We recently spent 6 weeks travelling Indonesia and spent most of that time exploring the beautiful islands of Bali. We completely fell in love with it – the beaches, the people, the food, the scenery… everything! It was also super special because some of our good friends came to visit and it was awesome spending time with them! The geography of Bali is extremely diverse and in as little as an hour you can move between mountains, rice fields, jungles and beaches. The attractions are just as varied – you could spent the early hours hiking a mountain for sunrise, the morning exploring a temple, the afternoon in a spa and the evening watching the sunset on the beach! One of the things I love most about Bali, and what made it different from rest of Indonesia, is the rich culture that is present everywhere – the Caning Sari (the pretty little baskets of offerings) that decorate the streets, the festivals, the celebrations and the traditional dance and music performances. Everything in Bali is just so pretty…
Here are 5 Places You Can’t Miss in Bali…
1. Nusa Lembongan
Nusa lembongan is a perfect little island Southeast of Bali. It is one of the trio of islands in the Nusa Penida district (the others being Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida itself). It’s just a 30 minute boat ride to get to Nusa Lembongan from Sanur in Bali. Nusa L is super chilled out and everyone is so relaxed – power cuts are common, but nobody minds! Its pretty quiet too, with not as many tourists as on mainland Bali. We spent our mornings doing yoga and eating smoothie bowls on the beach and our afternoons exploring on a scooter and chilling on the beach! To be honest, there’s not all that much to do there but that’s part of it’s appeal. I can’t quite decide, but I think it might have been my favourite place in Bali…
My Nusa L recommendations:
- Hire a scooter and explore the beautiful coast – make sure you get to Mushroom Bay and Dream Beach
- Take a Yoga class overlooking the sea at The Village followed by a smoothie bowl in the cafe downstairs – Ginger and Jamu
- Drive (or walk!) over the suspension bridge to Nusa Ceningan, the island next door, and visit Blue Lagoon and Secret Beach!
- Have a go at stand up paddle boarding – the water is incredible but paddle boarding is way harder than it looks!
- Watch the sunset from the pool at Linda Beach Resort
- Grab a smoothie, raw treat or lunch from Bali Eco Deli
Ginger and Jamu
Suspension Bridge to Nusa Ceningan
Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan
View from the pool at Linda Beach Resort
Lunch at the Eco Deli
Ubud is a gorgeous mountain village surrounded by rice paddies. It’s considered to be the cultural hub of Bali and is 100% the place to go to if your looking for temples, yoga classes and markets! It also has an incredible healthy eating culture, and endless list of activities to take part in and beautiful places to visit – one thing we missed was the hike to Mt. Batur for sunrise – we heard so many good things about this trip but after our Rinjani experience, we were all mountained-out! There’s also the monkey forest which is really popular – but we skipped this as there were monkeys everywhere anyway!
Things you must do in Ubud:
- Explore the rice fields including the Tegalalang Rice terraces – but get there early as it gets super busy!
- Go to some of the many temples – we visited the Elephant Cave Temple and Holy Spring Water Temple
- Take a Yoga class @ The Yoga Barn – the studio overlooks the rice fields and it’s just wonderful
- Eat traditional Balinese food in Biah Biah – the tapas style menu means you can try lots of different dishes – the satay tempeh is incredible! ( plus it’s super cheap!)
- Watch a traditional Balinese dance and music performance
- Make a trip to the markets including the art market
- Try White Water Rafting – We went with Red Paddle Bali Adventures and had a lot of fun!
- Visit the Tegenungan Waterfall
- Visit the Fair Warung Bale for lunch or dinner – an amazing not for profit organisation that provides healthcare for those in need
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Being blessed at the Elephants Cave Temple (yup thats rice on my head!)
Lunch after Yoga at the Yoga barn
Dinner at Biah Biah in the centre of Ubud
Traditional Balinese Show
Dinner at Fair Warung Bale
Canggu (pronounced Ch-an-gu – we didn’t realise for a while – oops!) on the West Coast of Bali is an awesome surfer town with a very chilled vibe. The main road is lined with health food cafes so of course I was completely in my element! We were only in Canggu for two days but we would have loved to stay a little longer to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the beaches. There are loads of awesome homestays here, we stayed in The Wina, which was super cheap but lovely!
In Canggu make sure you:
- Hire a surf board or take a lesson
- Eat at Nalu Bowls
- Wander around the shops, cafes and markets
- Chill. Out!
Peanut Butter Nalu Bowl
4. Bukit Peninsula
The Bukit Peninsula is the tip of the Southwest of Bali and spans from Jimbarin beach down to Uluwatu. The Bukit area is home to some of the best beaches in Bali and world-famous surf breaks. We had a surf lesson on Bingin beach and the waves were huge! Unless your an experienced surfer I definitely recommend skipping the surf here and heading to Canggu or Seminyak instead. There’s so much to see and do in this area and the ideal way to see it all is to explore on a scooter!
Thing you must do in Bukit Peninsula:
- Visit the cliff-hanging temple in Uluwatu – Pura Luhur – but beware of the cheeky monkeys!
- Eat brunch and drink a smoothie at The Cashew Tree in Bingin
- Spend the day at Bingin Beach or Balangan Beach
- Go Surfing in Uluwatu ( or watch the amazing surfers in a cafe!)
- Head to Single Fin for an AMAZING sunset, dinner and drinks – a little bit pricey compared to other places but worth it!
- Spend the day relaxing, drinking, swimming, sunbathing and eating and enjoying the sunset at El Kabron Cliff Club in Uluwatu – again more expensive, but so worth it!
Cliff Temple in Uluwatu
Brunch at The Cashew Tree
Exploring Bingin beach
Surfers at Uluwatu
Sunset from Single Fin
El Kabron Cliff Club
Sanur is in the Southeast of Bali – it’s just a 30 minute drive from the airport and is the gateway for boats to the Gili Islands, Lombok and Nusa Lembongan. It’s long stretch of beach, luxury resorts and restaurants attracts many families and holiday makers, making it one of the busiest places we visited in Indonesia. We stayed in Sanur twice, only for a night on both occasions – both times staying at one of my favourite hotels so far Hotel Segara Agung – the grounds were gorgeous, the staff were amazing and it had the best breakfast buffet we had in Bali! The beaches in Sanur are beautiful – all along the beach there are places to watch the sun go down and relax – although you’ll be hustled into buying a souvenir you don’t really want at least once!
My Sanur recommendations:
- Relax on the beach
- Watch the sunset in a beach bar
- Walk or cycle along the 8km paved coastal path
- Explore the shops and markets
- Enjoy the kite festival (July and August)
- Go parasailing – we ran out of time for this, but it was really popular in Sanur and it is now on my bucket list!
Bintangs on the beach
I hope you enjoyed my highlights of Bali – there are more detailed posts to come! I touched on accommodation and cost in this post, but will write a post about accommodation and the cost of travelling in Bali soon! You might like to check out my Top 5 Things You Can’t Miss in Lombok here too. If you have any questions or comments, let me know!
Thanks for reading,
Booking Sites I Use
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