One of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, Bali evokes images of an exotic island paradise. From the vibrant nightlife of Kuta to its ancient monuments and lush landscapes, Bali offers visitors a range of attractions suitable for both adventure and relaxation. Add diverse food, warm locals, and year-round sunshine, and it should come to no surprise why Bali is so popular with travelers from around the globe. From fascinating ancient temples to breathtaking natural wonders, discover the top things to do in Bali.
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Wander the Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Truly a landscape like no other, the Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud offer breathtaking natural views of Bali that are sure to provide a visually stimulating experience for visitors of all ages. A historical practice passed down since the 8th century, here visitors are able to stroll through the rice paddies along rice farmers with woven hats tending to the landscape. With dramatic slopes, towering trees, and lush greenery that line the valley, the views offered here have a timeless quality that feels like a surreal piece of art.
Surf at Kuta Beach
Surfing is a big attraction to many travelers visiting Bali, and with plenty of world-class surfing spots around the island, there are plenty of opportunities to try your hand at catching a wave. Kuta Beach is the most popular and beginner friendly area to learn surfing, as visitors will find an abundance of surf schools along the coast and low waves here that are more mellow compared to other surfing spots. The area surrounding Kuta Beach is filled with hotels, restaurants, and shops, so it is also a perfect spot for day activities.
Visit the Tanah Lot Temple
One of the most popular temples in all of Bali, the Tanah Lot temple provides visitors with jaw-dropping views nestled against a majestic rock formation. A gorgeous religious complex and architectural feat, it is a popular pilgrimage temple known for its serenity and cultural significance. Sitting alongside the jagged rocks that rise out of the ocean, you’ll have to wait until low tide before you can walk across the water to reach the temple.
Unwind at Nusa Dua Beach
One of the most beloved beaches in Bali, Nusa Dua is a tourist hub with a handful of golf courses, spas, and luxury resorts. Dotted with pristine private beaches, Nusa Dua is perfect for a day of soaking in the sunshine and unwinding in peace and quiet. Popular with honeymooners and families, visitors can dig their toes in the white-golden sand or cool off in the tranquil, warm waters. After a day on the beach, visitors can indulge in the extensive shopping and dining options available in the area.
Take a sunrise hike to Mount Batur
To see Bali from a whole new perspective, adventurous travelers are encouraged to take advantage of the hiking opportunities on Mount Batur. At over 5,500 feet above sea level, Mount Batur is an active volcano situated in the East of Bali. Pre-dawn is the most popular time to start a trek to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking sunrise views. A relatively easy 2-hour hike with marked trails, visitors are rewarded handsomely with one of the best panoramic views you’ll find in Bali.
Visit a water palace at Tirta Gangga
Translated to “water from the Ganges,” Tirta Gangga is royal water garden that is an important site for the Hindu Balinese. Located in the village of Ababi, this unique attraction boasts tropical gardens, wading pools, koi ponds, and fountains. Polygonal stepping stones allow visitors to explore the pond and its towering 32-foot fountain surrounded by guardian statues that spill into a stunning tier of picturesque waterfalls. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of the holy springs that are used by locals during religious ceremonies and swim in the two public spring-fed wading pools.
Watch a traditional Balinese show
Considered a big part of Balinese culture, the people of Bali hold cultural performances close to their heart. Visitors are able to experience these unique traditions first hand at one of the many Balinese dance shows held throughout the island and can get an authentic glimpse into their culture. Spectacular costumes, colorful displays, and awe-inspiring body movements, performers take audiences back in time with impressive interpretations and elaborate storylines through ritual dances set to live music.
Meet the monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest
One of the most adventurous things to do in Bali, the Sacred Monkey Forest offers visitors a once in a lifetime chance to get up close and personal with a handful of very curious monkeys. Located at the end of the aptly named Monkey Forest Road in Ubud, the forest is actually a part of a sanctuary that is a part of research and conservation programs. While they are known for their entertaining antics and feverish searches for hidden food, the nature reserve at the Sacred Monkey Forest offers visitors a chance to purchase bananas to feed these seemingly sassy creatures.
Explore the Uluwatu Temple
A stunning cliffside location, the Uluwatu Temple is known both for its stunning architecture and its surrounding area. Located on the Bukit Peninsula, this temple dates back to the 11th century. Visitors who make the trek will find magnificent rugged limestone cliffs that hang above waves crashing dramatically 200 feet below. Adding to its breathtaking grandeur are the impressive panoramic views, where visitors are encouraged to watch one of Bali’s famous sunsets over the temple itself.
Soak in nature at Sekumpul Waterfalls
Considered one of the top natural wonders in Bali, the Sekumpul Waterfalls is a breathtaking hidden gem. Visitors are up for an adventure will be rewarded with the unique combination of at least seven waterfalls that are scattered among the high cliffs, surrounded by lush jungle greenery and abundance of natural beauty. Offering a tranquil ambiance with falls that reach up to 260 feet, the sounds and sights of Sekumpul are worthy of a day trip.