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When we decided to go to Bali, Indonesia for my birthday, we were intent on planning the perfect trip. Relaxation was a priority for our Bali itinerary, but we were seeking a bit of adventure, too.
It was our first visit to Indonesia and deciding where to go in Bali was a bit overwhelming. So many places intrigued us…but we quickly identified a few spots we wanted to avoid. As we researched, our one week in Bali turned into two weeks in Bali…which turned into one month in Bali. And it was phenomenal.
The Best 2 Weeks in Bali, Indonesia
We understand most travelers won’t be able to spend an entire month in Bali, so we created a Bali two-week itinerary that is a condensed version of our visit. Our Bali tour itinerary includes the things we loved best about our trip: seaside relaxation, phenomenal scenery, incredible food and amazing sunsets. Rather than staying in one location, our Bali travel itinerary takes visitors to multiple destinations for a broader overall experience.
How To Plan a Bali Trip
By sharing our detailed Bali Itinerary 2 Weeks, we are eliminating the hassle of all the tedious research! To create your ultimate trip itinerary for 2 Weeks in Bali, use our guide as a base. Either follow it step-by-step or make adjustments to our Bali suggested itinerary as it best suits your travel style, interests and budget. We even offer a few suggestions of alternate activities to include on your trip to Bali, Indonesia at the end of the article.
Pro Tip: Consider using our Travel Planning Printables to get your vacation to Bali organized!
Planning a Trip to Bali with Less Time?
We think building a Two Week Bali Itinerary is the perfect amount of time spend on the island. But what if you only have 7 days in Bali, not two weeks?
It’s alright – there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a Bali trip with less time. Stay tuned until the end of the post where we offer helpful sample Bali itineraries for one to ten days – and we have a few suggestions for even longer trips, too!
Best Itinerary For Bali…For Who?
Our recommendations for what to do in Bali for 2 weeks covers a range of attractions and activities.
This Bali trip planner can be used for first-time visitors, Bali solo travel, families, as an outline for a surf trip to Bali or as a Bali honeymoon itinerary (it felt like a second honeymoon for us!).
Our Bali travel guide is useful to anyone interested in a beach vacation. Bali planning shouldn’t be a task; just use our day-by-day guide to help plan your trip!
Save, Bookmark or Pin this Bali Vacation Guide to plan your trip to Indonesia!
Bali Route For A Two-Week Bali Itinerary
Visitors with 14 days in Bali can cover a lot of ground, which is good because Bali is so incredibly diverse. In fact, we didn’t realize just how big Bali is until we started planning our route.
Our Bali travel route includes overnight stays in the following destinations: Canggu (4 nights), Uluwatu (3 nights), Nusa Lembongan (4 nights), Nusa Ceningan (2 nights), Sanur (1 night). Additionally, we suggest a few optional Bali day tours to see even more sights.
Bali Destination Guide For Our 2 Week Bali Itinerary
A full two weeks allows for plenty of time to explore different Bali destinations without feeling rushed. We spent ample time carefully considering which destinations to include in our Bali tour plan.
Before we dive into the day-by-day details of our Bali 2 Week Itinerary, let’s review the destinations we include for the best Bali trip.
Located along the west coast of southern Bali, Canggu is a town that has long stretches of beach and offers a little bit of something for everyone – which is why it is the first destination we include in our 2 Week Itinerary Bali.
The rural setting has an old-school beach vibe with plenty of options for Canggu activities, like surfing, yoga and beach-walking. Visitors will find an array of accommodations, from boutique resorts to backpacker hostels, and a wide range of Canggu restaurants and cafes.
Top Tip: For our top dining recommendations and other tips, read our Top Things To Do in Canggu.
Sitting atop the cliffs of the Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu is a surfer haven – but appeals to non-surfers (like us!), as well. Much less-developed in terms of tourism, the town is more spread out, but still fairly easy to get around. We loved our time in Uluwatu and think it is a must see on your 2 Week Bali Itinerary.
The Uluwatu clifftops offer incredible vantage points over the sea and the small, secluded beaches are accessed by steep staircases. Travelers can choose to stay in upscale Uluwatu resorts, stylish homestays or basic, open-air rooms.
Top Tip: For more recommendations and other travel tips, read our 7 Awesome Things To Do in Uluwatu.
Visiting the Nusa Islands is a top highlight of our 2 Weeks in Bali Itinerary. The most popular of the three Nusa Islands, Lembongan Island has a low-key, island vibe with numerous options for water activities, island exploration and easy day trips to Nusa Penida.
Many tourists visit Nusa Lembongan on a day trip from mainland Bali, but we think it’s worth spending additional time on the island. Even though it is a small island, there are many places to stay that fit a range of budgets.
Top Tip: For top dining recommendations and activity tips, read our Complete Guide to the Nusa Islands, Bali.
The smallest of the Nusa Islands, Ceningan has only recently experienced an uptick in tourism. Many tourists opt to skip it when they plan a trip to Bali, Indonesia – but we think it is an absolute gem!
The stunning coastline is a major Nusa Ceningan attraction. Much of the island is rural and undeveloped, which is also a draw for travelers looking for a quaint and quiet slice of Bali.
A seaside retreat on the southeastern shores of mainland Bali, Sanur is home to multiple international brand resorts. Sanur is the departure point for the Nusa Islands ferries and close to the Bali International Airport, which is why we include it in our Bali Itinerary.
That said, there are other reasons to include a stop in Sanur on a Bali Two Week Itinerary. In addition to being well-connected to other destinations, there is a pleasant beach and numerous restaurants. Traditional boats and fishermen can be seen in the water from the inviting Sanur beach.
Where We Did Not Go On Our Bali, Indonesia Trip
We filled our Bali 14 Day Itinerary with top beach destinations – but purposely omitted a few places from our Bali 2 Week Holiday.
Both Seminyak and Kuta were eliminated from our Bali trip itinerary for several reasons, but mostly because they seem overly touristy with too many people crammed into massive chain resorts. On a short 2 weeks Bali trip, in our opinion, there are much better places to see.
On the other hand, while visiting Ubud was at the top of our list, we skipped it in this Bali Itinerary because our focus is a Bali beach trip.
Bali Itinerary 2 Weeks: Day-by-Day
Our Bali Itinerary for 14 days is broken down into a useful day-by-day format. Essential information for your Bali, Indonesia Itinerary – like where to stay, how to get around and Bali trip expenses – are included at the end of the article.
Day 1: Arrive in Canggu
Arrive at the Bali International Airport in Denpasar and make the 2-hour journey to Canggu. Get settled into your Canggu accommodations (recommended: Ecosfera), then kick off your Bali vacation itinerary by heading straight for the beach. Let the ocean spray mist your face as you sink your toes into the sand at one of the three main beaches in Canggu: Echo Beach, Batu Bolong and Berawa Beach.
Grab a cold drink from one of the beach warungs (shops) and soak in the day’s last rays of sunshine on your first day in Bali. Make your way to Old Man’s – a Canggu institution – for dinner or a couple local Bintang beers. The casual beach bar is a fun place to meet fellow travelers and often has live music or DJs.
Day 2 – Relax, You’re On a Bali Vacation!
On Day 2 of your Bali travel plan, fully transition into vacation mode. After a leisurely breakfast, saunter down to the beach for a morning stroll. Walk along the sandy coast to the south; if you are feeling motivated, walk all the way to Seminyak. Let the ocean breeze tangle your hair and enjoy the scenic seascape.
Back in Canggu, if the surf is calm enough, jump into the waves to cool off from the walk then rent a beach chair for an afternoon of sunbathing. If the ocean is too rough, head back to your hotel pool and take a refreshing dip.
Mid-afternoon go to one of the Canggu spas for an inexpensive spa treatment. You can get a relaxing one-hour massage for about $10 USD. A traditional Balinese massage uses acupressure and skin rolling techniques and is heavenly. A couples massage is a fabulous thing to include in a Bali Two Week Honeymoon Itinerary. Most spas offer a full-range of services at affordable prices, so go ahead and splurge.
Top Tip: Want to really splurge? Treat yourself to a Bali Spa Tour!
End the day with a must-see Bali sunset on Echo Beach. Grab a seat in one of the colorful beach bean bags on the black sand beach or get an elevated view from upscale La Brisa. Watch the surfers ride the waves as the sun goes down. After sunset, stay on the shoreline for dinner and drinks at The Lawn.
Day 3 – Test Your Skills: Bali Surf and Yoga
On Day 3 of your Bali vacation itinerary, participate in one of the many popular Canggu activities, like surfing or yoga.
Beginner-level surfers can learn to ride waves at Batu Bolong Beach where conditions are ideal for novice board riders. Tourists who have never been on a surf board can hire one of the experienced coaches for a one-on-one surf lesson.
Active visitors who want to stay on dry land can join one of the Canggu yoga classes. Numerous yoga studios in Canggu offer a range of classes – from beginner to advanced. Most classes cost $10 USD or less.
Want to stick to an activity you already know how to do? Take a long beach walk – but this time walk north. Two miles north of Canggu is the Pura Gede Luhur Batu Ngaus Temple, a picturesque temple occupying a rocky peninsula that seldom sees visitors.
After a day of vigorous activity, you have no doubt worked up an appetite. Treat yourself to an indulgent Italian meal at Pizza Fabbrica or end your day on a high healthy note with a nutritious poke bowl from PokePoke.
Day 4 – Explore: Bali Temple Tour and Rice Paddies
On Day 4 of your Bali holiday itinerary, abandon the beach for the day and explore more of the area surrounding Canggu.
Visiting ancient temples and terraced rice paddies are highlights on every Bali Must-See Itinerary – and both are easily accessible from Canggu. The iconic Hindu temple, Pura Tanah Lot, sits on a rocky outcrop just north of Canggu and rice paddies are found along the main roads in Canggu.
Tourists who rent scooters will be able to visit the temple and find the rice fields on their own. Those without transportation or who want to explore beyond the coastline can book a private tour (which is probably less expensive than taxi fare to the temple).
A full-day, private tour includes the following sites: the most beautiful terraced rice fields near Ubud (including the famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace), one of Bali’s Luwak coffee plantations, the arts center in Ubud and the Tanah Lot temple. Find out more about this fun and cheap Bali tour!
Continue your day of exploration with dinner at Warung Smile. The family-owned eatery cooks up traditional Indonesian fare. Be adventurous and order an authentic dish you haven’t yet tried.
Day 5 – Next Destination: Uluwatu, Bali
Make the short but long journey from Canggu to Uluwatu, the second destination on your Bali, Indonesia trip itinerary. Although the two locations are not far apart on a map, traffic congestion between the two places inhibit a speedy transfer. Make the most of the trip and keep your eyes peeled on the passing scenery – small towns, tourist hubs and the unbelievable number of scooters on the road.
After checking in to your Uluwatu accommodation (recommended: D’Padang), make your way to the cliff’s edge above Suluban Beach. Follow the crowds to Uluwatu hotspot, Single Fin, and try to find a front-row seat for sunset – or clamber down the stairs to one of the chill warungs clinging to the cliffside. For dinner, eat a delicious meal at popular Suka Espresso, which is just down the road.
Day 6 – A Day at Uluwatu Beaches
If the tide is high in the morning, start your day at Thomas Beach (the real Padang-Padang Beach). Take the steep, uneven steps from the clifftop to the sandy stretch of shore. Rent a beach chair and umbrella for the day and soak in the salty sea air.
Walk to the far east end of the beach, where there are fewer warungs, and climb over the boulders to find the small temple. If the tide is receding, explore the west end of the beach and go beyond the large rock to discover a hidden beach and cave.
When the tide is low, head for Suluban Beach and descend the stairs into the cave. Spend time walking along the shore where the exposed reef reveals large tidal pools.
Take a dip in the clear, shallow water or find a spot on the sand and watch the surfers come and go. Note: If it is low tide in the morning, flip-flop your agenda for the day and go to Suluban first, then Thomas.
In the late afternoon, go to Ulu Cliffhouse (we think this is a MUST on your Uluwatu Itinerary!). The clifftop resort, restaurant and bar has swings, hammocks, bean bags and incredible views. After the sun sets, head back to the main road to Nyoman Local Food, where you can feast on Indonesia favorites for cheap.
Top Tip: For more beach recommendations and other tips, read our article The Best Uluwatu Beach for Your Bali Trip.
Day 7 – Another Day, Another Uluwatu Beach!
Spend a second day by the sea at another one of the best beaches in Uluwatu: Bingin Beach. Popular with the surfer crowd, Bingin has a laid-back vibe. Kelly’s Warung, with an elevated view of the sea and surfers, is the place to hang. Bring a book and let an entire day slip by while relaxing beside the pale blue water.
If you want to add a little culture to your Uluwatu experience, in the afternoon take a trip to the famous Uluwatu temple, Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Sitting on the west-facing clifftop, the temple is especially popular at sunset. Stay for the Kecak Dance; the traditional Balinese performance takes place at an outdoor theater next to the temple. You can visit on your own or book a tour.
For your last dinner in Uluwatu, choose between dining cliffside at one of the upscale resorts with sea views or at one of the popular places along the main road serving Western fare (La Baracca for pizza or Bukit Café for anything else!).
Day 8 – Next Destination: Nusa Lembongan
Take a fast boat from mainland Bali to Lembongan Island, where you will start the second week of your Bali, Indonesia tour itinerary. One of the three islands in the Bali Sea that comprise the Nusa Islands, Lembongan is the most developed for tourism. Get situated in your Lembongan accommodations (recommended: Chillhouse) and then set off on foot to discover a few of the island’s best beaches.
Start on Jungut Batu Beach and follow the coastline trail, taking in the stunning seaside vistas along the way. The walk passes through three beaches – Song Lambung, Tamarind and Secret Beach – before ending at Mushroom Bay Beach.
Retrace your steps back to Jungut Batu Beach and settle into a seat at one of the beachfront restaurants for sunset. Stay on the beach for a dinner with your feet in the sand – Blue Corner (casual), Ginger & Jamu (stylish) and Linda Resort and Beach Bar (romantic) are all good choices.
Day 9 – Beach Club Brunch and Nusa Lembongan Coastal Walks
Spend the day on the west coast of Lembongan Island, starting at the chic Sandy Bay Beach Club. Arrive mid-morning for an unhurried brunch-with-a-bay-view and lounge around the pool. In the early afternoon set off on a coastal walk to a few top Lembongan sites: Devil’s Tears and Dream Beach. The walk snakes along the craggy coastline where enormous waves crash onto the shore.
Return to Sandy Bay Beach Club for a late lunch and a swim in their infinity pool overlooking the water. If visiting from November to April, stick around for sunset. Otherwise, get a ride to Ware Ware on the south end of Jungut Batu Beach and take a seat on the open rooftop deck. Enjoy the panoramic views while dining on fresh-caught seafood.
Top Tip: Sandy Bay Beach Club offers free rides to guests, message them to book your ride in advance!
Day 10 – Day Trip To Nusa Penida, Bali
Penida Island is the largest of the three Nusa Islands, yet is relatively undeveloped. The rocky coastline seascapes are striking – and a highlight of our Bali Itinerary 14 days. Join one of the Penida, Bali land tours to see the highlights: Angel’s Billabong, Broken Beach, Kelingking Beach and Crystal Bay.
Back on Lembongan, dine at Bali Eco Deli, where they specialize in clean eating (and a clean environment!). The flavorful meals are served in a magical tropical garden setting.
Top Tip: For more details about this trip, read our Penida, Bali guide to a complete Day Trip to Nusa Penida.
Day 11 – Swim with the Fish on a Bali Snorkel Trip
On Day 11 of your Bali itinerary, join one of the Bali adventure tours for a morning of snorkeling. The reefs around the Nusa Islands are some of the best in Bali and promises an abundance of colorful fish. Most Lembongan snorkel tours make three stops – including a chance to swim with giant manta rays, see enormous Mola-Mola fish and view an array of other underwater sea life.
In the afternoon, take a beach walk from Jungut Batu Beach to the Mangroves. Then walk along the north side of the island provides incredible views of Mount Agung, the volcano and highest point on mainland Bali.
At Mangrove Point, visitors can rent a kayak or hop aboard a canoe for a ride around the mangroves. Stop at Agung Beach Club for a late afternoon refreshment. Consider staying for dinner or make your way back to Jungut Batu and eat at one of the popular (and almost always busy) restaurants: Pondok Baruna Warung or Lemongrass.
Day 12 – Next Destination: Nusa Ceningan
Pack up your bags and cross the narrow Yellow Bridge for a short 2-night stay on Nusa Ceningan – your next destination for visiting Bali in 2 weeks. The small island, which sits between Lembongan and Penida, has a rugged, undiscovered charm and – of the three Nusa Islands – is visited by the fewest tourists. Drop your luggage at your Nusa Ceningan accommodations (recommended: Nusa Veranda Sunset Villas) and start your exploration of the island.
Follow the main road to the southwest tip of the island (passing Dungki Bendega Resto on the way; you will want to eat dinner later, so stop to make reservations if it is high season). At the coast, take a quick jaunt to the east to peer into Secret Beach bay from above, then follow the coastline west, all the way to the beautiful Blue Lagoon. Continue along the road to the Mahana Point beach bar, where you can cliff jump and watch sunset.
Day 13 – Ceningan Cliffs Viewpoint
On your last day on Nusa Ceningan, set out to discover the island’s south side that sits atop steep cliffs. From the western end of the island, walk (or ride a scooter) along the southern road, passing by local residences and farms to Ceningan Cliffs restaurant. The restaurant entertains visitors with cliffside swings and a lookout point made from bamboo. Retrace your steps heading west, but before returning to the main intersection, turn south on the access road to Secret Beach. Take in the viewpoint and then scurry down the steps to the beach.
Spend the afternoon in a pool that overlooks the water – either at your accommodations or at the hip Sea Breeze Bar.
If you want to end your stay on the Nusa Islands with a bang, create your own warung crawl between the Yellow Bridge and the west end of the island! Start at Sea Breeze and make stops at a few fun bars, like The Island, The Sand, Ria Warung, Last Stop and Le Pirate. End at Next Level for a meal of satisfying tacos for dinner.
If you want a more low-key evening, watch the sunset at Twilight and then savor island fare at Blue Lagoon Resto, a traditional Indonesian establishment – or, for an intimate dinner-by-the-sea, eat at Nusa Veranda Villas!
Day 14 – Sanur, Bali
Return to the Bali mainland via fast boat and spend your final night in Sanur. Check into your Sanur accommodations (recommended: Sanur House) and then make your way to the beach for a last stroll along the sea.
For dinner, choose from one of the top-rated restaurants along the main road in Sanur. The following morning, head to the airport – or, if you have a late departure, arrange for a late checkout and relax by the hotel pool for the day!
Bali Trip Itinerary Suggestions
Many factors will determine how many days to spend in Bali: interest, budget and time all need to be considered. Travelers including Bali as part of a bigger Indonesia itinerary might have as little as one day, while other travelers may be planning a Bali 3-week itinerary. To help travelers create their best Bali DIY itinerary, we offer a variety of sample Bali itinerary outlines.
Bali One-Day Tour Itinerary
To be honest, we couldn’t fit everything we wanted to see into 1 week in Bali, so we can’t imagine trying to plan a Bali one-day itinerary. Yet, if one day is all you have, you should make the most of it! The easiest, hassle-free way to see Bali in one day would be to stay at an airport hotel (or a resort in nearby Sanur or Kuta). Join a highly-rated full-day tour and let your guide take you to Bali highlights.
Bali is, unfortunately, very deceivingly difficult to get around. However, if you would rather forego tours and resorts to explore on your own, we recommend spending the day in Canggu, where there is something for everyone (beach, spa, yoga, surf – and a plethora of food options!). That being said, the time it would take to get to/from the airport from Canggu will seriously cut into your day of fun.
Bali 2 Days Itinerary
Two days in Bali is just enough time to get a peek at Bali. Stay in Canggu and completely fill your two days with the best Bali things to do. On the first day, spend time on the beach (surfing, sunbathing or walking) and in the afternoon, take a yoga class or get a spa treatment. On the second day, hire a private guide for a whirlwind tour of the island highlights.
Bali Itinerary 3 Days
With 3 days in Bali, you can expand your sightseeing to other parts of Bali. We recommend following the above 2-Day Bali Itinerary and, on day three, hiring a private driver or joining a tour to see the dramatically different Bukit Peninsula. There, you can visit incredible Uluwatu beaches, the temple and viewpoints.
Bali Itinerary 4 Days
An itinerary for Bali for 4 days includes more time in Canggu. Follow the above outlined Bali 3-Day Itinerary and then, on your final day, take a longer beach walk, take a surfing lesson, explore the rural side of Canggu or get another spa treatment.
Bali Itinerary 5 Days
With 5 days in Bali, you will be able to see much more of the island! Our suggested Bali itinerary for 5 days would begin with three days in Canggu, filling two days with Canggu activities and one day on an island tour. Then, on your final two days, transfer to Uluwatu, where you will find a completely different vibe.
Bali Itinerary 6 Days
If you are planning for 6 days in Bali, we recommend following the first six days of our detailed Bali 2-Week Itinerary.
Bali Itinerary 7 Days
There is a lot you can see with a week in Bali, depending on what kind of trip you want to have and at what pace you want to explore. Your Bali one-week itinerary can be spent on the mainland or the islands, whichever you prefer. We have outlined a sample One-Week Bali Itinerary for both to help you plan what to do in Bali for 7 days.
Bali Itinerary 1 Week: Mainland
For a one week in Bali itinerary for the mainland, we suggest following the first seven days of our 2-Week Bali Itinerary. However, combine days 3 and 4 together to open one day for a Nusa Islands tour – either snorkeling on Lembongan or a Penida Land Tour.
Bali Itinerary 1 Week: Islands
On a 1-Week Itinerary Bali Islands, follow days 8 through 14 on our outlined two-week Bali Itinerary. Leave exploration of mainland Bali for a separate trip.
Bali Itinerary 8 Days
With 8 days in Bali, you can split your time between the Bali mainland and the Nusa Islands. We recommend following the sample Bali Itinerary 4 Days (above) and then going to Nusa Lembongan – where you can follow the details for days 8 through 11 on our outlined Bali Itinerary for 2 weeks.
Bali Itinerary 9 Days
To plan a 9-day trip to Bali, follow the above Bali Itinerary 8 Days and add one more day on the Nusa Islands to explore Nusa Ceningan.
Bali Itinerary 10 Days
With 10 Days in Bali, we recommend splitting your time between three destinations: Canggu, Uluwatu and Nusa Lembongan. Spend 3 days in Canggu, 3 days in Uluwatu and 4 days in Lembongan. You can almost follow our outlined 2-Week Bali Itinerary from Day 1 to Day 11…but eliminate Day 3 (you can combine activities from Day 3 into Day 4).
Bali Itinerary 3 Weeks
A 3 weeks in Bali Itinerary allows you to really get a feel for Bali. You can see multiple destinations without feeling rushed. For a relaxing Bali trip, we recommend following our Bali Itinerary for 2 weeks and adding days to each destination. For example, add one day in Canggu, two days in Uluwatu, two days in Lembongan and two days in Ceningan. Alternatively, use our best Bali itinerary for 2 weeks and then add a destination – like Ubud or Gili Islands – for a week-long stay.
Add Ubud or Gili Islands to your Bali Itinerary
Ubud, while not near the beach, is within close reach of several top Bali things to do. Top Ubud attractions include the Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary, the Campuhan Ridge Walk and the nearby floating lake temple, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple (1.5 hours north of Ubud).
The Gili Islands are a cluster of 3 tiny islands and are actually part of Lombok, not Bali. Similar to the Nusa Islands, the top activities on the Gili Islands are exploring, island hopping and water sports.
More Bali Things To Do
Looking for alternative tips for things to do in Bali? Consider adding – or substituting – these activities into your Bali Itinerary.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek
Embark on an epic pre-dawn hike to watch the sunrise from the crater of an active volcano. Enjoy breakfast at the peak before hiking back down and immersing yourself in the waters of a natural hot spring. Read the Rave Reviews of this tour!
Bali Cooking Class
Join a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Balinese dishes with local chefs in Seminyak. The class begins at a local market where the chef will pick up ingredients needed for the class (while also pointing out local herbs and spices). After you assist the chef in preparing the meal, you get to feast! Get the details for the class!
Bali Group Tours
We’ve presented many options to help you create your absolute best Bali itinerary for your trip. However, there are still many details to consider, like what to see, how to get around and where to stay. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the specifics that need to be planned, consider a Bali Group Tour. They will sort the details so all you have to do is enjoy! The group tours are a great option for anyone going on a solo trip to Bali, too. Search for top-rated Bali Group Tours with Viator.
Traffic and Getting Around
Traffic in Bali is horrendous – and I truly mean it. Many roads are only wide enough for one car, yet traffic goes both ways. Scooter drivers fearlessly slip into any open space available. The incredible number of vehicles on the road results in massive, ugly traffic jams. To make transportation matters worse, there are very limited public buses and the so-called ‘Taxi Mafia’ charge a bundle for a ride.
Fares are posted at taxi stands, but there may be some room for negotiation. Agree to a price before getting in the car. Also, make sure to have small bills, as drivers sometimes claim to not have change.
Unfortunately, the taxi drivers have taken a stand against any sort of car-sharing programs, like Uber or Grab. You can use the app, but expect the driver to ask for more than is quoted on the app. If it is too much of a risk for them to pick up passengers in a Taxi Mafia zone, they may cancel the ride or request you to walk to a non-Taxi Mafia zone.
Bali Rental Scooters
The cheaper way to get around Bali is to rent a scooter and drive yourself. Daily rental rates are incredibly cheap – about $5 USD per day, including a tank of gas. As great as that sounds, the option was problematic for us for a couple of reasons.
First, neither of us are comfortable driving a scooter. Second, we could not fathom driving in the insane traffic…on the left side of the road. We strongly encourage only skilled and confident travelers to rent a scooter in Bali.
Walking in Bali
The third option is to walk, which is what we did. We specifically chose accommodations that were within walking distance to a majority of the sights we wanted to see. Walking in Bali can actually be quite enjoyable.
Unlike the reviews we read from fellow travelers, we thought it was easy to get around on foot. We stayed to the side of the road, walked single file and carried a flashlight with us when we walked at night. When we did need to ride in a car – to reach sights out of walking distance and to transfer to our next destination – we took a taxi.
Getting to Bali
Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar Bali (DPS) is the main arrival point for the island. There are no direct flights to Bali from the US, with the overwhelming majority of services originating in other Southeast Asia destinations or Australia. Before you hop on Skyscanner, be sure to read our top advice for Finding The Best Flights for Cheap!
Bali Airport Transportation
The absolute worst place to get a taxi in Bali is from the airport. The hordes of drivers descend on tourists like vultures. The unhelpful official taxi stand is supposed to have a board listing prices, but it was blank when we arrived late at night from Penang. The price they quoted for a ride to Canggu was 500,000 IDR ($34 USD), which was double what we read it should be.
We ended up negotiating a price of 200,000 IDR with an unofficial taxi driver. The overall experience was outrageously frustrating and a horrible introduction to Bali. We highly recommend coordinating an airport pick up in advance of your trip as we did when we departed for Sydney. Save yourself the hassle and book your airport transfer in advance on Viator.
Where To Stay in Bali, Indonesia
We spent hours researching the perfect places to stay during our trip. We scoured maps, looked at photos and read an endless number of online reviews. As budget-conscious travelers, we were not looking for posh resorts – but we were not looking for basic hostels, either.
Our top requirements were: central location, clean and comfortable room space, air conditioning, mid-range price and value for money. A pool and included breakfast were also a priority, but not necessary. In the end, we loved every place we stayed and can highly recommend them to other travelers!
Canggu – Ecosfera Hotel
Moderately priced, the Ecosfera Hotel exudes all of the charm and style of an Indonesian boutique hotel. Our large room had a balcony overlooking the refreshing pool in a tropical setting. The on-site spa offers a variety of treatments and yoga classes are taught in the third level studio. Additionally, the included breakfast far surpassed our expectations. The location was ideal – just a short walk to the beach and near necessities, like grocery, pharmacy and laundry.
Uluwatu – D’Padang Homestay
The secluded D’Padang Homestay in Uluwatu has only 16 rooms – and two pools. Our clean room had plenty of space and a small patio. A cooked breakfast was included in our stay and served by the incredibly friendly staff. The property is located along a quiet section of the main road near the Thomas Beach entrance. We walked to most places, but hopped in a cab to get to Bingin Beach.
Nusa Lembongan – Chillhouse Homestay
We struggled to find a place in Nusa Lembongan that ticked all of the boxes. Our high-season visit was not making it an easy task! We decided to forego an included breakfast and pool and booked a stay at the 4-room Chillhouse Homestay – and we are stoked that we did! Update: Chillhouse now has a small pool!
Located in the heart of Jungut Batu, the newly constructed hotel has clean, spacious rooms with balconies and ice-cold air con. What made our stay excellent, however, was our interactions with the owner, Gede. He happily helped us with anything we needed – from arranging tours to making calls to offering us rides. We felt like family at Chillhouse!
Nusa Ceningan – Nusa Veranda Sunset Villas
The family-run Nusa Veranda Sunset Villas is an absolute gem! A boutique resort on the water, each villa opens onto a private deck and the resort’s infinity pool that overlooks the sea. The villas are stylishly decorated and clean with a spacious, open-air ensuite bathroom. The included breakfast is delicious – and our dinner-by-the-sea of fresh-caught fish was one of the most memorable meals we ate in Bali.
Sanur – Sanur House
Located just steps from the main street in Sanur, the Sanur House hotel is nestled in a lush garden retreat. The chic hotel offers a range of contemporary rooms with unique furnishings and has a superb staff. The included breakfast is served by the pool in a relaxing environment. Even after we checked out, they allowed us to enjoy the pool and use the shower room before departing on our red-eye flight.
Whatever your budget and whatever your style, start your search for Bali hotels on Booking.com – like we do!
Bali Trip Budget
We are budget-conscious travelers – and even though we were celebrating my milestone birthday, we wanted to keep the budget in check. I had always assumed that Bali, Indonesia budget travel would be difficult to organize, but I was wrong.
In fact, of all the places that we have visited in Southeast Asia, we think Bali offers the most value for money. We were pleasantly surprised to find affordable accommodation, inexpensive activities and excellent options for low-priced meals. Even Western food cost less than we had anticipated.
Budget for Bali for 2 Weeks
Although not necessarily created as a Bali budget itinerary, our 2-Week Bali Itinerary can be used by budget travelers seeking experiences at affordable prices. For that matter, it could even be used as a Bali backpacking itinerary by simply substituting cheaper accommodation choices than we selected (of which there are plenty of options).
Our 2 Weeks in Bali Budget
Accommodations range from basic to luxury – with prices to match. That said, you can still find nice, clean places to stay that won’t break the bank. Hotels were the biggest cost in our Bali 2 Weeks Budget – and we never paid more than $60 USD a night for a hotel room (and we stayed in some pretty awesome places!).
Local, Indonesian fare can cost as little as $2.50 USD for scrumptious and filling meals. Western food will undoubtedly cost more, but we ate juicy burgers and wood-fired pizzas that were priced in the $6 USD range.
Transportation costs in Bali will add up if you use taxis to get around, but we remedied that by walking when we could. Many of the popular Bali tours are offered at a low cost; chatting with fellow travelers and hotel staff can help reveal the best deals.
Bali Trip Planning: What You Will Need
We have a few final packing hacks for your Bali Itinerary!
Bali Beach Essentials
Don’t forget the beach necessities for your Bali trip! You will need comfortable shoes, a swimsuit, high SPF sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and a refillable water bottle. Bring snorkel gear, too, so you won’t have to rent it! Above all, be sure to have your Best Day Pack to carry it all in!
Best Travel Camera for Bali
A proper camera is practically required for your Bali vacation! We highly recommend using an actual camera (not just your phone) to capture the beauty of Bali on land. We use a Canon Rebel which takes amazing photos and a great budget camera for beginners. Rather than carrying multiple lenses, we use an 18-135mm everyday lens – which works great for sightseeing!
Bali Travel Insurance
We Want To Know: What do you think of our Bali Itinerary? Would you add – or change – anything in our outlined 2 weeks in Bali? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments!
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