Soak up some rays at Bali’s best beaches
Cool ocean breezes, salty hair, sun-kissed skin and that book you’ve been dying to get stuck into for months – beach life doesn’t get much better than that, right? Well, Bali’s best beaches also come with glamorous sunset cocktails, world-class surfing, some wild watersport adventures and world-class beach clubs to boot. So pack your sunscreen, wrap up your sarong and prep a summer playlist, because you’ll want to tick all of Bali’s beaches off your bucket l. I personally do prefer Pererenan beach in Canggu as it is not only an awesome surf spot for locals and visitors but also not that crowded than Bali's popular southern coasts.
Get your chef on at a cooking class
With so many fragrant herbs, spices, farm-fresh produce and unique flavours available across Indonesia’s culinary landscapes, taking part in one of Bali’s best cooking classes should be high priority. Spice up your sambal skills, learn the tricks to traditional cooking techniques, and nab the best ingredients from the local markets to really nail a Nasi Goreng.
Go chasing waterfalls (all 14 of them)
A must for your island hit list is without doubt an adventure to one of Bali’s best waterfalls, some of which you can jump off, swim underneath, or admire from a distance. Our fave has to be Aling-Aling Waterfall thanks to its natural slide that has formed over the years – pop on a lifejacket or grab a floatie and slide your way down the smooth rocky edge – weeeee!
Go island hopping
Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands, home to acres of lush jungle, volcanic peaks, an array of different wildlife, and some of the world’s most biodiverse diving sites. Naturally then, island hopping is a must. Just a short trip from Bali’s mainland is Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Penida, and The Gili Islands, as well as mainland Lombok, Sumba, Flores and the southern tip of Java. Swim with turtles, laze about on pristine white beaches or surf empty waves – the choice is yours!
Eat like a local at a roadside warung
A warung is a type of small, locally-owned restaurant that typically serves traditional Indonesian and Balinese dishes. For just $2 you can feast on a mountain of delicious, authentic grub including nasi goreng, babi guling, beef rendang, tempe manis and so much more.
Explore the island on a scooter
The quickest way to get around Bali is without doubt by scooter, and you can rent a trusty two-wheeled whip from almost every corner of the island, available for daily, weekly and monthly hire. The average daily price is around $4 – just make sure you wear a helmet and don’t give it a go unless you’ve done it before; the roads can seem lawless at times, with bumps and potholes hidden on every bend…
Get a new ‘do at a top salon
World-class cuts, boho balayage and blow drys with a cocktail – you name it, Bali’s best hair salons have it. And the best bit is, they come at a fraction of the cost compared to back home. So go on, get a fresh do, finish it with a blissful head massage… You’re worth it!
Download GO-JEK & live the dream
For Bali’s residents and expats alike, GO-JEK really is LYF. Honestly, we can’t remember how we ever survived before this all-in-one app fell from heaven. So, do yourself a favour and download the app as soon as you arrive – you’ll then have access to cheap transport (like Uber & Grab), home-delivered food from all of your fave Bali restaurants, in-villa massages, on-call cleaners, at-home beauty services, personal shoppers, postal services and even home removal vans – all available at your fingertips!
Stretch it out at a yoga studio with a view
There are so many yoga studios in Bali, but most our faves on the island are those with a spectacular view – after all, there’s nothing like a lush jungle vista or open expanse overlooking a rice field to really zen out. For these kind of views, direct your stretching to either Canggu or Ubud. Our fave spots are the Yoga Barn, The Practice and Desa Seni.
Explore the hip ‘hood of Seminyak
Away from the rice fields and traditional temples of Bali, the hip ‘hood of Seminyak is where it’s at for a bit of glitz and glam. Spend a day here exploring the uber-hip restaurants, the cool Seminyak spas, the hopping beach bars and swanky villas (aka party pads). And if fashion is your thang, you’ll want to shop ’til you drop at Seminyak’s best boutiques. If you time it right, finish the day off with Seminyak’s booziest happy hours.
Bliss out with a Balinese Massage
No trip to Bali would be complete without a Balinese massage. Why? Because the traditional techniques used by Balinese therapists are the deepest, most ahh-inducing we’ve ever experienced. They use long strokes, firm presses, skilful stretching and the most fragrant essential oils – all for less than $8 for an hour’s bliss. If you don’t want to go local, you can find a Balinese massage at almost all of Bali’s best budget spas.
Learn to surf like a pro
The surf in Bali is world-class, and many pros come to the island just to catch some good waves. There are plenty of different breaks on the island, from gentle white-wash in Kuta that’s perfect for beginners, to pumping barrels in Uluwatu for the experts. Take your pick!
Hike to the top of Mount Batur
If you’re looking for things to do in Bali that’ll get your heart pumping, how does climbing to the top of an active volcano sound? Well, the hike up Mount Batur is something we highly recommend (and not just for the banana sandwiches you get at the top!). The hike only takes a few hours, and is not too challenging (no proper hiking boots needed) so anyone can do it. It does come with a 3am start though, but that’s all part of the adventure, right?!
Visit a traditional temple
Bali is a predominantly Hindu island adorned with some absolutely stunning temples, so hop on the cultural bandwagon and pay a few a visit. One not to miss is Pura Tanah Lot, a sea temple that perches on the rocks overlooking the ocean – stunning at either sunrise or sunset. Other faves of ours include Ulun Danu Beratan (a floating temple in the middle of a lake) and the Besakih Temple that soars into the sky.
Hit up one of Bali’s best beach clubs
If you haven’t sprawled out beside a white sand beach with a designer cocktail in hand and your toes touching a glittering infinity pool – did you even holiday in Bali? Whiling away a sunshiny day (and night) at one of the island’s best beach clubs is high priority on every Bali bucket-list – all you need to do is turn up, tune out and lounge on….Our favorites are La Brisa in Canggu (see the video below), FINNS Beach Club in Canggu, Sundays Beach Club in Ungasan.
Take a dip in an infinity pool
If anything, this is gonna look great on your Insta feed! Infinity pools in Bali are very common, so it just comes down to choosing whether you want pool to meet jungle, ocean or sky. Our ultimate fave has to be the Hanging Gardens in Ubud, closely followed by the sky-high, glass-bottom pool at The Edge in Uluwatu (the name says it all!)
Have a bonfire on the beach
For a magical experience beneath the stars, make your way down the cliff face of Uluwatu to Sundays Beach Club where a nightly bonfire crackles as the sun sets. Toast marshmallows on the sand and settle in to the comfy beanbags – and while you’re at it, graze on the gourmet menus from famed Aussie chefs.