Ultimate Bali Travel Guide: Top Attractions, Accommodations, Restaurants, and Beaches

Bali: Discover the Enchanting Paradise Island

Welcome to the ultimate guide for traveling to Bali, Indonesia. This travel guide has been designed to provide you with all the essential information you need to plan an unforgettable trip to one of the world’s most beautiful and exotic destinations. Bali is known for its stunning beaches, lush rice paddies, vibrant culture, and friendly people, making it a popular destination for travelers from all around the globe. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about Bali, including its geography and climate, history and culture, local customs and etiquette, and more. We’ll provide you with insights on where to stay, what to eat, and what to see and do, so you can make the most of your time in Bali. Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a seasoned adventurer, this guide will help you plan your trip confidently and easily and ensure an unforgettable experience in Bali. So, let’s dive in!

Destination Information


Bali is a picturesque island located in the Indonesian archipelago, known for its stunning beaches, lush rice paddies, and ancient temples. The island is approximately 144 km (90 mi) from east to west and 80 km (50 mi) from north to south, with a total area of 5,780 km2 (2,231 sq mi). The climate in Bali is tropical, with two distinct seasons: the rainy season from October to March, and the dry season from April to September.

Culture and Currency

Bali has a rich history and culture, with influences from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. The island’s art, music, dance, and architecture reflect this unique blend of cultures. The Balinese people are known for their warm hospitality and vibrant traditions. The official language in Bali is Indonesian, but Balinese is also spoken widely. The local currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), and US dollars are widely accepted in many places.

Travel Requirements

US citizens traveling to Bali for tourism purposes can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days. The visa can be extended for an additional 30 days by visiting an immigration office in Indonesia. To enter Bali, US citizens must have a valid passport for at least six months from the date of arrival, a return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay.

Checklist for US Citizens traveling to Bali:

o Valid passport with at least six months validity remaining

o Return ticket

o Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay

o Visa on arrival fee ($35 USD)

o COVID-19 entry requirements (check with Indonesian embassy or consulate for the latest information)

Planning Your Trip

Best Time to Visit When planning a trip to Bali

It’s important to consider the weather. The best time to visit Bali is from May to September, during the dry season, when the weather is sunny and dry. However, keep in mind that Bali is a popular tourist destination and can get crowded during peak season.

Duration of Stay

The ideal length of stay in Bali depends on your travel goals and budget. For first-time visitors, a minimum of 7 to 10 days is recommended to allow for ample time to explore the island’s main attractions and experience the local culture.

Budget Considerations

Bali offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget, from luxury resorts to budget guesthouses. It’s important to research and compare prices to find the best option for your budget. In addition to accommodation, food, transportation, and activities should also be factored into your budget.

Packing Essentials

When packing for Bali, it’s important to consider the climate, which is warm and humid year-round. Lightweight, breathable clothing made of natural fibers and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Other essential items to bring include sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, and a reusable water bottle.


• Lightweight, breathable clothing made of natural fibers

• Comfortable walking shoes

• Sunscreen

Insect repellent


Reusable water bottle

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is highly recommended for any international travel, including Bali. In the event of unexpected situations such as illness, injury, or trip cancellations, travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection.

Health and Safety Precautions

Before traveling to Bali, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider about recommended vaccinations and health precautions. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue fever and malaria are a concern in Bali, so insect-repellent and protective clothing should be worn. Bali is generally a safe destination for travelers, but it’s important to take common-sense precautions such as avoiding unlit areas at night and securing valuables.


o Consult with a healthcare provider about recommended vaccinations

o Pack insect repellent and protective clothing

o Secure valuables while traveling.

Entry Requirements for US Citizens:

o Passport valid for at least 6 months from date of arrival

o Visa exemption for stays up to 30 days

o Payment of a USD 35 tourist visa fee if staying more than 30 days


US Department of State – Indonesia Country Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Health Information for Travelers to Indonesia


Finding the right accommodation is crucial for any successful trip, and Bali offers a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury resorts to cozy guesthouses, here are some of the best types of accommodation to consider:

Types of Accommodations

1. Hotels: Bali is home to a variety of high-end hotels that offer luxury amenities such as private pools, spas, and breathtaking views. Some popular options include The St. Regis Bali Resort, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, and Bulgari Resort Bali.

2. Hostels: For budget-conscious travelers, hostels offer an affordable and sociable option. Some of the best hostels in Bali include Bread and Jam Hostel, Capsule Hotel Bali, and Lokal Bali Hostel.

3. Guesthouses: Guesthouses are a great option for those who want to experience local culture and hospitality. Some recommended guesthouses in Bali include Adiwana Bee House, Sanur House, and Uma Sari Rice Terrace.

4. Vacation rentals: Vacation rentals such as Airbnb and VRBO are a popular choice for travelers seeking more space and privacy. They offer a variety of options ranging from cozy apartments to spacious villas.

5. Unique stays: Bali offers a variety of unique stays that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the island’s culture and natural beauty. Some popular options include eco-friendly resorts like Bambu Indah and Fivelements Bali Retreat, as well as treehouses and jungle lodges like Hideout Bali and Menjangan Dynasty Resort.

Booking Platforms When booking accommodation in Bali, there are several platforms to consider:

Hotels.com: Search for and book hotels, resorts, and other types of accommodations worldwide. They offer a Best Price Guarantee, free cancellation on most bookings, and a rewards program for frequent travelers.

Expedia.com: Offers a wide range of travel services, including flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages. They offer a Best Price Guarantee, free cancellation on most bookings, and a rewards program for frequent travelers. Additionally, a section is dedicated to various destinations’ activities and attractions.

TripAdvisor.com: This platform provides travelers with reviews and recommendations for hotels, restaurants, and attractions. It also offers a booking feature and allows users to compare prices from different providers.

VRBO: VRBO stands for Vacation Rental By Owner and is a platform that allows travelers to book vacation rentals directly from property owners. It offers a wide range of rental options, from apartments to villas, and is known for its competitive pricing.

• Agoda: This platform offers competitive pricing and often features flash deals and discounts.

Price Range and Recommendations

Accommodation prices in Bali vary widely depending on location, season, and accommodation type. Here is a rough breakdown of prices for each type of accommodation:

Luxury hotels: $200-500+ per night

• Mid-range hotels: $50-150 per night

• Hostels: $5-20 per night

• Guesthouses: $20-50 per night

• Vacation rentals: $50-500+ per night

• Unique stays: $100-500+ per night

When choosing where to stay, consider factors like location, amenities, and budget. It’s also a good idea to read reviews from previous guests to get an idea of what to expect.

Bali is known for its beautiful beaches, ancient temples, and stunning natural scenery. Here are some of the must-see sights and activities that you should consider including in your itinerary:

Must-See Sights

1. Uluwatu Temple – a Balinese sea temple located on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean

2. Tanah Lot Temple – another iconic sea temple with stunning sunset views

3. Tegalalang Rice Terrace – a beautiful rice terrace located in Ubud

4. Mount Batur – an active volcano that can be climbed for sunrise hikes

5. Bali Swing – a popular attraction that allows visitors to swing over the lush jungle canopy

Cultural Experiences

1. Traditional Balinese dance performances – take in a performance of the Kecak or Legong dance

2. Balinese cooking classes – learn how to cook authentic Balinese cuisine

3. Batik making workshops – create your own batik design and learn about the history of this traditional art form

Outdoor and Adventure Activities

1. Surfing – Bali is known for its world-class surf breaks, with some of the best spots in the south around Uluwatu and Canggu

2. Snorkeling and diving – explore Bali’s vibrant coral reefs and marine life

3. White water rafting – navigate the rapids of Bali’s rivers

4. ATV tours – explore the island’s rugged terrain on an all-terrain vehicle

5. Hiking and trekking – take in Bali’s stunning natural scenery on a hike through rice terraces or waterfalls

Family-Friendly Attractions

1. Waterbom Bali – a popular water park with slides and attractions for all ages

2. Bali Bird Park – home to over 1,000 birds from Indonesia and around the world

3. Bali Safari and Marine Park – a wildlife park with over 60 species of animals

4. Bali Treetop Adventure Park – an outdoor adventure park with zip lines and rope courses for all ages

Hidden Gems and Local Favorites

1. Sidemen – a peaceful village in East Bali known for its stunning rice terraces and traditional way of life

2. Nusa Penida – a nearby island with crystal-clear waters and stunning landscapes

3. Balian Beach – a hidden gem in West Bali with great surfing and a laid-back vibe

4. Gunung Kawi – an ancient temple complex located in a lush river valley

Tips for Visiting Popular Attractions

1. Go early – many popular attractions get crowded later in the day, so try to visit in the morning

2. Dress appropriately – when visiting temples, make sure to wear appropriate clothing that covers your shoulders and knees

3. Hire a guide – hiring a local guide can provide you with insights and information that you may not get otherwise

4. Be respectful – always be respectful of local customs and traditions, and follow the rules and guidelines of each attraction.

Here are some checklists for Bali:

Checklist for Medicine (per CDC):

o Prescription medications

o Over-the-counter medications (such as pain relievers, antihistamines, and motion sickness medication)

o First-aid supplies (such as band-aids, gauze, and antibiotic ointment)

o Insect repellent

o Sunscreen

o Hand sanitizer

o Prescription eyeglasses/contact lenses and solution

o Personal hygiene items (such as tampons/pads, toothbrush/toothpaste, and soap)

o Emergency contact information for doctors and health insurance providers

Checklist for Sightseeing, Yoga, Walking, or Hiking:

o Comfortable walking shoes

o Appropriate clothing (such as breathable fabrics, layers, and clothing suitable for the climate)

o Sun protection (such as a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen)

o Water bottle, collapsible

o Snacks (such as energy bars, trail mix, or fruit)

o Camera or smartphone for taking pictures and waterproof accessories, such as a plastic sleeve for your phone

o Maps or GPS device

o Headphones or earbuds for audio tours or music

o Yoga mat (for yoga or meditation sessions)

o Binoculars (for wildlife viewing or scenic vistas)

Checklist for Outwear and Beachwear:

o Swimsuits or bathing suits

o Beach towels

o Sun hats or caps

o Flip flops or sandals

o Cover-up clothing (such as sarongs, shorts, or t-shirts)

o Lightweight jacket or hoodie (for cooler temperatures or windy conditions)

o Rain jacket or poncho (for rainy season)

o Umbrella (for rainy season)

Casual Resort Wear:

o Bathing suits

o Cover-ups and sarongs

o Light shorts or skirts

o T-shirts and tank tops

o Sandals or flip-flops

o Sun hat or baseball cap

o Sunglasses

Dress-Up Resort Wear:

o Sundresses or maxi dresses

o Khaki pants or dress shorts

o Button-down shirts or blouses

o Dress shoes or sandals

o Statement jewelry

o Lightweight blazers or jackets (depending on the weather)

o Clutch or small purse.

These checklists could be useful for travelers to ensure that they have everything they need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip to Bali.

Food and Dining

One of the best ways to experience Bali is through its food. Bali offers diverse cuisine, from traditional Indonesian dishes to international cuisine, and everything in between. Here are some things to keep in mind when dining in Bali:

Local cuisine and specialties

Bali’s traditional cuisine is rich and flavorful and is definitely worth exploring. Some must-try dishes include Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Satay (grilled meat skewers), Gado-Gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce), and Babi Guling (roast suckling pig). Don’t forget also to try Bali’s famous coffee and fresh fruit juices.

Street food and markets

Bali’s street food scene is vibrant and a must-try for any food lover. Be sure to visit the local night markets, such as the Sanur Night Market or the Gianyar Night Market, for a taste of authentic Balinese street food.

Top-rated restaurants

Bali is home to many highly-rated restaurants offering traditional and international cuisine. Some of the top-rated restaurants include Locavore in Ubud, Mozaic in Ubud, and Merah Putih in Seminyak.

Dietary restrictions and considerations

Bali is accommodating to various dietary restrictions and preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, and halal options. Be sure to communicate your dietary needs to your server when dining out.

Tipping etiquette

Tipping in Bali is not mandatory but is appreciated. It is customary to tip around 10% for good service. Some restaurants may also include a service charge in the bill.

Nightlife and Entertainment

• Bars and clubs: Bali has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of options for bars and clubs. Some popular spots include Sky Garden in Kuta, Mirror in Seminyak, and La Favela in Kerobokan.

• Live music venues: For those who enjoy live music, Bali offers a variety of venues, ranging from small jazz clubs to larger concert halls. Some top options include the Bali Jazz Cafe in Denpasar and The Orchard Bar & Restaurant in Ubud.

• Cultural performances: Bali is known for its rich culture and traditions, and there are many opportunities to experience traditional dance and music performances. The Ubud Palace and the Bali Arts Festival are just a couple of examples of where you can see these performances.

• Festivals and events: Bali is home to many colorful festivals and events throughout the year. Some of the most well-known include the Bali Kite Festival, the Nyepi Day of Silence, and the Ubud Food Festival.

• Local customs and traditions: Bali has a unique culture and set of customs that visitors should be aware of. These include dressing modestly when visiting temples, removing shoes before entering homes or temples, and showing respect for local traditions.


• Shopping districts and malls: Bali offers a wide variety of shopping options, from traditional markets to modern malls. Some of the top shopping districts include Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud.

• Local markets and artisan shops: For those looking for unique and handmade items, Bali is home to many artisan shops and markets. Some popular ones include the Ubud Art Market and the Sukawati Art Market.

• Souvenirs and unique finds: Bali is known for its intricate woodcarvings, textiles, and jewelry, making it a great place to find unique souvenirs. Some popular items include batik fabrics, silver jewelry, and Balinese masks.

• Bargaining tips: Bargaining is common in Bali, especially in local markets. Visitors should be prepared to negotiate prices and should do so respectfully. It’s also a good idea to know an item’s value before beginning negotiations.

Getting Around

• Public transportation: Bali’s public transportation options include buses and minibuses known as bemos. However, these can be crowded and uncomfortable, so many visitors opt for other forms of transportation.

• Taxis and rideshares: Taxis and rideshares such as Grab and Gojek are widely available in Bali, and are generally affordable. Visitors should be aware of potential scams and should always negotiate the fare before getting in the vehicle.

• Bike and scooter rentals: Many visitors choose to rent scooters or bicycles to explore the island. However, it’s important to exercise caution and wear a helmet, as Bali’s roads can be busy and chaotic.

• Car rentals: Car rentals are available in Bali for those who prefer to drive. Visitors should be aware that traffic can be heavy and roads can be narrow and winding.

• Walking and accessibility: Bali’s sidewalks can be uneven and in disrepair, making walking difficult in some areas. Visitors with mobility issues should research accessibility options before arriving.

Practical Tips

• Local customs and etiquette: Bali has a unique culture and set of customs that visitors should be aware of. These include dressing modestly when visiting temples, removing shoes before entering homes or temples, and showing respect for local traditions.

Staying Connected

When traveling to Bali, it’s important to stay connected with loved ones back home and access important information. Wi-Fi is widely available in most accommodations and public places, but it’s a good idea to invest in a virtual private network (VPN) for added security and to bypass online censorship. Nord VPN is a reliable VPN service that can be used on multiple devices and offers a range of security features. In addition, getting a local SIM card is a cost-effective way to stay connected on the go. Make sure to check with your mobile carrier to see if your phone is unlocked and compatible with international SIM cards.

Bali Memories

Documenting your trip can be a fun and memorable way to capture the special moments you experience during your travels. Here are some ideas and examples for how to document your trip:

1. Photography: Bring a camera or use your smartphone to capture photos of the places you visit, the people you meet, and the food you eat. You can create a photo album or scrapbook of your trip when you return home, or post your photos on social media to share with friends and family.

2. Journaling: Bring a small notebook or use a note-taking app on your phone to jot down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences during your trip. You can write about the sights you see, the people you meet, or the lessons you learn. This can be a great way to reflect on your trip and remember the details for years to come.

3. Video: Use your smartphone or a small video camera to create a travel video of your trip. You can capture footage of the places you visit, the people you meet, and your experiences. This can be fun to share your trip with others and relive later memories.

4. Social media: Share your experiences on social media by posting updates, photos, and videos. You can use hashtags to connect with other travelers and share tips and recommendations.

5. Souvenirs: Collect souvenirs from the places you visit, such as postcards, magnets, or local crafts. These can remind you of your trip and make great keepsakes to display at home.

Remember always to be respectful of local customs and traditions when documenting your trip, and be mindful of others around you.

Bali truly is a paradise destination that offers something for every type of traveler. From the pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters to the rich cultural experiences and adventurous activities, Bali is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable travel experience. This travel guide gives you all the information you need to plan an amazing trip to Bali, from the best times to visit to the top attractions and dining options. So pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in this tropical wonderland!




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