Bali is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, and with good reason, as this island which is known as the ‘Island of the Gods’ is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Surrounded by azure seas and edged with golden beaches, Bali is of course a surfer’s paradise, and if you are looking for a beach holiday then there is no better place to find it than this gorgeous island set in the middle of Indonesia.
As well as sea and sand however Bali has a huge number of other attractions to enjoy such as temples, caves, waterfalls, museums, and markets, and if you like history and culture then you can spend hours learning the local legends and Balinese traditions in places like Ubud.
If you like adventure activities, then you also won’t be disappointed on a trip here, and you can expect a fantastic array of water sports, muck and wreck diving, and the chance fly through the jungle canopy like Tarzan.
In short, whatever you want to do, you will probably find it in Bali and you can easily spend a month here and still only see a fraction of the sights on offer. The hardest part of a holiday here is choosing where to go first and what you want to see.

Go surfing in Kuta

If you haven’t surfed before or are just looking for some gentle waves then you have to come to the most famous beach in Bali which is Kuta Beach.
The beach sits across from a sand bar which means it has rolling surf that is free of any sharp reefs and you can rent a board here and sign up for a surf lesson, or rent a body board if you want to try something a little less strenuous.
Locals and visitors alike come here to watch the sunset and you can relax on the sand with a cold beer and drink in the atmosphere.

Visit Ulun Danu Temple

Ulun Danu Temple lies at the edge of Baratan Lake in Bedugul in Bali.
This pretty building is dedicated to the goddess of the lake and is one of the quietest and most serene places on the island.
Make sure to check out all the different shrines, each one dedicated to a different god, and look out for the ornate architectural touches such as the intricate carved gates.

Have fun at Bali Treetop Adventure Park

If you want an adrenaline packed afternoon then make your way to Bali Treetop Adventure Park where you will find a range of rides surrounded by lush forests.
The park is great for families as well as groups or couples and has rides for children as young as 4 years old.
There are a range of different circuits that are located high up in the trees and there are nets, swings, and flying foxes galore that let you fly through the air and take in the breathtaking views over the forest canopy.

 Have lunch at Bebek Bengil in Ubud

Bebek Bengil means the ‘Dirty Duck’ in Indonesian and is one of the best loved restaurants in Ubud. The restaurant backs onto a pretty rice field and the main specialty here is the duck which comes in a variety of different dishes. The signature style here is the bebek betutu which is boiled in a broth made with aromatic herbs and then rubbed with local spices. The duck is then fried until it is crispy and the skin is blistered and then served with some simple rice and vegetables.

Go muck diving in Padang Bai

Padang Bai is situated in the east of Bali and is most famous for its diving. There are seven different dive sites that can easily be reached after a short boat trip from the shore and whatever your diving experience there is something for everyone here.You can get PADI certified and if you like muck diving then this is one of the best places to do it in Bali and you will find a range of underwater critters like the blue ringed octopus and pygmy seahorses.There is also a good chance of seeing sharks, turtles, and waving fans and coral gardens.

Relax at the Yoga Barn

Bali is known as a place to relax and find enlightenment and with that in mind head for the Yoga Barn which is one of the most famous yoga retreats on the island.Located in quiet and contemplative Ubud, the Yoga Barn has five different studios and a range of programs for all levels of ability.You can even book to stay here for a retreat lasting several days and there are cleansing and detox programs that will help you to relax and adjust to a slower pace of life.

Strap on a jetpack in Tanjung Benoa

Tanjung Benoa is the place to come in Bali if you want to try water sports and you can find a range of different activities on offer.One of the most exciting however is strapping on a water jetpack which will let you fly up into the sky to a height of 10 meters and sessions usually last around 20 minutes.One of the big draws of going jet packing is the chance to take in the beauty of Bali from the air and even if you have never done anything like this before the dedicated instructors will teach you how to fly in a safe and controlled environment.

Marvel at Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple is probably the most famous attraction in Bali and is a Hindu temple that sits atop a large and scenic rock formation.Over the years the sea has separated the rock from the mainland, and at high tide the rock is completely surrounded making this one of the most amazing sights in Indonesia.Many people flock here for the sunsets around the temple so make sure you go early to get the best spot to watch the spectacle.When the tide is low it is possible to walk across the sand to the temple.

Experience the culture in Ubud

Ubud is widely known as the cultural heartland of Bali so if you like art then this is the place to come.Ubud sits amongst gorgeous rolling rice paddies and if filled with art galleries like Neka Art Museum which gives you a glimpse of the evolution of art in Bali.You can also find galleries dedicated to jewelry, ceramics, and sculpture and you can buy arts and crafts souvenirs all over Ubud.

Watch a Kecak dance

Bali is famous for its dances and one of these is the Kecak dance which was developed in the 1930s.The dance takes its name from the ‘cak’ sound that is repeated throughout and is based on the story of the Hindu epic called the Ramayana.You can watch performances of the dance all over the island and many shows take place outside under the stars.

Explore the paddy fields of Tabanan


Those looking for something a little different in Bali can head to the area of Tabanan which is covered in lush rich paddies that sparkle with an emerald hue under the sun.
The big draw here is that in addition to checking out the scenery you can also get involved and learn how rice is grown and harvested in Bali.
If you are feeling adventurous you can get knee deep in mud in a paddy and pick some of your own.

Bathe in the sacred waters of Tirta Empul

You may recognize Tirta Empul which was used as a location in the film Eat, Pray, Love which featured Julia Roberts.This temple complex sits just outside of Ubud and is made up of a number of pools which are filled by fountains.The waters here are said to be sacred and Hindus from all over Bali come here to bathe.Anyone can swim in the waters or you can walk around the complex and check out the pretty architecture and plethora of ornate statues.

Get back to nature at Bali Zoo

Bali Zoo sits in the Gianyar Regency and if you want to check out some Southeast Asian animals then this is the place to do it.The zoo is made up of open air enclosures rather than cages which are meant to mimic the natural habitat of the species here.Some of these include tigers, elephants, rhinoceros, and a range of colorful birds, and you can either visit in the day time or choose the night safari which is perfect if you want to see some of the nocturnal animals that call the zoo home.

Marvel at Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple is arguably one of the most famous sights in Bali and stands 70 meters above the sea.The temple was constructed on the side of a cliff overlooking the raging waters below and if you want truly spectacular views and ornate architecture then make sure not to miss this off the itinerary.The temple is known for its monkey population and you can also catch a range of shows here such as famous Balinese dances.If possible try to go in the evening so that you can catch the sunset here.

Climb Mount Batur

Anyone looking for some adventure in Bali needs to head to Mount Batur which stands at 1,700 meters above sea level.This is one of the most famous volcanoes in Bali and you can take a tour to the top which usually starts out at around 4 am.This gets you to the top in time to watch the spectacular sunrise over the crater and the mountain is encircled by a stunning lake.This is also one of the easiest treks in Bali compared with larger mountains so if you want to say you trekked up a volcano then this is a good choice.

Go white water rafting on Ayung River

Bali has a huge range of water sports and one of the most exciting is a trip down the Ayung River on a raft.The river is covered with white water rapids that make for a wild ride and as you float down the Ayung you will pass little local villages and lush forests that let you take in the beautiful vistas here from a completely different vantage point.

Enjoy the nightlife in Kuta

Anyone looking for a party needs to head to Jalan Legian in Kuta.This area is known as the main nightlife hub of Bali and you will find a huge range of different night clubs, live music events, and relaxed cafes.The party scene keeps going into the early morning and you will also find a vast number of eateries here if you get hungry.

Enjoy some luxury in Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua is known for being one of the most expensive parts of the island but if your budget allows for a little luxury then make your way to this upscale enclave.Here you will find a dedicated tourist area with manicured lawns and private beaches and all of the big name resorts like the Marriott are located here.It’s a great place to relax for a few days away from the crowds and you can spend time sunbathing or enjoying a spa treatment.

Go for a swim at Waterbom

Waterbom is a well loved institution in Kuta and a great place for families or those who want to make a splash.This water park has a range of pools and slides as well as some hair raising rides like the Climax which is a sheer drop down a long water slides for those seeking an adrenalin pumping afternoon.You will also find a range of cafes here if you want to get a bite to eat.

Go wreck diving at Tulamben

You can dive all around the island of Bali but if you want to try wreck diving then you will need to come to Tulamben.Here you will find the wreck of the USAT Liberty which was sunk here in the Second World War and this is one of the most famous wrecks in the world.You can expect to find a huge number of underwater creatures here as well as colorful fans and there is also a larger coral garden that lies close to the USAT Liberty so that you can check out both spots at the same time.

Spend the day on Menjangan Island

You will find Menjangan Island in the north west of Bali and although it can take some time to get here, it is more than worth it is you want to visit the Menjangan National Marine Park.As well as trekking on the island the main reason to come here is for the diving and you will find a plethora of underwater delights such as coral reefs and colorful fish.There is also a good chance of seeing other sea creatures such as turtles, octopus, crabs, and rays.

Explore Candidasa

Candidasa is often not visited by travelers and is made up of a string of villages along the coast that offer a nice change of pace to areas like Kuta.You will find a large swathe of beach here that stretches for miles and if you want a more secluded and less crowded beach experience then this is a good choice.

Go on safari at Bali Marine and Safari Park

Bali Marine and Safari Park is made up of a collection of the best flora and fauna in Indonesia and you will be greeted with over 60 different species of animals here.There are also dance and musical shows held here throughout the day and you can go on a safari tour to see the animals as they roam all over the park.There is even the option to stay here overnight and watch graceful giraffes and elephants amble past your hotel room.

 Check out the stone carvings in Batubulan

The village of Batubulan has made a name for itself over the years as the place to come if you want to find some of the prettiest stone carvings in Bali.The village is around two kilometers outside Denpasar and you will find traditional carvings in the image of famous Balinese gods and goddesses as well as scenes from famous epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.The stones here are blue and black as they are made up of volcanic minerals and if you are looking for a souvenir of a trip to Bali then this is the perfect place to find one.

Discover a hidden waterfall in Sukawati

Bali is known for its natural beauty and no more so than its stunning waterfalls.One of the best examples of these is the spectacular Sekumpul Waterfall which lies in a lush valley and is meant to be a sacred spot in Bali.To get to the waterfall you will need to trek along a secluded path and you won’t realize that you have arrived at the waterfall until you suddenly see it peeking out of the undergrowth.You can swim in the pools beneath the cataract and cool off after the long hike.

Visit a spa

Bali is known for its spa experiences which blend traditional local ingredients and centuries old techniques that will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated.One of the most amazing of all Bali’s spas is The Spa and The Edge Hotel which is located in Pectau and sits on the side of a cliff.This means that you get views over the water and can look over a sheer drop down the cliff side and the packages here mix flowers, rice, and holy water for one of the best spa experiences on the island.

Check out a turtle sanctuary

The Turtle Conservation and Education Centre is located on Serangan Island which is close to the seaside town of Sanur and is a fascinating place to come if you love turtles.The aim of the center is to educate visitors regarding the various dangers that pollution and poaching can pose to the turtles and the staff here rescue injured turtles and care for them before they can be released back into the wild.

Relax on Pantai Indah

Sanur is known for its beach which is called Pantai Indah and which lies in the centre of the strip.Here you will find clean sands and warm waters as well as a delightful beachside cafe called Warung Pantai Indah.You can sit on a wooden bench overlooking the water and watch the fishermen at work and order a range of local dishes like satay served over hot coals as well as curries and the ubiquitous Indonesian beer called Bintang.

 Visit Bali Provincial State Museum

The Bali Provincial State Museum has the claim to fame of being the oldest museum in Bali and has over 10,000 items on display.The museum is built in the traditional style and has royal pavilions and beautiful Balinese architecture aplenty.Here you will find an amazing array of prehistoric artifacts as well as works of art and weaponry.Other galleries are full of ceramics such as statues and stones with ancient inscriptions as well as tools and bronze pieces.The northern royal pavilion is modeled on a Tabanan palace and you can see traditional textiles and masks used in Balinese ceremonies and dances.

Sunbathe on Balangan Beach

Balangan Beach lies some 40 minutes outside Kuta but it feels as if you are in another world.If you want to get away from the crowds then this is the place to do it, and you will find pristine sands and a great surf break if you want to try some surfing.The beach sits at the bottom of a set of craggy cliffs and you can walk down a steep set of stairs cut into the cliff side in order to access the beach.It takes a little effort to get to this secluded beach but it is more than worth it for the views and you will find a range of cafes and warungs where you can have a spot of lunch or relax and look at the sunset with a beer.

Antonio Blanco was a Spanish national who was born in the Philippines and then moved to Bali.Blanco died in 1999 but when he lived in Bali he was known as one of the most important and influential foreign artists on the island.Nowadays his home has been turned into a museum that sits on the pretty Campuhan River and you can tour the museum and take in the art work for which Blanco was famous.Items on show include some of his possessions including a painting that he was working on which still stands on his easel.

Drink from the waters at Goa Gajah

Anyone who is looking for the fountain of youth needs to come to Goa Gajah which is a cave complex that means Elephant Cave in Indonesian.The cave is best known for its statues in the form of six women carrying water pots that are also fountains.You can drink the water that comes out of the pots and it is said to have healing properties and will keep you looking young for years to come.The cave dates from the 9th century and you can take a guided tour around the complex which will fill you in all the historical and cultural significance of this part of Bali.

Go shopping at Pasar Badung

Those that like shopping need to squeeze in a trip to Pasar Badung which is a market in Denpasar that sits on the scenic banks of the Badung River.The market is a vast complex that sprawls over four floors and you will find different areas here that sell all kinds of products including local food items like fruit, vegetables, and spices.You can take a tour of the market and check out all the uniquely Balinese products on sale and then explore the local temples that are located close by.

Go caving at Uluwatu Beach

Surf aficionados flock to Uluwatu Beach for the waves, but many people don’t know that there is a hidden gem here if you are willing to look for it.Beneath the beach is the Uluwatu Beach Cave which looks like a dragon’s lair and is a great stop off if you want to spend time in a cool and serene environment after a day spent on a baking hot beach.

Visit Ubud Palace

Ubud Palace is the most important spot in Ubud and dates from the 1800s.The complex includes the palace as well as gorgeous gardens and ornate architectural features and you can explore during the day or wait until the sun comes down to venture here.In the evenings the palace also comes alive and there are dance shows held here that are perfect if you want to take in some of the culture in a beautiful historic setting.

Spend time at Canggu Beach

The beach in Canggu is known for its eight kilometers of golden sands and is often voted one of the prettiest beaches in the world.Despite its popularity however it doesn’t feel crowded and still retains much of its rural charm, and popular pastimes here include swimming and surfing.At sunset you can take in the beautiful views and there are a vast number of places dotted along the sand where you can get a drink and enjoy the sound of the waves.

Walk to Gitgit Waterfall

Make sure not to miss Gitgit Waterfall which is widely known as the most picturesque cataract in Bali.The waters are located between Denpasar and Singaraja and you can hike along a small trail to the waterfall that will take you past leafy forests and through coffee plantations.The waters gush down a drop of 35 meters and there is a pool at the bottom of the waterfall where you can swim although there is also a local legend here that says that couples shouldn’t bathe together as this can spell bad luck for their relationship.

Visit Bali Bird Park

Bali Bird Park is filled with a vast collection of birds from all over Indonesia including an array of unusual species.The park is located in Batubulan which is also known for its stone carving and there is an adjacent reptile farm if you want a change of pace from the birds.The park is separated into different sections that mirror the natural habitats of the birds and you will find gorgeous avians such as colorful parrots and birds of paradise.

Travel to Karangasem

Many people never make it to Eastern Bali which is a shame as this part of the island offers a completely different experience compared to other spots like Seminyak and Kuta.It takes around an hour and a half to get to Karangasem from Bali’s main airport but it is well worth it so that you can explore areas such as Tirta Gangga which is a famed water palace that would have been used by the royal family who were the heads of the city of Amlapura.

Spot the dolphins in Lovina

Bali is covered in beaches but one that stands out the most is Lovina as the sand is black thanks to its high mineral content and volcanic ash. The main reason why many people visit Lovina is to see some of its resident dolphins that swim in the waters here and you can take a boat trip out in the early morning when you will have the best chance of spotting them. For many visitors this is a highlight of a trip here and it is well worth getting up early in the morning to get a chance to spot these graceful creatures in their natural environment.