, North Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
35. Balian Beach – For long walks on the beach or surfing in a relaxed atmosphere this the place to go. Especially if you want to escape the hectic vibes of the other famous western Bali beaches and you are looking for a relaxed place that still has great food options, some yoga classes and more. Location: Lalanglinggah, West Selemadeg, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82162, Indonesia
There are many more beaches along the West coast, of course, but most of them are very secluded without any facilities. Some of them have very strong currents and are more suitable as a place to stop and admire the beautiful and wild scenery or take a walk along the beach rather than swimming. If you are looking for such beaches, you can check out Pantai Kelating or Pantai Soka.
Beaches in the North
The north of Bali is a kind of a hidden gem. Fewer tourists take the time to explore its charming corners and secluded beaches. If you are looking for a relaxing and more authentic atmosphere with some unique activities for nature and animal lovers, northern Bali’s beaches are your best bet.
36. Lovina Beach – Probably the most famous town in the north of Bali, Lovina is known for its dolphin tours. Other than that, you’ll find here a very quiet beach with soft black sand, a few choices for accommodations and some facilities. You can snorkel or dive here, but there are better places to do that in Bali.
37. Pemuteran Beach – If you are looking forward to spending your days relaxing on the beach or diving and snorkeling, Pemuteran Beach is probably one of the best spots in Bali. Here you’ll find the biggest shallow reef in Bali, white sand, crystal clear water and a very calm sea. For more information, check out our diving section.
Beaches in the East
Eastern Bali is still a relatively quiet part of the island. There are many daily tours to some of its more touristy spots but generally speaking, you can find some great and relatively quiet beaches here.
38. Blue Lagoon – One of the most special beaches in Bali. With its mixture of golden and black volcanic sand, the beautiful views of the bay, a variety of warungs, marine life and beautiful tide pools, everyone is going to find something to do here. It’s also a great spot for snorkelers.
39. Bias Tugal Beach – If you are looking for a more secluded beach, stop by Pantai Bias Tugal (also referred to as Pantai Kecil). This beach is truly stunning and most times, there are very few visitors here. There are a few warungs and the water is clear and calm with a few rock pools and trees. This is a perfect place to spend a few hours without the regular tourist crowds.
40. Pasir Putih Beach – close to Candi Dasa, just near Perasi village you’ll find this white sand beach, also referred to as Virgin Beach. This beautiful beach might have been a secret spot in East Bali in the past, but in recent years more and more tourists have discovered it. Nevertheless, it’s still one of Bali’s most beautiful beaches with calm and clear water and facilities for visitors.
Where to Go in Bali to Enjoy the Best Water Sports
Snorkeling and Diving Spots for your Best of Bali Bucket List
There are a lot of places you can go snorkeling or diving to get familiar with Bali’s aquatic life, we’ve listed some of the best.
41. Menjangan Island – This island is part of the Bai Barat National Park in the northwest of Bali. Menjangan Island is home to one of Bali’s best marine biodiversity, and there aren’t many tourists around. Menjangan Island is considered to be a great diving site for beginners with very light currents and very clear visibility. However, thanks to its deeper diving areas, it also has a very high rate of decompression sickness, so be careful. Some of the best areas to dive around the island are Pos Dua with its great visibility and the coral garden in the northwestern coast which is known for its sea turtles and great snorkeling at its shallowest area.
42. Pemuteran – Though many times people ignore Pemuteran, its artificial Biorock reef project (the biggest of its kind in the world) makes it a unique spot for divers and snorkels. You can dive around more than 115 Biorock structures. Other than the regular fish schools and colorful corals, you could also spot sea turtles and reef sharks.
43. Tulamben – located just north of Amed on the east coast of Bali, this is one of the most well-known diving sites for experienced divers. Here you’ll find the USS Liberty Wreck which is considered to be one of the best shipwrecks for diving in the world. This whole wreck has become some sort of an artificial reef with vibrant corals and a very rich marine life. Try to get there early in the morning or in the afternoon since you’ll find in the area many diving tours from 10 am till 2 pm. You can also participate in a night dive which is a very unique experience. Other than the shipwreck, Tulamben is home to the famous coral garden, a shallow reef that is great for snorkelers. The coral garden is made of rocky reef and man-made structures. At different time of the day, you’ll encounter different schools of fish, from butterfly and clownfish to eels and octopus. Make sure to visit the underwater temples and statues for some Instagram-worthy shots.
44. Amed – Amed provides some great diving and snorkeling opportunities for beginners and experienced divers, and you’ll have plenty of accommodation types and restaurants. At Lipah Bay you can find a great preserved reef just off the coast and not far away in the relatively shallow water you’ll also find a WWII Japanese shipwreck. Another great spot for snorkeling and diving in the area is Jemeluk Bay. The crescent-shaped bay is probably one of the most picturesque beaches in Bali with the impressive Mount Agung in the background. This is a great place for snorkeling and divers alike.
Where to Go in Bali to Catch a Wave and Join Bali Surf Culture
45. Surfing: We don’t need to say too much about this subject, Bali is a mecca for surfers. Experienced surfers are going to have a blast. From the famous Uluwatu, the long tube rides of Padang Padang and Green Bowl at Bukit Peninsula to the new child on the block, Keramas which is located just near Sanur. Not to mention the famous beaches along Bali’s west coast such as Kuta and Canggu that are more suitable for beginners. There are many surfing schools along the west coast and especially around Kuta and Canggu.
Where to Go to Experience Other Water Sports in Bali
46. Try Flyboarding at Nusa Dua.
47. Try your hand at kitesurfing at Sanur’s Mertasari Beach and Nusa Dua in the South or Seminyak and Canggu in the West.
48. Try riding Bali’s waves with a SUP. Here are some recommended spots for SUP surfers in Bali.
49. Take a rafting tour on Telaga Waja river, Ayung river or Payangan river.
Bali Bucket List for Luxury Lovers
Infinity Pools for your Best of Bali Bucket List
We’ve all seen pictures of the famous infinity pools in the middle of the jungle or above the clouds. Bali has some of the best infinity pools in the world! Here are some of the most impressive infinity pools in Bali.
Infinity Pools in the South
50. One eighty’s clifftop infinity pool, the Edge Villas at Uluwatu – This glass-bottomed infinity pool sits at the top of a cliff, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. If you’ve ever wanted to float above the ocean, here you’ll be able to fulfill this dream and more. The mesmerizing views of the Indian Ocean and the crashing waves beneath you provide once in a lifetime experience and magnificent shots for your Instagram feed.
51. Sundara Bali Four Seasons Jimbaran – Day visitors are welcomed to this luxurious beach club and its 57 meter-long infinity pool which faces the ocean. The hotel’s restaurant is known for being one of the best restaurants in Bali.
Infinity Pools in the West
52. The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa– This luxury hotel has one of the best infinity pools in the area with the view of the ocean. Relax in the huge infinity pool with a cocktail in your hand and watch Seminyak’s beautiful sunsets (The resort offers a limited number of day passes).
Infinity Pools in the East
53. Villa Patal Kikian, Sidemen – This gorgeous infinity pool is located at one of Bali’s hidden gems, the quiet village of Sidemen. It might not be as glamorous as the posh clubs in the west or Ubud, but the view from here is one of the best. Can you think of a better way to start your day than taking a dip in the water and watch the majestic Mount Agung from afar?
Infinity Pools in Ubud
54. Hanging Gardens of Bali – This well-known infinity pool has already been captured on Instagram from every possible angle, but there’s a reason why people can’t get enough of this gorgeous pool. Located in the heart of the jungle, very close to Ubud, this double-decker pool is a unique sight and the perfect place to relax and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Bali.
55. Jungle Fish Pool Bar – Located at the luxurious Chapung Se Bali Resort & Spa, you can buy a day pass to hang out at the pool. The view is spectacular, and the price is quite reasonable. It is one of the best options in Ubud. The resort is located on the hillside in the Ayung River Valley, and the views from the infinity pool are to die for.
56. Alila Ubud – Probably one of the most famous infinity pools in Bali with the best views of Ubud’s forests. Alila’s infinity pool seems to overhang above the Ayung River and the view is breathtaking. Officially there are no day passes to this luxury hotel, however, if you come to enjoy their afternoon tea, you will get access to the pool, depending on availability. Reservations are needed.
Infinity Pools in the North
57. Munduk Moding Plantation, Munduk – Another Instagram sensation, here you’ll get the perfect shot of floating above the sky on the edge of the pool. Surrounded by the hotel’s coffee plantation and the panoramic views of Bali’s north coast, it’s the perfect place to relax and learn more about the Balinese culture and coffee production. To use this gorgeous pool, you’ll have to be a guest at the hotel.
Best Beach Clubs and Beach Bars for your Best of Bali Bucket List
Beach Clubs and Beach Bars in the South
58. El Kabron Cliff Club, Uluwatu – If you’re looking to chill out with a drink in your hand, taking a dip in an infinity pool while enjoying the breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, this trendy beach club is definitely for you.
59. Single fin, Uluwatu – Another beach club that is located on a cliff with the stunning views of the Indian Ocean. With live DJ’s on certain nights, an infinity pool and a lively atmosphere, you can spend the perfect evening here
60. Sundays Beach Club, Ungasan – One of the best options on the Bukit Peninsula, this exclusive beach club welcomes visitors on a first come first serve basis. There’s a beautiful infinity pool, but the main event is the secluded beach where you can take the kayaks or snorkeling gear to explore the ocean, relax on the beach and join the daily bonfires every night. During the weekends there is also live music.
Beach Clubs and Beach Bars in the West
61. La Brisa, Canggu – This Beach Club is Located at Echo Beach in Canggu. You can take a dip in the pools, enjoy some rustic Spanish delicacies and delicious cocktails. The atmosphere is very cool and laidback with great music; this is a great place to watch the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.
62. Potato Head Beach Club, Seminyak – One of the most well-known beach clubs in Bali. The club has four restaurants, four bars and an infinity pool with the magnificent views of the ocean. With live music and DJ’s, it is going to be a non-stop party.
What to Do in Bali for R&R? Add a Spa Treatment to your Bucket List
64. Spa Treatments: You can’t end your Balinese vacation without pampering yourself and enjoying a spa treatment. Bali is famous for its luxurious spas and massage treatment. You can make a spa day out of it and look for a resort that will let you enjoy the pool and facilities after your massage or just choose one of the many stand-alone spas that offer great spa treatments. For the best spas in Ubud, Seminyak and Nusa Dua.
Where to Go in Bali to Find Unique Places to Stay
From Glamping to waking up in the middle of the rice fields, Bali has many unique accommodation choices to help you make your prefect Balinese vacation even more memorable. Here are some great choices if you are looking for the best unique places to stay Bali.65. Menjangan Dynasty Resort – This gorgeous resort and dive center is located in northwest Bali, next to the West Bali National Park. The setting is spectacular with the views of Banyuwedang Bay, the African tents are luxurious and there are plenty of activities. Besides diving, you could take yoga classes, go cycling, kayaking, enjoy spa treatments and more. This resort offers day passes as well. 66. Sandat Glamping Tents – another glamping experience that is definitely worth your time (and money). This eco-friendly resort offers spa treatments, yoga and meditation classes, cooking classes and various day trips, from white water rafting to cycling. Even the most spoiled travelers will surely enjoy spending a night or two in one of the resort’s fancy tents.
67. Spend a night in a bamboo tree house – If you’ve ever wanted to spend a night in a unique and kind of a posh tree house, Bali has a few tree houses to choose from. Two of the best are Camaya Bali Suboya which is located in the middle of the rice terraces of Selat, at Karangasem Regency or the bamboo houses of Hideout Bali.
68. Sleep in a 150-year-old teak house with Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic and a private swing – Staying in one the houses of Zen Hideaway, you’ll feel closer to nature and you’ll have plenty of Insta-worthy spots. Most of the house is open to the elements (meaning it’s not for AC addicts and bugophobics), with breathtaking views and as mentioned before, your own private swing. try Hut 1, Hut 2 or Hut 3.
69. Spend a night in the middle of the rice terraces – When we stayed at Sanak Retreat in Munduk, we were surprised by the nutty smell of the ripe rice that surrounded us during harvest time. To wake up in the middle of the rice fields is an extraordinary experience you must add to your best of Bali bucket list.
70. Give homestay a chance – Homestay in Bali is a great way to help the local villagers and really immerse yourself in the Balinese way of life. It is the best way to experience Bali more authentically, learn about the Balinese culture and interact with the locals.
Where to Go in Bali for Dinner with a View
71. Bali Tower Restaurant, Bali Barat National Park – Located in West Bali National Park at Menjangan resort, this unique restaurant offers a dining experience with the best view of this beautiful national park. Have a romantic meal at this unique tower and enjoy the incredible 360-degree views from the fourth floor and the fifth-floor viewing platform. The menu consists of mainly Indonesian and Mediterranean cuisine.
72. Dining Corner, Ubud – Another restaurant with gorgeous views and romantic setting. You can enjoy the restaurant’s Thai cuisine and contemporary Western fare while looking over Ubud’s forest and the river down below. It is open all day, but you’d better make a reservation in advance.
73. Romantic dinner in a cave, Samabe Cave – Having a luxurious dinner in a cave under the light of dozens of candles with the view of the Indian Ocean and your loved one by your side sounds like a damn memorable experience to us.
Bali Bucket List for Culture Lovers
What to Do in Bali to Discover Bali’s Cultural Highlights
Best Temples for your Best of Bali Bucket List
Bali is known for its unique religious ceremonies and water temples. There are many temples to choose from; some are very touristy while others are still off the beaten path. If you’re lucky, you’ll come just in time to experience one of the many religious ceremonies. Here are some of our favorite temples in Bali:
Unique Temples in the South
Unique Temples in the East
75. Pura Agung Besakih – Besakih Temple is the largest temple in Bali. There are more than 20 temples in this large compound which explains its nickname, the Mother Temple. You’ll find this large complex in East Bail, at Mount Agung’s southwestern slopes. Location: Besakih, Rendang, Karangasem Regency, Bali 80863, Indonesia
76. Pura Luhur Lempuyang – This is another complex that is made up of 7 temples and built on a mountain. Since it’s relatively far away from other famous attractions, not many tourists used to visit this temple until recently. Nowadays, many tourists come here to photograph the famous “gateway to heaven” but the real reason to visit this temple is the spectacular views of the villages and rice terraces around it. Hiking to the top temple and back will take you about 3-4 hours in total, but the views are stunning. Location: Jl. Pura Lempuyang Luhur, Tri Buana, Abang, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia
77. Pura Goa Lawah – This ancient cave temple was built in the 11th century. This temple is one of the most important Hindu temples on the island, so you are likely to see the locals pray and make their offerings, especially in the mornings and during religious ceremonies. Goa Lawah Temple was built around a cave opening, and inside reside hundreds of bats. Location: Jl. Raya Goa Lawah, Pesinggahan, Dawan, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia
Unique Temples in the North
78. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan – This iconic temple was built in the 17th century, and it is located in a large compound on the shore of Lake Bratan. Photography lovers should try to arrive arrive at sunrise to take pictures of the stunning scenery. Location: Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82191, Indonesia
Unique Temples in the West
79. Pura Tanah Lot – Its stunning location on a rock just near the sea on Bali’s Western Coast makes this temple one of the best spots to watch the sunset. You can access this temple only during low tide because during high tide the water which surrounds the temple, turns it into an island. It is quite touristy but still worth a visit. Location: Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82121, Indonesia
Unique Temples near Ubud
80. Pura Tirta Empul – Tirta Empul is one of the largest and most popular water temples in Bali. It was built near a sacred spring and dedicated to the Hindu God of Water. According to the local belief, a dip in the holy water of this temple can bring you blessings for the rest of life. Location: Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia
81. Pura Taman Saraswati – If you happen to be in Ubud, you can visit the charming Saraswati Temple which is located in the middle of the town. Pura Taman Saraswati, which is also known as Ubud Water Palace, has a beautiful lotus pond and water garden. Location: Jl. Kajeng, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
More Cultural Experiences for your Best of Bali Bucket List
82. Watch the Kecak fire dance – Watching the Kecak Dance Performance is a must for culture lovers. This traditional dance is more than just a dance performance, it’s an expression of gratitude to the gods. The Kecak dance performance at Uluwatu (during sunset) is probably one of the best spots to experience it thanks to the dramatic setting. Make sure to come early to buy the tickets at the entrance if you want a good sit. You can also catch a performance at The Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Ungasan, at Sahadewa in Batubulan near Sukawati and in Ubud’s Taman Kaja temple.
83. Visit Bali’s traditional markets – Don’t know about you but we love markets! It’s the perfect place for some culture photography, buying fresh produce, interacting with the locals, and learning more about the local culture. There are many markets all over Bali, but our favorite ones were in Sidemen and Amalpura. Another fascinating one is the traditional market in Ubud. The traditional markets in Bali start very early in the morning and end at around 10 am. By noon there’ll be nothing left of the colorful fruit stands and fresh vegetable stalls.
84. Visit Ubud Art Market – The Ubud Art Market might be quite touristy but here you’ll find some of Bali’s best handicrafts. From baskets and bags to batik and silver jewelry, you’ll find everything you need in this colorful and very instagrammable market.
85. Take an Arts and Crafts Workshop – There are many local artisans in Bali, from the famous Ikat weavers in Sidemen to the silversmiths in Celuk and woodcarvers in Mas. Why not participate in one of the arts and crafts workshops?
86. Visit a local village – If you are only staying in one of the more touristy towns such as Nusa Dua, Kuta, Seminyak and even Ubud, you really do need to take a day trip to one of the local villages where you can truly witness on a first-hand basis the daily lives of the villagers.
87. Watch a religious ceremony – Bali is the island of ceremonies. You really don’t need to do much to experience one of their traditional ceremonies. Everywhere you go, you’ll see women making their morning offerings (called Canang sari) while saying a prayer. You’ll encounter groups of men and women walking to the local temples, dressed in their colorful ceremonial outfits while carrying baskets of fruits. Nevertheless, if you have a chance to experience one of the ceremonies inside the temples (sometimes you’ll only be allowed to watch from afar), grab it with both hands because it’s going to be a truly unique and memorable experience.
88. Deepen your knowledge about the Balinese culture – As long as we are talking about cultural experiences, we’ve learned so much about the daily rituals and beliefs of the Balinese just by showing interest and talking with our drivers or guides. Bali is truly remarkable from the extraordinary Subak system to the daily offerings and communal support, so listen and learn.
89. Learn some basic words in Balinese – It’s always fun to know some basic phrases while traveling. People are mostly surprised and thrilled that you took the time to get to know even a fraction of their language. Here are some phrases to get you started:
Good Day: selamat siang
My name is: Nama Saya
Thank you: Terima Kasih
Not spicy: Tidak Pedas
Bali Bucket List for Animal Lovers
Where to Go in Bali for One on One Animal Interaction
90. Ubud Monkey Forest – one of the most famous tourist attractions in Ubud, visitors are keen to visit this sanctuary to see the Balinese long-tailed monkeys. However, remember that the monkeys here are still wild, so take some precautions and follow the rules. Since Ubud Monkey Forrest can get crowded at times, you can also check the nearby Sangeh Monkey Forest if you are looking to escape the crowds.
91. Watching dolphins in Lovina – Lovina is known for its sunrise dolphin tours. This is a fun experience if you come with the right expectations. There are dozens of boats chasing the dolphins, and sometimes you might have luck while other times, you’ll hardly see any dolphins. However, the sunrises are beautiful, so you are guaranteed to enjoy the moment anyway.
Bali Bucket List for Foodies
Where to Find the Best Foodie Experiences in Bali
92. Check out the seafood at Jimbaran Bay – The seafood restaurants at Jimbaran Bay have earned themselves a reputation for being a paradise for seafood lovers. You can spend the perfect night here dining on delicious seafood in the most romantic setting while watching the sunset and listening to the crashing waves of the ocean. 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.
93. Try the famous Bali floating breakfast – This would look gorgeous on your Instagram feed. A colorful spread floating over turquoise-colored water and a very photogenic view in the background. Where to order your floating breakfast? Many resorts and villas in Bali offer this service.
94. Have a ball with a Balinese smoothie bowl – We’ve all seen the colorful smoothie bowls of Bali. You can find them all over Bali from Kuta and Canggu to Uluwatu or Ubud. There’s nothing more refreshing or photogenic to start your morning with. You can find some of the best smoothie bowls in Bali at:
Kuta/Canggu: The Loft, Kynd Community, Café Organic, Betelnut Café, café Vida Uluwatu: Bukit Café, The Cashew Tree, Nula Bowls (also in Canggu/ Seminyak), Suka Espresso Ubud: Kafe, Milk and Madu, Alchemy
95. Try to go vegan/vegetarian for a few days – There’s no better place to try and challenge yourself with a plant-based diet than Bali. Researches indicate a vegan diet is the healthiest diet for our bodies. In Bali there are great vegan and vegetarian restaurants that offer delicious food.
96. Take a cooking class – to learn more about the Balinese cuisine and to be able to recreate the exotic and addictive flavors in the comfort of your own home, participate in a local cooking class.
97. Eat at a local warung – We love the little instagrammable coffee shops and restaurants but to truly understand the traditional Balinese cuisine you need to eat at the local warungs from time to time.
98. Try some local dishes – Smoothie bowls and vegan salads are nice but try experiencing more than the westernized food culture of Bali. From Satay (the famous peanut sauce), Nasi Goreng (fried rice with vegetables and meat), Nasi Ayam (chicken rice) or the famous Balinese pork dish, Babi Guling – there are plenty of dishes to choose from
99. Try the local beer – Not really a foodie experience but Bintag, the Balinese beer, is light and delicious so give it a go.
Festivals and Weekend Events for your Bali Bucket List
100. Bali Vegan Festival – This unique festival was initially established by Down To Earth Bali with the aim to inspire people to experience a more ethical and healthier lifestyle through plant-based eating. You can participate in the event in either Ubud or Canggu and take part in the daily yoga classes, Workshops, cooking classes, and more.
101. Weekend Markets in Canggu – If you happen to be around Canggu during the weekend, don’t forget to pay a visit to the gorgeous weekend markets where you can buy baked goods, organic produce, skin care products, jewelry, clothes, swimsuits and more. Visit the Love Anchor Market which operates every day, but on the weekends there’s a special weekend bazaar. Another market to add to the bucket list is Old Man’s Saturday Market, which is held on the last Saturday of the month.
More Experiences for your Best of Bali Bucket List
102. Visit Shark Island – This conservation program offers a 3-hour eco-tour to learn more about the cruelty of the fishing industry and its influence on the marine ecosystem. You can feed and even swim and snorkel with the sharks.
106. Visit one of the Abandoned aircrafts on Bali – The most famous abandoned plane is probably the one in the Bukit Peninsula, not far away from Nusa Dua’s beaches. Note that it’s forbidden to get really close to this one. You can find the others in the south of Kuta and at the west coast’s Jembrana region.
107. Visit a coffee plantation –Bali is famous for producing great coffee, so why not visit one of the many coffee plantations? Sample some of the local coffee infused with chocolate, coconut or turmeric flavors, and you can even taste the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak. However, many coffee plantations hold this animal in captivity for the benefit of the tourists. We know a few coffee plantations around Munduk do not abuse the luwaks (civet cats), so ask before your visit for a tour in such a cruelty-free plantation.
108. Find the best swing – We’ve all seen those pictures of a beautiful girl swinging over gorgeous rice fields. In Bali, there will be plenty of opportunities to find the perfect swing. In many tourist spots all around the island, there’s a swing. Some of the best ones are located at Tegalalang Rice Terraces and all around the viewpoints above the Twin Lakes, Buyan and Tamblingan.
109. Take selfies in ridiculous spots – from bird’s nests to LOVE BALI signs, a giant teacup or an enormous heart; if you’re into taking such selfies, you’ll definitely have your chance. One place where you can find a concentration of selfie spots is the viewpoints above the Twin Lakes, Buyan and Tamblingan at Wanagiri Hidden Hills.
110. Visit one of Bali’s Heaven Gates – These days everybody is crazy about Handara Gate which is actually the entrance to a golf resort near Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. You can find similar gates all over Bali since these split gateways or Candi Bentar are classical Javanese and Balinese gateway entrances which are commonly found at the entrance of religious compounds. You can find another beautiful Gateway to Heaven at Pura Luhur Lempuyang.
What Else to Add to your Best of Bali Bucket List?
111. You can 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. There are beautiful beaches all over the islands, but on the largest island, Nusa Penida, most of them require a bit of a hike as well as climbing down and up the many stairs that lead to those instagrammable beaches. It is also good to know that this has become a very popular day trip from Bali which means hoards of tourists waiting in line to take the perfect instagrammable shot in key spots around the Island between 10:00 am till about 3:00 pm. Personally, we didn’t go crazy for Nusa Penida because of the above, so next time, we’d try the other smaller islands or spend a few days in the Gili islands.
That’s it! That is our ultimate Best of Bali Bucket List for people who are looking for the best things to do and see in the Island of the Gods. So we’re guessing you are no longer wondering where to go in Bali but how long should you stay there… Don’t worry, you can always go back there to finish this awesome list!
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