Are you planning a vacation to the island of Bali? I’m sure most of you will answer, yes! Well, this page is about Ultimate Bali Travel Guide that I wrote to help your vacation to Bali. Suitable for the first time vacation, or who have never vacationed. If you are planning to travel for the first time, here are some practical tips and for planning a trip
Are you going to travel to Bali? Well, before you start marking temples and waterfalls, we recommend that you read this article from beginning to end. They are our best tips so you can prepare your trip with the least surprises (of the bad ones) possible.
Is Bali as pretty as they say? Our most sincere opinion
Let’s recognize it, Bali is a beautiful island PEEEROOOO …… We have to confess that ours is a love-rejection story with this island.
In our most sincere opinion we believe that Bali a few years ago that has left the island of gods, at least of the gods above, the new gods of Bali appear on social networks, you understand me, right?
Other travelers will think the opposite and will tell you wonders of this island, and they will recommend you with your eyes closed to travel to Bali but the reality is that, to avoid the tourist masses you have to get away from all the essential things to see in Bali.
But not everything is going to be negative, we are going to take a cape to Bali and in its defense we will say that as a tourist destination it has almost everything.
Bali Travel Guide – Why travel to Bali?
These are our reasons for traveling:
- Because you have landscapes that deserve to be enjoyed, such as rice terraces or their volcanoes.
- Because it has a unique and rich culture (although very make up for tourism sometimes).
- Because if you like temples you have more than 10,000 to visit.
- Because you can surf cheaply with waves as God commands.
- Because you can treat yourself in an almost luxury hotel in Bali at a good price ..
- And why not say it, perhaps it is the most instagrameable place in the world.
And why not go to Bali?
These are our reasons why not travel to Bali
- Because like you, millions of people around the world also want their little piece of island.
- Because in all the known places there are a lot of people. A lot! But much much!
- Because everything has taken a very artificial look, and even cities that were once special, such as Ubud, are now a huge accumulation of expensive restaurants and expensive stores as well.
- Because as a “western person” you will be subject to some scam and unless you move away from the most touristy, it will be difficult for you to find an authentic local life.
- Because everything is more expensive than in the rest of Indonesia.
- Because it is full of posturing instagramers.
We are not going to roll up more, we have been a couple of times on the island and from the two visits we have compiled what we believe is everything to see in Bali essential and that you can see perfectly in about 5 days , as well as all the information which may be useful to prepare your trip to Bali, including the most instagramable places island of GOD.
But first we will see all those tips to travel to Bali that we think you need to know before flying!
Where is Bali?
We will start at the beginning, explaining where Bali is located. Did you know that many Australians think that Bali is a country? ? Did you know that one of Google’s most searched searches for Bali is “ where is it?”
It is an island of 17,500 that forms the archipelago of Indonesia. Yes, we have not left the finger a couple of seconds in the 0 and you have read well. 17,500 islands!
And where is Bali among so much island? Well, just between the islands of Java and Lombok, at the westernmost end of the smaller islands of the Sunda.
When is it better to travel?
The best time to go to Bali is during the dry season, from May to October . But keep in mind that it will also be high season in Bali , so there will be many more people and prices will be higher. You can’t have everything in this life!
October is a good one to travel to Bali as the high season is ending and there are fewer people. In July or August there may be peaks for European holidays.
And go in the time of Bali what you will always find are Australians. Bali is like your second home!
Do you need to get vaccinated to travel?
There is no mandatory vaccine for Bali, with the exception of yellow fever for those who come from an endemic country, as is the case in the countries of South America.
Nor will you have a problem with the issue of malaria.
In this super article we explain everything you need about the vaccines you need for a trip to Indonesia. .
Do I have to apply for a visa to travel to Bali?
Remember, Bali is not a country … You go to Indonesia!
If you are going to be less than 30 days in Indonesia you do not need any visa to travel to Bali. Just meet two requirements :
- Have 6 months validity in your passport
- Have a ticket to leave the country.
If your intention is to spend more than 30 days in Indonesia , we explain everything you need to know about the Indonesian visa .
There is currently no visa fee to be paid upon arrival in Bali.
How many days to dedicate to Bali?
If you are only going to travel (and you do not travel through Indonesia) the truth is that with 10-15 days you have enough to see the whole island .
With more days you can go more relaxed and enjoy the pool of your hotel, do nothing one day, etc., but come on, if you want to see the whole island without big globes, with 10 days you have more than enough .
If Bali is within your route through Indonesia , then you will have to cut. Our recommendation is that you keep about 4 or 5 days without counting the days you can dedicate to other islands such as Nusa Penida or the Gili .
Bali Travel Guide – How to get to Bali
Cheap flights to Bali
Many travelers arrive in Indonesia through the Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar , as it receives direct flights from the vast majority of world capitals and it is not necessary to go through Jakarta (unless it suits you well on the route).
And speaking of airports! Be careful that in Bali airport they remove the sticks selfies or tripods if you carry them in your hand luggage Remember when you return home! They are not very expensive flights and if you look at them a little in advance and knowing more or less what are the best times to buy a flight , you can find bargains!
How to go from Bali airport to your hotel
If you are a traveler who loves to leave the hotel and have your car ready to take you to the hotel then look at these transfer options from Denpasar to your hotel. But if you prefer to go on your own and have a tight budget for Bali then read on. Depending on the time you arrive at Denpasar, one option or another will be better for you.
Where to sleep near Denpasar airport (Bali)
If you arrive very late to Denpasar (or you fly very early) you can consider spending the night in a hotel near the airport of Bali , rest and the next morning move with all your energies. It is what we did. We found a pretty hotel just 10 minutes walk from the airport. So, better sleep near the Bali airport and save you the expensive taxis at that time.
The hotel is called Purnama House (if you click you will see it on Booking). They are awake until quite late so don’t worry if you arrive at dawn.
Bali airport taxis
At the exit of the Bali airport they will receive you as if you were Madonna (imagine it for a moment). Thousands of taxi drivers will love you but Beware! Because they think we are all rich Australians thirsty to spend our rupees.
In the stands outside you can “pre-pay” the taxi. Of course, wherever you go the minimum you are going to pay is 250,000 IDR (About € 16) .
Using the GRAB or UBER in Bali
This is the cheapest option. Although Bali taxi drivers have declared war on these giants, they have little to do. They offer much more competitive prices and the price of the trip is already “preset” when you ask for it, so there will be no unpleasant surprises.
For example, to go from our hotel next to the airport (remember, just 10 minutes walk) to Canggu we used GRAB and it cost us 94,000 IDR , when in a normal taxi the price is 250,000 IDR minimum !!
GRAB drivers cannot enter the airport so you will have to walk about five or ten minutes, and then order your car. In many areas of Bali you will find posters that prohibit the entrance to the drivers of this type of platforms although they can leave customers.
By motorcycle taxi with Gojek
If the adventure is cool then you can take a motorcycle with a driver. With the Gojek app you can ask for it, or else, just by leaving the airport and crossing a couple of streets, you will see them with their motorcycles and green jackets.
How to get to Bali by ferry
If you are making a route through the country you will probably arrive in Bali from the island of Java or from Lombok if you are making the route in reverse.
How to get to Bali from Java
If you arrive from Java and come from the route of the Bromo and Ijen volcanoes on an organized tour (recommended if you do not have much time and want to see both), you will have included the ferry that takes you from the port of Ketapang at the east end of Java to the port of Gilimanuk in western Bali, and a car that will take you to Denpasar.
If you are doing it on your own , you will have to reach the Ketapang port and take the freighter ferry. The journey takes about 30 minutes and leaves you at the port of Gilimanuk in western Bali.
The price of the ferry from Java (Ketapang) to Bali (Gilimanuk) is 25,000 IDR.
Although Bali is very small, the roads are not very good and the traffic, depending on the area, horrible., So if you want to go from Gilimanuk to Denpasar or Ubud it might take 10h by car!
It is best to negotiate a car with a driver. You can also do it in the same port of Ketapang before boarding. There are drivers on offer, so getting off the ferry you can go straight to your hotel. We know that there is a bus station in the same city of Gilimanuk but as we drove we cannot tell you the schedules or prices.
If you don’t want to hit the 10-hour car, you can do a couple less and go to the nearby city Lovina. Rest, and then move around the island.
How to get to Bali from Lombok or the Gili Islands
You may be doing the reverse route and want to reach Bali from neighboring Lombok or one of the Gili Islands. Basically the connection between these two islands is either by plane or by ferry.
AIRPLANE BALI – LOMBOK
Internal flights in Indonesia are super cheap. The journey is only half an hour so it is a super fast option if you want to connect Bali – Lombok, but without going through the Gili Islands.
PUBLIC FERRY BALI-LOMBOK
There is a public ferry that covers the route between the Padang Bai port in Bali and the Lembar port in Lombok. But this is an option only suitable for those who have a lot of route time.
It is the cheapest option because they are about 36,000 IDR (a little more if it has risen in recent years). The problem is that the journey is about 6 hours to which you have to add insured delays.
You can book the tickets, they are purchased directly at the port of departure. The ferries are working 24 hours so you will have no problem finding a place before … or after.
FAST FERRY BALI – LOMBOK
The truth is that this is the fastest, most convenient and convenient option. It is more expensive than the plane, but you forget airports, delays, etc. All the logistics of the ferries have it dominated by heart. They will pick you up at your hotel and leave you at your destination with a synchrony to admire.
All fast ferries arrive at the port of Padang Bai in Bali, but from Lombok they can leave from the ports of Bangsal or Teluk Kode
Where to change money in Bali
We are very heavy but we do not get tired of repeating it, get the Revolut , the BNEXT or the N26 , or with all three if you can! You will save money and headaches, because you will arrive in Bali, you will get out of the ATM and go.
Change money at the Bali airport
But if you want to change some cash upon arrival, you can change a bit at the same airport. The change is a few cents better in the small money exchange offices that are just outside the airport. In some offices do not change less than € 50.
If you have to change a lot change just to pay the taxi and little else, and the rest in exchange houses in the place where you stay.
By the way, Bali is not exempt (much less) from tourist scams, one of them is with the exchange of money . Let’s say you make a little “the trilero” with the tickets. ” So always look for official exchange houses . They have a super large green sign that indicates they are official, such as PVA Benrizin.
Make money in Bali with a credit card
It is possible to get money in Bali with super easy card. Theoretically, no teller should charge a commission to take out but for example, at the airport they wanted to charge us a commission fee of 250,000 IDR.
Once outside we were able to take out without problem although with a couple of ATMs from Indonesian banks like the Mandiri or the BRI on some occasion he denied us the transaction. We almost always use Maybank ATMs, which are all over Asia and have never denied us the transaction.
Do you know that if you have to pay or withdraw from ATMs abroad with the REVOLUT card or the BNEXT card they will not charge you commission?
How to get around in Bali
Except for some bus lines that cover the Denpasar area and its surroundings, there is no public transportation system in Bali, or at least one that the tourist can easily use. Because yes, there is a kind of van but you will not see them, you will not find them or they will help you. So notice that there is no public transport. From here you have several options:
Rent a motorcycle in Bali
It is undoubtedly the best option, the most popular and the one that will give you the most freedom. eye! To drive a moped in Bali you need to have on your international driving license the seal of the A (it is not valid with the B at home). If you do not have it you can risk driving even if you pay attention to the consequences in case of a coup or a fine …
Motorcycles in Bali are very cheap and you could move around the island with a simple 75 cc or 125 cc motorcycle. Prices vary depending on the area but usually around 60,000 IDR / day.
Car with driver in Bali
Renting a car with a driver in Bali is very common, but unless you travel on a comfortable budget, or you are a group, it is a much more expensive option. Calculate that a car with driver in Bali can leave you about USD 40 / day, for USD 4 / days of renting a motorcycle in Bali.
Rent a car in Bali
If your thing is to go on your own but do not drive a motorcycle, you also have the option of renting a car in Bali. Of course, remember that the traffic in the most tourist areas can be worse than the M30 at rush hour and also remember that you will need your international driving license.
Where to sleep in Bali
Where is it better to stay in Bali to organize the route?
In our opinion (and the map clearly shows it) the best place
to stay in Bali is Ubud. Apart from finding there plenty of
accommodation for all budgets, you will be pruned halfway to everything.
We stayed at Teba Junjugan Cottages . A guesthouse
managed by a lovely Balinese family. They only have two cottages, so
peace of mind is guaranteed
It is true that from Ubud some places are further away, such as the northern waterfalls, but if you plan the day well, you can arrive by motorcycle without problem and go
down gradually. Another option is, if you want to see those waterfalls north of Bali without
having to think about undoing all the way, it is to leave your big bags one
day at your Ubud hotel, stay in Lovina for example, do all
the waterfalls and Return the next day to the hotel.
The resorts in Bali
The dream of many travelers is to sleep is one of those luxury resorts with infinity pool, spa and stuff. We haven’t been to any of them, so we can’t recommend any special ones.
Bali is not as cheap as the rest of the islands of Indonesia, so if you want to experience some luxurious life, you better do it in other islands of Indonesia.
But the all powerful booking will give you all the options of luxury resorts like these:
This is a fairly common form of accommodation in Bali and, like the resorts, they have a more or less “affordable” price if we compare it with other countries.
They are like small apartments in private urbanizations, but they also have room service, restaurant, etc. To give you an idea is something like this.
Guesthouse in Bali
This is a more recommended option since you can have a fairly decent accommodation at a much more normal price than the previous ones. If you are thinking of a trip to Bali for backpackers, this is the best option.
As we said before we were in this guest house . This family runs two bungalows the sea of good births with a very nice little pool. In addition, if you want then you can start a pleasant conversation with the owners since they both speak English more than decent!
Hostel and hostels in Bali
If you are touring Bali with a backpack and what you want is a hostel to meet people and looking for a party atmosphere then this is your option.
Be careful where you choose because if you do not want to party and you are wrong, your nights can be memorable.
Surfcamps in Bali
If you are going to travel to Bali and surf this may be a good option. Normally they include accommodation, surf lessons, yoga classes … There are many with which prices are adjusted. We spent three days at the Stormrider surfcamp in Canggu, and we really liked it!
If you are going to dare to catch some waves in Bali, we recommend that you read our guide of Surfing in Bali for beginners .
Where to eat in Bali
The best thing is to look for local restaurants. They are called warungs .
There are very simple, and there are those that have climbed the wave of tourism. The simplest ones have almost all the same letter with mie goreng, nasi goreng, etc …
In the post about what to see and do in Bali we recommend two warungs very well priced and with rich rich food. That is, it is not necessary to go to a tourist restaurant to eat well and different in Bali.
Thanks hope you enjoy the post Bali Travel Guide