There is something about Southeast Asia. The last time I explored this region of the world, I had the mindset for change and enlightenment after a very stressful season in my life. I took some time exploring the city of Hong Kong, basking on the beaches of Thailand and embracing all the botanics of Singapore. Not only did I feel super revived getting lost in this part of the world, but I felt a new sense of peace upon my return to the States.
Last year when I decided on my annual year-end trip, I had Bali on my mind for the same reason. This yearly end trip I was planning was going to be the last one of my thirties. I knew I wanted this trip to be the catalyst of stepping into a higher level of life and new decade.
I did my research and arranged an incredible, peaceful and bountiful Bali trip. My Bali trip was an incredible and much needed retreat tailored to my liking. I was able to accomplish everything I wanted and needed for this trip. I relaxed, retreated, treated, adventured and ate my way through this amazing island paradise. See all the information I collected from my trip as well as a fabulous Bali travel itinerary below.
I hope you have Bali on your travel to-do list because it’s definitely a must see location!
Transportation: Scooters are the number one and best way to get around Bali. You can definitely travel by car, but it may take longer due to traffic, especially in the more populated cities. If you’re going to be staying in a particular part of Bali for a few days rent a scooter for the best deal and fastest way to travel. If you’re not going to rent a scooter. I recommend downloading the Grab app., which is like Uber/ Lyft for Southeast Asia. I used the Grab app. when I was in Thailand as well. The app. is pretty reliable and the most economical way to get around Bali. If you want an even more reliable mode transportation I suggest booking a driver for the duration of your trip. Almost everyone in Bali drives or knows someone who drivers for a fee. I used a few drivers to get me to the less popular points in my travel, when I didn’t want to depend on an app. (See photos for driver information.) Make sure you have cash on hand for your driver.
Money: Bali is definitely a very affordable travel destination and your money stretches pretty far. The currency exchange rate is $1 = 15,132 IDP . I highly suggest cash on hand in the smaller cities and less traveled areas within Bali. Some drivers and food spots still only accept cash. In the larger cities debit/ credit cards are pretty much accepted everywhere.
Language: The official language of Indonesia is Indonesian, which has several dialects. In Bali because of its popularity with tourists, the majority of Bali people working in the travel industry speak English. You should have no problem getting around and being able to speak with the local community.
7 day Bali Itinerary
Day 1: Uluwatu
Bali Airport is located in Densapar, Bali which is located on the south side of the island. From there I used the Grab app. and headed further south to Uluwatu. The ride from the airport to my destination at Nyang Nyang Beach took about an hour via. car and cost approximately 120, 000 IDP. Uluwatu is known for some of the best beaches in Bali. As compared to other beaches in Bali, beaches in Uluwatu are less populated and perfect for surfing.
Lodging: I stayed right on Nyang Nyang Beach at Bubble Bali. See more information on my Best Places to Stay in Bali post.
Things to do in Uluwatu:
- Nyang Nyang Beach
- Take surfing lessons
- Visit Uluwatu Temple. Entry cost 50,000 (IDR)
- See a traditional Balinese dance at sunset.
Day 2-3: Seminyak
Seminyak is a more populated city with cute shops, boutiques and restaurants. There are also some great day spas and beach clubs to check out if that suites your interest.
Lodging: I stayed in the Blue Karma Dijwa Hotel. See more information on my Best Places to Stay in Bali post.
Things to do in Seminyak:
- Seminyak Beach
- Double Six Beach
- Nyaman Art Gallery
- Visit Beach Club
- Spend a day at the spa.
Day 4: Day tour to Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is a must do on your trip in Bali. Nusa Penida is very picturesque. It has some of best beaches in Bali. There are also tons of water activities to do while you’re there. If you have more time on your trip. spend an extra day here just to relax on the beach and soak up some sun.
Things to do in Nusa Penida:
- Relax on the beach
Day 5: Kecamatan Sidemen
I had the opportunity to travel to the jungle of Bali after spending a day at the beach. I loved the contrast of the Bali terrain. I really enjoyed staying in a traditional and exceptional bamboo tree house. The jungle is surrounded by lush rice terraces and plenty of trees. My bamboo house in the sky allowed me to spend time in peace and quiet. I loved being able to view the mountains and the shores of Bali from the windows of my bamboo house. I can’t wait to return to this area of Bali for more serenity and connecting with nature.
Lodging: I stayed in the middle of the jungle in “The Bamboo Castle in the Sky.” The accommodations were very comforting and exceptional including the food. Check out more information on my Best Places to Stay in Bali post.
Things to do Kecamatan Sidemen:
- Walk through rice terraces
- White water rafting
- ATV rides through the jungle
Day 6-7: Ubud
Ubud is pretty well known in regards to Bali Travel. Ubud is known its rice terraces, Bali Swing and Sacred Monkey Forrest. Ubud also has a lot of other activities to offer. There are tons of restaurants and shops to check out that appeal to a variety of tastes. Ubud also has museums, art galleries and of course day spas. When I return to Bali I plan on spending more time is Ubud. It’s a pretty walkable city and a great place to people watch as well.
Lodging: This was the last part of my Bali trek and I wanted comfort and elegance for the end of my journey. I decided to stay at Viceroy Bali, which was excellent! See more information on my stay on my Best Places to Stay in Bali post.
Things to do in Ubud:
- Ubud rice terraces
- Sacred Monkey Forest*
- Bali Swing
- Tegenungan Waterfall
- Temple of Lempuyang Luhur
- Take a yoga class
- Try a Balinese cooking class
- Beach day clubs
- Puri Lukisan Museum
- Bukit Campuhan River Walk.
- Karsa Day Spa (highly recommended). FYI You can take the Bukit Campuhan River Walk to the end and it leads you right to the spa.
*If you don’t have time or want to save time and money on your trip, skip the Sacred Monkey Forest. I had plenty of close encounters with monkeys at the Uluwatu Temple and in Nusa Penida.
For Day 8 in Bali:
If you have additional time to spend in Bali I would recommend a day tour to Lempuyang Temple “Gates of Heaven.” This temple is located approximately 2 hours east of Ubud. It is very highly recommended that you get to the temple as early as possible otherwise you will spend hours in line. My tour guide picked me up from my Ubud hotel at exactly 4AM for my tour. We arrived to the temple a few minutes after 6AM, which is when the temple opens. I was number 10 line to take pictures and had to only wait a few minutes to take pictures as compared to hours.
I booked a tour for the Lempuyang Temple via TripAdvisor. This tour also included a stop at Tirta Gangga Water Palace, a coffee farm tour, lunch at a resort with access to the pool and plenty of photos. My guide was amazing. I highly recommend this tour if you have time. It was worth every dollar. (See my TripAdvisor review here).
For Days 9 and more;
Check out the cities of Canguu and Kuta.
Canguu and Kuta are a bit popular and touristy so if you want to avoid crowds and traffic avoid these cities. Canguu is also known for its beach clubs and night life. Kuta has a water park and shopping centers if you want a little variety to your Bali trip.
Places to check out in Canguu and Kuta:
- Canggu Beach, Canguu
- Nelayan Beach, Canguu
- Alternative Beach Club, Canguu
- Canguu Avenue, Canguu
- Waterbom Bali waterpark, Kuta
- Ground Zero Monument, Kuta
- Beachwalk Shopping Center, Kuta
- Bali Sea Turtle Society, Kuta
- Balangan Beach, Kuta