For a relatively compact island, Bali is brimming with things to do. There are jaw-dropping beaches, world-class surf spots and stunning rice paddy vistas to visit. And while that can provoke excitement for travelers, it’s also somewhat overwhelming trying to decide exactly what to spend your vital time on.
If you have a limited number of days in Bali to explore, make it memorable by ticking these must-do adventures off your bucket list.
Sunsets in Bali are some of the most sublime in the world. There’s definitely an awe-inspiring feeling provoked by the end of day setting rays in Jimbaran. One of the best places to chill with a cocktail – and a view of the Indian Ocean – is Rock Bar. The bar top is crafted from recycled glass canes, and the DJs are well curated. This place is immensely popular, so you might have to wait to get in. If that doesn’t float your boat, head to approximately 250 metres before Tegal Wangi Beach and partake in a little cliff-diving before the sun dips into the sea. When the big event happens, sit back and relax with a Bintang and some of your closest friends – and keep your eyes on that sweeping view.
Spend the day at Jimbaran Bay
This long golden sand beach offers a stunning vista and is one of the top places in Bali to dine on seafood. What could be better than eating freshly caught fish right by the ocean? At Jimbaran Bay, you can also spend the day at the InterContinental Bali Resort. A day pass provides you with the chance to take a dip at a seafront swimming pool – complete with Jimbaran Bay views. You’ll also be able to use the Balinese bath pool, fountain pool and fun pools before spending IDR 300,000 of credit on mouthwatering food and cocktails. Alternatively, spend it at our fully equipped spa.
The Intercontinental also supplies you with a sun lounger or hut for the day, and if you’re feeling energetic you can work on your beach body at the tennis court and fitness centre.
Hide away from the crowds in Nyang Nyang Beach
Known as one of Bali’s least-visited beaches, Nyang Nyang is a must visit for those who love getting away from it all. And its popularity isn’t down to it being inferior to other sandy shores on the island’s coastline: it’s because it takes a bit of a drive and trek to reach. It’s about 30 minutes by car from Jimbaran, right at the tip of the Bukit Peninsula, and then you’ll need to traverse a set of 500-plus stairs to finally reach the reef-laden ocean. But it’s fully worth it. Nyang Nyang is a treasure trove in increasingly busy Bali. Arrive early or late, and you could just have paradise all to yourself.
Marvel at the sea of golden petals in Desa Temukus
When you think of Bali, images of the beach, surf and sunsets are the first to spring to mind. But scratch the surface and there’s plenty more to check out in this iconic destination – including fields of brightly hued marigolds stretching as far as the eye can see. This eastern location is close to Besakih Temple, one of the busiest on the island, and several of the botanicals are planted by locals and picked for use in offerings. Ahead of harvest is the best time to visit to see these – but you’ll need to check the dates as this changes on an annual basis.
Discover a hidden waterfall
Bali is awash in natural wonders, and myriad waterfalls are included amongst this extensive list. While there are plenty worth trekking through the jungle for, there are some that will cause your jaw to drop. Sekumpul in Singaraja consists of not one, but seven, falls, while NungNung – at 50 metres high – thunders on arrival in a pool at its bottom. For thrill-seekers, head over to Sambangan village and slide down Aling-Aling. You’ll reach a gorgeously clear plunge pool at the bottom.
But perhaps the best of the lot? Munduk – the Niagara Falls of Bali. The waterfall alone is impressive enough, but the nearby countryside is also soul stirring. Nearby Melanting is better for swimming, though – perfect for a refresh after a bite to eat in the restaurant at Munduk.