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What to do in Bali

Bali offers incomparable beauty, with white sandy beaches, lush rainforest laced with waterfalls, dotted with misty lakes, and countless monkeys. Ancient temples and palaces seem to grace every street corner, while a wide range of active pursuits are possible, from hiking to snorkeling and diving, with the world’s highest diversity of marine species here. You’ll find plenty of ways to relax whether soaking up the sun and the sand or indulging in a decadent yet affordable spa treatment.

As you make your plans, deciding what to do can be challenging but you’ll definitely want to include some of these options on your “must-do” list.


Best activities to do in Bali

Bali has a huge range of outdoor pursuits, history, culture, and food to enjoy. To help you narrow it down we have put together a list of some of our favorites.

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Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Cascading down the sides of a lush valley, visiting the spectacular Tegalalang Rice Terraces is one of the top things to do in Bali, providing the chance to take in magnificent views from many vantage points. You can even enjoy them from a jungle swing or zipline in the scenic hillsides. Capturing a selfie for your Instagram with one of the “Love Bali” signs is considered a must too. For the best photos, go around sunrise or sunset. The terraces are open 24/7, so if you arrive early, you can capture the first rays of the sun before tourist buses arrive.

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Monkey Forest in Ubud

The Monkey Forest is a sanctuary and natural habitat home to more than a thousand Balinese long-tailed monkeys. They roam freely, around magnificent temples, banyan trees, and all the visitors. Here you’ll stroll the meandering paths that wind through lush rainforest, enjoying close encounters with the entertaining animals nearly the entire way. There are usually lots of babies riding on their mother’s backs and many leaping through the trees, occasionally onto the shoulders of passersby. While it makes for great pictures, don’t attempt to feed them – dozens of monkeys crawling all over you is not the experience you want to have.

Art Bali

Ubud's Art Galleries

Ubud is the center of art and culture in Bali, and it’s been that way for decades, ever since the King of Ubud asked prominent western artists to come and share their skills with the locals in the 1930s. Those who want to check out the town’s artsy side, should at minimum, check out Semar Kuning, a hub for local artists with diverse works in many different styles. Learn more about Indonesia’s heritage of traditional weaving at Threads of Life which features authentic textiles from communities across the country, offers classes like Natural Dye Batik, guided tours, and items for sale.

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Munduk Waterfalls Hike

Munduk is located in the north Bali highlands and as the area gets quite a bit of rain, there’s lots of lush greenery and waterfalls. There are many that can be seen with just a relatively short like some of which cascade more than 75 feet. The most popular trek is the Munduk Waterfalls hike which leads to three different falls, including Larangan Melanting, Red Coral, and Munduk/Golden Valley. It can be accomplished within a few hours but you might want to plan to have lunch at the café overlooking the last waterfall as you’d be hard-pressed to find a better view than this.

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Menjangan Snorkeling

One of the top things to do near West Bali National Park is to snorkel off Menjangan Island. Ranked among the world’s best snorkeling spots by the Discovery Channel, it’s an underwater paradise. It’s just a short boat ride from the mainland, with private and shared boat trips available. Here you can explore vibrant reef walls, coral gardens, and abundant marine life. You’re likely to encounter everything from sea fans, abundant tropical fish, and schools of snapper to pygmy seahorses and reef sharks. Plus, the turquoise water is crystal clear and calm, ideal for beginners as well as the more advanced.

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Nusa Penida Boat Tour

Nusa Penida is a popular day trip from Sanur. The relatively undeveloped island is southeast of mainland Bali and easily reached by a boat tour, just a 45-minute ride away. Its beauty is striking, with pristine white sandy beaches and unique rock formations. The iconic attraction here is Kelingking Beach, a secluded stretch of powdery sands. This “secret” beach is one of the most photogenic spots, located on the southwest coast in the village of Bunga. It’s framed by soaring cliffs and brilliant cobalt blue waters that have led many to refer to it as “heaven on Earth.”

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Downhill Mountain Biking Mt Batur

Located in the Bangli region at the center of two calderas northwest of Mount Agung, Mount Batur is a volcanic mountain that’s long-been popular for hikers who rise early to catch a sunrise from the top, but it’s also a great place to mountain bike down. You can do it on your own or take a tour that includes the trek to the over 5633-foot-high summit for the sunrise experience before embarking on the thrilling descent. Part of the UNESCO Global Geopark Network, along the way you’ll take in some of the most awe-inspiring views of Bali.

Kecak Fire Dance Bali

Kecak Fire Dance at Uluwatu

The Kecak Fire Dance is a mesmerizing traditional dance and one of the most iconic art performances in Bali. It takes place at a clifftop amphitheater at Uluwatu Temple in Ubud along the waterfront, providing magnificent views of the sea as well as an ideal vantage point for watching a glorious sunset. It adapts the famous Ramayana Hindu epic as a story told in the form of dance, performed against the orange glow of the sky as the sun goes down. The culmination includes a huge fire display without any musical instruments used. Instead, you’ll hear the haunting chants of the costumed men.

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