8 Unmissable Places to Visit in Bali

Places to visit in Bali? Here are eight that you can’t miss!!

Who has not wanted to visit Bali?? Everyone knows it’s one of the most enchanting places on Earth, and I finally got the chance to visit it myself in February 2017.

Even though I only spent 5 days on the island, I explored it from North to South and East to West, familiarized myself with Balinese culture, and visited some of the most beautiful points of interest in Bali.

From the well-known to off the beaten path, here are 8 unmissable places to visit in Bali

Places to Visit in Bali: 8 Unmissable Points of Interest

1 – Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu)

One of the best places to visit in Bali is Uluwatu Temple. It’s a very scenic Hindu temple perched atop a 70m high sea cliff on the south-western coast of Bali.

The temple is considered one of Bali’s spiritual pillars and because of its spectacular location, also one of the best spots to watch the sunset.

But even without the sunset, the view from the temple is just breathtaking!

A sea cliff on the southwestern coast of Bali covered by low vegetation and a beach with crystal-clear water
Uluwatu Temple

However, the awe-inspiring scenery wasn’t the only reason I visited Uluwatu Temple.

The main purpose of my visit was to watch the Kecak Dance, a form of Balinese dance and music drama that was developed in the 1930s.

Attending this extraordinary show is one of the most memorable things to do in Bali.

The music is hypnotic and alluring and the hand and arm movements the dancers use to tell their story are incredibly expressive. Not to mention how much fun the hilarious and adorable white monkey was!

Spectators watching the Kecak Dance in Bali, Indonesia, performed at Uluwatu Temple during the sunset and the dancers in the middle of the stage
Kecak Dance is performed daily at Uluwatu Temple during the sunset.

At the end of the show, you also get the opportunity to take pictures with some of the performers. Don’t forget to put Uluwatu Temple on your list of places to visit in Bali.

A Kecak dancer wearing a traditional Indonesian costume with a glorious make-up
One of the dancers and her glorious make-up.
  • You can book a tour to visit the Uluwatu Temple, watch the Kecak Dance and also Jimbaran Bay here. Tickets and transportation are included.

2 – Holy Spring Water Temple (Tirta Empul)

According to my Balinese guide, there are over one million temples in Bali. It is because the Balinese people are very religious, and almost every house has its own temple.

With so many temples to choose from, I would say that the Holy Spring Water Temple should be high on your list of places to visit in Bali.

People in the water and having a bath in the fountains and praying at the Holy Spring Water Temple in Bali, Indonesia
Holy Spring Water Temple

A visit to this Hindu water temple is a great opportunity to admire the temple’s beauty, learn about Balinese culture and particularly witness the Balinese people’s devotion.

A man half-naked in the water praying near some offers at Tirta Empul, Bali
  • I really recommend that you book a tour with a local guide to learn more about Tirta Empul and experience its spirituality. On this tour, you can also visit the temple of Goa Gajah, known as the Elephant Cave, and take a dip in the refreshing waters of Tegenungan Waterfall.

3 – Jungle Fish

One of the greatest things, when you travel, is definitely meeting people! And following the recommendation of two friends that I made in Bali, I went to Jungle Fish.

This luxury resort is located amidst the dense forest in the breathtaking landscape of the Ubud area.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with the resort entrance but everything changed when I saw the pool. The view from the staircase is just surreal, and you can’t believe that there is an infinity pool in the middle of the jungle.

A swimming pool and three Indonesian style houses surrounded by lush vegetation at Jungle Fish, Bali
The breathtaking pool.

For an entrance fee, visitors can also enjoy the facilities: pool, bar, shower, bathroom, lounging area, children’s pool, and use of a towel if they wish to swim.

A gorgeous swimming pool, some red umbrellas, red sofas and colourful chairs surrounded by luxurious vegetation at Jungle Fish, Bali

Reservations are highly recommended, and drinks and dishes are reasonably priced.

Swimming in an infinity pool in the middle of lush vegetation, admiring the view and sipping a glass of champagne in the company of good friends, it would seem like life could not be better…

Jungle Fish is one of those places that once you’ve arrived, you wouldn’t want to leave again. You can’t miss it as one of the coolest non-touristy places to visit in Bali!

Pericles Rosa in an infinity  swimming pool with trees kin the background at Jungle Fish Bali
It seems too good to be true right, isn’t it? But it’s true, though.

4 – Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Bali has a diverse landscape that ranges from mountains, deep forests, and flowing rivers to coastal areas, beautiful beaches and stunning crop fields.

In many parts, particularly in the South, Bali is dotted with terraces of paddy fields and some of them have become major tourist attractions.

And if you want to see the most spectacular and impressive terraces when you visit Bali, you should go to Jatiluwih.

This UNESCO Heritage Site, located in a rural area 700 m above sea level in the western part of Bali, features stunning rice terraces, stretching from the foot of the mountain to the coast.

Jatiluwih rice terrace.
A splendid view of the Jatiluwih rice terrace.

Even though it isn’t as accessible as the terrace fields in Ubud, a visit to Jatiluwih is totally worthwhile because of its beauty, tranquillity and cool atmosphere.

It’s believed that these rice fields were created as long as 500 years ago, and still prove a showcase for an impressive and curious irrigation system.

Visitors can hike the trails through the rice fields to explore the different parts and visit small villages and restaurants. It’s definitely a remarkable experience and one of the best places to visit in Bali!

Pericles Rosa wearing a brown hat, sunglasses, salmon t-shirt and grey short at Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, Bali, with  rice fields in the background

5 – Karma Beach

Bali has some beautiful beaches and is considered one of the world’s best-surfing spots.

Unfortunately during my short stay, I didn’t surf, but I made sure to visit at least one of the best beaches in Bali.

Karma Beach, Bali, is bordered by cliffs covered with vegetation and has crystalline blue water

Karma Beach is a hidden beach in Bali, nestled on the southern coast of the island along very high cliffs, near the Ungasan and Uluwatu areas.

The view from the top of the cliffs of the crystal-clear turquoise water contrasting with the lush vegetation covering the cliffs is beyond imagination.

The white sandy beach is accessible by a staircase or private funicular rail and there are two beach clubs, including the super fancy one, Karma Beach Club, which has a very busy calendar during the high season and attracts celebrities from all over the world.

However, depending on the time of the year, the beach can be completely empty and you can have this picture-perfect paradise all to yourself.

Pericles Rosa wearing a red swimsuit and sunglasses walking on Karma Beach, Bali, and the crystal-clear water and sea cliff covered with vegetation in the background
I love it when the beach is all mine!

6 – Nusa Penida

If you want to take a break from the crowds on Bali, you should head south to the isolated Nusa Penida, the largest of the three Nusa Islands that are off from mainland Bali.

The island is just a short boat ride away and amazes visitors with its secluded beaches with crystalline turquoise waters, rich marine life, lush greenery and breathtaking views from its otherworldly viewpoints.

You can swim with manta rays, lounge on gorgeous beaches, soak up the sun, gaze over the edge of cliffs, chase waterfalls and explore the roads through the jungle.

Nusa Penida is one of Bali’s most beautiful points of interest and the visit is totally worthwhile!

You can take a speedboat from Sanur Beach, the most popular option, a transfer from Tanjung Benoa, a ferry from Padang Bai, or book this day trip to Nusa Penida.

Kelingking Beach, on Nusa Penida Island, and its sea cliffs topped with vegetation and crystalline turquoise water
Kelingking Beach, the main attraction in Nusa Penida. Photo credit Anastasia R, CC BY-ND 2.0

7 – Luwak Coffee Bali Plantation

If you love coffee and islands, Bali is the perfect place for you.

Balinese coffee is very tasty and there are many different kinds of coffee to please every palate.

Coffee plants arrived in Bali early in the 20th century and, because of the rich volcanic soil and temperate climate, coffee plantations expanded rapidly.

Not only is the Robusta plant found on the island but also the Arabica plant which, in fact, is now the most common.

The big difference between Balinese coffee and the coffee produced in other parts of Indonesia is the processing method.

In Bali, they use wet processing while in the rest of the country, the dry process is used. It creates a very special taste, which makes Balinese coffee some of the best in the world.

The most expensive coffee in the world is Luwak Coffee which is produced in Bali.

The curious and fun facts are that the coffee beans are eaten by the Asian Palm Civet, a small mammal that looks like a cat, and the enzymes in the stomach of the animal take away the bitterness of the beans during the digestion process, giving it a smooth and mild taste; when the civet excrete the beans, it’s collected by farmers (and washed, presumably)…

At the end of your visit to the Lambing Sari House of Coffee, you can taste Luwak coffee and many other blends, such as ginseng, lemongrass, chilli, vanilla, mocha, etc.

So, if you’re a coffee lover, you should visit a coffee plantation while in Bali.

Pericles Rosa wearing an Indonesian scarf on his head, yellow take top and green short stirring some coffee beans in a pan with an Indonesian woman wearing a blue polo and skirt and a scarf on her head at Lambing Sari House of Coffee in Bali
Visiting a coffee plantation is an opportunity to learn more about coffee.

8 – Ulun Danu Temple (Pura Ulun Danu Beratan)

To complete my list of 8 unmissable places to visit in Bali, another temple. As I mentioned before, the Balinese people are very religious (some of the most religious people I’ve ever seen), and there are many temples scattered throughout the island.

The Ulun Danu Temple complex located on the shores of Lake Bratan, in the mountains near Bedugul, is one of the most photogenic temples in Bali.

This Hindu Temple built by I Gusti Agung Putu in 1556 Saka year, (1634 AD), consists of five temple compounds, as well as a Buddhist Stupa, and is considered one of the most important temples in Bali.

There is a spacious park, two restaurants, and a large children’s play area and visitors can partake in several water activities, such as hiring a speed boat, a pedal boat, or a traditional junkung.

This was the temple that I wanted to see most, and one of the most famous points of interest in Bali!

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple and its Buddhist Stupa in Indonesian style surrounded by water of the Lake Bratan, Bali.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, one of the most famous points of interest in Bali
  • Take a private, full-day guided tour of Bali’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ulun Danu Temple, Jatiluwih Rice Terrace and Tanah Lot Temple. Check prices, availability and book it in advance here.

More Places to Visit and Things to Do in Bali

This is my list of 8 unmissable places to visit in Bali, but of course, there are many more other things to do in Bali, such as:

  • Kintamani and Mount Batur
  • Surfing in Canggu
  • Ubud Art Market
  • Ubud Monkey Forest
  • Sekumpul Waterfalls
  • Lovina Beach
  • A yoga retreat (Bali is so famous for that)
  • Kuta Beach
  • Nusa Dua Beach
  • Padang Padang Beach
  • Ayana Bar on Rocks
  • Tirta Gangga
  • Tanah Lot Temple
  • Besakih Temple
  • Goa Gajah
  • Bali Botanic Garden
  • A very popular tour is Bali Instagram Tour: The Most Scenic Spots. It takes you to the most scenic places to visit in Bali, including the famous jungle swing, the Gates of Heaven, etc. And on top of snapping some Instagram-worthy pictures, you’ll learn about the Balinese culture and history behind those sites. The reviews are good, such as the price. Book your tour in advance here.

I’m looking forward to going back to Indonesia and visiting all the other places in Bali that I didn’t have a chance to see on my first time and also Lombok to visit the Gili Islands and trek Mount Rinjani.

I hope you have a fantastic time on this extraordinary islandΒ !!

Safe travels πŸ˜‰

Have you been to Bali? What do you think about my list? Any recommendation? Let us know in the comments below.

Planning a Trip to Bali

What you need to know before going to Bali:

Where is Bali located?

Bali is an Indonesian island situated 8 degrees from the equator, in the Java Sea. Bali’s location is 4,555 km (2,830 miles) from Australia and is situated between Indonesia’s islands of Lombok and Java (check map here).

How to get to Bali?

The only tow ways to get to Bali are by plane or boat.

* By plane:

There is an international airport in Bali, also known as Denpasar International Airport, located in southern Bali, 13 km south of Denpasar.

Some of the companies fly to Bali airport are: Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Lion Air, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air, Garuda Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, China Southern, etc.

You can book your flights with Skyscanner that is the website that I use, trust and recommend.

* By boat:

The most common routes are from Lombok and Gili Islands. Ferries are departing from Lembar (Lombok) to Padang Bai (Bali) 24 hours a day, and speedboats departing from Gili Islands. You can check prices and schedules here.

There are also ferries from East Java to Bali with PELNI, the Indonesia state’s ferry. But to be honest, it’s better to be avoided due to the poorest condition of the vessel, appalling maintenance, zero comfort, awful delays and dirtiness, etc.

How to get around?

Bear in mind that Bali is a big island and to go from one place to another it can take up to three hours, depending on where you’re staying and the traffic conditions.

Therefore, the best way to move around Bali is renting a motorbike, a car o a private driver.

Best time to visit Bali?

Bali has a tropical, warm and humid climate all year round with two main distinctive seasons: Dry Season and Rainy Season. The rainy season is from November to March, and the dry season is from May to October.

Because of the weather conditions, the high season is during July and August. However, the island is also busy during Easter, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

So, the best time to visit Bali is April, May, June and September, just before and after the high season.

I was there in February, and the weather was mostly sunny with scattered showers throughout the day. Humidity was high though.

Where to stay in Bali?

I stayed at Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Bali, and if you’re looking for hotels in Bali my recommendations are:

Budget: Swati Eco Cottages, Jati 3 Bungalows and Spa and The Calmtree Bungalows.

Great Value for Money: Satori VillasEcho Beach Townhouses and The Artini Resort.

Luxury: Plataran Canggu Bali Resort & Spa, Ayana Resort and Spa, The Royal Santrian, Puri Wulandari – Boutique Resort & Spa and Sebatu Sanctuary (a luxury eco camping surrounded by mountains, forests and rice terraces).

  • Book your accommodation now with Agoda and get exclusive discounts.
  • After Bali, I went to Flores to see the extraordinary Komodo dragons. You can book this Private 2-day Tour or this 3-Day one.
  • Many people who visit Bali also go to Lombok and the Gili Islands. Many tours are departing from Bali with accommodation included. There is a great Private 3-Day Gili Islands Tour with Snorkeling and you can check prices and availability here.

If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia you might also like

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Travel Planning Resources For every booking made through my site I donate US$ 1 for a charitable organization.Safe travels ☺

25 thoughts on “8 Unmissable Places to Visit in Bali”

    • Hey Violette.
      You definitely should put it on your list πŸ˜‰
      The entrance changes according to the time of the year: October to May 100 000 Indonesian Rupiah (US$ 7.50), and from June to September 150 000 (US$ 11.20).
      I still have to add my travel costs here though.
      Safe travels and enjoy Bali πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  1. Great post about this beautiful island. Kind of curious why out of hundreds if not thousands of Indonesian islands Bali is the most famous among travelers. I am sure Indonesia has many amazing islands with incredible beaches and nature. We travel the world as a family but have not been in that part of the world yet but really planning to fix that. I am kind of close to book a trip this coming November around Thanksgiving time but according to your post it will be a start of a rainy season.

    Reply
    • Hey Dmitriy.
      Thanks so much for commenting here!
      Yes, I wonder the same thing, but if you think about it’s the same everywhere: Santorini the most famous Greek Island, Boracay the most famous beach in Philippines (there are over 7000 islands in the Philippines), Koh Phi Phi the best island in Thailand, etc.
      We say in Portuguese where there’s smoke there is fire… Bali really deserves its famous because the island caters to a wide range of travelers, from the yogis, to surfers, families, foodies, and nature lovers.
      I just posted about Komodo National Park, and Padar Island, one of the islands of the park, for me is one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
      I also went to Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, and the island is surreal. The water and marine life are fantastic!!
      In fact, my next post is gonna be about Raja Ampat.
      I would think twice before going to Bali in November. I was there was in the end of the rainy season. The weather was fine, but in Jakarta and Yogyakarta it was not the good though.
      Stay tuned Dmitriy πŸ˜‰
      All the best buddy!!

      Reply
  2. I have been to Bali and have planned itineraries for some of my relatives. None of them came back disappointed. Its a beautiful place and you cannot get wrong about it.

    Reply
  3. These are some Incredible views and it really makes me want to go and visit! I’ve never been to a beach so close to a mountain. How was it during the rainy season? It looks like you had excellent weather.

    Reply
    • I’m glad to hear that Malloru. You should definitely visit Bali.
      Karma Beach is amazing and many people have never heard o it. And because of that, I believe that during the raining season it might be empty.
      I was there in the end of the raining season though, but the weather was πŸ™‚
      Karma Beach was recommend by my guide πŸ˜‰
      Cheers

      Reply
  4. I just love reading posts about Bali ! I am planning to visit for so long now and I always go somewhere else πŸ˜€ All those places you mention here seems amazing! I am definitely saving it for later! Love that pool!

    Reply
  5. Bali is definitely on my list of places to go see. Thanks for the tip on the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. I’ll be sure to check them out.

    Happy continued travels!
    C

    Reply
  6. I’ve been to Bali but don’t think I went anywhere on this list! Wish I had read this post beforehand πŸ™ some of those beaches look amazing!

    Reply
  7. I agree, these are actually some of the unmissable places to visit in Bali. I loved spending a lot of time in Bali and loved my visit to the Uluwatu Temple. I just didn’t cover Karma Beach but got another reason to be back! πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  8. These tips are all awesome!! The rice fields have always been on my bucket list, but most of the rest of these are new to me. I would love to visit the water temple! What a unique experience!!

    Reply
  9. Thanks for sharing this useful post about unmissable places to visit in Bali. Bali is really such a nice place to go for holidays. Now, i am planning to visit Bali for holiday trip with my family.

    Reply
  10. Really Thanks a lot for this informative Post. Actually, I have no any idea about these places but after reading this post I feel wow it’s an amazing place. These all are amazing and attractive places to visit in Bali and really I will go there in these places

    Reply

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