We’ve created a 10-day itinerary for Bali, Indonesia. Following this guide will help you see all the beauty that Bali has to offer!
Day 1: Fly into Bali
Depending on what part of the world you are coming from, we'd assume you will be exhausted. If you arrive at night, it is best to stay at a hotel close to the airport in Denpasar. Many accommodations are affordable, clean and in close proximity to the airport. Use this day to settle into Bali; check out some local restaurants or go for a spa day! You should note that WiFi is not readily available, so we'd recommend getting a tourist SIM card. They go for about $7.50 USD for 10gb, and you can purchase these in almost any convenience store.
Day 2: Ferry to Nusa Penida
Catch an early ferry to Nusa Penida. You'll need to take a cab to Sanur. From here, there are public/private ferries going every hour to Nusa Penida. Don't worry about pre-booking this ferry, as many times, you can haggle the price down while purchasing tickets in person. The boat ride is about 1.5hrs. There are also many day tours out of Bali you can take to Nusa. We would only recommend this to people with a short trip as the island is large and not easily accessible. Since there are so many beautiful things to see and do in Nusa Penida, you'd want to spend at least 2 days there.
Day 3: Adventuring around Nusa Penida:
We would recommend staying in the northern part of the island in these beautiful Airbnb bungalows. The hospitality and service provided here were incredible. In addition, the rooms very clean and affordable. Check out the Airbnb here.
It is effortless to find a driver that can drive you around for the day in Nusa. Here is a company that we would recommend taking. We booked our driver the night before by messaging them on WhatsApp, they responded right away and picked us up at 8 am the following day! It was around 650 Rupiah/ $65 CAD for a 12 hour driver to take us wherever we wanted. Traffic in Bali is slow, and the roads are VERY dangerous, so we would strongly discourage renting a scooter. Even if you claim to be a "good" driver, it is risky. During our drive to Kelingking Beach, we witnessed a lot of foreigners getting into accidents and hurting themselves. These roads are not paved and contain huge pots holes - the drive Kelingking is very bumpy and steep with many sudden drops and turns. Many influencers have said that they've rented scooters; however, we recommend to AVOID them at all costs. At the end of the day, drivers are not that expensive and a much safer option. They even get you to places much faster as they are experienced and know how to drive on Balinese roads.
Angel's Billabong can be your first stop. If you head out early in the morning (10 am is early enough), the tide is still low, and you might be able to swim in mother nature's pool.
Right before your next destination, ask your driver to stop by his favourite restaurant along the way for lunch. Our driver took us to a traditional Balinese spot that was overlooking the mountainous views and offered authentic Balinese food.
Your next stop will be Kelingking Beach. This is where we spent the majority of our day. It was truly spectacular, and the photos do not do it justice. Hiking down Kelingking was a bit of a challenge, but definitely worthwhile. Stay tuned for a post all about making the trip down to Kelingking Beach.
Click HERE to view live footage of the hike.
We recommend staying at Kelingking Beach until sunset as the ambiance is much different.
Remember, traffic is slow in Bali and Nusa Penida. Although a destination may be 15 km away, it can take over an hour to get there. So plan your trip accordingly. Google maps traffic is not very accurate in Bali.
Day 4: Diamond Beach and to Ubud:
Since the ferries back to Bali Island usually run between 3-5 pm, your best choice would be to hire a driver for only half the day. We would suggest waking up early in the morning to visit Diamond Beach. This hidden gem is gaining popularity and becomes very busy past 11 am. For that reason we'd recommend getting to the beach around 8-9 am. The hike down is relatively easy and takes only about 10-15 minutes. Just note that the tide is quite high - so swim at your own risk as it may be dangerous.
Head back to the pier and take your ferry back to Sanur. From Sanur, catch a Grab to your accommodation in Ubud (takes about 2h with Bali traffic). We would highly recommend booking a villa through Airbnb, there are outstanding and very affordable.
This was the villa we stayed at in Ubud. The hosts were very accommodating and even made us a delicious breakfast every morning!
Since it will be evening when you arrive, take this time to explore Ubud at night. You can either go for a late-night massage, dinner by the rice terraces or grab some drinks at a local chill bar. We’d also recommend checking out the Ubud Market for some unique finds! This is the place to do a lot of your shopping in Bali. The market is huge and prices are cheaper in comparison to other parts of the island.
TIP: Check out less crowded parts of the market such as the second story buildings, or shops located further back. These tend to offer much lower prices than the shops in the front/crowded tourist areas.
Day 5: Whole day in Ubud:
Ubud is a truly magical place! You can book a tour in Ubud that will take you to various viewpoints around northern Bali. This tour will most likely include Lempuyang Temple, Tirta Ganng (Water Palace), the Tukad Cepung Waterfalls, a coffee plantation with a Balinese Swing and the famous Rice Terraces.
If you would like a photo at Lempuyang Temple, arrive early as the line gets longer quick. The pictures are absolutely stunning, however, please note that the water doesn't exactly exist. This is a big tourist attraction, even though the temple is gorgeous, we were still quite disappointed. There is a 1-2 hour wait to get your photo taken, and a monk sits and takes your picture using a reflective mirror to replicate the effect of water. If you are still very interested in taking a photo here (perfect Instagram spot), then it is definitely a spot worth visiting. If not, then we would suggest skipping this in Bali.
The Tirta Gangga Water Palace contains a maze of pools and fountains, and it is surrounded by beautiful gardens and statues. This is a great place to relax and stroll around some colourful scenery. Be sure to purchase some snacks to feed the Koi fish!
The Tukad Cepung Waterfalls are a hidden gem!
The trek down is relatively easy and takes about 10-15 minutes with stairs and handrails along the way. Once you arrive into the water base, we'd recommend changing into your bathing suit and exploring it! The waterfalls are absolutely breathtaking - and a little cold :P Also snap a photo here, the outcome is pretty cool.
Following the waterfalls, you should head to the coffee plantation for a much-needed coffee after a long day of exploring. Definitely a place worth visiting if you are a huge coffee person. Many plantations around Bali are all very similar. We got a tour of the coffee plantation and learned how coffee is harvested in Bali. It was amazing because we also got a chance to try multiple samples of different coffee blends and teas that were collected and naturally flavoured at the farm. Most coffee plantations in Bali will also offer a sample of Kopi Luwak coffee. This coffee comes from coffee cherries that have been eaten, digested and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet, a small mammal. The beans are then cleaned and processed. However, be aware that it is not ethical. The civets are not wild, and they are captured, put in cages and basically force-fed the coffee berries. And realistically, the coffee just doesn't taste THAT good. It is a big marketing scam in Bali that we personally believe is not worth trying.
Either at the coffee farm or at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, you will have the opportunity to go on the famous Balinese swing. This was one of our favourite experiences in Bali. Although the swing looks so elegant and pristine, the ride isn't 100% graceful. The employees, with a hard push, tend to whip you out, and it does go quite high and fast. However, we would still recommend it as it's loads of fun, and the views are incredible.
No trip to Bali is complete without visiting the beautiful Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Here, you will learn how rice is grown and harvested while capturing the tranquil scenery. Breathtaking and unique.
The tour was quite long and lasted almost 12 hours. But that is because our tour guide was incredible and full of so much energy! Balinese people are extremely genuine and hospitable.
Day 6: Mount Batur
After a long day of exploring, we would highly recommend resting up before another exciting day in Ubud. Today you will be hiking up Mount Batur volcano to watch the sunrise over Mount Abang and Mount Agung. We would suggest booking through a tour agency for this excursion, either pre-booking it online or finding an agency in Ubud to take you on this excursion. The tour guide will pick you up from your accommodation around 1:30-2:00am (early we know but so worth it). He will drive you up to the base of the mountain where you will begin your hike.
*Note: Make sure to dress warmly and wear appropriate hiking shoes as it will be cold on the peak of the volcano.*
The hike is a constant uphill climb, so be aware that it will be strenuous and tough, but it is not impossible. It takes about 2-2.5 hr to reach the peak, and there are breaks along the way. Your tour guide will also provide your group with flashlights, so you will not have to bring any. Once you reach the top, you will forget all about your exhaustion as the experience of watching the sunrise is absolutely magical.
We sat down and enjoyed the view, our guide offered us complimentary hot drinks (tea, hot chocolate, coffee) and breakfast (eggs boiled by the volcano heat, banana and egg sandwiches, fruit and snacks). Simply putting this experience into words is not enough, 10/10. The descent is much more comfortable and will only take you about 1hr.
After returning from the hike, a long nap or well … a gentle Balinese massage is much needed. The massages feel like a very luxurious experience for a very affordable price, and incredible spas are located at every corner in Ubud. We do, however, advise you to do your research and check for Google reviews to ensure you're getting the most sanitary spa experience.
Day 7: Seminyak (boutique shopping+surf)
Wake up early to catch a grab to Seminyak from Ubud as traffic will get busier as the day progresses. Settle into your accommodation and head to the beach for some surfing (many places on the beach that offer lessons!) or hit up the little street boutiques for some unique finds.
In the evening, you can either relax by your villa (gorgeous villas for very affordable prices) or hit up the local clubs.
Some of our favourites were:
La Favela (cool decor and vibe)
Motel Mexicana (good food, drinks and atmosphere)
La Plancha (beach bar, come here to watch the sunsets and take a famous rainbow umbrella photo)
Day 8: Party life in Seminyak (Potato Head) (another big club)
We'd recommend spending another day at the beach and eating out at another incredible brunch restaurant ;)
This night will be another fun one. Head out to the well-known club Potato Head Beach Club to watch the sunset and enjoy some drinks and food by the view. As the night goes on, the place begins to get busier. It's a great place to meet people and enjoy some high class service. Make sure you dress appropriately, as this is one of the more high-end clubs. The prices here are quite reasonable. We paid $100 CAD for 3 entrees and several beers. It's about the same price you'd pay at an average North American restaurant.
Day 9: Canggu boutique shopping+beach+ sunset
Head over to Canggu today for some more boutique shopping and incredible restaurants (note: they are very aesthetic @all insta babes). We would recommend walking along Pantai Batu Bolong Street as this is one of the main shopping strips full of unique boutiques.
Make sure to check out Mad Pops Bali while in this area for some of the best (vegan) ice cream we've ever tasted!
The street ends at Batu Bolong Beach. Make sure to grab some drinks and catch the sunset by the beach after a long day of shopping.
Some bars to check out:
Batu Bolong Beach Cafe
Echo Beach Club
Day 10: South Kuta beaches + Mall Shopping + head to the airport early
Since today will be your last day in Bali, take it easy as you probably have a long journey home. (Or not, it is after all your LAST day ;) ). Since checkout for most accommodations is around 1 am, our best tip would be to leave your luggage at Beachwalk Shopping Centre as they offer locked-up luggage storage. From the mall, many restaurants within walking distance offer delicious breakfast/lunch.
Some places we'd recommend:
Crumb & Coaster (Casual Eatery)
Black House Burgers (Charcoal Bun Burgers)
California Cafe ( American Food)
Beniah Cafe (Vegan Options)
Paperboy Bali (Aesthetic Design)