Bali Travel Advice – Our Best Tips for a Transformational Trip

Find the best sights, the perfect itinerary, the cost of travel and much more

main blog image for bali travel advice

We’ve been to Bali so many times during the last 5 years that we’ve lost count. As I write this, we are living in Bali, getting to know it even better. Read this post for all the Bali travel advice we’ve learned through our many trips to the Island of the Gods!

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Note: This post was written and published during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic. Bali has been empty of tourists for several months and will continue to be so for several more. Currently, no visitor visas are being issued for Bali, but the government has suggested that Bali may reopen to tourists in September.

Bali Quick Facts

Average Temperature26.7 °C / 80.0 °F
Best Time to VisitMay or October
How Long to Stay10–30 days
Visas30-day free visa (most passports)
CurrencyIndonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Exchange Rate$1 USD = 14300 IDR
Cost of Budget Travel$20–40 per day
Cost of Mid-Range Travel$60–80 per day

Best Places to Visit in Bali

Soak up the Sand and Surf in Uluwatu

best restaurants in uluwatu
Uluwatu boasts some of Bali’s most beautiful (and hidden) beaches.

With dramatic cliffs hanging over almost empty beaches, Uluwatu is one of our favourite places in Bali. We like the chill pace of Uluwatu, which is quieter and less touristy than the more famous Bali destinations.

If you’re an experienced surfer, Uluwatu is the place to go for the best waves in Bali. But even if you don’t surf, like us, it’s a fabulous place to recharge for a few days.

A bonus: Uluwatu not far from the airport so makes a great place to spend your first few days in Bali, while you’re recovering from jet lag.

Don’t miss our Uluwatu posts:

Chill with Expats in Canggu

cauliflower tacos
The Canggu food scene is crazy amazing, so be prepared to eat well.

Canggu has become a hub for Bali’s digital nomad tribe — so much so that you often see more foreign faces on the streets in Canggu than Balinese people. While you won’t get much of an “authentic” Balinese experience in the centre of Canggu, there are plenty of spectacular beaches and delicious restaurants to try.

Canggu also offers lots of opportunities for surf lessons, practicing yoga, and sunset cocktails.

Don’t miss our Canggu posts:

Get Spiritual in Ubud

Carving in Ubud, Bali.
There’s a lot of opportunity for yoga, wellness, and spiritual growth in Ubud.

As the first centre of yoga in Bali, Ubud is still the main draw for those who come to Bali seeking spiritual guidance or transformation. It’s one of the few tourist destinations that’s not on the coast, which makes the ambience here a little more refined.

There are lots of opportunities for exploring jungles, rice fields, and visiting Balinese villages from Ubud, too.

Check out our Ubud posts:

Escape the Crowds in Amed or Lovina

In the very old days, ships from distant lands used to arrive on Bali’s north coast, so it was the natural gathering place of foreigners on the island. However, that was before airplanes. Now, with the airport on the south end of the island, it’s the rare tourist who ventures north to Amed or Lovina.

If you like diving, in Amed you’ll find plenty of places to add some undersea adventures into your schedule.

Lovina is best for laid-back beach time and waterfall trekking. Please avoid the Lovina dolphin-watching tours, as they are fairly unregulated and harmful to the local dolphin population.

For those who want more from Bali than jostling with package tourists and ultra-spiritual types, escaping to the north is a great idea.

Island Hop to the Gilis or the Nusas

things to do in gili islands
The sign says it all. Island life is good on the Gilis.

Fun fact: Nusa means island in Balinese, while Gili means small island in Bahasa. So when you say you’re going to the Gili Islands, you’re really saying Small Island Islands.

While the Gili Islands are not technically a part of Bali, they are frequently included on Bali itineraries.

And why not? These islands are three small sandy humps that barely peak out of the turquoise waters just off the coast of Lombok. With no cars or petroleum-powered scooters on any of the islands, they’re remarkably peaceful, even when overrun with holiday makers.

Don’t miss our Gili Islands guides:

If you’ve only a got a short time on Bali, a trip to Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan makes for a great substitute for the Gilis. Since the Nusas are much closer to Bali, they’re also better for folks who get seasick — a recent choppy crossing from the Gilis was one of our most terrifying travel experiences ever!

Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan are two tiny islands that have grown massively in popularity during the last few years. Avoid the island day trips, which tend to be rushed and crowded, and make time to stay for a few nights to really absorb the island vibes.

Don’t miss our Nusa Penida guides:

nusa penida tour
Nusa Penida is pretty great. Make sure to stay overnight for the best experience.

How Long Do You Need?

If there’s one mistake people make when coming to Bali, it’s that they don’t plan a long enough trip!

Many people come for one week — we’ve even met people who are here for 3 days. To put it bluntly, a very short trip is not really worth it!

In one week, you’ll barely scratch the surface of what Bali has to offer. You don’t want to be stuck with short-term tourists as they trudge from one over-crowded sight to another.

If you have the time, come for 10 days or two weeks. If at all possible, stretch your Bali trip to 30 days. This will allow you to visit on the free visa and will give you enough time to get away from the tourist and see parts of Bali that seem to exist in a time forgotten.

Best Time to Visit Bali

Bali has two distinct seasons — the rainy season and the dry season.

Dry season, from April to October, coincides with the busiest season on Bali. You can expect perfect beach weather almost every day and the temperatures tend to be a few degrees lower than they are in wet season.

During rainy season, from November to March, you’ll still get tons of sun to play in. We moved to Canggu in January and in our first two months, we had sunny days about 90% of the time. The rain, when it comes, comes hard and fast, and often happens overnight, leaving you plenty of sunshine during the day.

Both seasons are hot, especially in the southern beach towns, like Canggu, Jimbaran, and Uluwatu. Temperatures hover around 30 degrees Celcius almost every day on the south coast. When it’s humid, that can be stifling.

In Ubud and the inland mountainous regions, the weather varies more dramatically. For a start, it gets much cooler — down to the mid 20s during the coldest season. On days like this, the Balinese bundle up in warm jackets and complain about the winter weather!

We’ve been in Ubud when the clouds don’t part for days on end. Other times, the sky is endlessly blue for weeks. Like the rest of Bali, the average temperatures only vary a few degrees all year, so there’s really no wrong time to visit.

temple in bali
Why would you come to Bali for less than 10 days? Beats me!

Bali Itinerary for 2 Weeks

If you’ve got time, we recommend coming to Bali for the full 30 days allowed on the free visa. If you are hemmed in by work schedules and limited holidays, then don’t come to Bali unless you have 10 days or more.

If you’ve got 10 days to 2 weeks to enjoy Bali, this is our suggested itinerary.

Day 1–3: Exotic Beaches & Smashing Sunsets

Spend your first couple of days in Uluwatu, where you can get over your jet lag and acclimate to the Balinese lifestyle while lounging around on some of the best beaches on the island.

Our picks for Uluwatu:

Day 4–6: Surf and Slurp

A couple of days in Canggu will give you time to take those surf lessons you’ve always wanted to try. You’ll also get to eat in some of Bali’s best casual restaurants. Canggu is an expat centre, so expect lots of cute cafes and trendy coffee shops — and not so much authentic Balinese culture.

Our picks for Canggu:

Day 7–10: Wellness and Culture

Getting away from the south coast and into the cooler climate of Ubud is a must, especially for those who want to explore their spiritual side. Book yourself into an Ubud yoga retreat for a few days, or simply spend some time getting pampered at one of Ubud’s many spas.

There are also lots of opportunities for culture and nature tours around Ubud, so don’t miss out on seeing some of Bali’s wilder side.

Our picks for Ubud:

Day 11–14: Discover the Real Bali

After a few days in the more touristy zones on Bali, a getaway to Amed in the far-flung northeast is vital. Enjoy the dramatic landscapes on the volcanic slopes and the chance to immerse yourself deeper into the real Bali.

rice fields in bali
Bali travel can cost a lot or a little, depending on where you go and what you do.

Cost of Travel in Bali

As Bali has grown increasingly popular, the cost to travel here has grown too. Bali is no longer a budget travel destination, but it is still much less expensive than most Western destinations.

In Bali, the amount you spend will depend a lot upon where you go. Seminyak is expensive and Canggu is quickly catching up to it. Ubud is cheaper, with better accommodation at lower prices.

If you head to more remote places, your budget can be smaller, but you should expect less in terms of service and amenities as well.

If you’re dripping with money, you can splurge in Bali and hang with the high-rollers and the Instagram royalty, sipping Martinis beside private infinity pools and eating gourmet meals every night.

Sounds awful to me, but you do you!

Mid-range Budget for Bali

For a mid-range budget expect to spend $60–80 per person per day. Here are a few sample prices for you:

  • $25–50/room/night – clean & stylish accommodation in a guest house or villa
  • $20/person/day – meals in some trendy cafes, plus eating a few meals at local warung
  • $2–4 – Bintang beer
  • $8–10 – cocktail
  • $5/day – scooter rental
  • $25–40 – longer transfers (e.g., Ubud to Canggu, Airport to Ubud)
  • $30–40 – half-day tour
  • $70–90 – full-day tour

Shoestring Budget for Bali

If you’re on a smaller budget, you’ll be able to enjoy Bali on around $20–30 per person per day. You will have to skip certain activities, fancy bars and restaurants, and higher-end tours though.

  • $3–8/hostel bed/night – not always great, especially on the cheaper end, spend a little more for more comfort
  • $10/person/day – meals at local restaurants and street food
  • $2 – Bintang beer
  • $5/day – scooter rental
  • $25–40 – longer transfers (e.g., Ubud to Canggu, Airport to Ubud)
  • $30–40 – half-day tour
  • $70–90 – full-day tour

Don’t forget to also include your plane ticket, visa costs, and travel insurance costs when working out your budget!

Need a Retreat?
Read our guide to the best yoga retreats in Bali to find your ideal escape.

Accommodation

There is a huge range of accommodation in Bali, from cheap and cheerful shacks to over-the-top luxury resorts — and all stops in between.

The standard for accommodation in Bali is getting better, but there are still plenty of duds to be found. Be sure to do your research and don’t be fooled by out-of-date pictures on booking sites.

chairs beside the pool in a bali villa
You can splurge on Bali accommodation but there are also plenty of great places to stay at a cheaper price.

Prices for accommodation in Bali vary widely depending on the location.

  • In the southern beach areas, accommodation can get pretty expensive, even for basic digs.
  • In Ubud, where competition is fierce, it’s easier to find good quality accommodation at a lower price.
  • On the more remote parts of the island, you’ll find that prices trend upwards while quality tends to be varied.

Hostels & Homestays

For affordable accommodation in Bali, choose a hostel or a homestay. These places tend to be cheap and cheerful and some are cleaner/better maintained than others.

You can find a bed in a basic hostel or homestay for $5–7 per night. A private double room in these budget-friendly places usually costs around $15. Swing towards the higher end for a little more comfort and peace.

Budget Guest Houses & Hotels

If your budget stretches to $25–55 per night, you can get a nice double room in a shared villa or guest house.

These rooms usually face a central swimming pool, include outdoor seating, and often have a small kitchen where you can cook basic meals. Again, the quality varies dramatically, even within the same price range and region, so pay close attention to reviews and pictures before you book.

Beachside Resorts

Because the beach is the big draw in Bali, there are beachside resorts of all kinds available. In Sanur and Nusa Dua, you’ll find clusters of giant name-brand resorts. Some of these cater to families while others are geared at exclusive, wealthy clientele. Many resorts provide accommodation in private villas that range from basic breeze-block cabins to luxe multi-room palaces.

You can get a nice room at a decent resort for $60–100 per night. Luxury properties start at $200 and go up from there.

Heading to Sanur?
Discover the best yoga in Sanur and the best vegan food in Sanur using our guides.

Private Villas

If you’re looking for a secluded stay in Bali, or you’re travelling with your family, don’t forget to check Airbnb for private villas. You can sometimes find a gorgeous 3-bedroom villa with full kitchen and pool for the same price as a couple of rooms in a hotel.

Again, you’ll want to pay close attention to ratings and reviews, as many properties are not as they appear online!

Responsible Travel

As with almost any destination, being a responsible traveller in Bali is mostly a matter of common sense. Take a few moments every now and then to think about your actions and if they are respectful to the local people who have welcomed you to their home.

Here are a few common ways tourists act offensively in Bali, and what you can do instead:

Culture and Customs

funeral procession in bali
In Bali, you will almost surely see some religious ceremonies taking place. Please respect the locals and watch from a distance.

Unlike other parts of Indonesia, Bali is not predominantly Muslim; most of the locals follow the deeply spiritual traditions of Balinese Hinduism. It’s not uncommon to see funerals or other religious ceremonies on the beach or on the streets. Many local women spend a good part of their day making offerings to the gods and people are required to attend frequent ceremonies at the local temple.

Which is why I find it deeply annoying when people show up in a restaurant nowhere near the beach dressed in their tiny bikinis or bare-chested. You will see lots of foreigners dressed like this but that does not make it OK. Please show respect for the local staff and your fellow diners by putting on a cover up once you leave the beach.

If you see a religious ceremony taking place, take a beat before you start filming or sticking your camera in people’s faces. The ceremonies are beautiful and moving but that doesn’t mean you need to share them on Instagram. Think how you’d feel if you attended a funeral for a loved-one and a bunch of foreigners surrounded you to take photos!

Eco-Friendly Travel

If there’s one thing that makes me want to punch other tourists in the face, it’s when they whine about the garbage on the beaches and streets of Bali while sipping from a single-use water bottle or a plastic straw.

Part of the reason there’s a garbage problem on Bali is that there’s a people problem on Bali. With more than 6 million tourists descending on the island each year, you better believe this puts a strain on the local resources.

To reduce your footprint while in Bali:

  • Bring a reusable water bottle with you. There are refill stations in almost every cafe and guest house.
  • Eat at small, independent restaurants and opt for local food over things like imported Australian beef.
  • Stay in small, locally owned accommodation — avoid the sprawling chain resorts that destroy the oceanside ecology.
  • Don’t pop over to Bali for a few days or a weekend — save the flight for when you can spend more time and immerse yourself in the culture.
group of boys ubud bali
If you can afford to travel to Bali, you can afford to support a local non-profit while you’re there.

Support Charities & Non-Profits

It’s our big audacious goal to start a movement of travellers who commit 1–10% of their travel budgets to support local people and environmental causes.

If you can afford to travel to Bali, you can afford to commit at least 1% of your travel budget to helping improve the lives of the locals. We encourage you to check out these charities and earmark part of your budget for them.

Bali Street Kids Project (YKPA)

Provides housing, food and education for Bali’s most disadvantaged kids.

Bali Life Foundation

Provides care to those in Bali who are underprivileged, with the aim of restoring their hope, dignity and purpose.

R.O.L.E. Foundation

Created to stop land-based waste from getting into the oceans and to help create sustainable jobs to protect the livelihoods of coastal communities.

BAWA (Bali Animal Welfare Association)

Focusses on easing the suffering of animals in Bali by providing emergency response and rescue, food and medication, rehabilitation, adoption programs and more.

stephen doing yoga by the pool at desa seni
You don’t need to pack much for Bali. Just some bathing suits and yoga clothes and you’re done!

What to Pack for Bali

Packing for Bali is easy! Just throw a couple of bikinis and a few sarongs in your suitcase and you’re done! OK, it might not be quite that simple, but it’s close.

Aside from swimwear and light breezy clothing, here are a few speciality items you might forget to bring.

This is a unisex list so some items may apply to you, some maybe not.

Clothing

  • Beach cover-ups — it’s pretty trendy in Bali to show up at a restaurant in only a bikini top or topless. Unless you’re at a beach bar, please don’t do it! It’s disrespectful to the locals, unpleasant for your fellow diners, and plain unhygienic. Throw on a cover-up or a t-shirt when you leave the beach!
  • One great travel dress — actually, you might want to bring several. Bali is the perfect place to wear dresses because they keep you cool and are easy to throw on over a bikini.
  • Quick-dry t-shirts — did we mention that it’s hot in Bali? And oh so humid? No matter how dry you normally are, you will sweat here, we promise. Quick-dry t-shirts are ideal because you can wash them out in the sink and they’ll be ready to wear again in a few hours.
  • Loose-fitting shorts — in 6 months of living in Canggu, I’ve only worn long pants a handful of times. It’s just too hot here! Make sure to pack a few pairs of loose fitting, lightweight shorts or skirts — I promise you will wear them a LOT.
  • Lightweight bras — conventional bras can be torture in hot weather. If you can sacrifice the support, bring light breathable bras with less structure to help deal with the heat.
  • Yoga clothes — even if you’re not a yoga nerd like us, Bali is the perfect place to try it out. Bring some loose or stretchy clothing so you can experience yoga for the first time (or the millionth).
hat sarong and sunglasses
These are all essential items for travelling in Bali.

Accessories and travel gear

  • Sarong — the most useful piece of travel gear ever. It’s a beach towel, a pool towel, a skirt, a cover-up, a picnic blanket, a scarf, and so much more.
  • Ocean-safe sunscreen — it can be hard to find reef-friendly sunscreen in Bali and sunscreen here is always horrendously expensive. You’re going to need it every day, so bring a big bottle from home.
  • International driver’s permit — if you are planning on renting a scooter in Bali, be aware that it’s illegal to drive if you don’t have an IDP. You can easily get around this rule but you can avoid trouble with the cops by having one. They’re super-easy to get, so no excuses.
  • Sunglasses & sunhat — probably obvious, but it’s so important to protect your eyes and your head from the glaring sun here!
  • Travel yoga mat — if you’re coming to Bali for the yoga, bring a foldable travel yoga mat that you can spread out over the studio mats. It’s nicer to practice on your own surface and, let’s be honest, after the pandemic, who wants to practice on a public mat?
huts on the coast in bali
Safety in Bali is not a big concern but there are a few things you should be aware of before you travel.

Is it Safe to Travel in Bali?

Safety First!

We don’t leave home without travel insurance and neither should you. World Nomads is ideal for short-term travel — affordable, great coverage, and responsive. For long-term travel, check out Safety Wing.

In general, Bali is a very safe place to travel. We’ve been here many times, and have never run into any trouble with personal safety, pickpocketing, or any of the other common tourist worries.

Just like with any destination, there are some things you should be aware of before you travel to Bali.

Balinese culture and people

Balinese people are warm, friendly, and exceptionally helpful. If you ever get lost or have any kind of problem, expect more help than you can handle! Recently, Stephen drove his motorbike into a deep ditch (he was trying to help another tourist when things went seriously awry).

Within seconds, before Stephen even knew what was happening, several Balinese men had climbed down into the ditch and lifted his bike back up onto the road!

Scams in Bali

The most common Bali scams can do serious injury to your bank account. ATMs are sometimes rigged to steal card details, so always check that the ATM buttons don’t seem odd in any way, and cover the buttons when you enter your pin.

Money changers all over the island play with sleight of hand in a big way. I have several friends who are very experienced travellers who have been short-changed by money changers. Always count and double-count your money before you leave the booth!

Bali traffic

The biggest danger in Bali is the traffic. Crossing the street can be a challenge. If you decide to rent a scooter, exercise extreme caution.

We see way too many tourists walking around here with bandaged limbs. Plus, every few weeks there seems to be a news story about another tourist killed on their motorbike.

Worried about safety in Bali?
We wrote a complete guide to safety in Bali, which covers everything you need to know before you arrive.

Bag and phone snatching

This danger was fading away in Bali but with the economic downturn caused by lockdown, it’s starting to resurface in a big way.

While you’re driving your scooter, always store your bag under the seat — do not wear it on your shoulder! Keep your phone and all other items in the trunk too.

If you’re walking, keep bags and other items away from the street where they can be easily snatched by passing scooters.

Other dangers in Bali

Other dangers comes from mosquitos, who carry dengue fever and Zika. See the Health section below for more on this.

If you’re unlucky, you could end up being in Bali during a volcanic eruption or an earthquake. We’ve been here for both, and while they can be scary, they usually don’t effect the average tourist day very much.

baby monkey in the ubud monkey forest
The monkeys sure are cute but the Monkey Forest in Ubud promotes a little too much human / wildlife interaction for comfort.

What to Avoid

Aside from a few scams and rip-offs in Bali, there are also a few popular activities we suggest you miss. Trust us, you’ll find much better ways to spend your time than these less-than-great attractions.

Animal Attractions

There are several places you can go to view or interact with animals on Bali. There is very little regulation in Bali about treatment of animals and, though tour operators are practiced in saying all the right things, animal welfare at these places is questionable at best.

We urge you skip all of these:

  • Elephant rides
  • Civets at a Luwak coffee shop
  • Dolphin watching and swimming with dolphins
  • Turtle Island near Sanur
  • Ubud Monkey Forest

Elephants and civets are captive creatures, subject to the whims of the humans who use them to make money. Dolphin swimming also features captive animals — taken from the wild and imprisoned for their entire lives so tourists can be entertained for the afternoon. The conditions on Turtle Island are just plain horrendous.

Compared to the other animal attractions on Bali, the monkey forest is OK to visit in that it’s reasonably harmless to the monkeys. However, it can be harmful to you! The monkeys can be aggressive and monkey bites are extremely common. You don’t really want to spend your vacation getting rabies shots, right?

If you really want to see monkeys (because… monkeys!!), walk the trail the follows the perimeter of the monkey forest. You’ll get to see lots of the little guys but are less likely to be surrounded by a gang of them.

As a bonus, from the end of the trail, walk about 800m down the road to visit Sage, our favourite restaurant in Bali.

scooter on the road in canggu bali
Not all Bali streets are quite this quiet. Be prepared for traffic if you’re going to hire a motorbike!

How to Get Around in Bali

Lots of people refer to Bali as “paradise” but I think it would be a lot closer to paradise if it wasn’t so damn hard to get around!

No matter what mode of transport you choose, you are sure to crawl along in impossible traffic more than once on your visit. Tourism has severely outpaced infrastructure here and the roads can’t handle the volume.

These are the primary ways you’ll get around while in Bali.

Scooters

Driving a scooter is by far the most convenient way to get around Bali. Unfortunately, it’s all by far the most dangerous way. If you have never driven a scooter or motorbike before, please don’t learn in Bali! If you are an experienced scooter driver, please be twice as careful in Bali as you would be elsewhere.

The unwritten rules of the road here are completely different than anywhere else we’ve been (and we have driven or cycled around Cairo, Jakarta, Beijing, London and hundreds of other places). Take it very slow at first until you learn how traffic works in Bali. Then keep taking it slow because that’s the only safe way to drive in Bali.

Want to drive a scooter in Bali?
Our complete guide to renting a scooter in Bali covers everything you need to know, from prices, to safety, to avoiding scams!

Taxis

We generally avoid taking taxis in Bali. There are too many dishonest drivers who will try to overcharge you, scam you, or otherwise make your trip more stressful than it has to be. Hey guys, you’re ruining the taxi business for everyone, you know!

However, there are times when you probably can’t avoid hopping in a taxi.

For those times, try to get a BlueBird taxi. You can spot them by the blue car and the blue batik uniform shirt and ID tag the drivers wear. You can either flag down a BlueBird or use their app to order one.

Since BlueBird is the only reliable taxi company on the island, there are many copycats that make their taxis look like BlueBird. Be on the lookout for frauds.

Ride Hailing

There is a healthy (unhealthy?) taxi mafia in Bali and the alternative is to try to get a car or motorbike via Grab or Gojek, the two ride-hailing companies in Bali.

If you’re in the most popular tourist areas, like Canggu and Ubud, you will find it hard to book through a ride hailing app. That’s because there’s always the threat of violence from taxi drivers if they go into a mafia zone.

If you’re staying in a less busy area outside the taxi mafia zones, you can easily hail a Grab or Gojek to drive you around. In this case, motorbikes are the way to go — they are speedy, cheap, hassle-free, and will get you there much quicker than a car.

Shuttle Bus

The Perama Tour shuttle bus is great for solo travellers on a budget. This small shuttle goes between some of the major destinations in Bali, like Ubud, Kuta, Amed, and the airport.

You’ll have to book it in advance and go on their schedule but it does greatly reduce the price of some of the longer journeys you might want to take in Bali.

Private Car & Driver

If you are with a group of people who want to take longer journeys around the island, from town to town or for a day of sightseeing, then hiring a private driver makes the most sense.

You can either ask your hotel to recommend somebody, or book a driver through GetYourGuide. There, you can get a driver for 10 hours for up to 5 people for just $50. That’s a great deal and their reviews are outstanding!

Airport Transportation

If the general transport situation in Bali seems messed up, wait until you hear about airport transfers! Getting transport from the airport (especially after a long flight) is a bit of a nightmare.

Do yourself a favour and book a transfer through your hotel or online with GetYourGuide ahead of time. Prices are fair and the joy of avoiding a haggle session with aggressive taxi drivers the minute you step off the plane is priceless. As a bonus, if you like your driver, you can take his number and call him whenever you need a transfer in Bali.

Here are the other options for airport transportation, all of which you are not going to do because you are going to book your transfer ahead. Right?

  • Airport taxi – you can go to the official airport taxi desk when you arrive. They will quote you some outrageous price (the wealthier you look, the more outrageous). You will laugh and haggle until you get a lower price. The lower price will also be outrageous!
  • BlueBird taxi desk at the airport – remember when we said BlueBird is the only honest taxi company in town? For some reason that doesn’t apply at the airport, where the BlueBird taxi desk will quote you an even more ridiculous price for your journey. Don’t even bother.
  • Grab pick-up point – recently added to the airport, there is now a place where you can safely pick up your Grab car at the airport. Except, the drivers there will almost surely ask for twice what the app says you should pay. You can probably haggle to a decent price, but why bother when you could book a car ahead for less?

Visas for Bali

Depending on what country you’re from and how long you plan to stay in Bali, getting a visa can be very easy or sort of difficult.

For tourists from 160 countries who want to stay for less than 30 days:

  • You don’t have to prepare anything. Just show up at the airport in Denpasar and you will be given a visa exemption stamp which allows you to stay for up to 30 days.
  • Note that this visa is for tourism only. It does not allow you to come and teach a yoga workshop or do any business on the island. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
  • There is no extension option for this visa. By your 30th day you must leave the country.

For passport holders of 160 countries who want to stay 30–60 days:

  • If you want to stay up to 60 days in Bali, then opt for the Visa on Arrival. You apply for this at the Denpasar airport before going through immigration.
  • It allows you 30 days in Bali, with the option to extend for a further 30 days without leaving the country.
  • Again, this visa is only for tourism.

For more information on Bali visas, including the list of eligible countries and options for more complicated stays, see this post.

woman holding smoothie bowl by swimming pool
There is so much fresh, locally sourced vegetarian food in Bali, it’s easy to eat well!

Vaccinations & Health Precautions

You don’t need a lot of travel vaccinations for Bali, but there are a few that the CDC recommends for all travellers:

All routine vaccinations. Including:

  • MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella)
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio

Other recommended vaccinations:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid

Both can be contracted through contaminated food or water in Bali.

Other health concerns in Bali

Rabies

Though it’s not recommended that you get the rabies vaccine before coming to Bali, be aware that rabies is common in street dogs and monkeys. If you get scratched or bitten, you should head immediately to a medical clinic in Bali for advice on what to do next.

Dengue Fever

Before coronavirus, Dengue Fever was the biggest health risk for travellers coming to Bali (we’ve each had it twice here!). Do your best to avoid getting bitten by mosquitos by wearing mosquito spray every day. It is inexpensive and readily available at every convenience store on the island. Wear long pants and long sleeves in the early morning and evening to reduce the chance of bites.

If you get a headache and fever, go immediately to a medical clinic. Dengue Fever is not that terrible, it just requires complete rest and hydration for a few days. If you ignore it, that’s when it turns vicious and can even kill you.

Malaria

Good news! Malaria is not a big risk in Bali. If you’re going to spend a lot of time in the jungle, consider taking an anti-malarial. Otherwise, just keep yourself well covered in mosquito repellent.

Bali Belly

So far, we’ve only each had one case of bad food poisoning in Bali (from the same meal). Eating vegetarian or vegan is a great way to avoid the dreaded Bali Belly. If you’re here in off-season, be careful about eating in restaurants that serve the traditional Indonesian buffet — only go to ones that are busy and have a high food turnover.

A Final Note About Travel in Bali

Travelling in Bali can be utterly life-changing — but it also has the potential to be pretty miserable if you don’t plan carefully around your interests and travel style.

For a transformational experience, make sure to plan for activities that have the potential to change your perspective and help you learn and grow as a person. Grab our free Transformational Travel Bucket List to find out what kinds of experiences lead to true transformation through travel.

♥  Happy transformational travels, Jane & Stephen

I hope this Bali travel advice has been helpful in creating your Bali travel plan. It’s our goal to help our readers make every trip truly transformational and I know your trip to Bali has the potential to be utterly life-changing. Send me an email if you have any questions!

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