Ready to dive into everything that Bali has to offer? With over 6,000 temples (yes, that’s correct) and hundreds of miles of beachfront, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go and what to see! Berty and I have been to Bali three separate times and counting, and have explored a new part of the island on each visit. In this post, we’re going to share our ideal 10-day Bali guide put together from our experience on the island. We’re giving you the best routes, sharing the best things to see, and telling you how to get the most out of your next trip to Bali. Enjoy!
Things To Know:
- Bali is an island in the country of Indonesia
- The main language is Bahasa Indonesian, but because of tourism English is widely spoken
- Click here to know what to pack: (Ultimate Indonesia Packing List)
- Tourism makes up 80% of Bali’s economy
- The Island’s local population is 85% Hindu, followed by Muslim, and then Christian
The Ultimate Bali Guide: Your Perfect 10-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Stay In Kuta/Canngu
This is the most “touristy” part of Bali. However, it’s a good introductory neighborhood if you’ve never been to Indonesia. You can stay in hostels for as little as $10/night, or rent a villa and stay with all your friends in one house. The options are endless and there is a place to stay on any budget! If it’s your first time booking with Airbnb, we’re gifting you $40 here!
Other Things You Can Do In/Near Kuta:
- Rent scooters + drive around town
- Go dancing in clubs (if that’s your thing!)
- Go shopping and eat lots of good food
- Chill at the beach and watch the sunset
For the day’s finale, don’t miss Tanah Lot for sunset. While this place can get incredibly crowded on a clear evening, it’s still worth the trip out. You can come early to stake out the best location for a photograph, but any perspective of this temple on the water is beautiful!
Read More: 6 Culturally Rich Things To Do In Bali
Day 2: Waterbom and Western Beaches
This day is all about the water. Make sure you refer to our Indonesia Packing Guide when planning this day! Staying in Kuta, you are in close proximity to tons of beautiful beaches, including Kuta Beach, Seminyak Beach, and Legian Beach. These places are known for big waves – perfect if you are looking to surf!
We also recommend visiting Waterbom Bali. This waterpark is worth the trip and we promise it’s fun for adults too! It is the largest water park in all of Asia, and the third biggest in the entire world. Here, you can experience a lazy river, tons of water attractions, and giant waterslides – even some that will drop you straight down!
Day 3: Uluwatu
Uluwatu is the southernmost region of Bali, known for its dramatic cliffs and “surf” culture. Here, you can find the dreamiest Airbnbs and homestays – perfect for if you want to be close to the beach and away from the hustle and bustle of Kuta and the rest of the city. If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, click here so we can give you $40 for your first booking!
We recommend staying on the west side of the peninsula. That’s where most of the popular beaches are located, and you’ll get a great sunset in the evening as well. If you’re wanting to surf, there are a lot of shops near the beaches that rent surf boards. You can also rent a motorbike with a surfboard attachment for easy transportation, too!
Day 4: Ubud (City Center)
Every street, alley, and storefront in Ubud is seeping with Balinese culture, art, and food! Here, you can find all sorts of local crafts and paintings to take home as a reminder of this historical part of the island. If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture of this area, take a yoga class or visit a temple to learn more about the Hindu culture here. If you plan to visit any temples, make sure to wear long pants or pack a sarong to cover your legs!
Read More: 6 Culturally Rich Things To Do In Bali
Day 5: Tegalalang Rice Terraces + Bali Swing
After visiting the Ubud area, drive just a little farther north to the iconic Tegalalang Rice Terraces. This area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the combination of historical agricultural significance to the land and the temples that are within the terraces. Plots of land are still owned by local farmers to produce rice for their communities!
Quick Tip: Come with small Indonesian notes (rupiahs). Some of the main paths along the terraces will have people with shelters asking for “donations”. It’s your choice to give or not, however some people are very persistent and it’s easier to simply donate in order to peacefully continue on your way.
Day 6: North Bali Highlands
Northern Bali is filled with green highlands, mountains, and cooler weather. Here, some of the main attractions are the Ulun Danau Bratan Temple, the “Bali Gate”, and boat rides on Lake Beratan. If you want an adrenaline rush, you can also visit the Kebun Raya Bali park, which is home to the Bali Treetop Adventure Park. The park has several different zipline routes and above-ground obstacle courses.
Quick Tip: You may not think you need to pack a jacket for Bali, but if you plan to visit the the Northern part of the island, you might want to consider a warmer layer! You can refer to our Indonesia packing list here for more tips on what to bring with you around Bali.
Read More: 10 Adventurous Instagram Spots In Bali
Day 7: North Bali Waterfall Tour
This day is all about exploring waterfalls! To stay local and minimize your driving time between locations, we suggest staying the night in Bedugul or Singaraja. Most of the famous falls are located close to these towns. Many of the waterfalls also have an entrance fee, but they shouldn’t be more than Rp. 10,000 (~$1) each. Be prepared with small bills and you should be just fine!
These pictures are from Git Git Waterfall. Here, there are pools to swim in, and a gazebo to leave your belongings while you enjoy the falls. Many waterfalls have shelters like this – but with all activities in a foreign country – safety first! Never leave valuables out of your sight.
Other waterfalls to explore:
- Aling Aling Waterfall
- Nungnung Waterfall
- Banyumala Twin Waterfall
- Munduk Waterfall
- Sekumpul Waterfall
Read More: Waterfalls To See In East Java, Indonesia
Day 8: East Bali Temple Tour
East Bali is filled with some of the most famous and beautiful temples on the island. Here are just a few highlights below:
- Pura Besakih is considered the most important temple on the island, as well as the largest. It’s a complex of separate (but related) temples, terraced up the side of Mount Agung. Berty and I got coerced into hiring a “tour guide” here, but in reality you don’t need one. Know before you go! Side note: don’t forget your sarong. Renting one is expensive here.
- Tirta Gangga Temple is a water temple that was formerly a royal palace. Here, you can find the impeccably manicured gardens, fountains, and pools to enjoy. We suggest bringing a picnic and staying awhile to enjoy the scenery.
- Pura Luhur Lempuyang is considered the most sacred temple on the island. It is also the most difficult to get to! Only after a 1-2 hours hike will you reach the shrines, and complaining is frowned upon because the hike is considered a privilege. If you make it all the way to the top, you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful views in Bali – a centered gate that completely frames the beautiful Mount Agung.
See More Temples: 6 Culturally Rich Things To Do In Bali
Day 9: Relaxing Beaches and Good Food
Today is the day to spend relaxing in a beachside chair, playing in the waves, and eating delicious food. Play in the blue waves at Virgin Beach, the coast of Candi Dasa, or Padang Bai village. The east side of Bali has some of the least crowded beaches in all the island.
No Bali guide is complete without some good Indonesian food! In the evening, head back to Sanur and go to the night market (Pasar Malam Sindhu) for dinner. Here, there are several food stands with all kinds of authentic Indonesian dishes. Everything from fried banana, fried jackfruit, martabak, bakso – all healthy, right? 😉 They also have some shops, and the market is situated in a busy part of town. There’s lots to do here!
Day 10: Shopping Around Denpasar
For the final day on the island, we recommend grabbing any souvenirs or memorabilia to remember your trip. Try checking out Toko Emporium for some high-quality crafts or Mitra Bali for beautiful, fair-trade gifts. If you’re looking for mass-produced gifts (for cheaper!) try a warehouse like Krishna Oleh Oleh. We think it’s best to not only complete your trip back in the main city (Denpasar) but wait to buy any souvenirs until this last day!
Want to extend your trip? Go somewhere new?
- Take the ferry from Bali to East Java (Here’s a trip from Jakarta to Surabaya)
- Get on a boat for a day trip to Nusa Penida
- Spend a weekend on the Gili Islands
- Fly to Lombok for another adventure
- Fly to Surabaya and explore the epic Mount Bromo
What would you add to our Bali Guide? What experiences have you loved on the island? Tell us in the comments!
READ MORE INDONESIA/TRAVEL POSTS
Follow our Indonesia Travel Board on Pinterest for more inspiration!
Want to find the best places in the PNW?
Stop searching through internet noise and download our curated list just for you.
Enter your email below and we'll send you your PNW Bucket List!